Hatless, coatless, shoeless, these escapees walked 12 miles in the snow, then talked a policeman into giving them a hand.
In 1918 the county courthouse was moved to a new location at the hotel in Prosser.
Prisoners make escape
By The Prosser Republican-Bulletin
Published on Dec. 26, 1918
The jail cage was moved from the site at the old court house building to the new court house building. E. W. R. Taylor was granted an injunction against the county moving the cage at first but last week Judge Truax granted the commissioners the right to move the jail to its new location. The cage weighs six or seven tons and after being put on skids was a good load for the county steam tractor.
And when there is no jail, is the time the jail is needed.
The above proved the case Monday morning when the county jailer proceeded to the city jail to see how things fared with two young men who had been lodged in limbo on a grand larceny charge.
Martin Ketchum and Chas. Bibbs were brought up from Kennewick Sunday on the charge of robberies committed in that city and were lodged in the city Bastille as the county jail is hanging between the old location and the new until the commissioners make up their minds what to do with it.
Fearing that the men might try to get away, their hats, coats and shoes were taken away from them and as snow was on the ground it was natural that the officer believed they would tarry till morning.
During the night the prisoners got busy and took up part of the floor and burrowing through the foundation walked in their stocking feet to Mabton where the chief of police furnished them with shoes and clothing necessary to the continuance of their journey.
Upon learning that the birds had flown, the sheriff's office got busy and were informed by the Mabton police that they had left that place not many hours before in the direction of Sunnyside. After a long trail they were located at Granger by Sheriff Rolph and Deputy Hansen and were taken to Yakima for the time they are waiting for trial.
The men were working the bunco game of taking subscriptions for magazines which they offered to send for the mere price of postage. One of their favorites was the Pictorial Review. Quite a number of Prosser citizens fell for their line of talk as they were dressed in khaki and appeared to be traveling on foot through the country.
The men had large army packs and when they were opened by the officers of the law it was inconceivable how so much plunder could be gotten into such mall space. From the nature of their swag it is presumed that they were in the habit of annexing anything that happened to come near them -- neckties, shoes, knives, razors, hats, playing cards -- in fact everything from soup to nuts could be found in their packs.
The culprits are young men of about 17 or 18 years and undoubtedly have records by the way they opined for freedom from the clutches of the law.