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Rich Retails

Finally After 80 Years In A Unmarked Grave

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Posted by: Steve Hardwick
Date: Apr 07 2018 4:21 PM

“ Patience, my brother and patience, my son, in that sweet and final hour
truth and justice will be done. “

Of all the things that I have done that mean so much to me, getting a headstone for Wesley Johnson has touched me the most❤️

Everyone in Tumbleton called Wesley Johnson, “Wes.” Wes Johnson was born Wesley Pearce in 1919, but for reasons unknown, his mother sent him to live with his aunt and uncle, who raised him along with their two biological children on the property of Mr. John Harper Oates, a white farmer whose land was worked by a large black community of sharecroppers.

Wes Johnson was 18-years-old, tall (6’2”) and strong. Oates had a baseball diamond on his property and Wes liked to play baseball.

He worked odd jobs and also worked at a store in Headland that was five miles away from his home. On the days that he worked in Headland Wes would catch a ride to take him to work.

On February 2, 1937 Wes missed his ride to Headland and that day would be a day that has haunted me ever since I was first told about the lynching and hanging of this young man several years ago.

For years I tried to find where he was laid to rest without any success until recently when I was blessed by meeting a relative ...Faye Walker Howell.
Finally I knew where he was laid to rest 80 years ago.
No marker, No concrete vault ...just a few patches of grass among weeds covered his grave.

A few days later I was eating dinner in a local restaurant when a sudden thought came flashing through my brain.

I Need To Get Wesley Johnson A Headstone !!!

I had recently ordered two headstones for two young children here in Dothan that I had found out from their mothers that their two children were both laid to rest in unmarked graves 3 years ago in a local cemetery. Wesley was quickly buried in a unmarked grave 80 years ago so did it really matter that he didn’t have a headstone after all of those years?


My children will tell you that I have spoken to them and to others about Wesley for many years. He was shot multiple times and then was left hanging in a tree for several days for others to see.

You can google Wesley Johnson Lynching for more details and you can watch Oprah Winfrey on CBS Sixty Minutes this Sunday night as she interviews Faye Howell about Wes and others stories that I haven’t heard but I will definitely be glued to the tv tomorrow night to hear Faye’s story from years of research.

Wesley many many years has passed since that awful day 80 years ago that your life was taken but let their be no doubt that you ARE ALWAYS LOVED, MISSED AND REMEMBERED
just like every other child who left this earth way to soon.

I wish so badly that I could see a picture of Wes but to his family’s knowledge none exist. But I do know he looked like most teenagers ...HAPPY 🤗

Thanks To Faye Walker Howell
And James Johnson For Sharing Your Stories Of Wesley With Me

Love To All

Steve Hardwick

Finally After 80 Years In A Unmarked Grave

Finally After 80 Years In A Unmarked Grave

First Funeral

Finally After 80 Years In A Unmarked Grave

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