May 1, 2014 in City

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

By Correspondent

From our archives, 100 years ago

J.L. Pugh, a Mead township assessor, was quietly reading in his Orchard Prairie home. His young wife was getting ready for bed. Their small baby was asleep.

Suddenly, a man wearing a motorcycle cap and a handkerchief over his face burst in through the front door, pointed a revolver at them and demanded money.

He marched them around the house. Pugh gave him what little cash he had, but that did not satisfy the gunman.

The robber found a $5 check and a $10 money order, and demanded that Pugh endorse the money order and the check. Pugh did so and made them payable to “Alfred Degres,” as ordered.

At one point, Mrs. Pugh got so agitated that she fainted.

“I never felt like killing a man before,” Pugh said later. “But if my rifle had been loaded when Mrs. Pugh toppled over, I should have seized it and shot the man.”

The gunman searched the house and then left, saying not to telephone anyone or else he would “return in about eight days” and shoot them.

Later the next day, a man walked into the Spokane Post Office and tried to cash the stolen $10 money order. Two postal inspectors quickly nabbed him. The rest of the stolen loot and a revolver were found on him.

Inspectors believed that he was on parole from the state reformatory in Monroe and that he was using an alias.

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