The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Currents

July 30, 2012

The music got him 'All stirred up inside

Conneaut youth was youngest Ohioian to be executed in electric chair

Floyd Hewitt loved to listen to the radio, especially that cool jazzy music that got him “all stirred up inside.”

Trouble was, it was 1927 and there were not many radios in the North Conneaut neighborhood where Hewitt, 16,  lived. In fact, there was but one receiver, in the home of neighbors Frederick and Celia Brown.
Had the radio been in the home of any other North Conneaut residence, it is likely that Mr.  Hewitt would have lived and died without notoriety, leaving behind just one more rectangle of granite in the East Conneaut Cemetery, where the bones of other Hewitt family members are on deposit.
But fate wrote a different story for Floyd Hewitt, who was the first person from Ashtabula County to die in the electric chair and also the youngest Ohio person to suffer that fate. He was the second youngest Ohio person to die for a crime, relinquishing the first-place spot by just a few days to Otto Leuth, who hanged for his crime Aug. 29, 1890.
One might say that Floyd Hewitt, born on Halloween 1910 in Albion, Pa., came into this world destined for a dark deed. The son of Olive and William Hewitt, who were estranged at the time Floyd went on a murderous rampage, Floyd and his mother shared a home with W.H. Miner, a Conneaut barber, on Lake Road, Conneaut.
It was Valentine’s Day, 1927, when Floyd paid an evening visit to the Brown home, a new, modest structure that Mr. Brown built for his family the prior year. The house still stands on Lake Road, immediately across from the City of Conneaut Water Department.
Mr. Brown, an engineer caller on the Nickel Plate Railroad, was working the afternoon shift and would not be home until shortly past midnight. It being Valentine’s Day, the ether was charged with jazzy music and Floyd’s mind with amorous intentions.

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