It happened this week in 1914

August 8 -14: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

August 8 -14: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


The Murder of Sasa Moto … A mysterious mind-baffling murder was committed about two miles southwest of Cranbrook last Saturday evening at 10.20, when some unknown person shot and killed Sasa Moto, a Japanese truck gardener.

The deceased resided with his wife about one-half mile south of the South Ward school and on Saturday evening was making preparations to retire and stepped out on his back porch ostensibly to close and lock the screen doors. A moment later his wife heard the shot and called to him. Receiving no answer she stepped out and found her husband lying in a pool of blood on the porch with his head almost at the door. She succeeded in dragging him just inside the door and then ran to town for assistance.

The alarm was given and the police and a number of Japanese friends of the couple were soon on the scene, but could find no clue to the assailant. The wounded man died a few minutes after the arrival of his friends.

From the appearance of the scene at the little home the murderer lay in wait for his victim just behind the woodpile, which was only a few feet from the back door. The shot was fired from a shotgun with a No. 5 shell and struck Sasa Moto full in the face, shots entering his head from his chin to his eyes.

Part of the charge chattered the window behind him and a few pierced through a stove pipe on the inside.

The body was taken to the undertaking parlors of W. R. Beatty and Coroner J. H. M. Bell held an inquest over the body on Tuesday morning. The jury visited the body and then visited the scene of the crime and adjourned until next Tuesday morning. Sheriff Morris and Constable Logan are working on the case.

The murder is the culmination of a series of misfortunes which seems to have been following Sasa Moto for some time. From all the information gathered he had no quarrels with anyone and no known personal enemies. He was always good natured and had many friends, especially among his own countrymen. He purchased the truck farm from Hakawja, another Japanese, who was his brother-in-law, about two years ago. Hakawja moved to Calgary and engaged in business.

Since taking over the property Sasa Moto has had a large number of chickens and ducks stolen from his place; also several pigs. Last year he lost about three hundred chickens and ducks through thieves. Once last year, when one of the boys employed on the ranch was alone at the farm he heard a noise among the pigs in the night and rushed out, to see a man running away. He found two small pigs tied up in a sack ready to be carried away.

About four months ago Sasa Moto heard a commotion among his pigs and ran down to his barn and was immediately knocked down by some man in the dark. He struggled to his feet and was again attacked and beaten into insensibility with a heavy club. When he recovered the unknown assailant was nowhere to be found. He had no suspicions as to the identity of this person and thought that he had surprised a robber, with these serious results.

Indications now point to the fact that Sasa Moto must have possessed an enemy who was continually on his trail and anxious to do him harm, and one exceptionally well acquainted with his farm and the daily habits of those about the place. Two dogs were kept on the place and were only absent on Saturday evenings when they followed the employees to town, where they spent Sunday. A travelling robber or yeggman would not be in the habit of carrying a shotgun.

The police are busily engaged on the mystery and have hopes of clearing it up within a short time.

All for public meeting … Patriots Attention! A public meeting of the patriotic citizens of Cranbrook, men and women, is called to meet at the city hall next Monday evening at 8.30 p.m. The object of the meeting is to consider ways and means of equipping two companies or volunteers, quite a number of which are already enlisted, or more, and such ether duties as the meeting may suggest as desirable for Cranbrook to carry out, on behalf of the empire and Canada at this critical time.

Cranbrook has never been known to shirk a duty or responsibility and this is one of the most critical times ever in the history of Canada. It is urged that every citizen with the good of his country and the defense of his home at heart will respond and be in attendance at the meeting.

“Breathes there a man with soul so dead, who never to himself has said, this is my own my native land?” God Save the King.

East Kootenay to have regiment … Militia orders issued today authorize the origin of an eight-company regiment of infantry with headquarters at Fernie, B.C. and company headquarters at Fernie, Cranbrook, Elko, Golden, Fort Steele, Hosmer and Michel.

Cranbrook volunteers organize company … Cranbrook will be able to supply a company of volunteers for active service in the army in case they are needed to fight for the empire.

Last Monday a list was started and about thirty signers were secured the first day and the first drill of the new recruits was held at the jail yard at the rear of the city hall on Monday evening.

Mr. H. Venus is acting as drill master and the volunteers will continue to increase their numbers until a full company is formed and their services will be offered to the Empire in case of need. Otherwise they expect to act as home guards for Canada in case of any trouble or outbreak at home.

Those who had signed the roll on Monday evening were: George P. Tisdale, Ira A. Foster, Geo. W. Reece, Walter Soden, Frank E. J. Rosselli, Allen L. Marchant, Edwin A. Ketteringham, F. D. Thompson, J. Twamley, J. Boyes, A. G. Armstrong, John Brake, J. H. M. Bell, E. Smith, R. A. Fraser, A. T. Underhill, J. C. Merrington, T. Hartling, Frank Clifford, Geo. Sloane, Frederick Woodward, R. D. Davis, E. Parry, Geo. Jones, Dan Logan, Fred Brown, Horace W. Templeman, R. E. Hartnell.

The following is a list of those who have enlisted for active service and who have successfully passed the physical examination: Jack Wilde, Horace W. Templeman, Ernest Parry, Reginald E. Hartnell, John G. B. Daziel, Joseph Higginbothem, John Braik, A. T. Underhill, Fred Brown, Dr. J. H. M. Bell, M.D., F.R.C.S., Edinburgh, Walter Chambers, W. F. Johnson, E. A. Ketteringham, Frank E. J. Rosselli, E. E. Hore, Fred Charles Egge, Frank Clifford, A. Proudfoot, Albert Pagotte, Wm. T. Smith, Geo. Jones, John Cameron, David McLennan, R. W. Henry, P. McAskill.

Funeral … The funeral of Sasa Moto, the Japanese who was killed at his ranch last Saturday night, was held from the Beatty undertaking parlors this afternoon at 2.30, the services being conducted by Rev. O. E. Kendall, pastor of the Baptist church.

School board news … It was decided to have the Central school and South Ward school thoroughly fumigated.

Moyie summer school … About fifty people have been in attendance at the summer school at Aldridge, on Moyie Lake, given under the auspices of the Methodist church The school closes tomorrow. It has been a successful term and a very happy occasion for those in attendance. A Herald representative visited the camp last Sunday and found everyone comfortably housed in eight large tents and cookhouse with a well-regulated time table, which provided three meals and several long hours for sleep. Rev. W. E. Dunham was camp manager. A number of pieces of fishing equipment were in sight and Messrs. Smith, Attwood and Chas. Nordman, of Moyie, were making regular launch trips to the camp and providing everything necessary. The main object of the summer school is to devote considerable time to religious study under the most favorable circumstances. This year they had several noted speakers on the program, which comprised a comprehensive study of the Bible and several phases of religious life.

Council notes … City council met at the city hall on Monday evening at eight o’clock, those present being Acting Mayor Campell. Aldermen Hickenbotham, Leask and Genest, City Clerk T. M. Roberts and City Engineer J. C. Glenday. Mr. W. B. McFarlane appeared before the council and asked that they define the lines of his property the corner of Edwards street and Garden avenue, as he wished to build stone retaining wall. Motion carried that the city ascertain and give the required lines to Mr. McFarlane.

Oil wells … An extensive program of the drilling of eighty oil wells has boon announced by the Canada Oil and Venture Corporation. Ltd., on their properties in the Flathead Valley. This means the greatest stimulus ever given at one single stroke to the Canadian oil world. The property owned by this company is the holdings of Sir Chas. Tupper, part of it being adjoining the Flathead Petroleum company and part on Kish-E-nah-nd creek. The great program has been decided upon after a most exhaustive examination which shows conclusively that the Flathead Valley offers the best possible indications for securing oil in paying quantities.

New sidewalks and bridges … New wooden sidewalk was placed on the following streets:

260 feet 6- foot walk on Edward street, block 22; 130 feet 6-foot walk on Edwards street, block 24; 430 foot 6-foot walk an Burwell avenue, block 98; 305 feet 6-foot walk on Van Horne, block 92; 165 feet 6-foot walk on Van Horne avenue, block 35.

Old sidewalk was replaced on the following streets: 260 feet on Edward street, block 42; 260 feet on Edwards street, block 43; 110 feet on Fenwick avenue, block 24; 100 feet on Burwell avenue, block 97; 350 feet on Louis street from Van Horne to Durick Avenue; 700 feet on Edwards street, Clark to Van Horne; 550 feet on French avenue and 100 feet on Dewar Avenue, blocks 21 and 32.

Bridges Bridge over creek at Garden and Louis was rebuilt, and made seven ft. wider. New cribbing and bents were put in, new deck was placed; also guard rails. Bridge on Fenwick Avenue was rebuilt and made four feet wider. New deck and guard rails were placed. Bridge on Hanson Avenue was re-cribbed and guard rails placed. Part of bridge on Armstrong Avenue was rebuilt.

Rail track … Track has now been laid on more than twenty miles of road beyond Spillimacheen on the Kootenay Central line south from Golden, states Mr. J. G. Sullivan, chief engineer of C.P.R. western lines. The official added that the company expected to have the entire line from Golden to the junction point with the Crow’s Nest line near Fort Steele ready for traffic this coming fall.

Buys Edison … On last Monday Mr. W. B. McFarlane purchased the business and fixtures of the Edison theatre from Baldwin Bros, and has decided to close the theatre. The Edison has not proven a profitable venture for the past few months and the fact that two picture shows were too many for the city at the present time became apparent. Some of the seats from the Edison will be used to increase the seating capacity at the Rex theatre, which is continuing as usual under the management of Mr. A. A. Johnson. A later announcement by Mr. McFarlane states that the Edison will be open on Saturday nights only and for the balance of the week will be at the disposal of the recruiting officers, volunteers, or other public meetings concerning the war.

Changes at the Royal … Several important interior improvements have been made in the Royal hotel offices recently. This hotel is now one of the best in East Kootenay having been entirely refitted with new furniture and thoroughly renovated since Mr. Steward assumed the proprietorship. He is an optimist who believes that in giving his guests the best possible service that he will eventually reap his reward in increased patronage. Since the outbreak of war with Great Britain involved the Royal has been flying a large number of flags and Mr. Steward has ordered one of the largest flags made, which will be kept at the top of the pole as long as hostilities continue.

New partnership … Lloyd and Elliott Crowe have formed a new co-partnership to be known as Crowe Bros., and have taken over the business of Lloyd Crowe & Co., which has been conducted in the old C.C.S. corner as an ice cream and confectionery store. The new firm is adding groceries and will cater to the general grocery trade after about September first. Several changes have been made in the building, a new ice cream parlor being provided for at the rear and a new plate glass window is being placed in the corner on Armstrong avenue. The soda fountain has been moved to the opposite side of the store and shelving installed for the new stock of groceries which is expected to arrive about August 20th. The rear of the building will be utilized as a grocery warehouse and the chinaware and crockery will be stored on the second floor.

Fire … Jack Myers’ garage at the rear of his residence on Louis street was burned by fire on Sunday night, the fire department being called out and succeeded in keeping the flames from spreading to any other buildings.

Better roads needed … Meeting of the Cranbrook District Automobile association was held at the Cranbrook hotel last Monday evening to consider the proposition of accepting the invitation of the Spokane fair for giving a Cranbrook day at the fair on September 19th. Mr. V. Hyde Baker, the president called the meeting to order. The secretary, Mr. W. H. Wilson, read the correspondence with the secretary of the Spokane fair and after some discussion it was decided that on account of the condition of the roads between Yahk and Creston and for several miles beyond Kingsgate on the American side that it would be impossible to induce enough cars to make the trip to make showing that would be of any value to the city. Some of the auto owners will likely make the trip but the city will not be represented as a whole.