Thomas B. Jackson Missing From Home Since Saturday Last.
FRIENDS DISCREDIT STORY
Supported Eleven People on Salary of $15 a Week — Was Model Employe.
Thomas B. Jackson, whose home is at the corner of Lincoln avenue und Second street in South Boise, a trusted employe of the Boise Artesian Hot & Cold Water company, 32 years of age, a resident of this city for the last 14 years, and business agent of the Boise federal labor union, suddenly disappeared in a mysterious manner from his place of employment some time after 1:30 o’clock Saturday afternoon, and has not been seen since that time by any of his numerous friends or relatives.
His wife reported his unusual absence from home to the police at 8 o’clock Saturday night, and she insists that he has either been murdered or has committed suicide The theory of foul play is wholly discredited by the police, as well as by the man’s friends, who, after a thorough investigation, announced that all the circumstances in the case indicate that Jackson got tired of supporting 11 people, all of whom were his wife’s relatives, on $15 a week salary, and that he simply decided to quit the unequal game, and left for some other city to begin life anew on a different basis.
Mrs. Jackson said: “My husband left home Saturday morning for work. I have never seen him since. He telephoned to me from the water company’s shop at Thirteenth and Front streets, at 1:30 o’clock, Saturday afternoon, and asked me if I wanted anything. I had arranged with him that he was to meet my boy down town after supper that night, and do some shopping. He was to get a pair of rubbers for the boy. But I had allowed my son to go skating without telling him about it, and so I arranged with my husband that he should call me up by telephone again at 5:30 o’clock, by which time I expected the boy would arrive home. At 5:30 o’clock, as my husband did not ‘phone me, I ‘phoned to his office, and asked for him, and I was told that my husband was not there.
Notified the Police.
“This started me to worrying, and when he did not appear in the evening, I became frantic and hysterical. I telephoned to the police and told them I was afraid my husband had been murdered or had committed suicide, and asked them to search for him. As time passed by, I grew more worried. My husband is very regular in his habits. He does not drink liquor, smoke nor chew tobacco. He had never stayed out at night without letting me know the reason. He had no enemies. I am certain that he has met with foul play or has killed himself. My husband and I have never had any trouble. We were married eight years ago. We have never had any children. I already had two children when I married him. They are George, 15 years of age, and Harry, 11 years of age.
“My husband carried no life insurance. He once carried a small policy when he was a Woodman of the World, but that policy lapsed three years ago.”
Mrs. Jackson admitted that her husband had been supporting 11 people on $15 a week wages The household included the following persons: Thomas B. Jackson, his wife and her two boys; Mrs. M.M. Jarrett, sister of Mrs. Jackson, her husband and their two children; Mrs. Myrtle Johnson, sister of Mrs. Jackson, and her child, and Miss Bessie Ballinger, sister of Mrs. Jackson.
Mrs. Jackson stated that her husband had received $15 per week as his regular wages from the water company, and that out of this money he had within the last five years paid for a $900 home, satisfied $500 in debts, paid heavy doctor bills for her children and herself, and fed and clothed the family.
Was Good Workman.
According to his employers, Jackson was an ideal worker, as he was steady, reliable, intelligent, competent and trustworthy in every respect. In his eagerness to save his money and pay off his debts and build a home, he had walked every morning and night to and from his work to save carfare. He has gone without overshoes, overcoat and other necessities, though he has worked outside in the bitterest weather, walking all over the city reading meters and checking up on customers who had moved away or changed places or residence.
M.M. Jarrett, Jackson’s brother-in-law, had worked for a time with the street car company. He quit that job and took a position as delivery wagon driver for the Scott bakery in the west end of the city. Then he quit that job and went back to the street car company. He has not secured regular employment, and he and his wife and two children have been living with Jackson.
Mrs. Jackson stated last night that her husband had gone out of his own accord and had urged the Jarretts to come and live in his house, although eight people were living there already.
Besides supporting the 11 people in his own home, Jackson had been aiding two half sisters, the Misses Alice and Hilda Jackson, who live in Bourne, Ore., and are only 16 and 18 years of age respectively, according to his friends.
Jackson has an uncle who is attending the Pacific college of-osteopathy in Los Angeles, and has also been helping him, it is said.
Mrs. Jackson told the police that her husband was such a mild-mannered man that he had never made an enemy but she insisted nevertheless that he had been murdered or had met with foul play in some other way. She as stoutly denied the possibility tired of supporting 11 people on $15 a week, besides paying $500 debts and buying a $900 home at the same time, on the ground that she had never had any trouble with him and that he liked company and was delighted to have her three sisters, her brother-in-law and their three children living in his little home.
Jackson’s employer said: “I know that Jackson did not leave because of any trouble with the water company. He was one of the best men that ever worked for us. He was a model man. Through November, December and January he worked overtime at night, checking up accounts, going over addresses, hunting up customers that had moved, revising our card index system and worked very late. He walked to and from his work to save 10 cents in car fare every day. He went without overshoes in cold weather with thin-soled shoes while he tramped the streets in deep snow reading meters and checking up on customers. He never complained, but we knew that something was wrong by little things that happened from time to time. For instance, his wife called him up one day during the recent cold weather and he talked to her over the phone. We heard him expostulate at one point in the conversation and say: ‘But I haven’t any more money now than I need to buy a pair of rubbers and my soles are so thin that my feet freeze when I walk the streets on my outside work.’ After a colloquy at the other end of the line we heard Jackson say: ‘All right, I’ll let the rubbers go another month and buy what you want.’ Last summer Jackson was as happy as a boy, because he was out of debt, after having worked like a slave for years, saving every possible cent and scrimping to pay the installments on his home. In five years he paid $500 debts and bought a $900 home, besides paying a lot of doctor bills for his family. He did it on $15 a week.
“He was paid extra for his night work. At the end of last January he was paid $27 extra. He said he wanted to leave it in the safe of the company for a few days. The money was placed in the safe. Saturday he was paid his $15 for the last week’s wages and he asked for the $27 out of the safe, and it was given to him. Then he asked for a layoff. and because of his steady work and hard overtime at nights. the layoff was granted. He went away and never returned.”
All Praise Jackson.
Samuel Drake, foreman at the water company shop refused, to discuss Jackson’s disappearance further than to say: “Jackson telephoned to his wife at 1:30 o’clock Saturday afternoon from the shop. I never saw him afterwards. I think I know why he left home, but I don’t care to talk about his private affairs. That’s his business.”
An officer of the water company praised Jackson highly and ended by saying: “I don’t think Jackson will ever come back. He can have his job again if he ever does return to Boise.”
Owen Smith, a deaf mute who works at the water company shop, informed Jackson’s friends that he had seen the missing man at that place as late as 5:30 o’clock Saturday afternoon, but Samuel Drake says Smith must be mistaken, as Jackson left the place immediately after telephoning to his wife and did not return there.
The police have made a search for Jackson but can find no trace of him, they claim. A large number of his friends were drawn into the hunt by Mrs. Jackson and M.M. Jarrett, her brother-in-law, but also failed to find a clew on Sunday. It is said that the Boise river, which runs four blocks north of the Jackson home, and the Rossi mill pond, known as No. 1, will be dragged today on the supposition that he might have either drowned himself in one of those places or that he met with foul play and the murderers threw the body into the river or the mill pond. However, it was ascertained that the river and the pond are not deep enough to drown a man.
When Jackson disappeared he is alleged to have carried $45 in cash and two watches, one of which was a fine woman’s watch. Following is a description of the missing man: Five feet and 11 inches in height, weight 190 pounds, is powerfully built, of fair complexion 32 years of age and is of genial disposition.
Source: Idaho Daily Statesman, February 7, 1910.