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Mail Tribune 100

August 7, 1917


While assisting in fighting a forest fire on the ridge of the Elkhorn mountains, in the Elk creek district, John Peterson, aged about 50 years, and whose home is unknown, was killed Monday afternoon by the falling of a tree. Several other firefighters, including H. E. Garrett, had narrow escapes from death or injury in the same accident.

The accident occurred about 2 o'clock. An immense tree had burned off and fell, breaking down two other large trees, one of which in falling crushed Peterson, who was unable to get away from under in time. Peterson only lived fifteen minutes after the accident.

To carry the body from the scene of the fire to open country several men had to blaze a trail through the heavy timber and underbrush for a distance of four or five miles, and it took them about eight hours to do this.

But little was know of Peterson or his past life. He was engaged as a fire fighter in this city last Saturday. To fellow fire fighters he had remarked that although he had lived in Grants Pass for a year or two, his home was wherever he hung up his hat. Among his effects was found a letter from a sister in Helmstead, Sweden.

Acting Coroner Earl Conklin viewed the body last night and brought it to this city today.


There is a strong probability that the school board will heat the schools of the city with coal instead of wood. Such action will be taken at a special meeting of the board to be helped in the near future, unless more bids for wood come in soon.

For weeks the board has advertised for bids for 300 cords of wood, but up to today only one bid was filed, and that yesterday. If wood is to be used it must be stacked up in the school yards by September 15 ready to use. All the wood contractors, due to the shortage of labor, seem afraid to take on a contract of such a big size.