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Mail Tribune 100, Oct. 28, 1921

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

Oct. 28, 1921

CANAL COMPANY WORKERS HELD UP BY 2 BANDITS

The only hold up in the vicinity of Medford for a long time past took place last Tuesday night at the irrigation district construction camp of the Rogue River Canal company close to the 401 ranch, just off the hill road. The 25 employees at this camp were in their several tents just about to leave off their evening’s amusement and retire when the camp was visited between 9 and 10 o’clock by two robbers.

The first known of their presence was when a man with his face masked with a handkerchief, and brandishing a revolver, entered the tent occupied by the four steam shovel men, who are the best paid employees, and demanded that they fork over their money quickly and make no noise under penalty of death. His companion robber was not seen then by the victims but he was heard outside the tent and later talking with the leading robber.

One after another the shovel men handed over their money to the masked man until he had obtained altogether $360, several watches and some razors from them, one man alone parting with $207. The robber was very cool but determined. When one of the victims was too slow about handing over his money the robber shoved the revolver into his stomach to speed him up. Another man lying on the bed with his trousers off fished in his pockets and drawing out some loose silver handed it over with the remark that it was all he had, although he well knew that nestled in one of the pockets were $30 in bills. “That won’t go,” said the robber. “Fork over your big money.”

“Well, if you don’t believe me, look through them yourself,” said the man as he tossed his trousers to the bandit.

The bluff worked, as the masked man paid no further attention to the trousers.

Another victim so pleaded with the robber not to take a gold nugget keepsake watch charm that it was handed back, although his fine watch was kept.

Apparently satisfied with the $360, watches and razors obtained in this tent, the robbers did not visit the other tents, the occupants of which were unaware of their presence in the camp. The bandits were seen to walk around the camp for a while, after which they quietly walked away down the road and disappeared.

No effort was made at the camp to notify Medford of the hold up until the next morning, although there is direct telephone connection from the 401 ranch to the city. On Wednesday morning, the victims notified Manager Ray Moran of the criminal company, and he in turn notified Sheriff Terrill. There is no clue to the identity of the robbers.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com