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Strawberry Pt. Horse Thief Association

WING, NEWBERRY, TRACY, STAMP, JESSEN, WILDER, ARNOLD, FITZGIBBONS, HANSON, HALSTAD, KRAMER, GLADWIN, BOYNTON, SIMMONS, NACE, AXTELL

Posted By: Terry Sargent (email)
Date: 2/8/2011 at 14:57:51

STRAWBERRY PT
Horse Thief Association

The Strawberry Point Horse Thief Detective Association is an active organization and Henry L. Wing, age 92, is the oldest member. Former State Senator B. W. Newberry is the second oldest member. In the early days horse thieves were numerous. At that time one of the temporary havens of those marauders was that section of the country northeast of Strawberry Point known as Turkey Timber. On account of the danger of the theft of the horses a number of the settlers on June 16, 1866, gathered and took the preliminary steps which resulted in the organization of the Horse Thief Detectives. There were 87 members and at present there are 49. Twelve riders were elected annually. The riders, so the rules of the order provide, shall hold themselves in readiness at all times to start in pursuit of the stolen horses belonging to any member. They were to receive $2.50 each, each day they were in pursuit of Thief. One of the riders was captain of the four horsemen. The man who had stuff stolen went with the riders to identify the animals and the expenses were paid by the association. Several years ago, there being no horses stolen, the association changed the constitution of the organization to include chicken thieving. A reward of fifty dollars is given for the arrest and conviction of any one stealing chickens from any member. Three years ago a dividend of ten dollars a member was paid and there is now over $150.00 in the treasury.

The present officers of the organization elected last Saturday are: president, Fred Tracy; vice-president, A. J. Stamp; secretary, John Jessen; treasurer, F.A. Wilder; and riders, M. G. Arnold who is captain, E. H. Fitzgibbons, Peter Hanson, George Halstad, Bert Stamp and George Kramer.

Source:
~Published on pg. 8 of the Oelwein Daily Register Oelwein, Fayette County, Iowa on Wednesday, January 11, 1939

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Additional news articles added by S. Ferrall, April 12, 2011:

Elects 1921 Officers
The annual meeting of the Strawberry Point Horse Thief Detective association was held this week and a full set of officers chosen. They are John Gladwin, president; C.H. Boynton, vice-president; N.A. Simmons, secretary; Frank Wilder, treasurer; Frank Nace, captain of riders and H.A. Axtell, first lieutenant.
~Fayette County Leader, January 20, 1921

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Horse thieves will not be safe for another year in Strawberry Point. The Strawberry Point Horse Thief Detective association last week re-elected all of their offiers and decided to continue their organization for another year. Last year, they decided to include theft of automobiles or their contents, as part of their investigations.
~Fayette Leader, February 2, 1961 - in the 20 Years Ago column (1941)

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Horse Thief Ass'n at Strawberry Point, IA, Goes Out of Business
Strawberry Point, Ia. - (AP) - The Strawberry Point Horse Thief Detective association has been dissolved after 77 years, during which the organization boasted no member ever lost a horse. There were no dues, but 12 members were elected annually "to hold themselves in readiness at all times to start in pursuit of stolen hoses belonging to any member."

Strawberry Point Horse Thief Detective Association Disbands
Strawberry Point, Ia - The Strawberry Point Horse Thief Detective association, organized 77 years ago when horse stealing was common, and which later included poultry and automobile theft, ceased to exist recently when a few of the members and officers met and voted to disband and close the books. Money in the treasury, $150, will be divided among members.

In the early days horse thieves were numerous, and among the places popularly supposed to be the temporary haven of these marauders was that section northeast of Strawberry Point known as the Turkey Timber.

On account of the danger of the theft of their horses a number of the early settlers on June 16, 1866, gathered and took the preliminary step which resulted in the organization of the Strawberry Point Horse Thief Detective association.

There were 12 "Riders" elected annually from the membership of the company, who were to hold themselves in readiness at all times to start in pursuit of stolen horses belonging to any member and they were to receive $2.50 per day they were actually in pursuit of thieves or horses, together with a reasonable allowance for expenses. There never had been any dues, each member paying $1 membership fee when joining. There has been as high as $842.00 in the treasury and with a membership reaching 101.
~Waterloo Daily Courier, January 24 & 25, 1943


 

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