Nez Perce News, March
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
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
HANGED FOR MURDER
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
A short account was published in the
booklet, "The Sheephearder Indian War".
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
DAILY STATESMAN – BOISE, IDAHO
TELLS STORY OF PIONEER CRIME – BATTERED PIECE OF LEAD FOUND IN
Recalls the Conviction of the Only Man Who Has Ever Been Hanged In That
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.
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.
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.
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