In a feature in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reporter Phillip O'Connor examines Charles Brown's quest to find his ancestors and how it led him to information about lynchings of African Americans in Pierce City:
The 1901 attack in Pierce City was just one of many instances across the country in which white mobs drove black people from their land. Brown said he knew there were family connections to Pierce City, but Cobb and other family members had been buried 50 miles away in Springfield. He had no idea, until reading a series in the Monett Times, that three black men had been lynched and his ancestors forced to abandon their home at gunpoint. Brown thinks his elders might have sought to shield him from the indignities the family suffered.