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Background check on lawyers in 1912 trial

I was interested to read the Mail Tribune 100 column of Tuesday, Dec. 11, about the trial involving the murder of a Greek man named George Dedaskalous.

It brings in the names DeArmond & DeArmond appearing for the defense. My maiden name is DeArmond, and I'd like to know more about these two lawyers.

— Suzanne, Ashland

Well, Suzanne, we certainly wouldn't be able to say where the DeArmond brothers fit on your family tree, but here in the Muddy Tributary Musty Archives Department we're glad to clear out the cobwebs and shed a little light on the folks who made headlines a century ago.

The law firm of DeArmond & DeArmond represented defendant Mike Spanos in the murder of Greek immigrant George Dedaskalous a century ago. Spanos was one of two individuals charged. The other suspect, Frank Seymour, had his murder trial the following week.

Our friends at Southern Oregon Historical Society helped us learn a little more about the law firm.

According to a Dec. 28, 1910, article in the Medford Sun newspaper, attorneys and brothers Harvey Hamilton DeArmond and H.L. DeArmond, announced they had secured a Medford office and were relocating from Grants Pass. The article noted an office location on Palm Street in Medford. The historical society said the business was listed in 1912 and 1915 phone directories.

The article also noted that the brothers in 1910 had sold their "big hop yards."

The SOHS volunteers were able to track down more information on Harvey in Biographical Volume III of an almanac entitled "History of Oregon" printed by Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. in 1922.

The entry shows that the DeArmond brothers were sons of farmer E.C. and Nancy C. DeArmond of Grants Pass.

It focused on Harvey and noted that he attended Southern Oregon Normal School, predecessor to Southern Oregon University, until he chose a career path of law. He graduated from Oregon Law School in 1910. By 1922, he was living in Bend and had become a specialist in irrigation litigation.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.