Newspaper Clippings - Volume 48 - Volume 50




GOLD HILL, : : : TUESDAY, AUG. 24, 1875


In our issue of yesterday we gave the substance of a telegraphic dispatch received from W. H. Virden, business manager of the NEWS, in which he stated that his wife was seriously burned in the Hot Springs at Lake Tahoe. We got the following particulars from Dr. Kirby: They are the substance of a letter received by Frank Kenyon of the Lyon County Times, from his wife, who is at Lake Tahoe. It appears that Mr. and Mrs. VIrden, who were stopping at McKinney's, went across the lake yesterday morning to pay a visit to Mrs. Kenyon. Several of the ladies and gentlemen at the springs concluded to take a bath in the afternoon.

Mr. Virden and his wife were in adjoining rooms. After taking a steam bath Mrs. Virden attempted to take a shower bath, but could not get the apparatus to work. She stepped back a little to discover what was wrong, and fell through a hole in the floor of the room, which it appears was covered by a very thin piece of a board. She was precipitated into the boiling water beneath the bath-room and terribly scalded over her whole person. Mr. Virden, hearing her cries, broke in the door of the room and rescued her from her horrible position. The letter above referred to says that her injuries are of the most serious nature, and there is every reason to fear that they may result fatally.

It certainly seems that a place of public resort, such as the Hot Springs, should be kept in such perfect repair that it would be impossible for an accident of the kind to happen. We hope to hear that the above is a worse account of the sad accident than the facts justify, but up to the time of going to press, heard nothing from Mr. Virden to-day, and are therefore led to fear the worst.

Last edit about 1 month ago by Bob



ALF. DOTEN, : : Editor and Proprietor.





Having returned from a trip to the beautiful lake, upon whose romantic borders so many of our fellow-citizens, or their wives and little ones, have been making themselves happier and healthier for some weeks past, we will print a few notes relative thereto for those who may feel interested.

The Route.

Leaving Gold Hill on the 8 o'clock A.M. passenger train, one of Doc. Benton's carriages, driven by the famous Hank Monk, awaited us at the depot in Carson, and took us by the Clear Creek route over the first range of the Sierra Nevada to Glenbrook. The principal object of interest observable in passing was the long flume of Bliss & Yerington, through which such a vast amount of wood and timber is daily floated from the summit of the mountains to the southern suburbs of Carson, whence it is transported by the Virginia and Truckee Railroad to Gold Hill, Virginia and other points where it is required for mines, mills and domestic purposes. At one point near the summit the flume passes directly down the side of a very steep declivity for half a mile or more, at an angle of forty-five degrees, and down this the timbers go with great velocity, enveloped in a frothy white foam of madly leaping water, which flies in sparkling jets high in the air as the racing timbers run and wrestle with each other for precedence. Tourists always stop and take a good look at this interesting sight. The broad, blue lake soon presented itself to our eager view, and shortly we were at


Mine host, Uncle Horace Vesey, and his estimable lady gave us a hearty welcome, and we met Sheriff Atkinson and wife of Virginia City, together with other acquaintances stopping there. They all appeared to be contented, happy, and having a good time. But then Vesey always did know how to run a hotel right. Being situated only half a mile from the lake, amid tall trees, shrubbery, green fields and other romantic surroundings, and on the line of public travel between Carson City and Truckee, on the Central Pacific Railroad, Glenbrook could not well fail to be the very desirable place of public resort that it is. There are beautiful drives in all directions around the lake, and plenty of boats in the cove near by for those who wish to enjoy the pleasures of sailing or fishing. Then there is the Billiard salon, the ten-pin alley, the croquet ground, the ball room, and plenty of other chances of amusement, all belonging to the hotel, and if his guests don't eat, drink and be merry to their hearts' content it isn't Vesey's fault. After a sumptuous lunch at the hotel, a light passenger wagon transported us down to the wharf, and directly we started

Across the Lake

On the little steamer Emerald, together with several other passengers who were bound for California. A fresh breeze from the west created quite a heavy sea, and white capped waves threw their spray over us as we interestedly gazed out toward the "middle of the lake," where we had the pleasure of being present at a wedding a little over a year ago. There are few faster boats than the Emerald, and she took us through to Tahoe City flying, where she landed her California passengers, and then took us to our destination, which was at

John McKinney's,

Sugar Pine Point, on the western or California shore of the lake, where we landed at 4½ o'clock P. M.--just 8½ hours from Gold Hill. Aside from the very different surroundings, however, it seemed more like arriving at Gold Hill than leaving it, there were so many old familiar faces and ready hands greeting us as we stepped upon the wharf. Gold Hillers seemed to have almost exclusive possession of the place, there being not much over a dozen other people present, and those were from Virginia City, Dayton and Silver City. There were about one hundred in all, including the women and children. They live in small cottages with steep roofs, ranged in rows, on a gentle slope facing the lake, and near the wharf or landing. It is in fact quite a town, and a very peculiar one in many respects. There are two streets, respectively named Front street and Fifth avenue, yet the houses are all on one side of each, and neither street has any particular boundaries in width or length. A sort of plaza divides the town on one side, and a big potato patch crowds through it on the other. One end of the town is a board fence, and the other is a whisky saloon, which being the only one in town, is kept in a cellar--the only cellar on that side of the lake. They call it the "Crow bar" for some particular reason that nobody understands. A fine creek of clear, pure cold water supplies the town and the potato patch with that desirable fluid, and numerous trout are sometimes speared or otherwise captured as they pass up that stream. The inhabitants are all near neighbors, yet they never quarrel. They sleep splendidly, eat voraciously, exercise plentifully, and are happy. We have seen towns where people went more on styles, yet they were no happier. The only desire of their heart, which is not fully satiated at the present time, is


The children cry for them, the women pray for them and the men go for them, but they won't bite. They were biting splendidly a few weeks ago, and will bit again in a few weeks more, but they don't bite now. They are taking a rest. Patient and persistent fishermen all day long hang fresh live minnows and other choice bait down into the clear waters among the great schools of trout they see lazily sculling around, but the speckled reprobates merely smell of it and disdainfully turn away, or genteelly pick off the bait and leave the hook bare, without even jerking the line. Two ambitious Gold Hillers go fishing with a revolver and bowie-knife strapped to their waist, desperately bent on slaughtering the trout by fair means or foul, yet the fish are too smart for them. The other day they worked seven mortal hours, beating the bark of old dead logs, out in the woods, and collected a pint of atrocious looking grub worms. Next morning they went fishing, and inside of 20 minutes the trout picked every grub off the hooks without returning even a respectable nibble by way of "thank you." Our Gold Hillers could catch grubs for trout, but not trout for grub. Boating is a favorite amusement. There are plenty of boats, and that being the smoothest side of the lake a fine opportunity is offered for both boating and fishing. A good deal of sparking is also done in boats.


McKinney's is the greatest place for babies and young children anybody ever saw. There are whole families of them, and the women average about two apiece--at least one The blessed little babies are lying around in all corners, or perambulating enjoyingly about in the arms of their mother or nurse. Every other thing it is "won't you take care of my baby while I go out and take a sail?" or "I'll leave baby with you a few minutes while I go to dinner." When there happens to be a dance given, which is occasionally, the friendly bachelor spectator is worried every once in a while by a baby being dumped into his arms with the hurried remark of "here Mr. Junkins, do please hold my baby while I dance this Horse Guard Quadrille with Sam Brown." They all look healthy and are liable to do well.

The Dinner Bell.

Everybody lives in good, clean, healthy, well ventilated rooms and houses, and when meal time is announced, everybody gathers in toward the common center--the big eating room at the rear of the original McKinney log house. There they get their regular beef, venison, grizzly bear and other seasonable fruits (trout coming in only when caught), meat=pie, cucumbers and onions, cheese, watermelons, plenty of fresh milk, pudding a la mode de Windsor sauce, fricasseed grouse, Irish pomme de terre, French stew, and the luscious German flapjack; all, and plenty more good, wholesome grub, goes to satiate the great American appetite with which everybody there is afflicted. According to our observation and assistance about meal time, John McKinney will come out bankrupt. But as we started in to remark, that dinner bell. It is an ancient crow bar strung up to the fence in the back yard, and it is performed upon by the boss waiter with a hammer, cleaver, or whatever weapon he happens to have handy. Then as we said before, everybody gathers in toward the common center, standing not on the order of their gathering, but trying not to be left behind.

A Cruel Swindle.

There is a lady from Virginia City who keeps one of the McKinney cows rented, to provide "one cow's milk" for her baby. She found it necessary to provide this cow with a bell, and therefore sent to her husband, who is in the grocery and hardware business, for a bell. Thinking one bell was just as good as another, he sent out a common hand bell, such as is used in regular hash houses. It was strapped to the cow's neck and does first-rate except when the cow happens to cruise near town which she is sure to do about meal time, see-sawing her old neck scratching against a tree. The effect is to create a rush of hungry folks from all quarters half a dozen times before the regular honest old crow-bar bell gives the right signal. Another bell for that cow has been sent for and will be forwarded this evening. Talking about bells, old Harris, who is also out at McKinney's, says that the only intelligible note sounded by the Gold Hill public school bell is "Tom-Gallagher; Tom-Gallagher; Tom-Gallagher."

Mistaken Identity.

While at the lake, we heard a good story about a lady who had been on a visit to San Francisco for several weeks and was to meet her husband at Truckee on her return, and go with him over to the lake. He rigged himself up in a colored shirt, straw hat and other arrangements for "roughing it," and was on hand to meet his devoted. When the train arrived she looked out of the window at the crowd of people and remarked to herself, "What a long sparred, ungainly, slouchy hang-dog looking fellow that is, coming this way; thank the Lord it isn't my husband!" But it was.

The Weather

At the lake has been blustery and a little too cool during the last two or three weeks for thorough enjoyment. On two other occasions the lake has been too rough for any of the steamers to cross. This has moderated the ardor of many who would otherwise have gone to the lake, and caused many to return home from there. Thus it is that the number of visitors at the lake is considerably less than it was last year.


We came home by way of Tahoe City and Truckee, starting at 2 o'clock P.M. and taking the steamer Governor Stanford across the lake. This steamer runs around the lake, carrying people wherever they want to go; and the steamer Truckee, another fast boat like the Emerald, works exclusively at towing logs and rafts across the lake to the saw mills. At Tahoe City we found our old friends Forbes and Campbell, who are running the Post-office, Custom-house and chief liquor dealing establishment. Taking the stage, myself, Tom Collins and three other Gold Hillers were whirled along at a very lively rate. We stopped a short time to look at the famous Comer fishery, where they raise trout from the spawn, and were told that the concern was not so successful this season, for some reason or other, as it was last year. At 5 o'clock P. M. we arrived at


As the eastward bound passenger train from San Francisco would not arrive till 11½ o'clock, we took a look about town, aided and abetted by Mr. Frink of the Truckee Republican, whom we happened to come across, and who showed us through his printing establishment in good style. Truckee has been and still is a great lumber depot. The timber is pretty well thinned out around there, and most of it for the saw-mills at that point is floated down in the river or in flumes. It is a lively place and deserves to do well. The famous old locomotive, Samson, still gravely backs and fills up and down the track in front of the principal hotel, being used exclusively as a switch engine. She is also arranged as a fire engine, and if the town was to take fire the Samson is ready to put it out. The big rocks have also been blasted and removed from the plaza in the centre of the town, at a cost of $1,600.

Gold Hill.

We reached home early next morning, sleepy and tired, but well pleased with our trip to Tahoe, and found Gold Hill just as we left it--small end of the gulch up hill.

Last edit about 1 month ago by Bob



ALF. DOTEN, : : Editor and Proprietor.



A Simple Story of a Simple Life.

Of all the stage-drivers who have drawn the strings over kyuse and mustang horses that no one but a Western man would think of harnessing, Hank Monk is probably the best known. Not that he is the best driver on the coast, for Hank is too modest to assert any such a thing, but circumstances and his fund of quiet humor have made him famous, and he was well known even before the big drive in which Horace Greeley was so reluctant a participant. Hank seldom speaks of this ride, and really does not consider it anything wonderful.

Hank Monk was born in the town of Waddington, St. Lawrence county, New York, March 24, 1826. He always had a fancy for horses, and once drove eight horses abreast in the city of Boston, upon the occasion of a great celebration. This was in his younger days, and at that time he regarded it as a great achievement.

Monk came to the Pacific Coast in 1852, and first drive the stage in California between Sacramento and Auburn, a distance of forty miles, for the California State Company, of which Burch & Hayward were then the managers. He afterward drove on the Placerville road into Sacramento, and in 1857came to Nevada. His first route here was between Genoa--at that time the metropolis of the State--and Placerville in California. J. V. Crandall was the proprietor of this road, and sold out to Brady & Sundland, who in turn disposed of their interest to Wells, Fargo & Co. Monk was driving all this time and continued until the stages were "hauled off." He drove for Billy Wilson between Carson and Virginia, and the fastest time made by him was one hour and eight minutes from the hotel door in Virginia to the Ormsby House in Carson. He has at different times driven to Steamboat Springs and Reno, and since those lines have discontinued has been on the Lake Tahoe line for Doc. Benton.

Hank never seems to be in much of a hurry, and some have gone so far as to say that he was not remarkable for his habits of industry, but however that may be no one ever yet rode with him who failed to get through "on time." Horace Greeley was no exception, and he always took his passengers down the grade at the same rate of speed, whether they were merchants, editors or tourists.

Many amusing stories are told of Hank, and the visitors who come to Carson are generally as curious to see Hank Monk and have him drive them to Lake Tahoe, as they are to see the lake itself. The time Horace Greeley rode with him he made the distance of 109 miles in ten hours, but Hank says he could have gone it in a much shorter time if the horses had been faster. The particulars of that drive he says, as given by Mark Twain, are not all correct.

Last edit 30 days ago by Bob



GOLD HILL : : : FRIDAY, AUG. 3, 1877



Gold Hillers and Other Comstockers–Parkinsonian–Shakespearian–Tarry Toplights–Old Neptune–Moonlight and romance–Captain Dick's Ghost–A Cow Tale–A Dog Tale–A Shipwreck on Land–Kuklux–One Hundred Schoolmarms Coming–Grizzle Bear Shooting–Etc.


Still infesting that beautiful locality. He met "Old Parkie" himself at Glenbrook, together with his wife and little boy. He was just shipping them off on the stage home to Carson, and seemed happy at the idea, for says he slyly aside, "I'm going to stop and have a little old jamboree around the lake on my own hook."


After a good dinner at the Lake-Shore House, kept by Major Cobb, Spykens and his fellow-travelers, on board the steamer Niagara musingly picked their teeth as that gallant craft swept nimble out of Glenbrook cove. Captain Avery and the good-looking Bigham were trying to show some of the tourists the portrait bust of Shakespeare on the side of the famous bluff near by, known as "Shakespeare's rock."

"There, don't you see it now? It's just to the right of the center; big whitish spot below the rest of the whitish part. He's looking toward the lake, you see."

"Oh yes! now I see it. Plain enough when you get the thing fixed right in yer mind. Don't you see it, Maria?"

"Law me, that's so. Ain't it delightful to have Mr. Shakespeare's picter so artistically engrafted on the broad tablet of that romantic cliff. It reminds me of Moses on Mount Sinai."

"H–ll!" growled a practical old Carsonite who had just succeeded in seeing it. "Shakespeare be d–-d; it looks like old Parkinson"

And so it does.

Some seemed to think it looked like Hand Monk, with a clean dickey on, but before the thing was definitely settled the steamer was across the lake and at


Here troops of happy children were playing among the pebbles and dirt along the shore, or paddling in the water, ladies sat under the shade of the green fir trees, and festive men, dressed in all sorts of easy and unstylish rigs, were enjoying themselves boat sailing, fishing, laying off in the shade or doing generally just as they pleased. There was Pratt the stock broker, whom everybody thought to be anything but a water god, cruising about in a sail boat and turned into a regular old salt, an old tarry toplight, a gray-bearded old Neptune. Then there was Tom Gallagher, divested of his usual style as a wood and coal merchant, heavy freight hauler, etc., and, like Pratt, returned to his former or normal condition as a golly old Jack tar; an old rope-yarn. All the houses and rooms were occupied and tents of "campers" were on the hillside near by. The great majority of the people were from Gold Hill, and here Spykens found himself perfectly at home.


That evening about 9 o'clock the Niagara came up from Tahoe City and touched at the wharf with an excursion party on board going to Emerald Bay. Quite a number of McKinney's guests, including the gay and gallant John himself, joined the excursion, and away they went. The bright yellow moon beamed in full glory diagonally across the bright glimmering lake, the wild waves rippled in jolly conversation beneath the bow and stern, there was music, singing and sparking in the little cabin, and Adam Gillespie and Dave Morgan danced a barn-door jig on the poop deck. A merrier crew never entered the gloriously romantic Emerald Bay. They landed on Ben. Holliday's beautiful property, took a look at the cascade and other points of interest, had a nice time generally, and were back at McKinney's before midnight was long past.


All who are familiar with Lake Tahoe and its past years, will remember "Captain Dick." He was an ancient mariner, and for a long time was in charge of Ben Holliday's possessions at Emerald Bay. He lived there through verdant Summers and dreary snow-piled Winter; took care of the pretty cottage, the outbuildings, the boats and things, and was happy. One stormy, wintry night, nearly four years ago, he sailed from Glenbrook cove in his trusty sail-boat, bound for his home across the lake. Regardless of the warning advice of friends, he dashed out to ride the white-capped, wildly-surging billows, and passed from sight forever. Broken remnants of his boat were found afterward on the lee shore, but Captain Dick's body went away down into the deep blue depths of the beautiful lake, which never warms, never freezes, and never gives up its dead.

It was Friday night–two weeks ago to-night–that some of the Gold Hillers from McKinney's were up to Emerald Bay. "Sailor Jack," who now has charge of the Holliday property, kindly entertained them, and allowed them to sleep that night in the cottage. Doc. Conwell and Fred. Nichol occupied the bed formerly belonging to Captain Dick, and the other boys slept up stairs. It was the hour of midnight, when all well-regulated graveyards are supposed to yawn. The waning moon shed a broad, consumptive light around, and all seemed quiet and peaceful. Suddenly something aroused the sleepers, and there, by the pale white light of the moon, they saw Captain Dick standing at the window, sadly looking in. The old fellow was dressed in that same old flannel shirt and slouched hat, with his pants tucked in his boots, and they knew him at once.

"On! my poor wife," groaned the conscience-stricken Fred. Nichol, who is County Clerk.

"G-g-g-o a-a-way." chattered Conwell, who is a dentist, and his teeth drummed double tattoos against each other, keeping time to the shaking of his knees, but he could not help glaring at the dreadful apparition.

Slowly it leaned forward in through the open window, reached for a whisky bottle on the table, tipped it up to his mouth, found it empty, and sadly put it back. Then the old salt hitched up his pants, placed his starboard thumb to the weather side of his nose, gently twiddled his fingers, and the planking of the porch creaked beneath his tread as he walled off. The boys up stairs heard him come up, but they had nothing worth a ghost's attention about them. They threw an empty bottle after him as he disappeared in the shade of the big bushes, but he never even stopped to pick it up.


Mrs. Keen and Mrs. Lowrey, both Gold Hill ladies, are keeping the famous place of resort known as the Soda Springs, about a dozen miles southwest of McKinney's. They bought a cow at the lake a few days ago, and Adam Gillespie, who wanted to visit the Springs, gallantly volunteered to escort that cow along. The rash youth never undertook a worse job, never. He put about thirty feet of rope to her horns to lead her along with, and started out.

The cow started out first, and very vigorously.

Adam described a double somersault in the air, and landed thirty feet the other side of the cow.

Then the cow went round three times at the end of the rope, like a circus horse, with Adam in the middle like a ringmaster.

Then she struck out for the Soda Springs.

Adam has as long legs as any two men in Gold Hill, but if he hadn't held fast to the end of the rope he never could have kept pace with that cow.

She ran five miles without stopping, and so did Adam–bareheaded.

Adam swore he would follow her to the Sandwich Islands if the rope didn't give out.

Then the cow changed her mind and started back for the lake, Adam snubbing her around every tree he could find until he got back to his hat which she wouldn't allow him to pick up.

Then the cow changed her tactics, tacked ship and sailed for the Springs again, beating up every raving on each side, sometimes she in the lead and sometimes Adam in the lead.

He got through to the Spring just thirty feet ahead of the cow, hatless, bootless, ragged, dilapidated and unconquered, but the tiredest man in America.


Buckmaster never realized what a faithful and trusty animal his dog "Trib" was until he returned from the Emerald Bay moonlight excursion the other night. When they got back to McKinney's, Buck and some of the other Gold Hillers who were camping with him, went up to their tent on the hillside. Some animal broke out through the back end of the tent and made for the bushes. They found it was Trib. waking out of a sound sleep he was too much frightened to bark, but he wagged his tail and whined with joy when he found that he was safe.


"Old Parkie," otherwise Deacon Parkinson, of the Carson Tribune, succeeded in distinguishing himself at last. After his wife left the lake he went around visiting his friends. He finally wound up his exploits at Tahoe City, by starting for Truckee on horseback. It was a kind, gentle animal, and ladies and children were in the habit of riding it every day. The old tar put his larboard foot in the stirrup and made a sort of a climb, like going up over the futtock shrouds into the mizzen top. Then he gave a sort of sway back on the tiller-ropes to bring the craft round, and was astonished to find everything caught aback and going down stern-foremost. The horse was thrown on his beam-ends, and the Deacon let go the capstan and rolled overboard down the bank. He was picked up very little damaged, and they tried to get him to mount the steed again, but no. "What the bloody blazes is the use," says he; "an old sailor hasn't got any business a horseback."


Passing around the head of the lake, on his way home, when the Niagara touched at "Yanks," Spykens' attention was called to a lady on the wharf. She was of fine figure and handsome hair, but she wore a mask of black silk, with holes cut for her eyes, nose and mouth. The effect was anything but pleasing, and had it not been for the presence of Judge Rising and lady, and other acquaintances from Virginia and Gold Hill, who were stopping there, Spykens might have become timid. He saw other ladies with masks made of white gauze, etc., while at the lake, but that was the only regular Lucrezia Borgia, stiletto kuklux mask that he happened to see. It is a noticeable fact, however, that none but the homeliest women wear these masks to preserve and protect their complexion. Good looking women do not need them.


For the past month the population at the lake, both permanent and transient, has been excited by the news that 100 schoolmarms from California were coming to the lake for a few days' rest and recreation. They are coming from San Francisco, Sacramento and other parts of the State, it is said, and they are to arrive on the 7th instant–next Tuesday. They will rendezvous first at the Grand Central Hotel, Tahoe City, and afterward they propose camping at McKinney's and other eligible points around the lake. Quite a number of schoolmasters from Gold Hill and Virginia are already there to meet them and be gallant, and there are more marrying men gathering in at the lake than ever before known of.


Hank Jewett, the well-known painter of Gold Hill, shot a grizzly bear while on his way to the Soda Springs from McKinney’s a few days ago. Bank is having the skin made into a fancy vest for Sunday wear.

There are many people at the lake at present, both Eastern tourists and people from California as well as many from the Comstock.

The Grand Central Hotel at Tahoe City is headquarters for the bon ton and everybody else. Bailey sets a first class table, and he is deservedly well patronized. The "Custom House," on the wharf, is also a very lively institution, and Campbell & Forbes are doing a good business. They have more friends than anybody.

Hot springs, McKinney's and Yank's receive a full share of public patronage, and various other places entertain many more visitors. In fact anywhere about the lake one cannot well avoid finding abundance of recreation, health and thorough enjoy

Last edit 25 days ago by Bob



GOLD HILL. : : : FRIDAY, JAN. 19, 1877



Scenes at the Jail and at the Place of Execution–The Last Night on Earth–What the Condemned Had to Say–The Crime for Which He Was Punished.

To-day Peter Larkin met his death on the gallows in Virginia. The execution, the second that has taken place in Storey county, excited a great deal of interest, the efforts of the friends of the unfortunate man to secure a commutation of his sentence having attracted much public attention. At an early hour the crowds collected around the jail, on North C street, and on B street where the shed in which the hanging took place is situated. At the latter place at least two hundred men were congregated. The noble two hundred beguiled the time by snow-balling and the shouts of laughter that went up would have led a stranger to think that a successful show was about to open its doors, rather than that a human being was to be strangled in cold blood. During the forenoon the office of the jail was filled with policemen, Deputy Sheriffs and reporters. The condemned man devoted his few remaining hours to prayer. Father Manogue was with him in his cell, and Larkin fervently received his instructions. He declined to see either friends or reporters and gave his whole mind to preparing his soul for eternity.


Late last night a NEWS reporter visited the unfortunate fellow, and had a long conversation with him. Nobody who knew Larkin expected that he had the courage to meet death bravely. During the 18 months in which he has been confined in the County Jail he has been almost childish in his lack of courage. He was constantly shedding tears and bemoaning his fate. During the past few days, however, he plucked up courage, and when he came out into the jail corridor last night to meet the reporter he was calm, and spoke without agitation of the dreadful death which he would be made to die on the morrow. He spoke with the confidence of the mercy of God, and evidently had full faith that when he left this world he would go to a better. In reference to the general opinion that he had not the courage to meet his fate bravely, Larkin said to the reporter that people were mistaken in him. "Perhaps you don't believe it, sire," he said, striking his breast, "but there's as brave a heart here as beats in man. I'll die because I must, but I'll die as a man ought to die. Don't you think that I'll squeal. Them that think I do don't know me. God is my judge and he knows my heart. He is better than a thousand Boards of Pardons. He knows that I am innocent and he will forgive my sins."

During the evening quite a number of persons, several kind-hearted ladies among them, visited the condemned man. To all he declared his innocence and his determination to die bravely.


Larkin passed a very quiet night. The prisoner, who occupied the cell with him, read aloud until midnight when he fell asleep. At 5 o'clock he awoke and asked his companion to read to him again from the religious books which the Sisters had furnished him. It being Friday, he refused to eat breakfast until he should see Father Manogue, and learn what would be proper for him to take. When the priest arrived he refreshed himself moderately, and refused to brace himself with liquor. He said that he wanted to die a sober man, and he kept his resolution. During the forenoon nobody but the priest was admitted to the cell. At a quarter to 12 o'clock a close carriage was driven up to the door of the jail, a squad of police opened a path through the crowd, and Larkin, accompanied by the priest, walked forth holding a crucifix in his hands, and shedding tears. The crowd by this time had greatly increased about the place of execution. Squads of the Emmet, National, Montgomery and National Guards had been previously ordered out, and they kept the crowd back on both B and A streets. Larkin alighted from the carriage and, holding the crucifix, walked with the priest to the shed in which the scaffold was erected. He limped painfully, probably from having so long had irons upon his ankles. He looked neither to the right nor left but limped through the snow to the building where he was to be killed.


Sheriff Kelly had the good judgment to issue no more passes than was necessary. About fifty persons, chiefly officials of this and the surrounding counties, were present. The door, through which the snow drifted into the dismal place, was left open. Larkin, holding the arm of Father Manogue, walked up the steps without any hesitation and sat down in a chair. When seated he removed his had and raised the crucifix to his lips repeatedly. On the scaffold were Sheriff Kelly, Deputy Sheriff Atkinson, Deputy Sheriff Kelly, Sheriff Swift of Ormsby, Sheriff Cook of Lyon, and Lee McGown. The latter gentleman considered it proper to smoke a cigar throughout the ghastly business. Deputy Sheriff Atkinson, at a signal from his superior walked forward, and after shaking hands with Larkin, began the reading of the death warrant. The document was a long one, and owing to the natural agitation of Mr. Atkinson, took a long time to read. Larkin, in the meantime, beckoned to Deputy Kelly and asked him to remove his boots–in accordance with the Western dislike of dying with those articles of apparel on. When the reading was finished, Larkin handed a paper to Mr. Atkinson to read. It expressed the thanks of the condemned to the various officers who had been kind to him, and to Father Manogue and the Sisters of Charity and also a number of private ladies who had visited him during his confinement. While not in so many words denying that he had murdered Corcoran, Larkin, by implication, declared his innocence. At the close of the warrant the words "May God have mercy on your soul" occurred. Larkin nodded his head and kissed the crucifix. All the preliminaries having been gone through with, the man arose and walking to Father Manogue knelt for a moment. Then rising he turned to the men in the shed, who had bared their heads, and said: "Well, gentlemen, I bed you all god-buy, hoping that we will all meet in a better world." A number of men below cried out, "Good-by, Pete," "Good-by, Larkin," "Stand it, old man." Deputy Sheriff Atkinson stepped forward and invited any friends of Larkin who were present to come up and shake him by the hand, as Larkin desired it. Some twenty men went up the gallows steps, and as he grasped them by the hand, Larkin called them by name and bade them farewell. The man never blanched, and actually smiled as he took the hands of his friends for the last time. When all who wished had given him a farewell grasp, Larkin took his place upon the trap, and, just a the rope was about to be put over his head, turned coolly to the Sheriff and his deputies and said: "Gentlemen, I hope you'll make a good job of it." Then the poor fellow reached over to Father Manogue and kissed him. He thus bade farewell to the clergyman, who had had the sense and feeling to perform all religious ceremonies before coming to the scaffold. Larkin, as the Sheriff placed the noose around his neck, cried out: "Good-by to you all, gentleman!" The work of strapping the man's arms and legs was going on meanwhile. It was done nervously, and consequently, slowly, but he never flinched. "Good-by," he called out as the Sheriff pulled the black cap over his head and a nod gave the signal to the officer whose hand was on the lever. In another instant Peter Larkin [one or more lines of type missing] Corcoran, and at the end of the rope, [one or more lines of type missing, and lines from the following article inserted. They have been removed here.] about two minutes, Drs. Kirby and Conn advanced and felt his pulse. It was then beating at the rate of eight per minute; then the beating became irregular, and advanced to ten, twelve, fifteen and twenty per minute as the time advanced. The other physicians who were present there then permitted to enter the inclosure and make an examination of the body. After a few more intermittent pulsations caused, as the doctor explained, by the reflex action of the blood, the pulse entirely ceased and the man was pronounced dead. This was exactly seven minutes after the body dropped. Upon examination it was found that the face was almost as natural as in life, being scarcely discolored. The doctors expressed the opinion that the neck was broken by the fall and that the cessation of feeling was instantaneous. Peter Larkin's death was painless. At thirty-six minutes past 12 o'clock Sheriff Kelly cut the rope and the body was lowered into the coffin, which was placed immediately beneath. The burial will take place today or to-morrow at the Catholic cemetery east of Virginia City.

The Murder,

The crime for which Peter Larkin suffered to-day was a cruel and cowardly murder. The circumstances of the murder of Daniel Corcoran are probably familiar to the readers of the News. Larkin was the keeper of a low drinking saloon on South C street, Virginia, nearly opposite the Savage hoisting works. Living with him as his wife, without being such, was a woman named Nellie Sayers. A more unattractive female could scarcely exist. Low, ignorant and drunken, and devoid of all personal charms, she was yet so valuable in the eyes of two men that they gave their lives for her. Larkin and the woman Sayers did not get along very comfortably together, and after much quarreling, finally parted. Larkin went to San Francisco, and on his return brought with him a young and passably good looking young woman named Susie Brown, who took the place in Larkin's household that had been former occupied by Nellie Sayers. The latter opened a saloon next to that of her former paramour. Between the two houses is an alley about three feet wide. Toward the rear of the Larkin establishment a small window opens upon this alley, as does also a window from the Sayers house. The windows are opposite one another. Larkin never lost his hankering for Nellie Sayers and when Daniel Corcoran, a fat, good-natured, ignorant Irishman appeared upon the scene as the accepted lover of the Sayers, rows between the rival gin-mills became frequent. Then differences grew up between Larkin and Susie Brown, which ended by Susie Brown leaving him and becoming an inmate of Nellie Sayers' house. Both dens became so disorderly that on the evening of August 3, 1875, the Board of Aldermen, of Virginia City, rescinded the license of both. At half-past 6 o'clock on the following morning the murder was committed. According to the testimony of Susie Brown, given at the Coroner's inquest and at the trial, she was awakened by hearing Corcoran jumping out of bed in Nellie Sayers' room and crying out, "Who was that?" She ran to the doorway of the bar-room and saw Larkin jump from the window into the little alley. Corcoran was following with a boot in his hand. As soon as Larkin got out of the window a pistol wis fired and Corcoran, who had reached the window, fell. He died next day. Susie Brown saw the flash of the pistol, but did not see who fired it. Corcoran was sleeping in the same bed with Nellie Sayers.

At the inquest Nellie Sayers flatly contradicted Susie Brown in important particulars. She swore that Corcoran came into her house with some other men at half-past 5 o'clock that morning, and began drinking. She had not been in bed with Corcoran, and did not see him chase Larkin with his boot. She did not see Larkin jump out of the window, but saw the flash from the window.

Some time before the trial Nellie Sayers went, in a state of great excitement, to Robert Lindsay, who afterwards became District Attorney, and told him that she had sworn falsely at the inquest. Susie Brown had told the truth. She at first desired to clear Larkin, but the ghost of Dan Corcoran haunted her and she must tell the truth for the sake of her soul's salvation. At the trial she corroborated the testimony of Susie Brown, and on the testimony of the two women, who had been his mistresses, Larkin was hanged to-day in Virginia.

Larkin has all along protested his innocence. In a recent communication to the NEWS he accused Susie Brown of having murdered Corcoran. He ascribed to her the double motive of jealousy and revenge. He expressed the belief that she was jealous of Nellie Sayers, and supposed that he, and not Corcoran, was in bed with Nellie Sayers, and the shot which killed Corcoran was intended for him (Larkin).

Larkin's friends were indefatigable in endeavoring to obtain from the State Board of Pardons a commutation of his sentence to imprisonment to life. The Board refused to interfere with the law's course. A careful examination of all the circumstances of the case was made. One of the members of the Board came to Virginia and visited the scene of the murder and closely questioned Susie Brown and Nellie Sayers. The Board was petitioned to reconsider their decision and they gave the case a hearing. The only result was a vote of four to one to allow the sentence of death to be executed. With that decision Larkin's last hope was gone.

There is no doubt that the numerous deadly shooting affrays that have taken place within the past year did a good deal to destroy Larkin's chances of escaping the gallows. Despite all the murders which have taken place in Story county, Larkin is only the second man who has been hanged by due process of law. There is a very general feeling that some salutary examples must be made, and Larkin will stand

Last edit 24 days ago by Bob
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