100 years ago in the Washie


Aug. 26, 1913

Man is Shot at Moclips; Death is a Mystery

Ernest Forward was shot to death early yesterday morning in a bedroom occupied by Mrs. Susie Pemberton and her two sons, 5 and 7 years of age, in a house at Moclips. Whether the man died by his own hand or was murdered has not been determined and the case is shrouded in mystery.

The shooting occurred between 3 a.m. and 4 o’clock. It was done with a revolver belonging to the victim’s two brothers, the Forward Bros., jewelers, of Moclips, and which, it is believed, the man stole from the store Saturday evening. The tragedy followed a late afternoon and evening spent by Forward in the company of Mrs. Pemberton, whom he professed to be in love with, and who declares she and the man intended to be married whenever he could secure a divorce from his wife, now in California with their children.

Motive for murder appears to be lacking, yet there seemed to be little, the officers said last night, to induce the man to take his life. Several circumstances connected with the case are unexplained and a further investigation is being carried on. No arrests have been made and apparently at present none are contemplated.

Dr. R. F. Hunter, county coroner, was notified as soon after the tragedy as the telephone line could be gotten yesterday, and went at once to Moclips. Deputy Sheriffs Pennell and Phillips, who were at Moclips, had been notified and took charge of the body until the coroner arrived.

After making a partial examination of the premises, Dr. Hunter notified Sheriff Schelle Matthews and the prosecuting attorney’s office and with their aid a careful examination was made. The body will be brought to Hoquiam this morning and an autopsy held.

Besides Mrs. Pemberton and her children in the house at the time of the shooting were her two brothers, the Messrs. Caulker, one a barber working at Moclips, and the other a logger who had arrived only Sunday evening, and Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Stickles.

Mrs. Pemberton has been separated from her husband about two years and it is said has not seen him in that time, though several persons declared he was in Moclips Sunday afternoon. Mrs. Stickles, however, says that is not the case. Early in 1911 he was brought back from Portland by Chehalis county officers on a demand that he care for his wife, who was then living in a tent near the local hospital undergoing treatment for tuberculosis, of which she was believed to be incurable. He made a settlement and disappeared.

Sunday afternoon Forward took Mrs. Pemberton out to dinner at a cafe and seemed to be in goood spirits, as he was during the remainder of the evening, according to testimony of several persons, though Mrs. Pemberton denies this, saying he was melancholy and was worrying over his family troubles. Late in the evening the other persons staying at the house retired, leaving Forward and the woman sitting in Mrs. Pemberton’s room talking. They continued this until very late and then the man left.

Mrs. Pemberton had put her two boys to bed, and after Forward’s departure says she laid down beside them without undressing. Within a few minutes Forward returned and entered the house and her room. He said he did not feel like going to bed and asked if he could lie down on the bed and let her rest his head on his left arm. In this position the woman says she went to sleep and awoke at 3 a.m., when the man told her the time, but went to sleep again.

Mrs. Pemberton’s story of her awakening when the shot was fired is not lucid, but it appears no one in the house heard a loud report.

When Dr. Hunter arrived yesterday he found Forward’s body lying on the bed as it was a short time after the shooting, when the deputies arrived. It was on the back, stretched at full length, the hands at the side and clenched, and the gun, a Smith & Wesson revolver, lying across the chest, where Mrs. Pemberton said she had placed it herself, when she picked it up off the bed, where it had fallen. The mouth was open and blood had flowed from it and the nose, and had apparently spurted or been coughed out, spattering the bedclothes. The body was clothed fully and the man’s vest was buttoned tight. There was no bullet hole in the outer garments and no signs of blood. It was stated the man had been shot in the mouth.

When the vest was opened, however, a bullet hole under the heart was found in the shirt and the underclothing was saturated with blood. The man had been shot while his vest was open and the garment had been buttoned by hands other than his own.

There were bloodspots in other rooms of the house and other signs pointing to murder, but careful questioning could reveal no cause or enemy.

Forward was 29 years of age and for a time made his home in Canada on a ranch, but his wife refused to live there and went to California.

Aug. 27, 1913

Woman Terribly Burned By Oil Explosion

Tries to Kindle Kitchen Fire With Oil

Mrs. John Myllymaki, aged 22 years, lies in the Aberdeen General hospital tonight under care of Dr. S. W. Wickman, so severely burned from a coal oil explosion while trying to kindle a fire in her kitchen stove, that it is feared she will not live through the night. Her husband is also suffering from severe burns on the hands and arms sustained while rescuing his wife from the flames that followed the explosion.

Mr. and Mrs. Myllymaki have been occupying housekeeping rooms at 507 Scott street, owned by Kapa A. Hill. She attempted to start a fire with coal oil to cook the evening meal in the afternoon about 4:40 o’clock. The oil in the can exploded, terribly burning Mrs.Myllymaki about the hands and face. Burning oil was thrown in every direction. The flames spread rapidly, catching on the paper on the walls.

The husband, who was at home, rushed into the kitchen and carried his wife, who had fainted, out into the air. A few moments later the fire department arrived. The loss to the building amounted to about $150.

Mr. and Mrs. Myllymaki have been married but three months. The husband has been working at the Western Cooperage plant, but because of a breakdown in the part of the mill in which he worked, was at home today.

The wife has been in Aberdeen about a year, and in this country for only three years. Mrs. Myllymaki is a member of the Finnish Women’s Sisterhood society of this city. She has a brother at Polson’s camp No. 2, who has been notified of the accident.

Montesano Will Dedicate New School

Montesano’s new high school building will be dedicated the evening of Sept. 5. Among the prominent speakers who will be present are Governor Ernest Lister, State Supt. Mrs. Prescott, Supt. Beach of the Olympia schools and Dr. Joseph K. Hart of the department of education of the state university. Refreshments will be served and there will be several responses to toasts by local people.

The new building is one of the finest school structures in towns of the size in the United States. It has cost the city something like $65,000.

Aug. 30, 1913

Pulmotor Brings Greek Back To Life

The pulmotor at the Hoquiam hospital Monday evening brought back to life after he had been dead three minutes a Greek laborer, who while undergoing an operation on one of his fingers, died under the influence of the anesthetic. The pulmotor was quickly got into action and Tuesday the erstwhile dead man was out on the streets, suffering only from his injured hand.

So many sensational things have been said about the pulmotor that it is credited with almost superhuman power, but according to Dr. M. J. Shields, an army surgeon on a western Red Cross tour, who has been demonstrating first aid appliances at Tacoma, after the heart has ceased to beat for eight or ten minutes the pulmotor is of no value whatever.

Its value, however, has been proved in two cases lately at the hospital and results with it are little short of marvelous. Whenever the heart ceases to beat and breathing stops, artificial respiration is induced by the nurses until the pulmotor arrives. With the arrival of the pulmotor, its hood is placed over the patient’s face and the electrical automatic pump is started pumping oxygen through a tube in and out of the patient’s lungs.