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As It Was: Easy Money Results in Early Arrest in 1911

Two young men learned in 1911 that easy money can result in early arrest.

The men, Edward Jurgins, 20, and Fred Foster, 26, had decided there were better ways to get money than working the range in Eastern Oregon.

They knew stage coaches still ran between Drain and Coos Bay on the Oregon Coast, so they each packed a pistol in their baggage, and took the train to Drain, a place where new faces attracted attention.  It was no mystery who robbed the stagecoach the next morning.

Two passengers lost all their money and the stage driver forfeited his watch. 

After that caper, the boys paid a buggy driver to take them to Jurgins Ranch near Roseburg.  Acting on a tip, the sheriff and a deputy went to the ranch and spotted two young men dashing indoors.  They routed the young men, who had about $80 on them and a bent five-dollar piece taken from one of the stage passengers.  The sheriff confiscated the pistols used in the robbery. 

The accused confessed their robbery after a long session with the district attorney while Jurgins’ mother was prostrated with grief.


Source: Drain Stage Robbers Speedily Run to Earth." Cottage Grove Sentinel, 1 Dec. 1911. Historic Oregon Newspapers, oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088073/1911-12-01/ed-1/seq-1/. Accessed 16 June 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.