Post Boy Murder & John Funston Hanging
Only public execution in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.
Murder September 9, 1825. Hanging December 30, 1925


Question Posted on Facebook...

Jeffrey Erb
Jeffrey E
Does anyone know where Allentown Hill was located in New Philadelphia. Many years ago they supposedly hung a murderer there, I think for killing a Post Boy? I have found references to the Post Boy murder around the Port Washington - Newcomerstown area. I'm guessing court was held in the county seat, New Philadelphia, but wondered where the hanging was. Never heard of Allentown Hill. Could have been Mr. Allen had a farm with a large oak tree on top of a hill overlooking the town of New Philadelphia... You get the picture.
Pat V (From the New Philadelphia Democrat, January 26, 1888, in which the murder was reviewed more than 50 years after it occurred) "The scaffold on which John Funson was hung was erected on a slight elevation just west of New Philadelphia and which is at the present time a suburb of the county seat. On the morning of the execution the citizens from all parts of the county and some from distant parts of the state began to assemble at New Philadelphia, and by morn the streets were a solid mass of humanity, all eager to witness the law imposed duty of seeing John Funson launched into eternity. Shortly after noon the sheriff did his duty and the lifeless body of John Funson hung to the breezes." (The murder occurred in 1825)  
Jennifer T Do I remember the hanging was around the 5-points area?
Pat  Could be. In 1825, that area may have been on the edge of town, maybe a mile or less from the Courthouse.
Diane T Interesting!!
Cathy C It was down by 5 points
Jeffrey E 5 Points sounds like a logical spot. Near the end of Allen Lane NW, Near bottom of a hill, West end... By George, I think we got it!
Lyn E Fascinating!
Alan G I remember the story of this hanging. Down where I grew up on West High (past Five Points) my mom always referred to our part of NP as "Allentown".
Jeannette S I didn't know that, but I bet my husband does.
Karen M Alan - I didn't know that. I will have to ask your mom if she knows anything about the hanging. What would have been the hill?
Ken W I don't know if it is true or not but I heard hangings used to take place just outside the Tuscarawas County Court House.
Susan M Ken^^^^. On E. High . By Beaver Ave. the other5 points.
Jennifer T This is what got me..."On the morning of the execution the citizens from all parts of the county and some from distant parts of the state began to assemble at New Philadelphia, and by morn the streets were a solid mass of humanity" In Saudi Arabia, there is place where the hangings are done today. There are hotels on the corners, and people rent the rooms facing the street so they can avoid the crowd and get a great view. I guess people are the same everywhere. And I'm sure some, like me would be anywhere but...yuck. This came from my high school English teacher 
Mary C The Post Boy murder is a true story and happened south of Newcomerstown!!!
Faith S I grew up on West High Ave Ext and have never heard this story. Interesting!
Frank L kudos to you jeff , thats an importent part i n history
Jan B The site of the murder was on what is presently Post Boy Road outside Newcomerstown. As far as the hanging, I remember my mother pointing to the dead tree on Franklin Square. She said that someone had been hung there. Little known trivia. The land the courthouse was donated by Mrs. Knisely with the provision that, if anyone was given the death penalty, the land would revert to the Knisely family. If my memory is correct, they, finally, had the family rescind it around 1990.
Alan G Karen, I think the hill they are referring to is what on West High would be between 6th & 7th Streets (5 Points). On Front St. It's a little more easterly.
David R The scaffolding was where Midas is. My great grandfather told me this story over 20 years ago and he was in his 90s then.
Rick F Go to the link below. This book has a superb overview of New Phila history and on page #109 says the Funston hanging occurred at the intersection of Tuscarawas Ave and West High Ave (Allentown).
New Philadelphia in Vintage Postcards
In 1772, Native Americans granted land in the Tuscarawas Valley to Moravian miss...See More
Pat V Thanks, Rick F. I will take a look.

Excerpt from "New Philadelphia in Vintage Postcards"


PDF of "The Trial, Confession of John Funston,
For the Murder of William Cartmill"