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As It Was: Gossip Spreads Over Two Josephine County Shootings in 1910

The Rogue River Courier reported on two separate shootings in January of 1910 that created widespread interest in Grants Pass, Ore.

In one incident, a young man was shot during a late-night walk, and in the other, a miner shot his mountain neighbor.
The young man, Harvey Crump, said he was walking to an appointment on M Street when a man stepped from behind a post and shot him in the temple at close range and robbed him, but he couldn’t identify the shooter.  He spent three weeks in a hospital with a bullet lodged near his eye.

The miner, James McGuire turned himself in to the sheriff, claiming self-defense when he killed his neighbor, Ignaz Knappka, after Knappka shot at him in the Illinois River woods about 36 miles from Grants. 

No witnesses surfaced to either shooting, resulting in rampant speculation, including that a jealous husband had shot Crump, and McGuire killed his neighbor in a fit of rage. 

McGuire was found guilty at trial of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison.  Crump moved to Jacksonville.

Source: "Young Man Receives Bullet in His Head: Reported Robbery But Later Conflicting Rumors Are Set Afloat and Duel To The Death In The Mountains." Rogue River Courier, 14 Jan. 1910 [Grants Pass Oregon] , p. 1+. Historic Oregon Newspapers, oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088281/1910-01-14/ed-1/seq-1/. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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.