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Essex County sheriff killed by prisoner

June 2, 2012
By HOWARD RILEY , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

More incredible stories from the scrapbook kept by E. L. Gray, now the property of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free library.

The Adirondack Enterprise, Friday, Oct. 2, 1914:

"Essex County has another murder case, and Mineville, Port Henry and places in that vicinity are in the excitement of a man hunt, with every probability that the murderer, dead or alive, will be in the hands of the authorities in a short time.

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"Wednesday morning Deputy Sheriff William James, who is on duty at Mineville, was called from his home to quell a disturbance at a boarding house in that village. He soon had the man, a Polander, who was the cause of the trouble, in custody, and after placing the twisters on his wrists, started for the lockup with him. They had gone but a short distance when the prisoner slipped his free hand into his pocket and whipped out a knife, which he drove into the officer's body, the long blade penetrating the lung. James fell to the road and the prisoner made good his escape. Persons who had been following the officer and his prisoner along the street picked up the wounded man, and he was carried to the Mineville Memorial Hospital, where he lingered until 7:15 p.m. without regaining consciousness.

"The Polander, whose name could not be learned, started for the woods as soon as he had gained his freedom, and all efforts to capture him had up to a late hour on Wednesday afternoon been unsuccessful. It is believed by the officers that they will have the man in custody within the next twenty-four hours, as all the roads in the vicinity are being closely guarded. The Sheriff of Essex County had offered a reward of $500 for the capture of the murderer, and hundreds of men are now engaged in the man hunt.

"Deputy Sheriff James was a young man of excellent character, and was highly esteemed by the officials of the Witherbee-Sherman Company, by whom he was employed as an officer at Mineville. He is survived by his wife and two young sons. His tragic death has cast a shadow over Port Henry and Mineville, and if the murderer is located, and he should resist arrest, there is every probability that any of the men who are searching for him will shoot him down without hesitation.

Murderer identified

"The murderer is known as Tony Guygus, and is 5 feet 10 inches in height, weighs 175 pounds, medium red face and light moustache. He wore at the time of the murder a dark or gray suit and derby hat. He has a voice like a woman, and this fact should easily lead to his detection should he escape the officers now searching for him in the vicinity of Mineville.

"A hundred armed men are searching the forests and fields of Essex County for the murderer, using automobiles and horses in the hunt. Every railroad station, every cross road and every boat landing in the county is guarded to prevent Gugac's [different spelling] escape."

Stevenson tablet unveiled

New York Press - Oct. 31, 1915:

"A number of noted admirers of Robert Louis Stevenson yesterday journeyed to Saranac Lake to attend the unveiling of a tablet on the veranda of the cottage where 'The Master of Ballantrae' was conceived and where many of Stevenson's best known essays were written.

"Arrangements have been made with Andrew Baker and his wife, who now own the cottage, to permit visitors to view the memorial, and it is the hope of the Stevenson Association ultimately to buy the building and make of it a museum for mementos and first editions of the author who was its most distinguished occupant.

"The tablet which is the work of Gutzon Borglum was contributed by the sculptor as his personal share in the work of the Saranac Lake Stevenson Memorial Committee which was organized last July suitably to commemorate Stevenson's sojourn in Saranac. It is of bronze, and on it is this inscription:

'Here Did Dwell Robert Louis Stevenson During the Winter of 1887-1888

'I was standing in the veranda of a small house outside the hamlet of Saranac. It was winter; the night was very dark, the air clear and cold and sweet with the purity of the forests. For the making of a story here were fine conditions Come, said I, to my engine, let us make a tale.'

"The quotation from Stevenson refers to his habit of tramping up and down the veranda while he was thinking out his work.

"Speakers at the exercise yesterday included Borglum, Dr. Lawrence Brown, chairman of the Stevenson Memorial Committee, and C. M. Palmer. Others present were Robert Hobart Davis of the Munsey Publications and Eugene Saxton of Doubleday, Page & Co. The unveiling was done by Mrs. Baker."



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