Found 25 April 1897, floating in Snake River at Weiser, Idaho.
In a bottle:
April 10, 1897.
I was shot last night by an unknown party. I am mining on Snake river at Big Bend. I am dying.
Yours, W. C. Cook.
Snake River’s gold deposits attracted many placer miners, most of whom who lived and worked alone along the river. “Ten days ago an attempt to murder one of these miners was made at another point in the river,” reported the Ravalli Republican. “In this instance, the victim was left for dead but survived. The motive was robbery, and if there is anything in this story told by the bottle, it is probably another case in which a lone miner has been attacked for the gold which he has accumulated.”
[Ravalli Republican, 28 April 1897]