Mail Tribune 100

April 14, 1917


In the absence of County Prosecutor Roberts and Sheriff Jennings, there were no new developments Saturday in connection with the Strickfadden arson plot and the reported confession of W. E. Hemphill, the Medford man who was found dead in jail at Eugene following his arrest on the charge of arson.

Sheriff Jennings is expected back from Seattle on Sunday with Mrs. Nan Strickfadden and Mrs. L. Dreyfoos, who were arrested there Thursday in connection with the arson plot. Deputy Sheriff Anderson will probably return by Sunday from Eugene with Mrs. M. M. Garwood, who was arrested there with Hemphill on Thursday on the same charge.

Whether Hemphill committed suicide or died from apoplectic stroke is still a matter of conjecture. He was found dead forty minutes after the sheriff had taken him his supper. Hemphill, it was found, had not eaten any of the food, but drank part of a cup of coffee. The remaining coffee will be analyzed by a chemist to see if it contains poison. Dr. Cheshire, Lane county physician, thinks the appearance of the dead man's face indicates he died of apoplexy.

Hemphill's body arrived in Medford late Friday night. The funeral services, which will be private, will be held from the Hemphill home, on East Main street, at 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon.


There seems to be considerable misunderstanding in the valley about the manner in which the frost warnings will be given out to the orchardists by the weather bureau. Owing to the large number of people to be advised and the fact that many of them are on long distance telephone lines requiring the payment of tolls it would be practically impossible to call each orchardist individually and give him the forecast. The telephone operators at all telephone exchanges in the valley will be given the forecast each night a frost is expected and will give the information to anyone on request.

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