Cedar County, Iowa
Community News

West Branch Times January 2nd 1908
Transcribed by Sharon Elijah, January 16, 2018


    Papers were filed Tuesday by Wright, Leech & Wright in an action for damages in which Rev. C. Schulmeistrat, the pastor of the German Evangelical church of Clarence is the plaintiff, and Miss Emma Harmel and Louis Harmel, her father, are made defendants.

    The plaintiff, for cause of action, states that on or about December 28, 1907, Miss Emma Harmel, who had been a domestic in his home, did report that on or about Nov. 14 the plaintiff came to her room in the night and approached her bed and entered into conversation with her, and that on another occasion she awoke and found him occupying a portion of her bed. That these stories were false, defaming and tended to provoke plaintiff to wrath, expose him to public hatred, contempt and ridicule and deprive him of public confidence and destroy his influence among the members of his congregation and the citizens of the community in that he was charged with the crime of seduction and adultery; that he had been damaged to the amount of $15,000, no part of which has been paid and he asks for judgment for same, together with costs and such other relief as the court may deem equitable.

    It seems that the young lady who is the defendant left the employment of the plaintiff a few days ago and returned home shortly after which time her father, Louis Harmel, addressed a letter to Rev. C. Schulmeistrat, asking him to call and pay him $500 for “doing mischievous intentions with my daughter that is not of age.” The threat was made that in the event that settlement was not made before Jan. 1, 1908, the plaintiff would be arrested and the matter turned over to the grand jury for investigation. The man of God, however, looked upon the case as an attempt at black mail and at once commenced an action for damages, including the father with his daughter. Unless the defendants can make good by proving the story told to be true, it looks as if they might find the situation embarrassing to say the least. Letters are ugly things in court and it is a wise man who is careful what he writes – Conservative

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