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Turning Back the Pages

•100 years ago - Oct. 1913•

Youthful forger commits suicide

Preferring death to capture, Charles P. Jones, 20, wanted for forgery and a fugitive from Justice for several months, when cornered by a sheriff’s posse at the home of Percy Bruce, in the town of Horicon early morning Oct. 15, 1913, placed the muzzle of a Savage rifle in his mouth and pulling the trigger blew the top of his head off.

Jones had been very successful in eluding the officers who were on his trail and it was not until this week that they saw a chance to get him. Deputy Sheriff Charles Baker of Bakers Mills received information that the man was in hiding in the vicinity of his home on Landon Hill near Pottersville in the town of Chester. With Constable Thomas Alexander of North Creek, he went to Chestertown and securing five men there began searching for Jones. They visited several homes before they learned that he had been seen at the home of Percy Bruce, an isolated farmhouse in the town of Horicon, about two miles from Chestertown.

When the posse reached the Bruce place at 2:30 a.m. and after surrounding the house so that Jones could not escape, Baker approached the door alone and rapped and Bruce opened the door. The officer demanded that Jones, whom he knew to be hiding in the house, to be delivered to him at once. Bruce denied that Jones was there and the officers thought they could not enter without a search warrant, and withdrawing, Baker sent his son, Edgar Baker to secure one from Justice Charles I. Burge in Chestertown. Burge refused, saying that if they had a warrant for Jones’ arrest, they had the authority to break in and arrest him.

The officer then pounded upon the door and was ready to break it down when the door opened suddenly and Bruce appeared with his gun. At that moment the report of another gun was heard at the rear of the building and it was that shot that killed the fugitive who had boasted that he would never be taken alive and had gone to the woodshed behind the house and made good his boast.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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