Dispensing justice with a rope
For The Madera Tribune
Many of Madera’s outlaws never saw the inside of this old jail--Madera’s first--Old Judge Lynch took care of them.
Generally speaking, when people talk about lynching, they are referring to nightriders in bedsheets roaming the backwoods of the South spreading fear and intimidation among African-Americans. Seldom does a conversation on lynching include California, and even less often are lynchings in Madera County discussed, yet they did happen here.
When one takes into account all of the times a criminal met his end through extra-legal means, one gets a clearer picture of pioneer society in what is now Madera County. Our history is filled with lynchings.
A good example of Judge Lynch in action within the boundaries of what is now Madera County took place in 1863. One A. L. Dixon was strung up somewhere between Coarsegold and the Fresno River because he was part of a gang of thieves who had infested the area for sometime, plundering the mining camps and the trading posts.