It Ain’t What Happened It’s How you Reflect On What Happened!

An amateur genealogical researcher discovered that her great-granduncle, Lawrence Singleton, a fellow lacking in character, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Tennessee in 1889.

The only known photograph of Lawrence Singleton shows him standing on gallows. On the back of the picture is this inscription: “Lawrence Singleton; horse thief, sent to Tennessee Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Tennessee Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.”

After cropping and editing out the gallows from Lawrence’s picture with image processing software, the following amended biographical sketch was added to the reverse of the “new” old photograph:

“Lawrence Singleton was a famous rancher in early Tennessee history. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Tennessee railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Lawrence Singleton passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”

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