Bio: Poppe, John (1953)

Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon


Surnames: Poppe, Beilfuss, Dobes 

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) March 5, 1953 

Poppe, John (Jailed - 1953) 

Going to Jail for 40 days, John loses his belt and other things - with nothing to do but to hold up is pants, John Poppe of the Town of Seif has started to serve a jail sentence of 40 days.  His decision to sit it out followed a sentence pronounced upon him by Bruce Beilfuss, the Circuit Judge. 

The jailing of Mr. Poppe proceeded strangely from a warm and friendly atmosphere in evidence when he was arraigned.  The Judge knew John of old; had had dealings with him in official capacity and definitely remembered him as a substantial farmer and solid citizen.  So when Mr. Poppe pleaded guilty to a charge of selling beer to minors, the Judge was in a mellow mood, giving weight to reputation of old and to the fact that this was a first appearance in court. Therefore he gave John a fine of $75, with an alternative of 40 days in jail. 

This, along with an injunction on the responsibility of a tavern keeper, was not calculated to lead into a critical situation. 

But Mr. Poppe was in no appreciative mood.  He said something about others selling beer and getting away with it.  He seemed to mean that he regarded himself as set upon.  So John was escorted from the court room in an atmosphere more frigid that had been created by the court. 

As Sheriff Dobes escorted John across the Path of Sighs to the jail, John warned Mr. Dobes that he had better feed him very well or John would make complaint.  He talked like the official he used to be and was no more.  This made no hit with Sheriff Dobes, whose wife is a prize cook and who feeds the prisoners the same food as goes upon the family table. 

So when Sheriff Dobes got Mr. Poppe into the jail, he "frisked" him just like he frisks all of his boarders. Upon John he found a tin of salve, a bottle of mineral oil and an electric razor.  He relieved John of these, in spite of John’s warning that if the sheriff kept the bottle, he must see to it that John gets two spoons of oil per day. 

As for the electric razor, John told the sheriff that he shaved every day, and that he certainly wanted to keep the razor.  But Mr. Dobes told him that the jail cells are not provided with places into which to plug the electric razor.  The jail was built before the days of electric razors and has not been brought up to the standards of daily-shaving prisoners like Mr. Poppe.  (What happened next was missing from this amusing article.  Dmk) 



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