May 11, 2007

ID: "Something that might not bring a nickel on eBay is worth a lot to Idahoans"

Well, maybe not all Idahoans. A good save for legal history, from the AP:

Documents from dumpster dive donated to ACI by 'Big Trouble' family

Haywood documents saved from trash donated to Idaho college

A century-old, leather-bound court docket from the murder trial that followed the 1905 assassination of Idaho Gov. Frank Steunenberg has been donated to Albertson College of Idaho by his descendants. The docket, rescued from a trash bin more than a decade ago, includes the original complaint that led to the arrest of Harry Orchard and union boss William "Big Bill" Haywood...

More from the Statesman:

Amateur historians rescue document from the Trial of the Century

"We jumped in the pickup and roared down to the courthouse," said Warren Widener, now 80. "We backed the truck up to the Dumpster and pitched things in without knowing what they were."

What they were was a gold mine, including a leather-bound court docket with clear, careful script, handwritten in the first days of 1906 when Caldwell was reeling from the assassination of ex-Gov. Frank Steunenberg. The murder and the 1907 trial of its alleged conspirators became a national sensation, drawing celebrity lawyer Clarence Darrow to Boise... The docket pulled from the garbage held the original complaint leading to Harry Orchard's arrest for the governor's murder...

Bonus link goes to the lucky recipient, my alma mater, the liberal arts school formerly know as The College of Idaho. Gratuitous bonus link goes to my old dorm and this quote:

For decades hall residents--starting in 1961, both men and women--have been known as "Voorheesians," a title that evokes both the pride of the original donors and the abiding romance of "Star Trek." Voorheesians obey the law of gravity, but grudgingly.