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Mail Tribune 100, Nov. 16, 1920

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

Nov. 16, 1920


The escape from the county jail last Saturday evening of Philip Forester, alias George Anderson, held for forgery, has developed two startling and the authorities say, well defined suppositions, to-wit:

The escape of Forester was a plot for a wholesale jail delivery that went astray, when Jailer Moses stunned the escaping prisoner with a blow over the back of the neck with his “billy,” and:

Somebody on the “outside” fired a bullet that struck Jailer Moses in the hand, the first report being that he shot himself, in fact, it was not generally known that he had been wounded by a gunshot.

Prosecutor Roberts says “there is no question but that there was a plan afoot to release all hands, not a bit of doubt about it,” and, “what we would like to know is who fired a shot from the outside.”

In his attack upon Jailer Moses, Forester did not completely knock out his keeper, due largely to the pleadings of W. H. Johnson, president of the defunct Bank of Jacksonville, and in the excitement afterwards was unable to complete the dash of liberty plans, owing to Jailer Moses interfering. The forger did try to unlock the cell of Clarence E. McDade sentenced this morning to 11 years in the state prison. The opinion around the court house is that the prisoners were “double crossed” by some one they had taken into their confidence. At any rate, Forester was forced to flee alone.

Another unusual feature of the case is the unmolested departure of the fugitive from Talent Sunday evening. He fled into the Little Applegate, and came down the Anderson Creek road. An auto driven by Riley Newswanner, keeper of a confectionery store at Talent, with a party described as “one of the Beeson’s” picked up the escapee and drove into Talent with him. They knew his identity it is claimed, and when they reached Talent, called on the loungers around the store to “come out, we’ve got him.” Fifteen or 20 men came out. Forester calmly got out of the auto with the words: “I think I’ll be going,” and thereupon went down the road. The sheriff’s office now thinks he has gone over the Siskiyous in an auto.

Since the break the sheriff’s office has placed restrictions on all inmates of the jail. The prisoners without exception are kept locked in their cells, and are allowed no privileges.

It is also suspected that one of the prisoners has a knife, which a through search has failed to reveal. Owing to the fact that practically all the prisoners are under sentence to prison, a close watch night and day is kept over the jail.

— Alissa Corman;acorman@rosebudmedia.com

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