WA Secretary of State Blogs

Horrible Murder!! – The Case of the Aged Bride

July 24th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, Technology and Resources, Uncategorized No Comments »

From the desk of Marlys Rudeen
I will admit to a weakness for a murder mystery – but one from the early 1920’s with shady characters, a missing trunk, divers in Lake Union, forgery, fraud and general unsavoriness?  Well, that’s irresistible.  And all done up in purple prose by the Seattle Star?  Even better!

Feel free to follow the story yourself by looking at the Seattle Star in Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87093407/issues/1921/).  I’ve listed the dates and pages below.

Mahoney

May 25, 1921, p. 1

Meet James and Kate Mahoney.  James is 37, an ex-convict, paroled from Walla Walla in December of the previous year after assault and robbery charges in Spokane, and a former train conductor before that.  He is being held on forgery charges at the time the story breaks.  He marries Kate Mooers on Feb. 19, 1921.  Kate is 72 and quite well off, owning several buildings in Seattle.   Kate Mooers is the former Kate Keeler “whose dance hall and allied activities at Butte in the late 80s were celebrated thruout the Northwest.”  (Hard to see what could go wrong.)

A few months after the wedding the “aged and wealthy bride” is missing.  Her husband insists she is traveling… in Cuba.  The Captain of Detectives is planning on dragging Lake Union for a mysterious trunk. And James Mahoney “the ex-convict bridegroom” is held in the city jail on charges of forging various documents that allow him access to his wife’s resources.

Mahoney insists that they went to St. Paul, MN for their honeymoon, where they quarreled (coincidentally after Mrs. Mahoney signed papers allowing her husband power-of-attorney and access to her safety deposit box.)  The bride then departed to travel to Havana via New York.  The forgery charge arose after he used the papers to gain access to the safety deposit box.

In the weeks and months to come there are rumors, mysterious witnesses, blind alleys of inquiry, charges and countercharges, dueling lawyers and a cast of peculiar characters.  I’ve tried to list some of the more significant points on the timeline below.

May 26, 1921, p.1

A trunk lid and hair found in Lake Union by a houseboat resident near the Lake Union auxiliary power plant!  (Not the right trunk.)

A floating body seen in the bay at Edmonds! (Later determined to be a logger – May 27, 1921)

Mahoney sends a telegram to his wife care of the  N.Y. hotel where they had reportedly arranged to meet after her travels!  (No one has seen her there.)

May 27, 1921, p. 1

The female friend of one of the witnesses against Mahoney goes missing.  Rumors spread that Mahoney’s first wife also disappeared on a trip east.  Officials continue to drag Lake Union. 

May 28, 1921 p. 1

When grappling hooks fail to produce a body, divers (looking like something out of Jules Verne) are brought in to search Lake Union.  They fail to find a body.  Due to testimony of witnesses seeing someone like Mahoney rowing about Lake Union in the dead of night in a small white boat with some sort of large object in the stern, Capt. Tennant of the police remains convinced the body will be found in the Lake.

Mrs. Mahoney’s niece insists a letter, purportedly from her aunt, is a forgery.

May 30, 1921, p. 1

Stories and counterstories continue.  Mahoney’s first wife is located alive! (Score for Mahoney.) But says she left him because he was smuggling opium and tried to kill her! (Score for the police.)

May 31, 1921, p. 1

Mystery witness claims to have heard Mahoney jest about his wife’s death.  Divers still searching.  Police assert the Mahoneys did not board the train for St. Paul as claimed.

June 2, 1921, p. 1

A submarine or U-boat sled is brought in to be used in search.  Forgery hearing set for June 14.

As the days and weeks go by, the story occupies less and less space in the paper.  The County Commissioners offer a reward for information about Mrs. Mahoney’s whereabouts (June 2).  The search for the trunk goes on, but one can imagine that Capt. Tennant of the police is beginning to get some odd looks around headquarters.

July 30, 1921

Headlines again when a trunk (empty) is found in Lake Union.

And finally – Aug. 9, 1921, p. 1

The trunk is found with a badly decomposed body! Mahoney is back in jail.  The body is identified as Kate Mahoney by the wedding ring and false teeth.

Aug. 10, 1921, p. 1

Mahoney announces he will make a fight of it at his trial, and five people attempt to claim the reward for finding the trunk. Police search for a hammer which they believe was the murder weapon, along with poison, and sightseers from all walks of life visit the morgue to observe the remains.

There are then several days of reporting on various facets of the case leading up to trial.

Aug. 13, 1921, p. 1

This piece concentrates on the expected testimony of the expressmen that conveyed the trunk from the Mahoney apartment to Lake Union at Mahoney’s request.

Aug. 16, 1921, p. 1

There are reports of Mahoney’s increasingly odd behavior in jail and how his possible insanity would affect the trial.

Aug. 17, 1921, p.1

Mahoney is brought before a board of physicians to evaluate his mental ability to understand trial procedures and the charges against him.

Aug. 18, 1921, p. 1

Mahoney is declared sane, and doctors remark that he overplayed his role.  His mother and sister in an effort to help ”admitted that insanity was rampant in their family tree.”

(Probably not as helpful as they might have wished.)

Various legal maneuvers take up several weeks and are boring enough not to make the front page.  Plus the escape and pursuit of a convict from McNeil Island provides enough thrill for the reporters.

Sept. 19, 1921, p. 1

The case is back on the front page just before trial, with fellow prisoners charging that Mahoney plans to shoot up the courtroom.  Sightings of Mrs. Mahoney – alive – are also reported.  (But never verified.)

Sept. 20, 1921, p. 1

At the beginning of the trial process, one reporter interviews Mahoney and remarks, “Jim Mahoney ‘went insane’ in his cell again at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon…”  A history of the case is printed to assist folks in following the trial, and a lengthy jury selection begins.

Sept. 22, 1921 and following

Actual arguments and testimony begin and continue over several days with both prosecutor and defense attorney scoring points, shaking witnesses, and building their cases.  Mahoney gives an interview every few days.

Oct. 3, 1921, p. 1

Verdict of guilty is returned on Oct. 3.  Mahoney’s lawyer announces plans to appeal. 

Dec. 1, 1922, p. 1

More than a year later, James Mahoney is executed on Dec. 1, 1922, at the State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.  His demeanor is described (stoic), as is his smile (sour).  One side article describes the reaction of his mother to the notification of his death.  Another describes how his 13-year-old niece, Margaret, led him “back to the faith in which he had been raised.”

The Seattle Star was digitized through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under the National Digital Newspaper Program.  The Star and many other American newspapers can be found online at Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov) at the Library of Congress.

Additional newspapers for Washington can be found at Historic Newspapers (www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/newspapers.aspx) at the Washington State Library’s web site.  The State Library is a Division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

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Digitization grants awarded for Washington Rural Heritage, 2015-2016

July 14th, 2015 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, Uncategorized No Comments »

nesset0059Congratulations to the latest group of public libraries and heritage organizations recently awarded digitization grant through the Washington Rural Heritage program!

Over the next year Washington State Library staff will be working with these organizations to digitize unique, historically significant materials held in their collections. Awardees will be trained in all aspects of digitization, and their collections will be publicly hosted and digitally preserved through the Washington Rural Heritage website and digital repository.

The statewide digital collection currently provides access to photographs, documents, audio and video recordings, and digitized cultural objects from more than 100 Washington institutions. In addition, the project includes more than 300 family photo collections, making these previously inaccessible materials available freely to the public.

Below are this year’s grant recipients. To read about the details of each project, go to: http://www.sos.wa.gov/q/2015WRHAwards.

  • $5,000 – Asotin County Library in partnership with the Asotin County Museum.
  • $2,141 – Ellensburg Public Library.
  • $4,259 – Kettle Falls Public Library, Libraries of Stevens County.
  • $5,000 – La Conner Regional Library District, in partnership with the Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA) and Western Washington University Libraries, Special Collections.
  • $5,000 – Port Angeles Public Library, North Olympic Library System, in partnership with the Clallam County Genealogical Society.
  • $3,600 – Whitman County Library, in partnership with the Colfax Fire Department, Town of Farmington, and Washington State University Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections.

To learn more about participating in Washington Rural Heritage, contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian at evan.robb@sos.wa.gov.

imls-logo-2c.jpgWashington Rural Heritage is supported with Library Services and Technology Act funding provided by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services.

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WSL Updates for July 9, 2015

July 9th, 2015 Shirley Lewis Posted in Digital Collections, For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Updates No Comments »

Volume 11, July 9, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) EXPLORING TECHNOLOGY: ET KITS GRANT CYCLE OPENS JULY 13

2) PACIFIC NORTHWEST DIGITAL COLLECTIONS SUMMIT FINAL REPORT AVAILABLE

3) COMMUNICATING IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE WORKSHOP

4) OUTSIDE THE LINES COMING IN SEPTEMBER

5) GREAT STORIES CLUB GRANTS AVAILABLE

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

Read the rest of this entry »

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Washington State Library Co-hosts Pacific Northwest Digital Collections Summit

July 7th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, Uncategorized No Comments »

In March 2015, the Oregon and Washington State Libraries co-hosted a summit of approximately 50 library, archives, and museum professionals to explore avenues for increased collaborative digitization throughout the region. The one-day meeting, held at the Oregon State Library in Salem, Oregon, featured presentations by collaborative projects at local, state, regional, and national levels and allowed participants to discuss topics ranging from leadership and funding of collaborative projects to metadata standards and shared infrastructure for digital projects.

WSL staff representing our Washington Rural Heritage and State Library Digital Collections were on hand to share their projects and experiences.

Learn more about the meeting and read the entire final report here: http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/Pages/NWDigSummit.aspx
 

Below: Explore the digital collections of cultural heritage organizations throughout the region.

Washington library, archives, and museum professionals interested in providing feedback on the report, or participating in future discussions regarding collaborative digitization should contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian, Washington State Library: evan.robb@sos.wa.gov

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Zinesters! Now’s Your Chance to make Washington History Come Alive!

July 4th, 2015 Judy Pitchford Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

1st Annual Zine ContestBeginning today and running through August 31, 2015, the Washington State Library, Washington State Archives (both divisions of the Office of the Secretary of State) and Timberland Regional Library are sponsoring the 1st Annual Historical Zine Contest!

What is a Zine (which, by the way, rhymes with bean)? Zines are basically self-published magazines that give the creator’s point of view on the subject.

All three sponsors have a multitude of resources that can provide fantastic material to use in the creations of participants.

  • Washington State Library has many online resources that include books, maps, newspapers and photos. You can also find featured images from these digital collections on their Pinterest and Flickr pages. And don’t forget that you can visit the library to see some resources in person!
  • Washington State Archives has an extensive print collection, as well as many images at the Digital Archives.
  • And you can visit the Timberland Libraries to explore their NW Reference Collection, Zine Collection and Zine Resource Collection.

Workshops will be held in July to learn how to make a zine :

  • Olympia Timberland Library – Saturday, July 11th from 2-8 pm
  • Yelm Timberland Library – Saturday, July 25th from 1-4 pm

This contest is open to 4th graders through adults of all ages that are Washington residents.

For more information, visit our Zine Contest webpage or download the Zine Contest Flyer/Entry Form.

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Medical Lake Heritage project featured in Cheney Free Press

July 1st, 2015 Evan Posted in Digital Collections No Comments »

A June 18, 2015 article in the Cheney Free Press highlights the exciting new digitization project from the Medical Lake Library, Spokane County Library District. View the article here.

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Baseball and Golf Not Similar

June 12th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

From the desk of Shawn Schollmeyer:

The Seattle star., July 26, 1919 http://1.usa.gov/1GnIPuP

The Seattle star., July 26, 1919 http://1.usa.gov/1GnIPuP

With the wrap of the 2015 U.S. Open on Father’s Day on Washington’s very own Chambers Bay golf course, Jordan Spieth walked away with the championship as the youngest player since Bobby Jones in 1923.  Golf tends to be a quieter, unassuming game and not quite the loud, cheering spectator sport that you’d see at a Mariners game, but there were thousands of viewers attending in person and millions via televisions across the globe. It has been one of the biggest sports events we have ever hosted in the great Pacific Northwest and it’s legacy stretches more than 110 years.

Considering that much of western settlement began with the homesteaders in the late 1880s-90s, golf was already popular recreation in Washington less than 20 years later. The Tacoma golf course had already been open since 1894. One hundred years before this years’ U.S. Open, the Tacoma Times was reporting on the 15th annual Pacific Northwestern Golf Association tournament on June 21st, 1915.

And is it a coincidence that there seems to be a “tie” in to the popularity of the sport and the fact that Father’s Day was first officially declared in Washington State in 1910, right around the same time as this popular golf tournament? However, the sport was not exclusive to men; women too were enjoying their own competitions on the Tacoma course, the same year as

The Tacoma times., June 21, 1915 http://1.usa.gov/1QOuS3v

The Tacoma times., June 21, 1915 http://1.usa.gov/1QOuS3v

finalizing their right to vote.

The same year Spokane was also taking the the sport seriously and watching with fascination if American heroes Walter Travis and J.D.Travers would beat the Brits who had dominated the games up to that point.

Eyes then were on the new American course just opening up in Long Island. Spokane Country Club later became the first course to hold the Women’s U.S. Open in 1946. Spokane also loves it’s baseball and in the June 11  “Night Pink Edition” of the Spokane Press that they devoted to baseball scores, they kept the stats and international happenings of golf tournaments and famous players on the front page.

The Spokane press., June 11, 1910 http://1.usa.gov/1Cretpz

The Spokane press., June 11, 1910 http://1.usa.gov/1Cretpz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great news for Washington Digital Newspapers!

April 22nd, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized No Comments »

StateofWashington1897

The Washington State Library has been awarded a Veridian Newspaper Conversion Grant to process and present up to 10,000 newspaper images from our Historic Newspapers Collection.  In March we competed against other national and international academic, public and special libraries with digital collections for the opportunity to have the Veridian software company convert our metadata and cloud-host a full-text searchable collection for two years.

We will have new features to explore, such as advanced search techniques, improved search results, comment opportunities and personal search lists! By converting our keyword, subject-based collection of historic newspapers to METS/ALTO metadata standards, a standard approved by Library of Congress for newspapers in their Chronicling America program, this grant will enable us to capture the text from news articles in a form that allows researchers to use advanced search techniques such as proximity search, exact phrases and date ranges to find their favorite topics. It also encourages users to help improve search results with crowd-sourced correction features when poor Optical Character Recognition (OCR) resultKeepLightBurning_Stars occur from smudged or blurry originals.

 The Washington Digital Newspapers program has the largest collection of Washington state and territorial newspapers in the world, but we are still quite shy of having as extensive a digital collection as we have on microfilm. There are also plenty of community newspapers ready to be digitized across the state. This grant will help us compare the best online software features available for newspapers and we will use this experience to determine the future growth of our online newspapers collection for the residents and researchers of Washington.

Progress for Digital Newspapers!!

pioneer-and-democrat

DL Consulting provides Veridian Software

Here are some examples of their work:

Newspaper collections from our NDNP partners

Library of Virginia

California Digital Newspaper Collection

Non-newspaper collections

Princeton University

 

 

 

From the desk of Shawn Schollmeyer- Washington Digital Newspapers Coordinator

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New Digital Collection: Colville National Forest

April 15th, 2015 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Grants and Funding No Comments »

The Washington Rural Heritage project recently went live with a new digital collection from the northeast corner of our state. The Colville National Forest Collection provides access to a sampling of the archival photos, maps, and documents held by the Heritage Department at Colville National Forest Headquarters in Stevens County.

Of particular note are the photos of fire lookouts that once dotted the mountaintops of the Kettle River and Selkirk Mountain Ranges. These photos have been geo-referenced and placed on a “Story Map” so that users can fly from peak to peak, getting a glimpse of the varied lookout tower styles  as well as truly stunning panoramic photographs taken from the lookouts themselves—once important tools to the fire spotters that occupied the lookouts. Because most of these photos were produced by the U.S. Federal Government, they are in the public domain.

The collection represents a collaborative digitization project undertaken in 2014-2015 by the Colville National Forest and Libraries of Stevens County. According to Colville National Forest spokesman, Franklin Pemberton, “We love the idea of people having access to [the documents] – for research or for student projects. They capture the heritage of Northeast Washington before photos were widely available to average citizens.”

The Washington Rural Heritage project serves public and tribal libraries throughout Washington, as well as partnering organizations such as museums, local government, and schools. Headquartered at the Washington State Library (Office of the Secretary of State), the project is supported with Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding provided by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project’s 2015-2016 digitization grant cycle is currently accepting applications from eligible insitutions. To find out how your organization can participate in this statewide digitization initiative, please contact Digital Repository Librarian Evan Robb at evan.robb@sos.wa.gov.

 

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In search of the Eatonville Dispatch

March 18th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public 1 Comment »

From the desk of Shawn Schollmeyer & Washington Digital Newspapers.

EatonvilleDispatch_Msthd_09011916Though the Eatonville Dispatch began as a weekly newspaper in 1893, known available issues begin in 1916, stored on microfilm and carefully protected print copies in archival boxes located at the Eatonville Public Library. It’s still a weekly publication, now known as the Dispatch, printed and available online by the Pacific Publishing Company . We first became aware of the interest in digitizing older issues of this paper when one of the long time publishing families contacted us through Cindy Dargan, managing librarian of the Eatonville Library, to ask how to go about this digitization project. Floyd Albert and Georgina Larkin ran the paper from 1950-1962 and then brought in their son, Floyd Ames, who ran it with his mom until the early 1970s. Last year in 2014, the family decided that the best use of remaining estate money from those publishing years would be best spent converting the full run of the paper to a digital collection and displayed to the public.

It’s a great idea and Floyd Ames’ brother, Bob Larkin, initiated the move to make it happen. Now, the first challenge begins. After 1922 all public works fall under copyright protection and all the publishers and descendants of the publishing families will need to be contacted for permission to scan and display the newspaper pages they published over certain dates. There were 12 different publishers between 1893 and 2010. Where are they now? Who can still be contacted if they have passed away? Where do we start?

Eatonville Public Library

Eatonville Public Library

The process of “discovery” began with a few trips to Pierce County libraries to determine the condition, format and completeness of the collection. My first stop at the South Hill Library branch revealed a beautiful, neat and clean building, but with the construction dust and disruption of the re-model, they decided to store the microfilm at the Lakewood branch, the largest branch in the Pierce County system which had more room to hold the film. Since I had just come from that area a visit would have to wait till the next day. So, a further excursion down Hwy 161 to meet Cindy at the Eatonville Library would reveal the carefully saved issues of the original print. As I gingerly handled the crumbling pages of the earliest issues in a nearby room, I could hear the library staff connect with their patrons. “Aren’t you supposed to be in school today? Oh, it’s in-service day.” Two grade school boys giggled from the nearby computers where they were engaged in a game. “I saw your Mom in the grocery store last week. I haven’t seen her in a while, glad she’s doing better” was directed to another patron. It was a busy day at the library in Eatonville and the staff is obviously an important part of that community.

SendThemRightUp_20150129While checking for condition, missing issues and pages I found some other interesting artifacts of a bygone newspaper era. A princess from the Middle East came to visit Eatonville in 1917. An early pioneer, born in the 1880s and a well known citizen in town had just passed away in the early ‘20s. And what is this in the bottom of the box? Thick, pulpy printing mats embossed with text and ads from the Tacoma Daily Ledger, February 2, 1913, which were originally used on rotary printers for fast production of the daily paper. An early Bell Telephone ad, pictured here, states “Will You Send Them Right Up?” as the man pictured makes a quick call for shirts before he leaves on the evening train. A few of these old print mats from the rotary printing days had been stashed in the archival boxes as a nod to a by-gone era.

But there are also missing artifacts…. Where are some of the issues from the WWI and WWII? More sleuthing will be needed to track down pages that were filled with draft notices, war news and return heroes. More attempts to track down missing pages leads to yet another trip. A short visit to the busy Lakewood library, a two story, urban branch filled with computer users, parents and children. The helpful staff had not unboxed all the South Hill microfilm yet, but made and extra effort to search for the Eatonville film, but they didn’t have the missing issues we were seeking. Off to the University of Washington (UW) to see what they might have in their collection to fill in the gaps.

A visit to the UW campus on a sunny day is always a treat. Even in February there are camellias and hellebore blooming outside the stately Suzzallo Library. Inside the MicNews department, filled with six-foot-plus tall horizontal sliding walls of microfilm and many rows of newspaper racks I grabbed a few film reels for more review. Yep, I found a few of the missing date ranges that we will need and UW has a large collection of master film negatives, our preferred format for scanning. We partnered with UW and made use of their great collection during our participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program. It’s great news for us that we can work with them again on our new project.

shawnThere are still a few challenges yet to solve to make sure that we have the most complete, fully searchable, and clean digital collection. Choosing the best scanning vendors for a reasonable price; pursuing a few more elusive issues; finding the descendants of the early publishers. All are important details that will need to be addressed before scanning and generating files and sharing them with the world.

Over the next few months, Bob Larkin will be helping us to track down permissions to digitize from fellow publishers; we’ll be working with imaging vendors to scan as many pages this year as we can; and then we’ll be partnering with University of California, Riverside to add page numbers, dates, OCR and essential metadata, using the latest newspaper digitization software to make the collection compatible with national standards.

As you can see, there are many steps to wrangling a detailed project such as this, but also a satisfying job to bring this treasure to the world of the internet. Take a look at our online newspaper collection to-date from across the state: .

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