One of the things I love about MissPres is that it allows one person who has a tiny bit of information about Mississippi’s architectural history to throw it out there and see if others have other tiny bits of information that shed light on the first bit. In this case, I came across an article several years ago when I bought a 24-hour subscription to the Times-Picayune’s online archives and did searches on all sorts of words, including “Architect Link.” I thought it was an interesting piece of mystery and intrigue, but put it aside because I wasn’t clear about the whole story. Then, lo and behold, T.J. Rosell posted earlier this week an article that turns out to be the prequel to this Times-Picayune piece. So in answer to the MissPresers who demanded to know “the rest of the story,” I offer the story of Briber Gibson. Maybe someone out there will follow this story into Indiana, where the rascal came from and returned to.
CURRENT COMMENT IN MISSISSIPPI
Gibson, the Indiana Contractor, Will Hardly Return to Face a Jury
The Charges Against Architect Link Not Believed
THE PICAYUNE BUREAU
213 Capitol Street
Jackson, Miss., Nov. 28, 1900
The consensus of opinion here seems to be to the effect that Gibson, the Indiana contractor, who, for a felonious attempt to corrupt the governor, who is president of the statehouse commission, is under a $5000 bond to answer to the grand jury, which meets next January, will not return to face the wide-open doors of the penitentiary. Eminent lawyers say that he cannot escape conviction under the state laws.
Representative of the city press today called on the resident members of the capitol commission touching the charges made against Mr. Theo. C. Link, of St. Louis, the architect, by Contractor Gibson, the Indiana man who is under bond to answer a charge of offering Governor Longino a bribe to award him the contract for building the new $1,000,000 capitol. Each of them, Governor Longino, Attorney General McClurg and Hon. R.H. Thompson, responded promptly and substantially to the effect that they believed Mr. Link to be an honest man, a capable and competent architect, and that Gibson’s charges to the effect that he was in combination with certain contractors as base fabrications; they each said that charges preferred by a corruptionist, a man who had devised and had the affrontery to lay before the governor a scheme to rob the state immediately following the charges would not weaken their confidence in any many whom they had previously regarded as honest.
Mr. C.M. Rubush, of Meridian, a well-known contractor, who was mentioned by Briber Gibson the other day as being in the combination on the new capitol, spent the day in Jackson. He denies very positively that he has ever seen or heard of Gibson, and knows nothing about any combination. Several months ago he and Colonel H.M. Taylor, a well-known contractor of this city, did talk about going into partnership on submitting a bid for the work, but that was perfectly legitimate, and they did not make any secret of it. He is not complimentary in his remarks about Gibson. Mr. Rubush has not made up his mind whether he will bid on the capitol or not, but thinks he will.
Categories: Architectural Research, Jackson
I guess it’s too much to ask that Gibson’s given name would actually be “Briber,” and the capitalization of the descriptor and the omission of the qualifier, “alleged,” is just a turn-of-the-Century rhetorical flourish. Thanks for the follow up.
He’s totally guilty, why bother with “alleged” especially when his name is Briber?? :-)
Even though Gibson is a common name I’ll bet someone will be able to track him down in Indiana. I suppose he never returned, as the article speculates he wouldn’t.