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Mail Tribune 100, April 13, 1918

April 13, 1918


Unable to Catch Pastor Tallaferro, Medford Vigilantes Follow Him to Ashland and Seize Local Leader of Cult, George Maynard, and Print Iron Crosses on Him.

Failing in their efforts to get their hands on Pastor E. P. Taliaferro, one of the leaders of the Pastor Russell religious cult, the International Bible Students’ association, whose meeting, scheduled for here for last night, was prevented by Mayor Gates, a patriotic vigilance committee of about 75 Medford citizens followed him to Ashland and kidnapped George Maynard, the Medford leader of the cult, took him to the baseball park, tarred him with printers’ ink, daubing representations and neck, and coating his body heavily with it.

They then released him with the warning for himself and wife to leave Medford and Jackson county by Monday morning, else something more violent and serious would happen him. Maynard promised to go.

The vigilantes also told Maynard that if they could get hold of Pastor Taliaferro they would tar and feather him and ride him out of the county on a rail; and asked him to tell the other Medford members of the sect to heed last night’s doings.

So far as Medford was concerned, the work of the vigilantes was conducted so quietly and with such determination and dispatch that but few people of the city knew what was happening; and even this forenoon it was not generally known. But in the kidnapping of Maynard at Ashland there was much excitement and quite a little struggle.

While only about 75 Medford men were actively engaged in the matter, there were hundreds of others ready to aid who were waiting at various rendezvous for a telephone emergency call.

When it became know that Pastor Taliaferro and the local membership of the International Bible students would not attempt to hold a meeting at St. Mark’s hall last night, in accordance with Mayor Gates edict, and that Taliaferro had departed from town secretly, having been ordered to leave by the mayor, the vigilantes at once got busy.

The rest of this story will be featured on “The Archive,” a weekly podcast series at mailtribune.com/podcasts