By Zoe Crihfield, Tom Costa, Dylan Mabe, Thomas Noble
On June 5, 1902, Wiley Guynn, a 28-year-old boarding house proprietor and miner, was arrested for assaulting the twelve-year-old daughter of Franklin Green, a white farmer living in the Tom’s Creek area, just outside Coeburn in Wise County, Virginia. Guynn allegedly grabbed the young girl who screamed, attracting a group of white men who apprehended Guynn. He was taken before a justice at Bondtown and given a hearing; as he was about to be jailed, a mob of close to five hundred men, including the girl’s father, descended on the jail demanding the prisoner. As they conveyed him away from the jail, he broke free and was shot to death trying to escape.