Friday, March 13, 2009

Lindsey "Babe" Hinson

[This is a continuation of my series on the vigilantes at the Cane Creek massacre.]

Lindsey Hinson was the brother of David Hinson who was killed at the massacre. Known as "Babe", he has been identified as one of the vigilantes in several sources.

Babe was born in Tennessee in around 1850 to George "Grey George" Hinson and Nancy. His wife was called Jane or sometimes Sarah J. Though I have no marriage date or her maiden name.

In Frank Smith's history of Maury County, there is an undated account by William Hill McCaleb. In it William claimed that after David Hinson was killed...
"All the Hinson crowd ran except Babe Hinson, brother of Dave. It is said that it was Babe who remained. He killed the two Condor boys, the two Mormon
elders, and wounded Mrs John Carroll in the thigh. Mrs Carroll got well. None of the crowd disguised. Nobody wounded in the crowd except Dave, who was killed.
... Babe Hinson was unhurt, now living on Beaver Dam Creek."

When compared to other stories, this one seems to put Babe in the center of the action, they way you would expect it if Babe was the one telling the story. Babe is a hero and David Hinson's death caused Babe to exact his revenge by killing the two Elders, the two Condor boys and wounding their mother. But there are some critical errors that make the story harder to accept. Mrs John Carroll was not the one who was shot, rather it was John Carroll's sister, Malinda Carroll Condor. And several witnesses note the disguises. There are several other problems in portions not quoted here. So we are certainly not dealing with someone with first hand knowledge.

In 1895, Willard Washington Bean interviewed a man known only as "Bill." He considered Babe Hinson as still quite dangerous.
"But I reckon the Mormons and the folks around here have parted company, and it wouldn't be healthy for 'em to come back so long as Babe and Bill Hinson are around here. They seldom go anyplace without their guns. Babe wouldn't even go to the depot without strappin his gun on."

"Bill" certainly paints a picture of a dangerous man.

Babe is also included in Hyrum Belnap's autobiography. Probably recorded in 1914, it claims that John Garrett sent him a letter listing twelve men and claiming they were the ones who killed Elders Gibbs and Berry.

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