APEX, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man who survived an attempted lynching in 1952 has been helped by hundreds of people to move to a new home Tuesday so a highway can be expanded.
Lynn Council, 87, plans to move into a new house in Apex after living in his current home for more than 60 years, news outlets reported.
Council was accused decades ago of a robbery he didn’t commit. Two deputies hanged him from a tree to try to get him to confess. When he didn’t, the deputies took him down.
Council later settled into a home just outside of Apex. About 20 years ago, he took out a $20,000 federal home repair loan. One condition of the loan was that the full amount must be paid if he moved out or died.
The state recently bought Council’s home so the Department of Transportation can expand the NC-540 highway. That meant he needed to pay back the $20,000 loan.
Garrett Raczek learned about Council’s story and launched an online fundraiser to help pay off the debt. By early Tuesday morning, the fundraiser had exceeded $21,000.
“I sure thank the Lord for the gifts. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you, Lord,” Council said at a news conference Monday.
As for the attempted lynching, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and Apex police apologized last year. A bench in Council’s honor was also placed outside the police department.