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York County native said to have captured J. W. Booth’s horse after Lincoln assassination

I’ve already told the story of Edman “Ned” Spangler, son of a York County sheriff and one of the so-called “Lincoln conspirators.” With all the recent to-do about the John Wilkes Booth bobble-heads that were on sale several Lincoln-related sites (insensitivity at its highest), I wanted to share another Booth link from an October 5, 1924 York newspaper article. It reads:

Native York Countian Who Pursued Lincoln’s Slayer Living at Age of 87 in Lancaster.

Harry Smeych, a native of York county, who captured the horse on which J. Wilkes Booth made his escape after he had assassinated President Lincoln in Ford’s theater, Washington, April 14, 1865, celebrated his 87th birthday anniversary at his home, 123 Church Street, Lancaster, on Monday. Smeych has had a life filled with thrills. He has been a soldier of fortune, a traveler, a politician, a former U. S. Army and business man.

Surrounded by friends, he recalled many of the interesting events of his live spent in all corners of the United States.

In Ford’s theater the night of the assassination of President Lincoln, Smeych was one of the crowd who gave chase to Booth, following him for hours until he captured the horse upon which the murderer mane his escape as it was galloping wildly through the fields, after being freed by Booth in an effort to detrail the posse.

The article goes on with more of Smeych’s adventures. I’ll share them later.

Click the links below for more on York ties with the Lincoln conspiracy.

Bland’s academy, the Sherwood School, attended by John Wilkes Booth.

What was taught at the Sherwood School.

More on the Sherwood School at the old Spangler house.

And more on Ned Spangler.