The so-called hanging tree in uptown Jackson once used for executions in Cape Girardeau County was cut down Sunday. County officials ordered the tree removed after determining it no longer was healthy enough to continue standing. Owner of Quality tree Services Gary Hill in Jackson, who removed the tree, says it was rotten to the point where it was a liability. The mulberry tree near the Cape Girardeau County courthouse was used in the hanging of condemned criminals. Missouri stopped executing people by hanging in 1937. One of the last of these executions to take place at the tree occurred June 15, 1899, when convicted murderer 19-year old John Headrick was “hanged by the neck between heaven and earth until he is dead,” as ordered by Judge Henry C. Riley. Hill said the tree was a part of local history, and he expects people to be sad to see the tree go. The current courthouse was built in 1909.