Freedom Short-Lived for Prison Escapees in 1914

(08/19/2002)

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 1/29/1914.

Hendricks Soon Recaptured

Moundsville, Jan. 20. - Shortlived was the breath of freedom which came to the two life term murderers, Louis Hendricks and Grover Smith, who escaped from the state prison at Moundsville some time Sunday night.  The two were recaptured this morning at 7:46 o'clock by a lone deputy near Meighen, Marshall county, about 12 miles southeast of Moundsville.  Warden M.L. Brown was notified of the capture about 9 o'clock and dispatched Guards M.C. Barker and A.L. Boggs to the scene.  At 4 o'clock this afternoon they were brought in from Roseby Rock, six miles east of Moundsville, over the B. & O.

"It was a long chance but it was worth the attempt," Smith, who appears to have been the leader, said to the guards."  Anything was better than the hopelessness that stares a fellow in the face when he has a life term hanging over him."

Further than that they refused to discuss their daring feat in drilling through a quarter inch steel ceiling with a hand fashioned brace and bit and getting safely away.

That honor exists even among the most hardened criminals is evidenced in the case of Smith.  It is the opinion of the authorities that Smith would probably have gotten away, or at least would have given them a much longer and trying chase, had it not been that he refused to leave Hendricks.  Hendricks sustained a broken hip some years ago and was made a cripple for life.  The handicap proved disastrous to both fugitives, for Smith stayed loyally with him throughout the short flight.


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