Scott Co, Iowa Crime Files - 1871
Contributed by Cathy Labath
Jan 5, 1871
Goose for High
A case of malicious high treason, or something equally
dreadful, came up before Justice Thorington, this morning. Mrs. Martha Osborn
brought suit against Johanna Schmidt and Rosa Schmidt for assault with intent
to “mash somethink”. And this pleasant “jamboree” was brought about by
a goose. One party gave the other party, we couldn’t tell which, a goose
sometime since for their New Year’s dinner. This elegant bird was yet alive
and was marching proudly around with that impressive dignity which belongs to
his species. He wandered into the yard of the previous owner, and her son
detained the gentle bird of the river, so to speak, and would have detained
him as an “annual retainer”, but the other party came for him, and he
didn’t go and she hit Mrs. Schmidt, and Mrs. Osborn shied a quilting frame
at her and hoe handles, and the other one pulled her hair, and the next one,
that is the goose-well, that was the way of it, anyhow. But Justice T.
couldn’t see that the case was equal to the profundity of the Grand Jury,
and dismissed the case. And the goose gently oscillated at his accustomed
Jan 9, 1871:
One case of intoxication was brought up before Justice
Peters this morning., the subject being one Robert Biersdorf. Also an
individual named Murray was found lying round “loose” in close proximity
to a lamp post. He was locked up and will be tried as soon as sober.
Jan 13, 1871:
Justice Peters seems to have his hands full of late in
seeing to desperate characters, of which the city appears to be well supplied.
This morning a young desperado by the name of Louis Lewis was arrested for the
larceny of a guitar, was brought up for a trial, but the parties for the
prosecution did not appear, consequently he was discharged.
Another character named George Bill found drunk, was
fined $10 and costs.
Burglary at Metropolitan Hall
On yesterday morning the private entrance to Metropolitan
Hall was broken up, for the purpose of carrying off what could be found of
Martino’s effects known to be there. The burglars succeeded in smashing the
lock of the ticket box and securing about three hundred tickets. They also
endeavored to force the lock on the money chest, but could not loosen the
bolt. By searching about the stage they discovered about $25 worth of
silverware, which they seized upon, and quit the premises. In the afternoon
one of the boldest tried to sell some of the tickets at Van Pelt’s barber
shop, on Brady street. This aroused suspicions, and Mr. Sherman, the agent of
the Martino troupe, was informed. The description given convinced Mr. S. that
it was a party whom he had spotted for a thief the previous evening. Policemen
were at once put upon the scent, and succeeded in bringing down their game in
the shape of two burly fellows, about nine o’clock last night. They were
arrested and locked up. The silverware was found secreted near the depot.
One of the accused has already turned State’s evidence
and everything has the appearance of a clear case against the parties
arrested. It looks also that by this means a large gang of thieves and
housebreakers may be ferreted out and brought to justice.
Saturday, January, 14, 1871:
The trial was quite interesting in its examination, the
prisoner a large burly fellow, looking decidedly penitent, and when asked if
he could pay the fine said he could not. The rumor which was prevalent
yesterday that there was a gang of thieves who would be unearthed by this
examination was proved to have no foundation, nothing being heard of any
complicitors of Williams.
Monday, January 16, 1871:
Thursday, January 19, 1871:
Friday, Jan 20, 1871:
Henry Julir, the burglar spoken of elsewhere, was brought
up for examination on another charge-petit larceny-at Justice Peters’
office. It appears this chap has a strong affection for borse kettles, and
have them he will, if he has to break into his neighbor’s summer kitchen to
effect his purpose. He had stolen one from Nisson, and duly found guilty. This
morning he was brought up for stealing another of those desirable articles of
one of the neighbors of Mr. N. E.Claussen Esq, appeared for defendant. The
result was the fining of Julir $15 and costs. An appeal was made to the
Circuit Court, and the case will come up at its next session. A vigorous
effort was made to clear the criminal by the plea of “recent possession.”
Also by the testimony of his wife to the effect that the kettle was purchased
of a traveling peddler. This, however, did not avail with the Justice, and
Julir is again in his secure retreat.
Saturday, Jan 21, 1871:
Police Items. A whole week without a single case of
intoxication! This is the exemplary report which the police give the citizens
of Davenport today, and a rare case it is too, showing how virtuous and
peacefully we are getting on. Not so, however, with larceny and thefts of
every description, which run riot just now. The man Kuegler was again up
before Justice Peters this morning on a third case of larceny. He was fined
$7.50 for this act, and promised to pay the sum, it being within the limits of
his pocket book. He is still in custody.
Monday, Jan 23, 1871:
Another criminal case was up this afternoon before
Justice Peters. The plaintiff in the case, Mrs. Elizabeth DeWine, accuses the
prisoner, Mary Bowling, a young girl of fifteen, of stealing the sum of $70
from the plaintiff yesterday while she was at church, and alleges having found
the girl Mary at her house on her return, in close proximity to where the
money was kept. The case was continued until tomorrow morning by the
defendant’s request to give time to secure witnesses, &c, wherewith to
prove an alibi. The parties live on Market street, near 5th, and have always
been on friendly terms previous to this charge. The girl was bound over in the
sum of $200 for her appearance at court tomorrow.
One case of intoxication is reported this morning , the
offender named Scott Cofflins being fined $1 and costs, which he paid and was
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 1871:
One case of intoxication was up this morning before
Justice Peters, and the offender of “the laws of nature and of man” who
bore the name of Tim Hills, was fined $1 and costs.
Wednesday, Jan 25, 1871.
One victim of inebriation, to make up the regular
morning’s number, was arrested this morning and fined $1 and costs. He bore
the name of John Sheelan, and was sent up.
Friday, Jan 27, 1871.
Another burglary was committed
in our midst last night, exceeding anything which has occurred here for some
time. Mr. A.S. Alston, who has a wholesale store in the second story of the
block on the northeast corner of Second and Main streets, on going to his
store this morning about eight o'clock, discovered the gas burning dimly and
boxes lying around in an unusual condition. Further investigation showed that
the establishment had been "gone through" with by burglars and
robbed of goods to the amount of $1500. The robbers entered through the back
door, by prying it open with a "jimmy" of some sort, breaking the
bolts and bars, and affecting an easy entrance to the store room. They climbed
over the fence from the alley on Main street, finger marks being distinctly on
the boards in the frost, consequently it must have been done in the early part
of the morning.
Monday, Jan 30, 1871:
The Counterfeit Case.
It appeareth in the case of Martin, the counterfeiter,
that at the time of his arrest he deposited with Mr. Robert Porter, and
others, a sum of money, together
with several counterfeit notes. Mr. M. Frahm, one of the sufferers by Martin,
brought a suit and garnished Porter and the others holding said money. All of
the garnishees, with the exception of Mr. Porter, answered to the suit, paid
over what money they had of Martin’s and were discharged. Mr. Porter stated
that he had previously paid J. D. Campbell, Esq., on an order from the
prisoner, held by his attorneys, Messrs. Brown, Campbell and Sully, all the
money, together with the “queer” which he had in his possession subsequent
to the suit of garnishment being brought. The case comes up before Justice
Thorington tomorrow morning at his office for final examination.
Wednesday, Feb 1, 1871:
Result of a Horse Trade.
A grave charge of assault and highway robbery has been
brought against Francis LeClaire by the complainant, G.F. Cook, of which the
following are the facts: it seems that the two men swapped horses, LeClaire
giving $15 to boot. Cook’s horse was in the stable at the time the bargain
was made, and on going to lead it out LeClaire discovered the horse to be
lame, and at once demanded a return of the money. Cook refused, whereupon,
after many demands, LeClaire knocked the complainant down, and after he had
got up he was assaulted the second time by LeClaire, this time breaking his
arm near the wrist. Justice Peters has issued two warrants for the arrest of
LeClaire, one for assault and the other for highway robbery up to this time
the officers have been unable to secure their man.
Saturday, Feb 4, 1871:
The Cresslers up again.
Monday, Feb 6, 1871:
Three Rock Island boys named Monteville Spear, Albert
Twon and E. Dory, came across the river, on Saturday night, “full to the
brim”, and determined on having a spree in the quiet city of Davenport.
They succeeded in kicking up a lively muss on Second street, for which they
were arrested about midnight and brought before Justice Peters this morning.
They were each fined $3.00 and costs for their “fun”, which they paid, and
noiselessly took up their march from whence they came. Davenport is the wrong
place for an expedition of that sort.
Arrested. Shannon, alias Sherman, alias Johnson, alias
Hughes & Son, was arrested at Galesburg and taken to Chicago on Friday
last, by a United States officer, charged with passing counterfeit money. He
had $700 of it on the Poughkeepsie National bank, when arrested.-This is the
same Shannon who had a butcher shop on Perry street, and over a year ago was
arrested here for butchering cattle that he had not bought; the same fellow
who slipped bail and left Robert Porter, of the Commercial Street Livery
Stable in the lurch as bondsman. May he come to a full reward of special
Tuesday, Feb 7.
The Cressler Case. The three Cresslar boys, Charles,
John, and William Jr., have been having an examination before Justice
Thorington today on the same charge for which they were up before Justice
Peters last week-disturbing a singing school in Butler Township. Charles
Whittaker , Esq., appeared for the defendants, and Wm. A Foster, Esq, on
behalf of the plaintiffs. The defendants took a change of venue. The case
excites considerable interest and is likely to be a long cue.
Wednesday, Feb 8, 1871:
Police Court. A case of petit larceny was up before
Justice Peters, this morning the accused named J.W. Shoates being charged with
stealing two planks and a trussle from one Hans Shale. He was found guilty,
fined $15.00 and costs and committed.
A larceny case was tried before Justice Thorington this
afternoon, the parties being from Blue Grass. The accused is a German Pole,
and was charged with stealing a silver watch and box of cigars from the store
of P.W. Putnam, the owner and the party who brought the suit. The good stolen
were valued in all about $20. He was found guilty of the crime and fined $60
which he will work out in the delightful occupation of cutting stone.
An assault and battery case was also up before the same
Justice this morning, the parties to the suit being man and wife, Charles and
Anna Forrest, who keep the saloon No. 6 Front street. The wife complains of
“severeal” treatment from her husband, in the complaint, but finally
withdrew the suit and paid the costs.
The Cressler case is continued till the 13th inst.
Friday, Feb 10, 1871:
A case of vagrancy came up before Justice Peters this morning, the subject being an old offender, named Charley Smith, who was found keeping home guard about the street corners, with no particular object in view.-He was fined $10 and costs, which he paid by emptying his vest pocket of $1.90 and going to jail for the balance.
Monday, Feb 13, 1871:
The Cressler Trial.
Saturday, Feb. 11, 1871:
Police Court. One case of inebriation is the sum total of
today’s business at the office of Justice Peters. The victim of the police
was Charles Harris. He was fined $1.00 and costs, and sent up.
In the case of Charles Forrest, who was arrested for
keeping a house of ill-fame on Front street, with three others, inmates of the
house, the parties plead guilty to the charges brought against them, John
Ackley, Esq., appearing for them at the court this morning. By the consent of the Mayor of the city and Marshal Kauffman,
they are to have twenty four hours in which to leave the city-a mittimus to be
held against them if they appear here within a year, by which they will be
arrested without further process. The prisoners pay the costs, amounting to
some six dollars, and seek more “favorable skies” under which to pursue
One case of drunkenness up before Justice Peters this
morning, the individual named Johnson paying a fine of $1.00 and costs.
A trial “for assault with intent to do great bodily
injury “ is to come up before Justice Peters tomorrow, at nine o’clock.
The parties to the suit are Mr. L Thornton, plaintiff, and Isaac H. Artiste,
(colored) the arrested individual, charges with committing the assault at the
Newcomb House on Saturday.
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 1871:
The witnesses in the celebrated Cressler case have all
given in their evidence, and Justice Thorington is to hear the argument at 3
o’clock this afternoon, which will probably wind the thing up.
The case, which was mentioned in our last evening’s issue, of assault , was brought up
before Justice Peters, this forenoon. It is the result of a lively
“jamboree,” on Saturday last. The prosecuting witness in the case is a
hotel clerk, while the defendant is an Artist by name, and a barber by
occupation, who, while pursuing his avocation, took occasion to have a slight
quarrel with the “gentlemanly clerk,” in which said clerk came off with a
badly cut up physiogonomy, made by a cudgel in the hands of this Artist, and
for which this suit was brought. W.H. Gabbert, Esq., appeared for defendant,
and Messrs. Ackley and White in behalf of the prosecution. The polisher of
mens’ faces was held to bail in the sum of $200, to appear at the next term
of the District Court.
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 1871:
A suit was brought before Justice Throington, this
morning, in which Messrs. McNair and Jordan charge the defendant, Richard
Fitzgerald, of obtaining goods under false pretences. It seems Fitzgerald
purchased of this firm a threshing machine in the month of July, 1869,
obtaining credit for the same by statements concerning his ability to pay, but
which he has never settled for. He was held for bail in the sum of one
thousand dollars, for his appearance at the next term of the District Court.
Another burglary was committed
in our midst last evening, which , although, in the amount taken was small,
shows the unsafe condition we are in. The wholesale hardware store of Sickels
& Preston, on Second street, was broken into between the hours of nine and
ten o’clock and robbed of eight revolvers worth about $100. The burglars
entered by prying off the iron shutters of a window in the rear of the store
and climbing in through the window, which was found open very soon after they
had left. Mr. Sickels left the store about nine, and the clerk who sleeps
there came in about ten, and discovered the open window, at the same time that
officer Purcell came up. In looking over the goods the revolvers were missing
from a show case in the extreme front part of the store, and it is very
probable the thieves, alarmed at the coming of the clerk, skedaddled with the
small booty they had captured. A small quantity of scrips was in the
money-drawer, undisturbed, and every thing proves that their search for goods
was not of long duration, and was summarily broken into.
Thursday, Feb 16, 1871:
That most irrepressible of all cases-the Cressler
trial-hangs fire with a stubbornness almost unknown in so slight a case of
crime. Justice Thorington has been submitted to a thorough “posting up” on
the law today, so that hereafter, at least, he will be ready-primed on all
such cases, It is expected the Magistrate will decide the case tonight, sure.
Friday, Feb 17, 1871:
Cressler Case Decided.
Justitce Thorington brought the Cressler trial to a
climax last evening and fined the three boys $5 each and costs. The whole
amount which they have to pay is about $80. The costs for the first
proceedings, which were had under the jurisdiction of Justice Peters, before
the boys took a change of venue, are not included, the above amount being the
costs of the three days examination before Justice Thorington, together with
the fine, which lets them off with only $80 out of pocket, other reports to
the contrary notwithstanding. The boys will foot the bill without further
There was a rumpus in town this morning. Several days ago
the City Marshal, as in duty bound, directed the people to have the sidewalks
in front of their respective properties cleared of snow or he should proceed
against them according to law. Some obeyed the notice and cleared their walks,
Others snuffed the air and mentally informed the marshal to go where snow
melts suddenly. Marshal McKown was not to be turned off in that way. He had
sworn to enforce the law, and the law must be enforced. A list of delinquents
was made up yesterday, and the following persons were cited to appear before
magistrate Peters and suffer, John Doty, John Krambeck, Schricker &
Mueller, Adam Noel, S.Barr, John Meleliert, E.S. Baldwin who plead guilty; T.T.
Martin, M. McHarvey, Jas. Renwick, Dr. Atkinson, Aug. Scheiber, who plead not
guilty; L. Ochs, M. Tobin, J.C. Westphal, W.H. Stewart, G. Kraik, H.H.
Tichenor, John Breebs, G. Huckenstedt, Louis Karn, Peter Delmer, Jacob Eps,
August Klive, John Schick, Frederick Leach, Claus Haas, John Shoemaker, John
Stoltenberg, J.A. Kirby, C. Watt, A.C. Fulton, J.H. Berryhill, James Thompson,
A.H. Cronkhite, J.C. Conklin, W.H. Gabbert, John L. Davies, J.B. Carmichail,
G.W. Cable, Elisha H. Mack, L.C. Dessaint, Dr. E.S. Barrows, F. Leary, have
not yet plead at all as we close report.
February 21, 1871:
Sidewalk suite. The victims of the sidewalks have, for
the greater part, come up to the Magisterial rack, and manfully expiated their
crimes; a few were dismissed for want of cause, and some there are who
resolutely stand trial. The lesson is a good one, and we hope it will be
taught continually as occasion requires.
Thursday, Feb 23, 1871:
Yesterday afternoon a case of larceny came up before the
Magistrate, of which the following are the facts: on the night of the 17th
inst., a master wheel was stolen from the foundry of M. Donahue, and two
negroes named McDowell and Ritchie were arrested on suspicion. In the
examination, yesterday it was shown that the darkeys took the wheel, broke it
into pieces and carried it over to Rock Island, with a team, to a second-hand
dealer in hardware and “sich,” and he had it taken to a foundry in Moline
and made it into another and different article. The negroes were put under
bail of $250 each in default of which they were committed.
Monday, Feb 27, 1871:
Tuesday, Feb 28, 1871:
A girl named Sarah Haak was found on the streets in a
decidedly loose condition, and was taken of hand by the police. She claims to
be an American, and perfectly moral. The magistrate has given her time to look
up her witnesses before bringing her to trial.
March 1, 1871:
One Charles Faulkner, who lives on Third street, between
Harris and Division streets, was arrested this morning on the charge of
keeping a house of bad repute; was brought before Justice Peters, and
discharged for want of witnesses.
Charles Forrest, the notorious keeper of No. 6 Front
street, some weeks ago, and who was allowed to leave the city for crimes
committed, is again in the city lock-up. Marshal Kauffman received information
from Buffalo, yesterday, charging said Forrest with an assault and battery at
that place. He was arrested here and will be taken to Buffalo for trial.
Friday, March 3, 1871:
One William Sanders, who was arrested as a pick pocket at
the State Fair last fall, and on whose case the jury could not agree, was
found plying his trade on a C.R.I. & P.R.R. train yesterday, and taken
into custody. This time he did not get off so easy, but was fined by Justice
Peters, $10 and costs, amounting to $15.15. He paid $10.15 and was let off by
giving his “bond” to leave these parts for “pastures new,” and
Saturday, March 4, 1871:
Two cases of intoxication were up before Justice Peters
this morning. One a soldier named Michael McGovern, was fined $1 and costs,
which he paid. The other individual named Michael Marion, was fined $3 and
costs. Not having the required capital he was sent up.
Mrs. Julia Namers, residing on Harrison street, was
robbed of her pocket-book yesterday afternoon, containing two $50 bills, in
money, and various valuable receipts. She was trading at the Plunder Store on
Second Street, and laid her purse on the counter beside her, for a moment to
look at some goods, and the pocket-book and two women, who were the only
customers in the store, all at once disappeared. The money was missed at once,
but the women, who doubtless were the thieves, could not be found in the
vicinity. The police were promptly notified of the loss, although the
suspected parties could not be described by either Mrs. Namers or the clerk.
Up to this time no clue has been obtained, which will in any way lead to the
detection of the culprits.
Monday, March 6, 1871:
Mrs. Namers, the lady who thought she was robbed last
week, at the Plunder store, was evidently very much mistaken. She did not have
her purse in the store at all, but lost it on the street before entering . It
was found soon after and returned to her, although the fact of its recovery
was kept very silent those who had been informed of the loss not having heard
of it. The ladies who were in the store at the time were highly respectable,
so the suspicions of the loser of the money was a bad “joke” on both them
and the proprietor of the store.
This morning a sight draft was
presented at the store of Franz Meyer, on Second street, bearing the signature
of E.F. Kinner & Co., on the Fourth National bank of Chicago, for $29.80
in favor of A.T. Crawford, by whom it was endorsed. The young man who
presented it claiming to be Crawford. The check was refused on suspicion of it
being a forgery, the police immediately notified and the fellow promptly
arrested. The Bank at Chicago was telegraphed and a dispatch received from
them saying “no such parties known here.” The prisoner was brought before
Justice Peters this afternoon , when he waived an examination and was placed
under bail of $300. W.A. Foster Esq. Appeared for the defendant.
March 7, 1871:
A case is to come up before justice Thorington on
Thursday next, which has excited no little interest in LeClaire and vicinity,
where the affair came off. It appears that a stripling named John Wilson
behaved so unscholarly while in school that his teacher, W.J. Weeber thought
he merited a sound thrashing and gave it to him. The boy’s “big
brother,” Daniel, hearing of it at once took it upon himself to give the
teacher thrashing No. 2. Now Weeber enters a complaint against the
brothers, one for disturbing the schools and the other for assault and
March, 9, 1871:
The School case at at LeClaire,
which has excited some little comment at that place and in the papers here was
brought to a summary close this afternoon at Justice Throington’s office.
Case of Insanity.
Monday March 20, 1871
One Harry Dunn, a keeper of a saloon on Front Street, was
arrested by policeman Dodd, this morning, for disturbing the peace of his
neighbors at unseemly hours. He was brought before Justice Peters and fined
$3.00 and costs.
Michael McCoy, who entered complaints before Justice
Peters on Saturday, against John and Ellen Powers for beating him with a fire
shovel and otherwise injuring his constitution, withdrew the suit this morning
on the defendants appearing and paying costs of the same.
Monday, March 27, 1871
This morning was had the first case of intoxication for a
number of days, the subject being one Mrs. Kennedy, found by Marshal Kauffman
yesterday afternoon on Front St. suffering from a serious attack of
“jim-jams” and followed by a motley crowd of noisy boys. The patient
referred to has borne quite a hard name of long standing in this city; was
formerly sole proprietor to the notorious den at No. 6 Front Street, but now
hails from the virtuous suburbs of Rock Island. She was hoisted up stairs to
the presence of Justice Peters, early this morning and fined $1.00 and costs.
Thursday, March 30, 1871:
Suicide at Walcott
A mysterious case of suicide occurred in the above named
town situated in this county, on Monday last. A German named John Millenbeck
was found dead in his garret. A crinoline secured to the top of the door, and
attached to his neck in such a manner as to cause strangulation, and the
strong constriction that he had in a fit of melancholy deliberately hung
himself. The reason for doing the deed, is supposed to be the unhappy state of
his marital relations.
Friday, March 31, 1871
A man named Christian Gueuche was brought before Justice
Thorington yesterday on a writ issued by one Karl Mathias, charging the
defendant with threatening to burn, poison, and destroy the effects, premises
and cattle of Mathis. On hearing the evidence in the case Gueuche was