Harry Snapp Called Suddenly By Death

Following a brief attack of heart trouble, Harry Snapp, 55, died at the home of a sister in Baker Friday afternoon of last week.

At the time of his death Mr. Snapp was in the employ of the Blue Mountain garage at La Grande and was probably the best known auto salesman in this section. He had been employed during the past two years with several dealers in Baker and La Grande. He was a native of Missouri and had a number of relatives living near Scranton in that state.

North Powder News
Saturday, June 11, 1927


Peculiar Circumstances Surround Sudden Death Of Well Known Auto Salesman

Funeral services were held Thursday of last week for Harry Snapp, alias Harry Klepper by a minister who came all the way from California to do it, but the body was still at the West parlors and the time and place of the burial was still indefinite Sunday morning. The case is one of the strangest the Baker county authorities have ever been called upon to handle.

Klepper came to Baker about 15 months ago and was employed there for a time. Later he went to La Grande and then returned to Baker. He gave his name as Harry Snapp. He was about 50 years of age and said little about his past, though he boasted of important business deals which he said were handled through an attorney at Albany, Oregon.

Klepper died Thursday, June 2, at 2787 Third street, Baker, from the effects of a strong medicine he was using and of which he took an overdose. Whether he did this intentionally knowing it would cause his death, or by accident remains an unanswered riddle. He died and no one in Baker knew his true name or anything of his past.

Recalling the use of the Albany lawyer’s name, an acquaintance of Snapp mentioned it to E. F. West, who had custody of the body. Mr. West telegraphed to Albany. A reply came at once. It stated that Snapp’s true name was Harry Klepper and that he left an estranged wife at Madera, Cal. A telegram was at once sent to her. She wired back for a description of the body and stated that she would come at once if it was her husband. The description was sent and she came, arriving here Thursday morning and bringing with her a Rev. G.W. Bruce of Reedley, Cal.

They made inquiry of the circumstances of the man’s death and in the afternoon conducted a private funeral service in the West Chapel. They stated that they were unable to pay the funeral and burial expenses, which were only $40, although the two people were able and willing to come here from California. When asked what was to be done with the body, the minister replied: “I don’t care; it’s up to you, and left in company with Mrs. Klepper. The two left for California on Friday afternoon’s train without waiting to see what disposition was made of the body.

The body of Klepper was buried in the potter’s field at Baker Monday. No further light was thrown on the peculiar actions of the pair who held funeral services and refused to give burial to the body.

North Powder News
Saturday, June 18, 1927