Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Adams County Makes the News - Adams County Leader #30

The Adams County Leader   Official Paper of Adams County
Price $2.00 Strictly in Advance
Published Every Friday by E. E. Southard
Matter for publication should reach this office not later than Thursday noon – earlier if possible

February 12, 1926

Mrs. Ben Rapin, living a little ways north of Cambridge, got peeved at her Ben last Sunday night and blew his brains out.  It seems the couple had quarreled the day before and Mrs. Rapin claims her spouse choked her and did other playful little stunts like that.  When he got nicely to sleep the lady evened up the score, and perhaps even got a little the better of the argument.

The couple retired and went to sleep, but the old girl awoke about midnight, hunted up the old family fowling piece, placed the muzzle cozily against Ben’s head, and crooked her trigger finger.  “Boom,” went old Faithful and Ben’s brains went slathering around as promiscuous as shillelaghs at a Donnebrook fair.  The records show that she’d blown the “stuffin” out of her loving husband.

Rapin was about 68 years of age and the wife is 50.  There are three children, who, aroused by the shot, hopped out of bed and called the neighbors.  Mrs. Rapin was taken to Weiser where it seems the coroner’s jury failed to indict her.  But Mr. Feltham, prosecuting attorney of Washington County, is expected to file a charge of murder against the lady.

April 2, 1926

Mrs. Pearl Rapin of Cambridge was acquitted of all blame for the death of her husband in Judge Varian’s court in Weiser last Friday.  It was alleged that the woman placed the muzzle of a shotgun against the head of her husband while he slept and blew his brains out.  They jury acquitted her of all blame, arguing apparently either that she did not do what she admitted doing, or else that it was no crime to kill the late Mr. Rapin. 

The writer did not hear the trial, but persons who did hear it were scratching their heads last Friday afternoon in Weiser and wondering what it was all about.  Several were heard to remark that they hadn’t the faintest conception as to what the crime of murder consisted of any longer.  As the lady is now a widow, it would seem the logical things for the Washington county board of commissioners to grant her a pension.

May 14, 1926

Those Washington county people make me nervous.  Man in Weiser last week went home, hunted up the old wood choppin’ instrument and started in to chop the head off of his faithful helpmeet.  When the lady was as dead as he felt she ought to be, the gentleman started to carve his sister-in-law up in the same manner.  Then he hunted up a shotgun à la Rapin and placing the muzzle carefully up alongside his face, he pulled the trigger.  Most of the head was carried away, brains and other impedimenta being found scattered impartially over the floor, the walls, and the ceiling, and it is hardly necessary to add that the man died suddenly.  The sister-in-law was expected to live, but the man and wife, whose name was Leath, are no more.

LOCAL ITEMS, 1926 - 1927

Long Sought Result Has Finally Been Achieved
We have been given to understand that the Council high school is now accredited.  School patrons have much to be thankful for, that at least one thing we have worked and struggled for has come to pass.

Indian Valley- Eighteen ladies of the Improvement League met at the home of Mrs. Edith Gray.  Roll call was answered by naming an educational toy.  Mrs. Ira Martin gave a paper on “Music in the Home,” Mrs. Frank Johnson gave a paper on “Schoolroom Decorations,” and Mrs. Albert McDowell gave a talk on flower culture, and urged all members to plant flowers in abundance for the flower show next fall.

The local hospital is being kept full this winter with so many cases of sickness among valley folks.

The last weekend brought in the last of the deer hunters with postmaster Prout and H. M. Purnell leading the van.  Among the rest of whom we have had report were Bert Hagar, John Bass, Alva Ingram, and Paul Schaff.  They all had been in the Warrens country and, delightful to report, they all had their venison.

Insist on Sunshine Bread.  It makes good toast.

August 27, 1926

With this issue of the Leader, the writer’s connection with the paper is expected to cease.  Next week, William Lemon of Middleton, Idaho, an experienced newspaper man, will take over the paper.  We are saying these words this week in order to leave Mr. Lemon entirely free to “say his own say” next week and thereafter.

I have made many sincere friends in Adams county during the past four years and bid these farewell with much regret.  I have enjoyed meeting and mingling with the good people of Adams County, and have found much enjoyment in the work here.  In other words, I have “had a good time.”  I even feel that much has been accomplished during these four years.  The Leader has stood for what it believed to be for the best interests of the public; I believe this has become generally understood and conceded.  It has not intentionally done a wrong to any man.  In short, the Leader has tried to keep faith with its people.

What Adams County needs is more irrigation and more cooperation—and more education.  There are natural advantages a-plenty here; develop them.  My last word of advice, then, is to keep up your schools, irrigate your land and develop it, and—love your neighbor.  There are no higher things in life for a section situated as this one is.

Whether I personally ever again have an opportunity to “scold” you, friends, is “in the lap of the gods.”  I have no such expectations.  The Leader will continue to be what you make it.  It will always be the greatest possible community asset if you give it your support.  Build it up and you will build yourself up.  Tear it down, and you will go down with it.  The paper really and truly has very great importance in this community; much greater than many realize.  It can help a lot, but you will have to help it in turn, as is only fair.

I am not much given to shedding tears; but I have feeling of sincere regret in severing my connection with the Leader.  The paper has become a part of me, and I love it.  And I realize that words of mine are far too weak to express a just appreciation of the many acts of kindness on the part of the people of Adams County toward myself and family.  Friends, adieu.

E. E. Southard.

compiled by Eberle Umbach


  1. I hope we will be getting further extracts from the paper - under the new editor. As for these extracts : what a strange approach to what were tragic situations. Grizzly - but fascinating as always.

  2. Hmmmm... It seems that Weiser is a good place to stay away from if you're married.

  3. Hi Alan & Roy

    Alan: Thanks! Yes, a bit grizzly today--the first entry especially in just fascinating in its grizzly enthusiasm for the subject I'd say. Have no fear--this series will last into November--in fact all the subsequent entries are scheduled, so no matter what else happens, Adams County will make the news for the next 6 months!

    Roy: Definitely true in 1926 at least! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Please more stories from Council in the early 1900's.

  5. Hi Portland & Family Tree: Glad you enjoyed this. Adams County Makes the News is an ongoing series that runs every other Wednesday. It started in February of 2010 & it will run thru early November 2011. You can find previous entries by searching the Adams County Makes the News label.

    Thanks for stopping by! Your interest is very much appreciated.


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