Archive for the ‘Assault’ Category


Policeman and Prisoner Mix

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 7, 1903

Policeman and Prisoner Mix

Officer Andrews Has Strenuous Time Thursday Night

Only Subdues His Prisoner by Sitting Upon Him Until Patrol Wagon Arrives

Policeman Gust Andrews, who enjoys the privilege of maintaining the dignity of the law in West Fort Dodge, is in poor shape for a foot race, as a result of an encounter on Thursday night with one Peter Swanson. Swanson, who was drunk, was kicking up the dust in great shape and didn’t give a rap for the dignity of the law, nor was he a bit sensitive about puncturing the officer’s feelings when the custodian of the peace placed him under arrest. Marquis of Queensbury rules were disregarded when the officer and his unwilling prisoner started to mix. In police court this morning, Andrews testified that Swanson had him down at least fifteen times, and it was not until he pinned his prisoner to the earth and sat upon him that he was finally subdued. When the patrol wagon arrived, the policeman arose from his seat, and even then Swanson was reluctant about taking a ride, but with the assistance of Officer Weiss was persuaded to go.

This morning he was fined $10 and costs, and went back to jail in default of paying his fine.

Police Andrews told the court this morning that Swanson is peaceful enough when sober, but a bad man when under the influence of liquor. Thursday night he was drunk and a complaint was lodged against him by a woman who said he had frightened her.


Scrappers Released From County Jail

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The Fort Dodge Chronicle: July 3, 1907

Scrappers Released From County Jail

Butler and Stubbs Become Good Friends This Morning and Ordered to Leave County at Once

George Stubbs and his uncle, Jud Butler, who were (t)aken in charge Tuesday afternoon by Deputy Sheriff Woolsey, for fighting in the road near the Adams farm, were kept in the county jail overnight and were chased shortly before dinner today.

Both of the men suffered severely from their wounds but during the time they were confined in the county jail affected a reconciliation and became the best of friends. Their wives appeared at the sheriff’s office this morning and offered to get them outside the county in the shortest possible time if they were allowed their freedom and as neither of the men would file information against the other this was believed to be the best thing to do, hence they were released


Ford Will Recover From His Injuries

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 24, 1904

Ford Will Recover From His Injuries

Principal of Webster City High School Recovering from Assault

Supt. Gerber Under Arrest

Head of Hamilton County Educational Affairs Charged With Assault

Principal Ford of the Webster City school, who was assaulted by County Superintendent L.N. Gerber, a week ago today, will recover from his injuries. His condition now is such as to warrant a hope that he will be able to resume his duties within the course of a few weeks.

Superintendent Gerber was arrested Saturday on the charge of assault with intent to commit great bodily injury. The arrest was made at the instance of O.M. James, of Marion, Ky., a brother-in-law of the injured man. Mr. James left his home in Kentucky to go to Webster City for that purpose. Superintendent Gerber’s bond was fixed at $500 ($11,975 today) which was furnished.

The outcome wil (sic) be awaited with interest, not only in Webster City, but over the state, as it has been well aired during the past week. The trouble between Ford, the principal of the high school, and Gerber, the county superintendent, has been one of long standing. It came to a climax a week ago today when the county superintendent called at the office of the principal to obtain an explanation from Ford as to his action in suspending Gerber’s son from school. It was asserted by Ford that he dismissed young Gerber because the latter was impertinent. The answer, however, did not satisfy Gerber and hot words followed. It is then alleged that Gerber struck Ford with a statuette which he took from the mantel. Gerber claims that Ford was injured by being struck on the head by the statuette, which had been accidentally knocked from its place on the mantel. the stories of both will receive a further and better airing at the hearing, which is set for June 1.


Webster City Educators’ Fight

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 19, 1904

Webster City Educators’ Fight

Has Now Assumed a Serious Aspect – The Critical Condition of Mr. Ford

Principal Tells His Story

Which is in Every Way Against the Action of Co. Superintendent Gerber

Webster City, May 19 – Principal Ford of the high school, whose unfortunate encounter with County Superintendent Gerber in the office of the high school Monday evening has been a sensational topic of conversation, has made a statement regarding the encounter, which is corroborated by Mr. McNown, who was a witness to the alleged assault on the high school principal. His version of the affair is as follows:

Ralph Gerber was late to school and as he passed the superintendent, Mr. Ford, said that he was late. Young Gerber was half way up the stairs at that time and he came down again and asked him what he said. Mr. Ford repeated that he was late, whereupon the young man said-  it was pretty small business , or words to that effect.The superintendent thereupon suspended Gerber for three days for impudence. The young man returned with his father and the elder Gerber immediately started quarreling in the superintendent’s office. Mr. Ford told him to leave his office but Gerber refused.

The city superintendent said that in that case he would himself leave and turned to go when Mr. Gerber struck him in the back of the neck. At this instant C.W. McNown entered the room. He had been engaged in the laboratory across the hall and both doors were open. He hurried across to the office. When he entered, Mr. Ford had been struck and was reeling around in a dazed manner.

Mr. McNown took hold of Mr. Gerber and turning him around, told him that he had better leave the office. Just then Mr. Ford reached for a statuette, concerning which there has been much talk, and tried to throw it at the county superintendent, but was too weak and sank down. At this time Mr. McNown was between the two men. Mr. Gerber did not touch the statuette. Mr. Ford did not reach for it until after he had been struck. Mr. Ford did not follow him into the h all. He was dazed and sank down in his own office.

Mr. Ford says that it is his intention to push the matter of the assault to the fullest extent.

It was hoped yesterday that Prof. Ford had passed the danger point, as he seemed to be much improved during the day and the last evening was able to converse with friends. However, during last night his fever arose to 103 with pulse at 136. Drs. Hall and Whitley were called at 3 o’clock this morning. There is slight change for the better this afternoon, the patient’s condition being considered as critical. A nurse was summoned from Fort Dodge this afternoon to assist in the case. Prof. Ford’s condition is cause for general regret and sorrow thruout the community, and everybody will sincerely hope that he may soon be on th (sic) road to recovery.


Webster City Has Sensation

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 17, 1904

Webster City Has Sensation

Heads of the County and City Schools Clash With Dire Results to the Latter

Educators Lose Their Tempers

County Superintendent and City Superintendent are Subjects of Talk

Webster City was treated to a sensation Monday that will be a topic of conversation for at least a day or so. A clash between the two leading educators of Hamilton county occurred in the office of City Superintendent of Schools Ford Monday afternoon and today the partiscians (sic) of the men engaged have something to think about. Beginning at the beginning it is a long story, but in a few words, the unpleasantness directly resulted from the suspension from school of a son of County Superintendent Gerber. The city superintendent did the suspending and it is needless to say that the county and city superintendents were the principal figures in the sensation.

The head of  the city schools, who is also principal of the high school, Monday informed the younger Gerber that his presence at school would not be allowed until further notice. The elder Gerber did not take kindly to the treatment accorded his offspring, and paid a visit to City Superintendent Ford at the latter’s office the same afternoon. The results form the sensation.

The story is told in brief as follows:

When Mr. Ford went to Webster City some time ago his advent apparently was not welcome to everybody in town and at no time since has harmony reigned. In the first place it is alleged he was subjected to an unusually severe examination by the county superintendent. He passed the examination successfully, but the fact that it was unnecessarily severe was not forgotten. It rankled in the breast of the city principal and something different than brotherly love existed between the men since that time.

It is customary when a  pupil is a little late at the Webster City high school to excuse him if possible, for the purpose of maintaining a minimum of tardy marks. Monday Superintendent Ford was ringing bell for the afternoon session as young Ford (sic – should be young Gerber) was approaching the school. In such cases it is said to be customary for the teacher ringing the bell to delay the process until the pupils are in their seats, but on this occasion it is alleged Mr. Ford was not at all reluctant with ringing the bell with all possible speed, presumably with the intent of registering a tardy mark against the boy. When the latter passed the principal into the school building Ford remarked:

“You are tardy sir.”

Acording (sic) to the boy’s story all he said was, “Well, wouldn’t that get you?”

According to the boy’s story all he because of young Ford’s insolence he suspended him from school. (Editor’s note: this is exactly what was printed. Young Ford should be young Gerber.)

The same evening Superintendent Gerber visited Superintendent Ford in the principal’s office in the high school and demanded an explanation of Gerber’s (sic – should be Ford’s) action toward his son, claiming that the suspension was unnecessary and that it was only one of the many incidents in which the high school principal had sought to revenge his feelings toward Gerber by taking out is spite on the latter’s son. One word led to another and what followed is told by Gerber alone. Mr. (Ford) was bereft of his senses from the time of the interview until 3 o’clock this morning. Superintendent Gerber claims that in the heat of the argument he turned and in doing so overturned a piece of statuary from its place. In falling the statuary struck the high school superintendent on the head, rendering him unconscious, from which state he did not recover until early this morning.

The affair has caused a stir in Webster City and its outcome may have one or several endings. Providing the county superintendent’s version of the affair is corect (sic) it may be regarded as an unfortunate circumstance. Otherwise serious results may follow. City Superintendent Ford’s account of the interview is now in order.