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MailTribune.com
  • April 27, 1913

  • A gray haired man of about 60, short and slightly stooped in stature, with an honest, kindly face, bearing the marks of toll came into the Mail Tribune office this morning.
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  • A gray haired man of about 60, short and slightly stooped in stature, with an honest, kindly face, bearing the marks of toll came into the Mail Tribune office this morning.
    "I am Oliver Jones, father of Lester," he said, his eyes filling with tears. "My boy has not had a square deal. He was not a bad boy, not a bandit, not a desperado.
    During the last year he got to running with boys about Jacksonville whose influence was not good, but Lester was not in any way vicious. I have talked with all those who were near at the time of the tragedy or shortly after, and I ask you, for the sake of the dead boy and his living father, to print the following, so my boy's memory may not be painted so black." The following is the statement of Mr. Jones:
    To the public: This is as near correct story as I can gather of the killing of Lester Jones and August Singler. As there has been so much notoriety over the double shooting, I feel it my duty in justice to the boy to make some statement as to the boy's past life and some facts in regard to the killing as near as can be had.
    Lester Jones, the boy killed, had been here nearly 11 years. He went to school here and worked here in the valley. He was 19 years old. His forefathers had fought in the Revolutionary War and his ancestors were God fearing but fearless people.
    Lester Jones knew no fear, but was not vicious. He was easily controlled and good-natured. He never injured a human being. He had no mother to raise him, and was without the advantage of a mother's training, and I, his father, had to be away from home much of the time and could not be with him to teach and advise him. He had been all his life honest and truthful. His will was always to do right.
    Lester had never been in any trouble until last year when he picked up some boyish wild ways no worse than other boys, till Marshal Jones followed him a mile out of town, to arrest him on some small offense. There was nothing in it. What happened I do not know, but he did not go back with the marshal. He did not know the requirements of the law, nor did he know the authority of an officer, but was disposed to look at it as a personal affair, and this was his "awful crime" and what he was killed for.
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