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Mail Tribune 100

Dec. 8, 1917


"You'd never have taken me alive, and not before some of you had bitten the dust, if I'd had a gun," remarked John Henyon to Sheriff Davis of Modesto, Calif., Sheriff Smith of Grants Pass and the large posse surrounding him as he came out from the brush yesterday afternoon and surrendered to Sheriff Davis.

Henyon is the man who escaped recently from the Modesto, Cal. jail, where he was held on a burglary charge, was recaptured in Portland and escaped from Sheriff Davis' custody on the Shasta Limited last Thursday night, at Grants Pass, by sawing the leg chain which manacled him in his berth over that of the sheriff. He left the train without any clothing and with only his berth blankets to protect him from the weather. When he surrendered, however, he was garbed in an old pair of trousers and discarded shoes, but he still carried the Pullman blankets.

On arriving in Grants Pass Friday morning Sheriff Davis, who had caught the next train back from California after discovering the escape of Henyon, enlisted the services of Sheriff Smith of Josephine county and deputies in tracing the escaped burglar. Henyon was traced to the brush near the Rogue River Grange hall, not far from Grants Pass, but as he was regarded as a desperate criminal, the officers thought it best not to close in on him, as he might be armed, so a large posse was hastily organized and the brush was surrounded. Just before the posse started to close in Henyon came out and surrendered.

Later it was learned that he had unsuccessfully tried to persuade a gang of hoboes Friday morning to give him a revolver, and told them he would rather die fighting than to be recaptured. In jail at Grants Pass, before Sheriff Davis started with him again for Modesto, the prisoner declared that he wished he had been shot and killed, as he had made a failure of his life.

Henyon escaped from jail at Modesto about a month ago in company with the murderer of Earl Polley, California banker and former resident of Medford, who was for several years a clerk in the Farmers & Fruit Growers' bank.