Thursday, July 31, 2008

Prosecutor says Gladys Broadhurst planned the murder with her cowboy lover

The State of Oregon, speaking through Blaine Halleck, special prosecutor, today told a Malheur County circuit court jury that it proposes to show step by step how Gladys Lincoln married Dr. Willis D. Broadhurst of Caldwell, Idaho, for his money and then conspired with young Alvin Lee Williams, an employee on Broadhurst’s ranch, to kill him both before and after she went through what the state claims was an illegal marriage ceremony with Williams at Reno, Nevada, Sept. 17, 1947.

The jury, along with two alternates, was completed at 11:05 today after Judge M.A. Biggs ruled in favor of the state on the defense’s attempt to secure possession of documents turned over to the state following Mrs. Broadhurst’s arrest and which the defense said contained evidence that could be used against the defendant. Judge Biggs also ruled that the state may introduce (the documents) as evidence during the trial.

Attorney Halleck, in his opening statement, charged that Mrs. Broadhurst renewed a 20-year-old acquaintance with the Caldwell chiropractor who had become worth an estimated $200,000 and got him to marry her several months before a divorce decree from (her husband) Merle Lincoln was to become final, May 20, 1946 in Reno, Nevada.

At the Broadhurst ranch in Caldwell, Idaho a few weeks later she met Williams and took up with him, suggesting to Dr. Broadhurst that (Williams) accompany her to California where (she claimed) she feared violence from her late husband’s brother. She told Broadhurst that Lincoln had been killed in the war. . . .

Halleck said the state will show that Mrs. Broadhurst paid $200 for the car Williams needed to carry out the crime, and the whiskey she knew he needed to steel him for it. Halleck also said the defendant went with Williams to Parma to get the gun he used.

“Dr. Broadhurst was beaten and shot to death by Alvin Lee Williams, but the murder was conceived, plotted, planned, directed, encouraged and assisted by the defendant whom the state contends is equally guilty,” Halleck told the jury.

According to the Argus story, the Jury --- as finally completed after two and a half days questioning --- included Ernest Adams, Van Maltsberger, Ed Oakes, Gertrude Blanton and Sam F. Taylor, all of Ontario; J.C. Olson, Torvald Olson, Ida Walters and Mona A. Davis of Nyssa, William Morrison of Vale, and Earl Flock of Fruitland (the newspaper listed only eleven). Alternates were Jonesie D. Scott of Vale and Carroll Loecy of Ironside.

Mrs. Broadhurst entered the courtroom (for the final day of jury selection and the opening of the trial) walking erectly looking composed, although showing great concern. She was dressed simply in a black tailored suit with a white blouse, a black hat with a touch of gold sequin trim, and a black veil worn off the face. She displayed keen interest over the questioning of the jurors, leaning forward frequently to catch each word of the panel members as they were questioned.

Defense Attorney P. J. Gallagher of Ontario questioned each prospective juror closely as the newspaper and magazine accounts he (or she) had read (as well as) whether it would prejudice the juror that Mrs. Broadhurst had been married several times and that her divorce might not have been final when she married Broadhurst. The defense attorney also attempted, unsuccessfully, to exclude from evidence letters and documents taken from Mrs. Broadhurst when she was arrested and later delivered to the prosecution by friends of Broadhurst.

Caldwell chiropractor’s widow and her cowboy boyfriend arrested for murder

(Editor’s note: Beginning with this Dec. 19, 1946 story from the Ontario Argus, that newspaper (which was yet to be combined with the Observer) tracked the arrest and trial of suspects in the murder of W.D. Broadhurst, a Jordan Valley rancher and retired Caldwell, Idaho, chiropractor. The story would grow into one of the most spectacular accounts of passion and murder in the history of Eastern Oregon, drawing national attention to what in the 1950s retained some of the wide open character of the old West. An abbreviated version of the case --- placed in a different year and seen from the perspective of my father, the editor of the paper at the time --- appears in my novel Farewell Bend. The full story as it unwound in the pages of The Argus will soon be available here in several short bursts, or for readers who prefer a longer option, in a single long take.)

Mrs. Gladys Broadhurst, recently indicted on a charge of being an accessory in the slaying of her late husband, R. W.D. Broadhurst, Jordan Valley Rancher, was brought into Oregon to fact the charged Wednesday night after District Judge Thomas E. Buckner of Canyon County, Idaho, had denied a habeas corpus petition filed by her attorneys.

Previously Mrs. Broadhurst had been held in the county jail at Caldwell, since her arrest shortly following the finding of her husband’s body in mid-October and the alleged confession of Alvin Lee Williams, 32, a cowboy and Mrs. Broadhurst’s part-time chauffeur. Williams told police that he had slugged and shot the former chiropractor who had been on his way from Caldwell to his ranch near Jordan Valley.

Gov. Williams of Idaho last week honored the extradition request but had instructed the Canyon County sheriff not to turn Mrs. Broadhurst over to Oregon authorities until her attorneys --- P.J. Gallagher of Ontario and Cleve Groome of Caldwell --- had an opportunity to file the habeas corpus petition.

Williams, who was indicted on a first degree murder charge in connection with the death Oct. 14 of Dr. Broadhurst, pleaded not guilty in circuit court at Vale.

Broadhurst trial set to begin

The trial of Gladys Lincoln Broadhurst for first degree murder of her husband, R. W. D. Broadhurst, is set for Feb. 24, at the county courthouse in Vale, Oregon, The Argus-Observer reported on Jan. 9, 1947.

Dr. Broadhurst was beaten and shot to death on Oct. 14, 1946 while traveling from his home near Caldwell to his ranch in Jordan Valley.

Circuit Judge M. A. Biggs, who set the trial date for Mrs. Broadhurst postponed the trial of her alleged accomplice from Feb. 3 to March 10.

Deputy District Attorney Charles Swan, who was about to take office as county district attorney, asked for the Williams trial postponment, which suggests that prosecutors hope Williams might testify against Mrs. Broadhurst.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Argus Observes: Thank you Mrs. Antrim for your criticism

(Editor’s note: Here’s a short dissertation that, between the lines, suggests how much my father enjoyed being a country editor. In a month or so, I’ll expand on this theme with a series of blog posts I’m crafting describing my father’s tenure at The Argus-Observer in Ontario, Oregon.)

From the July 29, 1954 issue of The Argus-Observer

One or our readers gave me a real editorial lift this week.

In a letter to the editor published on the editorial page of this issue, she complains that we are too critical of the people’s elected representatives in Congress, that we are unfair to Senator McCarthy and continues:

“I am willing to let an editor spout off once in a while but when it becomes so frequent and so unfair as to indicate a policy that I consider very undesirable I deem it best to discontinue my subscription, so you can cancel my subscription as of now.”

This is the best compliment our editorial page has had in many months. Who would dream that way out here in Malheur County, far away from Washington’s halls of democracy, the expression of opinion on the editorial page of a country newspaper would arouse such definite reaction?

This proves a point. The extremely practical country newspapermen, the ones too busy to write editorials about anything as abstract as national affairs, are wrong. People do read the editorials and the letter we got this week proves it. Hooray for Mrs. Antrim! . . . .

We do get lots of criticism in the newspaper business because the chances for it run to several thousand for every issue and our work is in front of everybody, wide open for criticism. A person who is bothered by criticism has no business being a newspaperman.

Frequently --- more frequently than you would imagine --- criticism actually boosts the morale of the newspaper. We know from experience that people don’t stay mad. Some of my best friends are people who at one time or another have cancelled their subscriptions because of anger at the paper. They got over it.

What is just fatal for a newspaper is to be ignored, to not make much difference one way or another.

An editor never gets much personal reaction from people except little pleasantries. He often feels he is working in a vacuum because of lack of personal contact with his readers.

Although I don’t know Mrs. Antrim, she now ranks high on my list of favorite people. Even though we may disagree about Senator McCarthy and about congressional responsibility to the president, she has given my ego a boost.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Escaping driver dies in shootout over $2.48 worth of gas

One man was killed, another wounded when a service station operator at Weiser Station north of Ontario turned his gun on three armed men who tried to drive off without paying for $2.48 worth of gas, the Argus-Observer reported on July 20, 1953.

Doyle C. Fulton, 23, was fatally wounded the previous Friday evening when he was struck in the back of the head by one of three shots that service station operator Frank Rembert fired into the rear of the escaping car.

Rembert told police that the front seat passenger in the car, John M. Kimball, pulled a gun from his shirt and used it to order Rembert into the service station building after he pumped gas into the car.

Rembert then retrieved a .38 revolver from his office.

According to the newspaper account, Rembert said he’d planned to shoot at the car’s tires but realized he was being fired on and aimed into the car.

Kimball, 27, was wounded by one of Rembert’s shots and the escaping car stalled a few miles down the road. From there, the would-be bandits pressed a passing motorist, C.W. Davis of Ontario, into their service to take Fulton to a hospital in Ontario, where Fulton died.

State police, alerted by Rembert and called to the hospital by hospital authorities, soon arrived to place Kimball under arrest.

Four men total were in the escaping car during shoot-out. Oregon authorities said they were from Los Angeles and that one of the men in the car was AWOL from the Army and another had served time for car theft. But neither the dead man nor the gunman had any kind of police record, according to testimony at a quickly convened coroner’s inquest.

The inquest resulted in Rembert being exonerated of any criminal responsibility in the shootings.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Argus Observes: Suburbs on the rise can have their own provincialism

(Editor’s note: In 1954 the rise of suburbs and the urbanization of America was already a phenomenon worth noting. Not everyone thought it a good thing. Nor would it, my father suggested, do away with the development of provincial attitudes. Come to think of it, provincialism is alive and well in 2008 America. It’s one way of thinking about the red state, blue state divide.)

From The Argus Observer for July 22, 1954

My brother-in-law, visiting here from Detroit, made the same observation about “suburbia” as that made by Frederick Lewis Allen in a series of two articles in the most recent issues of Harper’s Magazine.

He is Bruce McBane, an executive in charge of research in auto paints for Pittsburgh Paint in its Ditsler plant in Detroit. He and my sister live in a new post-war housing project for middle income families in Detroit.

It is the “for middle income families” that is the revealing factor.

Bruce said, “Our children don’t see enough of all kinds of people. For instance, they don’t get any contact with people of other aces or other income brackets or other economic interests.”…
It is so much a young family type of community that there are 74 children in their rather large residential block.

This is just one little phase of the change that has come about in living because of the great American movement to suburban living. Marriage prospects, social customs, hobbies and buying habits of this generation are being radically upset by America’s headlong rush into suburban living. In many areas the quiet rural neighborhood is vanishing, gobbled up by the fast spreading metropolis and the space-eating automobile.

Each one of these new communities develops its own provincial characteristics just like one of the country provinces from which the term provincial originate.

A peaceful, well settled family life results in certain provincial characteristics wherever it occurs.

As a boy raised in rural Idaho, I accepted the idea that we were provincial in the original sense because we had as Webster defines, “the ways or manners of a rural district.”

But there is a further definition of “provincial” in the dictionary, “confined to a definite locality . . . restricted . . . limited.”

As a young man selling advertising in the Mission district of San Francisco (during the late 1930s), I learned that some of the world’s most provincial people live in the cities.

The mission district had its own shopping area three miles from the city center. I met many people who hadn’t been downtown for two or three years and one prominent business man once told me in glowing terms of his trip east as a youth. He had been to Reno to see the famous Johnson and Willard prize fight in 1914.

Those people read less and knew less about what was going on in the world by a good deal than the farm people I had known in Idaho. So San Francisco’s working people looked shockingly provincial to me.

On the other hand I have noticed that we look provincial to people who move here from the cities. We have a different kind of community life, lacking many of the things the city dweller is used to, so we seem provincial.

I think that most families would find some restrictive tendencies in the educational training of their children no matter where they lived. No place is completely cosmopolitan and maybe it is just as good for us if we do have our roots in some definite community situation.

Almost everyone gets some emotional satisfaction out of his provincial roots.
O. Henry wrote a clever short story about the human trait of prejudice in behalf of one’s childhood surroundings.

Entitled “Cosmopolite in a CafĂ©,” it tells of a boisterous fellow who brags about being a citizen of the world and works up considerable enthusiasm among his associates until it reaches the point where someone makes a disparaging remark about “the bum sidewalks and the water supply” of Mattawankeg, Maine.

Thereupon the cosmopolite promptly punched the offender, “Originally from Mattawankeag,” the explanation goes, “he wouldn’t stand for no knockin’ the place.” – By Don Lynch

Friday, July 18, 2008

Television comes to Malheur County, Oregon: July 15, 1953

Residents of Ontario and other Eastern Oregon and Southwestern Idaho communities gathered in front of the few new local television sets on Sunday, July 15, 1953 to watch the first signals arriving from the first station in the area. It was Boise’s KIDO TV, which went on the air at 2 p.m. that day. The first national show to come across the screen was the Dennis Day Show.

In Ontario, The Argus-Observer photographed the Hathaway family, including daughter Sue, 14, and son Chuck, 13, gathered around a set in their living room.

The newspaper’s photographer also found a large gathering in the Moore Hotel lounge where a set was displaying the black and white signal out of Boise.

Philo Farnsworth, who was credited with developing the basic idea for television broadcasts while a high school student in Rigby, Idaho, in 1921, appeared in Boise that July 1953 Sunday to commemorate TV coming to Idaho some years after it began appearing in homes in Los Angeles and NewYork.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Argus Observes: Women of a certain age

(Editor’s note: My father, who was 39 when he wrote this in 1954, always liked women who were his own age --- sometimes even older. Over time to I came to understand that he cared more for intellect and worldliness than looks. So this column represented his true feelings though if they had been otherwise I doubt he’d have written it for his own newspaper. He usually tried to avoid the wrath of my mother, for good reason, and I am not even sure this one slipped past that. For what it’s worth, that’s him, at about this age, on the cover of my novel, Farewell Bend, along with my mother and brother. For a picture of my dad when he matured some, you can go to my photo gallery at )

From The Argus-Observer of July 15, 1954

A recent experience may be a sign that middle age is here or not far away.

I noticed a nice looking woman on the street the other day, gal nearing 40 I’d say. She had a gracious, natural dignity, a lithe, easy movement as she walking and a charming manner --- real nice.

And I thought to myself “ … wonder why their younger sisters don’t have quite the quality possessed by the girls of my generation.”

Then it came to me that it was something about the way she was dressed. Somehow there was an expression of taste in her clothes a little different than would be selected by today’s girl of 20.

And whatever it was, it was all interconnected with a feeling of belonging with and preferring the contemporaries of my own age. Just a fleeting thought, and then it was forgotten.
Later in the day it was brought back to mind by a conversation with Joe Marquina, manager of Toggery Bill’s.

It’s hard to create much new business with the older men unless their young in spirit,” Joe said. “They don’t take very fast to new ideas in clothes.”

I recalled a distinguished and dressy old boy of my acquaintance who still wars shoes instead of oxfords. And while Joe and I talked a customer of the appropriate age came in and asked for a sailor straw.

We all tend to cling to things and the habits associated with our youth. Things that help us to capture an old feeling of well being, a feeling that must stem from some pleasant emotional origin.

Now believe it or not, I don’t know who the woman was who started this train of thought, can’t remember a thing about her, wouldn’t recognize her if I met her again.

All I remember is the impression. She might have been any one of dozens of women who have certain qualities that date them but qualities that are pleasing to me just the same.

But I can’t help wonder if these girls of my vintage will still be the best lookers among women in another 20 years.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ontario Meals on Wheels needs help

The price of gasoline is causing problems for the volunteers who deliver Meals on Wheels to seniors who need that service throughout Malheur County in Eastern Oregon.

According to Diane, who is the coordinator of the program at the Malheur Council on Aging in Ontario, donations would help to keep the volunteers going. Address checks to MCOA Meals on Wheels Volunteer program at PO Box 937, Ontario 97914. For more information, call Dianne at 541-889-7651. The council on aging office is at 842 S.E. 1st Avenue in Ontario.

Here’s a report on the problem that was carried in the Argus Observer on July 3. (For this and other stories from current issues of the Argus Observer, follow the link posted on the right.)

Gas price crisis -- Meals on Wheels program endures under the weight of high gas prices

ONTARIO — The price of gasoline is not only affecting the cost of travel and the price of getting to work, but it is also hitting agencies charged with providing critical services to those in need.

At least one area service — the popular, volunteer Meals on Wheels program — struggles to accomplish its mission when gas prices climb.

“It’s happening,” Diane Lopez, senior nutrition manager for the Malheur Council on Aging, said regarding the impact of high gas prices. The local Meals on Wheels program is coordinated through the Malheur Council on Aging.

To save money, the local Meals on Wheels program delivers one hot meal per week to clients who live out of town. The rest, up to six, are frozen.

“I have (clients) on Canyon Two and past Canyon Two,” Lopez, who has extended the delivery range outside of area communities to include more people who need the service, said.
One person, who lives on Overstreet Road, north of Adrian, also gets the frozen dinners once a week, but that was arranged before the higher gas prices, Lopez said.

The drivers are people who volunteer through their churches that rotate delivering the meals.

For many the Meals on Wheels program remains a stable and soothing fixture every week that includes a social aspect, Lopez said.

For some seniors, the arrival of the meals is their cue that it is time to eat.
“They forget to eat,” Lopez said.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A 50’s discovery --- The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing and The Albuquerque Years

Sharon Melton Lippincott is a blogger who specializes in “The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing.” Her blog is fine reading for those who are interested in crafting their own life story. And there is something there for RememberingTheArgus readers who find the 1950s a time worth looking back on.

I recommend at least taking a look at her blog by double clicking the headline above. Or you will also find a permanent link on the list of links in the right-hand column.

Here’s her description of her book about those years. It is available by clicking on the cover image you’ll find at her blog.

“The Albuquerque Years is Sharon Melton Lippincott’s story of life as a precocious preschooler in Albuquerque immediately after World War II. She blithely recounts a time of pure happiness in an era without television, battery operated toys, preschool, play groups, swing sets, or frozen foods. She tells of her daddy’s vegetable garden, and how chicken feed bags provided fabric for her next dress, how she caught her first fish, how she learned to count while gathering eggs, to read by copying words from Mommy’s magazines, and to sew at Mommy’s knee. She takes readers along to the laundry, out to the chicken yard, and off to a neighborhood Bible School. She visits the zoo, climbs a tree, and sneaks into a deserted Air Force barracks. This ingenuous narrative is told with the simple candor and color of a child’s Crayola drawings, without analysis or guile. It includes a summary of her Internet-based print-on-demand publishing experience.”

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Argus Observes: About the Korean War, ‘It just seems like so many people are just sort of nonchalant’

(Editor’s note: In reviewing my father’s columns from fifty-plus years ago, this has often struck me as one of the more enduring. So little has changed when it comes to making war, and concerning ourselves with impact on the young veterans.)

From The Argus-Observer issue of July 23, 1953

Lt. Charles Wheeler of Midvale, Idaho, found favor with the speech-hardened members of the Ontario Kiwanis club Wednesday.

The lieutenant is a good example of America’s 1953 soldier: Not as cocky as the doughboys of World War I. Kind of fresh and modest like the GI flyboys of World War II, but somehow quieter, a little surer and more mature in manner.

It’s as if war had become such a steady business than now Americans wear the military mantle with more grace than in past campaigns.

Lt. Wheeler is the commanding officer of a C-97 flying for the Military Air Transport Service. He flies from Honolulu to and from San Francisco and to Tokyo and back.

It’s a big plane, tail 38 feet high, 147-foot wingspread, 145 feet long.
Wheeler has hauled three 6x6 GI trucks with trailers in one load and two H5 helicopters to Korea in another load.

On the return flight from Tokyo, the load is generally litter patients wounded in Korea. The plane will carry 73 in addition to nurses and crew members.

The pilot made a hit talking to Kiwanis members partly because he is obviously no public speaker. He just talked, but with good language, sincerity, personal charm and intelligence.

The club members like that kind of a talk better than a forensic show.

Lt. Wheeler said that at first he liked to visit with the wounded men from Korea. Then as he settled down to the steady routine of carrying wounded the monotony of the misery he saw began to wear on him.

He said he has gotten so he walks right through the plane without stopping to visit with the men, just to avoid the cumulative feeling of misery that comes from hearing their troubles.
Sometimes walking through the plane the chief pilot is grabbed by a patient who wants something done for him. “Generally a psycho. We haul lots of psychos,” he said.

“But sometimes you have a funny experience that makes you think,” he said. “One night, I walked through the aisle by the litter patients and a man grabbed me, and asked me to light his cigarette. When I stooped over I noticed he was a Negro boy with his hand amputated. So I lit a lighter for him and the other hand was amputated, too.

“I put a cigarette in his mouth and lit it; and then I noticed his feet were amputated too.

“But he was one of the happiest men I’ve seen. Real happy to be going back to the States.

“When you see something like that it makes you kind of wonder. You see so many things that don’t seem right. I don’t know whether it’s my fault. I’m trying to do what I can. I don’t know whether it’s your fault, maybe not.

“But here at home it seems like . . . well, it just seems like so many people are just sort of nonchalant.” -- By Don Lynch

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Many restaurants fail a sanitation check-up

(Editor’s note: It must have taken a lot of courage to run this story even in 1953 in the face of local restaurant owners. Maybe they didn’t advertise, but even so? Very few newspapers, small or otherwise, would publish it today. And I can’t imagine a bureaucrat issuing the info. The local health officials in Malheur County no doubt were worried --- and with polio on the march, they had good reason to be.)

Taken from a story in the July 2, 1953 edition of The Argus-Observer

Malheur County health department officials discovered that customer patrons need not worry about drinking a cup of coffee in a Vale restaurant. But they should have made their own coffee in Nyssa. And going out for it could have been taking a chance in Ontario.

And in Ontario, restaurant patrons were warned that using a drinking glass could be quite dangerous.

The county health department officials conducted a round of recent inspections and found that the average coffee cup in Nyssa restaurants had a bacteria colony count of 311. Anything over 100 was considered unsatisfactory. The average count in Ontario restaurants was 86. In Vale’s restaurants it was 45.

The average bacteria colony count for water glass in Ontario establishments was found to be 634. In Nyssa the count on the average glass was 105. In Vale, just 12.

The county named six restaurants or lunch counters that seemed safe all counts because they scored a count of less than 10 in each category where eating ware was tested. The six:

The Dinette and the Holy Rosary Hospital in Ontario.

The Cue and Vale Drug in Vale.

Carl’s Doll House and the Nyssa Pharmacy in Nyssa.

As bad as things were in some restaurants, they were better than the results turned up during a similar round of inspections three years earlier, The Argus-Observer noted.

“According to the reports anybody who ate in any of the three towns three years ago should have dropped dead before he got out of the place,” the newspaper said.