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Walla Walla County
Washington

Genealogy and History



Crime News


These are presented in loose alpha-order based on the surname of the first criminal mentioned.


Charles Besserer, editor of the Walla Walla Watchman, shot and probably fatally wounded a man named Kleber at Walla Walla one day this week.  At a preliminary hearing Mr. Besserer was exonerated, the justice finding that it was justifiable homicide.  From the evidence it appears that Kleber attacked the editor in his office, and also threatened to kill him at night.
[The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, September 8, 1883]


Walla Walla, W.T., Nov. 29 – The trial of Mrs. Brewster, the woman who was arrested in August last, on a charge of poisoning her husband, by giving him whisky containing strychnine, at Wallula, was finished this afternoon.  The jury returned a verdict of acquittal and Mrs. Brewster was liberated.
[Grant County News (Canyon City, OR) – Saturday, December 6, 1879]


A DESPERATE CONVICT
Charles
Clark, a convict at Walla Walla, Washington, jumped on the brake beam of a car and tried to escape, but the guard put two balls in him and he fell to the ground, seriously but not dangerously wounded.
[October 12, 1889, Reno Evening Gazette, Reno Nevada - Submitted by S. Williams]



Bound Over – Ward Douglas, the insurance agent, arrested at Walla Walla charged with the crime of rape was held to await the action of the grand jury in the sum of $2,500 which he readily furnished.
[The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) - Saturday, January 11, 1890
]


Another Murder
The dispatches tell us of another horrible murder committed near Walla Walla, being the sixth within the past four months. The murder took place about 12 miles from that city, as is supposed on Sunday night. The murdered man’s name is
George B. Hager, and it is supposed that he was killed for his money.
He was cut to pieces and his body burned by having cord wood piles upon it and saturated with coal oil after which the cabin he lived in was fired. He was known to carry considerable gold around his body in a belt. He had but recently located and was just on the point of starting for San Francisco to get married and bring his wife back with him. He was formerly a purser on a steamer between Portland and San Francisco. He was in Walla Walla on Saturday and proved up on his land claim at the land office. He then had 40 $20-pieces with him. The murderers are suspected.
[The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, June 19, 1880 - JD - Sub by FoFG]

Johnny Hammond, aged 18, and a girl named Taylor, much younger, ran away from Walla Walla to Pendleton lately to get married.  The two kids were followed up by the girl's mother, who spanked her erring daughter and took her home.  The boy was jailed on a charge of abduction.  
[Grant County News (Canyon City, OR) – Thursday, August 16, 1888]



Governor Semple commuted the death sentence of Mary J. Pyle and John Hern, the Walla Walla incendiaries and murderers to imprisonment for life.  

[Grant County News (Canyon City, OR) – Thursday, September 27, 1888]



A. J. Thomas and wife, the supposed murderers, are returned to Walla Walla for safe keeping until the fall term of court, as their attorney procured postponement of the case to that time.  

[Grant County News (Canyon City, OR) – Saturday, June 26, 1880]



MURDER – The *Mountaineer* says that on the 24th of February a farmer by the name of Charles
Ward, who lives on the Walla Walla river, was shot and mortally wounded, at Walla Walla by a man named McAlliston. It appears that McAlliston was trying to shoot a man by the name of Charley Walker when Ward interfered and was himself shot.
[Willamette Farmer (Salem, OR) – Saturday, March 9, 1872 - JD - Sub by FoFG]

DIED – Charles N.
Ward, who was shot by Wm. McAllister, at Walla Walla, Feb. 24th, has since died of his wound. McAllister is in jail, to await the action of the grand jury.
[Willamette Farmer (Salem, OR) – Saturday, March 16, 1872 - JD - Sub by FoFG]



Indians Hanged
Pendleton, Jan. 10,  Vis Walla Walla, Jan. 11.
The execution of White Owl and Quit-a-tumpa, for the murder of George Coggan near Cayuse Station, last July, took place this afternoon.  Both were reservation Indians, last Summer.  Thursday and Thursday night were passed by the Indians in chanting death songs and bidding their friends good bye.  The ceremonies at the gallows were conducted according to rites of the Indian religion.  Both White Owl and Quit-a-tumpa refused to have anything to do with the Catholic priests, or to received other spiritual consolation.  They were attired in clothes given them by the whites, and their faces were gaudily painted.  Both made short speeches from the scaffold confessing that they did the shooting, but refused to acknowledge the justice of their fate.  They continued, singing death chants until the drop fell at 2:45 a.m.  The fall dislocated their necks, and both died without hardly a struggle.  After hanging for seven minutes they were pronounced dead.  The bodies were cut down and delivered to the Indians for disposition.  The bodies will be buried to-morrow.  Considerable demonstration will be made over the body of Quit-a-tumpa.
A detachment of the First Cavalry, under Maj. Jackson, and a number of citizen volunteers were stationed outside the jail enclosure during the execution.  The military will remain at the agency until after the hanging of Aps, which will take place next Friday.  Considerable uneasiness is felt as to the result of the execution, and it is not known but that the Indians profess great friendship, but many believe it only assumed.

The execution to-day was witnessed by about 100 persons, including 10 Indians.  A great crowd collected on the outside of the jail enclosure and on surrounding housetops. Everything passed off quietly.  It is hoped the hanging will prove a salutary lesson to the Indians. 
[The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, January 18, 1879, JD - Sub by FoFG]
 



Stories with No Names:

TWO LOST BROTHERS

An unusual incident occurred in Walla Walla, Washington Territory, which illustrates the manner in which so many men on this Coast mysteriously disappear and are never again heard of by their relatives in the East. Recently the Sheriff of Walla Walla received on the same day two letters from parties in the East, each enquiring for a long lost brother. The Sheriff was compelled to convey the unwelcome information that one of the lost brothers had been hanged the week before for the murder of the other lost brother.

[April 6, 1884, Nevada State Journal, Reno Nevada - Submitted by S. Williams]

 



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