Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council
The Centralia Massacre Part 5
Updated On: Nov 19, 2021

Everest, in a high state of excitement when he reached the alley behind the hall, turned south, and when he came to the alley’s entrance on Second Street saw two men in uniform running toward him. He fired at both. Casagranda, shot through the stomach, fell on the sidewalk. Watt was hit by a bullet that penetrated his midriff. Everest then turned and started north.

Everest’s route was through three residential blocks and many vacant lots, stables, and sheds, along the alleys, four-tenths of a mile between Second Street and the Skookumchuck River, flowing swiftly just before it converged with the Chehalis [River].

Dale Hubbard was able to find someone who handed him a pistol. He grabbed it and continued the pursuit, but when he caught sight of Everest and tried to fire, the pistol wouldn’t work.

The fleeing Everest did not try to hide. He would pause, crouch behind a shed or fence and fire a shot at his pursuers, then run on. In a few minutes he came to the bank of Skookumchuck, thick with trees and underbrush. He saw at once that he was trapped unless he could cross the river. He could not. The river was too swift and deep and he was burdened with heavy logger’s clothes and boots. Everest crouched behind a stump near the water’s edge and waited, gun in hand.

Hubbard moved out ahead, leveling the pistol that would not fire, and shouted at Everest to surrender. Everest responded with “defiant curses” and, when Hubbard kept coming, raised his gun and shot. Hubbard fell. Everest shot him again, and then again. That emptied his gun. Seeing him trying frantically to reload, the others rushed up. Everest reached for a long knife strapped to his belt in the back, but before he could draw it Barner was on him, grabbing his arms. Others followed, one kicking him in the head hard enough to draw blood.

Pulled to his feet, Everest, still defiant, resisted efforts to make him move. One of his captors took off his belt and looped it around the Wobbly’s neck, using it as a leash on the long walk to the city jail nearly a mile away. Hubbard lay where he fell, gravely wounded but not dead. Soon a car and driver were found and he was taken to the Scace Hospital, the last of the Wobbly gunfire victims to receive medical attention.

A trail of blood on the sidewalk leading past the Roderick to the corner at Second Street verified reports that one of the paraders, who was seen stumbling south away from the hall, bent over with his hands over his stomach, was shot in front of the hall.

Others among the ex-servicemen who escaped being hit poured into the IWW hall and the Roderick lobby to finish the raid.

They found no one in the front portion of the hall. There was some hesitation. The ex-servicemen, inside the hall, could hear the shots in the alley.

Eugene Barnett, in the lobby of the Roderick when the raid started, threw off his coat, intending to join the fight. But when the shooting began, he stayed where he was. He was still in the lobby when the uniformed men came in. He recognized William Scales as one and afterward said that another, a navy man, was carrying a gun. He said he wanted him to be careful with the gun because there was a woman—Mrs. McAllister—in the back. Barnett was not recognized then as a Wobbly and was not seized. He walked away unmolested and went uptown in time to see Everest brought in.

Once the building had been thoroughly searched, the Legionnaires proceeded to complete what had been their original objective—the destruction of the hall. Records from Smith’s desk, including the local IWW membership list, were handed to Prosecutor Allen, who happened to be standing across the street, watching.

It was about a mile from the banks of the Skookumchuck to the jail on Maple Street, and as Everest and his captors moved along, the crowd following them grew. The story spread quickly. This was the Wobbly who shot Dale Hubbard in cold blood out on the riverbank.

A rope was tied around Everest’s neck and the end thrown over a spike on a telephone pole in the alley in back of the Chronicle office, near the jail. Dr. Livingstone, just arrived on the scene after leaving the hospital where he watched as his friend Grimm died, was as angry as any at the Wobblies, but could reason well enough to know that a daytime lynching would be bad. He began to clamber up the foothold spikes of the pole where he began shouting to make himself heard above the clamor of the mob. “Don’t hang him. Not here,” he yelled. “Don’t do something foolish.”

The appeals were almost too late. Everest was lifted by the neck and his feet were off the ground before Livingstone’s frantic appeal to reason was heeded and he was let down. Quickly he was hustled across the street and pushed into a jail cell out of reach of the mob eager for a lynching. In the jail were the others who were seized in the rear of the Roderick.

Smith was found in his office, standing with his raincoat on, beside his desk. When Smith saw the crowd outside, he took off his coat and went to the door. They wanted him to go down to the police station and give an account of himself.

Finally Smith agreed to surrender his gun and go along.

By this time anyone suspected of anything in connection with the Wobblies was being seized and held. The Wobbly horrors rapidly escalated into Wobbly hysteria. Smith was locked up.

The mob around the jail continued to grow and the intensity of its temper increased. The anger intensified as the events of the afternoon became more widely known.


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Contact Info
Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council
PO Box 66
Olympia, WA 98507
 

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