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New Ulm review. (New Ulm, Brown County, Minn.) 1892-1961, January 31, 1894, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89081128/1894-01-31/ed-1/seq-1/

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The Kedwood County Attorney Convicted
of Perjury.
Twelve of his Peers Put upon him the
Stamp of Crime.
A Grave Silence Palls upon the Court Eoom
when the Verdict is Eendered.
The Prisoner Noticeably Affected with
Nervous Emotion.
Judge Webber Sentenced him to 3
in the State Penitentiarv.
Some of the Details of the Long and In
teresting Contest.
•'Wc, the jury in the above entitled
-action, find the defendant, Michael M.
Madigan, guilty of the crime of perjury
as charged in the indictment. Such
uas the verdict of the twelve men chos
en to try the first of the celebrated cases
brought by the State against County At
torney Madigan of Redwood County
When the jurymen entered the court
room, after being out fully eighteen
hours, their faces wore a look of gravity
that was clearly indicative of the awful
verdict. E^ch individual member
seemed to realize that the task that
had been assigned to him was by no
means a trivial one, and the weight of
their duty reflected itself from every
countenance. The effect upon all who
were present was similar. A hushed and
painful silence pervaded the old room
and made the word "guilty" seem ter
rible in its meaning. Madigan himself
showed signs of nervousness, but he
struggled hard to keep down all out
ward manifestations. Wheu the verdict
was read and the Judge was about to
pass the consequent sentence, he arose
and requested that this part of the affai1'
be deferred until Monday to await the
return of Attorney H. J. Peck from
Shakopee. While the Judge could not
see that it would make any difference he
was willing to make the desired conces
sion, the prisoner to *ive a bond of $5,
000 for his appearance in court Monday
afternoon at 3 o'clock.
Among the Redwood people, many of
whom were present, there was no evi
dence of a jubilant feeling over the ver
dict, but nearly all expressed a sentiment
as to its justness. All agreed that Mad
iran was to blame for allowing matters
to come so far.
The commissioners had repeatedly
warned him to resign, and his refusal
to do so led to an appeal to the govern
or on the grounds of drunkenness
and malfeasance in office. Not
desiring to have the governor interfere,
Madigan requested the grand jury to in
dict him on the above named charges
trusting all the while in his ability to
clear himself through a jury trial. But
the grand jury, once interested in his ac
tions, tumbled onto many mysterious
tracks and went far beyond Madigan's
expectations. The four iudictments
charging perjury, forgery and bribery,
were the results of the grand jury's in
The forgery and bribery cases have
been continued until the next term of
court, the defense making the request
and the state acceding thereto. The
forgery case relates to the introducing to
the court a forged instrument as evideuce
The bribery indictment alleges that
accepted a considerable sum of money
from one Peterson as payment for pre
venting an indictment from being re
turned against said Peterson, who was
known to be committing incest with his
The details of the perjury case as
evinced in the trial are as follows:
In April of last year Madigan went
down to Belview and there had a talk
with Halgeson & Mogen, mercantile deal
ers, who were on the verge of insolvency.
Madigan told them that there was dan
ger of their being closed up and advised
one of them to come to Redwood Falls
to receive his advice. Halgeson went
down on the 4th and Madigan asked
him if he had a friend whom he could
trust. The name of Peter Romnes was
suggested and then Madigan advised the
making-out of a note of $500 in favor of
the said Peter Romnes in order that he
might commence suit thereon. Halge
son went home and consulted his part
ner. The note was signed and Romnes
was told of what was going on. He sta
ted that he feared trouble would result
but supposed that the attorney knew
what he was doing and added that *if
Madigan said it was alright, he would be
willing to aid his friends. Halgeson
and his wife went to Redwood Falls on
the 5 th and visited Madigan's office. On
the road Halgeson showed the note to
his wife, but at that time itwas not filled
out and bore only the signature of Mo
gen. This testimony was similar to what
both Halgeson and Mogen gave to the
grand jury in November. Arriving at
Madigan's office a bond was drawn up
and the name of Peter N. Romnes was
attached by Halgeson. Madigan then
drew up an affidavit and swore to it T?e
fore a Justice of the Peace in which he
alleges that he was the attorney of Rom
nes, that said Ramnes had a ciaim of
$500 against Halgeson and Mogen for
money loaned and that Halgeson & Mo
gen were about to secrete their property
with the view of defrauding their credi
tors. It was in signing this affidavit and
swearing thereto, that Madigan commit
ted perjury.
The defense put up the claim that
Romnes was in the office on the 5th and
authorized Madigan to commence suit
on the $500 note. To strengthen this
story they introduced the testimony of
Anna Schorregge Schneider, who at the
time was stenographer in Madigan's of
fice. She stated that she saw Romnes
on the day in question and heard him
tell Madigan to commence suit. When
asked to pick the man out in the audi
ence she did so readily, but the fact that
Halgeson admits that he signed the bond,
that Romnes' name appears in Halgeson's
handwriting and that Mrs. Schneider's
name appears on the same document as
a witness to the signature of Romnes,
proves her mistake and no doubt weak
ened her evidence before the jury. And
aside from her testimony there was no
evidence to prove that Romnes visited
the office on the day referred to. On
the contrary, Romnes, Halgeson, Mrs.
Romnes, Mrs. Halgeson and Romnes'
partner all swore to the fact that Rom
nes remained at home.
Another interesting feature of the evi
dence was the receipt introduced by the
defense to prove that Madigan had paid
Romnes the amount allowed by the as
signee on the $500 claim. This receipt
was written by Madigan in one kind of ink
the signature, "P. Romnes," is in another
and the acknowledgment in still another.
The signature of one witness appears in
the same ink as the body of the receipt,
while the signature of the other is in the
same ink as the acknowledgement which
is written by Madigan, and signed by
the witness who is also a justice of the
peace. The state's attorney concluded
from all these peculiarities that the ac
knowledgment was made at a different
time than the receipt itself. The alleged
signature of Romnes was examined and
compared to that of his original signature
in the record of marriage licences for
Renville county by Bankers Dickinson.
Seiter, E. G. Koch, Wm. E. Koch and
C. W. H. Heidemann, and all declared
that the two were not written by the
same person. Many leading citizens of
Redwood Falls were also put on the
stand to impeach the reputation for truth
and veracity of the justice who took the
acknowledgment. The testimony of all
was to the effect that his reputation was
bad. The receipt was purported to have
been signed on tne 12th, but Romnes
swore that he was not in Redwood that
day, as did also his wife and Halgeson
and his wife. Halgeson also swore that
Madigan afterwards admitted to him
that he had never paid over the money
and when Mogen requested that a settle
ment be effected, Madigan is reported tv,
have told him that he shouldn't shoot off
his mouth too much or he would fix him
Clerk of Court Byran,when put on the
stand, testified that all the proofs of
claims in the assignment of Halgeson &
Mogen, together with the releases had
been filed in his office by Madigan as
attorney for the assignee. These were
all loaned to him under an order of
the court,but when he returned them the
release of the $500 claim was missing.
This testimony in particular seemed to
carry with it great weight.
The arguments to the jury commenced
Friday morning at II o'clock. Attorney
S. L. Pierce talked for nearly four hours,
spending most of his time in reviewing
the evidence, but occasionally rebuking
the manufactured testimony of the defense
and lashing Madigan in the severest
Senator Peck summed up in about two
hours and did all that argument and
pleading could do for a fellowman.
The case went to the jury after a fair
and impartial charge by the Judge and
all of that night and the following morn
ing they remained in session.
One of them Lodged in the New TJlm Jail
Under a special order from Judge
Webber, one U. S. Grant was brought
down from Redwood Falls by Sheriff
Blethen and lodged in the local jail to
await a hearing before Judge French, of
the Redwood municipal court. Two
others, evidently his partners in theft,
were taken to St. Peter, while a fouth
is out on bail. U. S. Grant was at first
released on bail, but his leaving for New
Ulm to attend the Madigan trial aroused
the suspicions of his bondsmen and the
Sheriff was ordered to once more take
him into custody.
The crime for which these men stand
accused is that of stealing. Their thefts
date back to the early part of the fall
and include the taking of wheat from
farmers in Renville county, potatoes
from farms in Redwood county, farm
machinery, harness and saddles, turkeys,
chickens and other articles of more or less
importance. In their escapades they al
ways eluded apprehension, and it was
not until one of the gang let fall a clew
in conversation with an acquaintance
while on the way to the cities, that offic
ers were putfonto their tracks and enabled
to place the four in the keeping of the
It has recently developed that the gang
have also been guilty of sowing several
acres of wild mustard on the farm of J.
H. Bowers.
The St. Paul Daily News of January
26th contained the following of interest
to Brown county readers and particular
ly to holders of New York Life Insur
ance policies: Several days ago The
Daily News received a communication,
which was published at the time, from
John Tori of Spriagfield, Minn., asking
for the probable value of his policy in
the New York Life at date of maturity
in 1898. In reply to Mr. Tori we inform
him that his policy being for $1,500 on
the fitteen year endowment plan he is
likely to realize about $1,800 or less than
a 2 per cent investment, whereas the
company probably estimated to him at
the time he took the policy, that it
would amount to over $2,100 or a 4 per
cent investment. Considering that Mr.
Tori must pay to the company at least
$1,558.50 besides taking the risk of the
company beiug wrecked before 1898,
$1,800 is a,small equivalent for fifteen
years faithfullness in paying $1,558.50.
However The Daily News will congratu
late Mr. Tori if he is fortunate enough
to receive, $1,800 of which $1,500 is the
lawful guarantee, the policy being an
Ignatius Donnelly has once more at
tracted the attention of the sarcastic
editor of the New York Sun and in an
editorial printed on the 26th we find the
"It would be unjust to American elo
quence and Ignatius Donnelly, sage of
Nininger, not to record this, his most
affecting utterance: 'This alliance may
desert me the People's party may de
sert me but there is no power on this
earth, less than God himself, that can
shake me from my pedestal.If everything
else should fail me, I am still Ignatius
Donnelly.' Donnelly shows noble con
fidence in the- firmness of his
attachment to his pedestal but
how can he be so certain that he is
Ignatius Donnelly? We are prepared to
prove by Donnelly's own unrivaled key
and-scroll-crypotogram that,just as sure
ly as Bacon was Shakespeare, just so
surely Ig Donnelly is Doc. Fish. The
sage may know who, and yet not know
who he is."
Miss Ida Hauenstein of New Ulm is
the guest of Mrs. Wm. Mueller.
Miss Jennie Roth has been spending
several days at New Ulm visiting with
Herman Mueller of New Ulm called on
his friends here last week.
Misses Emma Hummel, Lou Baasen
and Ida Hauenstein of New Ulm attend
ed the masquerade at the Opera House
last Thursday.
A. C. Ochs is enjoying a visit in St.
Several of our citizens have been at
tending court at New Ulm.
"Rose von Tannenburg" will be rend
ered Friday night and will undoubtedly
prove of a success.
The masquerade ball on Thursday
evening was the best ever given in Spring-
Dr. Rothenburg was called to Lam
berton on business last Wednesday. £,•/
There will be a lecture in the Congre
gational Church to night.
Judge Webber Punishes Attorney Madigan
with Vifijor.
Three Years and Three Months is the Lan
guage of the Sentence.
A Motion by Attorney Peck for Arrest of
Judgment Denied.
Arguments for a New Trial to be Made
on the 20th.
Those were moments of awful suspense
which dragged wearily along towards
three o'clock in the court room Monday
afternoon. Madigan sat there, restless
as ever./ His lawyer's face wore a sol
emn air, while the eyes of two hundred
spectators closely studied the prisoner's
movements. Promptly at three o'clock
Judge Webber asked Mr. Peck if he had
anything to say regarding the verdict of
the jury. Peck arose in response and
slowly read a motion for an arrest of
judgment, arguing therefore that the
indictment did not contain any material
allegations. His argument lasted some
minutes, but at its close the Judge de
nied the motion and called upon Mr.
Madigan, the defendant, to come forward•
and take the customary oath. The us
ual questions as to how old he was, what
his profession had been previous to con
viction and whether he had ever prac
ticed a mechanical trade, were then ask
ed and promptly answered. He was
forty-four years of age, he said, a lawyer
by profession and had never learned any
trade. Questioned as to whether he had
anything to say why sentence should not
be passed according to law, he replied
that he had not, but his attorney inter
ceded for him and begged that the court
temper its sense of justice with mercy,
inasmuch as the prisoner had a family
and had already been disbarred from
following his profession under the -laws
of the state.
The Judge then read in a slow and
emphatic manner the awful judgment
When the words "three years and three
months at hard labor in the state prison
at Stillwater" were delivered, a shudder
went through the whole court room.Therp
seemed to be something awful in the
words. The prisoner was a man who
had placed many others in the position
which he himself now occupied. He
knew what it all meant. There was no
misunderstanding or underestimating the
degree of the reward for his evil doings,
and the whole audience seemed to see it
the same light in which he must have
viewed it. Madigan was nervous—ter
rible uneasy. His every action showed
As soon as the sentence had been pass
ed, Senator Peck asked that a day be
named on which to settle the case and
argue a motion for a new trial. The
Judge fixed upon February 20th and
until then the prisoner will be at liberty
under $5,000 bonds. Execution sen
tence has also been stayed until that
The sentence is considered one that
would be severe under ordinary circum
stances. The maximum limit is five
vears and the minimum one.
The New York Sun editor always
seems to look at things with a keener in
sight, either to facts or humor than most
politici?ns. On Thursday he raised this
'•That President Cleveland is crazy
has not until lately 'seemed to many a
true explanation of many things that
were before attributed to his natural
stubborness, imperiousness of temper,
and ignorance. Even now suggestions
are listened to by persons who have
ventured their own thoughts and know
ledge of particular reasons,of the history
and growth of which not much has been
said in print. A multitude of persons
have recently put the question among
themselves, 'Is Cleveland crazy?' The
question has been asked in no trifling
spirit, and generally not in the manner
and ioini of an assertion, though fre
quently in a way to imply probability,
not to say belief. This latter form of
questions has increased in positiveness
as public questions and Cleveland's ac
tions have seemed to justify greater pos
itiveness and concern, A resolute firm
ness by congress, patriotic torbearance
and intelligent appreciation in its action
will, it is believed, suffice to prevent any
ill-consequences which might otherwise
result from having an executive off bis
Hit and Missi-
*A little knowledge is sometimes a dan
gerous thing. Especially with an attor
ney whose inclinations are not those of
an upright man, .....-.
The verdict of the jury in the Madi
gan case ought to prove a warning to
all attorneys who are tempted to some
times step outside of legal boundaries to
accomplish their point. Inasmuch as ig
norance of the lawexcases no one, so a
knowledge of the statutes should carry
with1 it greater punishment in case of of
If there is a man in all this broad
county that delights in seeing a foreigner
enter into all the benefits *of full citizen
ship it is Capt. Geoige. Why I have
sometimes seen him actually smile over
such an occurrence, but perhaps he was
aided in his glee by the $2 that accom
panied it.
Here's a story that is not very old, at
least it was new to me. A man rolled
up to the counter in a hotel about 3
o'clock one morning and the clerk was
ready to receive him.
"Want a room," he said thickly.
"We're full," responded the clerk.
"So'm I," he said. "Gimme a room."
"I tell you we haven't got any room.
They're all full." "Tellm better shober
up. Gimme a room."
"There isn't any room in the house,
and you'd better get out," and the cleric
began to get ready for business.
"Been out nearly all night already,
'At's swats' matter wiz me. Wanter
room." "Once for all, I tell you ihere
isn't any room in the house that isn't oc
The visitor didn't answer, but he
looked at the clerk, then at the floor and
the ceiling and the walls and furniture
and moved unsteadily toward the door.
"There'sh plenty of room here, m'
friend," he called back to the cl^rk,
"plenty of room (hie) fer'm prove (hie)
ment. Good 'light, m' friend."
A joke on the Democratic party has
recently been put in circulation which is
excellent. A lady had been attending a
sewing circle one afternoon, and at an
early hour she excused herself with the
remark that she would have tn go home
to sew a Democratic badge on her hus
band. When asked what she meant, she
exjilained by saying that she would have
to sew patches on his pants which had
been worn out by sitting around waiting
for work under a Democratic adminis
tration. The Rambler.
Told by Gen. Felix Agnus
It was my fortune to command in
several regiments of New Yoric infantry
in the last war and to witness many acts
of fearless devotion to duty and unflinch
ing heroism. With so many instances of
bravery and daring within may recollec
tion it is hard to select one that may be
classed as pre-eminent. Still, I think
that the palm may be awarded to a
colonel of one of the regiments that
formed part of my brigade and those
who were witnesses of his heroic action
will agree with me in bestowing upon
him the due appreciations of his valor.
Col. Abel Smith, of Brooklyn, N. Y.,
commander of the 165th New York regi
ment, is the brave man to whom I refer-
The deed which I am about to describe
was performed at the storming of Fort
Hudson, when so many thousands lost
their lives in the attempt to capture the
enemy's position.
Asolid parapet surmounted by a blaz
ing row of muskets confronted us, pour
ing out a deadly stream of bullets. That
was not all, for in addition to this shower
of small shot there was the repeated
booming of cannon with the swish of
the screaming grape-shot as it ploughed
vast furrows in the ranks of the attackers.
Regiment after resiment had gone
boldly to the front, always with the
same result —it was impossible to stem
the torrent of lead poured out against
them, and they were forced to retire*
leaving great numbers of their slain.
The scence was enough to make the
boldest heart quail. To rush at that
parapet amounted to an advance on cer
tain death. Finally the turn of the One
Hundred and Sixty-Fith New York came
round to attempt the effort that had
proved fatal to so many comrades. The
men were marched to a position within
range of the parapet, and then ordered
to lie down for protection. With the,
sight of so many dead comrades before
them it was necessary to instil a spirit of
bold resolve into the men for the desper
ate work before them, and this was done
by their commander.
Going to the front of his command,
Col. Abel Smith stood erect in the midst
of the storm of bullets, and appealed to
his men to follow him to carry the works.
When his immediate comrades urged
him to lie down and not expose himself
to certain death, he smilingly replied in
the words that were used by Napoleon
at a similar occasion: "The bullet that
is to end my life has not yet been cast."
As he said those words he turned to
his bugler to order the charge. The
whole regiment had felt the contagion
of his bravery, and rose as one man to
follow him.
But at that moment, when he turned
to lead his men onward, the words he
had uttered to encourage his comrades
were believed, for he fell pierced through
tne heart by the bullet he had disre
garded- Felix Agnus.
Advantage of Institutes.
The selection of seed corn for early
ripening and a profitable yield will be
represented at the State Farmers' Insti
The care and handling of colts can be
made a good lesson at the State Farmers'
The testing of milk will be a feature
of the second days worK at the State
Farmers' Institute.
Questions and answers can be made
very profitable for the locality at the
State Farmers' Institute.
Hog-houses and how to build cheaply
and for convenience—will be shown at
the State Farmers' Institute.
The feeding and handling of calves to
advantage, can be made a profitable les
son at the State Farmers' Institute.
How to prevent scab in potatoes will
be shown at the State Farmers' Institute.
Corn clover and hogs will be present
ed by Theo. Louis at the State Farmers'
Institute. No one who has anything to
do with hogs can afford to miss this old
German's topics.
The principles of the growth,existenee
and destruction of weeds will be dis
cused by the "Old weed killer" at the
State Farmers' Institute.
The dairy cow and how to know when
you see her, and how she should be fed
and cared for profitably will be shown at
the State Fanners' Institute, by an ex
pert dairyman.
The book to be given away at the first
forenoon session of the Farmer's Institute
is the Annual: a new one of which is
lblished every year. This buck is the
work of the Institute management nnd
cannot be bought in the book-stores.
It is estimated by many who have ex
amined it thoroughly to be worth from
$5 to $20—dont miss the prize.
The demonstrated lesson in butter
making at the State Farmers' Institute
will be an object lesson that no one who
makes butter to eat or sell can afford to
Sheep industry can be made a good
topic to all those who are interested at
the State Farmers' Institute.
The cultivation of the soil with the
object of retaining moisture in the sur
face for the growing crop can be made
a profitable lesson, at the State Farmers'
How to know a good horse when you
see it, can also be handled to the interest
of many farmers as well as others.
Potatoe culture will be a topic at the
State Farmers' In&titute, that will be
profitable to all groweis of this crop.
The ladies will be specially interested
in the public churning on the afternoon
of the last day of the State Fanners'
An infant child of Jos. Simmet died
last week, Thursday.
Jos. Gebhard has returned home from
Miss Anna Dannheim left for LeSueur
last Thursday to work.
Miss Katie Dirks, who has been spend
ing the winter at Springfield returned
last Monday.
Wm. Sandman and son, Charles, of
Evan, were here on business.
Rev. Williams, the Baptist minister of
Fairfax, is holding revival meetings this
week in school district 5 5
What a striking resemblance there ex
ists between 8. J. Race of Redwood coun
ty and Assistant State Supt. Hyde. There
is the same high tone of voice, the same
cast of head, the same details, in fact a
similarity that causes as to ask if they
are not not in some way related.
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