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Cherokee County News Articles

The Iowa Recorder

January 23, 1902

Hortman, the Murder of Florence Porter, Sentenced to Hang
Harry Hortman, who killed Miss Florence Porter at Cherokee, has been found guilty of murder in the first degree and the penalty fixed at death by hanging. Hortman had been paying the young woman attention and because of his dissolute habits she rejected him. He went to the restaruant where she was employed on the afternoon of Nov. 30 and asked her to reconsider her decision. She refused and he fired three shots at her, two of which took effect in her back and from which she died on Dec. 8. The girl was 22 years of age and Hortman is 24 years old.

February 11, 1902

Given a Light Sentence

Frank B. Ferguson, who killed Leon Shelgren of Cherokee by three blows from his fist, has been sentenced to one year in jail. The jury, which numbered but 11, one man having been taken sick, found him guilty of assault with intent to do great bodily injury, instead of manslaughter, as the indictment charged. The crime was committed Jan 5 last, the trouble arising over Shelgrens little boy. Shelgren was drunk.

January 14, 1903

Hanging of Two More Murderers Indefinitely Postponed

The Hangings of two other Iowa men aside from the Clay county bank robbers, Phillips and Brooks, have been postponded indefinitely. They are Harry Hortman of Cherokee, who is under sentence to hang March 12 on conviction through his own confession of the murder of his sweetheart, Florence Porter, Nov. 30, 1901, and Richard William, colored, who shot and killed William Sharper in a saloon row at Buxton. Hortman's attorneys filed a transcipt in the case, but the appeal will hardly be perfected in time for submission at the January term of the supreme court and neither will William's appeal be in readiness for sumission at that time. It looks now as if it would be as late as October term before the supreme court passes upon either case. In the meantime, Hortman is in a weak state at Anamosa and may cheat the gallows even if he has no new trial. William's hanging is set for March 13. The attorneys of Dr. J. H. Crofford of Lamoni have advised the attorney general that they cannot get ready for the submission of his appeal at the coming January term. Crofford was convicted of the murder of Miss Maud Stone of Lamoni.

September 9, 1908

John Sprouse, charged with arson, has been brought to Louisa, Ky., from near Cherokee to escape mob violence. He is accused of setting fire to the residence of Charles Cooper, near Cherokee. Two of Cooper's children were burned to death.

December 30, 1908

The C. D. Allison dry goods store at Cherokee was entered by burglars and between $700 and $800 worth of silks and satins taken. Entrance was effected through a basement window. There is no clew.

June 15, 1910

George Burch and Hugh Doherty of Cherokee, carpenters, were instantly killed when their railroad tricycle was struck by an extra train on the Omaha road about a quarter of a mile north of Leeds.

Feburary 21, 1912

Hessenius Held at Cherokee

Cherokee - Ernest R. Hessius, the Cherokee county farmer accused of wife murder, has been bound over to the grand jury and ordered held without bail.

June 12, 1912

Lineman Blair, working for the Cherokee Gas and Electric company, had a very close call for his life. While working alone about a mile from Cherokee, he cut one wire, grasping another with his bare hand, which, on account of the day current, was carrying something lie 1,100 volts. He kicked himself loose, and when he regain consciousness he was laying on the ground, the right hand being badly burned. How he escaped with his life is a miracle.

July 23, 1913

College Gets Instructor

Ames - One of the strongest county superintendents in Iowa has been drafted by Iowa state college to add to the extension forces.
Miss Kate R. Logan, now entering on her fourth term as superintendent of schools in Cherokee county, has resigned and will give her entire time to the state boys' and girls' club work being carried on by the college.

June 3, 1914

Seriously Hurt by a Fall

Cherokee - Al Brownslow, a well known contractor here, had a serious fall while at work on the A. H. Smith building. He was on a ladder at work at one of the front piers, and in some way lost his balance, falling ten or twelve feet, striking the cement sidewalk on his head and face. He suffered a serious concussin of the brain.

September 22, 1915

It Pays To Farm Iowa Land At $200 Per Acre.

A Des Moines writer tells a story about P. M. Peterson of Cherokee, Iowa, in a farm display at the fair this year presented interesting figures to show that Iowa land at $200 an acre is an excellent investment as 400 acres worth $80,000 and stock and equipment worth $10,000, a total of $90,000.
The receipt from the Peterson farm in the last year were for stock sold (206,435 pounds), $15,744; cream, $1,300; oats, clover and corn, $1,200; poultry and eggs, $200; miscellaneous, $150; house rent, $300; meat, fuel, fruit and vegetables $19,250.
The expenditures durning the year were: 6 per cent interest on invesment, $5,400; taxes, $350; hired labor, $880; family labor estimated, $1,050; other expenses, $750; corn bought, $2,000; live stock, $4,000; groceries, $1,000. The total is $15,250. Peterson figures a profit of $4,000 above 6 per cent intrest he would have received if his investment had been in something other than a farm. He declares that it pays to own and farm Iowa land worth $200 and acre.

April 25, 1917

Cherokee - F. C. Huber, of Larrabee, and W. P. Dawson of Aurelia will address the Cherokee Commercial club at thier meeting which will be held Monday evening at the city hall. Business of importance will be transacted and after the short program lunch will be served.

June 17, 1917

Marcus - Floyd Hamilton narrowly escaped death in an automobile accident in this vicinity. He was driving home alone from Cherokee at a late hour when his car struck a big limb from a tree, which was lying across the road. The high wind and the sudden shock turned the machine completely over, and it landed in a ditch on the far side of the limb, upside down. The driver was pinned beneath it and remained for six hours before help cam.

August 1, 1917

Miss Catherine Miller of Cherokee is visiting in the homes of her uncles, Henry and August Fasseler this week.

May 9, 1926

Ross Johnson Injured

Ross B. Johnson, of Cherokee, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bennett Johnson of this city, was severely injured last Friday. Mr. Johnson is supervisor for the Illinois Central railroad. He had a crew of men loading rails south of Cherokee. The rail lifter, a compressed air machine devised for loading and unloading steel rails, broke, allowing one of the heavy rails to fall upon Johnson. The rail struck him across his legs. One knee was badly crushed and fractured. He is being cared for in Sioux Valley hospital. Bennett Johnsno expects to go to Cherokee tomorrow to see his son -- Northwood Anchor.

November 8, 1933

Henry Stiener, 77, retired farmer of Dougherty, died at Cherokee, Friday night, after a long illness.

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