The "hanging tree" once used for executions in southeast Missouri's Cape Girardeau County has been taken down.

The Southeast Missourian reports that county officials ordered the tree in Jackson to be removed after determining it no long was healthy enough to continue standing.

The mulberry tree was taken down Sunday.

The tree stood next to the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse and was used in the hanging of condemned criminals. Missouri officially stopped using hanging as an execution method in 1937, but Cape Girardeau County's last hanging was June 15, 1899, when convicted killer 19-year-old John Headrick was executed for killing a man a year earlier.

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