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Regard to Wilbur Norton's Attempt to Escape

Winfield Daily Courier - February 5, 1894


Ex-Sheriff Nipp Calls Upon the Courier and Gives His Statement in

Regard to Wilbur Norton's Attempt to Escape.

This morning Ex-Sheriff Nipp came up from Newkirk, and after reading the report in Saturday's COURIER of the attempt of Wilbur Norton to escape from the penitentiary at Leavenworth, made the following statement:

"I left Winfield with Wilbur Norton, Morgan Wright, and Charles Roberts, and had them chained and shackled in order to prevent any attempt they might make to escape. Deputy Sheriff Rothrock, J. B. Nipp, Jr., my son, and myself started with the prisoners. At Holliday I met Warden Chase and he knew two of the prisoners after I pointed out Wright and Norton. My under-sheriff, Mr. Rothrock, left me at Topeka and my son and myself went on to the penitentiary.

"After we got to the penitentiary, I went into the clerk's office and delivered my commitment papers and the prisoners and got my receipt. The outside guard, Sam Strong, noticed us and remarked that he 'knew Norton and also Wright.' I turned my prisoners over to the officers and then left the office and went with Mike Markum to look through the prison.

"In regard to the scheme which the prisoners may have concocted to change names, I am entirely ignorant. I sat upon the opposite seat from them on the way up to the prison for the reason that I wanted to prevent any attempt they might make to escape.

"In conclusion, I wish to state that if the officials at the penitentiary do not know what kind of men they have in charge, they should employ someone to guard the jail, for I consider Norton, Wright, and Roberts three of the most desperate criminals ever inside of the walls of the Kansas penitentiary."

Cowley County Historical Society Museum