Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

August 23, 2017, Page 9

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

August 1937


Echoes of the sensational battle at the Krueger farm in the town of Longwood 19 years ago when the four Krueger brothers and their mother, Caroline, battled a United States Marshal’s posse, were sounded last week when circuit Judge Byron B. Park at Stevens Point instructed the clerk of circuit court to return a 12-gauge double barreled shotgun to Leslie Krueger, who was pardoned after serving 18 years of a life sentence.


The Associated Press in reviewing the affair states as follows:


Barricading themselves in their farm home in the Town of Longwood, Clark County, on Sept. 14, 1918, Leslie Krueger, and his brothers, Frank, Louis and Ennis, and their mother, Caroline, fought a bloody battle with a United States Marshal’s posse when they attempted to arrest the four brothers as draft evaders.  Harry Jensen, a member of the posse, was killed and other members were injured.


The gun was brought into circuit court here in 1919 as an exhibit in a $20,300 damage suit brought by Emil Lainio, Owen, a member of the posse who charged that he was shot five times while standing on a highway near the Krueger’s massive farm home.


Mrs. Krueger, still harboring a feeling that she committed no crime when she attempted to keep her family from being depleted by the draft, and her son, Leslie, appeared in the clerk of circuit court’s office Satruday and requested return of the gun.  Leslie said it had belonged to his father, who died six years before the shooting affray, which rivaled the Dietz Cameron Dam affair in the matter of attracting nationwide interest.


Judge Park had not arrived at the courthouse when the Kruegers put in their appearance but, upon being advised of the request, ordered that the gun be returned to Leslie Krueger.  Leslie, according to the clerk of court, said the gun was one he used in the battle against the federal officers and their posse.


Lainio, who claimed he was permanently injured, including paralysis of one arm as a result of being shot down by the Kruegers, obtained a verdict and judgment against the Krueger brothers and their mother in the amount of $6,015.45, of which $1,000 was described as being punitive damages.  The case was tried before Judge Park in December 1919, on a change of venue from circuit court for Clark County.


Seven damage suits, totaling $62,450 were filed as a result of injuries received by posse men in the battle.  Judgments obtained against the Kruegers cost them their modern farm home and their highly productive farm.


Frank and Leslie Krueger received life sentences for murder.  Ennis who escaped from the farm home, the battle and evaded capture, was killed 10 days later by a posse.  Louis is believed to have escaped unharmed and is still listed as a fugitive from justice.


The clerk of court asked the mother and Leslie about Louis.


“He’s dead, isn’t he?” Mr. Dineen inquired.


“Don’t know,” the mother responded.


“I thought he was killed,” the clerk of court continued.


“That has never been determined,” came the reply.


Leslie and his mother are now residing at Withee.  Their dress and appearance indicate that they miss the wealth, which was theirs when they lived on their farm near Withee.


The family fought to avoid going to war and the results proved as disastrous as war itself.  Frank, in a deposition read at the trial of Lainio’s damage suit here, said that he did not believe in war.  The Kruegers were of German descent and that might have had something to do with their objection to taking up arms in the war between their adopted and native countries.


In his damage suit against the Krueger family, Lainio charged the defendants “with conspiring to resist the government in carrying on a war, resisting arrest, conspiring to murder and to kill.”  Testimony at the trial here was to the effect that the family armed itself in July 1918, “for the protecting against a mob attack on its home.”  The gun used as an exhibit during the trial has been lying in a vault at the courthouse.


Mrs. Krueger was the only member of the family present at the trial.  Leslie and Frank were in prison.  Louis was a fugitive and Ennis was dead.  Depositions of Frank and Leslie were taken but they were not brought here from Waupun to testify.


Emery W. Crosby, Neillsville, now judge in the 17th Judicial Circuit, and R. J. MacBride, Neillsville, were attorneys for the plaintiff and John W. Reynolds, Green Bay, later attorney general, represented the defendants.


(The well-built, large two-story Krueger house, which as been well kept up through the years by its various owners, still stands on the east side of Highway 73, south of Withee.


As I drive past occasionally, I think of the history that the house represents, a family of four young men who refused registering for the military to fight in a war.  Their refusal resulted in a shoot-out with the United States Marshall and his posse. And now, 99 years later, the one visual item that remains of that incident is the Krueger house, which for years after had bullet hole scars from that fatal day, as though left as a historical marker.


On May 17, 1917, the Selective Service Draft Act was enacted, authorizing the federal government to raise a national army for American entry into World War I, through the compulsory enlistment of people.  Every man within a set age limit was required to register for the draft, as his name was drawn, he was to report to the draft board.  If he passed the physical examination, he was assigned to military service.  However, if he refused to comply, he was sent to jail.)


A September 1918 photo shows touring cars parked along Hwy 73 in front of the Krueger house, as curious spectators looked for damage that had been done to the house during the shootout between the United States Marshall and his posse against the Krueger family.



Monday, at 1 p.m., Geo. E. Crothers received a letter mailed by his brother in Los Angeles at 7:30 p.m., Friday, 6 hours and 30 minutes less than three days.  This letter was not sent by air mail but came by train, the last 20 miles from Merrillan to Neillsville being by auto mail bus.                      


The Loyal School District Monday night voted to build a $84,500 high school building, providing a WPA grant of $37,000 can be obtained.                                                                                                    


Darwin Graves, a 13-year-old caddy at the Neillsville Country Club, scored a 39 Thursday morning in a game with Billy Schmedel and Don Dixon.  This is considered an exceptional score, considering Darwin’s age and size.  At the end of the seventh hole, he was one under par, catching birdies on No. 2, 3 and 6.  The last two holes were too long and tough for him.  On both 8 and 9, he conceded two strokes to par, scoring a 6 and 7 respectively.                                                                                          


Baseball – Two Games Sunday, August 15, at the Neillsville Fairgrounds.  Neillsville vs Perkinstown & Neillsville vs Mauston.  First Game at 1 p.m.  Admission 10’ and 25’


There will be a homemade ice cream social held on the Clarion Counsell lawn Thursday evening, August 12, given by the Ladies of the Pleasant Ridge Church.                  


The J. B. Inderrieden Canning Co. is giving a free dance for its employees and pea growers Thursday, August 12, at Keller’s Silver Dome.                                                                


Although H. M. Root is 91 years-old and had his subscription to the Press paid up to May 1938, he came in Friday and advanced his subscription a year-and-a-half and got his three free tickets to the county fair.


Mr. Root has attended most of the county fairs since he came to Clark County in 1869 and still enjoys attending them.  He is also one of the oldest subscribers of the Press and reads it each week with great interest.


An interesting report on the Green Bay convention by City Supt. D. E. Peters and some timely reminiscences by Levy Williamson of Mineral Point, a former publisher of the Press, feathered the meeting of the Kiwanis Club, Monday.  Green Bay as the oldest settlement in the state and Mineral Point as the third oldest city, resulted in much interesting history being brought out.  Witty reports by Geo. E. Crothers and others enlivened the proceeding views.  Mr. Peters told of the many businesses established at Green Bay, including the newspaper, and its tremendous growth as a trade center.  Mr. Williamson told how the first Masonic and Odd Fellow lodges in the state were established at Mineral Point, and told of the quaint Cornish dishes, such as carrot pie, that was served down there.                                                                                   


Fair Week Specials at Archie’s Tavern, next to Wasserburger’s Store:


Cream of Kentucky, per quart $1.95; Ten High, per quart $1.95; H. Walkers Gin, qt. $1.85; Imported Wine, qt. $1.25; Three Rivers, pt. 90’; Muscatel or Port Wine, Gal. $1.65.            


Gerald Hart last week bought the A&P Meat Market from Ferdinand Kuester and took possession Monday morning.  Mr. Hart has had considerable experience and has made many friends during his residence here.


Mr. Kuester will continue the meat business across the Black River on Grand Avenue.


Applications are being taken by the Resettlement Administration in Marshfield from farmers who wish to permanently establish themselves on farms in Clark, Wood and Jackson Counties that can be paid from current receipts in a form like rental.  The government requires no cash payment but expects a credit record sufficiently good enough to support the application.


(In 1927, “crash of banks” and depressed economy resulted in many farmers losing ownership of their farms.  To continue farming, they were forced to rent farms. In place of rent, farmers could make yearly payments on a farm, becoming owners through the government Resettlement Act. DZ) 


Heralded as an improvement in the harvesting and threshing of grain, as great as the binder over the old cradle, the New Allis Chalmers All-Crop harvester, makes its first appearance in Clark County at the Ronald Gluch farm in the Town of Grant.


The new machine, which was in operation in a field of rye Tuesday is a “baby” combine, cutting and threshing the grain in one operation, and is hauled by a 10-20 tractor.  The machine not only handles oats and rye but hay, clover, beans and peas; in fact, almost any kind of seed crop.


A large number of neighbors visited Mr. Gluch’s farm Tuesday to see his machine in operation and were favorably impressed with its possibilities.  The harvester was sold by the Fred Stelloh Implement Co. of Neillsville, being the first machine to be sold in Clark County.  Two representatives of Allis Chalmers were on hand to see that it got a good start.                                                            


Art Carl has this week vacated the lower floor of the Howard building and moved his carpenter shop to his new quarters.  As soon as the building is completed, Richard Walsh will use a portion of it for show space and Dr. M. E. Bennett and Joe Krause will have offices therein.  The Howard building also will be occupied as offices for REA work.                                                                                          


The question of “Who owned the knife?” came up Satruday when Postmaster “Frosty” Kurth loaned his jackknife to somebody who used it to plug a melon offered for sale by a Taylor man.  When the melon was not purchased the Taylor man claimed the knife, and it was necessary to call in the police to settle the controversy.  Needless to say, “Frosty” got his knife back.                                                     


Dr. Sarah D. Rosekrans returned Monday from Chicago, where she was among 2,000 contestants from the U. S. and Canada who competed for honors in a music festival, which ended Sunday with a pageant in Soldier’s Field, with 80,000 attending.  Dr. Rosekrans, a mezzo-soprano, easily won her way through preliminary auditions and took third place in the women’s division in the finals.  Dr. Rosekrans took her vocal training in Chicago last year and has appeared numerous times in the locality as a singer.  This honor is a great tribute to Dr. Rosekrans’ talent.                                                                        


A new sawmill, owned by Jas. Slauson and William Orth, began operations recently and is producing a large quantity of ties and lumber.  The mill is built of galvanized steel and is situated near the banks of the Rock Creek on the south side of Greenwood near the railroad.  Power is furnished by an electric motor.


Jack Foster of Black River Falls, accompanied his mother, Dr. M. A. Foster, to Neillsville Tuesday and spent several days here.  He scouted around, ran errands and got acquainted with the city.  Jack is 11 and has a number of hobbies.  He is greatly interested in aeroplanes, loves to fish and gets a Jesse Brooks thrill out of train rides.  He visited the Press office Tuesday and told us all about a recent trip to La Crosse with his father.  A friend of the family, George Larkin, gave them a ride on the Burlington Zephyr, and the same day they were treat to an aeroplane ride in a brand new streamlined plane, which carried them all over the city of La Crosse and surrounding territory.                                                                   


New Bus Service: New 29-Passenger Streamlined Coaches Leave Neillsville to Chicago 12:10 a.m.; Leave Neillsville to Minneapolis 5:50 a.m.  Fares: Chicago $4.60 one-way; $8.40 R.T.; Minneapolis one-way $2.60, $4.75 R.T. Bus Depot Wagner’s Cafι.





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