OCR Interpretation

St. Helens mist. (St. Helens, Or.) 1913-1933, January 08, 1915, Image 5

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2004260419/1915-01-08/ed-1/seq-5/

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liwudd Kverjf Filtlnjr Hjr
M. K. Mllln'r, Iklltof
Kutnred an second cluos nmtlur, January 10th, 1912
at the Post Ottlce a tSalnt Holini. Or-ijon, under the
Act of March 3rd, 187b
One Year $1.60
aix Mouth 75
Advertising rate made known on application
Legal notloet IS oeuti per Hue.
Startling indeed was the news on Mon
day morning that John G. II. Sicrcks, an in
mate of the State Insane Asylum, had con
fessed to the murder of Daisy Wehrman,
and that by this confession John A. Pender
was cleared of the crime for which he is serv
ing a life sentence in the penitentiary, after
having been sentenced twice to hang and of
finally having his sentence commuted to life
imprisonment by the Governor. The news
was startling to everybody. The statement
made by the idiot contained something of
the real facts in the case as brought out by
the evidence in the two trials of Pender. To
the people of Oregon who were not familiar
with that evidence, except perhaps in a gen
eral way as reported in the newspapers, the
confession was a real confession and it was
loudly proclaimed in the daily papers of
Portland, that a great injustice had been
done to Pender, and that he would now be
released and that it would probably be the
duty of the legislature to appropriate $10,
000 to repay, in a measure, to Pender for the
great Wrong he had suffered at the hands of
the people of Columbia County. But the
confession of Sicrcks did not strike the peo
ple who were familiar with the circumstances
and the evidence, as anything more than a
frame-up by Pender's detectives, or else the
hallucinations of a weak mind after brood
ing over the murder and its details by a man
who was a neighbor and who was partly fa
miliar with the details of the horrible crime.
With each succeeding statement made by
Sicrcks it became more convincing than ever
that the jury made no mistake when it pro
nounced Pender the guilty man. So improb
able and impossible were the statements of
the idiot when compared to the actual facts
as they existed that no credence was given
them at all by any person who was familiar
with the details of the evidence or of the real
facts as proven at the two trials of Pender.
The later repudiation of the confession by
Siercks was to be expected, but it came a little
before the time predicted for it. The confes
sion and the consequent proceedings in re
gard to it were a big farce staged for the pur
pose of exciting sympathy for a man convict
ed of murder and, if possible, to cause his lib
eration from the prison. But it has failed.
The repudiation and the showing of the im
possibilities of the truth of the statements in
the confession came too quickly to secure the
desired results.
This so-called confession by a crazy man
has brought to light some peculiar state
ments, which were little dreamed of by the
good people of Columbia County. The de
tective Thatcher who worked up the confes
sion, after having called to his assistance the
chaplain of the penitentiary and others of
more or less prominence, proceeded to give to
the people of Columbia County a lecture for
having a desire to punish somebody for the
awful crime, and that Pender just happened
to be the man upon whom an excited and
prejudiced mob could wreak vengence. All of
which was just silly rot. The, people of Co
lumbia County are reasonable and sane peo
ple, very largely, and are just as respectable
and as good citizens as are the people of any
other county. To say that there was a de-.
sire for fevenge on somebody, regardless of
whether or not.it was the right party, is an
insult to the intelligence of the people of Co
lumbia County and Oregon. Coming from a
stranger who is not known and who was
never before heard of by the people of' this
county, those same people have not been slow
in denouncing the work of Thatcher as
that of a hired detective who would do any
thing or say anything to earn his money.
On top of this rank statement by the de
tective TJiatclier, comes the statement by
Governor West that "Pender, did not have a
square deal" in Columbia County. Such p.
statement coming from the Governor of Ore
Ron, to say the least, is very ill-advised. No
doubt the Governor based his statement on
Hie representations made to him by the at
torneys and partisans of the convicted man,
one of whom, by the way, is a member of
tlic State Pardoning Board. To say that
Pender did not get a square deal is absolutely
wrong and without foundation. To say or in
timate that he was not given a fair trial before
f 'nir and impartial jury and before a fair and
just judge, is going a little too strong. It has
sr. Helens Mis?, frIdAV, January s,
been stated that there was perjured testimony
against Pender and that some of the witnesses
may have been crooked, etc., but even if that
be true, which has not yet been proven, it
does not warrant the assertion that he did not
get a square deal. The trial of Pender for the
murder of Mrs. Wehrman was held long after
the excitement over the case had passed. The
evidence in the case was presented to a grand
jury sleeted from among the taxpayers of this
county. They were convinced that it was
sufficient to require him to explain his where
abouts and his actions on that eventful night.
Later the evidence was submitted to a jury of
12 men, all citizens and taxpayers of Colum
bia County, and Pender's side of the case was
handled by two of the best lawyers in Ore
gon, John F. Logan and John II. Stevenson.
These lawyers were aided and assisted by the
Pinkerton Detective Bureau, and everything
was done and every bit of evidence secured
that was possible to obtain. After viewing
the premises, listening to the evidence and
watching the effect of same, hearing the argu
ments of the lawyers where every bit of the
evidence offered by the state was attempted
to be torn into shreds and discounted, and
after receiving the instructions of Judge
Campbell, whom everybody in Oregon knows
to be a just and fair man, the 12 men decided
that Pender was guilty. But on account of
the evidence being of a circumstancial nature
the jury was unable to decide as to the degree
of guilt. Then after a wait of about IS
months, another jury was secured before an
other judge and the defendant had secured
another eminent attorney, John A. Jeffrey, to
assist in his defense, and with the aid of more
detectives, the evidence was submitted to the
second jury, and Judge Eakin, than whom
there is not a more careful and conscientious
man in Oregon, instructed the jury, a verdict
of murder in the first degree was found.
livery effort was made to secure a new trial,
even to the securing of a pistol which was dug
tip on the Wehrman place, but which was
strongly suspected of having been planted
there for the purpose of being dug up at the
proper time; but nothing was gained by such
tactics. Then an appeal was taken to the Su
preme Court of Oregon, where the evidence
was before that tribunal and the questions of
law thoroughly discussed, and that body of the
best judges in Oregon, upheld the decision of
the Columbia County Court. In the face of
all this and more, for the Governor to say that
Pender did not get a square deal,, is saying
that the grand jury, the two trial juries, and
the judges and the Supreme Court, were un
fair. Truly some strong representations, or
rather misrepresentations, must have been
made to Governor West to cause him to make
the statement that Pender did not get a
square deal.
If ever a man charged with a heinous crime
on earth got a square deal, Pender was afford
ed that privilege.
Whether he is guilty or not, is, to use his
own words, best expressed when he said "I
am the only person living who knows whether
or not I committed that crime" Two juries
of fair and impartial men have said that he
was guilty. The Supreme Court has upheld
them in that decision. Pender received a fair
trial at the hands of the Columbia County
Courts. It will take more than the inspired
confession of a lunatic to make people who
know the facts and circumstances of the case
believe anything different. ,
County Judge Clark, of this county, has
gone to the defense of State Highway Com
missioner Bowlby in the matter of the charges
which have been preferred against the Major
by the Columbia County Taxpayers League.
It is quite possible that Judge Clark has made
a serious mistake in this course. The figures
as stated in the resolution condemning Major
Bowlby are public records, many of them in
the office of Judge Clark. If he is not familiar
with those figures, he should be. If they do
not show conclusively that Major Bowlby has
been an-expensive luxury to the taxpayers of
Columbia County, the taxpayers would like to
be shown why. The statement made by Judge
Clark, in his interview with the Portland pa
pers, that the Columbia County Taxpayers
League is composed of people who live in the
south end of the county and WERE ONLY
BOND ISSUE, is rather far fetched and does
not conform to the facts in regard to the mem
bership. The president of the League, Mr.
J. G. Watts of Scappoose, was one of the most
ardent supporters of the bond issue. Mr. Gus
Lange, one of the members of the league who
investigated Major Bowlby, was a supporter
of the bond issue. Mrs. Mildred Watts, anoth
er of the signers of the resolution against
Major Bowlby, was a supporter of the bond
issue. Many others who arc members of the
League supported the bond issue, in fact
there are probably more supporters' of
the bond issue among the membership
than there are those who were opposed to the
bond issue. The membership of the Taxpay
ers League is not confined to any particular
class of taxpayers, but any and all who care
to join, so long as they are taxpayers within
the county. Judge Clark, if be did not know
these facts when he made the statement to
the Portland papers, could have ascertained
them by a little inquiry.
The movement by the taxpayers of Colum
bia County was not and is not the work of any
particular section or faction. It was brought
about by the publication of certain charges
against Major Bowlby which required investi
gation. Those charges have been investigated
and have been found true. Major Bowlby has
been charged with incompetency and extrava
gance. The figures to back up those charges
have been published and questions have been
publicly asked of Major Bowlby, all of which
he has passed up with the slighting remark
that they were insignificant, and that while
there were a few instances where he
had underestimated certain work, there were
other instances where he had overestimated.
His own statement in this connection only
goes to prove what has already been
charged, incompetency and extravagance. By
his excuse he has admitted his incompetency.
If the public charges of incompetency and
extravagance are not sufficient upon which to
remove Major Bowlby, we are informed that
other evidence of a more serious nature is al
ready in the hands of the Taxpayers League
and will be submitted at the proper time.
This is not a question of one part of the
county against the other. It is a question in
which every taxpayer in the county is interest
ed. It is not, as the Portland Journal says ed
itorily, a local quarrel. It is a statewide quar
rel with the taxpayers of the state on one side
lined up against Major Bowlby and some spec
ial interests in Portland on the other.
Wonder how the taxpayers of Clatsop
County like the treatment that has been ac
corded them by Major Bowlby, State High
way' Engineer ? Wonder if he made any
promises to those people about hard
surfacing that he has not kept? Ask the tax
payers of that county whether or not any
promises were made that the State would
take over and hard-surface their roads. Ask
them about the four or five miles of hard
surfacing that has been done in that county.
If our information is correct there were a
few miles of hard-surfacing done in Clatsop
County this year under the direction and
supervision of the State Highway Engineer,
at a maximum of cost, and that now the
work is completed the bills have been turned
into the County of Clatsop to pay. If this in
formation is correct, and we will have ver
ification of it by next week, if it is, what may
the taxpayers of Columbia County expect
from the promises made by the State High
way Engineer?
was kept by Peter J. Kjrms In a
small drawer in his dek. lie kept
the drawer locked. He carried the
key on a ring. This ring was at
tached to a chain. The chain In
turn was fastened to a suspended
button. Nevertheless the drawer
was broken In, and the money stolen.
He now keeps his money In Bank.
It cost him $800.00 to learn that a
Bank Book Is safer than a desk, a
drawer, a key ring, a chain, and a
suspender button.
The money you deposit
with us today the thief
cannot get tomorrow.
Columbia County Bank
We pay 4 per cent, interest In our
Savings Department.
Jeweler. ST. HELENS
Auto Troubles
respond quickly and inexpensively to our treatment.
If your car rattles, or does not run smoothly, or jars,
or makes too much noise, IT IS TIME TO BRING
IT TO US if you want it to last A dollar or two
spent on that car today may save you ten tomorrow,
and that is an INDISPUTABLE FACT.
Gasoline 16 Cent. Marine Engine Repairing.
St. Helens.
o oiuirnuHi Mini u-ftiiinu mrM o
It Use a Mark of Refinement.
Plain White and tinted, Surf Green, Old Lavender,
Champagne, Boudoir Blue, Shell Pink. Variety of
ihapes and sizes. In Gold Edged Correspondence
Cards, with envelopes to match, in white and tints,
at 40c. and 50c. the box.
Remember we handle Krause's High Grade Candies,
in boxes and by the pound.
Confectionery and Cigars
All Work Guaranteed.
Estimates Furnished.
St. Helens -
Handy to Larsre Stores. Theaters and Banks
.mm m
Comfortable and Convenient,
Of High Class, with Moderate Prices,
in Connection.
Room Rates: With bath $1.50 up. With bath
privilege $1.00 up.
C. H. SHAFER, Manager. . . i
m n

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