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Wigglesworth, Wm – Obituary

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Wm. Wigglesworth Murdered At Union
Newton Gamble, Neighbor, is Being Held For Crime Committed Sunday Night.

Union county residents were severely shocked this week when the report of the murder of William Wigglesworth well known Union man, was reported. Newton Gamble, a neighbor of Wigglesworth, is held on circumstantial evidence in the county jail at La Grande.

The story of the murder was first told, it was alleged, by a daughter of Newton Gamble, to the marshal of the city of Union. Later the girl stated she made no such declaration. However, the district attorneys have placed a charge of first degree murder against Gamble.

The crime took place about 10 o’clock Sunday evening, and though several people heard the fatal shot, which pierced the door, went through Wigglesworth’s body, and lodged in a wall, none of them witnessed the act. It is evident the assailant shot while the murdered man was in the act of opening the door.

Several stories are out concerning the affair. One of them is that Gamble and Wigglesworth played cards nearly all day Sunday, and that Gamble was a heavy loser. Another story is that two men with a third party were on the premises buying hay, but no trouble seemed to be apparent at that time.

The bullet fired by the assailant was from a .30 calibre rifle, such as is owned by Gamble. The Springfield rifle, which is owned by Gamble, had but four cartridges in the clip, and the clip has a capacity of five shells. The gun also showed evidence of recent use. Gamble claims he shot a cat with the missing cartridge. One of the outstanding facts of the “mystery” cartridge is that the one taken from the wall was a leaden bullet, while the four remaining cartridges in the Gamble gun were steel capped. It is hard to believe the lead bullet could penetrate the door, the man’s body and enter the wall, and it is also hard to believe the steel jacket could have become separated from the leaden bullet while in motion.

Many relatives survive Mr. Wigglesworth, a daughter, Mrs. James Devore, residing at North Powder in the Clover Creek district. Wigglesworth was alone at his home when the murder took place, his wife having left Union for a visit with a daughter in Washington. Gamble is 63 years of age and was always a supposed friend of Mr. Wigglesworth.

The murdered man was one of Union’s finest citizens, standing high in the esteem of the residents there, and his untimely end has cast a gloom over the entire city.

A coroner’s jury failed to lay the blame on Gamble and their verdict was simply that “William Wigglesworth met his death from a gunshot wound.” The jury was composed mostly of business men of Union.

North Powder News
Saturday, November 22, 1924

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