Abilene Reporter News (Newspaper) - December 27, 1938, Abilene, Texas
WIST TIX AS]
VOL. LVIII, NO. 209.
'WITHOUT, OR WITH OFFENSE TOFRIENDS OR FOES WE SKETCH YOUR WORLD EXACTLY GOES. "-Byron.
ABILENE, TEXAS, TUESDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 27, 1938 —FOURTEEN PAGES.
Associated Press (AP)
Cnltrd Pres* <t;P>
PRICE FIVE CENTS.NEAR CITY LANDS—
Officers Join In Search for Elusive Bandi!
Peace officers continued to search systematically today for a slight-statured gunman who had staged five holdups in the past IO days.
County, state, city and precinct law enforcement agencies were cooperating in the search. Descriptions of the gunman given by all five victims tallied — dark hair, about 24 years old, five feet eight inches tall, weight 135 pounds, dark clothing.
CAB DRIVER HEISTED
Fifth victim was Leonard Plowman, who was also the first in the series. He lost $25 Christmas night when a gunman walked into his filling station in east Abilene. Eight days earlier the same man had taken $44 from him. As a result, Plowman Monday resigned his job at the station.
Early Sunday morning, F. L. Bryan, Sweetwater taxi driver, was robbed of $10 and his cab. Bryan said he picked up a fare at 1:30 a. rn. Sunday and found . himself looking at a gun. The hijacker took his money, then forced him to he In the back of the car with the seat cushion jammed on top of him while the holdup man drove over coontry roads. Ile finally was released west of Sweetwater. The hijacker drove away In the cab, but it later was recovered.
In addition to twice-robbed Plowman and the Sweetwater taxi driver, a Baird motorist and a local taxi driver were held up last Thursday night. C. A. Chance, driver for an Abilene taxi company, was relieved of $14 a id his cab—later recovered—in a method similar to that suffered by th a Sweetwater man. Horace Elliott, Laird youth, was"held up by the gut..nan Abilene Christian college 30 minutes later, levin# ach.
Police believed the gunman to be experienced. Twice in holdups he made victims wipe fingerprints off articles he touched.
It. was considered probable that he had aid in at least some of the robberies. The Baird man and both taxi drivers said that an automobile passed during the holdups and that the gunman signalled to occupants of the car.
Rigs Rotary for Lake Kirby Oil Test
' Project to Seek
Here's News Served up Hot-
NEWSMEN, RADIO SCOOP' POSSE, AND MAKE CAPTURE THEY CAME TO WATCH Deep Pay Found
In Avoca Area
OMAHA, Neb, Dec. 27.—(UP)— A radio announcer and two newspaper repc s went out to an isolated corn field last night to stand by while approximately 50 policemen searched for four esca; d prisoners. The police had no luck but the newsmen made their own news. They captured two of the fugitives.
Foster May, news broadcaster for Radio Station WOW, Omaha, and George Sedlacek and Ernie Jones, reporters for the Omaha World-Herald, were assigned to the search after police had cornered the fugitives on a farm 20 miles south of the city.
The fugitives. Marion Brown, 32, Phil Erwin, 30, Fred Roberts, 34. and
Paul Romano, 38. escaped from the
Douglas county jail Christmas night. A police squad sighted them in a j stolen automobile last night and j chased them to the George Cockrell farm. The fugitives abandoned the automobile and escaped as police fired several shots at them.
Two engineers, carrying portable broadcasting equipment, were at I the scene with May. ’ Tie technicians and newsmen stood around in near zero weather for two hours while the police and farmers beat through the underbrush and searched woodpiles and shacks. Finally May wandered off to find a place to get warm. He noticed a light in a shed and went in. A stranger dressed in
tattered overalls was stretched out on a cot.
‘‘Hello,'’ May said. “I came in to get warm.”
‘‘Howya," the man said.
“Are you a farm hand?” May asked.
“What’s the name of this place?”
“I don't know,” the stranger answered. Suddenly he raised himself up on his elbows and blurted: “I’m the guy you're
He said he was Roberts—a suspect in a Nebraska City holdup— and pulled up one leg of his overalls to show a bullet wound in his
leg. He said the police had shot him 15 minutes earlier when he was escaping into the cornfield. He had no weapon.
“I just crawled in here to get warm,'' he said.
May is 33, slightly built and weighs only 135 pounds. He was not armed. But he continued the quester ing and assured himself he was talking to Roberts. Then he hurried outside, summoned his engineers, and set up the broadcasting equipment in the shed. He began questioning Roberts on thp air before police were aware of the capture. “Come on. fellow,” he said, “say something.”
“Nothing doing,” Roberts said. “I’m not going to say any
Later, aa Roberts was being taken away to a hospital. May thanked him for the “break which had enabled him to obtain the scoop”
“You bet,” Roberts replied. Thirty minutes later Sedlacek and Jones were talking to the landlady at a rear door. They heard a noise at a basement window, investigated, and found Brown, near 1 collapse from cold and hunger.
“I’m half frozen and want to get warm,” he said. The reporters summoned police.
P. S. Embarrassed police evened the score this morning by capturing Romano and Erwin in haystacks near Gretana.
BRINGING SUBZERO WEATHER—
Worst Cold Wave of Season Hits Nation
OBSERVER PREDICTS WINTER magic CARPET OFFERED TO WIPE OUT HITLER TO NIP SOUTH INTO FLORIDA 1 WL
(By United Press)
A cold wave swept down from Canada today bringing subzero temperatures to the United States and sending thermometers to their lowest points of the winter.
Canada and the North Central states felt the brunt today but U. S. Forecaster J. R. Lloyd at Chicago said the cold would nip the Atlantic seaboard and Gulf of Mexico tonight or tomorrow.
Gales roared across the Great Lakes region with winds reported as high as 42 miles an hour at Wausau, Wis. Snowfall stopped in the coldest regions but the high winds caused drifting and blocked many roads.
Major airlines reported many of their planes were grounded last night but said today that service was being resumed on normal schedules.
Coldest temperatures in the United States were recorded at Minot and Devils Lake. S. I)., where the thermometer reached 22 degrees below zero. Bemidji, Minn., reported 20 below and Duluth 14 below.
The minimum reported in Canada was 58 below at Mayo, Yukon Territory, where the cold wave first struck after a mass of cold air ‘^rmed over Nome. Alaska. Edmonton and Battleford in Western Canada
* * *
To 19 Dearees
I West Texas and Abilene caught near record weather for the season as. the cold wave gripping the northern part of the batton s^P^n on (0 four above zero this morning and
the forecast indicated it would drop
WASHINGTON. Dec. 27— (UP)—Naval officials studied today an inventor’s latest war weapon—a “flying carpet.” Among blueprints of superbattleships, long-range bombing planes and the like they found plans and claims by A S. Shafer. Philadelphia inventor, reading like a page from the Arabian Nights.
Shafer, a member of the chartered Institute of American Inventors, described his invention as a “flying mat or carpet of destructive elements woven to
gether and controlled by radio."
“My invention could be flown by remote control aeross the Atlantic and dropped over Berlin or Munich. It would wipe out Hitler and his hoodlums in a split Jiffy,* Shafer said
The “carpet” would be made of destructive elements which, when dropped, would destroy everything within an arca 1,000 times its size, Shafer claimed. He said he had actually flown a minitiature model and had proved all his claims.
Shafer said the navy would not consider his invention, although he had offered free demonstrations.
A steel deck would be flown by compressed air by displacing the atmosphere In much the same manner that a steel ship is floated in water, according to Shafer.
The “magic carpet” would be woven of destructive elements, such as TNT. he said, and controlled by radio either from the steel deck or an airplane.
IN HOLIDAY MISHAPS
. silvered at 34 degrees below while the temperas — e touched 24 below at Winnipeg and 28 below at Regina.
HIGH WINDS WITH COLD
Lloyd s: I the cold wave had reached Western Ohio this morning and predicted severe cold for the Atlantic states in 12 to 24 hours. Even Flori , where Miami reported a 70-degree temperature today, will not be spared, he said.
At Chicago the temperature fell
Five West Texans Killed
SHE BOUNCES WHEN SPIRIT MOVES HER
Pioneer Fisher Ranchman Dies
SWEETWATER. Dec. 27— <Spl> — William Flanigan, 86, pioneer Fisher county rancher, died in the local hospital at 5 45 Tuesday morning following a weeks illness. He had been in the hospital since last Friday when pneumonia developed.
Funeral services will be held from the First Methodist church here at 2 30 Wednesday afternoon. The Rev. Mrs. Mary Lee Cagel, of Mt. Zion. Texas, assisted by Rev. A. R. Meader, pastor of the local Naza-rene church, will officiate.
Flanigan was born in Canada and came to this country when just an infant. He moved to Fisher county in 1886, where he was engaged in the ranching business. He has lived in Sweetwater for the past ten years.
Survivors are his wife, two daughters, Mrs. D. M. Mizell, Sweet-* mer, and Mrs. W. K. Miller, Abilene; two stepsons, O. T. Shell, Gorman, and Ct C Shell, Sweetwater.
Pallbearers will be his five grandsons; O. C. and Neely Johnson, Sweetwater; Manney johnson, Hamlin; Melvin and Wilbur Shell, Gorman; and a close friend J. S. Staten, Sweetwater.
Burial will be in the city cemetery. Yates funeral home is in charge of arrangements.
the heels of a Christmas drizzle The mercury dropped to 18 degrees this morning, within one degree of the winter's coldest.
Clear skies brought some moderation during the late morning.
IO or 12 degrees lower tonight. No relief was expected before the end of the week.
Other representative temperature^: Kansas City, nine above;
but the temperature is due to North Platte, Nebr., two below
plummet again tonight. ‘Severe Omama, four above; Minneapolis,
freeze” is the forecast. Wednesday eight below; Denver, four above;
will be fair again, with tempera- Toledo, O.; 14 above; Dayton, CX, 16
tures not quite so cold. above.
Rainfall In the amount of .31 High winds accompanied the inches was a welcome Christmas idrop in temperatures in the Middle-
Cold weather did not daunt the Tuesday morning shoppers, as merchants opened annual pre-inventory sales.
Buying was as brisk as the air. Both men and women were out bargain-hunting. They were finding them, and buying.
One merchant reported an almost record-breaking sale morning. Others contacted likewise reported good days .There was a heavy shoe business. In ready-to-wear, good garments were going, many at half price. Marked down gift counters were popular; it seemed that Abi-lenians didn't quit buying gifts with Christmas passed. It was suggested by one clerk that ‘ maybe they have learned their lesson-going to start shopping early I or next Christmas.”
Secretary Board Of WTCC to Meet
Discussion of freight rates and the recently organized Freight Rate Equality federation will be purpose of a meeting of the West Texas chamber of commerce's secretaries’ advisory board here Thursday.
Chester Harrison, Brownwood, chairman of the board, has called the meeting slated at 3:30 p. rn. in the WTCC headquarters here. Harrison is also president of the chamber of commerce managers of West Texas.
Expected to attend are Garnet Reeves, Pampa; A. B. Davis, Lub-oock; Wilburn Page, Wichita Falls; Wm. Holden, Fort Worth; Hunter Jones, Breckenridge; H. J. Tanner, Eastland; Bill Collyns, Midland; Claude Simpson. Roswell, N. M.; ’J. D. Motley, Ballinger; J. C. Netts, Del Rio; and-JI. L. McConnell, San Saba.
present in the Abilene area. Had it been more, there would have only been more jubilance. The moisture was fairly general over Central West Texas, ranging to as much as .71 inch at Coleman,
Then Monday brought the cold wave. It hit Abilene about midmorning. The northern half of Texas was in the full grip of a hard freeze today, while the cold wave moved steadily southward and was expected to glaze the surfaces of
See WEATHER, Pg. 13, Col. 8
ii< * ■>
west. Dust storms were kicked up In Oklahoma and Kansas. In the vicinity of Smith Center, Kans.. wheat was blown out rf the ground and visibility was reduced to IOO yards. The wind reached a velocity of 34 miles an hour in Kansas City.
Temperatures were expected to rise slightly in Missouri and Kansas tomorrow but the readings probably I will remain below normal for the rest of the week, the federal weather bureau predicted.
It was two degrees below zero in Phillipsburg and Ellis, Kans.
In Iowa, sub-zero temperatures
See COLD W AVE, Pg. 13. Col. 3
ABILENE and vicinity: Fair with -severe freeze tonlsht; Wednesday fair and not quite so cold.
West Texas; Fair, not quite so ro.d In north; severe freeze In north and centra: portions and near freezing In Rio Grande valley; killing frost In southeast portion tonight; Wednesday fair with rising temperature
F.ast Texas: Fair. colder In east and and south portions, heavy to killing frost to roast, severe freeze in north portion, temperature twenty-eight to thirty-four on coast and twenty-five to thirty :n Interior of south portion tonight; Wednesday fair, not quite so cold.
Highest temperature yesterday ... 42
Lowest temperature this morning .19
•e.'IO pm. fi:30 arr 12 ;3*J p.rn Pry thermometer .15 20
W’et thernv'flleter 29 • 17 2-
Relative humidity 41 to 2:
Rev. Hugh M. Smith To Be Buried Here
Tile Rev Rugh M. Smith, who died in Amarillo at noon Monday, will be buried here Wednesday following a graveside service at 2 p. m. Funeral was set at Amarillo this afternoon.
The Rev. Mr. Smith, retired Presbyterian minister since 1921, was in charge of home mission work with headquarters in Abilene about 1906-OS. At time of his death he was 79 ;years old.
Survivors include his wife, four sons, Hugh WF. Glen a , Junius F. and Reginald A. Smith; a brother. William Smith; and a sister, Rachel Smith.
Belgian Leader Dies
BRUSSELS. Dec. 27.—(A’)—Emile Vandervelde, 72, veteran leader of the Belgian labor party and onetime head of the second Internationale, died todav. He was one of Belgium's signers of the Versailles itreaty. *
Bertha Marie Sybert. who is harried by a spirit or something. sits in the chair that witnesses say moved backward with her when she refused to go to bed. Reason Bertha wouldn't go to bed was that her
bed bounces. The case of the nine-vear-old girl, who lives near Jonesville, Va., Is attracting national attention. Her family claims she has slept little since bed bouncing began November 16,
Duce Reported Moving Troops
By The Associated Press
The war of words France and Italy have been waging over their African empires reached new tension today with reports Italy was massing troops on the frontiers of French Somaliland.
paign of pressure to induce France to yield Djibouti, port of Somaliland and railway outlet of Italy's new Ethiopian empire PEACE HINTED IN CHINA Egypt, too, saw evidence of Italian pressure in reports of troop
Total in 1937
The holiday was not without its deaths and accidents, but the 1938 picture in West Texas was not nearly as black as the Christmas record a year ago.
Five deaths and ll Injured were the toll reported in West Texas this morning. Records on the morning of December 27. 1937. showed eight dead and 15 injured in West Texas.
The dead today, all traffic victims, were Mrs. R. C. Bin-nion of Sweetwater, killed in a head-on automobile collision near Sweetwater Christmas morning; Gilbert Wayne White, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. W'il-zert White of Odessa: B. E. Riley, Odessa, oil field driller; Charles J. Nevtns, 25-year-old Coleman man killed early today In a three-way crash at Brownwood, and a Midland negro, Jesse C. Howard. 38, fatally injured at Big Spring Sunday when his car overturned. The White baby died late Sunday night; Riley succumbed Monday morning.
ODESSA LIST CROWS R C. Binnion of Sweetwater was in a critical condition in a Sweet-
By United Press
Violent deaths from the nation's three-cay Christmas holiday surpassed the 500-mark today. more than twice as many as were reported a year ago for a two-dav holiday.
At mid-day the total reached 508, with traffic accidents blamed for 350. At least 158 others died in hunting accidents, fires, drownings, murders and suicides.
Last year approximately 250 violent deaths were reported ing the Christmas holiday.
California reported 45 deaths,
34 in highway accidents; Texas 43, Pennsylvania 40, Nev.- V ork 35. Ohio 30. and Illinois 29.
Snow, sleet and rain contributed to many of the traffic accidents.
The District of Columbia, Delaware, Idaho, Montana. Nevada. Rhode Island, Vermont and Wyoming reported no violent deaths.
water hospital, hurt in the same crash that claimed the life of his w tfe. Three of their four children also were hurt, none seriously. Funeral for Mrs. Binnion was held yesterday in Fort Worth.
The Odessa deaths were the 28th and 29th on the Ector list of violent deaths for 1938. The White family was returning from a hunting trip, and would have reached home within three minutes. Their car crashed with another driven by Carol June Tillman two miles west of Odessa. The Tillman ma-
Forest Development corporation today announced a Christmas present for Abilene —the first move in the development of the oldest oil producing territory in this part of West Texas.
It will be a 3,500-foot oil test three miles southeast of Abilene on the east side of Lake Kirby, where the firm owtis 1.700 acres in leases secured from the city of Abilene. DERRICK ALREADY UP From its block of 3.000 acres. Forest has assigned the Carl King Drilling company of Dallas farm-out acreage under the well-site and other tracts for the drilling of the test.
Derrick has been erected over the Christmas weekend and materials were being moved in for the spudding before January I. The owners plan to core and test all prospective pay horizons in drilling to 3.500 feet or to the Palo Pinto lime —main pay zone of the new Avoca territory in Jones county-
The Taylor county project will be known as Forest and Carl King No. I T. C. Anderson et a1, and is staked 1,680 feet from the west and 2,225 feet from the south lines of section 8. Lunatic Asylum land sur- ; vev, three-fourths mile east of the Lake Kirby shore and a quarter mile east of city owned property.
Forest, soon af tar completion of contract with the city of Abilene for purchase of the acreage, announced that the test would be started as quickly as all titles could be cleared for the more than fbur sections of land under lease.
The firm purchased four small producers in the same section, with a total daily production of 13 barrels of oil. Two are on the Anderson estate land, one on the McClure and one on the J. C- High farm. •
FIRST WELL IN 1915 The area is the oldest oil producing territory in West Central Texas, antedating even the Ranger boom, although it is not the first in West Texas. Its discovery was the result of early geological work started after the Electra field was opened. W. A Riney, late Abilene engineer, called atteniton of Dr. J. A. Udrien of the University of Texas to the spot as early as 1914.
The first well drilled in the vicinity was to the northeast by a Pittsburgh firm. It was started in 1915 and completed the following year.
Among others who pioneered in drilling in that area were the late H. Crisman, Charles W. Sanger, Andrew Urban, and the Hunch Oil company formed by a group of Abi-lenians to develop the territory before 1920.
One of the earliest tests, drilled in 1918 and also located on the Anderson land, still heads a small amount of oil dally. The Forest and King test will be a quarter mile due west of the first well drilled by the old Hunch Oil company. Surface and subsurface geological work was done by Forest's crew, us-
Sce FOREST TEST, Pg. 13. CoL 4
Herr Hitler might not like
just now—his favorite Lent Riefenstahi wearing a IOO per cent American cowgirl outfit on a ranch near Santa Barbara, Calif.
In Paris this was interpreted as .he opening phase of a new cam- I See WORLD KHON T, Pg. 13, CoL 3 See DEAl^l TOLL, Pg. 13, CoL 5
Abilene Truck Driver Missing
SAN ANTONIO. Dec. 27—— Police today were searching for James Phillips, also known as Jack . 'Shorty > Phillips, 24-year-olri Abilene truck driver, who has been . missing since he parked his truck : here December 21.
R. R. Phillips, the truck driver’s father, and a brother, came to San Antonio yesterday to aid in the search for the missing man. who was said to have had $100 in his I possession at the time of his disappearance.
Tile trucker's father said he and James’ brother met the trucker here December 18. and then returned to Abilene to await James’ arrival for I Christmas. The truck driver then went to the Rio Grande valley, to Corsicana, and returned to San Antonio to park his truck and board a bus for Abilene.
Neither the youth's father nor his w'ife has seen or heard from the 1 trucker since that time. it was said.
; The youth’s father said he feared foul play.
LUBBOCK. Dec. 27—Fear of foul play was expressed today by Frank Mills, Texas ranger, in disappearance December 18 of R. D. i Frentress, 22, from near Seminole.
Mills said the youth had started to the home of his parents. 14 miles west of Lamesa, with Christmas presents for members of the family. He has not been reported seen I since.
The ranger has asked peace officers of the area to communicate with him if whereabouts of Frentress are known. Of slight build, he was said to be wearing glasses, a J gray^hat. suede jacket and khaki , trousers when last seen.
Abilene Boosts Fire Ranking
Rated first in Texas on fire prevention and fire control activities the third consecutive year, Abilene jumped during 1938 from 17th to seventh place in the nation.
The report was received thla morning by Fire Chief J. Ray Roe, from T. Alfred Fleming, director of conservation of the National Board of Fire Underwriters and chairman of the fire prevention and clean-up campaign committee of the National Fire Protection association.
EL PASO SECOND IN TEXAS This is the fifth year Abilene ha* been listed on the national merit roll; the third year, to rank first in Texas.
The merit awards in the nation gave first place to Memphis. Tenn.; second to Los Angeles; third to Wichita, Kans.: fourth to Jersey
City, N. J.; fifth to Lakewood, O.; sixth to Cleveland, and seventh to Abilene.
El Paso, in second place for Texas, was ranked 16th in the national list. Honorable mention for the state went to Amarillo, Fort Worth, Laredo, Lubbock, San Antonio and Houston. Nationally, San Antonio was In 21st place; Amarillo was ranked 35th; Lubbock was 49th on the list.
The committee of judges for 1938 was composed of William B. Bearden. chairman of the committee on fire prevention and engineering standards of the National Board of Fire Underwriters and vice-president of the Firemen’s Insurance
See URE REC ORD, Fg. 13, CoL •
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