Murders

“Packer Jack” Newman’s two loves

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 in Goldrushers, Heroes, Heroines, Love Stories, Murders, Women | 0 comments

While most of us have heard the story of Mollie Walsh and her great admirer Pack jack Newman, I only just read the curious story of the second monument in Seattle. Mollie met Packer Jack in Skagway where he was smitten with her. He once shot a fellow in the legs right on Broadway so that he could not go up and visit Mollie at Log Cabin where she sold pies. Mollie later married Mike Bartlett who murdered her in Seattle in 1902.  In 1930 – 28 years after Mollie’s death Newman decided to honor the memory of his “Angel of the White Pass.” He commissioned a bronze sculpture of Mollie to be placed in Skagway.

And here the statue stands today, by a children’s playground that has become known as Mollie Walsh Park.

The inscription, written by the man who lost Mollie to the man who killed her, reads:

ALONE WITHOUT HELP / THIS COURAGEOUS GIRL / RAN A GRUB TENT / DURING THE GOLD RUSH / OF 1897-1898. / SHE FED AND LODGED / THE WILDEST / GOLD CRAZED MEN. / GENERATIONS / SHALL SURELY KNOW / THIS INSPIRING SPIRIT. / MURDERED OCT. 27, / 1902.

Jack Newman was unable to attend the dedication ceremony in Skagway, but sent a message.

“I’m an old man and no longer suited to the scene, for Mollie is still young and will remain forever young, her spirit lingers still reach across the years and play on the slackened strings of my old heart and my heart still sings – MOLLIE! – my heart still sings, but in such sad undertone that none but God and I can hear . . .”

However, his wife, Hannah let her husband know that she was less than thrilled with his tribute to his lost love.

To appease his wife, he quickly placed a dinner-plate-size bronze profile of Hannah on the exterior of the Washington Athletic Club, at Sixth Avenue and Union Street. The inscription:

MRS. HANNAH NEWMAN / WITH COURAGE AND FAITH IN THE / DEVELOPMENT OF OUR CITY OWNED / THIS GROUND FROM PIONEER DAYS / UNTIL THE ERECTION OF THIS BUILDING / 1930

Jack Newman died soon after Mollie’s statue was unveiled in Skagway – on May 4, 1931 of appendicitis. Although Newman had requested that he be buried in Skagway, beside Mollie’s monument, Mrs. Newman had him buried in Seattle. I could not find a photo of Hannah’s bronze on the WAC building on the corner of 6th and Union. If someone would like to photograph it, I will post it, but in the mean time here is a great picture of young Packer Jack. Cute guy!

 

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Leo the orphan

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 in Children, Heroes, Murders | 0 comments

In a previous blog on “Mollie” Mary Walsh on October 28, 2009, I mentioned that when Mike Bartlett, her husband, shot Mollie at 611 Pike Street in Seattle on October 27, 1902, he then tried to committed suicide. “The newspapers billed it as the trial of the century. The trial began in November of 1903 and concluded Dec. 2 of the same year. Mike was acquitted based on insanity. He spent two years in a mental facility and was released. Six months later, he killed himself.”

This left their 17-month old baby, Leo Bartlett an orphan. He may have gone to the Seattle Children’s home built in 1885, seen above.

Leo was born  on March 18, 1901, according to the Juneau Empire story:

“Mollie delivered her son 73 miles above Rampart while the boat was taking on wood from a large wood pile on the Yukon River. Mike spent the last of their money on a drunken party soon after the birth. After the party, Mike, in a drunken haze, told Mollie that the people on board had named their son Leon Edward Seattle No. 3 Yukon Woodpile Bartlett. This news ended their marriage.”

Leo kept his name, at least the Leo Bartlett part, and was a veteran of World War I. He lived in Hot Springs Arkansas in the 1940’s but died in the Old Soldier’s home in Washington D.C. in the 1950s. Another record says he died on this day, October 22, 1971 in Spokane.

 

Washington State death records online. Juneau Empire Nov 14, 2010.

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Frank Alfred Novak

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 in Murders, RCMP, Scoundrels | 5 comments

Frank Novak was born on April 5, 1865 in Webster County, Iowa. He ran a mercantile store in Walford Ohio. He suffered some “financial reverses” (actually a gambling addiction) and put the business in debt. So, in frustration he took out a $30,000 life and accident insurance policy on himself. Then, on February 2, 1897 lured his friend Edward Murray to the store, crushed his skull, robbed him and then burned the store over him to cover the crime. He fled the scene, I found some evidence that Novak’s wife, Mary had claimed that he died in the fire, thus claiming the life insurance. But insurance companies are not so easily fooled. He was pursued for six months across the continent and to Alaska by Detective C.C. Perrin of Chicago or Denver. In total they traveled 26,000 miles back and forth across the continent. Finally in Washington, Perrin discovered that Novak had taken the steamer Al-Ki at Port Townsend on February 23 to Juneau. Perrin took the steamer Mexico on May 24 to Skagway. Both men had to secure provisions to cross the Chilkoot Pass.

Detective Perrin spent many days on the Chilkoot Pass looking for Novak. He then briefly saw him as his boat passed Novak’s boat on Lake Bennet. He followed Novak to Dawson where he got a warrant from the Canadians to arrest him and take him back to Ohio for trial. Novak was claiming that his name was J.A. Smith. But when Captain Constantine compared the dental records (possibly dentures) of Novak with his dentists records from Ohio, the Mounties decided that they had their man!

On the way back through St Michael, Novak told Perrin that back in Iowa, he kept a bottle of whiskey impregnated with morphine in the store and found Murray drinking it. Later during the fire he tried to rescue him but was unable to (perhaps because he had first bashed in his skull). Such a story! Perrin was not swayed and succeeded in bringing the murderer back to Iowa for trial.

In November 1897 he was brought back, tried, and convicted of second degree murder and put in the Anamosa prison in Ohio. A second trial by the Supreme Court upheld the lower court decision. By 1903 he was involved in photography and was on the prison band being a model prisoner and his friends petitioned the Governor for clemency. Not sure if that happened as he was serving a life sentence. He died in Chicago on July 12, 1930 but was brought back home to be buried in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a few miles from the scene of the crime in Walford.

The Carroll Herald, April 1, 1903. The Baltimore Underwriter October 1897. Two Years in the Klondike and the Alaskan Gold Fields by Haskell.

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Murderous Assault

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 in Murders, Skagway families | 0 comments


Clyde Bernal Guptill was born October 31, 1874 in Maine. He was working as a steamship agent in Skagway on October 19, 1911 when he was apparently brutally assaulted and robbed. When the assistant, Mr. Berryman went to open the office in the morning he found poor Guptill lying in a pool of blood with a bloody axe lying near. EEEoouuu!
The San Francisco Call reported on October 20 that the physicians did not expect him to survive. Oddly, he had taken in a large amount of money the previous day in ticket sales for the outgoing vessel, but the money was all there intact. Hence, no robbery.
Now oddly there are records of him dying in 1937, 1952 and 1964 in Washington (all of which born in 1874). Which is it?

A typical steamship office in 1910 is seen above. I will go now and check the newspaper archive to see if I can find out more about this new murder.
UPDATE: I checked the local paper for October and November 1911 and found that miraculously Mr. Guptill survived the attack, albeit with a fractured skull. The doctors decided not to operate and remove the bits of skull and just let him rest and recover. Perhaps that is why he survived. His brother, L.L. Guptill from Victoria came to take care of him. The police rounded up the usual suspects including the assistant Berryman, but later released them all, as they all had alibis. I read several weeks ahead and it appeared that they never solved the case. So it appeared as though Mr. Guptill lived on, probably one of those that died later in Washington. HUZZAH!

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1911 MURDER

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 in Murders, Other Communities | 0 comments


Although I do not have the specifics on the murder in 1911, what we do know is that two native Tlingit men were arrested and sent to San Quentin. Thomas Jacob Phillips born on this day, March 21, 1890 in Killisnoo Alaska and “Skookum Joe” Wright born 1867 in Dyea were accused of the murder. According to a report in 1994 done for the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture by the Institute of Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, Gorsuch, Colt, Smythe and Garber authors, the two Native men were falsely accused and imprisoned.
On page 13 of this paper, according to Salvation Army records, Joe Wright was “converted” around the turn of the century while he was working as a packer on the pass. After the trial, he was sent to San Quentin and there, he was recruited by the Salvation Army. He was released in 1912, returned to Haines and started the Salvation Army Church there. He started the Salvation Army band then and he continued to proselytize in Haines and Klukwan until his death. Tom Phillips, the other man accused of murder and sent to San Quentin went on to serve in World War 1. He died in 1941 in Sitka and is buried in the Sitka National Cemetery there.
Seen above is the Salvation Army band of Klukwan, although I do not have a date, my guess is that Joe Wright is pictured in it.

rootsweb; paper online: http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/Publications/5southeast_cmnts/AppendixA.pdf
Thornton, 2004 page 93

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Frank Clement

Posted on Mar 14, 2012 in Murders | 0 comments

On this day, March 14, 1898 Frank Clement of Hillsboro, Oregon was shot and killed at Sheep Camp, on the Chilkoot Trail by Colby Gottlieb Schneider of Howard County Maryland. It was reported that a lynching was averted by the actions of the officers involved and that the prisoner was in custody. There was no other information on this case but a Gottleb Schneider died in Oregon in 1937.

reported in various newspapers including the New York Times

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