100 years ago in the Washie


July 17, 1913

Five Days To Serve;

Prisoner Ends Life

Was Apparently Demented

MONTESANO — With a tiny piece of twisted cord for a rope and a slender mop handle for a beam, Malcolm Martin, whose term in the county jail expired today and who was given five days extra time this morning by Judge Ben Sheeks, committed suicide by hanging himself shortly after noon.

Martin was probably demented. He was a Finlander and was serving a term for assaulting and cutting a man with a knife in an Aberdeen saloon four months ago. About three months ago with two or three other prisoners, he escaped. He was recaptured between here and Aberdeen, but only after a wicked fight with the sheriff and his deputies. Ever since he had been sullen and vicious. At the time the other prisoners who escaped and were recaptured were sentenced for that offense his case was put over because he complained of his head.

Yesterday — the day before his original time was up — Prosecutor Stewart and the sheriff consulted Judge Sheeks. It was finally decided to give him only five days more. He was taken before the judge this morning and sentenced. When Jailer Hilterbrandt returned him to his cell he remarked to the prisoner:

“Cheer up, Martin. Only five days more.”

“No; I can’t wait. I go up,” was the reply.

Because of the reply the jailer asked another prisoner to watch Martin. At noon, when the gang of prisoners came in from work, Nelson, Martin’s cell mate, found Martin writing. He gave Nelson a note and told him to read it after he was gone “up.” He talked so queerly Nelson made up his mind he didn’t want to be confined with Martin any more, and asked the jailer for another cell. However, the jailer insisted he had better stay with Martin for the present to keep watch on him.

Usually Martin had worked on the gang, wearing chains. It was concluded that for the last five days he wouldn’t be worked. At 1 o’clock the men were sent out to work. Jailer Hilterbrandt went back after they were gone to see how Martin was getting along. He wasn’t in the cell. Though the men had been counted as usual it was thought he might have slipped out with the work crew. Hilterbrandt looked, but Martin wasn’t there. Then the jailer commenced looking through the bunks and under them in the cells of that corridor. Not finding him he stepped to the screened shower bath to see if he might be hiding there. Martin was hanging from a mop stick thrown over the slab screen and through the bars in the other side, his knees nearly touching the floor and his hands hanging at his side. The body was still warm. It was cut down and a doctor summoned, but the man was dead. Martin’s term had expired. The string he used was twisted cord and fairly cut into his neck. He had tied it in a slip knot as he stood and had then gently lowered his weight upon it until it strangled him. If he had dropped or twisted even, he would have broken the mop stick.

The note Martin left with Nelson, written in his own language, as translated by Nelson, reads:

“I want to get out and get my head doctored by a Seattle doctor. It is caved in on one side and bulged out on the other. I can’t get out through the bars, so I’ll go up.”

Martin was about 43 years of age and so far as known had no relatives in this country, if anywhere. The crime for which he was serving sentence was particularly brutal. He was drinking with a man in a saloon in Aberdeen and, becoming angry, drew a knife and stabbed the fellow in the face.

The coroner will probably hold an inquest this afternoon and it is ppossible an autopsy on his head may be held.

July 18, 1913

Two Men Killed By

a Flying Cable

Charles West and Paul Sikora, Poles, were instantly killed, and Julian Daniels was badly bruised about 1:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon at Coats-Fordney camp No. 1, where they were employed, when the tail block on the haul back broke and the flying cable hit the three men. Death in both cases was due to the victims’ necks being broken.

The bodies of the two men were brought to Whitesides’ undertaking parlors in Aberdeen yesterday afternoon, and at the same time Daniels was brought to one of the Aberdeen hospitals. One of his legs is badly bruised but his injuries are said not to be serious, and it is stated he will be out again in a few days.

Few details of the accident could be secured last evening. It appears the men were working at the donkey and were hit by the side snap of the cable when the block broke.

Little is known of the two men. A sister of Sikora is living on a ranch in the Wishkah valley, it is stated. He was about 30 years of age. West, who was about 25 years of age, is said to have a brother in Chicago. Neither man was married.

Quarters of I. W. W.

Are Sacked

SEATTLE — A mob of 500 men led by sailors from the Pacific reserve fleet, at anchor in the harbor here, tonight broke into and sacked the various headquarters of the socialists and Industrial Workers of the World and destroyed the meeting place of the Salvation Army under the impression it was an Industrial Workers’ hall.

Furniture, books and papers were dragged from the socialist and Industrial Workers’ headquarters and burned in the streets.

The trouble, which was caused by an attack on three soliders last night when they were passing an Industrial Worker meeting, began at Fourth avenue and Pike street, where a soclialist news stand was demollished. The mob, waving American flags and yelling, marched to the socialist headquartes on Fifth avenue and Virginia street, where they broke the windows.

Then the men marched down Fourth avenue to Washington street and sacked the Industrial Workers’ headquarters, burning the furniture in the street.

The mob was dispersed by the police, but re-formed and returned to the socialist headquarters which previously had been broken into and sacked the place, burning $900 worth of furniture and literature. Other branches of the socialists at Seventh and Olive and Seventh and Union streets, were broken into and sacked.

The mob again marched to Washington street, where someone pointed out the Salvation Army meeting place as an Industrial Worker hall. The men broke into it and destroyed the furniture.

The police were unable to handle the mob and a provost guard of 50 men was sent from the warships to round up the sailors and send them back to the ships.

When the mob started it consisted of 100 civilians led by a dozen sailors but it grew until there were 500 men, 200 of whom were in uniform.