A garage employee who borrowed a car from his employer in October of 1916 ended up in jail with a companion after a drunken fracas that left three men injured and the car a wreck at the bottom of Wild Horse grade.
Harry Emory, an employee of the Independent Garage in Pendleton, borrowed a car from his employer early on Oct. 15, 1916, picking up companions Bert Mansfield, Orville Coffman, Ed Hayes, and a young man named Parrott for a jaunt through the countryside east of Pendleton. Several hours and much alcohol later, the carload of inebriated men rolled up to the Wyrick ranch just as the hired man, Joe Campbell, was hitching up a team to travel into town.
Emory was a former employee on the ranch, and stopped in to talk with Campbell. A rumpus started almost immediately, according to the ranch’s hired men, because Emory and others in the car accused the ranch employees of absconding with Hays. Unbeknownst to Emory and his friends, Hayes and Parrott, tiring of the orgy of drinking and troublemaking, had set out on foot for town.
Emory and Mansfield burst into the ranch bunkhouse where William Painter and Walter Cole were still in bed. Cole, who suffered from rheumatism, wasn’t able to defend himself and ended up badly beaten about the face.
Coffman finally convinced Emory and Mansfield to leave the ranch after they tried to break into the ranch house. On the drive back to Pendleton, Coffman was thrown from the car. As Emory and Mansfield reached the rocky grade at the entrance to the Wild Horse cut, Emory lost control of the car and rolled it down an embankment where it landed upside down. Both men were thrown from the vehicle but miraculously escaped injury.
They had just extricated themselves from the wreck when Sheriff Til Taylor arrived, having been called by Mrs. A.A. Kimball during the break-in attempt. Emory and Mansfield were arrested, and after driving several miles Sheriff Taylor also picked up Coffman, who was sitting on the side of the road with his face skinned up from his fall from the car.
Emory and Mansfield appeared before Justice of the Peace Parkes the following morning. Both pled guilty to the complaint lodged against them and paid a $50 fine in lieu of 25 days in jail.