It was December 7th, 1913, two o' clock in the morning on a typical cold, blustery winter night in Painesdale, a small, mining community located just south of Houghton. Mrs. Dally had prepared tea for a late arriving boarder and then retired to read quietly in a room that once was a parlor. Her husband,Thomas Dally, slept quietly in an adjacent bedroom. The Dallys ran a boardinghouse for English immigrant miners who labored in the Calumet Copper Mines. It was a "double house" in that it had attached a separate house. The Dallys occupied half of the house located near the woods at the end of Baltic Street in the miners' village, and five boarders occupied the other half, while in the attached dwelling lived the Adna Nicolson Family. The Nicolsons had five children who in age ranged from three to sixteen. Nothing was out of the ordinary on that cold December evening, and Christmas was just around the corner. The holiday spirit was in the air. Out of nowhere, a cacophony shattered the stillness as an avalanche of .30-30 bullets penetrated the wood-framed boardinghouse, piercing the thin walls and sending lethal splinters flying in all directions. Thomas Dally, sleeping contentedly in his bed, was slammed with a .30-30 bullet that ripped into his skull. His wife rushed to his room only to find her husband seriously wounded. He looked pathetically at his wife and said, "Can't you do something for me?" But the wound was mortal, and he died. Frightened and grief-stricken, Mrs. Dally wept as she watched the life slowly ebb from her husband. On the second floor, The Jane Brothers, Arthur and James lay sleeping when one of the bullets tore through Arthur's head and continued its deadly journey, Striking James, who lay beside him. They were killed instantly. A barrage of bullets also penetrated the Nicholson household. Two bullets hit Thirteen-year-old Mary Nicholson; one grazed her head while the other inflicted a more serious wound in her shoulder. Two other Nicholson children, Marcia (sixteen) and Rozanne (eleven), although not physically injured, narrowly escaped death when bullets passed through the pillows they were sleeping on.
Why was there a deadly assault in middle of the night on the Nicholson and Dally homes? It turned out that the Dally house was known to have "scab" laborers, miners who were willing to cross the union picket line and continue to work. The Western Federation of Miners (WFM) considered the Jane brothers scabs. John Huhta, Nick Verbanac, Hjalimer Jallonen and John Juuntunen (The Houghton County Brotherhood) were responsible for the killings.