On August 4, 1883, 60 year old Butte County resident, Samuel B. Shaw investigated the western side of the Madeline Plains in search of a new home. To his amazement he came across a fine spring that no one had claimed. It appeared to be a golden opportunity and he wasted no time to file a claim with the Government Land Office in Susanville. With paper work in hand, Shaw began building himself a cabin. His neighbor, Jim Looper, and Looper’s employer, George Bayley was not pleased about this development. Looper thought he filed a claim to it, but it turned out he filed for the wrong parcel.
Whatever the case may be, some one did not like Sam Shaw. On October 13, 1883, an Indian mahala (woman) found Shaw’s decapitated body in his cabin. The woman notified authorities, and an investigation began. On October 22, 1883 a five man coroner’s jury was held in attempt to find more information about this grizzly murder. However, they rendered, the following result, “He came to his death by the hands of parties unknown. We would also suggest that the matter be further investigated by the proper authorities.”
To be continued . . .