Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Blast from the Past - Eastern Idaho Editors Meet - Mackay Miner Supplement - July 17 1908

Byrd Trego (wife Susie B.) was the publisher of the Mackay Telegraph founded in 1901. Trego sold in 1903 to Lesile Dillingham (wife Pearl) and the Mackay, Idaho newspaper became the Mackay Miner. Note the Rexburg Newspaper being held up:

The academy students had an opportunity to watch the system of justice in action during a murder trial. Charles W. Edwards was shot to death on February 8 in Arthur H. Woodvine’s barbershop by Eli A. Larkin. Larkin tried to escape but was found hiding in a haystack north of town. He was arrested, and, after a coroner’s inquest held the same day, transported to the Fremont County seat at St. Anthony to stand trial for murder. The trial ran into June before a jury found Larkin innocent. It seems the defense convinced the jury that Edwards was a man of disreputable character and Larkin did the community a service by shooting him. 

What academy students thought about the verdict can only be conjecture, but they were most certainly influenced by Principal Dalby’s editorial comment in the Current-Journal. He had long excoriated saloon owners — of whom Edwards was one — for the influence they exercised over area youth. “One man shot dead and another passed into the shadow of the gallows is what the saloons have done for Rexburg during the last week,” he wrote. “Standing in the gloom of this awful tragedy which casts its shadow upon our town and people let us resolve with all our strength to fight the evil which was the cause of their death. Let us see to it that no more victims shall be sacrificed in Rexburg upon the altar of the saloon.” Local option soon would receive a favorable vote in Fremont County, and saloons would go out of business — at least for a while.

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