Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Respectable Young Man

Then what happened?
I wasn't able to find anything else in the archives about Frank Hensley, the "respectable young man," who was arrested for sodomy, according to this article from the Dallas Weekly Herald on July 30, 1885. The Weekly Herald didn't do a follow-up where they discussed what happened after this man's arrest.

I can make one guess: the 1880 Census includes a Frank Hensley, living in Dallas. In 1880, this Frank Hensley is 22 years old, single, and working as an assistant collector in a bank. In 1885, he would have been 27 or 28 years old. On the other hand, it looks like this Frank Hensley married in October, 1885.

While one certainly can commit sodomy in July and subsequently marry (and the term sodomy is elastic enough that there's some real doubt about what exactly Mr. Hensley was being tried for), if he were convicted for sodomy in August 1885, it's unlikely he would have been getting married in October, as was the Frank Hensley of the 1880 census.
Frank Hensley, who appears to be a respectable young man, living near Kingston, was arrested on Thursday charged with sodomy. The grand jury found a true bill against him and he is under a $500 bond.
What happened after that? I don't know. As I noted, the Weekly Herald didn't see fit to tell its readers whether the respectable young man was acquitted (and regained some of his respectability) or committed (and thus maybe not so respectable after that).

One other thing to think about: $500 was a pile of money in 1885. My guess is that he was not bailed out of jail prior to his trial.
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