Cedar County, Iowa
Community News

West Branch Times, West Branch, Iowa, Thursday, August 9, 1917
Transcribed by Sharon Elijah, October 12, 2018


     Five Lowden men, Rev. John Reichert, pastor of Evangelical church; Albert Schaefer, a retired farmer; William Richman, furniture; Charles Gehrls, farmer and Ernest Meier, retired farmer, are under arrest on charges of treason.

     Last Tuesday U. S. Marshal Moore and Deputy Healey went to Lowden to investigate complaints regarding treasonable utterances from the pulpit of Rev. Reichert. He was called into the office of Attorney McGillivary and questioned. He assumed a defiant attitude and was placed under arrest. John Frubois, who was called on the carpet, showed a different spirit and was allowed to go after signing a pledge to cease talking in favor of Germany.

     Reichert was taken to Cedar Rapids, where he was placed under a bond of $5,000 to answer to the grand jury. That evening a group of his followers assembled at the depot to meet him on his return. Max McGillivary, son of former County Attorney McGillivary, was in the crowd and some one assaulted him. His father came to the rescue and Henry Mowry and a man named Clemmons rushed to their assistance. A near riot followed and serious results were narrowly averted.

     The United States officers being informed of the facts went to Lowden again yesterday and made the arrests as stated above. The men named were placed under bonds of $5,000 each. Another arrest was made at Clarence, where William Goldsmith was taken in charge.

     The mayor and marshal of the town and the sheriff were summoned to conference with the federal men yesterday. They were instructed to use the forces of the state to insure order and told the government would take a hand only if these measures failed.

     Mayor Louis Hoeltje protested his loyalty to the United States, but admitted that he had taken no steps toward the arrest of trouble-makers. The pro Germans questioned by Marshal Moore were warned by him to conduct all public conversations in English.

     When the men under arrest were confronted by the mass of evidence collected by government agents Richman admitted there had been seditious talk and that it had been occasioned by a German flag being tied behind an automobile on July 4 and dragged through the streets.

     He also admitted that the Rev. Mr. Reichert had been responsible for the feeling against the government and the American newspapers. He said the minister had preached from the pulpit that the American press could not be relied on, and that only the German press told the truth.

     It was charged by all the men under arrest that the minister had been the cause of the feeling against the government. During the forty mile auto trip to Cedar Rapids all the arrested men broke down and wept. They asserted they had been misled and if given a chance they would return home and preach loyalty to the government.          Tipton Advertiser

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