Victim ID: VA1897092501
Victim Name: Peb Falls
Race: White
Sex: Female
Age: Unknown
Job: Unknown
Method of Death: Hanged
Accusation: Unsavory character; keeping company with negroes
Date: 1897-09-25
City: Cowan’s Depot
Mob Composition: Unknown

Summary: A white woman, Peb Falls, was discovered lynched in Rockingham County on September 25th, 1897.

Hunters found the body of Peb Falls, a “notorious” white woman, dangling from a tree in the Massanutten Mountains, six miles east of Cowan’s Depot, on September 25th, 1897 (Alexandria Gazette). When the body was discovered, it was in the first stage of decomposition. It is unknown how and why she was lynched. The Alexandria Gazette speculated that Peb Falls “was hanged by negroes, who have been her companions lately”, even though this seems highly unlikely. Peb Falls was married, however, “her reputation had been unsavory and she was driven to the mountains where she slept in the fields and the woods” (Alexandria Gazette). No effort was made to apprehend any guilty parties. However, the Harrisonburg-based Rockingham Register denied that a lynching took place, claiming that “Neither the Commonwealth’s Attorney nor the Sheriff of Rockingham has received any information of the alleged hanging and they discredit the whole story absolutely.”

News Coverage: Alexandria Gazette; Rockingham Register

Article Link (from Alexandria Gazette published on 1897-09-29)
Article Link (from Rockingham Register published on 1897-10-01)

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