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As It Was: Student Tells Harrowing Tale Involving Rumrunners

One weekend in 1926, a young Talent, Ore., resident, attending school in Tacoma, Wash., told his family that he was going to walk across town to visit relatives.  He said he knew a shortcut through a sparsely traveled area so it wouldn’t take long.  When he didn’t show up by Sunday evening, his family called the police.

A week later, the student, 18-year-old Donald Tryon, arrived at his parents’ home in Talent with a harrowing tale. 

Tryon said he ran into a couple of rumrunners on the trail who knocked him unconscious.  When he came to, he found himself tied up in a boxcar.  He said he managed to break free of his bindings and jump from the boxcar, landing in the Ashland, Ore., railyard.  There was no one around so he walked to Jacksonville, Ore., where he hitched a ride to Talent.

Tryon’s overcoat was found on the shortcut trail in Tacoma with a note that read,   “This guy knows too much about our business.”  No rumrunners were in sight.


Source: Talent Boy Has Novel Experience." Central Point American, 27 May 1926, p. 1. Historic Oregon Newspapers, oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088432/1926-05-27/ed-1/seq-1/. Accessed 23 Oct. 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.