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The Idaho Post
The Idaho Post
Contributed by Kathleen Peck Probasco

Date: January 14 1921

Newspaper published in: Moscow, Idaho

Source: University of Idaho Library

J.J. Rouse, vice-president of the Fidelity National Bank, of Spokane, died Wednesday night [January 12], of heart disease, following an illness of several months. Mr. Rouse was a resident of Pullman for several years, being bookkeeper for E.S. Burgan & Son and later cashier of the First National Bank. He went to Spokane and became cashier of the Fidelity National and later was made vice-president. Thomas M. Brewer, president of the Fidelity National, died a few months ago. Mr. Rouse was well known in Moscow, where he had a number of friends to whom his death will be a shock.


Three sleigh loads of Moscow young people drove out Monday night to the country home of Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Hagedorn, who were married about a month ago and live near Sunshine, on the Northern Pacific railroad, to charivari the young couple. After the usual din and medley of noises around the house, the unbidden guests were invited into the home and the evening spent in games and social conversation. Refreshments were served. The invaders returned to Moscow at a late hour and report a very pleasant time.


"We, the jury, find that John Cummerford came to his death as the result of a gunshot wound from a gun held in his own hands but without any evidence of intent to commit suicide."

This is the verdict returned by the coroner's jury summoned by Coroner Grice to investigate the death of John Cummerford, who was found Monday morning [January 10], shot through the body by a heavy load of buckshot from a 12-gauge, single barreled shot gun.

Mr. Grice returned to Moscow Monday night with further details of the sad tragedy. It was shown by the evidence that after Cummerford had secured the keys from Mr. Vanwert, the druggist, and got the medicine for his young son, he returned to the store after telling Mrs. Cummerford that he would return the keys. He seemed in the best of spirits when he left the house.

When Mr. Wilkins, another employe of the store, entered at 6:50 he saw some one moving about in the back part of the store. The man seemed to stagger as if drunk. Mr. Wilkins went back and recognized John Cummerford, completel;y covered with blood and apparently dazed. He rushed out and called a brother of the wounded man who entered the store and took hold of his brother, who sank down and died while being held in his brother's arms while Wilkins summoned a physician.

Not a single reason for suicide was discovered. Cummerford was happily married, was prosperous and always cheerful. His wife and Mr. Vanwert, the druggist, the last two to see him alive, said he appeared in his usual happy mood. It is believed he took the shot gun a new one in the company's stock, and loaded it and accidentally discharged it. The shot did not pass through his heart, as at first reported, but tore a great hole in his side under his left shoulder.

The funeral arrangements have not been made. They will await the arrival of his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Cummerford, well known pioneers of Latah county, who are now living in Canada. The tragedy cast a deep gloom over Potlatch where the young man was well known and liked by all who knew him.

[See below for a second report.]


Perry Randall, of 909 Sixth street, has received notice of the death of a brother-in-law, the husband of his only sister. The man who was called home was E.T. Fitzgerald. He died at Topeka, Kansas, where he was a pioneer, at the age of 71 years. Mr. Fitzgerald leaves a widow and large family of grown children and several grandchildren, besides four brothers and two sisters. A son of Mr. Fitzgerald was visiting in Moscow at the home of his uncle, Perry Randall, when summoned to the bedside of his father, who was taken seriously ill, but died before the son could reach his home at Topeka.


For alleged threats to kill his brother unless the latter produced $200 before 2 o'clock, accompanying the threat with a menacing gesture with his brother's revolver which he had taken and loaded, Lester Berry must stand trial before a jury in the district court. Judge Adrian Nelson, of the probate court, held Berry for the district court in $1,000 bond, which he was unable to furnish and he is now in the county jail.

The preliminary hearing before Judge Nelson brought out additional facts to those given when the arrest was made several days ago. The evidence showed that the trouble arose over the attention of Lester Berry, an ex-soldier, 22 years of age, to the wife of his older brother, Henry, with whom Lester had made his home for several months, and that Lester secured a revolver owned by his brother, took it down town, secured a box of cartridges for it, buckled it about his body and "sneaked around the house" when Henry and his wife were "talking it over."

Lester was invited into the consultation and agreed to leave his brother's home and Moscow upon payment of $200, but he presented the gun, pointed it at his brother and declared he would kill the latter unless the $200 was produced before 2 o'clock that afternoon. Those who heard the evidence at the preliminary hearing predict that the real trial will result in some sensational evidence. "It will be a bad one, when it comes to the trial," said C.L. Summerfield, the deputy sheriff who made the arrest and declares that Lester Berry attempted to draw his gun when the warrant was served.


Harry Rader a millwright at the Mark P. Miller mill, was caught in a counter shaft and received injuries from which he died after a few hours of intense suffering. Mr. Rader was working alone on the third floor of the mill when the accident happened. It is presumed that his clothing wound up on the counter shaft revolving the body of the man like a pin wheel. He was caught high up about the shoulders and his feet and ankles were beat to a pulp, scarcely a bone two inches in length being left in his limbs below the knees.

A.C. Deeter, his working partner, was the first to discover the unfortunate man. He was on the floor below and heard the hammering of Rader's body against the ceiling and noticed the slowing down of the machinery of the mill. He rushed to the third floor and discovered the man entangled on the shaft. The mill was closed down within a minute after by Head Miller Hughes, and a few minutes after Rader regained consciousness and recognized the boys about him.

At the hospital it was found that there were internal injuries and that he was suffering from hemorrhages of the lungs.

Harry Rader was a man of 43 years [line missing] to a Mrs. Hendrickson who was a resident of this city and has three young children. His mother and two sisters and a brother live at Attica, Kansas. He has been employed at the mill here since last spring.

Mr. Rader died shortly before three o'clock this afternoon. When taken to the hospital he was conscious, but the hospital authorities expressed no hope for his recovery. His body was simply beaten to a pulp.


Word has reached here of the marriage of Miss Adelia St. Germain and H.C. Lancaster, both of Bovill. The groom is well known here, being the son of Mrs. Ida Graves, residing three miles south of Harvard where he grew to manhood. Mr. Lancaster enlisted in the navy the fall of 1917 and made several trips across the Atlantic during the war. He received his discharge early in 1919, since which time he has been in the employ of the Potlatch Lumber company at Bovill.


Juliaetta--A marriage license was issued Tuesday at Lewiston to Leslie Groseclose and Miss Anna Steensman, both of Juliaetta.


Punkin Center--Helmer Anderson of Spokane, a former Moscow boy, and Miss Hargurite Yangle of Moscow were quietly married in Pullman Monday, January 3rd. Will O'Donnell and Miss Anna Yangle served as best man and bridesmaid. An old-time charivari of the newlyweds was given them at the home of Will O'Donnell on the evening of their marriage in response to which an oyster supper was served. Then came smokes and candy, all of which was enjoyed to a late hour.


Potlatch--Funeral services for the late Raymond A. Yates, who passed away in this city Sunday were held Thursday afternoon at the Union Church, officers of the Elks Lodge, of which the deceased was a member, having charge of the beautiful and impressive services of that order. About thirty Elks from Moscow were in attendance. The floral offerings were many and beautiful, a high tribute to the high esteem in which Mr. Yates was held in the community. Interment was made in the Potlatch cemetery. Mr. Yates was an ex-service man, having been a member of the U.S. Marines at the time war was declared. Out of town relatives who were here for the funeral include the parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Yates of Plummer, Idaho, Miss Ida Yates, a sister, from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and a brother from Iowa. Donald H. Yates, of Potlatch, is a brother.


The sheriff's office has been making diligent efforts to locate Lottie Parkins and Fanny Snyder, who, according to Deputy Sheriff Peterson, ran away from Moscow last Wednesday. The girls are said to have bought tickets at the electric depot for Palouse and there bought tickets for Spokane. They are said to have stopped at the White Hotel, Spokane, but when Deputy Sheriff Summerfield and relatives of the girls reached Spokane they had left the hotel and at last accounts have not been located.


Mrs. Mary Botsford, of Moscow, has received the sad intelligence that her brother, the Rev. Edward Sams, had died at Hot Springs, South Dakota, at the age of 78 years. The Rev. Mr. Sams was in Moscow, a guest at the home of his sister, last summer and met a number of Moscow people while here. The death of her brother leaves Mrs. Botsford the only survivor of a family of 11 children. Her brother left one son and one daughter.


A mysterious death occurred at Potlatch early Monday morning. John Cummerford, manager of the shoe department of the Potlatch Mercantile Company, was found shot through the heart with a 12-gauge shotgun when the janitor opened the doors at 6:50 a.m.

Cummerford, who had charge of the shoe department of the big store for 15 years, arose early this morning and went to the home of the manager of the drug department and secured the manager's keys, saying he wanted to get some medicine for his little child who was sick with the whooping cough. That was the last seen of him alive.

When the janitor went to the building at 6:50 he heard groans coming from the hardware department and going there found Cummerford writhing on the floor in a pool of blood. The janitor ran to the home of George Cummerford, a brother, and accompanied by him returned to the store. When they reached the store, John, or "Jack" as he was familiarly known, was dead.

The shot gun had been held against his breast over the heart when discharged and the powder had burned his clothing. This led to the belief that it was a case of suicide. But relatives and friends who know of no reason for suicide believe Cummerford discovered a burglar in the store and the burglar shot him. One of the new guns of the hardware department was used.

Coroner Grice was notified early Monday morning and left on the noon train for Potlatch to hold an inquest.

"Jack" Cummerford as he was familiarly known, had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances here. His father, Dr. Cummerford, a veterinarian, was at one time a representative in the legislature from Latah county but is now a resident of Canada. The young man, who was about 35 years old, leaves a widow and one child, his parents, and several brothers and sisters.

[See above for a second report.]


Lewiston--Judge Scales Thursday heard the proceeding brought by Leo McCarty, county attorney to annul the marriage of Vida Olson, white, and Willie Fong, Chinese and the order of annulment was issued. The marriage ceremony of the couple occurred in Lewiston on November 16, and upon the parents of the girl, Mr. and Mrs. Amel Olson, being advised, the father came to Lewiston, secured the girl and brought the action for annulment of the marriage.

At the hearing Thursday the parents testified that the girl was 17 years old in October. At the time application for the marriage license was made affidavit was executed that the girls' age was 18, that age being necessary unless consent of the parents was secured.

The testimony Thursday developed the fact that the girl had run away from home and the parents had just solicited the efforts of the sheriff's office in Latah county to locate her when the advice was received as to the marriage and the father instantly hastened here.

The Idaho statute prohibits inter-marriage of whites and negroes and mulattoes, but does not apply to Chinese.

County Attorney McCarty said Thursday that he would have a bill submitted to the present legislation seeking to amend the status to have the prohibition apply to the Chinese.

Submitted: 01/13/09 (Edited 01/13/09)

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