Frequently when Daniel Boone was a judge in the Femme Osage District in eastern Missouri, he held court under the “judgement elm” near his home at Defiance. A man found guilty would be punished on the spot, often tied to a hickory tree in Boone’s yard and whipped. That usually ended the trouble and the culprit was allowed to return to life in the community. He’d paid his debt to society on the spot and that was that. The whipping post and the pillory were common items in Missouri towns. Their day eventually passed when methods of punishment considered more modern came along – putting people behind bars. However, not even the construction of a state penitentiary made local punishment obsolete.

AOWM – December 30