MURDER COMMITTED IN THE KUSKOKWIM
March 23 - About 2 o'clock on the afternoon
of March 17, Joseph Plepln (pronounced Plout),
aged 28, a French Canadian, was shot twice
and killed with a rifle in the hands of George
Tisdale, 45 years old, at the cabin where he
and three other Frenchmen lived, 80 miles below
Georgetown and about 12 miles away from Kalmakofsky.
After the shooting Tisdale started alone up
the trail to Georgetown, arriving here two
days later, and two days before the return
of the officers who were up-river bringing
down the body of Harry Jacobson. On the return
of the officers Tisdale reported the matter
and was locked up, the deputy marshal leaving
this morning for the scene of the shooting.
Tisdale says little and seems to be very nervous
and on the verge of collapse. He did not know
if he had wounded or killed Plepln.
A messenger who arrived late tonight, and
who had been sent for an officer, stated that
Plepln died almost instantly, but he knew little
else about the affair.
Tisdale says the shooting was in self defense;
that he believed his life was in danger, especially
from poison, which would indicate that his
mind is not quite right. No further facts leading
up to the tragedy can be learned at this writing.
Joseph F. Plepln was born at St. Mary's, near
Montreal, Canada, where his parents reside,
his father beige a wealthy banker. He was well
educated, well liked and popular with everybody.
He was at one time a bookkeeper in his father's
bank, and then a bookkeeper at Dawson, then
drifted over to Fairbanks, and had a lay on
No. 11 Goldstream and afterwards on Cleary.
He stampeded to Iditarod, where he prospected,
then came on the stampede to the Kuskokwim
arriving at Takotua, and went from there to
Kolmakofsky on the Quickstep. After the free-up
he came to Georgetown with his dog team, and
made three round trips from here to Iditarod
to assist a Frenchman named Pharro who was
arrested and bound over to court charged with
selling or giving whisky to natives.
George Tisdale, who did the shooting, once
had ground in Lovett gulch and Bonanza Creek,
in the Dawson country, and on Ester Creek in
Fairbanks district. He came to Georgetown with
the rush and after working here a while drifted
down the river and occupied the same cabin
with four Frenchmen, one of whom was Pharro,
is under a $2,000 bond as mentioned above.
It is thought that not understanding French,
Tisdale grew to believe that when they were
talking in their own language that they were
talking about him, and plotting to take his
life, and that this so preyed upon his diseased
mind that it was one of the causes that led
up to the tragedy.
The shooting was done inside the cabin with
a 30-10 Winchester rifle, the body falling
near the doorway. One of the men, the eldest,
was cutting wood outside, but the others were
inside at the time o the shooting, and all
three ran away, and were afraid to follow Tisdale,
which accounts for the messenger not reaching
here until five days after Tisdale.
Deputy Marshal Siebe is expected back on Monday
with the body and the three partners, as witnesses.
GEORGETOWN, March 30 - Deputy Marshal Siebe
arrived from the scene of the late tragedy
on Monday, with the body of Joseph F. Plepin,
the man killed by George Tisdale near Kolmakofsky
on March, and the witnesses in the case Nels
Perra, Dan Pagaut and John Landry, who occupied
the cabin where the killing took place. Coroner
Heavey empanelled a jury yesterday to inquire
into the case Perra and Pagaut testified
that Plepln and Tisdale were washing and
putting away dishes about 2 o'clock on the
afternoon of March 17, and Perra and Pagaut
were lying across Plepin's bunk, when a shot
was fired, and they saw Tisdale and Plepln
wrestling with a gun. Plepln was on his knees,
and without waiting to separate the men,
they rushed past them and hid in a neighboring
Slough. Landry was chopping wood near the
cabin, and hearing the shot ran to the cabin,
where he was met at the door by Tisdale with
a gun, who ordered him to hit the trail,
which he did, making his way to Capt. Paddy
Woods' cabin on the Kushokwim.
The dead man had a wound in his hip ranging
downward; another near the top of his head
and a slight wound in the neck. The jury returned
a verdict that Plepln was killed by a gunshot
wound, and Tisdale was held to the grand jury
without bail. He will be tried at Iditarod
when court convenes there this spring.
GEORGETOWN, March 22, -- On March 8 O.R. Mayben, Alex Frazier and
Harrie Laurie, prospectors. William Young, trader and woodchopper and
a native named Waskie, found the cabin door of Harry Jacobson standing
open and his body dead ad frozen stiff on his bed inside. The prospectors
had been at work on Nanzatatak river, and running low on food went
to Jacobson's cabin to buy provisions.
Jacobsson was about 55 or 60 years old, had lived two years in his
late cabin and was a trapper by occupation. He was better known as "Scow
Harry". He is thought to have had considerable money, but only
$75 could be found on his person. Tow hotcakes with a piece cut out
on one, and a cup of coffee were on the table. The candle had burned
down ad scorched a wooden candle-holder, with last week in February
out, hung on the wall but dates had been corrected in pencil up to
March 5 on the under sheet.
Coroner Heavey and Deputy Marshall Siebe went to the cabin, about
70 miles up the river, and brought the body and a number of valuable
skis to this place. The body is being prepared for burial in the tird
rae in Georgetown's new cemetery, on a high bar across the Kuskokwim.
Whether death was due to natural causes or accidentally swallowing
some of the poisons all trappers use, is not revealed. No relaties