At the funeral of Dunsmuir, Oregon's Chief of Police, F. R. Daw, a number of mourners planned the lynching of his alleged murderer, Clyde Johnson. Early on the morning of August 3, 1935, the masked mob, estimated as large as fifty, forcibly removed Johnson from his jail cell and dragged him three miles south of town where they hung him from a pine tree. Local and state officials expressed mixed reaction to news of the lynching.

District Attorney James Davis declared that he would open an investigation and "do everything the law requires to apprehend members of the mob." On the other hand, the California Attorney General, referring to the recently delayed execution of an accused murderer, stated that the "uncontrollable unrest" was a natural result of the "apathy of the Supreme Court of the United States."

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