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Allegany County
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Garrett County
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Photographs and Prints
Garrett's first murder case

Garrett's first murder case, 1883 Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


The first person to commit murder and be hanged in Garrett County was John Herbert Smith, a former slave. The PDF file tells the full story of the murder of Josiah Harden, and Smith's arrest, escape and final execution.

This 1908 postcard depicts the Western Maryland Railroad Depot at Gorman, Maryland, the community where the murder took place. At the time of the murder in 1883, Smith was a railroad construction foreman. The railroad was most likely the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh which eventually merged into the Western Maryland.


The research for this article was conducted by Wayne Wilt, from The Republican newspaper of Garrett County. It was used with permission of Wayne and The Republican.

Postcard from the collection of Albert and Angela Feldstein

Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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