Idaho County Free Press - Friday, October 19, 1888

Old Silas Johns left his camp on Clearwater last Saturday to hunt up his saddle horse and has not been seen or heard of since, although diligent search has been and is still being made.  It is feared that the old man has dropped dead and rolled down a gulch.


Idaho Free Press, Idaho Territory - Friday, October 26, 1888


Silas Johns Mysteriously Disappears - Suspicions of Foul Play

On Saturday morning, October 13, Silas Johns left his placer Claim on the south fork of Clearwater to hunt his saddle horse and has never since been seen or heard of.  His hands, fearing the old man might have fallen dead, instituted a search which has been maintained to the present time, but no clew to his whereabouts has been discovered, and fears are entertained that he has been murdered and buried.  It was first thought that he might have wandered off in a fit of insanity, but since the discovery of the remains of the mutilated Chinaman near Mt. Idaho the impression prevails that he has been murdered and the body buried.  A stranger was camped a short distance below the claim for several days and left the day after the disappearance for parts unknown, but as there is no evidence implicating him or indicating a crime, it may have been only a coincidence.  It is thought that if Mr. Johns had died while hunting his horse the body would have been found, as he would naturally have kept to the high ground.  On the other hand, it is thought that he may have been killed by someone who thought he had some gold dust in his  possession, as he was going to clean up the boxes that afternoon, and his going for the horse may have led to the supposition on the part of the murderer that the clean-up had already been made.  All this, however, is pure conjecture, as the old man has disappeared and left not a trace behind him, and there can be no earthly doubt but that he is now dead.  He was 74 years old and had been here since 1863.  He was very eccentric and preferred being alone to associating with his fellows.  The suspicion of foul play is so strong and there have been so many affairs of the kind in the county that we suggest the offering of suitable rewards by the county commissioners for the discovery of the body, for evidences of crime and for the apprehension of the criminals if a crime has been committed.

Transcribed by Penny Casey from original microfilm.






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