Growing Up Wallace,Memories of the way we were- and anything else that crosses my mind.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bar None Part 1 The "Honorable " Mayor Continued-Hometown "Justice"

Yes, Mayor Rossi was a very colorful character. We are somewhat jaded nowadays because we have become so accustomed to our political, civic, and even religious leaders being involved in scandal after scandal. We were a little shocked when Washington DC reelected a mayor who had done time in prison for doing cocaine while he was mayor, but to re-elect a mayor who was charged with murdering a man by shooting him in the back as the man was running away, would not happen in most American towns and cities, but Wallace, well, that is a different story. Grab a cup of coffee and sit a spell while I tell you the story about that day in 1916 as reported in the following site.

Rossi was a strong-willed individual. This and his hot temper
got him into trouble in 1916. His second wife, who was fifteen
years younger than he, had a drinking problem that wors-
ened during their marriage. Although attempts were made,
there seems to have been no cure for her alcoholism. On
June 30, 1916, Rossi returned from a Republican state
platform meeting in Boise to find his wife drunk in her bed-
room and the maid full of tales of debauchery. Rossi stormed
downtown to the Samuels Hotel, where he assaulted his wife's
supposed lover in the lobby and then shot him in the back as
he tried to run away. Rossi went to his attorney's office where
he was arrested, taken to the police station, booked, and
released on $10,000 bail put up by some of the town's most
prominent citizens.
   Three and a half months later, Rossi was unanimously
found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity by a
hometown jury after less than twenty minutes' deliberation.
The judge, W. W. Woods, was a fellow Elk and Mason
and a co-director with Rossi in the Amazon Dixie Mine.
There was never any question that Rossi shot the man, but
there was a general community feeling that he had been
grievously wronged and had made just retribution. Demon-
strating their love for sensation and a flair for paradox, the
people of Wallace turned out in such large numbers for the
funeral of the victim that it was the best-attended event
held up to that time in Wallace. 

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