McComas of Harpster brought word to town on Saturday of the suicide of
George Colson over near Meadow Creek a week ago Sunday. Colson was not found for four days, so the news was slow in
and Frank Weldon, his partner, had been in camp at Meadow Creek.
On Sunday Harry Yates visited them in camp.
After dinner Colson took his shotgun and started away saying that
he was going out after birds. About
3 o’clock the other two men heard two shots.
Colson did not appear that night, but one of the dogs that
followed him did. Next day Weldon went in search of him, finding nothing.
He heard the howling of a dog, but could not locate it.
That night the dog came into camp.
Weldon searched the next day, but found nothing.
Then he went down to Harpster and got G.P. McComas with his
hounds. They found the
trail that Colson’s two dogs had left in the light snow, and finally
found the man himself. He
had broken off the limbs of a small tree, leaving one small stub about
breast high. On this he
hung the gun by the guard, loaded and cocked, and then putting the
muzzle of the gun to his forehead, evidently leaned back, pulling the
gun so as to bring the trigger against the stub.
The gun was discharged, blowing the whole top of his head off.
is surmised that Colson had tried firing the gun in that manner before
the last fatal shot, and that the first shot heard was the one that
showed how easily it could be done.
Death must have been instantaneous.
Colson was but a boy, 19 years of age.
He came here from near Salmon City and worked for a time on the
Buckeye placer at Newsome. As
he had been dead for four days when found by the searching party,
Weldon, W.F. Smith, Henry Gribble, Fred Bowen, G.P. McComas and his two
sons, Fred and Claude, buried him as they found him before bringing word
to the coroner. No cause is
known for the rash deed of the boy.