January 19 – 25, 1913: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives
Forgers and flim-flam artists busy in cranbrook during past week … A few days ago a certain man was waiting for the Soo-Spokane train in the waiting room at the depot when he was approached by a party who very gracefully engaged him in conversation. The man was the fool and the “party” was the fellow who fooled the fool.
In a few minutes the party learned that the man was bound for Spokane and was a carpenter by trade, whereupon the party offered the man a job down there erecting a saw mill for a brother of the party aforesaid.
The man was quite satisfied and fell in with the ideas of the party who, about that time, discovered that the train was likely to be about three hours late. They mutually agreed that there was nothing the matter with their going down town and discussing future affairs over a quiet drink or a mild cigar.
Down they started and near the Bank of Commerce a financial magnate was seen counting a wad of money and cheques big enough to suffocate an elephant. Let the party of the third part be called a magnate.
The party declared he knew the magnate and that when last he saw him he was a book-maker on the Minoru race track near Vancouver. Back went the party and told the magnate he knew him well.
“Thou lies,” replied the magnate, “I have been in the lumber business here in Cranbrook for the past four years.”
“When I saw you last,” declared the party, “you were a book-maker on the race track in Vancouver. More than that, you got into trouble about betting there — skinning the ring some way or other.”
“Well, you have the drop on yours truly,” said the magnate. “I admit I am in the betting business. Fact is, I stand in with all the pool-sellers in the States and Canada and when a horse is going to win I get a wire telling me which of the gee-gees is on the job. I have a code here with only initials used for the names of the horses so that the ginks in the telegraph offices can’t find out what the right name of the horse is. Savvy?”
The party savvyed alright. He put on a dollar, and the man, just to show he was a sport of the right heart, put on another. Away went the magnate to wire the bets and inside a few minutes back he came with the money doubled. Encouraged by this wonderful profit the party lumped the whole four dollars on another “certainty” and this bet was also wired away by the magnate who again brought them back their money doubled. This time they were eight dollars to the good.
At this point the magnate declared them both be low-grade pikers and that he would not waste his valuable time wiring their little bets. If they wanted a decent bet he was the man for their money.
Then did the party grow wrath and, to prove his monetary stability, he drew a cheque on some bank in Spokane for $300.
Not to be behind hand the man pulled out $50 in good Canadian money and gave it to the party who gave cheque and cash to the magnate for immediate investment on another “certainty” he had running that very instant down in Juarez, Mexico.
You bet your life they were going to knock the eternal spots off the ring this time.
By and by back came the magnate and told the party and the man that there was a gang of Jews hanging round the local pool-room (it was supposed to be situated somewhere close to the Fink Mercantile store), and that they were getting leary of his little game and had raised some question about the cheque.
To mend matters it was decided that all three were to go at once to Spokane and there cash the cheque and gamely “follow their winning hand” as soon as they had a fund for the proper destruction of the sinful bookmakers.
Before getting on the train it was arranged that the man was by no means to be seen speaking to either the party or the magnate; in fact, they each sat in different coaches.
When the man got about as far as Loco he went in search of his friends. They were not on board. The chances are they never left the Cranbrook station.
They have not been seen since, neither has the man seen his good looking fifty dollars. He has the experience. The magnate and the man have the coin. The wickedness of man transcends the duplicity of his satanic majesty.
Nabbed … A fellow named Thomas Gately has been sent up for trial by Judge Ryan charged with getting the cash for three cheques purporting to be signed by Mr. Hanson, of Wasa, one for $10, another for $31 and a third for $10. Easy money, easily come by and easily spent.
Gately went around the day of the municipal election, having the greatest time of his life. No sooner, apparently, had he blown in the proceeds of one cheque than he went and drew another. It was a splendid game and beat working by about the length of a city block.
But, before the drink was half out of his head, Charlie Baxter and Louis Macdonald, nailed him, and what will happen will happen.
Also caught … One Smith or Kilbey, on this same memorable election day, “touched” one of our leading citizens for the usual $10 on a cheque drawn on the Bank of British North America, Port Arthur. The strange thing about this case is that there is no branch of the Bank of British North America in Port Arthur. Smith, or Kilbey, is now lying in the city police cells awaiting his preliminary investigation.
Lastly … there is the case of a young chap named Jasper Mosier. This kid will not be seventeen years of age till April next, but what he does not know about the gay life is not knowledge apparently.
He engaged two rigs by calling up the livery barn over the ’phone and telling the man in charge they were wanted by one of our most prominent professional men. He got them and used them to prove his “plutocracy” to a certain light-of-love who very promptly informed the owner of the rigs that Mosier was sailing under false colors. He was laid by the heels in double quick time and is now down in the hotel steel, over which Constable Morris rules supreme.
Later on His Honor Judge Thompson will hold parley with him. This highly interesting youth is under a suspended sentence for forging a cheque in the name of Dr. Hall about two years ago. It is very unlikely that he will get a similar sentence this time
Great policing … The police department has done excellently in all these cases, getting their men in every one of them except where the flim-flam artists were concerned. If they only had a chance at those fellows they would have put them behind the steel for a certainty. They pulled off their game between trains and made their get-away before their victim even squealed.
Fort Steele news … On Tuesday evening quite an unusual crowd of business men flocked into Fort Steele, and this pretty little town’s hotel accommodation was soon at a premium. These invaders composed the first detachment of the army of delegates from all points in South East Kootenay, as well as from West Kootenay points, to the fifteenth annual session of the Associated Boards of Trade of South East Kootenay.
It was a jolly crowd, intent upon having a good time, but earnestly desirous of getting down to business immediately, in order to dispose of the long list of resolutions, which made up the programme for the session.
It was found inconvenient to hold any meeting on Tuesday evening, and as the town was all excitement over a fancy dress ball, to take place in a few minutes, it was decided that the delegates should defer business until 10 a.m. Wednesday morning and in the meantime participate in the delights of the merry whirl, with the youth and beauty of Fort Steele.
The ball was held in the Public hall, a spacious building, with a good floor for dancing, which had been prettily decorated.
The ball was given by Mrs. Wallinger’s orchestra, of this city, and the music supplied, by Mrs. Wallinger, Miss Skinner and Mr. Walter Walsh, certainly delighted all the dancers, from far and near. The costumes were very pretty and, in some cases, displayed rare taste and considerable artistic skill.
The dance was kept merrily going until the wee small hours of the morning and was thoroughly enjoyed.
The advent of so many outside dancers meant that every young lady present had as many partners as she wanted. It would have done their friends a world of good to have seen how some of the old stagers, forgot all about business and their increasing infirmities, got out and danced every dance on the programme.
Probably our friend Zwickey from Kaslo, proved the best of the bunch, but the ager of the Sullivan mine, Kimberley was hard run by T. A. Lafferty, banker, of Rossland, C. H. McDougall, manley, Guy Lowenberg, of Creston, F. W. Bingey, of Trail, and notably R. W. Drew, C.P.R. district freight agent, etc., of Nelson.
That worthy old-time merchant, of Kaslo, Mr. Geigerich, also showed the boys a thing or two.
But the other Nelson delegates, Messrs. C. F. McHardy, Chas. Scott, really were the star foot workers on this occasion.
It was just about the best affair of the kind ever held in old Fort Steele, now resuming youthful airs and habits, by reason of the arrival of the K.C.R., and everyone freely conceded , that Fort Steele needed no pointers upon entertaining visitors, even if they did drop in unexpectedly and in large numbers.
Y.M.C.A. Notes … The men’s meeting at the Ry. Y. M. C. A. last Sunday was addressed by Rev. L. P. Westman, formerly pastor of the Methodist church of this city.
There was a splendid turnout of the men of the town to hear Mr. Westman, evincing the esteem in which he is held and the appreciation of what he has done.
He spoke along the line of a man having a purpose in life, having something to aim for and concentrating his energy in attaining it.
He spoke plainly and convincingly and all those present felt the importance of the message.
Mr. Norman Gardner, who is well and favorably known in the city, sang “The Holy City” in a very pleasing manner, the audience recording its appreciation.
Next Sunday Messrs. Furlong and E. W. Turnley will be the speakers, their subject being “The Characters of Great Men Which are Worthy of Emulation by Us.”
Mr. Geo. Stevenson has kindly consented to be the soloist.
There is a cordial welcome to all and every man is asked to bring a pal.
Masquerade ball … A masquerade ball will be given at the Auditorium on Wednesday evening, January 29th. Prizes will be given for first and second best fancy costume and first and second best comic costume. Masks must be raised on entering.
Funeral … The funeral of the late J. S. Brake took place last Friday afternoon. There was a very large attendance.
Following the hearse and the chief mourners came the Masonic brethren, of which order deceased was a respected member, next came a very big turnout of the members of the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, followed by a long string of carriages.
The funeral service took place at Christ church, Rev. E. P. Flewelling officiating. Undertaker Macpherson had charge of the arrangements.
After the church service the long procession wended its way to the cemetery, where the Rev. E. P. Flewelling performed the last rites of the church and the Masonic service was read by Bros. Wilson and Dr. Miles.
Curling … Local curlers are practising daily and are enthusiastic in their preparations for the forthcoming, second annual bonspiel which will be held on the Cranbrook ice February 3rd, 1913. There will be four open competitions and consolation, besides individual prizes, for each event. Arrangements are being made for the entertainment of the visiting rinks, which are expected from all towns in the Crows Nest Pass. The C.P. R. has granted a special passenger rate for this event.