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Waiting for a swindler's release - 1907


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 1/16/2012 at 20:16:15

"The Fairfield Journal"
Monday, November 4, 1907
Page 2, Column 3

Fort Madison Convict Who Swindled Fairfield Man Now Starts a Law Suit.

William BERGEN, who is now serving a term in the Fort Madison penitentiary for forgery and whose release from that institution is being waited for by Col E A. HOWARD, of this city, whom he swindled out of $4000.00 has worked up a case of his own according to dispatches sent out from Fort Madison.

About six or seven years ago BERGEN secured $4000 from Mr. HOWARD by fradulent (sic - fraudulent) means and almost at the same time passed a large forged note on W. B. MARTIN, of Des Moines. The latter secured his arrest before HOWARD had had time to swear out an information BERGEN was brought to this city and placed in the Jefferson county jail until time for his trial in Adair county, where he was sentenced to the penitentiary. The crime he committed against Mr. HOWARD is still hanging over his head and as soon as he has served his time he will be arrested again and tried.

The following is the dispatch in regard to him which is being sent out from Fort Madison:

The case of Wm. BERGEN against the Iowa Farming Tool Co., now on trial in the district court is one of the most peculiar legal contests on local record.

BERGEN was sent to the Ft. Madison penitentiary a few years ago, from Adair county, to serve seventeen years for forgery, his victim being W. B. MARTIN, a banker of Des Moines, and late secretary of state.

Besides the above crime, an indictment is hanging over him at Fairfield charging him with fraudulently securing $4,000 from Elmer A. HOWARD, a prominent politician, Indian agent under President Cleveland, and at present a prominent right of way agent for the C. B. & Q. rail way system.

When sent to the Ft. Madison penitentiary he was put at hard labor on one of the machines of the Iowa Farming Tool Co., and in 1904 while in the course of his duty mutilated the end of the index finger of his left hand, which necessitated amputation at the first joint. He claims negligence on the part of the company, and demands the sum of $2,500.

In his evidence today on the witness stand, BERGEN stated that he owned a farm in Iowa. On cross examination he objected to a question as to the farm's location.

The objection was over ruled. He was given time but his answer must go on record during the trial.

BERGEN is about sixty years old, robust in appearance, and bears the air of a successful business man.

*Transcribed for genealogy purposes; I am not related to the person(s) mentioned.


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