Lynchings of Madison County

(1886-1965) There were seven reported lynchings in Madison County, over the span of 1886-1965.

This list was comprised from A Partial List of Mississippi Lynchings compiled by the Tuskegee Institute. The list appears in Susan Orr- Klopfer’s Where Rebels Roost.

Name, Town, Date, Alleged Crime
Ben Chambers, Madison, May 7, 1886, Attempted Rape
Spencer Costello, Flora, Jan. 7, 1895, Murder & Robbery
Red Bilbro, Madison, Jan. 29, 1921, Murderous Assault
Claude Brooks, Canton, July 29, 1938, Assault
Joe Rogers, Canton, May 8, 1939,
Sylvester Maxwell, Canton, Jan, 17, 1963,
Allen W. Shelby, Flora, Jan. 22, 1965,


Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead Germantown, OH: FBW, 1994.

Cheeks-Collins, Jennifer E. Black America Series: Madison County, Mississippi Charleston: Arcadia, 2002.

Townsend Davis, Weary Feet, Rested Souls: A Guided History of the Civil Rights Movement New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.

Dittmer, John. Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.

Mead, Carol Lynn. The Land Between Two Rivers: Madison County, Mississippi. Canton, MS: Friends of the Madison County—Canton Public Library, 1987.

Orr-Klopfer, M. Susan. Where Rebels Roost : Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited. (self-published) 2005.

Payne, Charles M. I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.