About Me

My photo

I have been doing genealogy for 30 years. My Great Aunt Ella introduced me to this fascinating adventure when I was a teenager and boy did I get hooked. She inspired me and taught me the importance of my roots and where I came from.

Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Juan Zamora: Murder

Juan Zamora was born 30 Mar 1884 in Mexico, he came to America in 1901 and was a miner at the Quicksilver Mine in New Indria, CA. 

He worked the furnaces, where he was constantly inhaling the fumes of the quicksilver vapors and became badly salivated and was a nervous wreck. It was necessary for him to be laid off to get relief, there was no hospital accommodations at the mine, and a mile or so where a couple saloons were located for the men to congregate while they were not working and most would part with their wages there. Juan was in one of the saloons and he was filled with whiskey when an argument broke out    between William Lanyon and another man, Lanyon was a known bully and Jaun interfered by shooting Lanyon and killing him.

Juan Zamora became Inmate #19826 San Quentin Prison
Rec: 5 Nov 1902
Crime: Murder
Term: Life
He was paroled 20 Dec 1912
He asked for a pardon, here is his case:

 The applicant has personally called upon the Secretary of this Board to present his plea and says that he is desirous of obtaining a pardon for the reason that he wants to engage in the shoe business. His mother died recently in Mexico and he has his wife to take care of. Under date of August 4, 1920, the State Parole Officer gives the following report upon Zamora: "Zamora, the record shows, came to this country from Mexico when a young fellow   (he was 22 when he was received at the prison). When he was received at the prison, he was an illiterate. During the 10 years of his confinement in San Quentin, he took up reading, writing and arithmetic and on his release on parole he could speak and write English language very well. I think he also learned the shoe repairing trade while he was at San Quentin. “Immediately after his release on parole he entered the employ of a Mr. H W Scott, attorney of Hollister, California, on the latter's ranch. He remained with Mr. Scott until March, 1913, when he was permitted to come to San Francisco to enter the employ of a Mr. Kelleher of this city, who owned several shoe repairing places here. Zamora worked with Mr. Kelleher until the latter's death about two years ago. “Since that time he has worked in other shoe stores, as a repair man. At the present time he is employed as a stock boy in the shoe department of the Emporium in the City of San Francisco. “Except during the time of Zamora was employed in Hollister he has been reporting to this office, in person, each and every month, now for approximately 7 years and I have had an opportunity to observe him closely. From my many years experience with him I feel that I can safely say he is among the best men on parole. “During his long parole, I do not think that he has ever been idle for any length of time. He has been very industrious in his work; a clean living fellow; has filed his monthly report always promptly, and I believe that he is complied to the letter, with the rules governing prisoners on parole. “Zamora has, indeed, made a very creditable record on parole, and if I am any judge, he will continue to do so in the future. I think he is worthy of your very serious consideration for Executive Clemency.” Under date of October 1, 1910, Judge M P Dooling, who tried Zamora, writes to Father Collopy as follows:

 “There was nothing in the circumstances attending Zamora's offense which would appeal to one conversant therewith. Whether he is now entitled to a parole or not must rest upon facts of which I know absolutely nothing, and of which the prison authorities are a much better position to judge than myself. I shall not oppose his application but, beyond that, I do not feel warranted to go.” Under date of February 13, 1912, A G Greajada, Mexican Consul General, San Francisco, writes to the Board of Prison Directors on behalf of Zamora. At the time of Zamora's application for parole a number of letters from prominent Mexicans and others were written to the State Board of Prison Directors in his behalf. Under date of November 29, 1911, George W. Jean, District Attorney at that time but not the one who    prosecuted Zamora, says: “I am given to understand that prior to the trouble which resulted in his present imprisonment, he was a steady, hard-working man, and that the murder of Lanyon was the result of drunkenness. “I am advised that at the time of his trial, there was a question of his sanity raised, which was determined by a jury empaneled for that purpose, the finding of the jury being that he was sane.” There are on file in the Governor's office a number of letters now urging a pardon for Zamora on the ground that he has expiated his crime and is thoroughly reformed. Among them is a letter from E C Lipman of the Emporium where Zamora is at present employed. 
ACTION OF BOARD: August 30, 1920: Pardon.

Emporium San Francisco, CA

Emporium San Francisco, CA
Juan married Rosalia and they had a daughter born in 1919 named Victoria. 

While Juan was in San Quentin he was taken to Stockton Asylum for the insane: Record below.

Later in his life he was in jail twice that I found for being drunk. 

Juan died in Nov 1963 in California. 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

David L. Horner: Steals 16 year old Girl for Wife

David L Horner was born about 1878.

David L. Horner, of Osceola, Nebr.,  a Versatile Criminal and Is Wanted Badly. If you want to make it right quick, catch David L. Horner. He is a fugitive from Justice being wanted In Osceola, Nebr.. for child stealing. Somehow, William Rhiers, sheriff of Polk county. Nebr., in which Osceola Is located, believes that Horner will come to Kansas and he has written the police asking that they be on the lookout for this man.
 On August 8. 1908. Horner enticed a 16 year old girl to away from home, but was arrested at Belleville, Kas.. and returned to Osceola. Nebr., where the crime had been committed. However, he escaped from Sheriff Ehlers  the night of August 13th. On October 1st he returned to Polk county and made an attempt to get the girl whom he had stolen and who was taken from him when captured. He met the girl and a boy companion near Osceola, but they ran. the girl escaping by running Into the house of a neighbor. Horner captured the boy, tied his hands and feet and made away- with him in a horse and buggy which was stolen. Sheriff Ehlers has found no trace of him since. In addition to the above crimes, Horner is wanted for burglary and larceny. 
He is 31 years old. .5 feet, 10 inches in height, weighs about 175 pounds., has golden hair, fair complexion, red face, blue or grey eyes, the sheriff isn't certain- which, and has scar under the chin. Homer has probably disposed of the horse and buggy- which he stole, the sheriff thinks, as well as a gold watch which was stolen from Mrs. August Thelan, of Osceola. The fugitive is a lawyer and among his other accomplishments, he Is a good cook and a farmer.

 Iola Daily Register And Evening News, 02 Dec 1908, Wed, Page 1

He was caught and placed in prison


11 Feb 1909

I wonder how long he was there and what happened to the girl.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Homer Leslie Riggs: Escaped Preston Reform School

Homer Leslie Riggs was born 10 Jan 1896 in Kansas to William Arthur Riggs (1875-1945) and Winnie M Wilson (1876-1965). He had one sibling a sister Florence Aurelia Riggs 1907-1983.

I do not know why he was in Preston Reform School, but I did find this wanted card.

He had no other criminal convictions I could find, he may have got smart and used an alias.

He married Corene Charliette Evans in Los Angeles, CA on 19 Sep 1917.
They divorced

He enlisted into the service 4 Oct 1916 and was discharged 19 Dec 1919.

They had a daughter Roberta Jean Riggs 1919-2002

He married 26 June 1975 in Carson City, NV to Geraldine R Townsend.

Homer died 11 March 1978 in Los Angeles, CA.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Raymond Downing Kyser: Missing

Raymond Downing Kyser was last seen 9 Aug 1916 in San Francisco, he was 21 years old.

His parents Rubin "Ruby" Kyser (1863-1938) and Verene "Fannie" Schindler (1870-1957) were prominent in the Napa California area. They wanted their son back.

His brother Sterling and him had a bond. Sterling Mervin Kyser (1890-1934) was married to Aileen Webber.

In 1919 Raymond was Sgt. 1st class officer on a ship 20 Jun 1919 heading to Marseille, France and returns arriving in New York on 22 July 1919. Something happened to him, I didn't find any military records that would help with my gut feeling. 

Utah 1922

On 9 July 1922 at the Newhouse Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah Raymond Downing Kysler took a gun and blew his brains out.

WHY? He was very loved by his family and friends. Did he have mental issues before the War or did the War mess him up?

I think he had some issues of some kind before he left for overseas or a Missing Person's Poster would of never been circulated. I did look in newspapers and the mental health hospital records on Ancestry and came up empty. I did find his death cert and it is the only document I found saying what happened to him.

I am guessing since the family was well known and rich it didn't make the newspapers in California, but I didn't find anything in Utah either.

His parents would have another heartache in 1934 when their son Sterling ends up in the hospital when his appendix ruptured on 28 Aug 1934 in Portland, Oregon. This did make the newspapers.

As if this wasn't enough hurt and pain for a family to handle they lose another Sterling and Aileen had a son named Robert Edward Kyser born 14 Aug 1930 San Francisco. At age 7 on 12 Apr 1937 he dies, I do not know why.

Aileen's father paid the expenses.

I know some will ask why this is posted here on a criminal blog, well the reason is simple, it was a missing person reported to the police. Even though the mystery was solved it weighs heavy on my heart that the family had so many losses. Something most people won't realize is this was the end of the Kyser line for Rubin Mervin Kyser whom had two sons and a grandson that would carry on his legacy and in tragic circumstances that ended his line and he lived long enough to know it, dying in 1938. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Howard E Hunt: Missing

Howard Edward Hunt was born 18 Nov 1890 in Omaha, NE. At age 26 he was on a Flagship in San Diego on 17 Mar 1915. His mother had not received word from him and was worried. 

She contact the sheriff's office and like magic you have a missing person's poster tacked up on the wall. The one thing everyone missed was he was overseas on a military base located Andernach, Germany, Military and Naval Forces, I found in the 1920 census record. 

His mother was Sarah "Sadie" Past (1870-1934) and his father was Ernest Clark Hunt 1865-1916). Howard's dad did die 25 May 1916 in Nebraska. 

So sad

But mystery solved he wasn't murdered or kidnapped. Maybe he should of sent mom a telegram letting her know where he was going.

His grandfather (mom's dad) was a soldier
Edward S. Past
BIRTH 3 JUN 1841 • Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA
DEATH 13 NOV 1914 • Jefferson Barracks, St Louis, Missouri, USA

Name Edward S Past: Age at enlistment 20 
Enlistment Date 29 Apr 1861 
Rank at enlistment Private 
State Served Minnesota 
Was Wounded? Yes Survived the War? Yes 
Service Record Enlisted in Company D, Minnesota 1st Infantry Regiment on 29 Apr 1861.Promoted to Full Corporal. Promoted to Full Sergeant. Promoted to Full Sergeant Major. Mustered out on 01 Oct 1862 at Antietam, MD.Birth Date abt 1841 Sources Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars 1861-65 Photo courtesy of Wayne Jorgenson

Howard was married by 1930 to Bernice M Davis his one and only.
I found no children, they did move around a few times living in California, Colorado, Missouri, and in 1964 he died and his final resting place was where it all began, California. His wife went back home to Kansas where she was born and died in December of 1975.

His mother was remarried by 1920 to Wilbur H Welch He owned a lot of land in Colorado and Nebraska, he died in 1933 and Sarah Past died in 1934.

So there you have the rest of the story.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Henry Francis Yokum: Manslaughter

Henry Francis Yokum was a tough man, roughed by the enlistment of the Mexican Wars in 1846 only being married a short time to his wife Lucinda Laurence. In 1849 they headed west to the California Gold Rush, many of Henry's comrades went there and settled in a town near Grass Valley which they named Rough and Ready, after their General in the Mexican War, Gen. Taylor.

In Dec 24, 1850 the trip was hard and daring and many died, the water supplies would dry up and they wouldn't have any water. 

He was a tough old coot and in
 early spring he went to Bullard's Bar on the Yuba River and mined for gold. He decided in late fall of 1851 to return to Missouri to buy cattle and then return back to California. He built a cabin there to store their belongings. They went to Marysville by stage, then by Riverboat to San Francisco which by then was a bustling town, with a harbor full of deserted vessels as sailors deserted the ships for the gold fields. They took an ocean ship to Panama and when they arrived, they took mules over the isthmus to Charges where the beach had very shallow water. The local natives carried the passengers in a row boat out to the Ocean Ships on the other side. Their ship lost its rudder in a storm and they put down in a Havana harbor for repairs. While waiting for repairs, the men visited Havana and gambled in Spanish casinos. One in the party got into an gambling argument and shot a Spanish gambler and was put in jail. He was very popular among the comrades and just as the ship was ready to clear port, the comrades stormed the jail and took him to the ship. The Spanish police rowed out demanding he be taken prisoner. The comrades stood on the deck with drawn pistols as the ship lifted anchor. The ship sailed leaving the police in anger.

Once in New Orleans, they took a Riverboat up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and a stage on to Springfield. There Henry bought cattle and in the Spring of 1852, headed back once more to California. This trip the Indians were troublesome. Many wagons were abandoned along the route when supplies were used up, and fewer wagons could carry the rest of the load. This was the method many of the immigrants used on their way to California.

t was dangerous to travel in small parties, as the Indians were attacking small groups. They came upon two wagons and found 3 men had been slain by the Indians, stripped of everything and left nothing to identify them with. They were buried beside the immigrant trail. The men moved on camping further along the trail. The next morning some of the men were up early and butchered one of Henry's young animals for the wagon train. Later two Germans were missing a heifer and accused them of killing their animal and a very heated argument followed. Mrs. Yokum was cooking bacon in a frying pan over a fire of buffalo chips when two Germans attacked Henry. He grabbed the frying pan and rapped the Germans over the head in self defense. Others in the party gathered to stop the fight. Shortly afterward, the missing animal came back into camp.

Their next stop was a grave by the immigrant trail. A wagon tongue was at the head of the grave with a board attached with the name of Mrs. Joseph Campbell. After coming to Butte County in northern California, the Yokums had become acquainted with Mr Campbell. He was captain of the train of immigrants coming to California is 1851. A Dr. Browning and his son C.L. Browning, were also in their train. Dr. Browning had practiced medicine in Chico for years afterward. Mr. Campbell had married in Chico and brought up a family and some of his family are still living there.

Crossing the So. Platte River this time, some cattle had drifted down stream and a young man gave his vest and watch to his wife and rode down stream to keep the cattle from further drifting down the river. Unfortunately, he ran into quick sand and he and his horse sank before they could be rescued. At that point there was no turning back, and his wife and three children had to continue on to California. Fortunately, they had friends in Hangtown, which is now know as Placerville.  

At the next camp, they were rounding up the cattle when one went missing. One of the men stayed back thinking the animal would come along and he would catch up with the slow moving train and save the animal. Once the train was out of sight, Indians showed up at the abandoned camp. The man hid in the tall grass. The Indians searched all around but failed to spot him. They set a fire to the grass and left. He was surrounded by fire so he took off his coat and lay in the buffalo wallow with his coat over his head. He almost suffocated from the smoke. About midday the train saw someone approaching from the rear and stopped and waited for the person to catch up. There was great rejoicing by all when they found he was their companion. They thought he had become lost.

They past once more through the Mormon Settlement of Salt Lake, but this time they were not as friendly to them. Once again they camped at Thousand Spring Valley. While there, Indians attacked their train. Warriors on horses riding in a circle kept getting closer to the train letting out a war whoop battle cry. Two men in the party mounted horses and with arrows falling all around, rode full speed, shooting some of the indians from their horses. This move halted the warriors, and suddenly just over the horizon came another immigrant train. The Indians fell back over the hill and disappeared fearing they were outnumbered. They never attack if they feel they are outnumbered. Several arrows pierced canvas covers on the wagons, but no one in the party was injured.

They arrived in Rough and Ready and headed onto Hangtown (Placerville). When they arrived at Bullards Bar, they found their cabin and all its contents had been washed away in the floods during the spring of 1852. There were several great floods that year. They went back to Marysville and then headed up to Shasta, the second largest town in the state at that time. It was the county seat of Shasta County. Mr. Yokum hauled freight to Red Bluff by river boats and wagons to Shasta, pack trains from there to Weaverville, Trinity Center and Scott's Valley. The Oregon trail over Scott Mountain carried millstones by muleback to Scotts Valley for flour mills. They were heavy loads for mules and he used tripods to change the loads when the mules became tired.

He moved back to Butte County and purchased land in Dayton. There he engaged in farming and livestock. In 1861 there was a vacancy on the Butte County Board of Supervisors and he was appointed to fill the balance of the term. He did not run for the elective term.  He was one of the founders and charter members of the Chico Lodge No. 113 and he was in the independent order of the Odd Fellows institution in Butte County at Oroville.

Dry season, and poor prices for grain  started a panic in 1873 and the Yokum's lost their holdings. In 1874, they moved to Helltown on Butte Creek near Chico, and established a general store. That made two stores in Hell Town, a prosperous mining center (now a ghost town). There he mined at Hedge Point across Butte Creek from Hell Town at the left of the north end of the swinging bridge at Bone Yard Flat.

Henry organized a company to build a ditch to furnish water for Hydro-electric mining in Butte Creek Canyon. Just as construction started, a mining company purchased the Hupp Hydraulic Mine at Centerville. They bought out the ditch and water rights of Mr. Yokum's company. The ditch is now owned by P. G. & E and is used to generate hydroelectric power at the Centerville Power house. Mr Yokum and his son Adam, took homesteads just south of the present Centerville Cemetery.

Henry had a short stint in San Quentin Prison because he shot and killed two men, Frank Ballew and Albert Mason, who had come to his house and threatened him. He shot first with his shot gun until he was out of shells then shot with his rifle. These gentlemen obviously didn't know who they were dealing with. 

Inmate #16814 San Quentin Prison
Rec: 6 June 1896
Term: 5 years
Restored: 6 July 1900
Occupation: Farmer

When Henry Francis Yokum was born on August 10, 1824, in Greenbrier, West Virginia, his father, Jacob, was 23 and his mother, Eveline, was 19. He married Lucinda J Laurence in 1847. They had six children in 16 years. He died on June 2, 1901, in Chico, California, having lived a long life of 76 years, and was buried there.

When Lucinda J Laurence was born in November 1826 in Kentucky, her father, Jacob, was 29, and her mother, Elizabeth, was 18. She married Henry Francis Yokum in 1847. They had six children in 16 years. She died in 1926 in Butte, California, at the age of 100, and was buried in Chico, California.

They both had long full lives. 

Top L to R: Nellie Sanders, Lottie Sanders, Carrie Sanders, Alice (Yokum) Pearson, Eunice Ava Pearson  Bottom L to R; Lucinda J. (Laurence) Yokum, Mrs. Sanders

Note: Some of the Biography was taken from Ancestry the original poster unknown.

Sad thing is he died a year after getting out of San Quentin.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Ramon Molino: Manslaughter 1897

Ramon Molino was born Aug 1844 in Mexico, he came to America in 1862, he was a farmer/laborer. 

In 1897 he saw a bit of trouble and was sentenced to 10 years in San Quentin. Later transferred to Folsom.

I did not find any other criminal records for him. 

I found a newspaper clipping from the San Francisco Examiner dated 29 Sep 1892, explaining who he murdered, he obviously got a lighter sentence of manslaughter once the verdict was submitted.

Sad the little boy witnessed this but I would suppose back then it was more of the norm and nowadays.

On Ramon prison record it is stated that he died 18 Jan 1902.

There's no Memorial on FAG (Find A Grave) for him.

I made him a tree and although I have a wife attached I am not sure it's correct because the last census said he was single as an inmate in prison I believe he died there.