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Mail Tribune 100, April 15, 1918

April 15, 1918


That the patriotic vigilante organization which last Friday night inked George Maynard and warned him to get out of Medford and the county by this morning under penalty of more serious treatment, means business and has started out to clean up the city and vicinity of persons of any taint of disloyalty, became known today.

Last Saturday, the vigilantes mailed out letters to several other men who are known to be connected with the International Bible school religious cult to publicly answer thru the local newspapers just where they stood on Liberty bonds, Red Cross, army Y.M.C.A. and general attitude on the war and patriotism by Tuesday morning, else they would receive a visit from the vigilantes.

It could not be learned today whether Mr. and Mrs. Maynard were still in the county, but it was generally understood that they were not in Medford. Neither was it know whether Pastor Taliaferro, the Russellite leader, was still in the county, but it was supposed that he might still be in hiding in Ashland.

Relative to the inking episode of last Friday night, County Prosecutor Roberts said today that he would make no effort to prosecute members of the vigilantes. He said he had informed several persons who inquired that he would resign his office before he would prosecute them for kidnapping and inking Maynard with German iron crosses.

Mr. Roberts, however, declared that he deplored mob violence of any kind, and relative to the vigilantes’ notices to members of the International Bible students residing in Medford to make known their stand on the war under threat of a visit from the vigilantes, he intimated that if any harm was done to any man or woman member of the cult for failure to answer, he would prosecute any one interfering with them to the limit. In fact, Prosecutor Roberts said that if any such person was interfered with he would start one of the biggest rows in local history. He requested that persons addressed by the vigilantes bring him the warnings and not answer them thru the papers, and promises prosecution for any future overt acts.

At the service flag dedication exercised at the Presbyterian church last night, Captain R. W. Clancey, in his address, called attention to the fact that the vigilantes had sent a threatening letter to a man he had known for eight or nine years, who, he said, was inoffensive, but misguided in his religion. The captain declared that if this man was harmed at all, he would see the perpetrators were brought to justice.

Mayor C. E. Gates in an address following that of Dr. Clancey, spoke in defense of the acts of the vigilantes of last Friday night and of sending threatening letters to members of the cult.

For the precursor to this story or for more stories like this, check out “The Archive,” a weekly podcast series at mailtribune.com/podcasts