Archive for the ‘Police court’ Category


“Nuttie” Willie Gets Promotion

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Dec. 10, 1904

“Nuttie” Willie Gets Promotion

Aspires To Something Higher Than Police Court and is Held to Grand Jury.

Threatened to Burn Property

Willie Got Huffed at Fred Hecht of Moorland and Made Threat to Burn House and Barn – Pleads Guilty to Charge.

“Nuttie” Willie is a bad, bad man, and is now occupying a cell in the county jail under $250 (about $6,000 today) bonds to wait the action of the grand jury.  It all arises form threats made by Willie against Fred Hecht, whose property he said he intended to burn.

The information was sworn out by Hecht on Thursday, and the police had Willie behind the bars in a very short space of time.

“Nutty” Willie, whose real name is Ernest Willie, has been a familiar character in police circles of this city for the past three years, and has turned up for an interview with his honor every two or three weeks with the greatest regularity. He has, however, been generally a very inoffensive person at all times before, and this is the first time he has aspired to anything higher in the line of justice than was obtainable from the city mayor.

The threat to burn the property of Hecht is merely the result of an imaginary wrong.


Monday Morning’s Police Court

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 21, 1903

Monday Morning’s Police Court

The Usual Number of People Charged With Law’s Violation Before Mayor.

Charge Theft and Drinking

Man Fined $7.25 for Beating His Horses Unmercifully and Using Profanity.

A gray haired man over fifty years old was arrested by the police this morning upon information from the sheriff of Pocahontas county, who had warned local officers to be on the lookout for the man whose name was Frank Emmons who had absconded from Fonda, on last Saturday, having in his possession a large quantity of upholstering tools, leather and cloth furniture coverings which he h ad stolen from a furniture dealer of that place, leaving town upon the same day.

The supposition of the Fonda sheriff that Emmons had come to Fort Dodge was correct for three grips, containing the described articles were found at the American Express office this morning, and Emmons was arrested shortly after when he came after the grips. The Fonda officers have been notified and will come to the city tonight to conduct Emmons to that place.

Emmons seems peculiar as if he were not in his right mind. He explains the matter by saying that he is out on the road, got drunk, and just landed in Fort Dodge. The value of the articles stolen would amount to over $25 ($599 today). Emmons has two new suits of clothing and two pair of shoes in his possession but only sixty cents ($14.37) in cash.

Stealing a kit of tools from his employer an hour after he had received employment on the plea that he was hungry is the crime Jack Ryan will be charged with in police court Tuesday morning. Ryan, who is a stranger here got a job cleaning gasoline stoves from M. Rhyne, proprietor of a second hand store on first avenue south this morning, after completing the work and receiving his pay stole the tools, so it is said, that he had used to clean the stoves, Mr. Rhyne being too busy at the time to notice their absence.

Ryan was later in the day arrested for drunkenness and the tools, the missing of which Mr. Ryne had reported to the police, were found in his possession.

Elmer Porter, a teamster, also figured in police court this morning. Porter was charged with disturbing the public quiet and using profane language.

The charges were filed by Mrs. Richadr (Richard) Linthel, who lives hear Porter on the round prairie. Mrs. Linthel also testified that Porter was often guilty of mistreating his horses.

Porter was let off with the costs of the case or $7.25 ($174).


Eleven Unfortunates

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The Fort Dodge Daily Chronicle: Sept. 19, 1910

Eleven Unfortunates

Almost an Even Dozen Face Mayor S.J. Bennett in Police Court During Sunday Morning

Eleven arrests were made in this city during Saturday and Saturday evening and as a result nearly one dozen of unfortunates faced Mayor S.J. Bennett in police court Sunday morning. All of the unfortunates were charged with over indulgence in the flowing bowl and customary fines were imposed.

This morning one drunk and one vag arraigned, being assess regulation fines for their offenses.


Police News

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 17, 1906

Police News

The same old Bill Jones paid a visit to the city jail last night and remained over in order to interview the mayor this morning. Needless to say he was charged with being drunk, but his Honor was inclined to show leniency and he was discharged. With Jones appeared one Walter Scott, charged likewise with imbibing too freely of the bowling bowl. “Are you related in any way to Sir Walter Scott?” asked the mayor. “I don’t know, your Honor, I may be as I have a lot of relatives I have never seen,” the fellow replied. The mayor being in doubt and not wishing to insult the memory of the chivarous (sic) bard told him to take fifteen minutes and get out of town. He went.

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Bill Jones holds the championship belt in police circles in this city. He is arrested more than any other person. He cannot come to town but what he gets intoxicated and thrown into jail. There are a number of characters about the city who are arrested quite frequently but none of them come up with the same old Bill.

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The police have been requested to look out for a man who goes by the names of Wm. McCann and Ed Day. The fellow is wanted in Monmouth, Illinois for robbery.

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Everything quiet in police court this morning. one lone drunk was all the material to hold court with and the Mayor evidently didn’t think it worth while. The lone drunk is the same old Bill Jones. Despite his promises to shake the dust of Fort Dodge off his feet and give the community a much needed rest he gets full of bad booze and as a consequence has taken up a (t)emporary residence in the City Hotel, presided over by the Mayor.

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Eric Waldberg is taking the place of A.L. Nicholson who resigned last month. The force is short of men at present and no doubt a good man could get on the force at once.

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All was quiet on the streets Saturday night and the police had little trouble in keeping the best of order. But one man was arrested and he was an old timer who was harmlessly drunk. The crowd was one of the largest of the season too.

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Just a year ago this month Fort Dodge was having its epidemic of petty thievery and numerous robberies which broke out a (sic) suddenly and lasted the entire month. It is a period long to be remembered in police circles. But the majority of offenders were caught or chased out of town and finally the best or order restored. The local police wre the means of fattening the criminal docket of the Grand Jury for quite a few terms until the local desperadoes were finally all wiped out.


Was Not a Relative of the Mayor

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 16, 1905

Was Not a Relative of the Mayor

Frank Bennett, Up For Drunkeness (sic) Says He Must Be a New Member of the Family.

Three Caught in the Net

Wm. Wells Worked at Fairs and Carnivals; Mayor Thinks he Worked the People at These Places so Gives Him Ten Days in Jail.

The drag net thr0ugh the lower districts of the city last night succeeded in pulling in three transgressors of law and order. Lined up on the prisoner’s bench at nine o’clock this morning, with bloodshot eyes, and disheaveled (sic) hair, as the result of a few hours career of dissipation, and still a few more spent in the city jail, each faced the mayor to answer to his special offense.

Name Was Frank Bennett.

The first man called upon proved to be arraigned on the charge of drunkeness, and disorderly conduct. He gave his name as Frank Bennett. “I hope you don’t claim to be any relation to me,” said the Mayor, starting excitedly from his chair. “I don’t know,” answered the other, “If we are related you’re a new member of the family to me.” This interesting discussions as to relationship was cut short by the Mayor, informing his possible relatives that he could accept a position measuring the distance to the city limits.

Charles McCloud plead guilty to drunkeness and was fined five dollars and costs. William Wels (sic), stating that he was Springfield, Ohio, and that he had been working around at Carnivals and fairs, denied the charge of vagrancy and begging. “I guess you have been working the people at these fairs and carnivals,” said the mayor, “that’s the kind of work I would attribute to you, so I’ll give you ten days in jail, varied with a little work on the streets.”

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 8, 1906

Peculiar Tangle in Mayor’s Court

Ed Rank Arrested for Sounding Weird Siren Horn on His Auto.

Fined; But Appeals the Case

Mayor Says Horn Sounds Like Dying Wail And Scares Women and Children – Rank Says it is Necessary to Make People Get Out of Way.

Fort Dodge is noted for its peculiar legal tangles, but what seems to be the strangest yet arose this morning in the mayor’s court when Ed Rank appeared charged with disturbing the peace by sounding a weird siren horn on his auto about the streets.

Mr. Rank bought the horn which has caused all the trouble in Omaha during a trip there a few weeks ago. It was invented about a year ago and has become very popular in the east on account of the effective warning it gives.

It has a strangely weird sound, starting with a wail and ending in a wild shriek, and if given full force, can be heard for blocks. To one who does not know what it is or is of a nervous temperament, it undoubtedly has a terrifying sound.

When Mr. Rank first appeared here with it on his auto, Mr. Bennett, through his police, warned him not to use it. He continued, however, feeling that if care was used not to sound it with full force all would go well. Continual complaints to the mayor caused him to notify Mr. Rank last night to appear before him this morning to stand trial.

At the trial Mr. Rank and H.B. Groves, proprietor of one of the local garages, testified for the defendant, stating that such a horn was a great benefit to the autoist and to pedestrians, because it gave such a good warning of the auto’s approach. They stated that the ordinary horns were paid but little attention and something to carry far was almost necessary.

Mayor Bennett held that the horn was a nuisance. He stated that its sound caused people to run to the windows in dismay, wondering what had happened, or to hide themselves in terror; that it carried a sound which was like the shhriek of a dying man or the wail of a lost soul and that numbers of prominent people of the city (naming them) had earnestly requested that, as chief executive of the ctiy, he should take steps to abate it. In the end the fine named was levied. Maurice O’Connor appeared for Mr. Rank and the case was conducted for the city by City Solicitor M.J. Mitchell. Immediately after the close of the trial an appeal to the district court was taken by the attorney for the defendant. the appeal bond was fixed at $100. It was immediately given.

A peculiar feature of the case is that the city’s right to hold Mr. Rank is based on an ordinance that specifically defines what shall constitute disturbing the peace. Among other things it says that the blowing of horns of an unusual kind shall be disturbing the peace. This ordinance was passed back in 1869, before an automobile was built in the world. What was in view at the time that it was passed seems hard to get at, yet taking the strict construction of the provision, it fits the present case to a nicety.

It was reported that Mr. Rank had sent word to Judge Richard at Webster City asking for an injunction restraining the city from interfering with him in blowing his horn. This is untrue.


Woolsey Pursues the Dog Thieves

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 3, 1903

Woolsey Pursues the Dog Thieves

Deputy Sheriff Does the Nick Carter Act and Returns Canine to Owner.

The Thieves Are Found

Emigrants Steal Prize Puppy from Farm House, But Are Caught.

Deputy Sheriff Woolsey is the hero of a dog story which runs as follows:

Wednesday afternoon a party of emigrants passing thru Iowa stopped in the vicinity of the Ben Eaton farm near Judd, intending to have dinner at that place. Finding no one at home, the family being in the field, the travelers possessed themselves of a small amount of corn, a fine bird dog, valued at $25 and then started peacefully on their way.

The dog belonged to W.J. Pressler, a farm hand who highly prized the animal and was greatly angered when returning from the field he found his canine pet missing. Some women who had been working in a field nearby, saw the abduction and informed the Eatons of the same.

Eaton and the dog’s owner immediately started in pursuit of the emigrants and caught up with them in the evening two miles from the poor farm. The campers, however, declared their innocence and would not produce the dog.

A warrant was then procured, from Justice Martin and Deputy Sheriff Woolsey and Russel McGuire, together with the two men, went out to where the purloiners of the pup had pitched camp. All denied that they had even seen a dog within the last three days, but Deputy Woolsey thought he detected a faint howl in the nearby woods. Finding a fresh path leading to where a dog’s vocal organs were apparently at work he came upon a small boy guarding the stolen animal. The boy admitted stealing the dog.

The men of the party were brought to the city where they plead guilty and were fined $1 and cost, amounting in all to $14.50. In order to raise this it was necessary for them to sell a pony.

It would be hard to tell which was the happiest, the dog or his master, Pressler when the brute was restored to its rightful owner.

(Editor’s note: Nick Carter is a fictional detective who first appeared in a dime novel in 1886.)


A Water Melon Episode

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 1, 1906

A Water Melon Episode

Peter Carney Will Spend a Few Days in Jail For Theft

Peter Carney’s love of the juicy watery water melon got him in trouble yesterday. He noticed in front of a certain grocery store a choice selection of the big berries. But he was without the necessary cash and proceeded to get on in what he thought was the next best way. So he slipped one under his coat and slipped away. But he was not slippery enough. The groceryman had seen him and started in pursuit. He caught the fellow and compelled him to walk the water melon back to its place at the store. When the man got to the store he let the melon drop, breaking same. An officer was then called and Carney was placed under arrest. This morning in police court he was fined five dollars and cost or a total of $9.85. He was unable to pay and will be forced (to) lay it out in the city jail.

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 11, 1903

Youthful Trio is Bound Over

Three Boys, Youngest 7 and Oldest 12, Must Answer to Grand Jury

Enter Stores Sunday Evening

Earl Tennant, Harry Porsch and Arthur Hutchison, Ages 12, 9 and 7, Arrested for Entering Craft Hardware and Ertl Meat Market.

A record was set in the Webster county criminal court this morning when a 7-year-old boy was bound over to the grand jury. The youthful offender is Arthur Hutchison, who with Harry Porsch, aged 9, and Earl Tennant, aged 12, was arraigned before Justice Martin, charged with entering the Charles Craft hardware store and the Martin Ertl meat market. The defendants were bound over to the grand jury under $300 bonds, which was furnished by their parents.

The identity of the burglars was learned by tracing the possession of a pocket knife which was among the number stolen from the hardware store. A.H. Werner, employed at the Oakdale dairy, showed Marshal Welch a knife bearing the mark of the Craft Hardware company. The knife he said he had bought from a boy named Joe Rossing. Young Rossing when taken into custody by the police, said that he had been given the two knives by the three boys who were later arrested. One of the knives he had sold to Werner.

The arrest of Harry Porsch, Arthur Hutchison and Earl Tennant followed. After a number of questions had been asked they admitted that they had entered the stores and taken the money and the property. The police had some difficulty in locating the plunder as the stories told by the boys differed materially. Finally by the light of a lantern and under the guidance of the  youthful burglars, the police located two revolvers and twelve boxes of cartridges under a pile of lathes in the rear of the high school building, two buggy whips under a crossing on Tenth street and a number of knives  hidden in a barn at young Tennant’s home.

The substance of the story told by Arthur Hutchison, the most youthful of the trio, is as follows:

He met Harry Porsch and Earl Tennant at the base ball park Sunday afternoon. They were driving a horse which they said they had hired in the east part of town. They told him they had entered the meat market from the rear and taken $2.45 ($59 today) from the cash drawer, $1 ($24) of which they had paid for the hire of the horse. He accompanied them up town, and at 6 o’clock they again entered the building, he going with them. This time they went into the hardware store, and together with a third entrance carried away the revolvers, cartridges, knives, whips and about $6 ($144) from the cash drawer. The aggregate value of the goods stolen is about $24 ($575).

They entered by removing the boards from a cellar window on the east side of the building.

Young Porsch was employed by Ertl as delivery boy.

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 8, 1904

The Police Court Draws Full House

Eight Up For Drunkenness and Disorderly Conduct Today.

Majority Will Leave Town

Mrs. Cora Williams Appears on a More Serious Charge – She is Given $25.45 in Fines and Costs – Other News.

Police court drew a full house this morning, there being eight present to answer the charge of drunkenness and vagrancy, besides two upon a more serious charge. Alleged by William Johns as being a prostitute, Mrs. Cora Williams, an old time offender, plead not guilty and in turn heaped an avalanche of maledictions upon Johns, claiming that he had tried to take her life with a butcher knife. In spite of her warnings and forbodings (sic) as to the price which his honor would have to pay if he did not do justice to her wrongs, Mrs. Williams was given a sum total of $25.45 ($609 today) in fines and costs. Johns was let off with $5.85 ($140) for disorderly conduct. Both stand committed to jail.

Eight Drunks Form in Line.

Mayor Northrup had no sooner disposed of this case than his eyes met a motley procession led in by Peter Ditmer. Eight strong, they took the mercy seat by storm and now began an hour’s excuse making and pleading upon the part of the defendants of the city.

James Lither said his home was in New York and that the only reason he had allowed himself to be publicly disgraced by being even charged with the crime of drunkenness, was that he was not well dressed and needed a little stimulant. He went the way of the $1 and costs.

With his head hanging for shame, Frank McGuire, who was released last Saturday upon agreeing to leave town at once, faced his honor. He was given the sentence he had forfeited when he agreed to leave town – $14.85 ($356) worth of hard labor on the streets.

George Linster of Cincinnati was found guilty of vagrancy, but had his fine remitted upon his promise to leave the city in half an hour.

John Lynch was dealt out a package marked $5.85, but will bide his time in jail.

With his limbs crippled so that he could hardly walk, Harry Williams, who said he was just out of the hospital at St. Paul, appeared to answer the charge of vagrancy. H was allowed to depart in peace. Thomas Gilley was given $9.85 for re-appearing in court after he promises to leave the city Saturday.

James Martin of Ohio was found guilty of vagrancy but his fine was suspended upon his promise to depart and never return.

Albert McBride ended the procession. He plead guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct and was allowed to wend his way out of the city.