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Albert Fiete gives himself up, 1905


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 5/18/2021 at 21:26:34

McGregor News, Wednesday, April 5, 1905

Albert Fiete, Rural Carrier on Route 1 Out of McGregor Gives Himself up to Authorities at Geneva, Ill.
A special from Chicago to the Dubuque Times states as follows:

"I am a thief" This was the declaration made to the sheriff of Kane county today at Geneva by Albert Fiete, aged 27 years, of McGregor, Ia. "Yes sir," continued Fiete, "I am a thief and I want to be arrested."

Sheriff Burke asked him what he had done. "Up to a few months ago," replied Fiete, "I was a rural mail carrier in mcGregor, Ia. My failing was drink and I robbed the mails to get oney to buy it. I even stole money from letters that were addressed to my father."

The sheriff locked up the man and wired to McGregor. Answer came telling him that what Fiete had said was true. The postal authorities were communicated with and Fiete will be held until the arrival of officers from Washington.

-- -- --

St. Paul Globe, Thursday, April 20, 1905; pg 7

Chicago, April 19 - Albert F. Fiete, a letter carrier, whose home is in McGregor, Ia., was arrested in Geneva, Ill., today by Deputy United States Marshal Udell. Fiete is charged with stealing postal money orders. He will be taken back to Iowa.

-- -- --

McGregor News, Wednesday, May 3, 1905; pg 8 - from the Dubuque Times
Judge Reed Postpones Sentence and Gives Prisoner Chance to Reform - Fiete was Indicted for Rifling Mail Sack

Standing before Judge Reed in the United States court with the knowledge that the doors of the penitentiary were waiting to open for him, Albert Fiete, of McGregor, Iowa, the young man who rifled a mail sack while a rural mail carrier, charged his down-fall to whisky and admitted his guilt.

His brief statement in response to the inquiry of the court if he desired to say anything was a powerful sermon against intemperance. Judge Reed was touched by his frank statement and postponed sentence and allowed the prisoner to go on his own bond for $200, announcing that if the young man changed his ways, braced up and became a man he would escape further punishment.

Fiete, it will be remembered, was taken into custody at his own request at Chicago about a month ago. Up to six weeks prior to that time he was a rural mail carrier out of McGregor. Until he became addicted to drink he stood well in the community, but after that he began the pace that eventually made him a prisoner before the bar of justice. One day he rifled a mail sack and extracted $60 therefrom and left the community in which he was born and raised.

For six weeks he wandered about through Illinois and then became conscience stricken, and going to Chicago gave himself up. His case came up before the grand jury here on Wednesday and he was indicted.

Fiete was brought before Judge Reed and pleaded guilty. The court asked him if he desired to say anything, and, rising, he made a brief statement. He admitted taking the money, but added that he committed the theft while under the influence of liquor. Drink, he said, had crazed his mind and made his finances low. He had no money, but the desire to drink would not leave him. He stold and then, realizing the gravity of his offense, he fled.

The young man said he had wandered about for six weeks and that he never passed a peaceful moment. He could stand it no longer, he said, and going to Chicago he asked to be taken into custody and brought back for trial. He was ready to take his punishment, he said, but he blamed whisky and not himself for the crime.

Judge Reed spoke feelingly to the prisoner, pointing out to him the error of his ways and the evils of drink. The court said there were extenuating circumstances and he would give the young man a chance to mend his ways and become a good citizen. He would postpone sentence until the December term and allow the prisoner to go on his own bond. If by that time the young man can show that he has led a good life and abstained from drink he will be allowed his full liberty.

Fiete has gone to his home and declares that he will work to earn his liberty. The money he took belonged to his father and in his drink-crazed condition he did not look at the seriousness of his offense.

There has been much sympathy for the young man, for before he started to drink he stood well in the neighborhood. Those who know him say he will live up to the requirements exacted by Judge Reed and become a good citizen.


Notes: Albert F. Fiete was born & raised in Waukon, Allamakee county. He served in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American war. He apparently made good on his promise to become a good citizen according to his WWI Draft Registration card, 9/12/1918 (familysearch.org)
Albert Fredrick Fiet; DOB 7/16/1879; occupation Post Office Clerk U.S. Government, Des Moines, Iowa Post Office; nearest relative Mrs. Regina H. Fiet

Albert Fiete obituary

Clayton Documents maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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