Craig Empire Newspaper Articles
for the communities of Lily and Blue Mountain
Moffat County, Colorado
(note: This collection of news articles is not complete. I searched for mention of the Thomas Alvin Smith family)
December 1918 - Thomas A. Smith of the Craig-Sunbeam stage escaped serious injury Friday when his motor truck skidded over an embankment a short distance this side of Sunbeam. The car turned over and the driver stuck to the steering wheel, which gave him a fierce jab in the chest. Aside from this bruise Mr. Smith was not injured and is again on the job.
LILY ITEMS Jan. 1, 1919 - The Lily threshing machine returned to the park after about a three months run. C. E. Owen took his cattle to White River some time ago, where he has feed for the winter. Rosa and Julia Smith came down Friday from Craig to visit friends in Lily park. The people of this vicinity enjoyed an entertainment by the school Monday night. Mr. and Mrs. Owen made a trip to Craig last week. They took a hog to town.
LILY NEWS Jan. 8, 1919 - (crowded out last week) R. A. Morris and A. S. Wilson stayed at the White Bear ranch Monday night. They were on their way to Craig. C. C. Weaver was at the W. B. Ranch yesterday. Everyone present at the skating party given by Mr. and Mrs. T. W. Barnes enjoyed the skating and lunch. F. C. Barnes and T. W. Barnes have been working on F. C. Barnes new house. R. A. Morris and S. A. Wilson and E. F. Smith stopped at the White Bear ranch last night. They were on their way to Bear Valley. H. A. Shank has been breaking some horses lately. Mr. Eller was at the White Bear ranch the other day. The Cross Mountain Grangers met at the Cross Mountain hall last Saturday night.
February 5, 1919 - R. E. Morris and son have been up from their new ranch property in the Blue Mountain district this week. Mr. Morris will buy a tractor outfit this spring and expects to get several hundred acres of the new land in cultivation by fall.
March 5, 1919 - Thomas A. Smith and Floyd Williams, until recently proprietors of the Craig-Sunbeam stage line, departed the latter part of the week with their families for Lily Park, where both have excellent homesteads. Robert E. Morris came up from his Blue Mountain homestead on business last week. He is preparing to farm on an extensive scale this year and has ordered a tractor outfit for the heavy work.
LILY NEWS March 12, 1919 - F. Williams, T. A. and J. W. Smith stayed at the White Bear ranch Tuesday night. They were on their way to Bear Valley. Louise Barnes spent the night with Mary Weaver last week. R. E. and B. L. Morris moved the W. F. and T. A. Smith families and Mrs. Williams to Bear Valley Monday.
April 2, 1919 - Thomas A. Smith came up from his homestead in Blue mountain country, suffering with throat trouble. He has been quite ill at the home of Mrs. Fuller, but yesterday had sufficiently recovered to stand an operation which it is believed will result in permanent relief.
April 16, 1919 - Thomas A. Smith, who has been in poor health since last fall, was again brought to Craig yesterday from his ranch in Bear Valley. His father, W. F. Smith, will remain here with him.
YOUGHALL NOTES Sept. 17, 1919 – Messrs. Bob Morris, A. Power, and Frank Smith are busy cutting logs to build our Youghal school house. Tom Smith went up to the Douglas saw mill for school house lumber. Yesterday we had such a good old-fashioned downpour of rain that the cows and farmers are all in the blandest smiles today. Bear Valley now has a new locked mail pouch and everybody is glad to have a post office nearer home. We sometimes forget the name but we’ll get used to it – it’s Youghal.
YOUGHAL NOTES Oct. 8, 1919 – (too late for last week) The people of Bear Valley met at Frank Smith’s home Sunday, September 11th, and organized a Sunday school, with A. Power as superintendent. By a vote of those present the new school which is under construction is to be called Youghal. Fray Baker is in Craig this week on business. Jim and Ernest Smith are haying at Sunbeam this week. Durward Morris started to Price Creek Friday to get a load of grain. Frank Smith won two prizes at the Maybell fair. Thursday brought Youghal another fine rain. Farmers are building the school house while farmer’s sons are plowing and seeing after their fathers’ business in general. John Hewitt went to Maybell Monday. Mr. Power will teach our Youghal school this year. G. W. Graham was in the neighborhood yesterday seeing after cattle. The Rev. A. L. Duncan, who has been visiting his brother Joe Duncan of this community left Monday for his home at Ft. Summer, New Mexico. Mr. Duncan preached several sermons while here, the meetings being held at the different Youghal homes. Messrs. Morris, Smith, Power and Duncan are still hammering on the school house which they hope to finish next week. Tom Smith is at the Hell Canyon mine this week. Floyd Williams had returned to Oklahoma to spend the winter but expects to be back on his homestead in time to plant his garden in the spring.
YOUGHAL NOTES Oct. 29, 1919 – We are still having Sunday school at the home of Frank Smith because the furniture for our school house has not yet arrived. Youghal school opened October 13. Jim Smith graciously received the school into his home pending the readiness of the school building. Fray Baker went to Craig on a business trip Saturday. Bob Morris came home Tuesday but returned to Mud Springs today with Fray Baker to begin work on the road. John Hewitt is now the mail carrier from Youghall to Lily. Mrs. Floyd Williams left Monday for Nolan (note: probably Noble), Okla., where she will join her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Williams will return to Youghall in the spring. Tom Smith started for Denver Monday on a very special business trip (note: On October 29, 1919, in Ault, Colorado, Tom Smith married Chloe Belle Callender Jones and brought her back to Bear Valley). Mr. Smith has been breaking land for Mrs. Bosley. Mr. and Mrs. Power took dinner with Mrs. Frank Smith Sunday. The singing given by Mrs. Smith Sunday evening in honor of Mrs. Williams’ departure was well attended. Bernice Morris is visiting home folks this week. Jim Smith is helping push to the limit the interests of the Hell’s Canyon Copper Company this week. The homestead of Charlie Wilcox has been closed for the remainder of the year, he having returned with his family to Wichita Falls, Texas. A. V. Spurgin of Havernal ranch made a business trip to Bear Valley springs one day last week. Ernest Smith is now in Maybell on business. Durward Morris was at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Power Sunday. We Youghal people love to hear the noise of those Hell’s Canyon Copper company 5-ton trucks going through our valley. They make us feel like business is picking up.
YOUGHAL NOTES Nov. 12, 1919 – Our school house is now completed and furnished and actually being used as a school house although it has seemed so long in materializing that sometimes we thought it “only a dream” More patronage is coming to our new postoffice from time to time as people within reach realize what a great convenience it is to get their mail nearer home. When the snow gets deeper and we want to send out for Santa Claus on a pair of overshoes we’ll appreciate our postoffice more than ever. We are pleased with the promptness and general efficiency of our postmaster R. E. Morris. Ernest Smith went to Lily Sunday. Fray Baker was over at Bear Valley springs Monday on business. R. E. Morris is making a trip to Meeker this week to take his horses and cattle nearer feed. School is progressing nicely now, every child in our community who is of school age being enrolled. Bernice Morris is going to remain at home and attend school this term. Joe Duncan went to Massadona Tuesday. While there he had his postoffice address changed to Youghal. Jack Stuart was up at Youghal Tuesday for mail. Mrs. Power substituted at school for Mr. Power Monday, he having been hurriedly called away by the trowel to the north side of the school house. Jim Smith is at the mine again this week. We now have Sunday school literature on hand and cordially invite all who are within reach to come and help us with our lessons.
YOUGHAL NOTES Nov. 26, 1919 – (too late for last week) Tom Smith has consummated his business at Purcell, Colo., and we are daily expecting him to arrive with his bride. Mr. Power, our Sunday school superintendent, was not with us Sunday as he was suffering from a cold. One noticeable thing about our Sunday school is that the helpers are at once ready and willing to become teachers or superintendents as the necessity demands. Jim Smith is at home again from the mine. G. W. Graham of Lily was at Youghal Monday rounding up his cattle. Last Friday brought a snow storm. Mrs. Robert Morris is sick this week. Bernice Morris is doing some plowing for A. Bower. Frank Smith made a trip up to the Hell Canyon mine Saturday. Joe Duncan is carrying the mail for Mr. Hewitt this week. Frank Jr. and Ola Smith are visiting Brandeford and Nahl Power this week. The Youghal school was closed Tuesday for that we might join the world in the celebration of the Great Peace.
YOUGHAL NOTES Dec.10, 1919 – (too late for last week) We are now having real “Indian Summer” here in the valley, whereas all new comers expected to be snowed under before this date. Our school is progressing quite nicely not withstanding the fact that our furniture is not yet at hand. Henry Wassen is bringing horses into this community for winter pasture. G. W. Graham of Lily has now removed his cattle from Youghal. He and Ernest Smith started for Meeker with them last week. It is said that Mr. Graham will reside at Meeker during the remainder of this winter. The Youghal mail now makes connection with that of Cross Mountain and since this change Youghal has its mail only once per week. Bernice and Durward Morris are at work at the Hell Canyon mine this week. A. V. Spurgeon was in our community Tuesday looking after livestock. Tom and Jim Smith are in Craig today on business. Our Sunday school is steadily growing under the direction of A. Power as superintendent. We have received our 1919 song books recently and now have singing immediately after Sunday school. R. E. Morris is cutting posts for Mr. Eskridge this week. The reception given by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Smith in honor of their son Tom and his wife was heartily enjoyed by all present.
YOUGHAL NOTES Dec. 31, 1919 – Dry farmers of this community are elated over the deep snow they are having to buck. It means more feed next year. A. S. Wilson is now overseer at the Hell Canyon Copper Mine. Jim Smith and Bernice Morris went to Cross Mountain Friday for the mail. They got back Tuesday. Some trip that! School is still in progress notwithstanding the frozen heels and ears of some of the pupils. Thurman Morris and his “big” brother Bernice were out hunting Saturday when Thurman was so nearly overcome by the cold that he had to be carried in. He has sufficiently recovered to be in school again, however. A. Power made a business trip to Lily last week. Many cattle are dying in this part of the district on account of the severity of the last storm – and no feed. Messrs. A. Power and Thos. A. Smith started to Maybell today via Lily and Cross Mountain. No wagons can run here in Bear Valley now on account of the depth of the snow. All traffic is by way of the one bobsled of Youghal.
YOUGHAL NOTES Jan. 14, 1920 – Tom Smith and A. Power returned from Maybell too late for the big Christmas dinner given by Mrs. Tom Smith. However, all the rest of the “Youghalites” were present and certainly enjoyed the day. Misses Mary Weaver of Lily and Rosa and Julia Smith of Youghal are visiting Mrs. A. Power this week. R. E. Morris went to Cross Mountain on business this week. Ernest Smith and Bernice Morris started to the Wolf Creek country yesterday but are expected to return in time to re-enter school Monday. Will White of the White Bear Ranch was at the home of A. Power last week. Fray Baker and Bill Edward were in this community last week gathering up cattle. The occasion of the week was a New Year’s dinner given by Mr. and Mrs. A. Power. The day was spent pleasurably by every one present. The older people spent the afternoon in singing while the young folks were out sledding or trying their new skis. Joe Duncan has gone to Vernal, Utah, this week on business. Our Sunday school elected new officers last Sunday except that A. Power was retained as superintendent and Joe Duncan was re-elected secretary. Tom Smith was elected as instructor and leader of our singing.
YOUGHAL NOTES Feb. 28, 1920 – We are hopefully expecting that the Youghal-Cross Mountain mail line will be given a regular government mail carrier March 1st. All bids are in. Mr. Milheim and son returned to their homestead this week. Mrs. A. S. Wilson of Youghal is now at Lily awaiting transportation to her home. Her friends here have been anxiously awaiting her return. We are expecting a fair crop this year as we have had mountains of snow which is now melting and soaking into the land nicely. Julia Smith has been out of school for several days on account of sickness. H. Wassen is sufficiently recovered to be out about his work again. Tom Smith returned from a business trip to Craig rather late Sunday.
YOUGHAL NOTES Mar. 17, 1920 – Jim Smith started to Meeker Sunday. He and Bernice Morris will bring the Smith-Morris livestock back to Bear Valley next week. The thaw is apparently on out here now though light snows continue to fall. Saturday F. A. Baker, who has been engaged at the Hells Canyon Copper Mine, was called home at Lily park by the serious illness of his father. Mrs. R. E. Morris and little daughter Thelma are visitors at Meeker this week. Mrs. Estridge of Johnson’s draw spent last week visiting Mrs. Frank Smith. Our Sunday school met at the home of Mr. Power last Sunday owing to the fact that every member happened to visit there that day. Durward Morris made a trip to Cross Mountain as mail carrier last Friday. Mr. Manning of Badger Flat was over at Mr. Hewitt’s Tuesday on business. Mr. Power has gone to Lily park today on a matter of business. Mrs. Henry Wassen was at Youghal Thursday for the mail.
YOUGHAL NOTES May 12, 1920 – We are still having snow out here and many are beginning to wonder if crops can be made between spring snows and autumn frost bites. Cheer up neighbors and be thankful for the bright prospects of a garden. Seven months of our school have been taught with only the loss of one day on account of bad weather, notwithstanding the fact that at times it was unthinkably cold. Our Sabbath school has been dismissed only for one Sunday during the winter, although the attendance was registered at only a few degrees above zero – a few faithful members saved the say when the snow was too deep for others to buck. Mrs. Powers denies the “honor” of being a nurse – but happily visited Mrs. White of Lily last week. Harie Estridge and wife are staying with the R. E. Morris family pending the arrival of the Estridge household wares from Cross Mountain. Durward Morris made a trip to Lily last week, going on to Cross Mountain for the mail. R. E. Morris, in company with three homeseekers, started for Craig this morning. Messrs. Tom and Jim Smith are on the road to Maybell today. Tom Smith has been appointed road overseer for this district from Cross Mountain to Utah. He will gather up his road working implements as he returns from Maybell and make ready to begin his road work soon. Harie Estridge is suffering from snow blindness since his trip over to Wolf Creek Friday. Joe Duncan was a caller at Mr. Power’s Thursday. Mr. Power went to Lily park Saturday.
YOUGHAL NOTES Jun. 23, 1920 – Farmers of this community have about finished planting. Most gardens are up and looking fine. Mrs. Frank Smith is on the sick list this week. Mr. Power has just finished fencing an 80-acre plot. Nick M. Patterson has returned to his homestead and is now moving his house toward the south side of his land. Mr. Patterson’s many friends welcome his return, doubly so since he brings his bride with him. Mr. Miller, who has filed on the “Pot Hole” land, came in yesterday to begin the ordeal of homesteading. Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Wilson returned home today from Craig where they have been to meet their little daughter, Mary. Mary spent the winter in an academy at Denver. Fray Baker was over looking after his farming interests here Friday. People are all returning to their homesteads here now. It looks quite prosperous now with so many fine rye patches.
(Note: from June of 1920 through December 1922 there were no news entries from Youghal. Perhaps the person who provided the news tidbits moved away.)
BLUE MOUNTAIN AND HELL CREEK BASIN Sep. 14, 1921 – Mr. and Mrs. F. Smith of Bear Valley visited at Mrs. F. A. Fuller’s two days last week.
Craig Empire Newspaper – Front Page October 12, 1921 W. F. SMITH AND SON SHOT TO DEATH; NEIGHBOR HELD ON MURDER CHARGE. Eye Witnesses Say A. S. Wilson Killed Bear Valley Pioneers After Bloody Quarrel. MEN HAVE HOT WORDS AND FIST FIGHT.
Frank Smith, pioneer Blue Mountain ranchman, and his son James Smith lie buried in one grave. Their former neighbor and friend, A. S. Wilson, is in jail in Craig charged with their murder. Eye witnesses say Wilson shot the two men following a fight with the elder Smith.
A double killing in which father and son met death is the tragedy which shocked Moffat County last week. That Smith and his son came to their death “from a gunshot wound inflicted by A. S. Wilson with felonious intent” was the finding of the coroner’s jury. Eye witnesses told of the killing but no adequate motive to justify such a tragedy had been advanced.
A few words over the disposal of some potatoes, the suggestion that the elder Smith was indignant over land matters, other motives for the quarrel which led to the fatal shooting have been advanced. Yet the fact remains that no person has given an adequate reason why a man should kill his neighbor and the neighbor’s unarmed son. This is a mystery for which a solution will be sought at Wilson’s trial in district court.
Testimony given at the coroner’s inquest held before J. E. Duvall Friday showed that the two Smiths were killed by Wilson following a bloody fight between Wilson and the elder Smith.
J. T. Elliot Sr., a renter living on the Tom Smith ranch in Bear Valley, testified that Wilson had been helping him harvest his potato crop. A portion of the crop belonged to Tom Smith for rent. Elliot stated the elder Smith came over to Elliot’s field to arrange about the disposition of his son’s potatoes. When Elliot suggested that they be left in his (Elliot’s) cellar, Smith said, “Wilson would steal them if they were left there.”
This remark was the only reason Elliot gave for the fight which followed. He testified that the fight was a rough one in which the two old men rolled over and over on the ground, pummeling each other and using any weapon which came handy. Elliot said that Wilson struck Smith three or four times with a hammer before the fighters could be separated.
Then, Elliot said, Smith picked up a baseball bat and endeavored to renew hostilities but was prevented from following Wilson into the Elliot home. Smith then said he was going for his gun and told Elliot, the latter testified, “If you don’t want to see that old devil killed you had better get him off your place.” Elliot said he gave this information to Wilson who finished his work and walked home.
Later the elder Smith returned accompanied by his son James. The elder man had a baseball bat in one hand. The younger man was unarmed, Elliot said. Jim Smith was quoted as saying, “Where’s that s…o…b…? We want him.” And Frank is said to have added, “Yes, we want him. He can’t stay on this place.”
When Wilson appeared, armed with a 38-55 rifle, Elliot says he shot young Smith first and then shot the father afterwards, walking away.
T. J. Elliot, Jr. followed his father on the witness stand and told practically the same story but added to the details of the fight which preceded the killing the information that Smith hit Wilson with a potato rake. He also said that Smith made the prophetic statement that “one of us is going to be hauled off in a coffin if he (Wilson) puts foot on this land again.”
Dr. J. E. Downs testified that he had examined the bodies of the two Smiths after they were brought to Craig. He told of finding evidence of the bloody battle which preceded the shooting on Smith’s face and head. The face and forehead were badly bruised and the skull had been fractured. Doctor Downs said the fractures could have been made with a hammer. He evinced surprise that the elder Smith could have returned to the scene of the battle in so short a time after receiving the head wounds. The fracture itself might have brought death to some men, he stated.
D. E. Shaw, school teacher, and R. E. Morris, neighbor, testified that they removed the bodies of the two dead men after the killing and afterwards undressed them. No weapons except the potato rake and baseball bat which were found near Frank Smith’s body were found.
A. S. Wilson is being held in jail on a murder charge. He will be tried at the December term of court. Wilson came to Moffat County from Fort Worth in the fall of 1918 and filed on a homestead in Bear Valley. He is married and a step-child, Mary Wilson, 13, lives with him and his wife. He is about 60 years of age.
William Franklin Smith, or Frank Smith, as he was generally known, and his family came to Moffat County in August, 1916. The Smiths were the first settlers in Bear Valley.
Mr. Smith came to Moffat County because he had the pioneer’s yearning to be on the frontier. He was born in Springtown, Tex., 56 years ago when Texas was real “Wild West.” His boyhood was spent in an atmosphere of Indian raids and the hardships which the pioneers of Texas in ’65 were forced to undergo.
He lived the life of a cowboy on the Texas plains and several times rode with the huge trail herds from the Rio Grande to Kansas City. When Texas began to settle up he moved to the Indian territory and helped make history in what is now the state of Oklahoma when there were not a hundred white people in the whole territory. For a time he was a cowboy on the 101 ranch, and in 1893 he filed on a homestead near Noble, Okla. He and his family remained there until 1908 when again the “call of the silent places” was heard and he came to Bear Valley, then entirely unsettled.
His sons filed on the homesteads and the elder Smith stayed with them and assisted them.
James Wesley Smith, who was killed with his father, was 28 years old. He was born in Agnes, Tex.
Mrs. Smith and two sons, Thomas and Ernest, and three daughters, Mrs. Floyd Williams, and Rose 17, and Julia 13, survive. Mrs. R. E. Morris is a half-sister of Frank Smith.
The two bodies were buried in one grave in the Craig cemetery Sunday. The ceremony was conducted by the Rev. A Toothaker, under the auspices of the Odd Fellows.
Both Tom Smith and R. E. Morris scout the idea of a feud between Wilson and the Smith family. Tom Smith says that as far as he knows the two families have always been on the best of terms and that there had been no friction up until the time he left to work at Milner some months ago. He says that the two families have visited back and forth and have always been neighborly. During the winter of 1918 Wilson lived in Tom Smith’s house, rent free, Tom Smith says.
Tom Smith says he had heard more to the effect that Wilson had threatened a contest against the homestead entry of Smith’s son-in-law, Floyd Williams, but knows nothing of the details.
Craig Empire Newspaper – Front Page October 19, 1921 RANCHER IS SHOT Arthur Fairchild’s Lung Penetrated By Bullet From Revolver Accidentally Discharged. LIFTS AUTO SEAT – GUN FIRES.
Arthur Fairchild, 32, a Youghal homesteader, was seriously injured by the accidental discharge of a 45-calibre revolver Saturday morning. The bullet passed entirely through the upper portion of his body, puncturing the right lung. Doctors say he will recover.
Fairchild was at the Cross Mountain postoffice on the M. H. Gordon ranch Saturday morning. He left the house and went to the mail car standing in front of the gate. He attempted to raise the front seat cushion which stuck slightly. He gave a sharp tug and the revolver, which was lying under the cushion, was discharged.
The first news to reach Craig of the accident was to the effect that Fairchild had been fatally shot. Dr. R. A. Seydel made a hurried trip to Cross Mountain taking Doctors Downs and Davenport with him. The latter stated that unless complications set in Fairchild will live.
Fairchild came to Moffat County last March and has resided here since. He is a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges in his former home in Nebraska. W. C. Fairchild, father of the injured man, arrived in Craig Monday night and went to Cross Mountain yesterday to remain with his son.
Craig Empire Newspaper Dec. 7, 1921 – WILSON MURDER TRIAL STARTED Blue Mountain Ranchman Charged With Slaying Two Neighbors Goes To Trial as District Court Session Begins. TWELVE JURYMEN SELECTED. Thompson “Tea Wagon” Case and Malicious Mischief Charge Coming Next – Martin and Dykes Forget to Pay Fine.
Abraham S. Wilson is on trial in the district court today for the murder of Frank Smith. It is expected by court officials that testimony in this trial will be completed today.
A jury was empanelled to try the case yesterday. Little difficulty was experienced in securing the required twelve jurymen, who are Howard Thompson, Thomas S. Iles, E. W. Leggett, Clyde Hart, W. A. Jeffcoat, Clyde Maxey, Lloyd Willis, Roy D. Mills, Earl T. Jackson, E. O. Allen, Carol Wild, Frank Smay.
A. S. Wilson is charged with killing Frank Smith and his son, James Smith, neighbors, following a quarrel on October 5, 1921. Two charges of murder have been filed against Wilson, and if he is freed on the Frank Smith case he may still be forced to answer to the charge of killing James Smith. Wilson is represented by M. H. Gordon, J. F. Meador and E. W. Snoddy of Alva, Okla.
The Wilson murder cases are the only ones of importance to come before the court this term. It is expected that all court business will be finished this week.
One other case which has attracted considerable attention is the R. B. Thompson “tea wagon” case. Thompson is charged with taking two second-hand tea wagons from the Denver & Salt Lake railroad. Thompson claims that the wagons belonged to him and that carrying them away was the only way he could secure his property. This will probably come to trial tomorrow.
James Wells, charged with malicious mischief, will also be tried at this term. Warren Cogdill charges that Wells broke up and damaged an automobile. Both parties live on Snake River.
Warrants were issued by Judge Walker yesterday, for the arrest of M. B. Martin and Charles Dykes. Both men, charged with gambling, were released at the last term of court when they promised to pay their fines. Martin paid $50 of his $300 fine and was to make payments of $25 a month on the unpaid balance. He has never made a payment. Dykes promised to “hurry back to court” with his $50 fine if he was released, but he hasn’t shown up yet.
The civil docket is also light and the court session should end within the week.
Craig Empire Newspaper – Front Page December 14, 1921 ALL FREED BY DISTRICT COURT. Wilson Freed of Frank Smith Murder Charge; To Be Tried for Killing Son at the Next Term of Court. “TEA WAGON” THOMPSON FREED. James Wells Also Gets Acquitted In Snake River Mischief Case; Court Adjourns Without Taking Up Civil Docket.
“The ‘not guiltys’ have it. Carried Unanimously.”
This might have been Judge Walker’s statement for closing the Moffat County District Court session yesterday. For only three cases were tried and every one resulted in a verdict of not guilty. From murder to malicious mischief the jury was with the men on trial and each defendant went free.
A. S. Wilson, charged with murdering Frank Smith, was acquitted on the first ballot. R. B. Thompson came free of the charge of larceny of tea wagons from the Moffat railroad. And yesterday afternoon James Wells was freed of malicious mischief charges.
It took only one ballet to acquit A. S. Wilson of the charge of murdering Frank Smith, a Blue Mountain neighbor. The trial was hard fought by both the prosecution and the defense. Wilson was represented by M. H. Gordon, J. F. Meador, and E. W. Snoddy of Alva, Okla.
As soon as the attorneys’ arguments were finished the jury retired and took a ballot, even before the instructions were read. All twelve votes were for acquittal. The jury did not report until some hours afterward, however.
The defense attorneys built up a case of self-defense. They brought forth evidence to show that Wilson had been heckled and threatened for a long time and that when the two Smiths came forward to him he thought his life in danger.
Wilson is still charged with the murder of Jim Smith. The defense attorneys attempted to have this case tried at the present term of court. It was put over until the next term, however. Wilson is not at liberty under a $2,000 bond………..
(note: this article continues with the story of the other cases before the court but that concludes the information about the Smith murders.)
CROSS MOUNTAIN July 19, 1922 - Tom Smith is now on the job of carrying the mail from Cross Mountain to Youghal.
CROSS MOUNTAIN Dec. 27, 1922 – Tom Smith of Blue Mountain made a business trip to Craig last week bringing home a big load of supplies from the Youghal store. He stopped over night at the Mesa home on his return.