The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 3, 1913

Mother Tried to Kidnap Child She Gave to Another

Band Concert at Public Square Scene of Attempt

Police Intervene Promptly

Child was Being Tugged by Both Women

Mother is Mrs. A. Smith

Mother By Adoption is Mrs. Olaf Nelson – She Had Offered to Let Mother See Her Children But In a Frenzy, Mrs. Smith Ran With One.

“She is my baby,” shrieked Mrs. Alonzo Smith as she seized her little four year old daughter from the arms of her adopted mother, Mrs. Olaf Nelson at Public Square during the band concert last evening. With the child safely in her arms, Mrs. Smith attempted to make her escape through the large crowd in the park last night.

Mrs. Nelson Followed too fast for her, however, and very soon both mother and adopted mother were fighting for the possession of the baby. The conflict might have ended disastrously but for the timely interference of a police officer who settled the dispute by taking the child. The entire party went to the police station where the child was turned over to Mrs. Smith only to be given back a few hours later to Mrs. Nelson when the latter produced the adoption papers.

Kissed Child First

(First sentence unreadable due to condition of microfilm.) Mrs. Nelson was sitting on a bench in the park with her adopted child of a week in her lap. Mrs. Smith, the mother, approached the child and commenced talking to Mrs. Nelson. According to those nearby, Mrs. Smith reached over and kissed her child before she attempted to take it. Mrs. Nelson was with her husband and Mrs. Smith was with a party of four people.

Mrs. Nelson has recently adopted the two daughters of Mrs. Smith. The elder of the two was adopted some time ago while the younger whom Mrs. Smith attempted to take was adopted about a week ago. Mrs. Nelson has legal adoption papers for both of the children.

Could Come and See Child

According to members of the Nelson family this morning, Mrs. Nelson has told Mrs. Smith that she could come and see the children any time that she desired. They claim that there have been rumors of threats made by Mrs. Smith that she would secure possession of the child.

A daughter in law of Mrs. Nelson who was at the band concert that night and saw the whole affair, said this morning that when Mrs. Smith first came to the bench that night that she attempted to take the child in her arms but that Mrs. Nelson told her that if she wanted to hold the child, she would have to sit on the bench.

Commotion at Concert

The trouble over the child caused a great deal of commotion at the band concert last night. The attempted kidnapping happened while the band was playing and for a while it looked as though the concert would be brought to a rather sudden halt. A great throng followed the po9liceman, child and women to the police station.

Mrs. Nelson lives at 622 Twelfth avenue south.

The Fort Dodge Daily Chronicle: July 3, 1913

Argument Centers About Small Child

Mother of Child (Who) Had Been Adopted Wanted to Kiss Baby – Was Refused and Trouble Resulted

Because she was refused permission to kiss her child, which had been legally adoptd by Mrs. O.C. Nelson, according to a member of the police force, Mrs. Emma Smith started to take the child away from her foster mother and trouble resulted. The incident occurred at the city park during the band concert last evening. The girl is only two years of age.

It seems that Mrs. Nelson was sitting in the park listening to the strains of the Iowa Military band, appearing in weekly concert. Mrs. Smith walked up to her and asked for permission to kiss the child. This she was refused and then, it is said, she started for her  home with the baby. Mrs. Smith’s brother-in-law arrived on the scene and tried to take the child away from her. Intervention by the police probably saved trouble and injury to all parties concerned.

Not understanding that the child had been legally adopted by Mrs. Nelson, the officer escorted Mrs. Smith and her daughter to the American house, where she is employed. On learning of his mistake later the officer notified Mrs. Smith and she returned the child to her foster mother.

(Editor’s note: I placed the two articles side by side in order to show the contrast in information. One article states the child is four, the other that she is two. One refers to Mrs. Smith by her husband’s name, the other by her own name. Mrs. Nelson is referred to as adoptive mother in one article and foster mother in the other – even though she clearly has adopted the girl, as evidenced by her bringing adoption papers to the police.)

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