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Mail Tribune 100, July 14, 1921

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

July 14, 1921

LOCAL FORGER JAIL BREAKER IS CAPTURED

Philip Forrester, Who Slugged Jailer Moses and Escaped from Jackson County Jail in Toils at Seattle — Sheriff Terrill ‘Delighted.’

Sheriff Terrill was filled with joy last evening on receipt of a telegram from Sheriff Mat Starwick of Seattle saying that Philip Forrester, the forger who escaped from the county jail last spring after a serious attack on Bert Moses, the jailer, was under arrest in Seattle on a second degree burglary charge. The local sheriff immediately wired back that the prisoner is badly wanted here and asking if he would be turned over to the Jackson County authorities.

Forrester is the man who created so much excitement in Medford and Jacksonville following his capture by John B. Goodrich, the local merchant, for attempting to pass a forged check at the Toggery Bill store one afternoon. Both Mr. Goodrich and Mr. Isaacs suspected that the check was bogus, and Forrester agreeing to walk over to the bank with Mr. Isaacs, the two started out for the bank when Forrester suddenly turned and fled.

Mr. Goodrich jumped into a taxi and pursued the fleeing man, catching up with him in a lumber yard, and brandishing an empty revolver ordered Forrester to surrender and climb into the taxi. Forrester did so, and was turned over to the police. The next morning it was found that he had torn an iron strip from his cell bed and had wrapped it with cloth, to use as a bludgeon and attack an officer who came in alone to take him out. He did not get a chance to use the weapon before it was discovered. He was bound over to the grand jury.

Later in the county jail one Saturday night he concealed himself on the ledge of an upper cell and attacked Jailer Moses with a stick of stove wood when the latter entered. He beat Moses badly over the head and probably would have killed him if it had not been for the pleadings of Wm. Johnson, the Jacksonville banker, who was a fellow prisoner.

Forrester hastily fled from the jail. The sheriff and a posse started in pursuit a short time later. The man was traced to Applegate where he ate a meal at a ranch and obtained a coat and hat, and started for Talent by way of the Wagner Gap road. Sheriff Terrill learned of this and phoned Talent men to be on the lookout. He was seen walking on the road and Riley Warner and Elton Beeson planned to come by him in an auto and invite him to ride. The plan worked and they drove up in front of a confectionery store and stopped, while Warner got out and went inside and informed the men there, “We’ve got him.”

In the meantime Forrester got out of the car, politely thanked Beeson for the auto ride, walked away and disappeared in the darkness. The sheriff arrived 15 minutes later. Forrester was later traced to Ashland, Hilt and Klamath Falls, and was next heard on in La Grande, since when all trace of him was lost until the telegram of last night, from the Seattle sheriff, who recognized the prisoner from the circulars and descriptions sent out by Sheriff Terrill.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com