100 Years Ago Today: Airedales Are Kings Among Dogs

Herald Democrat, March 12, 1919

Today, dogs perform dozens of specialized services for people, such as the work of Autism Assistance Dogs, Veteran Service Dogs, Brace/Mobility Support Dogs, Avalanche Rescue Dogs, Psychiatric Service Dog, and many more. But back in 1919, the idea that dogs could be trained to perform such highly skillful tasks, beyond their known abilities as retrievers during a hunt, was relatively new.

The Airedale Terrier was one of the first breeds identified as capable of learning such tasks, and they proved themselves invaluable to the British as well as German Armed Forces in World War I, performing vital services like finding wounded soldiers, carrying messages across the front lines, and acting as guard dogs. Perhaps it was their reputation in this last skill that led the Holly Sugar Company to use Airedales as watch dogs for their sugar factory in Swink, Colorado in today’s article.

Swink Sugar Factory of the Holly Sugar Company
Courtesy of Denver Public Library, Western History Department

The Airedale has been used more especially for guarding purposes. The peculiarly faithful and sagacious nature of the breed, combined with its adaptability to every circumstance where it may be required, whether it be the farmer’s yard, the factory, or a lady’s drawing-room, makes it very useful indeed.

Edwin Hautenville Richardson, from Watch Dogs: Their Training & Management

Airedales originated in the Aire Valley of northern England near the Scottish border during the mid-1800s. The Aire Valley was primarily a manufacturing town, and the mill and factory workers who lived there wanted to breed a tough, biddable dog to hunt rats that infested the area, as well as a dog that could retrieve ducks during a hunt. According to the AKC, the Airedale originated as a cross between several breeds, including the Otterhound for its sense of smell, the now-extinct Black and Tan Terriers for their desire to learn, and the Irish and Bedlington Terriers for their alertness.

 The Western Front's dogs of war revealed
Lt. Col. Richardson in the trenches with one of his dogs

During WWI, under the training guidance of British Lieutenant Colonel, Edwin Hautenville Richardson, the Airedale was introduced as one of the first War Dogs for the Allied side. Ironically, Richardson was made aware of the potential of war dogs by the Germans, who were training dogs to find wounded soldiers as early as 1914.

from Watch Dogs: Their Training & Management
by Edwin Hautenville Richardson

Despite the British military’s reluctance to catch on to the value of war dogs, Lt. Col. Richardson and his wife, Blanche, set up the British War Dogs Training School at Shoeburyness, Essex, where they trained hundreds of dogs.

“[Airedales] are very determined. They’re very single-minded and there’s no stopping them.

Lt. Col. Edwin Hautenville Richardson
Dogs
Airedales in the Red Cross uniform and carrying a messenger bag

Thousands of Airedales, as well as other breeds, were trained as messengers, sentries, and guards for the British Armed Forces. Messages were put in tins around the necks of dogs and they were identified by a scarlet collar or tally. Wendy Turner, secretary of the Airedale Terrier Club of Scotland said, “Red Cross used them as first aid carriers, they had a little package on their neck with medication in it and everything, and they were used for going out and finding wounded soldiers on the battlefield.”

Airedales were even taught to wear gas masks so that they could serve in the trenches on the front lines.

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Airedales wearing gas masks in WWI training

Jack, an Airedale British War Dog, was one of the most heroic service dogs in WWI. In 1918, Jack’s battalion, an advanced unit of the Sherwood Foresters, was completely trapped by German forces who had blown huge mortar shell holes behind the Allies. In front of them was a line of impenetrable barbed wire.

The Foresters were doomed, and Jack was their only hope of summoning reinforcements. The Airedale was sent to the deliver a message past the Germans to the next Allied line behind them. Jack suffered grave wounds during his mission. His jaw was shattered by shrapnel and a shell ripped down his back, but he kept going for another mile and a half. He saved his battalion, but Jack died soon after delivering his message.

Historic film footage of war dogs in the trenches of WWI

Presidents who have owned Airedales include Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, and Calvin Coolidge. Author John Steinbeck also had an Airedale. The 1919 Best in Show was won by an Airedale.

100 Years Ago Today: Women Vying for Fire Lookout Jobs

Fort Collins Courier, March 11, 1919

The first woman ever hired as a Fire Lookout by the U.S. Forest Service was Hallie Morse Daggett, who was the Lookout at Eddy’s Gulch Lookout Station atop Klamath Peak in Klamath National Forest in Northern California, starting in 1913, when the Lookout log cabin seen below was first built. She stayed on board there as Fire Lookout for 14 years.

Hallie M. Daggett and her pack horse ready to leave the Eddy Gulch Station in the fall.
Hallie M. Daggett at the Eddy’s Gulch Lookout Station in California

A full page, illustrated article about Hallie Daggett ran in Colorado’s Wet Mountain Tribune on October 30, 1914, and other mentions of the “Only Woman Forest Fire Lookout” appear in newspapers across the country in the years leading up to 1919, so today’s article about women applying for Colorado Fire Lookout positions may have been sparked by Daggett. However, women applying for these positions were in for an uphill climb.

To get a sense of the discrimination Daggett was facing at that time, consider the following recommendation she received from Assistant Fire Ranger, Mr. M. H. McCarthy, who writes of Daggett:

The wide-awake woman of 30 years…is absolutely devoid of the timidity which is ordinarily associated with her sex as she is not afraid of anything that walks, creeps, or flies.

M. H. McCarthy in a letter to W.B. Rider, Supervisor of Klamath Forest
Groundhouse with woman LO
Woman standing beside the Twin Sisters Fire Lookout in Rocky Mountain National Park in 1919

Daggett was not only one of the only female Fire Lookouts in the country, but she was also one of a handful of women doing any kind of field work for the Forest Service at that time, and indeed for the next several decades. Women were hired by the Forest Service almost entirely as office clerks and educators, and some men wouldn’t even hire women for that.

The employment of women clerks in the Supervisor’s office was not looked upon with favor and the policy was established to employ men only the idea being that a woman clerk could not handle the “rough” work required in the administration of a forest, such as assembling and shipping fire tools, rustling fire fighters, etc. Such work properly was for a “two fisted” ranger or forest officer. However, it was not long before it became apparent that there was another element in forest officers’ work which had not been taken into consideration. That was paper work: reports, letters to forest users, etc. Such work proved to be too much for the “two fisted” rangers and supervisors.

Albert Cousins, U.S. Forest Service

Some other women cutting through Forest Service sexism in this era were Edith R. Mosher, Founder of Environmental Education in the Forest Service, who entered the Forest Service in 1902, and Margaret March-Mount who was a conservation educator for the Bighorn and Shoshone National Forests.

The WWII era would provide more opportunities for women in the Forest Service, but this was not exactly due to a sudden equality in gender politics; rather, it was due to an increased need to fill positions vacated by men enlisted in military service. It wasn’t until the women’s movement of the 1960s-70s that the Forest Service was challenged to change its hiring practices in fieldwork positions such as Fire Fighters and Forest Rangers, as well as leadership roles like Chief Forester.

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Twin Sisters Fire Lookout, 1916
Courtesy National Park Service

Today’s headline refers to the Twin Sisters Fire Lookout in Rocky Mountain National Park, which was a 7 x 7 foot wooden fire lookout, built by the Forest Service in 1914 under direction from fire guard, H.G. Knowles. In 1925, the National Parks Service took over operation of the Fire Lookout.

The Lookout was the highest in RMNP, at 11,436′ atop Twin Sisters Mountains. It was lined with glass windows that were always under threat from high winds, but it was a great location to view the forests below 14er Longs Peak and the nearby town of Allenspark. Inside the Lookout was a map of the area used to pinpoint the location of a fire, and a telephone to call in the fire.

Stone house residence, 1925
Twin Sisters Stone Residence in 1925

If you were hired as the new Fire Lookout of Twin Sisters, first you had to get to work, which involved a four-mile hike up a trail that gained 2,300 feet. That’s steep! Once you reached the summit of Twin Sisters, you were greeted by your new home, a squat 10 x 12′ stone structure with a bunk bed and a fireplace.

The original Fire Lookout and Stone Residence
Courtesy National Parks Service

The house was built of “uncoursed fieldstone and mortar,” with the stone sourced from the area surrounding the house. According to the National Register of Historic Places, “the arched or box-car roof represents an important trend in Colorado architecture during the period when the Forest Service constructed this building.” This arched roof was a popular design during WWI construction projects.

The house functioned as a living quarters for those stationed at the Fire Lookout until 1969, at which time it was converted into a radio repeater station and storage unit. Although the Lookout has been taken down, the living quarters remains today.

Walter E. Kiener, a Swiss mountain climber, lived in the shelter house in the 1920s as a research biologist. He lost every finger except one and all of
Walter E. Kiener, famed climber of Longs Peak, also served as Fire Lookout for the 1926 fire season
Twin Sisters Fire Lookout Shelter House, today

100 Years Ago Today: When Skiing Meant Ski Jumping

Creede Candle, March 8, 1919

Before the advent of the Telemark turn or the Stem Christie turn, the Nordic-imported term, skiing, meant either ski jumping or cross country ski travel, rather than the shussing down steep slopes that we think of skiing today. The earliest ski areas in Colorado were all originally built for ski jumping, like Inspiration Point in Denver (built 1913), Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs (built 1914), and Genesee ski jump near Evergreen (built 1919).

Genesee Ski Jump Built in 1919 near Evergreen, Colorado.
Today, highway I-70 is at the base of this jump
Courtesy, US Forest Service

In today’s article, Chicagoan Einar Jensen’s jump of 128 feet at the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival is very impressive, especially for someone in the amateur division of the contest. But the so-called Jumping Jack of the Great Lakes would perform even better at the Norge Ski Club Jumping Tournament where he won the contest with jumps of 140 and 160 feet. Not bad, considering how much these 7-8 foot wooden planks must’ve weighed!

Einar Jensen
Great Lakes Recruit: A Pictorial Naval Magazine, Volume 5, 1919

In 1921, Jensen would go on to win the amateur division of the National Ski Jumping Championships held at the Genesee Ski Jump. My ski hero, Carl Howelsen, would win the professional division that year. And that mention of my guy, Howelsen, leads me to nerd out with a quick game of Six Degrees of Pick and Sledge, because today’s article has connections to several 100 Years Ago Today posts from the last few months.

Einar Jensen in flight at a ski jump contest
Great Lakes Recruit: A Pictorial Naval Magazine, Volume 5, 1919

Carl Howelsen, who I wrote about last month regarding the Winter Carnival in Steamboat, was also one of the founding members of the Norge Ski Club in Chicago, which is now the longest running ski club in North America. The ski club was started in 1905 by 28 Norwegian immigrants that wanted to build the sport of Nordic ski racing and ski jumping in the U.S., and Howelsen found them a place to organize their club. Today’s article champion, Einar Jensen, won several of the club’s tournaments.

The Norge Ski Club famously built a giant ski jump inside Soldier Field in Chicago (where Da Bears play, yah?) in 1937, where they held a spectacle of events, including a ski jump contest that has been called “the most dangerous sporting event ever held in Soldier Field.

ChiSoldierField1954.jpg
In 1937 the Norge Ski Club built this huge ski jump in Soldier Field, Chicago

In 1919, Einar Jensen was a Navy man, stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes, the same boot camp where Hugo Frey received the inoculations that would leave him at death’s door for the next two years. Check out the #5 sweater Jensen is wearing in the top picture in the post to see the NTS with anchor insignia of the Navy.

Thanks for joining us for Six Degrees of Pick and Sledge. We only covered two or three degrees, but whatever, it was fun anyway!

100 Years Ago Today: Murder-Suicide at Tolland Station

Oak Creek Times, March 7, 1919

More tragedy on the old Moffat Road this week. On January 29th it was a boiler explosion on the hoodoo Engine No. 100 near Dixie Lake that killed two coworkers. Today it’s a murder suicide at the Tolland railroad station of the Denver Northwest & Pacific that left two friends dead.

In 1919, Tolland was the last railway stop before the big climb on the Moffat Road known as Giant’s Ladder, which topped out at the Continental Divide. The town is in a valley along the S. Boulder Creek, surrounded by mountains, with the crown of them, 13er James Peak, visible in the distance.

James Peak as seen from Tolland, CO with the railroad station on the right
Courtesy of Denver Public Library, Western History Department

Tolland was previously called Mammoth in its pre-railroad days, when it was a mining community and a wagon stage stop. The name changed when an attorney, Charles Hansen Toll, bought the land in 1893 for $1,000, renaming the town after his wife’s ancestral home of Tolland, England. Toll died in 1901, leaving the land to his wife, Katherine, who saw an investment opportunity when the DNW&P railroad came through in 1904. She and her children platted the land and sold off parcels.

Toll Inn, in Tolland, CO, burned down c.1910
Originally called the Mariposa Inn

Tolland had a year-round population of 250 in 1919, many of whom, like our soon-to-be-dead, W. H. “Shorty” Allen and James Carton, worked for the railroad. Commuter trains allowed for seasonal residents as well as day-trippers from Denver to come up to the cool and scenic Tolland at 8,900′, and the town grew a reputation for being a resort town. Tolland had shops, a dance pavilion, picnic shelters, saloons (until Colorado Prohibition in 1916), hotels, and the University of Colorado even built a Mountain Laboratory of Field Biology aka the “Bug House” in 1909.

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Tolland circa 1900

But March is not tourist season. It’s cold season. And by the end of the day on March 6, 1919, two bodies would be very cold indeed. Shorty Allen and James Carton were both from Colorado Springs, and by other accounts were intimate friends. They had worked together in Tolland for the past six months. They were bunkmates, coworkers, and bachelors. I imagine them spending a lot of their time together. Maybe a bit too much time in the end.

Tolland Depot, rebuilt brick by brick from a Denver station
Giant’s Ladder railroad cuts in the background

The trouble between the men started over wash day duties, of all things. It’s unclear whether we’re talking clothes washing or house cleaning/washing. Regardless, Shorty Allen got mad at his friend, James Carton, because he thought Carton had shirked water carrying duties the previous week, and this week Carton was using too much water, which he didn’t have to carry. Every week, you see, the other one had to carry the water back to the railroad car where they bunked.

Allen got so mad over spilled milk…err…water that he picked up a broadaxe that had been sharpened to a razor’s edge and when Carton was bent over, he plunged the axe into Carton’s back, which severed his spinal cord and sunk into his lung. Carton fell to the floor and quickly bled to death.

Two other coworkers, Frank Hullenback and H. H. Wilson, who were also on the Moffat Railroad Bridge and Building Crew, witnessed the gruesome murder and ran out to tell others what happened. While they were gone, Allen, crying over what he’d done, took his .22 caliber rifle, and shot himself in the head, falling down dead over his friend’s body.

Tolland, Colorado in 1926
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Restored Tolland School House, today

100 Years Ago Today: Golden Buys Its First Fire Truck

Colorado Transcript, March 6, 1919
A better picture of Golden Fire Department’s Engine No.1 from 1919
Photo Courtesy of Denver Public Library, Western History Department

In 1880, the Golden Fire Department rose from the proverbial ashes of three different, independent fire fighting companies: Excelsior Hose, Everett Hook and Ladder Company, and Loveland Hose Company. Coming together to form some kind of fire fighting Voltron, each company was able to contribute a different piece of equipment that it had acquired during its brief existence. Excelsior Hose had the best engine, called the “Fire King,” Everett Hook and Ladder had the best truck, and Loveland Hose had the best hose.

Before the merger, Excelsior Hose and Everett Hook and Ladder were both stationed at the Golden Central Fire Station, which was located on 12th street downtown, near where Meyer Hardware now stands. Somewhat poetically, the Central Station was situated across from the Astor Hotel, Golden’s first hotel, built in 1867 as the town’s first stone-constructed building, a fire-resistant structure in a town built out of wood, which also symbolized the permanence of Golden as a town.

Competing fire fighting companies housed at Golden Central Fire Station on 12th Street
Photo Courtesy of Golden Fire Department
Loveland Hose Company
Loveland Hose Company
Photo Courtesy of Golden Fire Department

By 1918, Golden Fire Department’s equipment was entirely outdated, since they didn’t even have an automobile fire engine like neighboring big city Denver did. The Golden City Council approved funding for a new fire truck powerful enough to be capable of climbing the many hills in town. Alderman Nolin argued specifically against a small Ford truck that other towns of Golden’s size have because of the mountains nearby.

Instead, the Golden Fire Department bought a truck and 1,000 feet of new hose from the Denver-based Julius Pearse Fire Department Supply Company. The supply company was started by Julius Pearse, a German-born immigrant who moved to Central City, Colorado to work in the mines before settling with his new bride, Maggie Prosser, in Denver. He helped organize the first volunteer fire department in Denver, and became one of the city’s first fire chiefs. Pearse also went on to found the Colorado State Fire Association.

Pearse started the lucrative Julius Pearse Fire Department Supply Company in 1897 and was its president until he died in 1917 due to blood poisoning that was the result of a fire truck running over his foot some two years earlier. He left behind his wife and his 11 children, one of whom, Julius Pearse Jr., took over the company after his death.

Julius Pearse, owner of Julius Pearse Fire Department Supply Company

The brand new Golden Fire Department truck made its first run on May 28, 1919. It was a false alarm. Womp womp. It was not until 1930 that the Golden Fire Department added as second motorized unit.

One other fun fact concerns the fire bell at the Golden Central Fire Station. On Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, the bell was rung for five hours straight in celebration of the end of the Great War. However, all this ringing cracked the bell, making it look like the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Golden citizens renamed the bell the Golden Liberty Bell, which was located at City Hall until the building was demolished in 1961. It can now be found at the current location of Golden City Hall at 911 10th Street.

The bricks of Central Station were painted white and the building expanded to encompass all of City Hall. In the picture below from 1933, note the remaining stylized windows over the engine bay doors that are still the same as Central Station. Also note the Golden Liberty Bell between the fire engines.

1933 Central Station
Golden Fire Department in 1933
Photo Courtesy of Golden Fire Department
A weather-beaten look to the Golden Central Fire Station, circa 1950-1960
Photo Courtesy of Golden Fire Department
Golden Fire Department Engine 1
Golden Fire Department Engine No. 1, today
Photo Courtesy of Golden Fire Department
A fully restored 1921 American LaFrance Fire Truck on Jay Leno’s Garage

100 Years Ago Today: Hugo Frey’s Odyssey

Fort Collins Courier, March 5, 1919
Hugo Frey in Navy uniform
From his memoir, Hugo’s Odyssey

Meg Dunn, who writes at the excellent history website, Northern Colorado History, has an in-depth article on Hugo Frey here, so I’ll just cover some highlights of his life, but definitely check out her writing, especially her five-part series on the rise of the KKK in Colorado in the 1920s.

Hugo Evon Frey’s story takes place over three distinct chapters: South Sea Navy Adventures, Colorado Public Figure, and California Newsman. He writes extensively about his time in the Navy in his memoir, Hugo’s Odyssey, a nod to the Homeric epic, which he published in 1942.

South Sea Navy Adventures

He joined the Navy during Teddy Roosevelt’s term in office (1901-1909), when the president was building the country’s naval force under the motto, “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Frey was a Chief Quartermaster in Aviation, if I’m reading his rating correctly: Chf. Q. M. Av.

Frey was stationed in Pago Pago, Samoa for several of the most formative years of his life. He regularly interacted with people he’d never have seen in Fort Collins, such as cannibals, native tribal leaders, and publicly nude people. But above all, he had adventures that would supply him with a lifetime of stories, like swimming races, haunted caves, an octopus attack, and learning the language of the Samoan people.

Hugo Frey in Samoa
From Hugo’s Odyssey

Frey later gave public talks to the people of Fort Collins about his time in Samoa, according to articles written 10 or so years after his service. During U.S. involvement in WWI (1917-1918), he urged his audiences to enlist in the Navy as soon as the country was enrolling again. This was advice he’d take up himself in a few months, with unforeseen consequences.

Colorado Public Figure

After returning to the states, Hugo Frey moved back to Fort Collins where he held several positions in the public sphere, notably as a Justice of the Peace and as a Judge. Despite his formal position, Frey was not above taking justice into his own hands, literally, when he reportedly punched a man who defamed and spit on the flag.

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Weekly Courier, June 30, 1916

Frey was also a curious businessman who heard about the burgeoning industry of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals like Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat, and Corn Flakes, and the rise of cereal manufacturing companies like Post, Kellogg’s, and Quaker Oats. His idea was to use alfalfa, a grain introduced to Colorado by John Brisben Walker, as the primary ingredient in his cereal. The idea never quite panned out, perhaps because alfalfa is only delicious to rabbits and cows.

On September 18, 1918, at age 35, Frey enlisted in the WWI draft. He could not have known that the war would be over in less than two months, which makes what happened next that much more devastating. He was soon sent to the Naval Station Great Lakes in northern Illinois, which trained 125,000 sailors during the Great War, including the famous composer and band leader, Lt. John Philip Sousa. After arriving at the Navy’s only boot camp, Frey received vaccinations that would leave him “invalid” for almost two years.

Great Lakes Bldg 1.jpg
Building 1 at Naval Station Great Lakes

However, by 1920, despite having been “at the point of death for many months,” Hugo Frey was on the road to recovery. He was also on the road to California (shout out to my OC heads), where he would receive further treatment for his illness.

California Newsman

Frey, along with his wife Ada and their two kids, lived out the rest of his life in Long Beach, California, where Frey wrote for the local paper, the Long Beach Telegram.

He wrote his memoir, Hugo’s Odyssey, in 1942, perhaps in another effort to help boost support for Naval enlistment in WWII, or maybe because he just wanted to share his adventures in Samoa with the world. Hugo Frey died in 1962 in California at the age of 78.

100 Years Ago Today: Wealthy Rancher Murdered, Buried Under Manure

Wray Rattler, February 27, 1919

John Breuss went missing from his Silt, Colorado ranch home on November 18, 1918. By late December of that year, Sheriff Charles W. Fravert of Garfield County, on suspicion that Breuss was dead, offered a $250 reward for the recovery of Breuss’ body, and another $250 for any information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators of the alleged murder.

Fun facts about Sheriff Fravert: he was a German-born immigrant who listed his occupation at various stages of his life as Coal Miner, Sheriff, Woolgrower, Contractor, Driver, Live Stock, Stockman, Ice House Owner, and Shop Raiser. Fravert Reservoir and Fravert Avenue, near Rifle, CO, are named after the late Sheriff. 

Breuss was known as one of the wealthiest ranchers in Garfield County at the time, and his murder made newspaper headlines. However, police were not making any headway in the case until a local Glenwood Springs jeweler named Tom Dever stepped in and cracked it wide open.

Dever had been asked to repair a 21-jewel Hamilton movement watch by Joe Sessions. When Sessions came to pick up the watch, Dever questioned him about its origin. Sessions told Dever that when he was working down in Silt, he traded Cruz(e) Romero a watch and a pair of gloves for the jeweled Hamilton watch. Hamilton watches were renown as ‘The Watch of Railroad Accuracy’, and they were famous for being the official wristwatch of the U.S. Army, as well as being used in the first ever American airmail service between Washington D.C. and New York.

Hamilton Movement Watches

The jeweler, Dever, suddenly realized that he had worked on the watch before. He checked his records and saw that he’d repaired it for the now-missing John Breuss in 1914. Dever and Sessions took the information to Sheriff Fravert who arrested Cruz Romero and his former roommate and coworker, Lee Martinez, the very next day.

Hamilton watch from 1919 being sold on ebay in 2019 for $895

Sheriff Fravert then rounded up Lee Martinez’s brother, Tonio, from Monte Vista, CO, and questioned the three suspects. The Sheriff had also gathered information that Lee Martinez’s young son was telling people that his father did not kill Breuss, but rather it was Cruz Romero who beat the 58-year-old rancher to death. During questioning, Fravert and Deputy W. G. Cardnell sweated Lee Martinez until he cracked. Martinez revealed that Romero killed Breuss and they buried the rancher beneath a pile of manure near his barn.

Sheriff Fravert and Deputy Cardnell then went out the Silt ranch and found Breuss’ badly decomposed body right where Martinez said, buried beneath four feet of manure. The body was brought to a coroner’s jury which ruled that Breuss was killed by Romero and the Martinez brothers.

Romero confessed that he had beaten Breuss to death, but he said he only did it out of self-defense after a fight over a horse trade. Lee Martinez admitted to helping Romero bury the body with manure. On March 8, 1919, Cruz Romero was found guilty and sentenced to death for the killing of John Breuss. Lee Martinez (whose suname in some articles is Martini), was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the murder. There is no mention of his brother, Tonio.

In June of 1919, Cruz Romero was given a 30-day stay of execution while Governor Shoup reviewed his case. Then, in August of the same year, Shoup commuted his sentence to life imprisonment.