Contributed by California Contributors
Description: Adolph Weber goes to the Gallows; Adolph Weber reimburses Placer Bank; Personal Notes; Building Permits; Marriage Licenses; and Miscellanous NewsDate: September 27 1906
Newspaper published in: Sacramento
Page/Column: Page 1 & 10
The Evening Bee
Thursday, September 27, 1906
Page 1 & 10
ADOLPH WEBER PAYS PENALTY FOR MURDER OF HIS MOTHER Goes To Gallows With Nerve That Has Characterized Him As Criminal of the Century Weakens For Moment Early in Day and Begs His Attorney to Save Him From Death FOLSOM PRISON, September 27 - Adolph WEBER met death on the scaffold at 12:26 to-day in expiation of the crime of murdering his mother. He went to the scaffold with a firm step and to the very last maintained the nerve which has characterized him as one of the most remarkable criminals of the century. He was pronounced dead at 12:40, fourteen minutes after his body shot through the trap.
FOLSOM PRISON, September 27 - Until the last, WEBER never lost confidence that the Governor would save him, either by reprieve or commutation, from death on the gallows to-day.
The remarkable courage of the young man was illustrated by an incident which occurred last night. Dr. C.H. GLADDING, the prison physician, played chess with him until 11:20. WEBER's interest in the game was so keen, Dr.
GLADDING says, he never played with more skill than he did last night.
About 8:20 o'clock, Warden F.J. COCHRANE entered the cell and addressing WEBER, said: "WEBER, it looks pretty black for you. We have had no word from the Governor and it looks like he was not going to do anything for you."
"Well," said WEBER calmly, "that is where you and I differ," and he went on with his game. This was the only reference made to his case last night.
At 11:20 Dr. GLADDING retired. WEBER was calm and his physical condition was excellent. Dr. GLADDING took his pulse, which showed 63 to the minute, which is the normal pulsation.
Shortly after Dr. GLADDING left, WEBER rolled himself in his blankets, threw himself upon his cot, and in a few minutes was sound asleep, apparently. He did not stir during the rest of the night. The death watch, which out of abundance of caution had been doubled, never took their eyes off the condemned man. One reason for this is said to have been due to WEBER having boasted to Sheriff KEENA in the Placer County jail that he could break his own neck in a moment, by merely grasping his head firmly in both hands and giving it a sudden twist.
However, he made no attempt during the night at cheating the gallows.
WEBER was awake early this morning and there was nothing in his manner to indicate that this day was to be any different from others of the prison life. He made no reference to his situation, even when the death watch was changed.
At 6:30 o'clock a specially prepared breakfast was taken to him. He made no comment, however, but fell to with great gusto, dispatching the meal with evident relish.
The first move made that would indicate that WEBER was becoming at all uneasy was at 9 o'clock, WEBER sent for COCHRANE and stated that he wanted to telegraph to Attorney TUTTLE, his chief counsel. COCHRANE consented and WEBER wrote this brief message:
Folsom Prison, Sept 26 - S.P. Tuttle, Auburn, Cal.: Send me some word.
WEBER wrote this message in a firm hand and those who watched him closely could not detect any change in the youth's demeanor.
He wrote the telegram with as much nonchalance as if he was signing a check.
Last Hope Gone
Within an hour came this reply, which removed the last hope upon which the condemned man rested.
"Auburn (Cal.), Sept. 26 - Weber, Folsom Prison: Have heard nothing from
the Governor. TUTTLE."
Even this cold message did not phase WEBER; but half an hour later he wired TUTTLE as follows:
"Folsom Prison, Sept. 26 - F.P. Tuttle, Auburn, Cal.: Prevent execution; insanity plea. Anything.
A duplicate of this message was sent to W.I. MAY, associate counsel.
After a wait of a few minutes TUTTLE telegraphed to Brainard F. SMITH to deliver this message to WEBER:
"I have no reason to believe the Governor will interfere. Any writing you have to do, do it, and give it to COCHRANE or to Turnkey LAMPHREY. Whatever disposition you have to make of your body, do the same."
TUTTLE told SMITH to send word to WEBER also that neither he nor associate counsel MAY would attend the execution, but this was not made a part of the formal message to the condemned man.
Hoped for Confession
About the prison, TUTTLE's reference to any writing WEBER might have to do was for a time said to relate to the possibility of a confession. The majority of the prison staff, however, were positive WEBER would never confess.
TUTTLE's reference to writing is believed to have related to some minor matters which WEBER had not yet disposed of.
Throughout the morning WEBER was outwardly calm and confident.
The last ray of hope for him vanished at 11:45 when the following message was received from Attorney MAY:
"Weber, Folsom Prison, Sacramento, September 26th. Just left the Governor.
Insanity pleas presented and denied. Governor refuses to take any further
action. (Signed) MAY."
Makes Two Wills
It is known that WEBER made two wills, but just what disposition he made of his estate cannot be ascertained at this time. The first will was made when John ADAMS was his attorney in fact, but it is said ADAMS displeased him and WEBER selected F.S. STEPHENS. Then he made another will, revoking the first one. What the contents of this last will are W.I. MAY, associate counsel, declared he does not know, as the will has been in TUTTLE's possession since it was executed. He believes, however, that most of the estate is left to one of WEBER's aunts, but what one he does not know.
In conversation with a Bee representative late yesterday afternoon MAY said WEBER's estate will not go over $15,000. Originally it was about $54,000, and not $74,000, as has been stated. MAY declared out of the estate approximately $20,000 has been expended in WEBER's defense and he has disposed of some for expenses of various kinds, reducing the estate to about $15,000.
Rev. J.T. WILLIS, pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Sacramento and Rev. THOMAS, a Presbyterian clergyman of Fairoaks, visited the prison this morning. They asked to see WEBER, who sent word that he did not care to see them, but later changed his mind and when the clergymen appeared outside his cell WEBER greeted then cordially, but said that he was not in need of spiritual solace.
After chatting a few moments the clergymen left.
That Settles It
When Attorney MAY's message stating that all hope for him was gone was read to him WEBER merely remarked, "That settles it." He was the same cool, calm youth he had been throughout his confinement. He did not refer to his case in any way and his keepers carefully avoided all reference to is execution until a moment before they adjusted the straps which held his hands before him.
Then he was asked if he desired to make any statement from the scaffold.
"No," said WEBER. "I have no statement to make, no writing to leave behind, and I have no statement to make regarding the disposition of my body."
With this comprehensive declaration WEBER had uttered his last words.
Shortly after this, the straps being in place, the march to the gallows began.
WEBER stepped from his cell in the death chamber upon a balcony leading to the gallows. He was attended by Chief Turnkey George LAMPHREY, and J.R.
PRIGMORE, Lieutenant of the night watch. The trio walked with measured tread, but WEBER's step was light, his body erect and his head held high.
WEBER faced the crowd of spectators in the death chamber without flinching. His eyes rested for a moment upon those below him, but there was no look of recognition for any of the upturned faces. After this hasty glance at the crowd WEBER looked straight before him.
Steps on Trap
Not a muscle quivered, his frail lithe body was as straight as a sapling and, and with a cool calculating eye he measured the center of the trap and stepped upon it.
He was very pale, and once or twice he breathed deeply as though nerving himself for the crucial moment, but there was no flinching.
Lieutenant PRIGMORE stepped to the youth's side and reaching the noose which hung over his head placed it about his neck. As PRIGMORE drew the noose closer around his neck WEBER inclined his head toward his executioner as if to facilitate the process. As the knot was dexterously adjusted WEBER made no sigh, no movement, and stood perfectly erect, looking straight before him.
The black cap was then adjusted in a twinkling and LAMPHREY pulled the lever which sprang the trap. WEBER shot down through space a distance of eight feet, his neck being broken in the fall.
The body brought up with a sudden jerk and hung limp for a moment. Dr.
C.F. GLADDING, the prison physician, and Dr. George B. HESSER, of Folsom, then commenced counting the heart beats.
After the first moment with a pulsation of 94 a slight tremor passed through the body, followed by a barely perceptible convulsion. From this on there was no perceptible movement of the body.
The silence of the death chamber was broken every moment as the physicians tolled off the rising and falling pulsations of the heart. At 12:40, 14 minutes after the trap was sprung, Dr. GLADDING and Dr. HESSER said the one word, "Dead," and the spectators slowly filed out of the death chamber.
WEBER's remarkable vitality is indicated by the result of the heart pulsations for the period between the springing of the trap and the time when life was pronounced extinct; 94, 62, 68, 50, 62, 40, 34, 94, 76, 68, 64, 60, 54, 44. It was only a few seconds after 44 was called that the physicians announced that WEBER was dead.
As indicated in TUTTLE's message to WEBER this morning, none of his counsel attended his execution and none of his relatives appeared to claim the body.
A San Francisco undertaker, however, presented a letter signed by Mrs.
Bertha E. SNOWDEN of Auburn, requesting that the body be delivered to the bearer. Captain COCHRANE has decided not to honor the request at present and will hold the body until he ascertains if the disposition called for in Mrs.
SNOWDEN's letter is satisfactory to all of WEBERs relatives. If COCHRANE gives up the body in accordance with Mrs. SNOWDEN's request it will be sent to Sacramento and then prepared for cremation in San Francisco.
The execution was one of the most successful ever performed in Folsom prison. As stated, WEBER's neck was broken in the fall.
After the body had been cut down, Dr. J.A. McKEE of Sacramento, Dr. A.B.
MAYHEW and Dr. George B. HESSER held an autopsy, which revealed the fact that death was due to a separation of the atlas and axis and a fracture of the first cerdicul (sic) vertebra.
HE REIMBURSES PLACER BANK
The positive announcement was made to-day that Adolph WEBER, aside from paying to the Placer County Bank the amount stolen from that institution in May, 1904, also reimbursed the bank for every item of expense incurred by it in its endeavors to apprehend the robber.
Outside of the administrators of the WEBER estate, few persons know just what this entails. It was stated to Governor PARDEE a few days ago that the sum paid by WEBER, outside of the amount stolen, amounted to several thousand dollars. Among the bills presented by the bank was one of the handwriting expert employed by the bank Directors, calling for $1000. WEBER also paid to the bank the $500 it gave to Coroner SHEPARD as a reward for finding the money. Aside from these, he paid every cent expended by the bank in telegrams, printing, etc., and also a large sum paid to detectives employed by the bank.
This revelation made to Governor PARDEE by Attorney-General WEBB, considerably astounded the Governor, who called upon Attorney F.P. TUTTLE, who practically admitted that it was the truth.
When Adolph WEBER paid back to the bank the amount stolen, it was considered by many an open admission of the crime. Still in the minds of many it was thought the action was taken because WEBER and his attorneys considered it better than to stand for a long and tedious trial. Thus the bank had received a judgement from the Court against the WEBER estate for the amount stolen, but the judgement was never fought by WEBER.
John BOLTHOUSE, of this city, and Cora McWILLIAMS, of Yolo, were married in this city yesterday, the ceremony being performed by Justice HORGAN, of American Township.
O.E. MACK, of Oakland, is a guest at the Capital.
W. FREELAND, of Hamilton, is registered at the Western.
V. SPRAGUE, of San Francisco, is in Sacramento.
J. BERKELEY, of San Francisco, is at the Golden Eagle.
R.W. GRAY, of Chico, was in Sacramento to-day.
D. GLOSS, of San Francisco, is in this city.
Mrs. G.G. ANDERSON, of Sonoma, is visiting in this city.
H.L. BARKER, of Vacaville, is in Sacramento.
Mrs. J.A. THOMAS, of Rio Vista, visited friends in this city to-day.
C.G. KOPP, of Woodland, is at the Capital.
P. WATT, of Oakland, is making a brief visit in Sacramento.
F. BATES, of San Francisco, is at the Capital.
W.W. NEIL, of Los Angeles, is at the State House.
J.W. BULGER and wife, of San Francisco, are visiting in Sacramento.
W.J. MAY, of Auburn, is at the Capital.
Mrs. L.C. ASHLEY, of Yuba City, is paying a visit to Sacramento.
J.E. MABEN, of Woodland, was a visitor in this city to-day.
SUPERINTENDENT JONES IS INJURED WHILE FISHING
Thomas R. JONES, Superintendent of the Sacramento Division of the Southern Pacific Company, was painfully injured last Sunday while out fishing near Truckee. Mr. JONES is an expert fisherman, and is exceedingly fond of trying his skill with trout in the mountain streams. He went to Truckee last Saturday night on a business trip, and as he had a few hours time Sunday morning, he started out on a quiet little fishing trip.
As Truckee has never been known as a religious center, Mr. JONES had no scruples about fishing on Sunday. He started out with his rod and basket, expecting to make a catch large enough to supply all his friends with the toothsome trout. When he was making a cast in the Truckee River, he stepped upon a large boulder, which turned his ankle and he was thrown heavily to the ground. He received a painful cut on the side of his head and complained of a severe pain in the region of his heart. It was at first believed that he had broken a rib. He returned hastily on a special train to this city and his injuries were dressed by his son, Dr. Charles B. JONES, at the Railroad Hospital.
Although Mr. JONES' injuries were painful, they did not confine him to his home, and he was at his office Monday morning attending to his usual volume of business. He was very reticent in speaking about the accident and said he will probably be more careful the next time he goes fishing on Sunday.
The following building permits have been issued during the past week: To WRIGHT & KIMBROUGH, to erect a five-room cottage, to cost $2150, on the east half of lot 2, Q and R, Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Streets; to WRIGHT & KIMBROUGH, to erect a two-story residence to cost $2000, on the west half of lot 2, T and U, Twenty-first and Twenty-second Streets; to G.W. MERRELL, to erect a five-room cottage, to cost $2750, on the west half of lot 7, P and Q, Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Streets; to Edward B. DUFFEE, to erect a dwelling, to cost $2407, on lot 1308, Casa Alameda; to Minnie J. CRAWFORD and others, to expend $1500 in remodeling the building on the south half of the north half of lot 8, I and J, Third and Fourth Streets; to George D.
POORMAN, to erect a cottage, to cost $1800, on the south half of the east half of lot 5, F and G, Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Streets; to J. GUTH, to erect a $2000 dwelling on the east 50 feet of lot 5, O and P, Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Streets; to Frank J. SILVEY, to erect an $1800 dwelling on lot 53, Boulevard Park; to Mrs. S.A. BATES, to expend $490 in remodeling the building on lot 5, N and O, Twenty-second and Twenty-third Streets; to William BOYNE, to expend $5000 in remodeling the building on the east half of lot 2, K and L, Seventh and Eighth Streets.
MUTE LOUDLY CURSES POLICE
William LITTLE was arrested by Policemen MALEY and BALAZ this afternoon for stealing a ham. The man fought and cursed the policemen in a drunken rage as the ham was taken from him and he was bundled into the patrol wagon.
When taken to the station it was found that LITTLE was deaf and dumb. At least so it was announced on the cards the man carried. He has been working on the sympathies of the public by asking for aid, on the pretense that typhoid fever has robbed him of his speech and hearing. Although he is about 60 years old his card says that he is struggling to secure an education.
The man was dressed in four vests when he was taken.
The following marriage licenses have been issued:
Mentor H. BREMSER, aged 23, Roseville, and Ella MILLER, 23, Roseville.
Walter L. DUFFY, 26, Sacramento, and Grace I. BROWN, 19, Sacramento.
John BOLTHOUSE, 26, Sacramento, and Cora McWILLIAMS, 25, Yolo.
WHARF GIVES WAY
SAN FRANCISCO, September 27 - The end of the Lombard Street wharf gave way some time during last night and a valuable cargo of tea and salmon slid into the bay. The wharf was considerably shaken by the earthquake. The Alaska Packers Association yesterday placed a big consignment of salmon and tea at the end of the pier and the heavy load proved too much for the weakened piling.
Transcribed by Betty Loose