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Mail Tribune 100, Nov. 15, 1920

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

Nov. 15, 1920


George Anderson, the Forger Who Broke Jail Saturday, After Having Knocked Out Jailer, Eludes Capture — Suspect Reported in Little Applegate — Also Talent.

According to a report reaching this city this afternoon, George Anderson, the county jail breaker, was in Talent Sunday night, and ate breakfast at a farmhouse in the Little Applegate. According to the story Forester of Anderson was given a ride in an automobile, and when near Talent the lights went out. The driver was said to be the owner of a confectionery store at Talent. The escape suspect got out with the remark that he would walk the rest of the way, and did. This story was vouched for by Martin Ogden, an employee of Ed Binns. The sheriff’s office said over the phone this afternoon, that they had heard he was near Talent. Prosecutor Roberts said that when the fugitive was caught, he would face a charge of assault to kill.

George Anderson, whose true name is said to be Philip Foster, arrested in this city a week ago, for trying to pass a forged check on “Toggery Bill,” escaped from the county jail Saturday evening about seven o’clock hitting Jailer Bert Moses over the head with a stick of wood. He was tracked to the Sterling road in the darkness, by a hastily formed posse, and a telephone message to the sheriff’s office Sunday afternoon about dark, said a man answering his description was in the Little Applegate country.

Anderson, of Forester, lay on top of the upper tier of cells, while Jailer Moses was locking up a prisoner known as “The Greek,” held for an alleged assault on an S. P. passenger conductor. He rained blows upon his keeper’s head, and jumping down from the fell top, engaged in a hand to hand battle. W. H. Johnson, president of the defunct Bank of Jacksonville, pleaded with the escaping prisoner not to “kill the jailer.” He desisted, and on the way out, according to reports endeavored to unlock the cell in which Clarence McDade, to be sentenced in the morning for the Siskiyou hold up. Unable, in his haste, to find the right key, Forester departed hatless and coatless, but taking the jail keys with him.

Jailer Moses was locking up the prisoners for the night, and entered the jail proper armed only with a “billy,” leaving his gun on the desk in the jail office. He counted the prisoners, and says that all were in their cells. Somehow Forester sneaked out of his cell, and hid on top of the upper tier, unbeknownst to his keeper. As he fled in the night Jailer Moses fired two shots at the fugitive, and thinks that he hit him once. Sheriff Terrill was in Medford at the time of the escape, and at once went to the county seat, and has been on the search ever since.

Moses was brought to this city, and attended by Dr. Dow, who reports him badly battered, but not seriously injured, there being a slight concussion of the skull.

— Alissa Corman;acorman@rosebudmedia.com

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