Sunday, August 2, 2009

Gunfighters in Boise-D.C. Scott & Bob Meldrum

"Peacherino gun men"

Now there is some descriptive reporting! This article shows the rather romanticizing view sometimes depicted of gunfighters out West. It didn't seem to matter if the subject at hand actually lived in the West or was merely visiting from a more Eastern part of the country.

The Fort Wayne News, July 7, 1907

Click the pic to enlarge for reading.

We have talked about "Bad Man" Bob Meldrum before but D.C. Scott was a somewhat lessor known part of our story and garnered nary a mention in Big Trouble or in Assassination: Idaho's Trial of the Century. However, he played an important part (how important depends on what story your believe) in the mining and labor disputes of that period and his name did enter into the trial. Hint..D.C. Scott was a detective for the F&CC Railroad.

Can anyone tell me about him? We know what Darrow would say.

D. C. Scott, chief of detectives of the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad...."An oily, slimy fellow," Darrow termed the detective.
--7/25/1907, San Francisco Chronicle

"What Aller Swore. Aller swore that he saw Orchard and D.C Scott together at the depot of the Florence and Cripple Creek railroad on a Sunday, about three weeks prior to the explosion at the Independence depot on the 6th day of June, 1904. Scott, this afternoon, swore that he was not in Cripple Creek at the time and a number of witnesses corroborated this. As a result of this rebuttal testimony information was sworn out after the court adjourned charging Aller with perjury." --7/16/1907, Atlanta Constitution

You can also view this article and many others on my Fold3.com Spotlights.

You may recall seeing the photo postcard below elsewhere on the blog. Its shows famed detective/gunfighter/author Charles Siringo up on the stairs and the aforementioned Bob Meldrum second from the left next to Harry Orchard. Rudie Barthell is also pictured (standing up one step right behind Orchard) and is mentioned in Big Trouble as a sidekick to Meldrum. However, I have not found anything much on Barthell nor substantiated any association between him and Meldrum. Give me a holler if you know anything more about him. You can bet there is some fine hardware under those coats.

Update 12/2015: I have since discovered more about Rudie Barthell & will try to get a story posted in the new year.  

In the photo, it appears that Orchard is being escorted out of the Boise courthouse to a waiting carriage. The courthouse had a jail in the basement but Orchard was kept at the Idaho Pen while Big Bill Haywood was housed in the jail. Other than the above newspaper article, I have not seen D.C. Scott in any trial related photographs but I haven't really been looking either. I'll be on the lookout for him now.

Photo from the collection of John T. Richards

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