Looking back: Murderer to be hanged

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75 years ago

From the March 18, 1932, Steamboat Pilot

Beauty spot preserved

Regional Forester Allen S. Peck has received notice of the formal designation by the forester on March 5, of the Flat Tops Primitive Area. This includes an area of 117,800 acres of land within the White River National forest, in the Flat Tops between North and South forks of the White River and extending eastward to Derby Peak, Sheep Mountain and Wall Mountain. The area is essentially a high plateau bordered by a sharp rim through which several deep canons have been eroded.

There are trails within this area, but no roads, and its designation as a primitive area means that there will be within its boundaries no automobile roads, summer homes, resorts or other forms of settlement.

The region is very well known for its scenic attractions, its excellent fishing waters, big game animals, its inaccessibility except on horseback or foot and its many ideal camping sites.

Slayer will be hanged

E.J. Farmer, murderer of Joe Jones and Earl Hopkins in Axial Basin in January of last year, will in all probability "stretch hemp" in the state penitentiary Friday night. Farmer's last hope of escaping the noose went glimmering Tuesday when Dr. F.H. Zimmerman, superintendent of the hospital for the insane, reported to Governor Adams that Farmer is sane.

Farmer is in the state penitentiary under sentence to be hanged this week for murder. Monday, he made a second futile attempt at suicide by jumping 20 feet from a window of the prison administration building, where he had been taken to be examined by Dr. Zimmerman.

"In my opinion, Farmer is not insane and is merely feigning insanity," Dr. Zimmerman stated in a brief written report to the governor Tuesday.

Farmer's wife, who had been in Denver since Saturday, pleading for clemency for her husband, returned to her home at Craig on Tuesday. Apparently, she abandoned all hope of executive interference with the sentence.

Arrangement for Farmer's execution already have been made at the penitentiary at Canon City. Under the law, no advance announcement is made of the day or hour when the death sentence will be carried out. But usually Friday is execution day, and it is believed that Farmer will be hanged Friday night.

Dr. Franklin B. Ebaugh, head of the Colorado Psychopathic Hospital, recently examined Farmer and reported him sane.

Scholars in competition

Grace Childress of Steamboat Springs won first place in the county oratorical contest held at the courthouse Saturday. Grace also won second place in spelling.

There were more contestants in the county meet this year than for many years past, a total of seven orators and 16 spellers. The orations were all very well delivered, the boys and girls had splendid enunciation and poise. Most of them, however, did not adhere close enough to their subject, giving a biography of George Washington rather than dwelling more fully on his influence on the youth of today. It is regrettable that there was not some sort of a prize for each of the seven who did such splendid work.

The words given out for spelling, while not unusual, seemed to be baffling to some of the boys and girls, the winner of the contest missing a total of 15 words. Many of them missed between 20 and 40, and a few had a total of more than half errors in the 100 words.

One of the boys who entered the contest rode five miles on horseback and made the rest of the trip, about 25 miles, by train. Grace Childress of Steamboat represented her school in both the oratorical and spelling contests.

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