The "Edge"


Umatilla County Sheriff Robert E. "Bob" Goad (pictured to the left) needed an edge. Umatilla County, named for the Indians, was still a wild place in Oregon when he arrived there in 1914. Born in 1899 in Oklahoma, he soon dedicated his life to law enforcement first as a Pendleton, Oregon City Cop. He then became a deputy-sheriff under Sheriff Tom Gurdane in 1929. Elected Sheriff in 1932, he took office as Sheriff, January 1, 1933. Goad had watched with interest and alarm the "Mobile Bandits" and rise in crime brought on by the "Roaring Twenties." Pendleton, Goad's base of operations, is the county seat of Umatilla County in eastern Oregon. He was used to dealing with some petty tough characters, contending with the "Pendleton Round-Up" every September. Busting broncos, REAL cowboys and Indians celebrating "Happy Canyon Days" kept him hopping. But the criminal element was something else. To protect his county, Sheriff Goad needed an "edge." He needed a Thompson.

Art Burnside Sporting Goods in Spokane, Washington specialized in "Absolutely Everything in Police, Prison,and Sheriff Supplies." Burnside's Division of Police Equipment was a source of great pride to him. He took credit for being the Birthplace of the Oregon Boot. To the uninitiated, and "Oregon Boot" is about 100 or 50 pounds of lead formed the shape of a "boot". Clamped onto either foot of a convict the chase scenes in "Act 3" were short-lived. Prison guards left the front-gates open because no one was going anywhere fast wearing a "boot"!

Art Burnside was keeping close tabs on Goad's Tommy-Gun order. He sent him a postcard dated April 17, 1934 indicating "Your Thompson gun will soon be there." The consummate salesman, Burnside informed Goad "I have that government issue (ammo) of late stuff just the thing for your new gun, at $27.50 per thousand rounds, about $10.00 under the prevailing wholesale." Whether Goad bought any ammo from Burnside, I can't say. But that April in 1934, sheriff Bob took delivery of Thompson Submachine Gun U.S. Navy Model of 1928AC, Serial No. 8966. (ironically, within a couple dozen numbers of John Dillinger's Thompson!) Goad now had his "edge" - he was going to need it.

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