Despite the jury’s plea for mercy, Daniel Boon was executed for murder.
He was the second of about men to face the hangman’s noose in Wagga.
As part of the Rewind Wagga series, The Daily Advertiser this week explored the second of about five executions that took place inside the walls of the local jail.
According to the archives, a gloom had set over the town on the morning of Boon’s death in July 1876.
As landlord of the Home Hotel, the father-of-seven was fairly well known.
Having taken a part in the town’s development across the years, Boon had connections with most residents and businesses and was fairly well thought of.
But the innkeeper sealed his fate the day he killed Alexander McMullan.
Boon was in a drunken tirade when he arrived in McMullan’s yard at North Wagga on January 10.
Witnesses reported seeing Boon at about 5pm, walking up to the door of the blacksmith’s shop, bearing a double-barrelled gun.
McMullans bade Boon good day, to which his murderer responded, demanding rent money be paid.
“I have got no money,” McMullan had said. “And we can settle out affairs without guns.”
Boon repeated the question several times before finally demanding a cheque.
But the victim said there was no need for guns and got to work on a dray.
Pointing his loaded and cocked weapon at McMullan, an out-of-control Boon then asked: “Will you pay me rent or not”?
“Oh Don’t,” McMullan had pleaded. “Don’t do that Dan.”
Boon pulled the trigger, wounding and killing McMullen.
Witnesses reported Boon then saying: “I put a trade in your hands, and now I have taken it out, and I know that I shall be hanged, but I shall stand hanging for a dog like you”.
At trial, Boon’s legal representative pushed for a manslaughter charge. It was argued that Boon had not been of sound mind and had not been malicious or homicidal when sober.
While his violent temper when drunk pushed his passions beyond control, he was the kind of man who assisted others in need.
But the Supreme Court upheld the conviction, stating that drunkenness was no excuse for murder.
A calm but pail Boon was hanged at Wagga jail on July 19 at 2pm.
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