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“did then and there strike and jab with a dangerous weapon twist a pitchfork with intent to do great bodily harm.” Upon Mr. Butterbrodt’s complaint, the court issued a warrant, which was handed over to Constable Vince Flaherty. Once before the court, Mr. Radtke did plead guilty to assault and battery, and was fined $10, plus court costs totaling $4.85. He paid his fine and was discharged.
In January of 1921, three local men appeared before the local court to face charges that they had burglarized and attempted to rob a store owned and occupied by William D. Schmidt. He claimed that on Jan. 19, James Owens, Clement Waterman and Price Welch “did break and enter in the night time the store building owned and occupied by William D. Schmidt as a store, said building not adjoined or occupied with any dwelling house with intent to commit the crime of robbery, against the peace and dignity of the State of Wisconsin.”
The three defendants, in custody, were informed of the charges against them. Owens and Waterman “after listening to the complainant and being informed by the court of his constitutional rights,” pleaded guilty. Welch pleaded not guilty. All three of them were bound over to the county circuit court for further proceedings and each was given a bail amount of $1,000. Unable to pay that amount, Waterman and Owens were placed in the custody of the county jail “until such time as their case can be heard.” E.W. Stevens provided security for Welsh and he was freed on bail.
As times change, certain “crimes” no longer make it to court appearances as they did a century ago. One of those involved the September 1922 complaint of Lucy Ryan, who alleged that Lacy Plulfroth used abusive language in the presence of the complainant. The alleged words uttered, according to the court docket, were “You’re nothing but a bug. Your name is nothing but the outside slime of a bug, all you lack is the bristles otherwise you would be one; go on home, you darn fool.”
For this crime, a warrant was issued and Ms. Plulfroth was arrested by Constable Vince Faherty. After Plulfroth entered a not guilty plea, the matter was settled out of court and the complaint withdrawn by Ms. Ryan.
Some cases did not involve crimes against individuals. Such was the May 1923 case against Paul Stumpner and Alex Mrotek, who allegedly did “unlawfully interrupt and disturb a meeting of people lawfully and peaceably assembled in the school house.” For this offense, each defendant was fined $10 and costs, with a 30-day jail term in order if they did not pay.
Many court cases of Loyal’s early days involved money, as businesses often filed actions in an attempt to collect debts. Sometimes, the cases were seemingly insignificant, but likely not so for the person making their case in court. In one case of Herman Zuge vs. W.C. Hammer, the plaintiff was seeking compensation for work he had done. In a memorandum for the court offered by Zuge’s attorney, F.D. Calway, it was noted there was a written agreement that Hammer was to pay Zuge “the going price per acre” for plowing. Zuge claimed to have plowed 15 acres for $3.50 per acre, but was not paid in full.
“Attention of the Court is called to the rule that the burden is upon the defendant to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that this item was included in the settlement,” Calway wrote. “Instead, the evidence is that the defendant offered the plaintiff to pay him at a rate of $2.00 per acre and he said if the plaintiff would not accept this, he might sue him. In any view of the case, the Court should allow the plaintiff for this breaking.”