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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Samuel R. Clemens, a Colfax farmer, had eluded capture for more than 14 years after he shot and killed a young man who had taken Clemens’ daughter to a dance against his wishes.

So you can imagine the shock on the face of a Colfax policeman when Clemens, now 60 years old, walked up to him on the street and surrendered.

Clemens told the policeman that he had “suffered mental agony because of his crime and had been unable to live an honest life.” So he came out of hiding, returned to Colfax and turned himself in to the first policeman he saw.

The crime had caused a sensation in 1900. Clemens was angry with young George Boland for taking his daughter to a dance. Boland, the girl and another couple were in a buggy coming home from the dance when Clemens rode up and shot Boland, killing him instantly. A $500 reward was offered for Clemens’ arrest, but despite a vast search, no trace of him had ever been found.

His whereabouts over the past 14 years were still a mystery. Clemens refused to tell authorities where he had concealed himself, but “declared it was in a cooler climate than this.” He also expressed repentance for his crime and stated that he wanted to live honestly.

He was currently in jail in Spokane.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

64: The Great Fire of Rome began, consuming most of the city over a week.

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