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As It Was: Grants Pass Robber Resembles Fictional Diamond Dick

In 1919, a robber hijacked a taxi, known then as a jitney, and left the gagged-and-bound driver in the woods.
Folks said the case reminded them of Diamond Dick, a fictional robber of dime novels who dressed outlandishly and always managed to elude the law. 

The Daily Courier newspaper reported the “thrilling adventure” began when a well-dressed young man boarded a taxi at the Grants Pass Hotel and ordered the driver, W.G. White, to pick up a young woman at the train station.

From the station, they headed south, but at the Rogue River Bridge the young man shoved a pistol in White’s ribs, robbed him of his wallet, and ordered him to drive down the road.  White noted the robber was polite but firm while the woman was silent. 

Near Gold Hill, the couple tied up White, left him lying in the woods, and took off in his 1913 Ford.  It took White a few hours to loosen the ropes enough to hobble to a farm house for help and to alert the sheriff.

Just like Diamond Dick, the robber and his assumed lady accomplice vanished into the night.

Source: "Holdup Man Pulls Diamond Dick Stunt." Grants Pass Daily Courier, 15 Sept. 1919, p. 1+. Historic Oregon Newspapers, oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn97071141/1901-05-30/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=01%2F01%2F1846&city=&date2=12%2F31%2F2018&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&lccn=sn97071141&index=2&words=Illingswort. Accessed 22 Jan. 2019.

Lynda Demsher has been editor of a small-town weekly newspaper, a radio reporter, a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for the Redding Record Searchlight, Redding California. She is a former teacher and contributed to various non-profit organizations in Redding in the realm of public relations, ads, marketing, grant writing and photography.