Sat., April 19, 1873 - Idaho Signal - Lewiston

Death of H.B. Sinclair – Sheriff

Washington, April 13, 1873

It becomes my painful duty to communicate to you the particulars of one of the saddest accidents that has ever occurred in Idaho county. On last Thursday morning I left John Day Creek with the mail and express for Warrens, accompanied by H.B. Sinclair, Sheriff of Idaho county and Charles White of Florence.  It is needless for me to state that the route over which the mail has to be carried during the winter and Spring months is very dangerous, as most of your readers are acquainted with the trail from John Day Creek via the river to Shearer’s.  It will therefore suffice for me to say that it is no uncommon thing for travelers to see the bones of unfortunate animals that have fallen from the trail bleaching in the chasm below.  We arrived at Mr. Berg’s at about twelve o’clock, where we got our dinner and remained nearly an hour, and then Mr. Sinclair and myself started on our journey.  We had traveled nearly four miles when we came to a very dangerous part of the trail.  I dismounted and was leading my horse; I was fifty or sixty steps in advance of Mr. Sinclair, and had just turned a short curve in the trail when I looked back to see how he was getting along.  I saw his horse make a sudden leap, but no rider was there.  I hurried back, but could see no trace of my companion except his hat, which had lodged on the craggy steep far below.  The sight caused my blood to curdle, and my heart almost ceased to pulsate, for well I knew that with him it was the last of earth.  How I succeeded in getting down to where he was I scarcely know, but when I found him he was all covered with blood, with several fearful gashes in his head, and in the last agonies of death.  He had fallen over the craggy rocks for a distance of over two hundred feet.  I picked him up and laid him on the sand near the edge of the water, and bathed his head.  He never spoke, but in a few moments breathed his last.  I then placed my overcoat over him and rode up to Mr. Allison’s, a distance of a mile and a half, where I found William Allison, Julian Alino, and Z.H. Davis, who immediately went to the scene of the accident.  I then returned and went down to Mr. Berg’s from whence Chas. White, George Shearer, John Carey, John Mathinson, and Charles Shultz returned with me.  We then wrapped the unfortunate man up in a blanket and carried him to Allison’s where we gave him as decent a burial as the rude condition of the country would permit.

Mr. Sinclair has been Sheriff of this county for the last six years, and was a young man of more than ordinary ability; possessed of a kind and generous heart and well qualified to fill the position he held.  He leaves many warm friends in Idaho county to mourn his untimely death.

Yours, etc., T.D. Swartz


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DEATH OF H.B. SINCLAIR – In another column of our paper will be found the particulars of the terrible death of H.B. Sinclair, Sheriff of Idaho County.  Mr. Sinclair has been long a resident of Idaho county; a part of the time as a miner, part as Clerk, but most of the time in an official capacity.  He was two years under sheriff by appointment of W.P. Hunt, Sheriff.  He was then elected Sheriff and served out one term of two years and was re-elected for the ensuing two years at the November election, 1872, and was competent and faithful.  He kept his own counsel as an officer, betraying no none, but promptly attending to the business entrusted to him.  He was quiet and firm in his manner and seldom gave offense to any one in the discharge of his duty, and was universally esteemed by all who knew him.  We, with other friends, mourn and lament his sad demise



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