On May 6, 1911 an unimposing man by the name of George Maledon died. He was a Bavarian immigrant who stood 5 foot 5 inches, with sunken eyes and a beard that covered the lower half of his face. During George’s early life he was a soldier and lawman. Being the hangman for Hangin’ Judge Parker, George was a stern man who believed that lawbreakers should be punished to the limit of the law. When Isaac Parker became the Federal Judge of the Indian Territory, he surrounded himself with the best men possible, and so he hired George Maledon to perform the duties of his hangman.
George took his work seriously. He used the very best rope for the job… hand woven Kentucky hemp. He would stretch the ropes until they were a uniform inch in diameter. He kept them well oiled, and secured away at his home. He also had a special way of placing the rope on a victim’s neck, so death was instantaneous.
When it came to his gallows, he was meticulous. Over and over again he would walk the 12 steps to his “gates of hell” as he called the gallows, inspect the overhead beam that held the ropes and make sure the hinges on the trap door worked properly. Then he would place a 200-pound sandbag on the trap door and pull the trigger.
George got $100 per man. And when it was time for payday, George did well. The first time he hanged 6 men at one time. On other occasions it was parties of 5, 4, 3, 2, with an occasional single.
Although his was a macabre job, George Maledon took pride in it. For, as he said, “I never hanged a man who came back to have the job done again.”