Surprise Valley Record, Cedarville, Modoc County, California, June 1923

Wednesday June 6, 1923

Dr. J. McCosh Smith, well known throughout Modoc County, died near Los Angeles several days ago and his remains were taken East to his old home for interment. His many friends here regret to hear of his death.

Card Of Thanks
We desire to extend our sincere thanks to the people of Surprise Valley for favors conferred during their late misfortune in the death of our brother Alexander Stevens.
Mrs. A. Gibson
Howard Stevens

Last week a man by the name of John Thompson was taken ill while shearing sheep at San Creek and after remaining in camp for several days he was brought here for medical treatment, when the doctor found that he was afflicted with a malignant case of typhoid fever, which resulted in his death last Friday. His sister, Mrs. Wells arrived here Friday evening and left Sunday left with his remains for Redding where they will be interred.

Mr. and Mrs. Gillette, of San Rafael, are visiting Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Hussa, of this place this week. Mrs. Gillette is a sister of Mrs. Hussa.

Death Of A. H. Stevens
Last week we unintentionally omitted to mention the sudden death of Alexander H. Stevens, which occurred at Duck Lake on the 23rd of May, his death being due to heart disease. He had not been feeling well, and evidently got up early and started to go out of the tent in which he was sleeping and dropped dead at the entrance. He had resided here from boyhood up and leaves to mourn his loss, three sisters, Mrs. A. Gibson, of Alturas, Mrs. Ellen Vaughn, of Oakland, Mrs. Maude Abramsky, of Los Angeles and two brothers, Everett Stevens, of Washington and Howard Stevens of Eagleville, to whom the Record, with other friends extends sincere sympathy in their affliction.

Glenn Ward and wife and little daughter were down from Fort Bidwell Sunday.

The Rechsteiner well is now down 815 feet and showing an improved condition for oil.

Dr. Kennedy was called to the Spalding home on the west side of Cedar Pass last Monday night, to attend Mrs. Spalding.

Dr. Kennedy and family moved into their new home this week. The Dr. recently purchased the Sharp residence west of the Surprise Valley bank.

Wednesday June 13, 1923

Born – Near Lake City, Cal., June 12, 1923, to Mr. and Mrs. Wm Stephens, a 9-LB son.

Born – Near Lake City, Cal., June 8, 1923 to Mr. and Mrs. Wm Hawse, a daughter

Harold Miller of Westwood was here last week on a visit to his parents, and reports times lively at the big lumber city.

C. F. Brown and family, formerly of the valley and later on of Joseph Creek, have located at Orland, where they expect to make their future home.

Wednesday June 20, 1923

Sheriff John Sharp arrested a couple of bootleggers at Likely last Saturday and landed them in the Hotel de Sharp at Alturas and on Monday last they were brought before Judge Wm Thompson who fined them $500 each. They were from Colusa County and gave their names of Lane and McConnell. Sheriff Sharp has got the bootleggers guessing.

Stole An Auto
Some one broke out the big glass in Denehy’s store door, at the entrance to the Grocery Department, last Sunday night, but he was unable to miss anything that had been taken from his large stock. Some one, also, on the same night broke the lock of the gasoline pump at the Park Garage and took out about fifteen gallons of gas. It is thought that the acts of burglary were committed by some one fleeing from justice and after obtaining a supply lit out for parts unknown. Later – Sheriff Woodcock of Lakeview followed the party supposed to be the perpetrators of the above act to Gerlach, where he arrested and brought him back accompanied by his wife and five children. He had stolen the auto at Lakeview and was planning to get out of the country.

A Brutal Murder
This community was shocked last Monday when the report was flashed around that Frank D. Gooch had been murdered, and on investigation, it was found that the report was true and that he had met death at the hands of Claude Coonse. It seems that Coonse was owing Gooch some money, and last Monday forenoon the latter went to the Turner Ranch, where Coonse was working, to collect the money due him and an argument arose and Coonse knocked Gooch over onto the teeth of a hay buck, face down, and then jumped on the prostrate man, catching him by the head or shoulders, and literally beat his face into a pulp, breaking the jaw bones and all the bones in the face, causing death in a few minutes. Acting on the advise of parties, Coonse came to town and gave himself up to Constable Boston and was later taken to jail at Alturas by Sheriff Sharp. The above are the facts as near as we can get them. There were no witnesses to the horrible tragedy except the little nine-year old son of Mr. Gooch, who had accompanied his father on the trip that ended in his death. An inquest was held by Deputy Coroner Pengelly, of Alturas and the verdict of the jury was that Frank D. Gooch came to his death from a fractured skull inflicted by Claude Coonse. The funeral was held Monday afternoon from the M. E. Church, the services being conducted by Re. Joseph Miller. The church was crowded with relatives and friends who came to pay their last tribute of respect to the murdered man, and the remains were followed to their last resting-place in the Cedarville Cemetery by the large number assembled. Frank Dwight Gooch was born at Reno, Nevada, December 24, 1876, and came with his parents to Surprise Valley two years later. He was married to Katie E. Davidson, January 26, 1907. To this union were born six children, Emma, Clyde, William, Frankie, Catherine, and Delbert, all of whom live to mourn his loss, as also does his father, O. S. Gooch, and two sister, Mrs. Gladys Wentzell and Mrs. Belva Sevier, and two brothers, Guy and Roy Gooch of this place. He united with the Methodist church in 1907 and of which he has been an active member ever since. He died June 16, 1923, at the age of 47 years, 5 months and 8 days. The act of savage brutality that ended the life of Frank Gooch has cast a mantle of gloom over the entire community and the heartfelt sympathy of all go out tot he sadly bereaved wife and little children, and to the sorrowing relatives. As this is a case to be determined by the courts the Record refrains from any comment at this time.

Rev. U. L. Walker has resigned his pastorate of the M. E. Church here on account of ill health and left last Sunday for Dunsmuir, accompanied by his wife.

Mrs. T. H. Johnstone is reported quite sick this week.

Martin Anderson, who has been seriously ill for the past month is improving slowly.

Ray Hill who has been suffering the past week with blood poisoning in his hands, is reported some better.

Born – At St. Joseph’s hospital at Stockton, Cal., May 26, 1923, to Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Craig (nee Miss Elma Johnson), a daughter

District Attorney Laird and Court Reporter, May L. Yates were over from Alturas Saturday and Monday on matters pertaining to the murder of Frank Gooch.

A Basque was brought in from the Duck Lake section last week suffering from tick fever. He is under the care of Dr. Kennedy, and is doing well.

Wednesday June 17, 1923

Splendid Oil Indication
The well on Jake Rechsteiner’s place northeast of town, has been bored to a depth of 835 feet, and was going thru oil sand when drilling was stopped by the caving in of the well. An attempt was made to drive the casing down but failed and work on the well has been discontinued for a short time, but will be resumed as soon as some three-inch casing can be brought in. The well shows all the indications of oil. Small particles of oil can be seen on the surface of the water, and the application of a lighted match to the top of a bucket of water causes a flash of light that consumes the myriad’s of bubbles on the water. In fact, it has been pronounced a splendid indication for oil, and the only thing to do is to demonstrate the fact by going on down.