Bureau County Illinois  
History and Genealogy
News - Crimes

 

Horse Thieves Steal from John H. Griswold
Whitefield Corners
The Henry Republican, April 12, 1883
The way of the transgressor is hard. On the afternoon of the 9th, two tramps, thieves, going north into the timber, returned in the evening and were met about 9 o'clock near the residence of John H. Griswold's, where they took a span of valuable horses, saddle, etc., and from the marks, brands and tracks along the road they went south to Marshall county line one mile, thence west two miles, thence north about six miles, where the horses were found next day near the residence of Robert Bloty. It so happened that they took one horse that no man ever succeeded in riding, and the ride must have been a fearful one, as the horse was terribly used up, having been badly cut on a wire fence and otherwise injured, so much so that for travel it was useless. One stirrup of the saddle was missing, and the saddle ruined. Just how that thief got off your correspondent knoweth not, neither does he know how far he came down from that wire fence, nor in what position he lit, but judging from those who have heretofore tried to ride that nag, he must have taken a fearful leap, and not seeming to be particular as to which end struck the ground first.
WEBBER

Elbridge Stevens Has Horses Stolen
Bradford Independent, Bradford IL, August 6, 1885
One night recently Elbridge Stevens of Buda had one of his team of black horses stolen. The horse was tracked as far as Wyanet, when all trace of him was lost. The horse is a black or dark brown, 12 years old, weighing 1,150 pounds. A reward is offered for his recovery.



 
Frank Thomas Plot to Kill Sheriff Henderson (1888)

The Ottawa free trader. (Ottawa, Ill.), June 23, 1888
After the escape of Frank Thomas from the Bureau County jail, Sheriff Henderson learned that under the lead of Thomas a plot had been laid to knock him over Saturday night and empty the jail. When he went to lock the prisoners in their cells for the night he found the gas out. Before unlocking the grate door he ordered the gas lit. It was done, but almost immediately turned off. Letting them hear the click of his revolver he ordered it lit again. The light flashed up and he stepped inside. After Thomas had gone next day some of the peaceable prisoners told him of Thomas' designs upon him the night before.



John L. Murphy Victim of Assault.
Spring Valley: John L. Murphy, an attorney of Bureau county, was way-laid and assaulted by a young man named Daherty as he was about to enter his home in this city. Murphy had one leg broken and he received other injuries. [The Mattoon Commercial (Mattoon, IL) 24 May 1906, Thur.]



Boggio Kills Lanzi For No Reason (1904)

Rock Island Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), May 10, 1904
Murder Without a Cause
Spring Valley, Ill, May 10.
In a Dakota Street saloon Peter Boggio shot and instantly killed Rudolph Lanzi. Both are Italians. The shooting was without any provocation, as shown at the coroner's inquest in the saloon where the murder took place.
Chief of Police Hicks of Spring Valley arrested Boggio as he was attempting to get out of town. The prisoner was turned over to Sheriff Elliott of Bureau County and lodged in Princeton jail to await the action of the grand jury.




Train Bandits Attack Train Near Manlius (1914)
Kill Arthur Fisher and Wound Others

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer, (Bemidji, Minn.), March 14, 1914

Train Bandits Kill and Maim
Fight Pitched Battle with Posse after Holdup
Engineer Shot to Death
Wavers in Meeting Demands of Thieves and His Life Forfeited. One Deputy Sheriff Mortally Wounded and Another Badly Hurt

Peoria, Ill., March 14 - Freight car thieves killed one man and wounded three others when surprised at work near Manlius, Ill., forty-five miles north of Peoria.

Three of the thieves were captured by a posse from Langley and Princeton. The officers are still searching for one more member of the band.

The victims of the robbers were Arthur Fisher, a Chicago and Northwester railroad freight engineer, who was killed; Bert Skoglund, a deputy sheriff of Bureau County, fatally wounded; Leslie Beyer, son of the sheriff, wounded in the leg, and the fireman of the freight train also shot in the leg.

The attempted holdup and shooting occurred about 4 o'clock in the morning. The conductor and brakeman of a freight train on the Northwestern road surprised the gang of thieves while they were pitching merchandise out of a train near Manlius. The train was stopped and the robbers jumped from the freight cars.

Engineer Instantly Killed.
They ordered the conductor and brakeman back into the caboose and demanded that Engineer Fisher detach the engine from the train and proceed down the track. He wavered in meeting the request and was shot through the head. He died instantly. The fireman was shot through the leg.

The station agent at Manlius telegraphed Princeton, in Bureau County, at Langley, a small station near Manlius for help. In an hour a posse of nearly 200 men was scouring the surrounding woods for the holdup men. Near Sheffield, Ill., the posse came up with the thieves.

The latter opened fire and Bert Skoglund, deputy sheriff of Bureau County was shot through the face, shoulder and throat. He is fatally hurt. Leslie Beyer, son of the sheriff of Bureau County was shot in the leg. The wound is not serious.



Two Men Killed and Two Others and a Woman Wounded.

Peoria, Ill., March 14.-Two men were killed and two deputy sheriffs and a woman wounded as the result of an attempted holdup of a Chicago and Northwestern freight train at Manlius, Ill., forty-five miles north of here.

Arthur Fisher of Pekin, Ill., engineer of the freight train, was shot dead by one of the bandits, and an unidentified robber was killed in a battle with the sheriff's posse. The wounded deputies are Leslie Byers, son of Sheriff Byers of Princeton, and Bert Skroglund, also of Princeton. Mrs. Wright, wife of the station agent at Langley, was struck by a bullet.
Willmar Tribune, March 18, 1914, page 2
Willmar, MN
-- Contributed by Robin Line



Ray Pfanschmidt Acquitted of Murder (1915)

The Daily Gate City (Keokuk, Iowa) February 19, 1915

Say Pfanschmidt Will Be Released
People of Bureau County and State's Attorney Said to be Agreed That Prosecution in Ended

Ray Pfanschmidt by being acquitted at Princeton yesterday for the murder of Emma Kaempen must be released from custody Monday or the long and expensive task of selecting a jury for the murder of the defendant's father will start at once is the view of the Quincy Whig, as the following indicates.

That the last case has been tried is not only the opinion of the public but State's Attorney Fred G. Wolfe, who is in a position to know better than any other person in Adams County.

Attorney Emery Lancaster, who with Attorney George Govert has made such a gallant fight for the freedom of the 21-year-old youth, stated last night that to start the selection of a jury in Bureau County would be folly for this phase of the case alone would cost several thousand dollars.

Princeton people declare it absurd to attempt a second case in Bureau County with only the same evidence to unfold before a jury. Every man, woman and child within fifty miles of the seat in the northern county is acquainted with the case and you may as well attempt the collecting of twelve impartial men in Adams county.

The law does not specifically provide that the defendant be either tried or released but Judge Joe Davis would hardly recognize a motion of the state for a continuance in the case.

Consequently with the situation existing in the Pfanschmidt murder trials by two acquittals at the credit of the defense and the near impossibility of securing a jury Ray Pfanschmidt will be released from custody Monday, the date set by Judge Davis for the starting of the trial for the murder of the prisoner's father.

According to present indications State's Attorney Fred G. Wolfe will be represented in person at Princeton Monday and before the court orders the procedure of selecting a jury he will nol-pros the indictment against the defendant for the murder of his father.




Harry W. Pierson Suspected of Dying from Rat Poison

The Bismarck tribune, (Bismarck, N.D.), January 15, 1921, Image 3
Suspect Farmer Died of Rat Poison
Chicago, Jan. 15
A package of rat poison, which was found by Sheriff Len D. Spaulding of Bureau County, is being sent to Chicago and will be analyzed when it arrived today to determine whether it contains poison similar to that found last December in the viscera of Harry W. Pierson, a prosperous farmer, of Princeton, Bureau County. Pierson died of convulsions last October 21. The farmer's wife, Mrs. Helma Pierson, mother of two children, and Arthur Snipp, a returned soldier, formerly employed on the Pierson farm, have been indicted by the Bureau county grand jury on charges of murder in connection with Pierson's death. Mrs. Pierson is said to have confessed intimacy with Shipp. From last September 28 and for some time after Pierson's death, Shipp said, Mrs. Pierson had carried on a correspondence, using the hen-house as the post office.



Charles Anderson Arrested for Train Robbery
The Rock Island Argus and daily union. (Rock Island, Ill.), March 18, 1922
Train Robber Under Arrest; Loot Located
Believe Anderson May be One of Mt. Vernon Mail Robbery Participants - Taken at Galva
Sheffield, March 18. - Mysterious train robberies on the Aurora devision of the Burlington rail road covering a year's period, have been cleared up by the arrest of Charles Anderson at Galva, by special agent O. H. Abbott. He is now a prisoner at the Bureau County Jail at Princeton, awaiting action of the April grand jury. Anderson, a brakeman confessed to the robberies and accompanied the special agent to his home in Galesburg, where he produced lace curtains, bolts of dress goods, shoes, shirts, caps, auto accessories, etc., stolen from trains. He got into the cares without breaking the seals by crawling through the bunkers.
When arrested at Galva his lunch box was filled with high priced water faucets and bathroom fixtures and he had two new suits of clothes and an extra pair of trousers beneath his overall suit.
Officials believe that he was implicated in the mail robbery at Mt. Vernon several months ago, in which a former preacher was involved because a mail sack with a Mt. Vernon, Ill., post mark on it was found among the loot in his home.
 

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