Saturday, June 26, 2010

First Photograph Of Jury That Will Render Judgement On Haywood

This newspaper photograph is similar to other views of the jury we have seen before but is reportedly the first. A good view of each juror along with the names. Click on the photo to enlarge for viewing.

--Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, IN, June 10, 1907, page 1

"The most remarkable aspect of that dozen was their relative homogeneity. All were or had been farmers. Nine still tilled the land, while one was a real estate agent, one a building contractor, and one a foreman of fence construction. Eight were Republicans, three were Democrats, and one was a Prohibitionist. All but one were fifty years old; most were in their late fifties or their sixties. All wore beards, chin whiskers, or mustaches, or a luxuriant combination of the three."
--From Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas

To see a couple of more pictures of the jury and inside the Haywood courtroom, click here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

6/24/2010 - From Idaho

Click on the link below. Of course I stopped on the page regarding Frank Steunenberg and "Idaho's Trial of the Century" but be sure to check the rest.
New Idaho historical exhibits at the Capitol

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

1889 - Pinkerton Advertisement

"James McParland, Supt. Denver, COLO"

"Men specially adapted to work among Miners and in Mining Camps can be furnished; also men to Procure Evidence in Mining Suits."

Click image to enlarge and view unitizing my viewer.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Martyr of Idaho

A familiar scene, the statue of Governor Frank Steunenberg across from the capitol building in Boise, Idaho. That is Frank W. Steunenberg, Jr., standing next to the statue of his father. My great uncle Frank was five years old at the time of the assassination, the youngest child of Frank and Eveline Belle Steunenberg. He died August 12, 1990. I am not sure of the date of this photo. Perhaps circa 1970? The photograph came from among my mother's belongings as it was not in the family photo albums.
Frank Jr. wrote a couple of books: Greater Love  was written in 1952. Frank Jr., in my interpretation, later indicated that the attention on Orchard, including parts of this book and Orchard's alleged redemption, and Frank's own visits to see Orchard in prison, became too much the focus of this story.
The Martyr of Idaho (text of the book not available online but click on the link or book cover to be taken to another blog post). Click again on the newspaper article to enlarge for reading. Martyr, written in 1974, placed the focus back on the Steunenberg family from our roots in Holland, to a future governor as a young boy in Iowa (see A Teenage Future Governor), to life in Idaho, the governorship and ending with the assassination.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Crime and Incarceration of Ray Snowden

I just can't resist a good Idaho Pen story. Not directly Steunenberg related, but the video below is about an Idaho murder and the one and only hanging that took place at the old Idaho Penitentiary. We see our friend Rachelle Lattau, now Curatorial Registrar at the Idaho State Historical Museum, providing the tour and information about Snowden's stay at the pen. I believe Rachelle was the Interpretive Specialist at the time this video was made, just as she was during our November 2007 visit. I was of course in Boise at the time for the premiere showing of Assassination: Idaho's Trial of the Century. The small picture to the right is Rachelle and I during the special tour she hosted for us. Rachelle subsequently earned her well deserved promotion to Curatorial Registrar at the museum. 
(For those receiving automatic emails but not able to see the video about Ray Snowden immediately here and be taken directly to my blog. Better to go there anyway). 
Rather accidentally, I ran across an episode of Ghost Adventures filmed at the Idaho pen and looking for the ghost of Ray Snowden. I will leave you to find and view that program on your own if you haven't already. Can't say I was too impressed but always interesting to see the penitentiary. Ghost Adventures described Snowden as "the most notorious inmate confined to the halls of the Idaho State Penitentiary....a man once dubbed "Idaho's Jack the Ripper." I can understand such a characterization for the sake of program publicity, but Snowden hardly stands up to the notoriety of one Harry Orchard. At least they did include Harry on the website as another notorious inmate.
For those that have seen the Ghost Adventures program, they didn't find anything ghostly related to Ray Snowden. No unusual happenings or hauntings. But remember all those rattlesnakes the ghost hunters kept running into and screaming and jumping all over about while climbing the hill behind the pen--no surprise there as they were walking in Harry Orchard territory. 

Other Idaho Pen Stories
Another hanging almost took place at the Idaho pen, that of Douglas Van Vlack. There was a Steuneneberg twist to this one. See below.

Eveline "Belle" Steunenberg Letter to the Idaho State Prison Board Re: Douglas Van Vlack Execution

A Good Hanging Spoiled by John T. Richards

Husband Killer Lyda Southard

More Selected Blog Posts

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


"Steunenberg was a boyish, impulsive and utterly fearless individual, reckless to the verge of absurdity and incapable of actual crookedness of any sort. He knew perfectly well that he had antagonized a very large class of the community, but did not seem to be at all worried over the fact. He was a giant physically, standing seven feet in his stockings, and his physical strength was as great as his courage."

Click image below and go to my viewer.


Seven feet! Why James Naismith (credited as the inventor of basketball) would have been recruiting the governor to be an early Jayhawk at Kansas University. Often these Haywood trial articles were a strange blend of fact and fiction applied to all sides, further confusing the reading public and only fanning the flames of Labor versus Capital.

Picture to the right shows the Jayhawks in 1899 and Naismith standing far right. No seven footers.

BTW, the governor was 6'4", just about the same as my height. See Cousin George Crookham, Jr. and I in our playing days. Cousin George long before I came along! Click link below.
More Basketball

Since I am on a basketball theme (I haven't been mentioning much about the NBA playoffs this year), my Lakers have stumbled their way into the finals against the Boston Celtics. Although I was kind of hoping to see LeBron James and his Cleavland Cavaliers, the tradition of the Celtics and Lakers brings with it more of an historical flavor. Not sure if the Lakers can stand up to Boston or not, what with seven foot big man Andrew Bynum nursing a bad leg. I wonder if any seven foot governors are available?