By Rob Carrigan
The threat of being drawn into to World War II was hanging heavy over the United States when Divide rancher Sumner Alfred Osborn went missing in October of 1941.
The first indication that something was terribly wrong surfaced when Sumner Osborn’s mother, Mrs. A.H. Osborn, 215 South 11th Street, Colorado springs, called El Paso County Sheriff Sam Deal’s office. Undersheriff Roy Glasier investigated and was told by Mrs. Osborn that on the night of Oct. 16, a man she did not know, came to her house and requested S.A. Osborn’s mail, saying that he had been instructed by Osborn to pick it up.
There was no mail that day, so he returned the next, and she gave him a letter: She told Glasier that the letter had not been sealed properly and she looked in it, seeing a check made out to Sumner Osborn for $55.62, according to a 1962 account related by Carl F. Mathews. Mathews worked on unsolved crimes as superintendent of the Bureau of Identification in the Colorado Springs Police Department for years before he retired in 1952.
“The man told her that he and Osborn had sold a load of posts to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the check was in payment, Glaiser investigated further and found the check had been made out for the sale of four horses to the zoo: the check was traces and endorsement was found to have been forged by one of the trio (George Marion Betts, John Cahill and Lester Cahill, brothers, all of Divide) and cashed at the Broadmoor Garage on Oct. 17,” Mathews related in his paper about unsolved crimes.
Sheriff Deal was immediately in touch with Sheriff Cecil Markley at Cripple Creek and a trip was made to Osborn’s ranch. The last time that Sumner Osborn was seen was Oct. 16, when he walked to neighbor’s ranch and asked if someone could take him to the highway as he wanted to go to Colorado Springs to report that four horses had been stolen. Unable to get ride, he continued on foot. More....