The End of An Era

The Last Public Hanging in West Virginia

This historical marker outside the Jackson County Courthouse marks the end of an era. It commemorates and marks the location of the 1897 execution of triple murderer John Ferguson Morgan, the last man to be publicly executed by official decree in West Virginia on December 16, 1897.

Morgan brutally massacred three members of the Pfost-Greene family: mother Chloe Greene, her son, James Greene, and daughter, Matilda Pfost. The ensuing carnival-like atmosphere of the execution prompted West Virginia to become one of the first states in the nation to outlaw capital punishment.