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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

George Tiger, the pioneer founder of the tiny hamlet of Tiger, Wash., near Ione, received an ominous “Black Hand” letter in the mail.

“Black Hand” meant, more or less, blackmail. The letter demanded that Tiger deposit $250 behind a certain stump. Then the letter warned that, if he failed to deliver the money, he should “not attempt to defend his property from damage.”

Tiger ignored the threat. Three days later his two-story dance hall burned to the ground, at a loss of $2,000.

The sheriff’s department was investigating.

From the mentalist beat: J.J. Jefferson, the faith-healer in jail on a charge of “vagrancy through fortune-telling,” said he was beaming out “spirit messages” to his patients from jail. The Rev. Dr. Jefferson also said he hoped to convince a judge that “I have harmed no man, that I am a mental doctor and that I am a public benefactor.”

As to the charges that he had defrauded his patients, he said he simply takes whatever money his patients are willing to give. 

“That’s why this business doesn’t pay and I haven’t any money,” Jefferson said.

Also on this date

1929: Wall Street crashed on “Black Tuesday,” heralding the beginning of America’s Great Depression.