1971: Two convicts walk away from Prineville jail, are later arraigned in Roseburg

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - November 19, 1996: Tow trucks were called to the grade Monday morning when a couple of westbound cars slid onto the shoulder against the mountain side. Prineville police officers directed traffic around the activity and the highway was quickly cleared. No injuries were reported.

95 years ago

November 11, 1926

While hunting ducks on the old Laban Harris place on Crooked River, 11 miles east of Post, John E. Robertson, 56, resident of The Dalles since 1902, was instantly killed shortly after noon Tuesday, when a fellow hunter, Wilbur Wasson, 17, also of The Dalles, discharged his gun in an attempt to shoot flying ducks, according to Glenn Hendrickson, game warden for this district, who, with P. B. Poindexter, coroner of Crook County, rushed to the scene. Hendrickson and Poindexter arrived at the Harris place at about 3:30 that afternoon.

The accident happened while the party, three men, J. E. Robertson, Wilbur Wasson and the latter's father, A. W. Wasson, were hunting for ducks. They were crawling up on a bunch of ducks on Crooked River on the Harris place, and as the ducks arose, the three hunters, close together, also arose, each attempting to shoot, when Mr. Robertson ran directly in front of young Wasson, who shot. The dead man receiving the discharge of the gun in the left side at the top of the head, killing him instantly

After having looked over the scene of the accident. Coroner Poindexter exonerated Wasson, and no inquest was held. The report said that Wilbur Wasson "exonerated om all blame, declaring the incident was purely accidental."

Game Warden Hendrickson immediately took possession of the young man's gun and hunting license, and sent them to state authorities.

75 years ago

November 14, 1946

A record, apparently made 46 years ago, of the arrival of eight members of the Beverly Reconnaissance expedition at a spot on Buck Creek in the Snow Mountain district was found by Mrs. Virgil Ammons of Prineville, when she was with a hunting party in that locality early in October.

A small sheet of lined letter paper bears the following legend: Arrived here November 28, 1903. All eight members of the party alive although Cole and Shiel man have bad colds. Expect to arrive at Bend next week. John Larson, Capt., Beverley Reen. Expedition. 10-28-03." The signatures of Pvt. C. S. Natwick, (one name illegible). Phillip Parsons, F. R.S., and Herman Big Eagle, guide, appear at the top of the sheet, and those of Sgt. R. S. Cole, Sgt. W. Rainey, Cpl. Dick Prichard and Pvt. John C. Shielman at the bottom of the sheet.

Mrs. Ammons said she found the paper inside of a tin can which had been filled with pebbles and placed on top of a mound of rocks.

Members of the hunting party were Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Ammons and Mr. and Mrs. Marion Van Osten of Prineville and Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Schlichting of Eugene.

50 years ago

November 18, 1971 Two men who walked away from the Prineville jail in City Hall Nov. 2 were arraigned in District Court in Roseburg Monday morning before judge Gerald Kalber, who ordered them held without bail. Larry Allen Harnden, 20, Prineville, and Darrell Dean Rook, 22, Sutherlin, are each charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the shooting and stabbing deaths of a rural Yoncalla Oregon family.

Douglas County District Attorney Doyle Schiffman and two sheriff's deputies returned the pair from Seattle late Saturday afternoon following extradition proceedings. They were arrested Thursday in Bellingham, Washington.

In court Monday, Judge Kabler said that appointed attorney would be assigned to Harnden; Rook said that he would attempt to retain an attorney with $500.

The two men became suspects in the triple murder on the basis of information provided to Douglas County officials; also, a series of car thefts which began in Prineville early Nov. 3 led authorities to believe Rook and Harnden were in the area.

Edward Williams, 79, his wife, Mabel, 54, and their deaf-mute daughter Sharon, 27, were found brutally murdered in their small rural home, about five miles northwest of Yoncalla, on the morning of Nov. 10 by a friend who came to see why Mrs. Williams had not shown up for work at a nearby cafe. The Williams were described by friends as "without an enemy in the world."

"They were as good a family as there ever was," said a neighbor, J. B. Henderson. He said that Williams was a retired logger who liked to collect antique machinery and old cars.

"Evidence shows this killing was not by chance, and whoever did it was looking for something because the house was ransacked," said the district attorney. He added, however, that the killer or killers were methodical and brutal. There was some indication that a struggle occurred between Williams and his assailant.

25 years ago

October 29, 1996

When the State Department of Correction's Siting Authority visited Mitchell last week to hear what the residents had to say about having a minimum-security work camp in their community, they were pleasantly surprised.

Apparently, in other communities, not everyone attending public hearings on the subject are happy to see the Oregon Department of Corrections group.

Wheeler County Sheriff Craig Ward said, from his viewpoint, the Mitchell people acted, in his words, "Very genteel, very democratic. There were people on both sides of the issue, but they all acted with respect."

Members of the siting authority are looking for a place to build one of two prison work camps. Mitchell is on the short list of possible locations.

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