"April 20, 1904- It was a Wednesday night, at approximately 10:00 p.m. when the night watchman in the boys dormitory upstairs in the Castle appeared for his shift. He hadn't been on duty for more than fifteen minutes when he decided to quickly use the restroom while the boys were supposed to be in bed. When night watchman J.S. Phillips returned from the bathroom he noticed that two of the wards, Rowe and Gillette, were up at the water fountain (to the right of the door) getting themselves a drink.
Once the boys had completely incapacitated the watchman, they climbed out the window of the dormitory and down the water pipe alongside the castle's brick walls. Barefoot and in their pajamas, the boys immediately separated upon reaching the outskirts of the Preston property. Rowe headed out west and was caught the next day near Carbondale, California (which used to be about six miles northwest of Ione). However, Gillette went east towards Jackson, causing a big ruckus along the way.
By Friday,when he made it towards Martell's station, it was said that he hid his gun near some iron pipes outside. He then was spotted at the Kennedy Boarding House where he even managed to sneak in a meal, staying undetected as a wanted fugitive. Perhaps he wanted to fit in with the miners and laborers working at the mine, but Constable Kelly (also spelled Kelley) was hot on his trail, apprehending him just outside the mine without any further bloodshed.
Gillette was then charged with "assault to commit murder" and later taken to Humboldt County on charges for a crime he committed before he had been sentenced to Preston. The authorities as well as the administration at the Preston School of Industry were intent that both Rowe and Gillette not return to the reform school but be sent to the State Penitentiary due to their brutal dispositions."----
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(Copyright 2013-2017-- J'aime Rubio, www.jaimerubiowriter.com)
Originally published on Dreaming Casually blog (2013)
California Prison Records (San Quentin & Folsom Prison Inmate Records)