History: Local: Community Organizations
Waukesha County Detective Society
Waukesha County Horse-Thief Society
Waukesha County Anti-Horse-Thief Society, etc., etc.
Compiled, edited and written by Michael R. Reilly, January 12, 2006
Late in 1884 or early in 1885, a number of Waukesha County residents, including those from the town of Lisbon, fed-up with the lost of property due to thievery, and apparent lack of response/action by their local constables and sheriff, decided to form a private detective society. It had the spirit of cooperative effort to catch a thief and return the stolen property, as well as an insurance type of policy for the society's membership.
As the years went on, enthusiasm in the Society lessened, and they attempted to change with the times. Instead of protecting all personal property of the member, the Society developed into one concentrating on horse thieves, and proactively trying to prevent the thieves.
Not all citizens took kindly to being watched by their local "detective", and public opinion was sometimes against them. Pressure from outside influences, namely the Allan Pinkerton detective company, improved local police forces, ultimately led to their demise. But they lasted over fifteen years. From newspaper articles, or lack of, it's seen that it's own membership dwindled, and failed to appear at meetings, and the membership seemed to finally become a village of Waukesha organization (from its officers elected).
Unfortunately for the County's citizens, criminal offenses, such as horse theft, didn't diminish over the years, but actually increased at times.
An earlier forerunner of the Waukesha County society was the Vernon Protective Union society; click here for more details on how such a society operated.
Association against Horse Thieves
Forest House, Waukesha, April 2, 1865
Friend Wright: I would beg to suggest through your paper to the farmers of Waukesha county the propriety of associating for mutual protection against horse thieves in particular, and out-door stock in general, a vigilant combination of intelligent men, whose stock is exposed to the midnight operation of thieves. If organized in time, it will be more than a match for the scoundrels who defy individual contrivances for detection. I would, therefore, propose to those who desire to stop this growing evil, in time, to meet and talk the matter over at the court House, in Waukesha on Saturday, April 15th, at 2 o'clock p.m.
M. Kilmiste. [Matthew Kilmiste]
[There is necessity for action in the matter suggested by Mr. Kilmiste. Stealing horses, and oth stock, is becoming altogether of too frequent occurrence to be longer submitted to. It is only a few evenings since that Mr. Kilmiste had stolen from his premises a valuable span of horses; and scarcely a week passes without the occurrence of similar thefts. Something should be done, and that quickly - and we know of no better method to cure the evil than is suggested by Mr. Kilmiste. Let the farmers meet and talk the matter over. - Ed. Freeman]
Waukesha Freeman, April 4, 1865
Protection against Horse-Thieves, &c.
Friend Wright: I noticed a paragraph in your paper from M. Kilmiste, Esq., requesting the citizens of our county to assemble at our Court House , on Saturday, April 15th, at 2 o'clock p.m., having for its object to perfect an organization for the mutual protection of our horses and cattle, and other valuables, against midnight marauders and horse-thieve.
I felt to exult on seeing this notice - my mind having been deeply impressed for some time past with the importance of having an organization which, if properly conducted, will redound to our security. The old adage occurs to my mind, "Lock your stable after your horse is stolen." An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure," and by acting in harmony and efficiently, having a good corps of detectives and committee of vigilance, located in different parts of our county, and have a fund ample to defray the expenses that would necessarily be incurred in searching for stolen property and the miscreants who took it.
Such an organization will be a cheap insurance on the "mutual plan;" and I earnestly entreat our citizens to give a serious thought to this subject, and sacrifice a little time and money with a view to ultimately saving a good deal to each. Now, fellow citizens, who see this notice, please come along, and bring with you your neighbors, and each at lest a five dollar greenback, to create a fund for an enterprise somewhat of the character to which I have alluded.
It is a subject that has been much on my mind of late, and I have been about making a move in the premises. It is true we are often called upon to contribute for this and that object, which, in common with oppressive taxation, makes a grievous burden, - But as regards the matter under consideration, let us act wisely, and not be a "penny-wise and pound foolish."
H. V. Prentice
Genesee, 7th, April, 1865.
Waukesha Freeman, April 11, 1865
Forest House [Farm], May 8, 1865
Friend Wright - Having, with your assistance, and a few other right-minded, practical men, got the nucleus of an association started, it remains now that the ting is cut and dried - not for the farmers to wait for their horses, stock, or property to be stolen, but immediately call at the Treasurer's office, dollar in hand - and not, when too late, wish they had. There ought to be at least a thousand farmers in this County sensible enough to see the importance of a thief detective and aid society. Individual reliance in many cases falls through, with no friendly organization to fall back upon for assistance. I lost my horses from the stable at night, and being single-handed, have never found them; and so may it be with others. Therefore, my advice is, avail yourselves of this mode of locking your stables in time. The first Monday in June is appointed for a meeting of its' members, to perfect general arrangements, when I hope to see a large throng of farmers at the Court House. As your paper may perhaps yet reach the secret hiding hole of my stolen horses, I beg you to insert the enclosed advertisement, the cost of which, and a more effective reward, farmers will see, could be more efficiently done by the aid of association.
I perceive you are giving insertion to useful and suggestive matter from Messrs. Marsh and Prentice, which I think is good. I hope others will do likewise, and mutual improvement be the result.
May 9, 1865
The Waukesha County Detective Society, meets at the Court House, Monday, June 5th. Waukesha Freeman, May 16, 1865
The Society met at the Court House, pursuant to adjournment, on the 5th day of June, 1865, the President in the cha__.
On motion, the following named __ were elected a Vigilance Committee:
Lisbon - R. Cooling.
All the officers of the Society were authorized to solicit members and re___ and pay to the Treasurer the initiation fee. There will be a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Society at the Court House on Saturday, the first day of the next, at one o'clock p.m. It is hoped all officers of the Society will be present.
Geo. C. Pratt, Sec.
Waukesha, June 6, 1865
Waukesha Freeman, June 6, 1865
There is not sufficient interest felt in reference to our Waukesha county Detective Society. It is sadly thru that it is too late to lock the stable door after the horse has been stolen. I suspect a citizen of Brookfield, in this county, felt rather uncomfortable when he found his entire clip of wool feloniously taken from him - nearly one hundred fleeces - at least one-half of the value of which he would save had he paid one dollar, and become a member of the Detective Society. - We are constantly in the school of experience, and wise if we give good heed to its teachings.
H. V. Prentice,
Genesee, June 30, 1865
Waukesha Freeman, July 4, 1865
The Executive Committee of the Waukesha County Detective Society, met at the office of the Secretary, June 6th, 1866. The following named persons were appointed Detectives for the ensuing year:
Lisbon - Andrew Howitt
The following By-Laws were adopted; Sec. 1. There shall be appointed by the Executive Committee at their annual meeting in December, in each of the towns in the county, one or more persons - members of the society - who shall be known as "Detectives," whose duty it shall be when notified that any member of the Society has had any property stolen, to forthwith assist in searching for and recovering the same, and in arresting the thief or thieves, and all necessary expenses incurred by such detectives in the discharge of their duty shall be paid by the Society.
Sec. 2. No claim or demand against the Society shall be paid until the same shall have been audited and allowed by the Executive Committee.
Sec. 3. Any member of the Society shall be allowed and paid one-half of the cash value of any property stolen from him after the first day of July, A. D. 1866, provided, that he make it appear to the Executive Committee - 1st: That he was the owner of the property stolen. 2nd: That he has made all reasonable efforts to recover the same for at least three months, and that the same has not been found, The value of the property must, in all cases, be shown by disinterested witnesses.
Sec. 4. The executive committee shall meet on the first Monday in March, June, September, and December, for the purpose of auditing accounts against the Society, and for other proper business.
Sec. 5. the executive committee may revoke all appointments made by them. Detectives shall hold their offices for one year and until their successors are appointed, unless their commissions be sooner revoked.
Sec. 6. These By-Laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Executive Committee by a majority of all the members thereof.
All members of the Society are requested to act as agents to obtain members, and forward the name and one dollar to John Forbes, Treasurer, at Waukesha, who will by return mail, send a certificated of membership.
Geo. C. Pratt, Secretary
June 12, 1866
Note: Geo. C. Pratt probably brother to that "prince of Detective Officers, A. F. Pratt"
The Annual Meetings of the Waukesha County Detective Society and the County Agricultural Society are held respectively on the first and second Mondays of December. Waukesha Freeman, November 27, 1866
Protection Against Thieves - The citizens of Duplainville and vicinity, in consequence of having suffered the loss by thieves, of several horses, cows, &c., held an adjourned meeting at the Remington Prairie schoolhouse on Wednesday, March 4th, and organized "The Duplainville Aid and Detective Society, " for the protection of its members against horse and cattle thieves. W. T. Donaldson was elected President, A. W. Griswold, Secretary, and Thos. Cook, Treasurer. Citizens in that vicinity wishing to reap the benefits derived from an organization above named, can be become members by applying to the treasurer. Waukesha Freeman, March 12, 1868
Our Neighbor - Who Is He?
Waukesha Freeman, December 30, 1869 [an excerpt]
Is that man our neighbor who practices the private detective system, and is continually watching our proceedings behind the half-closed slats of his shutters? Is he your neighbor who, under the garb of Christianity and the exterior sanctity, entertains feelings of the most malignant hate; and whose maxim is war - war to the knife, and war to the end, until they have dotted the reputation of their victim with fresh made scars. To such as these I must say, in the language of Shakespeare, "Miserable comforters are ye all."
Genesee Depot, Dec. 27, 1869
[Editor Note - I believe that sometime between 1867 to March 1870, the original Detective Society was dissolved or fell to such low attendance/enthusiasm that it required a resurrection from the ashes. It's interesting to note the name similarities used throughout the Society(s)' history.]
The Plaindealer, March 1, 1870 - Horse Thief Detective Society
At a meeting held at the Court House, in Waukesha, on the 26th ult., for the purpose of organizing a county horse thief detective society, on motion Daniel Brown was called to the chair, and W. R. Blodgett appointed secretary,
After some discussion, a committee of five, consisting of A. F. Pratt; M. Barber; John Porter, C. A. Blodgett and E. S. Purple, were appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws and report officers &c, at an adjourned meeting. On motion, the meeting adjourned until Saturday next at one o'clock p. m.
Daniel Brown, Cha'n
W. R. Blodgett, Sec'y
The Plaindealer, March 8, 1870 -
Proceedings of the Adjourned Meeting to Organize a Thief Detective Society
The adjourned meeting organizing a county thief detective society, came off at the court house on Saturday, the 5th inst. Mr. A. F. Pratt, chairman of the committee appointed the week previous to report a constitution and by-laws, and to recommend officers for the society, made the following report, which, after considering each article separate, was adopted.
Article 1. This organization shall be known as the Waukesha County Thief Detective Society.
Art.2. Its officers shall consist of a President, Treasurer, Secretary, and two additional officers as an Executive Committee, who shall be elected annually and hold their offices until their successors are elected and qualified.
Art. 3. Any person may become a member of this society by subscribing to the constitution and by-laws, and paying into the Treasury, five dollars.
Art. 4. The officers of the society, including the two Executive Committee, shall constitute an Executive Committee for the transaction of the business of the society, with power to audit accounts and direct generally in all expenditures.
Art. 5. Whenever a horse of other property of value of $30 or more (except merchandise usually kept in stores,) is stolen from any member of the society, it shall be the duty of each member to aid and assist in recovering it and capturing the thief or thieves, but no person shall be allowed pay for such services unless he acted by the advice and authority of the Executive Committee.
Art. 6. The Executive Committee, or a majority of them, shall have the power to assess a tax on members of this society at any time, for the purpose of defraying its expenses or paying for stolen property that cannot be recovered, but shall never pay more than two-thirds the value of the property stolen, nor more than two hundred dollars for articles stolen at any one time.
Art. 7. The headquarters of this society shall be kept at the county seat, but whenever twenty-five or more persons join the society from any town except Waukesha, the Executive Committee may appoint a town committee of three from those members, who shall have all the power within their town of the Executive Committee, except auditing accounts.
Art. 8. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to keep the funds of the society in safe depository, and shall not use or pay out the same for any purpose except upon the order of the clerk, with the names of a majority of the Executive Committee endorsed thereon, and shall receive such pay for his services as the Executive Committee may direct.
Art. 9. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to record all proceedings of the society in a book to be kept by him for that purpose, which book shall also contain the constitution and by-laws of the society and the names of its members, and the Executive Committee may allow him for his services such compensation as they may deem proper.
Art. 10. The annual meeting of this society shall be held at the court house on the second Monday in December of each year at two o'clock p. m., and each member shall be entitled to a vote.
Art. 11. Special meetings of this society may be held at any time whenever ordered by a majority of the executive committee, by giving notice there of in a newspaper published in Waukesha.
Art. 12. This constitution and by-laws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the members present, at any regular meeting of the society.
Officers of the Society
President - John Porter
Treasurer - Wm. Blair
Secretary - W. V. Tichenor
Executive Committee - M. Barber, R. B. McCumber.
Those present then signed the constitution and paid in the fees, and the meeting adjourned sine die.
Daniel Brown, Chan'n
W. R. Blodgett, Sec'y
The Plaindealer, December 6, 1870 - The annual meeting of the members of the Waukesha County Detective Society, for the purpose of electing officers &c., will be held at the Court House, on Monday, Dec. 12th, 1870, at 10 o'clock a.m.
W. V. Tichenor, Sec'y
The Plaindealer, November 21, 1871 - The annual meeting of the members of the Waukesha County Detective Society, for the purpose of electing officers, &c., will be held at the Court House, on Monday, Dec. 11th, 1871, at 10 o'clock A. M.
W. V. Tichenor, Secretary.
on same page, beneath above:
A meeting of the Duplainville Aid and Detective Association is hereby called for the election of officers, and the transaction of other business, The meeting will be held at the Duplainville Schoolhouse on Saturday, the 25th day of November, 1871, at 2 o'clock P. M .
The Plaindealer, September 24, 1872 - On Sunday morning Messrs. Arnold, Fossing and Coleman, of Brookfield, came up here and announced that fact that a horse had been stolen belonging to Mr. W. R. Blodgett, who is a member of the "Thief Detective Society". In a few moments the officers of the Society, with Deputy Sheriff Jones, were on hand to assist them, and they soon found the horse and thieves at the American House. It seems that two Germans so-called peddlers came along by Blodgett's and took from his stable a fine young horse, and left theirs - by the road side. They came here about 5 o'clock, got breakfast, and were about starting out when our Brookfield friends arrived. On seeing them the horse thieves took leg bail up the banks of the mill race, one was caught at the upper bridge and the other ran till he was forced to surrender or put into the mill pond, but chose the latter. After being surrounded some time in the pond and listening to "Bob's" revolver, he concluded to "give up the job." A majority of the crowd present were anxious to drown or hang the thieves, but they were finally conducted to jail in "good order." The thieves are two young men who travel the country disguised as peddlers, while their business is that of "petty thieves," but are not smart enough for horse thieves. This is the first horse that has been stolen from a member of the Society since it was organized, and if the thieves has not been fools, it might have cost the Society several hundred dollars to capture them; but there is money enough in the Society to capture any thief or pay for the property stolen. We feel indebted to "Bob" Jones, the only official who volunteered to assist in capturing the. "Bob" waded through the mud into the river and brought out the head thief, while many on the bank refused to help. Wile we admire "Bob's" pluck, we are free to say we would much rather shot him while defying us in the river, and taken out his lifeless body.
But the best joke of the whole was played on the first one captured. While "Bob" and his crowd were following the last one, we stood guard on the Bridge street bridge over the first one. In the mean time quite a crowd gathered, among was our old friend, Russell Wheller; and we suggested to the crowd, that in order to save expense we must hang or drown him, when some one cried out "drown him," and in a moment Wheeler caught him from us and threw him over the railing of the bridge into the race, but he caught upon the the timbers and was permitted to "come ashore."
Our by-laws make it the duty of the officers to recover all stolen property and to capture the thieves regardless of cost, and to pay for all property not recovered. We therefore feel under lasting obligations to the citizens here who turned out to aid in this case, and more particularly to Dept. Sheriff Jones, the only officer who volunteered to assist.
The thieves gave their names as Charles May, 21 years of age, and of German birth, and Carl Recart Luber, 24 years of age.- They are from Milwaukee, and say they go for Grant for President. We thought so.
[Editor's Note - The Plaindealer's editor, Mr. Pratt (ex-Waukesha Sheriff) appears that the people, and himself, would have had no problems with lynching or drowning the thieves on the spot. Fortunately they did have the real law present.]
The Plaindealer, October 1, 1872 - At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Waukesha County Detective Society, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That the officers of this Society tender Deputy Sheriff Jones a suit of clothes of the value of $50, for his timely aid in assisting us in the capture of the thieves who stole a horse from Mr. W. R. Blodgett, of Brookfield, the only member of our Society who has sustained a loss since its organization.
A. F. Pratt,
President of the Society
The Plaindealer, October 8, 1872 - After a Horse Thief - Sheriff Graham, of Waukesha, is looking for an Englishman named F. Ottoman, who stole a horse from Patrick McGovern, a farmer in Pewaukee. Ottoman was tracked to a place near this city, and sheriff Graham will no doubt get him. The horse was branded U. S. - Evening Wisconsin of Tuesday.
[Editor's Note - I inserted the above article to show that the elected sheriff did go after horse thieves. The article, further above, notes that Mr. Blodgett was the first Society member to have a horse stolen; not to say that some non-Society members in Waukesha county didn't.]
The Plaindealer, December 19, 1872 - On the Road to Waupun - From the Milwaukee News we learn that Sheriff Graham was in that city on Friday en route for Waupun with the thieves who stole Mr. Blodgett's horse. The News neglects to tell us whether he goes via Chicago or Green Bay. If the object is to make an exhibition of these convicts, or to increase the mileage, he had better go via Chicago and Janesville.
Later - since the above was written a friend of the Sheriff informs us that he has no pass on the Northwestern Road, but has one over all the branches of the St. Paul Road, consequently he travels via Milwaukee to Waupun all the way over the latter road. "Nuff ced".
[Editor's Note - The appears to be no love lost between the former sheriff and present. The ex-sheriff did have a grudge with the Waukesha County Board of Supervisors, but that a story for elsewhere.]
The County "Detective Society" held its annual meeting at the court house, on Monday last, and elected the following named officers for the ensuing year: A. F. Pratt, President; Wm. Blair, Treasurer; F; H. Putney, Secretary; Manville Barber and Exra S. Purple, Executive Committee. Waukesha Freeman, December 12, 1872
County Detective Society - At the annual meeting of the County Detective Society held at the Court House yesterday, A. F. Pratt was re-elected President, Wm. Blair, Treasurer, F. H. Putney, Secretary. R. B. McCumber and John Porter as additional members of Executive Committee. On motion the President, Treasurer and Secretary were authorized to loan the funds of the Society to the Bank, subject to be drawn out on demand. - Plaindealer. Waukesha Freeman, December 11, 1873.
The Waukesha County Thief Detective Society will hold an adjourned meeting at the Court House in Waukesha, On Monday, Dec. 20, at 2 o'clock p.m. Waukesha Freeman, December 16, 1875
April 19, 1877 - Article mentions the "Horse Thief Detective Association of Milwaukee".
The annual meeting of the Waukesha County Horse Thief Detective Society Society was held at the Court House, in this village, on Dec. 9, 1878, at 1 p.m.
Meeting was called to order by the President of the Society, John Porter. It was moved and carried that the Society proceed to the election of officers for the ensuing year, and that they be chosen by acclimation. Then proceeded to the election with result as follows: R. B. McCumber, President; Wm. Blair, Treas., O. P. Clinton, Sec'y., S. A. Fox and W. R. Blodgett, Additional Members of the Executive Committee.
There being no other business, meeting adjourned sine die.
O. P. Clinton, Sec'y.
Waukesha Freeman, December 12, 1878
The annual meeting of the Waukesha County Horse-Thief Detective Society, will be held at the court House, in the village of Waukesha, on Monday next, Dec. 8th, at 1 p.m., sharp.
O. P. Clinton, Sec'y
Waukesha Freeman, December 4, 1879
Note: No change of officers from previous year.
Annual meeting of the Waukesha County Anti Horse-Thief Society, held at the Court House, December 8, 1884, Waukesha Freeman, December 18, 1884
Note: No change of officers from year 1878.
The annual meeting of the Waukesha County Anti-Horse-Thief Society will be held at the Town Hall in this village of Waukesha, In Monday, Dec. 13th, 1886, at 1 p.m.
R. B. McCumber, Pres.
O. P. Clinton, Sec.
Waukesha Freeman, December 9, 1886
Met on Dec. 12th, 1887. WF Dec. 8, 1887
Annual meeting at Court House, on Dec. 10, 1888. O. P. Clinton, Sec., WF, Dec. 6, 1888
The annual meeting of the Waukesha County Anti-Horse thief Society will be held at the Court House, Monday, Dec. 1st, 1890, at 1 p.m.
R. B. McCumber, Pres.
O. P. Clinton, Sec'y
Waukesha Freeman, November 27, 1890
The Vernon Protective Union society which recently passed into history, as the inevitable result of the advent of the "horseless carriage". was organized by citizens of Big Bend and vicinity, in 1854. at the home of Prucius Putnam, Big Bend, Wis. The object of the society was the protection of horses and detection of horse-thieves. Six years after its organization, mules, were brought within the protection of this society.
Hezikah Mason was called to the chair at the first meeting, and Edward Reynolds was chosen Secretary. Jesse smith was elected president and Leonard Martin, secretary for the ensuing year. Prucius Putnam was elected Treasurer. Jesse Smith and H. R. Burrill were appointed a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws for the government of the society. At an adjourned meeting, held two week later at the Leonard Martin tavern; H. B. Barritt and George Shepard were elected vice-president, and Lorenzo Ward, collector. Charter members numbered about fifty. The headquarters of the society were located at Prucius Putnam's store; later the location was changed to the Big Bend bridge. The limits of the jurisdiction of the organization were within a radius of 12 miles of said location, comprising parts of Waukesha, Racine, Walworth, and Milwaukee counties. The area was divided into two districts, and the president appointed a vigilant committee of five members for each district, whose duty it was to start in pursuit of a horse-thief at a moments warning at any time, on being notified that a horse had been stolen from any member of the society.
The first vigilant committee appointed for the northern district included H. B. Burritt, chairman; Finley McNaughton, O. W. Shepherd, Robert Weir, and Leonard Martin. For the southern district, the town of Waterford, F. D. Merrills, I. H. Rice, Archibald Cooper, Charles Moe, and D. Gleason, served.
The society met and elected all officers and appointed committees annually, holding its meetings at the house of Jesse Smith, Dodge's Corners from 1857 until 1871. Meetings were thereafter held at the house of Leonard Martin, Chamberlain, until 1898, and thereafter at the Literary hall, Big Bend.
A few adjourned meetings at an early date were held at the school house near Webster's. Webster occupied the house which is now the home of Edward Raht, Gutherie.
Jesse Smith served continuously as president of the society until 1876; then he declined re-election and Asa Wilkins was elected to the chair and served until 1883. Succeeding presidents were, J. C. Counse, Perry Craig, S. B. Smith, C. W. Rose, and V. J. Stickney. Royal Bailey was one of its earliest secretaries and compiled the records of the society for many years.
In 1872 the society comprised six districts, and vigilants were appointed for each district. These appointees were: ...
At this time the society numbered 193 members and 483 horses valued at $64, 294 were registered.
Records giving these facts were signed by John Park, secretary.
A few resolutions from the records of the society may be of interest: "Motion made and carried that the secretary be authorized to cause to be published in the Waukesha paper the proceedings of this meeting and conditions of same provided the publishers print same free of charge."
"Male members who are unable by sickness, to attend the society, and "lady" members shall have the right and authority to vote by proxy. (Why the proxy for lady members?) Several ladies were at that time members of the society.
No registered horse was reported stolen from a member of the society but there were instances where a horse was stolen from a member's barn, but in each instance it was an animal that was not registered. [Editor Note: This sounds a little suspicious to me. How were unregistered horses only targeted unless someone knew what to look for?] It often happened that a member neglected to keep his horses recorded up to date so that a thief, if he took pains to find out, might know which were registered, and which were not. The effort to recover a registered horse would have been greater than one not registered.
A horse was hired at the Warren Smith livery stable [see below], Waukesha, and was not retuned. After waiting a reasonable length of time the "Riders" as they were called, were sent to hunt horse and driver, which were soon located, and it was found that the driver had no intention of returning the horse to its owner.
This society served well its members as long as the need existed, and its records will be of great interest in years to come.
Jessie A. Clark
Big Bend, Wis., Feb. 25, 1925
Source: Waukesha Freeman, February 26, 1925
One hundred dollars is the reward offered by the Vernon Protective Horse thief Association for the conviction of the thief who hired a horse and buggy from the livery stable of W. H. Smith, of this village, on Saturday, Sept. 7, and failed to return it. The horse was a gray mare nine years old and weighing 1,000 pounds; the buggy, a side bar spiral spring. They were hired by a young man who registered at the American House as C. Foster of Chicago.
Two days later after the theft, Mr. Smith got track of the property in Milwaukee, where the thief had tried to dispose of it. Further he has made no discovery. Waukesha Freeman, September 19, 1889