Nez Perce News, March 11, 1886

We are having some excitement in camp over the disappearance of an old resident, Henry C. Savage.  He was working on a mining claim on the South Fork.  Savage cannot be found and circumstances indicate that he has been fouly dealt with.  Theodore Warlick is detained pending investigation.  the country is being searched for a clue to the missing man.  


Nez Perce News, April 8, 1886

Diligent search resulted in finding the body of Henry Savage, on the 21st inst.  He had been shot several times, all necessarily fatal, and buried with extreme care.  Some animal had dug down to him, otherwise it is doubtful if his remains had ever been found.  

A coroner's inquest was held and the facts ascertained.  Warlick, who was under arrest on another charge, was accused and examined before Magistrate Jas. Edwards on the 27th.  He was sent to Mt. Idaho under strong escort.  


Nez perce News, April 22, 1886

Sentenced to Death

For the first time in his judicial career, Judge buck has sentenced a convicted criminal to death, the first instance of the infliction of capital punishment within the county.  The trial of Theodore Warlick for the murder of Henry C. Savage occupied much the larger portion of the recent term of court in Idaho county.  The killing is familiar and the details elicited at the trial are as follows:  

Henry Savage had been in Warrens camp since '69 and well known.  George Riebold promised Savage a job beginning January 1, but he came up from the South fork where he and Warlick were mining and said that he couldn't come on the first as he was building a cabin.  Riebold told him February would do and he promised to be up sooner.  When he failed to come up Riebold inquired about him of parties up from the south fork but they knew nothing of him.

Savage had gone from Warrens to the bar on the south fork in November, about the same time Warlick took his belongings from the Tramp mine and left his horses at Pony Smead's ranch.  Warlick had come to the country to work for Savage building some trestle for Frank Bricka but found that Savage wasn't a partner in the mine.  They met on the south fork road when Savage asked him to come to the bar and mine with him.  

Chas. Peterson stayed with them in November and at that time they were living in the same cabin and eating together.  Warlick said that he couldn't get along with Savage and if it was not so hard to get out of the country he would kill him.  Savage came to Peterson's house to ask for the use of his saw and said that Warlick would not help him mine, he was hunting all the time and he would only give him a small portion of the money when he washed up the dirt.

When they began work in November they had put their grub and tools together but when the partnership dissolved in mid December they divided the grub and Savage started building a cabin.  There were three hams and Savage wanted two of them.  they came very near fighting about those two hams.  When Warlick returned from hunting Savage had taken everything from Warlick, the window and table and all the potatoes; he moved everything but the oven lid and his gun.  Warlick took the gun and threw it in the river.  When Savage found out what had happened to his gun, he came at Warlick with an axe.  Warlick went from the blacksmith shop and got his gun and when Savage saw the Winchester he run.  Warlick chased him across the mine and gulch and the other gulch and fired a shot after him and then another and another.  Warlick went back to the cabin and scratched him in.  

A party of 16 men found the body on the 21st of March.  Peterson had last seen him alive on the 20th of January.  Savage had been shot in the left leg which broke the bone in the right side and in the neck.  Wm. Kelly and Frank Smith has seen Warlick at his cabin on March 4th and inquired about Savage and were told that he hadn't been seen since January 28th.  On March 5th Warlick was taken to Warrens and delivered to the deputy sheriff.  Frank smith took a pistol from him at the Wire Bridge while bringing him to Mt. Idaho and Warlick told him and Mansfield that he had to kill the man and that he would rather be dead that minute than alive.

Warlick said he tried to get out in February, but got lost in the snow and returned to his cabin.  He said that Savage was the meanest man in the mountains and had more mean tricks about him than any man he had ever seen.  Warlick said that he had been injured several times in the head and sunstruck in Texas and those injuries made him loose his temper easily and he didn't know what he did.

After hearing the testimony, prosecution attorney, J.H. Fortney gave the jury a synopsis of the evidence and he was followed by J.W. Parker and J.W. Poe, counsel for the prisoner and the case was submitted to the jury at 9 p.m. Monday night.  At 9 a.m. the next morning the jury rendered a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree, recommending him to the mercy of the court.  The court appointed the time of 7:30 p.m. at the time of the sentence.  At the time of the sentencing, Warlick said that he killed the man to save his own life from a mountain desperado.  He was then sentenced to be hanged by the neck upon Wednesday, June 9.  the verdict and sentence are generally commended by the community.  


May 27, 1886

Warlick, the only inmate of the county jail, is weakening day by day and is becoming very uneasy.  He has lost none of his detestable temper however.  


Idaho County Free Press

Idaho Territory Friday, June 18, 1886

Volume I, No. I


The First Legal Execution in Idaho County - Justice Swiftly Administered

On Wednesday, June 9th, 1886, Theodore Warlich was hanged in the jail yard of the courthouse at Mt. Idaho for the murder of Henry C. Savage on the south fork of Salmon River last December.  The murder, the trial and the execution are now old stories and it is unnecessary to recapitulate them further than to state that the crime was committed in December 1885, that the murdered man was not missed until February, 1886, and that in March the prisoner was apprehended and confessed to the murder, and that he was tried, found guilty and sentenced to hang in the April term of court, and that on June 9, the extreme penalty of the law was administered for the first time in this county.  The swift execution of the laws as illustrated in this instance is a highly commendable feature of the case, and will have its effect upon those evil characters who go about the world with murder in their hearts.  And the details of the murder, too, teach a moral lesson, for this crime was committed in the midst of a desolate region with no other witness than that all seeing eye to whom nothing is invisible, and who readeth the hearts and thoughts of men lie an open book.  Every circumstance conspired to shield the prisoner from discovery of the crime, and yet, in the inscrutable logic of events the truth of the murder was revealed.  Even before the disappearance of the victim was suspected there was a faint of murder in the the air, and the instinct of that far off community was aroused, and men went about with a growing suspicion in their hearts that a murderer was among them and they set about discovering the facts, spending time and money until their efforts were crowned with success - thus adding another illustration of the divine saying "that murder will out."

    The last hours of the murderer were not marked by any remorse.  On the contrary he spent this time cursing his victim, the minister who attended him and the sheriff and his deputies.  He refused to change his old clothes for the new suit procured for the occasion and manifested a total indifference to the end.  As the fatal hour approached he wilted completely and had to be supported to the scaffold, and was launched into eternity in a half dazed condition.  In something under five minutes the coroner pronounced him dead and when the body was cut down it was found that the neck was broken.  The end was painless except for one violent contraction of the muscles which almost doubled up the body for a few seconds, but it slowly resumed its position of perpendicular rigidity and the pulse slowly faded away with his life.

    The people of Idaho County have reason to congratulate themselves upon the swift punishment which followed the crime, and it is to their credit that they refused to assist in mitigating the sentence which a few soft-hearted people proposed.  The quiet energy of the district attorney had much to do in securing the prompt administration of justice in this case, which in other hands, might have dragged along for years, involving the county in heavy costs and in the end defeating justice.  The arrangements at the execution were admirably planned by sheriff Talkington and evinced a careful fore-thought and attention to duty characteristic of that official.  The body was buried in the Grangeville cemetery at the request of the deceased.


A short account was published in the booklet, "The Sheephearder Indian War".  

Savage Bar is named after the first locator, Henry C. Savage.  This place was the scene of the murder which resulted in the first legal hanging in Idaho county.  Savage was murdered by Theodore Warlich, and his body disposed of by throwing it in river.  Neighbors found the body and since they suspected foul play, got lawmen into the country.  Warlich was taken to Mt. Idaho where he was tried and convicted of the murder, then hanged in the summer of 1886.  It was also known as the Clarence Scott place and Henry Smith place.  Also there was the Harry Fritzer place on Southfork across the river.  



MARCH 15, 1905


It Recalls the Conviction of the Only Man Who Has Ever Been Hanged In That County

According to the Grangeville Standard, a small bullet, battered until it was scarcely recognized, was discovered in the probate court, and the discussion of how it came there has called to the attention of the older residents the crime for which the only murderer ever hanged in Idaho County according to law, was convicted.

Although the leaden missile has lain in one place for so long a time, it and the paper in which it is wrapped is still stained with the blood of a murder committed 23 years ago.  The murder caused a profound sensation at the time.  The murderer, after wounding his victim, coolly shot him to put him out of misery, as one would a suffering dog or horse, and then argued in court that he had done a humane act.

Theo Wallick, John Long and a man by the name of Savage came to Idaho together.  In 1882, Wallick and Savage became involved in a quarrel, and Savage had his leg broken by a bullet.  There were no witnesses to the affair, and Wallick was convicted altogether on his own testimony.  He related to the jury that he had crippled Savage, and as the victim was so far from medical aid, and was suffering so intensely, he thought the only thing to do was to kill him and put him out of his misery.

The case was tried before John Bower, judge, and the paper enclosing the bullet found was marked an exhibit December 7, 1882.  A.W. Talkington, who was sheriff at the time, officiated at the hanging.  The gallows were constructed behind the old Mt. Idaho jail, and have since been used as a woodshed.






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