Posts Tagged ‘O’Brien’


Police Court a Busy Session

   Posted by: admin    in Police court

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 6, 1904

Police Court a Busy Session

Heaviest Grist in Some Time Reaped at This Morning’s Harvest.

Six Offenders Are Arraigned

Something Like the Good Old Great Western Days, Says Peter Ditmer – Four Drunks and Oe (sic) Vagrat (sic) Are Before the Mayor.

Police Court held a heavy session this morning. The mercy seat was lined up knee deep with the alleged offenders against the law. “This begins to look like the good old western days” remarked Peter Ditmer as he surveyed the motley throng. By the “Great Western” days he referred to the time when the Great Western built their line to Omaha. Rough laborers by the hundred then crowded the city whenever they were given the opportunity to come off the line. The influx often caused the wildest kind of a run on the police court. The completion of this work has made a corresponding depression in the police court docket.

Clarance Chevalier was the first of this morning’s prisoners to answer the charge of drunkeness. He pleaded guilty and was given the usual $5.85 ($140 today).

James Mahoney came next. His case was disposed of precisely as that of Chevalier.

The charge against Thomas Conners was a more serious one than that against his predecessors. His fine for being drunk and insulting ladies totaled $9.85 ($236).

Simon Fodge, an old standby who resides at Tara, but who has been a frequent customer at the fountain of justice in Fort Dodge plead guilty. The old familer was fined accordingly.

George O’Brien paid his fine of $5.85 for being drunk.

Charged with vagrancy, Frank McGuire answered by stating that he was merely out of a job. His honor took upon himself to give McGuire a few kind words of advice and gave him the alternative of leaving town at once and forsaking his old associates or working $10 ($239) fine on the street. McGuire decided to leave town.

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Drink Habit Was Too Strong

   Posted by: admin    in Police court, Uncategorized

The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 28, 1905

Drink Habit Was Too Strong

Luke O’Brien Has Gotten in The Toils Again.

He is One of the Regular Customers At the Mayor’s Court – Can’t Break Off.

In spite of his terrible oath to get out of the city, Luke O’Brien, alias Happy Hooligan, has again fallen into the toils, and was put to work this morning cleaning up around the fire house. He was out of sight all day Thursday, and it was supposed that he had really departed, but this morning this bug juice receptacle was found in his usual state of coma and given his time honored place in the jail. He will have another ten days on the streets.

There is the same quality about this Happy Hooligan that is so very noticeable in the caricature character originated by F. Opper. His personality will draw a row of brass buttons to him by irresistible force for more than six blocks and he has become so used to the “come with me,” that he runs to meet the officer when he sees him approaching.

Luke O’Brien is certainly one of the strongest living temperance lectures that ever existed. Once a strong man with at least a fair amount of intellect, he is now a tottering wreck both physically and mentally and there is positively no show for him but a lonely death – possibly in a cell at night – and a grave in the potters field.

When he left the city hall Thursday morning he had every intention of getting out of Fort Dodge for good and all. He went down the steps and out onto the street full of this determination, but he was so shattered that he positively had to have just one drink to straigten (sic) him up so he could get started. The one drink was not enough, and he soon had forgotten everything in his burning thirst. He kept drinking all day and this morning woke to find his resolution unfulfilled and himself in the same old place behind the bars of the city jail.

The case of Luke O’Brien is certainly a most pitiable one.

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Prisoners Clean City’s Streets

   Posted by: admin    in People, Police court

The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 21, 1905

Prisoners Clean City’s Streets

Police Guard Them While They Beautify Fort Dodge

They are Better When Busy

Idleness has a Tendency to Get Them Into Mischief – The New Method of Cleaning This City Will be continued by the Present Administration.

Ten days on the streets. If you don’t work, you get nothing to eat but bread and water.

This was the sort of a hand out Major S.J. Bennett gave to three tramps this morning in police court, and there was consternation in their faces when they realized the horrible truth that they were up against a proposition where they would either have to work or they could not eat.

To take care of them a special police officer was sworn in and he has instructions to see that they fulfill the conditions in the way of a decent amount of labor, or they will be held to the slender fare prescribed for them by his honor.

This morning they were taken out by the officer and put at work picking up the papers and trash off the streets. In this role they attracted much attention and there was a great amount of favorable comment as the people passing along the street caught at the idea.

When the papers are all picked up, they will be put at work with a shovel, and it is the intention of his honor to add to the force. The police are instructed to take precautions to capture every tramp that steps inside the city limits and there is a prospect that the special offer will have a considerable gang under his care in a short time.

One of the vags who is on the streets is the same fellow captured Thursday. He was turned loose on account of the fact that it was too rainy for him to work and ordered out of town. He was given a good meal just befoer he startd at ten o’clock, but he had the “habit” and before noon, he wa begging a “hand out” over in West Fort Dodge, ont he grounds that he had been “starving for three days.”

A telephone message to police headquarters brought out the patrol, and he was hustled into the reflectatory, where he was kept till this morning when he went to work with two other vags. The men are Luke O’Brien, Frank Jones and Martin Scott.

Frank Jones is a resident of Fort Dodge and has been a sort of outcast from society for some time. He was arrested a day or two ago and was at that time given a chance to get out of town, which opportunity he failed to avail himself of. Thursday he spent the day begging funds and drinking and was picked up by police. In court this morning when he was told it was either work or bread and water, he was highly incensed that he should be asked to work and stated he would take the bread and water.

He, however, went out on the street with the rest of the gentlemen of leisure, but at the first opportunity, made a run for it and made goo his escape. The police hope that he has made a good job of his getaway, so that he will not be seen back in Fort Dodge again. The last seen of him he was making the most undignified haste in the direction of the Illinois Central depot, where he hoped to catch a freight train out of town.

There were also two drunks up this morning, Frank Kopaski and Fern (?) Willard. Both of these men liquidated and went their ways rejoicing.

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Mayor Draws a Full House

   Posted by: admin    in Crime, People, Police court

The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 11, 1905

Mayor Draws a Full House

Is Confronted by Three of a Kind and a Pair in Police Court This Morning.

Was Liberal With Justice

Fines Were The Largest That Have Been Assessed in Police Court For Many Months. – Will Have a Most Discouraging Effect on Graft.

Mayor Bennett drew a full house in police court this morning. When the moment arrived for the doling out of justice, there were three of a kind and a pair ranged on the penitential bench before him. It was with no miserly hand he ladled out the big bunches of fines and costs. The freedom with which he piled it on them was certainly discouraging to the bum, the vag, the thief.

Peter Coyne and John Lowery, both of whom were caught while in the act of stealing overalls from in front of one of the local stores, were given a fine of $100 and costs each or thirty days in the county jail. Neither of them having a cent of money they were sent to jail where they will have a chance to dwell on the evils of their ways for a month.

The three remaining in the line were given fifty dollars and costs each and allowed a chance to sweat it out in the county jail, a job that will occupy their vagabond minds for a period of fifteen days. The three vags were Frank Jones, Charles Wright and Luke O’Brien.

The theft of the overalls took place on Monday afternoon. Peter Coyne took the garments from a box in front of one of the stores on South Sixth street and ran with them to a nearby corner where he secreted them in a buggy and made his get-away. It was then Lowery’s turn to play his part in the deal, so getting the bundle from the buggy he made his way through an alley to the rear of one of the lunch counters of the city where his brother is employed, and there hid them in a box.

He was seen to do this by one of the high school boys who reported it to the police and the two arrests followed with the resulting convictions.

Both of the parties to the game plead guilty to the charge entered against them and there was no delay in meting out their punishment. Coyne has been implicated in other petty thieveries about the city, and was arrested a few months ago as one of the parties engaged in the burglary of the Cochran saloon. At that time, however, the evidence against him was not sufficient to hold him to the grand jury and he was released.

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