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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, July 04, 1909, Image 17

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Main *9*tttf j
. Jet t i on j
Mrs. Lorena de la Montanya s Friend
Denies Rumor of Men in Room
at Time of Suicide
Mystery Veils Reasons for Tragic End of Noted
Beauty and Brother Asks Detectives to • ?
Conduct Searchinp; Inquiry .
SKEPTICAL in a certain degree of the stories told regarding
the death of Mrs. Lorena de la Montanya, who died from the
effects of a revolver shot at her apartment, 1360 Jones street,
Friday evening, the woman's brother, Alfred B. Barbier, and Chief
Deputy Coroner John Kennedy invoked the aid of the police last
evening to thoroughly investigate the case.
Detectives Tim Riordan and Boletto were detailed on the case
and late last evening- went to the apartment and examined Mrs.
Margaret W. Patton, the friend who was with Mrs. de la Montanya
-during her last moments, and Celia Budia, the maid. Both women
were steadfast in the reiteration of the circumstances of the tragedy.
Both denied most emphatically the truth of the rumor- that there
had been men friends o! Mrs", de la Montanya and Mrs. Patton to
dinner during the evening and that during the after dinner talk one of
the men had accidentally fired the shot which caused the death of the
Mrs. Patton does not presume to assign a motive for the suicide.
She expressed the suggestion, that her friend might have been
playing with the weapon for effect when it accidentally went off.
The revolver was of a peculiarly % dangerous pattern, and while
Police Sergeant Layne was examining it after the shooting it was
discharged in the crowded room and several persons had narrow
escapes from being numbered as its victims.
What aroused the suspicions of the coroner's office and the
police were the facts that although the shooting is said to have
occurred at 7:15 o'clock, and the woman died before 9:30, the
coroner's office was not notified until 11:30, two hours after the
death had occurred. Dr. H. W. Allen of the St. Francis hotel,
who was called by Mrs. Patton to attend the dying Mrs. de la Mon
tanya, is thought by the coroner's office to have been derelict in
his public duty in not having notified the morgue sooner. Dr. Allen
left the city yesterday afternoon and could not be seen to explain
the lapse of time he allowed to intervene.
It is reported that the pistol was located by the coroner's
officials in the bedroom of the dead woman, while the tragedy
occurred in the dining room of the apartment.
Lucius L. Solomons, who was Mrs. de la Montanya's attorney,
suggested the most feasible reason which she might have had for
killing herself, although Solomons said that he could not fully
reconcile the idea of suicide with what he knew of the woman's
•fiappy, carefree temperament.
"Mrs. de la Montanya had considerable property," said Solo
mons, "but the income from that did not appear to be sufficient
to permit her the luxurious life to which she was accustomed
while she was living as the wife of James de la Montanya, from whom, as it
has been known, she received a final decree of divorce recently.
"She contracted debts with tradespeople about town, as her credit was
excellent, and she was not always able to meet the bills as they came in.
They were petty bills, all contracted with tradesmen, as I said, and there
we/c loans or financial entanglements which might have caused her seriously
lo worry. Recently she made a bad investment She purchased an apart
ment house at Sacramento and Cherry streets. She subsequently discovered
that she had been deceived in the property. There is now a suit pending in
the courts to have the sale. set aside on the grounds of deceit. The suit is
against S. Goldsmith, from whom the house was purchased, and alleges that
it was represented to her that the property was earning a gross rental of
$300 a month, while as a facf the rentrolls were padded, and two of the
tenants claim that they were receiving rebates in their r*»nt v from the landlord.
It is also alleged that the original owner of the property said that the
tenants had year leases, while as a fact they merely rented from month to
month.*' • , J >iS
"However, the difference in income would not represent an investment of
$2,500. And Mrs. de la Montanya did not worry over her financial affairs.
She owned another piece of property at Spruce and Sacramento streets, which
produced an income. In fact, her gross monthly income was about $450, and
deducting the interest on her mortgages, taxes and other fixed charges, her
net income was about $200 a month. But this did not seem enough for her.
On that she could not have the travel and the'eritertainment which she craved.
Shortly before her death last evening she was talking. with Mrs. Patten,
1 understand, on plans for a foreign trip. She might have realized that she
could not have traveled as well as she was used to doing, and had become
despondent over that fact. In an impulsive moment she might have shot
herself; but I can scarcely believe -that* ' -*
she would intend to taße her life. She !
might have been lonely and have felt
Pit came out yes erday that a day or
o before her dtaih Mrs. de la Mon
tanya had presented to her a rent bill
which was not due. The incident an
noj-ed her slightly at the time, and it
"is not th'ougrht by her friends that it
%vould cause her to become despondent.
•Kone of her creditors harrassed her.
According to Solomons, her estate,
\u25ba when all the debts are paid. . wi}l be
worth about $15,000.
Mrte. de la Montanya left a will which
wag prepared for her by her attorney,
4)Ut which will not be opened until
her second brother, Howard BarbJer,
reaches this city. The will leaves her
property to her brothers and gives gifts
of personal effects to close friends. A. B.
Barbier is thought to have been named
executor of the estate. Public Admin
istrator Hynes secured* letters' of ad
ministration over the estate yesterday
from Superior Judge J: J: Van Nos T
| trand. Those letters will only apply
pending the admisi^o nof th ewill to
Howard Barbier was near Hanks*
The San Francisco Call.
vllle, ...Wayne county, Utah, yesterday,
in the Green River mountain country.
"I can not understand why my sister
should have committed suicide,'* said
Alfred B. Barbier yesterday. "She had
everything to live for. I know of no
sentimental feelings . she . might have
had for any man, but she might possi
bly have been regretting. her separation
from Jimmy de la Montanya. I under
stand that he had sent her some flow
ers an da card on the day of the di
Mrs. , Helen Bennett, first wife of
Howard Barbier, was positive that Mrs. ;
de la Montanya did not kill herself with
premeditation, bW she could not explain
the tragedy. *$*
Mrs. Laura Heath, a close friend of
the dead woman, telephoned to the cor
oner yesterday afternoon that a valu
able amethyst bracelet, always "worn by
Mrs. de la Montanya, as it was the gift
of her dead sister. Mrs. Harry Emerick
of San Pablo,, was missin"g r frxTm among
the woman's effects. A thorough search
of, the apartment was made by ."* Mrs.
Heath* and ' Mrs.; Patton, but , r the • orna
ment could not be .found 1 , 1 arid ', its " losV
Introduced a mystery.Tof ' secondary'An
terest in the complex case. " - I
SUNDAY, JUL.Y..4..1909
YESTERDAY— CIear; sonthwpst wind; mtxl
mum temperature, 60; minimum, .*><>.'
FOBECAST FOR TODAY— Fair; somewhat
wirmpr; moderate wc«t winds. face 4H
The candid friend. P«t»« 4*
Mauzy shows wisdom in selection of execu
tire committee to handle his campaign for
mayor. . Pace 22
"Detectives, with aid of Cunningham, Bnd the
empty cartridge. fit see IS
Chief of Police Cook denounces employers wlio
withhold wages of laborers. I'ngf 17
Mayor Taylor urges that employers treat their
men with humanity and justice. Page 17
Oakland rabbi extols the ancient teaehlncs of
Judaism regarding payment of wages, fane l>
Tangle of time that nearly pro Ted fatal for
Xo»ak. Page IS
Mystery TeiU r»«»on» for tragic Seath of
Mr*, de la Montanya and police lnrestigate
case. :V «*\u25a0«•» IT
Big herd of Elks will go to Iy>s Angeles
from this city. Page 27
All night march made by troops during six
days' outing. I'agr IS
Deserter from army ciTen 15 years for holdup
while protesting his lnuocence. > Page 35
Nary . department will plant trees on Verbs
Bnena island. ( Paarr 26
Bride in cell is accomplice of husband who Is
charged with pushing spurious check. Pace 20
Bankers estimate their wealth in statements
to . tax . office,^ but others lea to assessor
to guess. l'ai£e ltt
Mob derails car t» rescue man pinned beneath
wheels and threatens to lynch streetcar " in
spector; riot call turned^ In. '.'aceSl
J&ge Dunne sentences writer of threatening
letters to term of four year*. face 35
Will of . Colonel . Marcus H. Hecht !*
Il * d *- «*'\u25a0 Page 35
Candy store clerk ia Tictlm of foot
»w Chutes will be oprned July 14. Page 27
Captain Henry Stevens Kiersted fails to pass
examination for majority. Face 10
Two more artillery companies of militia to l>e
mustered In this week. Page 20
President Taft .plans to attend Portola festival.
Intending to visit California this fall. Page 20
Forty - years of litigation in Sanford contest
for Marsh ranch at Brentwood ended by supreme
court. Pace 39
Revenue of city Is estimated at $7,500,000
and buildings erected since fire are valued at
$24,000,000. . . ease 1»
... ' . ' \ *\u25a0\u25a0-!\u25a0-\u25a0
' Woman may lose eyesight, as result of ' 's
ploslon of bomb. .._ Paare 24
Five Oakl«n€er» will start on ; goWt >. hunting
expedition to Lower California. Page 24
Missing cashier -rernrna- and 'says be was un-'
Justly Jailed- la San Francisco. ' - Page 25
- Venetian carnival on Lake Mcrritt , tomorrow
night. Page 24
Mayor Mott of Oakland warns the slot ma
chine men. Page 24
, Amateur dentistry nearly causes' death ;of the
patient. ... \ Page 25
Elks' drill team of Oakland lodge will -take
part In parade at Alameda tomorrow. I'apc S5
Heney escapes, death -in bad anto A accident,
but his ' bodyguard is injured internally) br In
haling steam. Page 19
' American music society organized and pro
fessionals, amateurs and students \u25a0 invited to
join.* Page 27
House forcibly entered at night and child left
In fruit box on kitchen table. Page 22
Dirigible balloon America explodes, fatally
injuring Captain James Moore and a by
stander. •' ' -' ' Page 17
. Aged pioneer saved from insane asylum ' by
youngest 50«. % • Page IT
Belvedere win hold water carnival in the cove
tomorrow night. : /;\u25a0;: .. Page 25
Aged, woman dies in burning lodging bouse,
where' Scores of sleepers are menaced. Page 21
Eight men shot in fight with robber; one
fatally wounded when mistaken for- the
• fugitive. Page 25
Magnet stops motor and causes wreck vt
Wright aeroplane. I'ltcc l>
-Woman balloonist badly injured by .electric
wire while making ascent. Paare 27
' Taft pays glowing tribute to O. A. R. founder,
at unveiling of Stephenson statue. Page 22
Senate, strikes out proposed duty on tea and
coffee. Page 10
narriman conducts affairs . from afar, and
stocks, attacked by enemies In his absence make
phenomenal advance. . Page 33
j Explosion of 750 kegs of Mack powder , blows
three miners to atoms in Utah. Page 10
Five Chines* tongmen ; sentenced to die,
on the gallows for* killing members of • rival
society. Page 21
- Politicar grafters cast hungry eyes ' on the
reclamation service. ' •/ Page 33
"Fire" cry causes panic to store and one' child
is fatally hurt and 20 others Injured. Page 22
European specialists use Roentgen rays on V B.'
H. Ilarriman and discover cause of slight par
alysis. ; Page 22
Twenty-three grafting Japanese politicians are
sentenced. Page 21
V Potash syndicate admits new members to com
pact for mutual protection. • " Page 21
The price 'of "diamonds'; may be tie
creased, the new German mines being worth
$200,000,000. . Page 21
Motorcycle rider in races at Denver crashes
through fence and Is killed. _ Page 26
\u25a0"..Yale defeats Harvard in tenth Jnning finish
and wins the college baseball supremacy
for " 1008. ? • : • Page 27
Papke money cornea with a rush and odds drop
to 2to 1 for, Monday's light. \u25a0 • '; Page 20
}\u25a0 Giants , take a double . header ; from \u25a0 Brooklyn
and record attendance ' sees game... 'vvPageJMl
Hazel notchkiss and ; May Sutton* will -con
test in. challenge match Monday for state tennis
championship. ; \u25a0' .\u25a0 j . : Page 28
Mixing In - dates for the '.;. coming « de«r
season may cause clash between 'hunters x and
game 'wardens. J '\u25a0 . •. Page 27.
•• Mr^, Walter S..Martln to meet Miss 'B^HaVe-*
xaeyer in golf finals • tomorrow. ,''•; Page 28
•' Many „ Interesting „. track , and '\u25a0> field e venta on
card for .today, and Monday.. " ; Page 28
<' San." Jose ' defeats Oakland \ and ? makes it four
gamca •in a i row. s -' \u25a0 Page 27
\u25a0 i Sam Hildreth'a Dalmatian, 7 to I,* wins Great
Trial - stake j'at j Sbecpshcad bay, ' defeating | high'
class - youngsters. - .• \u25a0 « : /;'- •-. '\u25a0'\u25a0 - Page 27. ;
j; The \u25a0> postof ficc . clerks \u25a0•; want \u25a0• a • home -ifor -in
capacitated - members. Cage 48
Gray Brothers Are Condemned
Police Find Empty Cartridge
1, DON'T want. to interfere in; anything that. does. -not concern
me as chief of police, but Iwill say as a man that the system
of some contractors in paying their men is outrageous and
has a tendency to force -men to commit crime from a spirit of
revenge. Just think of a laborer/ who has a hard row# to hoe at
any time, working hard for. a month or two and when he expects
his wages he is given a piece of paper payable two months after
date. That is an outrage. - A laboring man should be paid at
once on presenting his time check, as. several reputable contrac
tors'do. When a man is put off from time to time, is' it ' any
wonder that he gets angry and broods over it, finally, ending in
crime? There i^ no law to reach these contractors -and they
must settle it with their own consciences.
I, have not had any complaints against Gray Brothers since
becoming chief of police, but I understand that complaints have
been made to Captain Colby at the southern station by laborers
who had been put off just as Novak and Cunningham were. Of
course, nothing could be done b> Captain Colby in the way of helping the men, but when -he was
told that a woman had been shot in a contractor's of fice he. immediately \u25a0 said ' that it ' must be
Gray Brothers just because those complaints had been made to him . '
\u25a0 The system is wrong and something should be done -, so that -laboring men- should be" paid
whenever they, present their time checks. : It is r a matter for. the' state labor' bureau- to- take up
and if nothing on the statute books can cover the ground' legislation should.be asked to. put an
end to this pernicious system. . \ .• \u0084 • .
Captain James Moore of the
America ,and Bystander Are
Fatally Injured
REDDING, July; 3.^-In the-presenc^
of «several, thousand: spectators, the
dirigible -balloon "American \u25a0"> exploded
at a local recreation park .this after
noon, fatally injuring Captain 'James
Moore, the aeronaut, and. Milton ; My •?
gatt, a bystander. ,
Four spectators were knocked down
and seriously, hurt ,as the immense
crowd made' a rush to get away from
the' scene of the accident:
Moore has a broken . pelvis, a' frac
tured right, hip and right arm and,two
thirds of the skin surface of his' body
Is frightfully burned.'
Myjratt, who is SO.years of age, .was
thrown to the ground with such force
by the explosion that he sustained a
fractured' hip. " . : -' •
Captain Moore was making the. first
of three ascensions, which he had con
tracted to make here. Attached- to
the huge gas bag was a small basket
like framework carrying an ; engine
which furnished the power for; the
The dirigible was about 50 feet above
the. ground. Captain Moore had just
exclaimed, "here goes for a successful
flight or a trip to h— — ," when the re
volving propeller caught in the bag
and tore a huge hole' in the. covering,
from which great volumes of- gas es
caped. . ,
Before the aeronaut could stop I the
engine or drop out of the basket, the
gas ignited f rom . the motor sparker.
There was a flash and a roar, the force
of "which threw many people \u25a0• to the
ground. . The crowd became panic
stricken arid trampled a number . of
persons. under foot. • . .
Captain Moore came hero from Los
Angeles, where his family, resides. .
Balloon Unlucky
LOS ANGELES, July 3.— The' balloon
America Is. the same which was lost An
the Sierra mountains north of Pasa
dena with a party of five, men a few
months ago. It was. then in 'charge
of Captain Mueller. It was one of the
two balloons brought here to make a
transcontinental race, but failed be
cause . neither could get across the
mountains', '. ' :
Declares He Did Not Flee After
Smashing Taxicab
PARIS, July 3.--James Hazen Hyde
of New York, the. former vice president
of the Equitable life assurance society,
appeared in" court today In' appeal pro
ceedings against' his conviction by /de
fault on the charge of running down ;
a taxicab with ? his automobile ; and or
derlng- his chauffeur to speed away
after the' accident." '- ; :
Hyde declared hie did not take flight,
but"* on! the contrary left the
and : procured /the number of ' the i car
with' which: he had "collided.- This .test!-;
mony; was . corroborated J by • two \u25a0 pas
sengers who were; wJth.Hydejat- the
time;- The' court reserved decision.
The sentence impbsedupon Hyde May,
2 ; was one ' month's \and
a.flne of Jlo6.^His^"ch'auffeuri&ls6rwas
sentenced to Ja v month's ; imprisonment
acd a fine of .$30." <?§SOS •:\u25a0,-,
It would be an excellent thing, indeed, if we could pass some sort
of regulation;, that would compel employers' to treat "their men : with
humanity, and entire justice, and perhaps, that end ; could !be- accom
plished through v some general statute. However, I -have not given the
mat ter. close study- and am not prepared to offer any suggestions as to
just how .the desired result can be brought about. If "the conditions
SSffiUffiS^W can b> bettered; they should be, and at once.
•-_ In speaking .of fthis l don;t refer •to Gray Brothers : particularly.
The system of the contractors in handling the unskilled labor in Saa
Francisco has been worse than the worst kind of slavery. I ani speak
ing from personal knowledge of the existing conditions. ..- ; :
.„ . The teamsters' organization in San Francisco was'the first organi
zation to break up the contractor's boarding home. Also the monthly
pay and check and warrant system. Within the last "four months we
have tied up some .'of the contractors, twice in one week, and have
forced them to abolish the system that* is now in vogue with' Gray
Brothers with their unorganized and unskilled laborers. "
1 hope that some person of position will take /the matter up with
the . legislature and have ! enacted state" laws '" that f will regulate this
abominable system of paying labor, but I would advise thorough organ
ization, 'the same as that of the teamsters," as a: means of correcting
this evil, and I believe organization will bring it\ quicker than v the
' legislature, i > ' . . | '.-,.,''. \u0084..< ,'..'\u25a0.
, Regarding the pay check system, it is only ; necessary i for me •to
call the 'attention of the people of this city .to v the. fact that
in \u25a0\u25a0 1896 22; bills were presented by the California 'labor, convention to
the legislature, among which was one drawn with- a view of Eliminating
the said system, and it was' turned down with 20 others* by the legis
lature of this state. \u25a0 . \u25a0 ?' * :' ",•!'>•\u25a0
. I hope .to see the day when the check system will give way to the
immediate payment on the job or in the office of the employer, in
either i currency or coin of these United States, without discount or
( . In a word, tHe laborer is worthy of his hire and should be paid at
stated intervals as , agreed . upon and understood ' by both the employer
and employe.- , • : .
Numerous^Complaints' by /the Laborers AVho Have Been
Throughout San Francisco; yesterday
discussion- of "-\u25a0 the .murder of
Brasch ' and the subsequent' confession
of her. slayer, "James Edward Cunningr
hani, turned to a -general , storm of in-;
dignation- and - denunciation "of .. Gray,
Brothers^ - the \u25a0 firm - for which the' girl
worked. -. v .• , . ' ' • •
Frommen and wom'en? of '; every ,.walk
of . life,' from * city: and i state v. officials;
from \ the pulpit * and ; from f the i toilers
who ?•' have ; themselves : been -of
a '-* pernicious ~:payv cheeky system r'there
canto 'the^sariic>expressi6ns'Jof :\u25a0 disap
proval at .'the * inhumanity of. methpds
Kept Waiting : for' Wages
which \u25a0 make slaves of - free- American
citizens and -open the way for a blind
anger, which* could , result; in' such a
tragedy, as that of last .Wednesday. '
Many Complaints A\ade •
.'Despite ;the denials ;of, Harry , Gray,
a member of, 'the*' firm of Gray brothers,
that , any 'trouble * had .'. recently ' Beeti
experienced "with, other, laborers 'than
Cunnipgham, dozens ?of men in the
firm's various caimpscame forward, with
stories _*. similar ' :to - those fby
.Cunningham - and .• Novak. • In "\u25a0 each '. In-
Coatlnoed • oa ' Face ' IS, Column . 2 1
1 17 TO 30 P
Slayer of Girl Book Keeper
Would Prefer Death io the
Insane Asylum
Brothers of Dead Woman Ex*
press Only Pity for Stayer
of Their Sister'
CALMLY,' without the slightest
show of agitation, seemingly
, with as little concern as though
he were going to his dinner. James
Edward Cunningham; confessed mur
derer-of- Carolina Brasch. the young
girl book keeper slain in the office of
Gray Brothers contracting company
la3t Wednesday afternoon, led Police
Detectives Arthur McQuaidc and
Daniel Driscoll e3rly yesterday morn
ing to the junction of First and
Bryant streets, and there, standing on
an elevation overlooking a precipitous
descent toward the bay, pointed out
the 'spot where he 'th' rew : away the
empty revolver cartridge that had
contained the' bullet sent into the girl's
brain. . . . . .
The detectives searched among the
bricks and weeds for a short time ami
recovered the cartridge, as he had
said. -'lt was'a Nol 38, as are all the
cartridges Cunningham purchased.
The fact that he mis aiding in sub
stantiating the confession he made to
The Call Thursday night and thus
strengthening the case the state will
press against him when he, comes on
trial for his life seemed not to con
cern the man at all. ! . «- .
Sleeps for Twelve Hours
The detectives found Cunningham
just, awakening from an untroubled
12 hour sleep-, and hurried him.- into an
auto and to the spot where he had
stated the revolver cartridge had been
unloaded. Then ' the machine was
whizzed back' to the Wells-Farg*
building, and Cunningham showed
where he- had come out of the back
door of; the building after murdering
Miss -Brasch, and gone out of a gate
leading from the e.xpress company's
private, yard into Jessie §treet. down
which he* walked to First street, and
thence down to Bryant.
• Dr. S.'L. '•Brasch-.' George O. Brasch
and Max'P} Brasch, the' three broth
ers of • the dead girl.' called on Chief
of Police Cook yesterday and prof
fered- their services, in aiding the de
partment in tlie . case. _ -The men. de
clared vthat they felt no resentment
toward ; Cunningham.,- aa they believe
him insane, andean but .pity .him for
his wanton" crime. They can see no
reason for the murder, and consider it
but the crazed notion of a demented
man. \u0084\u25a0...
Would Repeat His Crime
Cunningham said again yesterday,
in his .usual quiet way, that he con
sidered he had "good cause to kill the
girl,- : - and that he would do it again
under identical circumstances;
"She worked for the, Gray brothers
and did their, sort of business for
them, acting as their agent.. There
fore "she was, in a way, just as much
in the -wrong: as they are," was the
way the murderer regarded the case.
Two attorneys. E." B. D. Spagnoli
and A' 'Hi Garland, counsel for a
friend Cunningham made while work
ing; for the Smith construction com
pany at. Cragmont; called on the pris
oner. yesterday, at their client's re
quest, " to ; ask him if ' he wanted legal
advice. This Cunningham ' refused,
saying that he did not need any' at
torneys as yet: i
"After I am charged :I. will- fix my
course of action," he said. "I can not
say' 'now* just' what I shall do-^oer*

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