Mayor Bennett’s First Court

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 5, 1905

Mayor Bennett’s First Court

His Honor Balances Scales of Justice.

First Drunk of Administration Gets Let Off Easy and Goes Away Rejoicing.

Major S.J. Bennett held his first police court this morning when he handed out a bunch of justice to a new offender, giving him the usual $1 and costs. Later, however, when the man made the statement that he was in a hurry to catch a train out of the city, his honor relented and let him off with a lecture.

The first plain one of the present administration, Thomas Oleson, of Vincent, was in the city making preparations for the removal of his family from there here. He forgot his mission, however, and surrounded a most mighty jag which landed him in jail, as jags have a tendency to do in this city.

That was yesterday afternoon and this morning in police court Oleson was extremely repentant and made the statement that he had never been arrested before and that this would be the last time he would let it occur. He had no money, but if his honor would let him off, he would get it and come in with it as soon as he got back with his family.

Mayor Bennett made the remark that if Oleson followed up his habit of drinking he would not be a very valuable acquisition to the town, and with that let him go. He was thankful to make his escape and made a run for the train that would take him to Vincent.

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 6, 1905

Oleson Missed His Train

Thomas Oleson, of Vincent, Was Up Wednesday Morning in Court Again.

He Missed His Train Out

Tried to Dissolve That Dark Brown Taste and Falls in the Pit – Brass Buttons Have an Affinity for Him and He Leaves His Watch.

Thomas Oleson, of Vincent, the man who was up on police court Wednesday morning for the first time in his life and who only waited an opportunity to get out of town so that he could move his family to Fort Dodge, evidently missed his train, for he was up on court again this morning, and this time, instead of being let off with the mayor’s blessing, he was compelled to leave his watch, which he valued at $25 with the city as security for his fine of $5.00 and costs, amounting to $9.85.

It appears that after leaving the presence of the mayor on Wednesday morning, he had gone directly to the nearest jag plant where he  hoped to be able to wash the discolored taste from his mouth and reduce the size of his head. This he succeeded in doing with the first good “straight.” Seeing the excellent effect one drink had on his general good feeling, he immediately came to the conclusion that if a small dose was good a large one would be still better, and hit himself below the belt with a few more.

It was only a few minutes till he forgot there ever was a train to Vincent and went in for one of the best times the town had in stock. He got it all right, but one of the brass buttons came along and took his measure for a place in the city jail, where he was landed to sober up.

This morning he was as repentant as before, but his honor was not to be influenced and took his watch for security.

“What was your business in Vincent?” asked Mayor Bennett.

“I kept a saloon, your honor,” was the answer.

“I don’t doubt it in the least,” was the rejoiner (sic) of his honor. “You have been doing your best to keep the saloons of Fort Dodge since you came here.”


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