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Death of Jessie Friberg (1902)


Posted By: Judy Wight Branson (email)
Date: 4/10/2011 at 18:32:32

Winterset Madisonian, Winterset, Iowa
April 10, 1902, page 5

County and City - Jessie Friberg died at the home of her sister, Mrs. Mapes, in Webster on last Saturday.

Funeral services were held the day following conducted by Rev. Williams.

Winterset Madisonian, Winterset, Iowa
Thursday, April 24, 1902, page 1

Charged With Murder

Frank Crow, of Webster is Charged With Causing The Death of Miss Jessie Friberg

Theodore Friberg, father of Jessie Friberg, who died under peculiar circumstances at Webster about two weeks ago, arrived in Dexter on Monday afternoon on his way home from Montana.

He telephoned at once to Sheriff Breeding to meet him at Webster, Breeding and Angevine left that night and returned Tuesday morning with Frank Crow, a young man who lives with his sister just north of Webster, Crow is charged with causing the death of Miss Friberg, by abortion and the charge of murder is lodged against him.

The preliminary trial was postponed until today and was held before justice M. J. Johnson, of Webster township.

Winterset Madisonian, Winterset, Iowa
Thursday, May 1, 1902, page 1

Crow Is Bound Over

Dr. Spaulding of Des Moines, Arrested And Jailed On The Same Charge

Mention was make in these columns last week of the arrest of Frank Crow of Webster, who is charged with procuring an abortion causing the death of Jessie Friberg. His preliminary was held before justice Johnson, of Webster township on last Thursday. Crow was held to await the action of the grand jury and his bail was set at $5,000.

Sheriff Breeding arrived from Des Moines on Monday, having in charge, Dr. H. L. Spaulding, an eye and ear specialist having offices in the Masonic temple building in Des Moines.

Spaulding who is also charged with producing the abortion, waived prelim trial and was held to await the action of the grand jury. The bail was fixed at $5,000, which he was unable to give and is languishing in the county jail.

The grand jury is now in session and both parties will undoubtable be indicted on the charge of murder.

Later - Bond has been furnished and Dr. Spaulding has been released

Winterset Madisonian, Winterset, Iowa
Thursday, May 15, 1902, page 1, col 1

The District Court

Crow and Spaulding were both indicted for murder, in having caused the death of Jessie Friberg. Spaulding was brought back from Des Moines and held on $ 8,000 bail, which he secured on Tuesday and returned to Des Moines. Crow was also indicted for conspiracy and and additional bail of $1,000 imposed, making his total bail $9,000, which he so far has not been able to furnish.

Winterset Madisonian, Winterset, Iowa
Thursday, May 22, 1902, page 1, col 2

Crow Given Bail

Frank Crow, who has been in jail awaiting trial on the charge of the murder of Jessie Friberg, has given bail and was released on Tuesday. His bond was first fixed at $9,000 and was reduced to $5,000

Winterset Madisonian, Winterset, Iowa
Thursday, October 16, 1902, page 1, col 1

Court In Session

On Wednesday morning, the impaneling of a jury in the case of Dr. Homer Spaulding, of Des Moines, was begun and nearly the entire day was taken up in the examination and challenging of the jury. The regular ----- of twenty-four and two additional, one of 18 and another of eight, were exhausting in procuring a jury.

Spaulding, it will be remembered, just last spring, along with Frank Crow, charged with procuring an abortion on Miss Jessie Friberg, which resulted in her death.

The present trial is against the doctor alone and the trial of Crow will undoubtable follow the close of this.

The defendant is ably defended by Crossley & Nicholson, assisted by Mr. Maberry of Albia. Their line of defense as outlined by the address to the jury at the opening of the trial yesterday, will be to show to that the medicine which caused an abortion was administered in this county before Miss Friberg went to Des Moines, and that the operation performed in Des Moines by Dr. Spaulding, assisted by Dr. Fowler was necessary to save the young lady's life.

Theo. Friberg of Montana, the young lady's father, is the prosecuting witness and is leaving nothing undone in prosecuting this case. County Attorney Robbins is assisting in the prosecution by his partner, J. P. Steele.

About seventy-five witnesses have been summoned and the outcome of the case is watched with much interest. A full resume of this case with other court news will appear in next week's issue.

Winterset Madisonian, Winterset, Iowa
Thursday, October 23, 1902, page 1, col 1

Acquit Spaulding

Work of the District Court The Past Week

But One Case Completely Tried, That Of The State vs Homer L. Spaulding

The report of the district court last week closed with the impaneling of the jury in the case of the State vs Dr. Homer L. Spaulding, on the charge of murder in the second degree, in causing the death of one Jessie Friberg as the result of an operation of abortion. He was jointly indicted with Frank Crow, the reputed father of the unborn child. It appeared from the testimony that immunity from prosecution on the indictment was promised to Crow if he would testify in behalf of the state against Spaulding. This he did. He could not have been compelled to testify, as his evidence necessarily incriminated himself.

Without detailing the evidence of each witness the history of the case is after failing to get a physician in Winterset or Webster to undertake the procuring of the abortion, Jessie Friberg on March 25 went to Des Moines, by way of Winterset. Frank Crow drove to Earlham and left his team at the livery barn and went to Des Moines on the train, reaching there shortly after noon. Jessie Friberg arrived there in the evening on the freight train. So far the story seems to be consist ant. Then come two directly opposite lines of evidence, that of Frank Crow and Dr. Spaulding.

Crow's testimony is to the effect that he went to Dr. Spaulding's office in the Masonic Temple and made arrangements with him to bring Jessie Friberg to him in the evening after her arrival. He inquired of the doctor as to a suitable place to stop, and he told him several places, one being the Pilgrim hotel, a block south. He engaged rooms there and in the evening, went to East Des Moines, boarded the Winterset train, and rode with Jessie Friberg to the west side, where they got off and walked to Dr. Spauldings office. Then after an examination in the consultation room, he came out and reported to Crow that as they were working people he would help them out. Crow agreed to pay $25.00 in advance, which he did. He further testified that they visited the doctors office morning and evening until Friday, the first visit being on Tuesday, and that Friday night he was called to the hotel and that at Crow's suggestion another doctor was called, and the work completed.

Dr. Spaulding's testimony was that he never saw the parties or heard of the case till he was called to the Pilgrim hotel by a summons written on a slate on his door. That he there attended Jessie Friberg and found that she had take abortive medicines, and that he found it necessary to complete the work and that the unborn child was already dead.

For this operation he called Dr. Fowler. He said that the patient would easily have recovered had she not imprudently gone home about April 1, going to Earlham by train and riding to Webster over bad roads and in bad weather in a buggy. As it was she grew rapidly worse and died April 5.

A conviction cannot be had on the testimony of an accomplice alone, Crow, by his own testimony was such an accomplice, and at the critical point lacked corroboration. The defendant theory was that Jessie Friberg had taken abortion medicine procured elsewhere and he only relieved a situation he found already existing.

The evidence and the argument lasted till Wednesday afternoon. About 3:30 the judge finished reading the instructions and the jury retired. After a careful and protracted deliberation the jury returned to court and rendered a verdict of not guilty.

Winterset Madisonian, Winterset, Iowa
Thursday, May 23, 1902, page 1, col 2

The case of the state vs Frank Crow for murder was ---- and a jury was impaneled. The state declined to introduce any evidence for the reason for that all the evidence at its command would be incomplete, and the defendant, by his attorney, J. E. Tidrick, moved the court to instruct a verdict of acquittal, which was done.

The case against Frank Crow for conspiracy was then continued by agreement, which was disposed of the criminal docket.

Winterset Madisonian, Winterset, Iowa
Thursday, December 4, 1902, page 1, col 1 & 2

The District Court

The case against Frank Crow for conspiracy has been dismissed for want of jurisdiction, the crime having been committed in Polk County.


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