Albany Democrat-Herald from Albany, Oregon on May 2, 1936 · Page 13
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Albany Democrat-Herald from Albany, Oregon · Page 13

Albany, Oregon
Issue Date:
Saturday, May 2, 1936
Page 13
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Page 13 article text (OCR)

Passing of Bishop Recalls Fortitude Of Circuit Riders Left: Officials Investigating "The United Brotherhood" Which Offers an Acre of Ground to fcvery family Which Joins Religious Cult. Center: Sketch of Silvia Allrcd, One of the "Plural Wives" Who Awaited Trial Until Her Bahy Was Born. Price Johnson, Wne of the Leaders Supporting Two Wives Living 300 Yards from Each Other. Right: Reporter in Foreground Who Wrote the Sensational Story and Memhcrs of Cult Discussing Judge's Decision. ; Army May Eject Polygamist Sect From "Garden of Eden" in Arizona Mountains Sanhedran Cultists of Short Creek Believe Paradise Can be Attained Only by Man Who Weds Many Wives, and One Who Marries But One is Denied Complete Happiness Northwest's Indians Show Steady Increase Due to Government Hospital Facilities THE American Indian is making a great comeback fight in the Pacific Northwest. In the days when the Red Man lived in tepees and gained his sustenance by fishing and hunting, there was nothing to indicate that disease and white man's culture would crowd him into reservations and cause his numbers to dwindle. But the Indian of today in the Pacific Northwest has accustomed himself, albeit somewhat slowly, to the white man's mode of living, and now the race is showing signs of. increase. Observers of this battle credit its success to the United States Indian Service. In Tacoma, Wash., the government maintains a hospital for the exclusive use of Indian patients. Largest institution of its kind In the United States, it is located on the grounds and in the buildings formerly occupied by the Cush-man United States Veterans Hospital. The hospital cares for approximately :100 Indian patients. Some 2;I0 of these are children with tuberculosis symptoms, who come from Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana and the territory of Alaska. They are admitted to the hospital on their own initiative and are free to leave when they wish. ' ' The Indian race is healthy if given a chance In "Days Gone By THE fast-dwindling ranks of clroult riders of the old West lost one of the moat Illustrious of its members with the passing In Tacoma, Wash., recently of Bishop Lemuel H. Wells of the Episcopal Church. Bishop Wells, a veteran of tho Civil War, during which he served with Generals Grant and Sherman, was 94 years old at the time of his death. For years he rode the circuit In Eastern Washington, establishing missions, visiting the sick and giving consolation to the dying. In 1013 he found that the long drives and horseback rides, which were necessary to reach all parts of his far-flung diocese, wore becoming burdonsomo to htm, so, at the age of 71, he relinquished his diocese. When ho first began his duties as a circuit rider In Eastern Washington in 1872, he found only six communicants of the Episcopal Church and littlo else of a religious nature in the district. When ho relinquished his duties more than two score years later, his diocese boasted 3000 communicants, 20 clergymen, 22 lay readers ministering to 60 churches and missions, three boarding and day schools, a hospital and a church home for children a remarkable tribute to his organizational ability. It was In the summor of 1872, hie first year in his now diocese, that ho paid hla maiden visit to Pugct Sound, which later became his home. The trip was made by horseback, as there then was no railroad across tho Cascade Mountains. Tacoma was then the metropolis of the Puget Sound country. WHILE In Tacoma on that trip he learned of a hamlot farther up the Sound, named after an Indian, Chiof Seattle. Thoro was no regular means of transportation between the two towns, so ho obtained a rowboat, had a sail made by a drcssmakor, and spent three days on routo before ho roachod Seattle. When he slopped on tho way, ho was besot by huge Urn- tant, over cloudburst washed roads, at Cedar City, Utah. The nearest railroad station is at St. George, Utah, some 45 miles away, and there are children in the village who have never seen a railroad train. The soil is very productive, most of the residents of the area growing their own table vegetables and ekeing out an existence from this Bource of supply.. Many of the citizens grow enough so that they can send wagon loads of their goods to neighboring villages. BAD days fell on the area the last few years and it was the depression which led directly to the discovery of the beehive of polygamy. Either an over-supply of children or an untler-supply of this world's goods, led several of the citizens to turn to Uncle Sain for relief. Howard Roarke, a young and energetic relief worker, stationed in the Kingman, Arizona, relief office, was sent to Short Creek to investigate the worthiness of the cases. He hnd a good nose for facts and found that two or three women, with from six to nine children apiece, had registered the same man as their husband. The more he investigated, the more he found, discovering that one man was living with two wives, one of whom had borne him six children and the other two. This man was Price Johnson, and he had his plural wives living 300 yards from each other. He also found that I. C. Spencer had a pair of wives, adding to the population of the Short Creek area. ;. When Roarke unfolded his evidence to his superiors, E. Elmo Bollinger, district attorney of Mohave county, was culled Into the case. Bollinger finally got a conviction and erased the blot on the escutcheon of Arizona, but it was only after the hardest kind of a fight which, at times, developed Into the most ludicrous legal battle that has ever been fought in the law courts of the state of Arizona. Complaints, of a type which have been accepted In ail courts of the land as legal,- were dismissed by a country Justice of the peace, who overruled edicts handed down by the United States supreme court: defendants were allowed to be spirited away beneath the very noses of peace officers and heretofore respectable citizens were injected into roles of accessories after the fact for the aid they gave the defendants who, besides being charged with a crime, became fugitives from justice. BOLLINGER'S first complaints against Johnson. Spencer, Sllva Allred, Helen Hull and John Y. Barlow, one of the big shots of the Sanhedran cult, wore filed on "Information and belief." Bollinger presented these complaints to Judge J. M. Lauritzcn, justice of the peace of Short Creek, who immediately issued warrants. The judge, a kindly soul, who boasts of being one of the oldest settlers In the Short Creek region, changed his mind however, and, at the preliminary hearing of the defendants, issued an edict which reversed the supreme court of the United States. The preliminary hearing vas a gala occasion for the residents of the tiny community. They turned out en masse to Jam the tiny little school-house which serves the section as a center of education, a temple of religion and, when the occasion demands, as a court of justice. The Judge struggled bravely with points of law and finally came up with his pronouncement which left the legal lights from the "big city" gasping in amazement. He informed Bollinger at the outset of the hearing that, in his opinion, a complaint based on information and belief was not sufficient and soon dismissed the complnints and set the defendants free. However, Bollinger pulled an ace out of his sleeve In the form of new complaints signed by Roarke, who discovered all the goings-on in this new paradise. The complaint against Barlow, however, remained dismissed for lack of evidence. BUT, when the legal complaints without the words "information and belief" therein contained were drawn up and signed, there were no defendants to be found! They had fled over the Utah border, which is but two miles away from Short Creek. Bollinger and his cortege made -the trek back to Kingman over 200 miles of dusty roads with nothing to show for their trip. Hunger, cold and a longing for the home fires, forced the fugitives out of the cavern in which they were hiding and back to Short Creek, into the hands of the law, which the Mohave county sheriff had left on guard. Bollinger returned to Short Creek In triumph. He herded his captives into the tiny schoolhouse, asked and received a change of venue and hit the dusty trail homo-ward. The defendants were placed In tho county Jail in Kingman. Spencer was the first one to face a Jury of farmers, laborers and storekeepers and Bollinger presented all his evidence to the court. He adduced testimony that the defendant had forgotten to tnkc the marriage vows with his second wife, in accordance to tho accepted law of the land. Tho defense, however, informed tho Jury that there was nothing "notorious" In tho manner Spencer had been living with his two wives, that they were married In the eyes of their religion, which taught the tenet of plural wives as a basic principle. The Jury decided that two wives did constitute a violation of the laws of the land, and If It wasn't "notorious," It was something which should be halted. So they convicted Spencer. JOHNSON'S trial was similar to that of Spencer's, with the exception that Johnson admitted that he had been "living in polygamy and intended to do so." He, too, was convicted. ''The trial of Helen Hull, the "plural wife" of Spencer, had to be delayed while another Spencer offspring was ushered into the world. Silvia Allred also had to wait for her trial while a baby was born. And, meanwhile, In Short Creek, where tho air is free, the morals a bit "loose," when compared to those of the rest of tho United States, and life Is easy and sweet, there arc 150 residents-including peace officers, one general storekeeper, a school teacher and the plain citizens firmly believe that man-made law cannot supersede their religion and who will carry on their modern Garden of Edeij despite the law courts' "bridge of laws!" CITIZENS of the tiny Short Creek, Ariz., mountain community, are wondering these days what is to become of their modern Garden of Eden, built on the tenets of the Sanhedran cult belief that a man is entitled to as many wives as he can support, For the state of Arizona built "a bridge of American law over the moral cesspool of Short Creek," as demanded by District Attorney E. Elmo Bollinger, during the trial of I. C. Spencer and Price Johnson, two cult members, convicted on charges of cohabitation with more . than one woman. But if that bridge has been built, its foundation has been placed on the sands of a religious teaching which may be too treacherous to allow the bridge to stand for any great length of time! For polygamy is a portion of the religion of the Sanhedran sect, an olt-shoot of the modern Later Day Saints (Mormon) church and before it is crushed, the state of Arizona may have to call out its army, as did the United States, away ' back there in the beginnings of Salt Lake City and the Mormon religion in the west. Most of the residents of the valley, tucked away on a mountain top, are accustomed to persecution. They were chased out of Utah, where they were excommunicated from the Mormon church, into old Mexico, into New Mexico and finally into Arizona and are determined to live their creed if they have to hide away In the deep Arizona caverns. THE residents of the Shorty Creek section explain their belief in polygamy by declaring that the book of Mormonism was a divine revelation to Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon religion, and that a portion of that revelation had to do with the polygamous faith, which the Mormon church sanctioned and encouraged for many years. The cultists are firm in their belief that heaven is a paradise of three levels, the uppermost of which can be attained only by a man who weds many wives. Marriage, they believe, is for all time and a man takes his wives to heaven with him. If he marries but once, he and his mate reach only the first level of heaven and are denied complete happiness. Practically every family engages in polygamy. Nearly every family, and there are from 25 to 30, is related in some manner. Polygamous brothers and sisters attend the same school, eat from the same table and in some cases, sleep in the same beds. The Sanhedran cult has its main offices In Salt Lake City. This organization, called "The United Brotherhood," preaches polygamy and sends out literature, painting the beauties of the "new Garden of Eden," which is Short Creek, where every family is to be given an acre of ground for cultivation and. In addition, allowed to participate in the profits from a community garden plot. At the present time the' population of Short Creek proper Is about 150 persons. They are scattered around the "town." which extends over an area of about 50 acres and live in un-painted one and two-rooms houses with very few of the modern sanitary conveniences. There is only a poor desert road running into the aroa, the nearest telephone Is 30 miles away and the closest telegraph station is 60 miles dis . w v; . f.. ; Traffic Toll Takes si Holiday in Modern Indian .Girl Engaged in Weaving Decorative Rug, Using Motifs and Designs Taken from Old Indian Legends. to live in healthful surroundings, according , to Dr. John N. Alley, superintendent of the hospital. As a rule, he says, its members are not so susceptible to sickness as are members of the white race except in the case of tuberculosis. WITH such a slow and lingering iflncss, it is absolutely necessary to maintain the morale of the patents as well as their health. To accomplish this, to keep Indian crafts and culture alive, an occupational therapy department has been developed. Miss Adella Throop, who has charge of this department, encourages the efforts nf 103 "bed" patients and 181 "up" charges. She keeps their minds busy and their hands working. Most of her pupils are children between the ages of 6 and 12. A few are around 14. For their age, they show a wonderful cleverness and ability. They carve totem poles of all sizes and description. They also weave baskets and nigs. Throughout their work, they use motifs and designs taken from old Indian legends. The vivid colors so beloved by the Indian are Bishop Lemuel II. Wells Was Typical Old "Circuit Rider" in Colorful Day When West Was Young. ber wolves. Ho told of seeing a man In a row-boat who said his hand had been bitten off by a shark. After this visit tho young clergyman returned to his Eastern Washington diocese, where he labored diligently to spread the tenets of hli faith. In 181)2 he was elected Bishop of Eastern Washington. Bishop Wells was born In Yonkers, N. T., December 3, 1842. Ho abandoned his studies at Trinity College in his sophomore year to serve with the Union forces during the Civil War. He saw service as a second lieutenant with the 32nd Wisconsin Infantry. After the war he finished his studies at Hohart College. He married the adopted daughter of Charles J. Folgcr, then secretary of war for the United States. After a few years she died, and It was during his grief at her passing that he decided to come West. He traveled west to San Francisco on one of the first transcontinental railroad trains to span tho continent PAGE FIVE-B ttiet Palo Jlto city was only satisfied when cash passed over the Judge's bench! EVERY small side street and alley seems to shelter a policeman. Shady, garden-lined streets are under observation night and day and that 3 a. m. urge to "let 'er out" results In the same Inevitable ride to the town Jail at a more moderate pace. Palo Alto sounds strict, and it Is but the hospitals arc not filled with the victims of reckless drivers. Youngsters go off to school and come home again in perfect safety; old people don't attempt a street crossing In fear of their lives. In this determined town traffic dangers no longer exist! warning signs. "Safety for Children and Shoppers Traffic Laws Enforced," meant what they said! Influence counts for nothing before the white-haired city Judge. Fines are meted out Impartially. Important folks may sizzle and threaten, but they pay. If a freshman Is without funds a common and chronic condition! he hies him to the jallhouse to wash automobiles and pay off his fine, or chops wood for a few hours. PRACTICALLY every traffic violator Is caught and everyone caught must pay. When one of 'the members of the safety council which presented the bronze plaque, forgot to practice what hecrroached, he was embarrassed, but the IF YOU want to live longer and who doesn't ? go and live In the university town where death has ta,ken a holiday, where life and limb of children, old people, and everyone else is practically guaranteed by motorcycle cops uniformed In dark blue. The city of Palo Alto, California, is famous for several reasons. Herbert Hoover lives nearby on the Stanford campus: its climate is said to be excellent and It boasts the most thorough enforcement of traffic laws In the state. In February, Palo Alto was awarded the plaque of honor for the best safety record during 18X5. Yes. there were plenty of arrests over 5000 but only one fatality, caused by an outsider rushing northward, unaware that the O O O 0

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