Archive for the ‘Scandals’ Category


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.


A Lost Pair of Pajamas

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 28, 1906

A Lost Pair of Pajamas

Fort Dodge Man Loses Pajamas in Sleeper; Notifies Compnay (sic).

Not a very long time ago, one of the railroad offices of this city received a letter from a prominent official in a certain establishment of this city asking for the return of a pair of pajamas which he lost in a sleeper while on his way to Chicago.He asked that they be sent to him. The railroad company sent on the letter to the Pullman company who sent back a reply which has caused a good joke. Their letter regretted to say that the pair of pajamas which were left in the berth had not been located but replied by saying that a pair of ladies hose was found in the same berth and requested the Fort Dodge gentleman to put in a claim for them if they belonged to him. This letter the railroad company sent to him. While lying on a desk in the office of the establishment of which the man is a local head, the letter was placed in the mail sent to the headquarters of the establishment in Grand Rapids. At first the young lady who opened the missent letter was shocked but soon she recovered her equilibruim (sic) and showed it to the other twelve stenographers who are employed in the office. It was then returned to the man here. All of his friends who are in on the joke are giving him the horse laugh, notwithstanding his strenuous efforts to keep the affair a secret. It is too good to keep.


Elopers Narrowly Missed by Officers

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The Fort Dodge Daily Chronicle: Sept. 25, 1908

Elopers Narrowly Missed by Officers

Forest City Couple Leave City Short Time Before Officers are Telephoned to Detain Them.

Thursday evening and just a few minutes after the departure of the Illinois Central train for the east, the police department was called up over the long distance telephone from Forest City by William Noonan and the officers were asked to detain a young man named Cole and the daughter of the complainant, who had eloped from Forest City. A hurried investigation was made by the officers and sufficient information secured to result in the belief the couple spent the day in Fort Dodge, coming here on the early morning Minnapolis & St. Louis train, and departing for the east over the Illinois Central.

According to the description received by the officers from the father of the girl, the young man, who answers to the name of Cole, is about twenty-one years of age, five feet ten inches in height, dark complexioned, and wore when last seen a blue suit, low shoes and a black soft hat. The girl is only sixteen years of age, light complexioned, with light, sandy hair, and wore a brown jacket and skirt. The father of the young girl not only opposes a match between the couple, but will also file a more serious charge against the young man if he is apprehended, that of abduction.


Mrs. Whitney Has Returned

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 6, 1904

Mrs. Whitney Has Returned

Lehigh Woman Connected With Recent Scandal Comes Back to Old Home to Live

Gather Children Together

Will Attempt to Live Down Recent Ill Doings and Regain Lost Respect of Citizens. Lehigh, However, Will be Slow to Credit Good Intentions.

Mrs. A.E. Whitney, the Lehigh woman whose name was so prominent in the recent disgraceful stories connecting her name to that of R.A. Pettibone, the prominent business man and ex-mayor of the same city who is a man with a large family, has returned to Lehigh, rented rooms, gathered her scattered children together and professes her intention of making her home in the city for the future, in an attempt to live down the disgrace of her alleged actions in the recent scandal.

Claims to be Innocent of Much.

The woman claims to be innocent of much of which she had been charged and asserts there is nothing in the stories of her runaway with Pettibone. She acknowledges, however, that she she (sic) has been guilty of certain indiscretions in her associations with the man, and says she is anxious to live in the city and prove that she is capable of living a perfectly chaste and good life, and her greatest desire is to live down the scandal created by her folly and regain the respect of the citizens of the town where all of the trouble occurred.

The Argus Article.

The article from the Lehigh Argus follows:

Mrs. A.E. Whitney, the woman that has had much notoriety thru the daily papers in connection with R.A. Pettibone of this place, has returned to Lehigh and will again make her abode her (sic). She arrived from Des Moines Saturday in which city she has been it is supposed since July 1st. She had had her little daughter Hopie with her during that time but left her at Des Moines with friends while she made a trip to this place.

Mrs. Whitney returned to Des Moines Wednesday and got the child and both returned to this place yesterday morning. Mrs. Whitney claims she is innocent of any serious sin and can vindicate her character which she claims has been wrongfully traduced. She admits however of talking “over the fence” with Mr. Pettibone and similar little tete-a-tetes which she had with him but stoutly denies having anything to do with him that was not perfectly proper and in accordance with the established rules of society.

Mr. Pettibone also says emphatically that his relation toward Mrs. Whitney was that of a gentleman and for the sensational stories that have been universally told by the newspapers he proposed to get even by big libel suits.

It yet remains to be seen in the eyes of the Lehigh people at large whether they are entirely innocent or not of many things for which they have been charged and it is hoped if they can prove their innocence and put a stop to all the stories that have been said concerning them.

Children Gathered Up.

Mrs. Whitney’s two boys have been in Lehigh since the first of July and the boys have not seen their mother since they left deep River at that time. The youngest has been cared for by the K.P. lodge at this place since the boys came here but will now be taken care of by Mrs. Whitney, who desires to keep the children together. The lodge was making arrangements for a home for the youngest boy but on the arrival of Mrs. Whitney and knowing of her desire to keep the children this will not be done. Mrs. Whitney claims she did not know of the death of her husband (who was killed in a mine in Colorado July 1st)  until July 20th and she had a letter from Colorado stating he expected to return to Lehigh. When she sent the boys to this place she supposed Mr. Whitney was h ere.

When Mr. Pettibone and Mrs. Whitney prove clearly their innocence to the charges which have been made against them, then they will be taken by the hand and helped to live an honorable life by every citizen of Lehigh, but this must be proven and until it is proven they must suffer for the follies of their own transgressions.