OCR Interpretation

Washington standard. [volume] (Olympia, Wash. Territory) 1860-1921, March 16, 1917, Image 1

Image and text provided by Washington State Library; Olympia, WA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84022770/1917-03-16/ed-1/seq-1/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

Newspaper in
This State
VOL. LVH. NO. 1.
Behind a curtain of secrecy and
with ominous calm, the United States
this week has been going about the
business of arming its merchantmen
to combat submarines in the German
war zone.
Elaborate precautions to shroud
with secrecy all of the movements of
armed ships have been made, and all
of the treasury department's control
of the port and harbor waters of
the United States will be exercised to
safeguard the merchant ships which
will brave the hidden dangers of the
submarine zone, under orders to sink
at sight an undersea boat approach
ing in a threatening manner.
Following the decision of the state
department that the sinking of a sub
marine by an armed merchant ship
would be merely an "act of defense"
if the submarine was in a position
to attack, the administration ordered
the utmost precautions to conceal
armed ships' movements and to facll-,
itate their sailings.
Germany Enters Protest.
The state department's announce
ment that American ships will sink
suspicious submarines "on sight" was
followed by a significant visit by Dr.
Paul Ritter, the Swiss minister now
in charge of the affairs of Germany
in this country. Dr. Ritter conferred
at length with Counsellor Polk.
After the conference neither the
Swiss minister nor the state depart
ment would discuss the visit, but it
was understood that the Swiss diplo
mat had presented informally to the
department the views of Germany as
to the arming of merchant ships.
The German communication was in
the form of a protest, it was stated,
and Indicated no change in Germany's
announced determination to sink
without. warning all vessels, neutral
or belligerent, armed or unarmed;
found in the barred tone. It was un
derstood at the state department that
the German expression will not call
for any reply from the United States,
liansing Defines Policy.
The state department position as
to the rights of armed merchantmen
was announced by Secretary of State
Lansing. He declared the United
Btates would adhere to its former
rulings, that merchantmen, armed or
unarmed, were entitled to insist upon
the exercise of the right of "visita
tion and search" at sea.
He said armed merchantmen of the
United States would not Are upon
submarines approaching on the sur
face with the apparent Intention of
searching the ship for contraband.
But he held that the German repu
diation of all rules of international
law in the barred zone and its an
nounced intention to Bink without
warning any belligerent or neutral
merchantmen encountered within the
barred zone, would Justify the Imme
diate sinking of a submarine ap
proaching submerged with the evident
intention of firing a torpedo without
The sinking of a submarine under'
such circumstances, the state depart
ment holds, would bo an act of de
fense and could not be construed into
an act of war. Officialdom generally
realises, however, that the sinking of
a submarine by an American mer
chantman will probably precipitate a
Borden on Germany.
Instructions that have or will be
given to commanders of American
armed ships are kept secret, but the
attitude of President Wilson all along
has been that no steps of a belliger
ent character should be taken and
that if a state of war comes it must
be through Germany's commission of
acts in clear violation of International
law. Some officials close to the pres
ident are known to feel that In line
with this policy the United States
should not sanction a shoot-on-sight
program which might be construed
as aggression.
The government's position on fur
nishing arms and ammunition to ves
sels carrying munitions and othor
contraband has not been announced.
Since the policy of the government In
the paat has been not to Insure ves
sels carrying arms and ammunition
to the belligerents, It has been con
sidered probable that this attitude
Dasltinatou StanMr^
Virtually Declare for Doctrine of
Universal Military Service.
Organized labor of America vir
tually declared this week for univer
sal military service. The doctrine
has been formally subscribed to. not
only by the millions of members of
the American Federation of Labor,
but by the 400,000 or more members
bf the four big brotherhoods of rail
way employes.
Subscription to the doctrine was
announced in a 2400-word pamphlet
issued by the Labor council which,
under the presidency of Samuel Gom
pers, concluded a day and a half ses
sion at the national capital Tuesday.
Pressure to prevent the nation-wide
railroad strike commencing, as threat
ened, Saturday night if the confer
ences between the railroad managers
and brotherhood chiefs are unsuccess
ful, though being exerted by Pres
ident Wilson, officials privately ad
mit that they are extremely appre
hensive over the outlook.
Only successful intervention by
the president, it appears, will avert
the strike, though the of
the brotherhood chiefs Indicates that
not even the appeal from the na
tion's chief executive will change
their position. Pormal order for the
strike, to begin at 6 o'clock Satur
day evening on Eastern roads and to
extend to all the railroads of the
country ylthin five days, was Issued
late Thursday after the railroad
managers had rejected the ultima
tum of the brotherhoods. The lat
ter refused flatly to submit their
case to the eight-hour commission,
headed by Colonel Goethals, or to
await the decision of the supreme
court on the constitutionality of the
Adamson law.
The heads of the railroad brother
hoods say that the controversy is back
where it originally stood when con
gress enacted the Adamson 8-hour
law. The railroads can either grant
the demands of the men, they say, or
the strike will come. There will be
no further compromise, they say.
Railroad officials who have been in
touch with the White House and the
department of labor say that the
roads will not meet the demands of
the men pending a decision by the
supreme court of the United States
on the constitutionality of the Adam
son law.
The decision may be brought down
next Monday, but of course it is im
possible to get any definite informa
tion about it now.
Judge William L. Chambers, mem
ber of the United States board of
mediation and conciliation, who took
a prominent part in the negotiations
last summer and fall which resulted
in the passage of the Adamson eight
hour law, declared that he does not
believe the railroad men will call a
strike before the supreme court acts.
Judge Chambers has been keeping in
close touch with labor leaders, the
railroad operators and the White
House and is familiar with the entire
The first announcement of the new
demands of the railroad employes
was made Saturday night. Since
then It has developed that the broth
erhood chiefs plan a "progressive"
strike, the men on the Eastern roads
first striking, then on the Southern
and finally on the Western, unless
their demands are granted by the
railroads. The brotherhood chiefs
have notified the president that in
the event of a national strike coin
cident with war the brotherhood
would cooperate with the govern
ment in every way, supplying crews
to move troops, equipment and sup
would be maintained. The lists of
contraband articles recognized by the
United States differ widely from those
drawn up by the various belligerents
since the outbreak of the war. and
therefore It is believed that only ac
tual munitions of war will be placed
on the restricted list for the purpose
of determining what ships are to be
Drives Out All Occupants and Holds Sway in Office for half an Hour,
When Persuaded to Surrender by A. W. Calder, Legislative Em
ploye—Walks Peaceably to Jail and Will Probably Be Committed
to Asylum—Claims He Merely Sought Protection, Not Intending
to Kill Anybody—Tells Story of Life.
Crazed with the obsession that he
was to be burned at the stake "as a
Roman sacrifice," Charles Lorenz
Wagner, 33 years old, a logger, cre
ated consternation in the governor's
office about 1:30 Tuesday afternoon
by flourishing a revolver and declar
ing he would shoot anybody who pre
vented him from seeing the governor.
For more than half an hour he had
the office to himself, the governor
and other occupants hurrying to
nearby offices for safety. Finally A.
W. Calder of Vancouver, a legisla
tive employe, talking to him through
the window from the lawn outside
the Btatehouse, persuaded him to toss
out his gun and cartridges and to
come down a ladder, that had been
placed at the window and give him
self up.
With Calder, Sheriff Jack Gifford
and some of the crowd that had gath
ered about the building attracted by
the disturbance, Wagner walked
calmly to the county jail, explaining
en route that he had no intention of
killing the governor, but merely
wanted his protection. He elabo
rated that statement further Tues
day night, stoutly maintaining that
he was being chased by a mob that
wanted to burn him at the stake and
he went to the governor's office for
protection. He will be taken before
an insanity commission In a day or
two and probably committed to the
Steilacoom asylum.
Worked at Bordeaux.
Wagner told the county authorities
he was 33 years old, that be came
originally from Milwaukee, Wis.,
and that he worked at Camp 4, Bor
deaux, a couple of days about a
month ago under the name of F. L.
Miller. He said he came to Olympia
on the noon train Tuesday, Intending
to take a boat down-Sound, and left
his logger's outfit at the Northern
Express office, when he learned there
was no steamer for Seattle until 4
o'clock in the afternoon.
Wagner's peculiar actions were
first noticed by A. J. Frisch at the
Olympia Cafeteria and Frisch ran
down the street and notified Patrol
man Peck and then Sheriff Gifford.
Both Patrolmen Peck and Hall went
up to the cafeteria. Peck encounter
ing the man as he entered the door.
"I'm not the man you want,"
Wagner said to Peck, brushing his
coat back at the same time and dis
playing his revolver, though not
drawing It. Instead of taking the
man into custody thdh, Peck and
Hall went into Hugh Ross' drug
store adjoining, where the former
phoned to the sheriff and then went
down the street after Chief of Police
Marry Cusack.
Wagner remained standing in the
doorway of the cafeteria for several
minutes and then walked out and
around the corner and toward the
statehouse about half a block ahead
of Chief Cusack, Hall and Peck.
About half way up the capitoj steps,
Chief Cusack hailed him and Wag
ner pulled his gun and told Cusack
to stay where he was.
Then Wagner proceeded on into the
building and stood in the coiTidor
for several minutes near several
flags, while State Treasurer Sherman
talked to him. "I'm a Mason and
I'm going to have this out with the
! governor," Wagner told him.
Enters floreraor's Office.
Chief Cusack went 'around to the
south entrance of the building and
as he approached Wagner, the latter
rushed into the governor's office.
Irvin W. Zieghaus, private secretary
to the governor, tried to prevent him
entering the governor's private office,
but Wagner pulled his gun out of a
sack of oranges he was carrying,
"covered" Zieghaus and declared:
"I'm a Mason and I'm going to
have this out with the governor. I'll
plug the first man who tries to stop
me." Besides Zieghaus, David Welty,
an accountant, Major Walter Beala
of the national guard, and Chief Cu
sack were in the outer office at the
Keeping Zieghaus and Welty cov
ered with the gun, Wagner backed
toward the governor's private office.
At that time Governor Lister, was
conferring with Adjutant General
Maurice Thompson of the national
guard, and, hearing the noise and
seeing a man with a gun, the gover
i nor and the general darted out into
the stenographer's room adjoining
and into a private hallway.
Welty ran into this hallway and
persuaded the governor to go into
the private vault, and a moment
later the governor ran into the state
auditor's office adjoining and into the
big vault there. In spite of Wag
ner's threat, Zieghaus also ran
around through the private hallway
to see if the governor had escaped.
The news that an armed lunatic
had tried to see Governor Lister
spread quickly about the statehouse
and a crowd soon gathered In the
first floor corridors and on the steps
and walk outside on the west side of
the building. One of these was A.
W. Calder, assistant chief clerk of
the house, who came running down
stairs with several golf sticks. See
ing Chief Cuseack standing at the
outer door of the governor's office,
Calder offered to go in and get Wag
ner if Cusack would give him a gun
and also asked the sheriff to depu
tise him and let him get the fellow.
Try Persuasion.
They told Calder, however, that
Wagner was standing at one of the
windows, and Calder went outside
«nd began to talk to the man. In
th| nfoantlme Charles L. Dufault had
been talking to him, and fty IS or
20 minutes they continued to talk to
him, endeavoring to persuade blm to
come out Wagner flourished* his
gun promiscuously all the while.
Wagner protested he didn't want
to hurt anybody but said he was
afraid of the crowd, that they want
ed to burn him at the stake or might
shoot him. In the meantime a lad
der was brought and put up at one
of the windows and finally, after
Wagner had noticed he was a Span
ish War Veteran, Calder said:
"Throw your gun out here and
come down—l'm an army man and
I'll see no one hurts you."
Wagner started out then, but hesi
tated and went back. Calder tossed
him a cigar and talked to him again
and finally the lunatic climbed out of
the window, threw down his gun,
emptied both pockets of shells, and
then threw down hi&pocketbook and
coat and climbed inwn the ladder.
There be was met by Calder and
Sheriff Gifford and taken to the
county jail.
The gun was an old one of .38
calibre and was fully loaded. In
addition he had a large quantity of
shells in his pockets and after he had
thrown these to the ground they were
eagerly picked up by the crowd as
En route to the jail Wagner made
no disturbance, nor has he since he
has been In the jail, though when
Deputy Sheriff Fred W. McCorkle
took him his dinner Tuesday evening
he at first refused to eat He main
tains he had no intention of killing
the governor but merely sought his
protection, and continues to speak
of "Mormons' Day" and to say, "They
wanted to burn me at the stake—to
make a Roman sacrifice of me."
Injured When Youngster.
Wagner made a more elaborate
statement late Wednesday after
noon, going into his life's history
quite fully. According to It, he has
been subject to mental trouble since
he was a little tot of six years when,
he says, he was thrown roughly to
the floor by his father. There is a
lump now on the back of his head
which he says was caused then.
When he was 21 or 22 years old
he spent some time in the hospital
for the insane in his home town of
Milwaukee, Wis., having been in
duced to go there by his father, he
says, when he had threatened to
commit suicide. He remained there
but a short time, however, being re-
Continued on Page Eight.
County Gives Stone-Webster Firm
Right to Build Line to the
Brown Farm.
The county commissioners Mon
day granted the Tacoma Railway &
Power company a franchise to erect
an electric power line from the Pierce
county line at Nlsqually to the A. L.
Brown ranch. A similar franchise
to the county line had previously
been granted by Pierce county.
There was no opposition to the
franchise when it came on for hear
ing before the local board Monday,
and it is reported that other resi
dents of the district besides Brown
will use electric lights and power on
their farms. It is also suggested
that the Stone-Webster firm may be
persuaded to extend Its power lines
still nearer Olympia and perhaps con
struct an interurban line to this city.
Much interest was shown locally
this week in the meeting of Eastern
shipbuilders at Washington, D. C.,
Wednesday, at the request of the fed
eral shipping board, when plans look
ing to the speedy construction of
1,000 wooden ships of from 3,000 to
3,600 tons register to aid American
industry in meeting the international
emergency, were discussed.
The board's program calls for the
adoption of one or more standard
sites, the training of unskilled labor
should skilled labor be requisitioned
by the government— Hl course thought
likely in ease at war—and co-opera
tion of lumber interests and the rail
roads in furnishing and expediting
Coast Builders Next.
The conference this week was with
Atlantic and Gulf Coast builders. The
board will call another meeting soon
with builders on the Pacific Coast,
and this is the basis for the local in
terest in the board's plans. Bbould
the bulders not voluntarily agree
upon a uniform program, It is broadly
intimated that the government might
commandeer the yards.
The board finds that the steel ship
building facilities of the nation are
already taxed to the utmost and that
It will be necessary to push the possi
bilities of wooden shipbnilding to the
utmost if America is to take her place
upon the seas. To this end the board
is willing to use all of the $50,000,-
000 authorised by congress for the
upbuilding of the merchant marine,
for the construction of wooden ships.
For General Trade.
Present plans are to use the ves
sels in trans-Atlantic trade and, if
necessary, in coast to coast traffic via
the Panama canal. It was stated
that the ships also might be used to
convey foodstuffs to "other nations
whose interests would be in harmony
with those of the United States in
case of war," and that the types se
lected ss standard would be chosen
with a view to their availability for
use in war as well as In peace.
Olympia, with Its two big ship
building yards, one capable of con
structing 12 large vessels and the
other five if operated at capacity, un
doubtedly would figure largely in
the government's plans for the con
struction of wooden vessels on a
large scale.
Shipyard Employes Organise.
Olympla shipyard employes have
organized a new local union, char
tered under the American Federation
of Labor and affiliated with the
Olympia Trades Council and the
State Federation of Labor, and to be
known as Ship Laborers' Union. Q.
A. Willey is president, V. F. Davis
vice-president, Arthur Clark secre
tary-treasurer, Thomas Camby door
keeper, O. W. Llsh guide, and C. Mc-
Cabe, Henry Reder and W. R. Kervan
trustees. Charles Perry Taylor of
Tacoma, general organizer of the A.
F. of L., instituted the new union,
assisted by C. E. Beatty, president of
the Olympia Trades Council, and
Fred Hudson, chairman of the or
ganization committee of the local
central labor body.
John Van Dell, confessed mur
derer of Industrial Insurance Com
missioner E. W. Olson on the after
noon of February 1, took the stand
in his own defense Thursday
morning and sought his own
testimony to bolster up the plea
of Insanity interposed by the defense
to the charge of first degree murder
upon which he is being tried.
j Frequently throughout his testi
mony, which was given with prac
tically no questioning by his attor
j ney, W. J. Milroy, Van Dell repeat
i edly said, in recounting incidents at
1 St. Peter's hospital after his Injury,
"My mind was weak," or, "I was so
simple," or, "I didn't know what I
was doing."
And when he came to tell of the
actual killing, he described himself
as having been "dragged into it" by
some force he could not combat, and
that as a result of thinking about It
he could not sleep for the first si*
or seven nights he was confined to
the county jail. Now, however, whan
he starts thinking about it, some
thing drives it out of his memory en
tirely, he said.
In Piogim All Week.
Van Dell was the last witness for
the defense. The trial started with
the selection of the jury Monday af
ternoon, the first testimony for the
prosecution being given Tuesday
morning. It Is expected that the In
structions to the Jury and the argu- .
ments of the attorneys will be given
Friday afternoon, and that the case
will go to the jury Friday night.
While on the stand Thursday Van
Dell was decidedly loquacious, going
Into the littlest detail of the happen
ings since he #*s Injured at Bor
deaux Camp 4 September 19 last. He
described how he was injured by
being struck on the forehead and
noee when a "haul-back" line broke
and thrown IB or SO feet. He told
how he was bronght to Olympla, how
his injuries had been dressed by Dr.
N. J. Redpath, of various examina
tions by Dr. J. W. Mowell of the in
dustrial insurance department, of
several "rows" with the Bisters in
charge of the hospital, and of many
other incidents of the days between
September 19 and the date of the
Olson murder, January 30. He testi
fied, too, that a sister is in an Insane
asylum In another state.
A crowded courtroom listened
closely to Van Dell's story. He ap
peared to revel In the opportunity he
bad to be the central figure in the
courtroom episode, and frequently
cracked jokes while telling his story.
Van Dell's story was not changed
in any important particular in cross
examination Thursday afternoon ex
cept that he developed a remarkable
loss of memory as to what he told
the sheriff when he gave himself up
after the murder, or what he told
the prosecuting attorney that same
afternoon or a newspaper reporter
the next day, in strange contrast to
the details he told at the morning
session of his life at the hospital and
other events prior to the murder.
Courtroom observers got the impres
sion that his memory was faulty only
on matters he thought hostile to hie
plea of insanity.
State Combats Insanity Plea.
Rebutting the insanity pie* of
the defense, Prosecuting Attorney
O'Leary pnt on the stand Thursday
afternoon, following Van Dell's tes
timony, Dr. N. J. Redpath, who treat
ed aVn Dell from the time of his In
jury last September, Dr. J. W. Mow
ell, who as chief physician for the
Industrial insurance commission, ex
amined Van Dell several times dur
ing the fall and early winter, Dr. H.
W. Partlow and other witnesses, all
of whom testified that they believed
Van Dell sane. Testimony of this
character was continued Friday
morning. •
The first evidence presented by
Prosecuting Attorney O'Leary for the
state concerned the events in the
office of the industrial insurance com
mission on the afternoon of the
murder, and of detailed information
as to the allowances made Van Dell
by the commission, this testimony
Continued from Page One.
56 Years

xml | txt