Scott Co, Iowa USGenWeb Project

Scott Co, Iowa Crime Files - 1871

Contributed by Cathy Labath

Davenport Democrat
Davenport, Scott, Iowa

Saturday, April 1, 1871

Police Court
This morning Policeman Dodd brought information of the keeping of a house of ill fame at a certain saloon on Brady, between Second and Third streets, and the keeper of said bagaio, named Henry Donlin, was brought before Justice Peters. He plead guilty and was fined $10 and costs. Much credit is due to the police force for hunting down and bringing to justice such a disgrace to this city, and we have hopes that the vigilance thus shown will be continued in this particular line with the utmost rigor.

Thursday, April 6, 1871

Police Court
Business had been lively at Justice Peters’ office to-day, more so than for many days. First cometh one Hugo Richline, of Buffalo, and files information against Adam Friedley, for shooting at said Richlien with intent to kill. Thereupon Marshal Kauffmann starts for Buffalo to catch the Friedley. Also two cases of beastly intoxication have been up one party calling himself Adam Poston, and the other a bashful individual whose name appeareth not. Each fined $1.50 and costs. Lastly, a youthful vagrant named Michael Kerster, who has before been arrested for vagrancy, was found sleeping in a barn, and with no means of support, was committed to jail under bonds of $150 for his appearance at the District Court. 

Friday, April 7, 1871

Police Court
One case of intoxication was up before justice Peters this morning, the party, named Clark, being fined $1.00 and costs, which he cheerfully paid.

Marshal Kauffmann had a fruitless errand to Buffalo, in attempting to catch the man Friedly, who was charged with shooting at a Mr. Richly. Friedly left those parts immediately, and cannot be found, neither can any trace of his whereabouts be ascertained.

 Saturday, April 8, 1871

Larceny case
The man Campbell, charged with stealing the pocketbook of James T Lane Esq. Was brought up before Justice Thorington again this noon. J.H. Murphy Esq appearing for the defense. At the request of the defendant the trial was postponed to Monday afternoon for he purposes of giving him time to prepare for trial, secure witnesses.

Police Court
The man Clark, who was arrested for intoxication yesterday morning was again up before Justice Peers this morning for the same offence. This time he was fined $2.00 and costs, which he paid. He is a “bummer” mechanic from Boston, and is on a big spree. The police expect to find him drunk again before morning.

Monday, April 10, 1871

Police Court
The champion “drinkist”, the irrepressible Clark, was again up before Justice Peters this morning, it being the third drunk in that number of days. He was found on Saturday night, and had an excellent opportunity during the quiet hours of Sunday to reflect upon the error of his ways, while in the lockup. He was fined $5.00 and costs this time and informed that the next drunk he indulged in while here he would be turned over to the Grand Jury. His finances being somewhat diminished by repeated fines, he paid $4.00 and a mitimus was issued against him for the remainder of the bill.

Wednesday, April 12, 1871

The man Campbell, who has been lying in jail for some days on the charge of stealing the pocket book of James T Lane, Esq, on the steamer Northwestern, was brought up before Justice Thorington this afternoon for the final trial. For want of proof, the prosecution fell to the ground and the prisoner was let loose. The trial has been delayed for a number of days, both sides hoping that something would turn up which might help them at the trial. The prisoner seemed glad to be left off, to say the least, and showed no signs of retaliating for his imprisonment. On the whole we consider it rather a blind case, with no light shed either side. Mr. Lane is out $75 and Campbell has had several days lodging at the expense of the State. This is “whats the matter”.

Thursday, April 13, 1871

Police Court

Two parties, of Swedish origin, were arrested and brought before Justice Peters this morning, charged with the larceny of a coat belonging to a colored man named White. The theft was committed in the steamboat saloon on Front street, kept by a negro named Wilson. They were seen making off with the coat, and a clear case was proven against them. The thieves were named Andresen and Ohlsen. The Magistrate fined them $45 each and costs in default of which they were committed to hard labor in the county jail for term of thirty days. 

Tuesday, April 19, 1871


A boy about fourteen, named George Stewart, was arrested for assault and battery for driving into the wagon of John Gillighan on Harrison st. Damages laid at $12.00. The case will come up before Justice Peters on Saturday next. Mr. Gillighan who was in the wagon at the time, escaped injury, while the vehicle was badly smashed. 

April 22, 1871

Police Court

A case of some little magnitude has been in progress before Justice Peters all day, of the State vs. Scharder & Heuer, dealers in rags and old metal, on Gaines street. The party who brings the suit is W.G. Haun, of Lyons, Clinton county, who charges the defendants with receiving stolen goods, consisting of a beer pump valued at $56, and several articles of copper &c, in all amounting in value to $125, and some of which property was found in the possession of the defendants. They claim to have purchased the goods of two parties who represented themselves from Muscatine, and that they got it from a steamboat there, and they did not know said parties or have any suspicion that the goods purchased was stolen property. The case is till going on as our report closes, R.E. Cook, Esq, appearing for the prosecution and Hon. J.C. ills for defendants.

April 24, 1871

Police Court.
In the case of the State vs Schrader & Heuer, for receiving stolen goods, which was tried on Saturday, the justice discharged Mr. Heuer and held Mr. Schrader to bail in the sum of $300 for his appearance at the next term of District Court. Although from the evidence it was clearly shown that the goods were purchased in good faith by Mr. Schrader, without any suspicion of their being stolen property, the law does not hold him guiltless.

A case growing out of trouble between man and wife was up this morning. The defendant, Conrad Witt, being fined $1 and costs for whipping his wife.

Wm. Higgins and Fred Petersen were found this morning by Tehodore Martens in an intoxicated state. They were brought before Justice Peters and fined $3.00 and costs.

The women , Mrs. Kate Mead and Mrs. Ann Forrest were charged with leading a profligate and immoral life; were fined by the Magistrate $10 each and costs, and sent up.

A Terrible Change.

The town of Pleasant Valley gives forth far from pleasant sounds just now. Judging from one instance on record at Justice Thorington’s office, the people thereof, and more especially the husbands, are becoming bloodthirsty, and anything but peaceful. One John Lee of that town, was brought before Justice Thorington today charged with grave crime of attempting to cut the throat of his wife Frances M. Lee. He was remanded to jail under $1,000 bonds, for his appearance at Justice Thorington’s office on Friday next, for a preliminary examination. Mrs. Lee is the daughter of Elisa Wilcox, Esq., and old and respected citizen of Pleasant Valley. 

Suicide of a Young Lady.

One of most distressing as well as mysterious occurrences which we have been called upon to record for a long time took place in our city last evening. A young girl of sixteen years named Kate Kummerfelt, whose parents reside in the western part of the city, deliberately “suffied? Off this mortal coil” by jumping into the Mississippi, near the foot of Ripley street. The act seems to be entirely premeditated on the part of the girl but no sufficient reason can be thought of by any one for the rash performance. She was seen to commit the deed by Mr. Jasper Martens, in whose boat she made the fatal leap, but before he could possibly reach her, she was out of sight and rose no more. Search was immediately instituted and kept up till a late hour last night and again this morning, when about ten o’clock the body was found quite near the shore. She had left her outer garments upon the boat, and in the pocket of her dress was found the following letter to their parents:

Farewell dear Father and Mother.-I hope you will not be frightened. I am tired of this bad world. I want to go to God and see my little sister and brother. I shall write this letter myself, as good as I can, but probably you cannot read it. Here is something for my mother: There is no cause for this act, you can depend upon that. Virtuous I have always been; pure in my soul; but I have always kept it to myself so that others might not make sport of me. Now let me hasten to my home-on the happy way to heaven. I will find the way about as far as it is, as God is above me he will cheer me up. Before me is the water, above me is the moon, Give my best respects to all my friends. And now, farewell.

Kate Kummerfelt.

     This is all there is left to show for what reason the suicide was committed, small though it be. During the day she has been at Washington garden, seeming to enjoy the German holiday as merry as anyone, a fact which makes the act seem even more strange and mysterious.
     Coroner Tomas held an inquest this noon upon the remains upon the riverbank where the body was found, and gave a verdict in accordance with the above facts.

April 25, 1871:
Police Court.

Business was exceedingly lively at Justice Peters’ office this morning. The inmates of the house of  notorious character which was “pulled” yesterday were brought up, being two noted women of the town, named Sarah Collins and Mary Ann Brown, and two boys from Rock Island, named Harry Clayton and Jos. Miller, all of whom were fined $10 each and costs. Miller paid, and the others were sent up. She keeper of the house, James Walker, was fined the same, but by the advice of Mayor Bills and chief of police Kauffmann, he was let out, with the understanding that he should leave the city within five hours.

Thomas Bowers was arrested for intoxication, was fined $1 and costs, which he paid.  

Thursday, April 27, 1871

Robbery at the LeClaire Post Office.

Yesterday morning, at an early hour, the Post-office at Le Claire was broken into by burglars, who ransacked the entire building broke open every door and drawer in the office, and succeeded in obtaining only about five dollars in fractional currency. They were discovered by Mr. Louis Primm, and elderly citizen living near by, who heard the noise and saw a light burning in the apartment, and at once hastened to the front of the office, when he had the satisfaction of seeing the light fingered and fleet footed gentry depart through the back door, and make for the upper portion of that town. It was ascertained that they stole a skiff and crossed over to Port Byron and were seen no more.

Police Court

A lamentable as well as disgraceful scene was presented at the office of Justice Peters this morning. A young girl of “notorious notoriety” named Hattie Blaire was up under arrest and was defended by her own father whose name is James, and who endeavored to show that nothing whatever had been proven against the girl; whereas she has been brought to answer for like shameful misdemeanors many times before. City Attorney Green, in an able manner, showed what the duty of the city is in such cases and flung back the disgraceful scene which was there shown to the blame of the father in a great measure. The result was that the girl was fined $30 and costs, which she will board out in the outlet and meditative retreats of jail life. Marshal Kauffmann then bled information against the man Blair for insulting and threatening him upon the street and the said paternal ancestor was fined $5 and costs, which he paid.

Two individuals were up for intoxication this morning, for which they were fined $1 each and costs, which they paid.


It will be remembered by our readers that a few days since a firm in this city, named Schrader & Heuer, dealers in rags and old metal, were arrested for purchasing one hundred and fifty dollars worth of copper piping, which was stolen from a brewery in Lyons and Schrader was held to bail in the sum of three hundred dollars, while Mr. Huer was dismissed. The two men of whom Schrader & Huer  brought the metal had all this time been unknown, however, the efficient Kaufmann has kept his eye open and been following up what small clue he was able to find. The results is that the thieves were arrested at Lyons by officer Ham of Clinton, on Monday last. They are named Myers and Barlow and are now in jail awaiting trial. Desperadoes of this kind must soon come to the conclusion that it is extremely difficult to escape detection, when once the officers of this community are on their track.  

Friday, April 28, 1871

Police Court.

Three more “unfortunates” were brought before Justice Peters this morning. Matthew Fitzgerald, for being found in a state of beastly intoxication, for which he was duly fined $1 and costs and sent up. Two boys named John McGee and Charles Patterson were charged with raising a row and much noise on Main Street late last night, found guilty and fined $3 each and costs and jailed.  

Justice Court.

The man John Lee of Pleasant Valley, charged with attempting to cut the throat of his wife, and who has been in jail in this city for several days, was up again before Justice Thorington today. He waived an examination and in default of security was taken to jail, to appear at the District Court next week.

A man named Wm Ritchey was arrested and brought before Justice Thorington this afternoon charged with keeping a house of ill fame on Main ST. on the Bluff. He gave bonds in the sum of $500 for his appearance tomorrow morning for trial.  

Saturday, April 29, 1871

Justice Court.

The man Ritchey who was brought before Justice Thorington yesterday charged with keeping a house of ill fame and put under $500 bonds for appearance today, was this morning dismissed, the prosecution withdrawing the case.  

A Stabbing Affair and Its Result

A serious affair occurred between two boys of eighteen and nineteen years, last night, resulting in the stabbing of one named Henry Lorenzen by the other boy whose name is John Koehler, and the arrest of the latter soon after. It appears that between eight and nine o’clock about twenty boys came together in Lafayette Square on Fifth street, to witness the quarrel between them two boys which had been brewing for some time. On this occasion it culminated in a general fight during which Koehler drew his knife and stabbed Lorenzen six times, four times in the back, once in the left shoulder and once in the wrist. Lorenzen immediately broke and run.

These boys started with the wounded boy for Second Street and met with officer Sims who took Lorenzen to Dr. Wessel’s office where he received proper treatment. He was taken to his home on Fifth street near Warren. Koehler was immediately taken to jail and this morning was brought before Justice Peters charged with assault and battery, with attempt to commit great bodily injury. Lorenzen, through his father, gave bonds to the amount of $300 for his appearance at the next term of the District Court. This is a very deplorable case and shows a bad state of affairs.

Tuesday, May 1, 1871

Escape of a Jail Bird-
Yesterday while the prisoners were at work in the “stone yard”, where they are placed by the officers, the gate was left open for a moment and Pat Koester, who was under confinement for vagrancy, seized the opportunity to “light out,” and made good his escape. He will be likely to keep out of the sight of Davenport police hereafter  

Jail News

Total number of prisoners committed since February 1st, 104: of which number 17 are still left. The crimes for which this number were jailed are: drunkeness, 41; larceny, 9; inmates of houses of ill-fame, 15; disturbance of public peace, 11; assaults, 5; fraud, 3; robbery, 2, embezzlement, 2; beggars, 2; pocket-picking and malicious trespass, one each.

Thursday, May 4, 1871

Police Court

A case of intoxication was up before Justice Peters this morning, the victim giving his name as James Pierce; his name however is Peterson. He was fined $1.00 and costs.

Friday, May 5, 1871

Police Court

A “hobbible case of murder” was up for trial before Justice Peters yesterday afternoon, which caused much excitement among the denizens of Second street. It seems that a certain tailor named Nicholas Krambeck, residing at 94 Second street, was the lucky owner of a remarkable “feline”, possessed of peculiar qualifications for domestic purposes. Now there lived near by one Henry Kruse, who, as he asserts, is troubled by said cat with carrying off numerous chickens. Yesterday, said state of affairs came to a climax, resulting in the death of the puss, from the contents of a gun in the hands of and discharged by said Henry Kruse. He was fined $2 and costs for firing a gun within the city limits, contrary to law. This he cheerfully paid. Krambeck, however, is not satisfied with this small revenge for the loss of his domestic animal, and now wishes to sue the “shootits” for $100, alleging the cat to be fully worth said amount, which he can prove by the whole neighborhood. Further development will no doubt soon follow, as he was at last accounts in consultation with his attorneys.

May 6, 1871
Police Court

There seemed to be a greater thirst for liquor than usual among the “drinkists” of Davenport last night, judging from the number who were presented by the police force this morning for trial, charged with intoxication. No less that four, Patrick Stake, Patrick Brick, Wm. Barret and Aaron Smith, were up before Justice Peters. The two first were fined $2 each and costs, and the two last $1 each and costs, and all four committed for want of friends.

Tuesday, May 9, 1871

Police News

The police have been on the track of several noted houses of prostitution of late, and this morning Policeman Martens brought in two female inmates named Louisa Jones and Nellie White, who plead guilty and were fined by Magistrate Peters $10 each and costs. They were from the corner of Second and Fillmore, and were sent up. Policeman Dodd and Finch pulled a house on Brady near Locust, last night.

Harry Clayton and Joseph Miller were up last night, charged with vagrancy. They were fined $5.00 each and costs, in defaults of which they were committed to jail.

Thomas Jones was arrested on the charge, brought by Marshal Le Claire, of letting his horse run at large, for which he was fined $5.00 and costs.

Wednesday, May 10, 1871

Cowardly Assault

Mr. John Monroe, the runner for the Newcomb House, was made the victim on last evening of an unprovoked and cowardly assault, the results of which will confine him to the house for some time. While escorting a young lady to the ball, from her home on the corner of Front and Iowa streets, about eight o’clock, he was suddenly set upon and struck in the forehead with a stone, rendering him insensible and making a fearful wound. His wounds were dressed and he was taken to the Newcomb House where he passed a painful night. The assault was made by one Henry Croix, as was known at the time, and this morning he was arrested and brought before Justice Peters on the charge of committing an assault with intent to kill. Gen. J.B. Leake appeared for the prosecution; J.W. Green for defense. It appeared from the evidence that Croix was actuated by the “green-eyed monster” jealousy, and confessed the assault, although affirming he had no intention to kill, He was, however, held to the charge under bonds of $500.

Thursday, May 11, 1871

Burglar Arrested. A colored man named Louis Drake, who has lived in this city for about two years, during which time he has not borne a very good reputation, was arrested at Rock Island on Monday for burglary. He was seen by Constable Taggart, of that city, about 2 o’clock in the morning, making off with a ladder and accosted him, whereupon Drake started on the run, followed by the officer, who fired several shots at him. This had the effect of bringing him to terms, though he afterwards showed a disposition to fight but a blow from the officer’s “billy” made him keep quiet. Drake was formerly from Geneseo and had but recently graduated at the State Prison in Joliet when he came here. His case will come up before the Grand Jury at Rock Island, Which is now in session.

Saturday, May 13, 1871

Police Court

An aggravated case of drunkenness was brought up before Justice Peters last night, in the person of one James Miller, a blacksmith by trade, and a brute by nature. He lives on Seventh between Warren and Vine streets; has been up for intoxication about a dozen times, also for abusing his wife, which practice he still keeps. This time he was fined $10.00 and costs, and committed to jail.

Michael Harrington was up this morning on the charge of letting his hogs run at large, and fined by the Magistrate $5.00 and costs.

Monday, May 15, 1871

Police Court
Today was a “fat” one for the Police Court. Every policeman this morning had two or more offenders in tow, to bring up before Justice Peters.

Alexander Hennison, a colored individual of giant dimensions and heavy on the “Emancipation” was charged with intoxication and fined $1 and costs. He remarked while being taken to jail that he thought “ a cullud pusson” had just as much right to “git drunk as the poor white trash.”

John Lyons was up for intoxication and it being an aggravated case, was fined $5 and costs and sent up. H.G. Pryme, for same offence, fined $2 and costs, also sent up, John Morris $2 and costs, George Start, and Wm. Davis, $1 each and costs. Davis paid and the others were committed all for intoxication.

Wm. Devine was arrested for disturbing the public peace, found guilty and fined $4 and costs, which he settled.

A boy of thirteen years, named Charles Hood, whose father lives in the city, was arrested and brought before Justice Peters this afternoon, charged with the crime of the larceny of five dollars in currency from Gus. Borneman of Gilbertown, on yesterday. His father says he can do nothing with him, and considers him a good candidate for the Reform School. He was sent up to the Circuit Court.

Arrest of Shannon’s Son

As will be seen in our telegraph columns, Chief Operative Lonergan has arrested John Shannon, son of notorious William, at Fulton, Ill,, with several thousands of dollars in counterfeit money found in his possession. The business of “shoving the queer” runs in the Shannon family. They seem to have got it bad. Lonergan, with his efficient corps of detectives, when once on their track, will eventually bring down the entire gang. Shannon, the principal, has been brought to grief, likewise his son, and no doubt there will be “more coming”.

Tuesday, May 16, 1871

Police Court

The examination of Miller and Clayton is adjourned until tomorrow, as parties to the suit are coming from Wilton.

Richard Roe was arrested by Policeman Dodd, charged with being an inmate of a house of ill-fame, was found guilty and fined by Justice Peters $10 and costs.

Bryant W. Dermot, Patrick Kelly and John Wilson were up for intoxication-These were the remainder of the party who were up yesterday, and were not sufficiently sober to appear until this morning. They were fined $1 each and costs.

Monday, May 22, 1871

Police Court

E. Morrison was arrested on the charge of stealing a watch and chain from Mr. John Delaney, who resides near the corner of Second and Iowa. The articles named were found in Morrison’s possession, and he was brought before Justice Peters this morning, pleading guilty and was fined $57.00 an costs, which he will work out at the county stone pile.

Thursday, May 25, 1871

Police Court

One Patrick Kehoe was arrested and brought before Justice Peters on the charge of assault and battery, was fined $1.00 and costs which he paid. Wm. Thompson was up for intoxication, fined $1.00 and costs and paid. Two noted prostitutes named Lizzie Jones and a party named Maguire were up charged with disorderly conduct, were put under bail, Jones, commonly known as the “big Indian”, for $200, and Maguire, $100, and assigned quarters at “Hotel d’ Schintger”.

May 27, 1871


The man Martin, whose tricks with the “queer” are well remembered in Davenport, on the occasion of his trial before the court at Des Moines, plead guilty to fourteen offences of passing counterfeit money. Hon. Jas. Thorington, of our city, by request, appeared in his behalf, and stated to the court the points of the case as they come before him here that he had in an unguarded moment become the tool of Shannon and other like leaders. The judge thereupon convicted the prisoner of one charge only, and sentenced him to the Penitentiary at Fort Madison for five years. Shannon’s case was continued over till next fall term of court. In the meantime he is assigned to Fort Madison for safe keeping.

Monday, May 29, 1871

Justice Court.

A case was brought before Justice Thorington to-day, of the State vs. John Harms, a resident of Rockingham. The defendant was accused by one Levi Bolstorff of shooting at him, and threatening the life of himself and his daughters on several occasions. After hearing the evidence in the case, it was dismissed by the Justice, there not being sufficient evidence to hold Harms under the charges. Bolstorff has again brought action against Harms under the same charge and the case will again come up before Justice Thorington to-morrow, J.B. Leake, for plaintiff, Martin and Murphy for defendant.

Friday, June 2, 1871

Police Court

One Patrick Sullivan was arrested for being found sleeping in a shed last night  was brought before Justice Peters and fined $5 and costs and sent up.

A lot of raftsmen, seven in number, went on  a spree yesterday on Second St. visiting every beer saloon along that thoroughfare, and finally getting full of beer and very violent, commenced to abuse every one they came across. They soon began to fight “mit demselves” and they becoming too much of a nuisance the people called the police, who came in full force, headed by Marshal Kaufmann. The rioters by this time were fighting near French and Davies saw-mill, and seeing the officers coming they put into the river for the small island near by where they had a raft in keeping. The policemen not dismayed, made after them and after a most desperate struggle succeeded in capturing the entire crew, not however until they were made to feel the weight of official fists, which were necessary. They were taken into an ice wagon, which was handy and answered the purpose, and carried to jail. Their examination commenced this after noon before Justice Peters, the entire party being charged with riot. They gave their names as John Lyons, Geo. Harmon, W.E. Evans, John Kendrick, James Fitzgerald, Frank Sullivan and John Ward. The three later plead guilty to the charge the others not guilty. The examination is going on as we go to press.

Saturday, June 3, 1871

Police Court

The seven raftsmen who were up before Justice Peters yesterday afternoon on the charge of riot were all found guilty and were fined as follows: John Lyons, Geo. Harmon, James Fitzgerald, Frank Sullivan, John Ward, $10 each and costs; W.L. Evans and John Kendrick, $5 each and costs, and sent up for hard labor in the county jail to work out the amount of fine.

June 5, 1871

Police Court.

One John Kelly was arrested last week for stealing a pair of bridles from a farmer named Patrick Farrand. It seems he took the bridles from the farmer’s wagon and sold them to a teamster. He was taken under charge by Policeman Niles and Martin, who found him in the vicinity much intoxicated. He strongly declined going to jail and it was not until he was made to see stars several times that he finally concluded to be lead. He was found guilty and owned up where the property was to be found, was fined $13 and costs and sent up.

James Peters was arrested for disturbing the public peace and abusing his neighbors, was brought before Justice Peters this morning and fined $5.00 and costs and sent up.

Michael Delaney, a boy of thirteen years, was detected stealing fruit form Pettingill’s stand, and was sent up to the Circuit court. 

Serious Affray.

On yesterday a Danish resident on the bluffs, named Charles Linvault, engaged a horse and buggy at Porter’s livery stable and on returning last night about nine o’clock he and Mr. Porter got into a dispute about the settlement, Porter accusing him of carrying too many persons in the buggy and of being behind time, when Linvault mildly insinuated that was a lie. Porter struck him a severe blow in the eye, causing the blood to flow very freely and making an ugly looking wound. He also sent for an officer who on arriving and summing up the state of things concluded Linvault had got the worst of the bargain and sent him with a friend to the office of Dr. Grant, where his eye was skillfully dressed, after which he departed for home, swearing vengeance upon the assailant.

 June 6, 1871

Police Court

Gae Bryan Toker, and old offender , was arrested for intoxication, fined $10 and costs and sent up. John Gay and Maria Noyle were arrested in a house of ill-fame, were taken before Justice Peters and fined $10 each and costs, and committed. The notorious Hattie Blair was up under charge of being a common prostitute, and was put under bonds of $200 for good behavior; also Mary Jane Brown and Frank Mead, charged with being found in a noted house of corruption on the bluff, were each put under bonds of $150 under the State law.

 June 7, 1871

Police Court.
One Michael Connally found in a state of “blind staggers” was brought before Justice Peters and fined one dollar and costs. Robert Robertson was arrested by officer Dodd for disturbing the public peace and on being found guilty was fined $1 and costs.

Jail Items.

There are now twenty-five inmates in Scott county jail under the following charges: Larceny, 4; rioting, 5; inmates of houses of ill fame, 6; intoxication, 3; obtaining money under false pretences,1; assault with intent to kill, 2; till-tapping,1.

Pickpocket Arrested.

This afternoon about one o’clock a notorious thief and pick-pocket named Michael Custar, commonly known as “Mickey Mike” was arrested by the police force of Davenport. It seems he had lately picked the pocket of a man living near the Wapelo, of over $200 and had thus far eluded the grasp of the law. Today, however, he was seen in town and to go on to the ferry. The police hearing of it boarded the ferry boat on her return trip from Rock Island and found the fellow hid under the stairs. He had no notion of being taken, and fought with desperation worthy of a better cause, but finally the united efforts of Policeman Dodd, Niles and Finch, he was secured just as the boat reached the Rock Island landing and taken back to this city where he now lies jailed. His trial will come off tomorrow before Justice Peters.

June 10, 1871

Police Court.

One Richard Runyon was arrested for intoxication, and brought before Justice Peters this morning. He was found guilty, fined $1 and costs and sent up.

The man Emmler, whose pocket was picked by Mike Kerster a few days ago, appeared and filed information against the said thief, whose arrest was noted in our columns at the time. Policeman Dodd, one of the witnesses in the case, being in Muscatine, the examination was adjourned until Monday next.

Monday, June 12, 1871

Police Court.

Joseph Raymond and James Rupert were arrested on the charge of being common vagrants, were fined by Justice Peters $5 each and costs, and sent up. George Williams, up for intoxication, was fined $1 and costs.

The pickpocket, Kerster, was up this afternoon for examination, and his case is being looked into as our report closes. His last dodge is to prove an alibi, which however, he will find hard to do, as the police were on his track, and his ways and deeds are know.

Wednesday, June 14, 1871

Police Court.

Two “drunks” were up before Justice Peters this morning , the parties, John Fitzgerald and Richard Terrill, being fined $2 each and costs.

John Owens was arrested, charged with an assault to commit rape upon Elizabeth McCloskey, was bound over in the sum of $200 and sent up.

Saturday, June 17, 1871

Police Court.

One Joe Delaner was arrested for vagrancy and put under $200 bail and sent up.

Richard Tarrell was arrested for resisting officer Wunderlich, was put under $300 bail and committed.

This afternoon Michael Kelley was up before Justice Peters, charged with tow indictments-vagrancy and resisting an officer. To the first charge, he plead not guilty, to the last, guilty. He was bound over in the sum of $300 for each charge and committed to jail. The father of Kelly being one of the witnesses, gave an account of the life of his son Michael during the last ten or a dozen years, a tale of sorrow for a parent and of shame to the son. It is thought by the father and Marshal Kauffmann that when intoxicated, Kelly is really insane-his actions …..and extraordinary nature. The record of his past life somewhat substantiates the idea.

Monday, June 19, 1871

Police Court- Ed Brennan, John Sullivan and James Doyle were brought before Justice Peters this morning each charged with intoxication. They were fined $1.00 each and costs, which the two first paid, and the latter, in default, was sent up.

One John Kelly was found guilty of he crime of vagrancy, was fined $10,00 and costs, and committed.

Wednesday, June 21, 1871

Justice’s Court.

Before Justice Thorington the case is up of the State vs. Julia Jackson, charge with embezzlement. The embezzlement consisting of appropriating Margaret Cousins drawers, chimese, and other garments. In the absence of which Margaret was in danger of presenting rather a singular aspect. The complainant and defendant are of unadulterated African extract-witnesses of the same dusky hue, except one witness, Mrs. Ford, who, from appearance, afford but little of the African stock, though nearly white, was a blacksheep in this crowd. Mr. White, of the law form of White & Ackley, filed the complaint for the sable prosecutrix, and the case is progressing as we go to press with H.Clay Fulton for defense and White and Ackley for the State. It is to be hoped that Justice Thorington may not be overwhelmed from the evidence of his senses-but as we notice the windows were open at each end of this office we hope he will survive. One other white person, apart from the attorneys, Felton & Ackley, and Thorington occupied a seat at the table of the justice, the Superintendent of the poor, Dr. Blood, to the left of the Court, no doubt to support his honor in the case of whether all white folks had left the prostration by reason of the nationality, we can’t say, but six feminines and eight masculines of that race in one room, 20x30 with the thermometer 80 degrees F. was too much for this reporter. We commend this case to our contemporary of the Gazette to close (clothes) up.

Friday, June 23, 1871

Police Court

One Louis Reno was found drunk last night and was brought up before Magistrate Peters this morning he was fined $1 and costs and sent up.

Hung Himself
A German named Heinrich Piepgrass, who had been working several months for Mr. Chas. Schroeder, on his farm in Lincoln township, was found this morning hung by a rope with his own hand in the barn. He came from Maquoketa to that place, and but little was known of him. He had been very quiet for the last few days, which was the only thing at all remarkable noticed in his general appearance, and no cause can be assigned for the deed. 

Saturday, June 24, 1871

Police Court

A man and wife named Thomas and Margaret Scott with two children, were found camping out for the night on the sidewalk of Third street between Scott Street and Western avenue, were arrested for vagrancy by Marshall Kaufmann and brought before Justice Peters this morning who fined them $5.00 and costs for which they were committed to jail.

James Roach was up for disturbing the public peace by the use of abusive language, was fined $5.00 and costs and sent up

Systematic robbery.

      Yesterday a stranger from the country came to town with a horse and buggy, which he disposed of to parties in this city for $175 cash. Not being used, it seems, to having so much money about him, he concluded it would be a good time to have a “little spree”. Accordingly he fell in on Front Street, with a notorious black-leg, whose crimes have previously been before the public, and for one of which he had just served out a term in the Penitentiary, who is always ready to join in a carousel with anyone who has plenty of the “Wherewith”. They therefore took the ferry for Rock Island, and at once visited West’s saloon, under the Harper house, where getting pretty drunk, they began to kick up a row.
     The results was they were put under arrest and brought before a justice, there to answer for their misdemeanors. They were promptly fined $5 each and costs for the row, and the stranger $5 extra for contempt of court. The stranger, at the earnest request of the Davenport “gull” paid the whole bill, after which they came back over the river, and were seen down in the west part of this city near a notorious “dive”. This morning the poor stranger was hunting for the police and when he had found them made known that hw was robbed by his confrere of all his money, while in a drunken condition, and left without a coat. The police are on the watch, while the thief keeps out of sight thus far, though it is thought he will be brought to justice before long.

June 26, 1871

Police Court

     Yesterday was improved by the numerous members of the “drinking club”  by a periodical spasmodic drunk, as was shown by their presence at the police court this morning. James McGinity and Wm. Shaffer were arrested and fined $1 each and costs, in default of which they were sent up. Thomas Harper was found sleeping in a shed, for which he was fined $2 and costs. Pat Salley, Jacob Marks, and Cash Robertson of Le Claire, were each found guilty and fined $1 and costs which they paid. James Scotland was fined $5 and costs for disturbing the public peace and John Fitzgerald, an old offender, for lying drunk in the streets was fined $10 and costs.
     John Skinner was brought up on Saturday evening for resisting the police and fined $15 and costs. He and Robertson, named above, were from LeClaire, were drunk, driving fast horses, and raising a row generally.

June 28, 1871

The Wife Whipping Case

It seems that Westphal was held to bail yesterday in the sum of $3000, in default of which he was committed to jail, where he lay through the night. He was exceedingly wrath at the turn things had taken, and his wrath took various forms. He not only threatened vengeance upon his opponents at law, but while being taken to jail, said he had about made up his mind to kill himself, out of spite no doubt. However, Westphal still lives and was brought up before Justice Peters this afternoon charged with assault and battery upon his wife under the State law. Geo. E. Hubbell appeared for the State, and J.W. Green for the defense. He plead guilty to the charge and was housed over in the sum $500 to keep the peace. No information has as yet been filed against Mr. Pierce, while further developments in the case are looked for soon.

Police Court

One John Smith, a New Yorker ,was arrested for vagrancy, brought before Justice Peters this morning, and fined $5.00 and costs, and sent up.

Another John Smith, a laboring hand, from Quincy, Illinois, was found drunk, and fined $1.00 and costs, and sent up.

Bryan Tucker, a frequent victim of the police, was arrested, charged with stealing $34.00 from a man named James Fawkes, from the country. They got drunk together, yesterday, slept in a brick yard, and when Fawkes recovered from his inebriated sleep. His money was gone, and so was Tucker. The case was adjourned until tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock. 

The Robber Who was Robbed.

It appears that the man, whose name is Shaffer, the account of whose robbery by his “pal” of $150, appeared in our columns a few days since, is a thief and villain, of the deepest dye. The team which he sold in this city for $175 turns out to have been stolen from his brother-in-law, Mr. C.M. Winslow, of Bloomington, Ill., who put in appearance to this city today, and made inquiry for Shaffer of the police. As the individual is now in jail, he was of course known to the police, to whom Winslow told his story, but refuses to proceed against him, on account of relationship. So the matter stands at present.


Mr. James Buckwalter, living near this city, and well know here abouts, was assaulted on last Monday evening, near Long Grove, while on his way home, by some men with ten-pins, who inflicted such injuries that the wounded man died from the effects this morning. 

June 30 1871

Justice’s Court

Before Justice Thorington, F.R. Dowd is charged with the crime of "publishing, selling, and distributing a book and pamphlet containing obscene language"", " manifestly tending to corrupt the morals of youth”. Defendant filed application for a change of venue. Change of venue granted to Justice Peters. Thorington says that the grounds for a change are well taken-that he neither keeps the penitentiary nor a whipping post, which are only officials, in his judgment, that ere do for such offenders, and peddlers and venders of such degrading obscene trash in our midst. The case before Justice Peters in is continued until tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock. Geo E Hubbell complainant, Foster & Gabbert, attorneys for defendant.

Police Court

The case of the State of Iowa vs. Toas K. Fluke, which was set for this morning is postponed until one week from today. July 7th at the office of Justice Peers. The defendant is charged with libel in writing a letter containing improper propositions to one Mary Lambert.

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