Brutal Death For Gold Mining Partner

Oct 9, 2013

As It Was - Episode 2252

 The gold bug hit John C. Doggett in 1850 in St. Louis where he was a horse race jockey.   Born in 1820 in Missouri, Doggett moved West in 1851 to Thompson’s Dry Diggings in Yreka, Calif.  He moved to Scott River before returning to St. Louis to marry Miss Mary Redman, and then came back to the California gold fields.  He mined along the Scott River for three years with his partner, S. R. Lewis. One day, he removed $1,400 worth of gold in a pothole inside a short tunnel about 10 feet long, or known as a “coyote hole” in mining parlance.  He and Lewis worked by torchlight into the night. Not long after their discovery, Lewis met an untimely death when someone slit his throat. Authorities arrested Sampson Crowder when he was found drunk and asleep near Lewis’ body. After two trials, Crowder was hanged on Butcher Hill east of Yreka.   Two years later an unidentified man’s dying confession claimed he had framed Crowder by placing the bloody murder knife in Crowder’s hand as he slept.    Source:  Doggett, Charles David. "My Pioneer Grandfathers ." Siskiyou Pioneer Vol. 3, No. 2 : 27-32. Print.