News of the Day - The Herald-Press & Other Newspaper Archives
Cops In Cadillacs? Superpower Prowl Cars May Be Bought
August 30, 1956
The Berrien county sheriff's department's new squad cars could turn out to be fancy Cadillacs, long, slick Chryslers, or new Lincoln Continentals. Dealers in the more expensive lines of autos will have a chance to submit bids Sept. 11 for three new squad cars, the county finance committee revealed yesterday. Committee Chairman Alfred Bartz said advertisements inviting all dealers of cars to bid will be run in three Berrien county newspapers during the next three days. "We want all dealers to know about it," Bartz said. It's unlikely that deputy sheriff's will be chasing speeders in new "Caddies". But the finance committee indicated yesterday that heavier cars along with the low price three Chevrolet, Ford, and Plymouth will be considered. Traditionally, the county has purchased the least expensive models. However, the power currently under the hoods of new cars produced a plea from Sheriff Erwin H. Kubath for "more horses". "They are making monkeys out of us," the sheriff told newsmen yesterday. Price is still an important factor, committeemen agreed yesterday. Chairman Bartz said, "we'll look at it from every angle." The sheriff's committee will meet with meet with the finance committee to consider the bids before the full board of supervisors receives a recommendation.
County - Wide Police Radio Is Assured
March 2, 1940
A county-wide sheriff's department and twin cities police radio system, described by Sheriff Charles Miller as "the greatest advance in the fight against crime in Berrien county," was assured today, and plans moved forward for the installation of equipment which will cost ,346. The two-way radio system decided upon by a joint committee of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor City Officials, members of the board of Supervisors finance committee, and Sheriff Miller will link the twin cities police departments, the police department of Niles, and one other town in the extreme southwest corner of the county. The central transmitter, with 500 watts of power, will be located somewhere in the twin cities and will be located somewhere in the twin cities and will be under the management of the sheriff's department, Sheriff Miller said today. The main transmitter will be on 24.42 kilocycles by "authority of the federal communications commission," Sheriff Miller said. The networks will be operated in the same fashion as the big commercial networks, the city police dispatchers coming in for regular schedules, with arrangements made for emergency broadcasts at all times. Sheriff Miller said that the 12 sheriff's department cars, together with two cruising cars in the St. Joseph police department and at least on in the Benton Harbor department would be equipped with two-way radio facilities. Additional cars may be equipped at a cost of per car, the sheriff stated.
Three Way Financing
The new radio system will be financed jointly by the two twin cities municipal governments and the county board of supervisors, the cities paying approximately one-fifth of the amount each and the county financing the remainder. The county money for the radio equipment will not be taken from the Berrien county share of the automobile operator's license fees, which are returned to the county treasury earmarked for police and sheriff's department work by legislative enactment. Approval of the radio system insofar as the county's share of expense is concerned, together with approval of the joint radio arrangement by the city commissions of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, was regarded by Sheriff Miller as little more than formality. The Board of Supervisors will be asked to approve the expenditure of approximately ,500 of the ear-marked funds at the April session five weeks hence. "I can't think of any other thing which might be more valuable to the law enforcement agencies of Berrien county than this radio system," Sheriff Miller declared today. "The system will be invaluable in coordinating our activities with the State Police, from which we receive hour by hour reports in the sheriff's department already," he added.
Deputies - - Are They Orphans?
Dec. 6, 1952
County Cops Get Low Pay, Long Hours
Are Berrien sheriff's officers the orphans of the county's police services? A Berrien sheriff's deputy patrols a minimum of 60 hours each week. During the summer rush season even the minimum is discarded and the deputy's week often climbs above the 70 hour mark. For this the deputy receives from the county ,600 each year. On the basis of the 60 hour minimum he gets .15 an hour. And he must provide his own weapons and handcuffs. No provision is made for retirement unless the deputy is able to save from his salary. In October of 1951 the Berrien county board of supervisors appropriated an annual ,500 to replace and repair uniforms. All cleaning of uniforms, however, must be paid for by the individual officers. In the last six months five veteran officers have left the department. In size and responsibility the Berrien sheriff's department is comparable with the area's two other big police department- those of the city of Benton Harbor and the City of St. Joseph. Twin city patrolmen work a 48 hour week. In St. Joseph a patrolman making ,969 a year after one year of service.
New Cars For Sheriff
May 17, 1950
Berrien county sheriff's officers will soon be driving high-powered Ford cars, "souped-up" specially for police work. The board of supervisors' finance committee today was scheduled to sign a contract with Karsen Ford Motor Sales of St. Joseph to buy seven new Fords. Price paid to Karsen was a total of 0 plus the seven 1949 Dodge two-door squad cars now in use. Net cost per squad car was the unusually low figure of 0. Karsen was lowest of several bidders. The new cars, to be delivered next month, have 110-horsepower engines and other features designed for police car only. Five of the cars will be painted white for highway patrol work. Two will be black for use by detectives. Sheriff Erwin H. Kubath announced today that new, two-way radios will be installed before the cars are delivered.
No Speed Trap For Sheriff
April 19, 1957
Kubath Agrees He Will Not ‘Abuse' Radar
Berrien County supervisors yesterday gave Sheriff Erwin H. Kubath a warning against "speed traps" as they purchased a new radar speed timing device for the sheriff's office. The matter of "speed traps" was indirectly raised by supervisor Oscar Zielke of Bridgman who felt the device could be used to "harass" motorists. He also questioned if it would stand up in court. Supervisor Sheridan Cook of Niles, chairman of the sheriff's committee assured board members "you don't have to worry about speed traps in Berrien county". He added, "If he (Sheriff Kubath) did manifest such intentions, it would be curbed quickly. The sheriff's committee and the board would be curbed quickly. The sheriff's committee and the board wouldn't condone it." Sheriff Kubath also spoke for the timing device that will cost ,510. "We don't want to set up any speed traps," the sheriff said. "That's not our idea." The timing device, to be secured in an unmarked car, will be used school areas and dangerous intersections. Zielke, nevertheless, wasn't convinced, despite arguments that it was legal and there wouldn't be any speed traps. He voted "no" on purchasing. The measure passed 33 to 1. John Mayer a custodial employee at the county jail, was given a wage boost from 400 to 1,000. A boost for Mayer was slated to take effect Jan. 1, but supervisor Roger Carter, chairman of the salary committee, noted he was passed up when increases were given last summer. It takes effect May 1.
Police Radios for Deputies' Cars Sought
Sheriff Appeals To Supervisors; Also Urges Larger Jail Allowance
January 13, 1937
Sheriff Charles L. Miller this Morning asked the Berrien County Board of supervisors to consider equipping deputies' cars with radios. He asked the board to authorize the purchase of 10-receiving sets for the officers autos at a cost of .50 per set, including the necessary generators. He added that the full number might not be purchased at this time. Chairman John Warman referred the matter to the finance committee and sheriff and justice committee for consideration and a report later this session. The sheriff also asked an increase in the allowance for prisoners' board. The county now pays 45 cents per prisoner, a rate in effect here for several years. Sheriff Miller pointed out that the cost of foodstuffs has climbed nearly one-third since the 45 cent rate was established. This also was referred to the two committees.
Reception Is Improved
Pointing out that in the past years no effort was made to equip deputies' cars with radios because of uncertain reception possible from the State Police broadcasting station at Lansing in parts of the county, Sheriff Miller said the opening of the new State Police station at Paw Paw had eliminated this trouble. The State Department of Public Safety, he told the board, has promised to supply a new receiving set for the sheriff's office, to replace the outmoded one now in use. This will be supplied the county without charge. The state will supply the county with receiving sets for its deputies' cars at .50 a set if the county is unable to obtain them at that price, the sheriff said.
State Urges Co-operation
Since the debut of the state police broadcasting station at Paw Paw last month, the State Department of Public Safety has been urging all other law enforcement agencies to be radio equipped in order to cooperate more efficiently in combating crime. Reports and instructions may be given deputies in their cars at any point in the county, which without the radio can be done now only by telephone which usually involves considerable delay. He and his officers out on patrol phone the office at regular intervals. The radio has proved successful not only in perfecting cooperation of deputies and the sheriff's office, but also ties up the sheriff's office with the entire state police force of Michigan.
Dec 31, 1954
Berrien County Has High Grade Law Enforcement
One hot night last July, the Berrien county sheriff's department pressed an all out search for Charles Dismuke, alias "Rabbit" who seared away the eye sight of a fellow transient with a potful of boiling kitchen lye. It was several months later that "Rabbitt" was uncovered in the south, returned to Berrien county and convicted. Said Circuit Judge Thomas N. Robinson, when he pronounced sentence, "Your past record is such that violence and crime have followed you all the days of your life." Sheriff's men successfully pursued Dismuke and sent him to prison for a term of four to 10 years. The convict's adversary, Willie Walker, alias "Sucker Willie" today is blind from the fiery assault. "It's the Lord's way of paying me back," he told a deputy as the trail to convict Dismuke got underway. Willie was tagged by Sheriff's men as a migrant laborer, gambler and a ladies man. He was one of many police characters, thieves, punks, hoodlums and plain ordinary citizens who passed by in a long parade of events which filled sheriff's records for 1954. Not one generally considered to be violent, the year was filled with excitement, humor, pathos, and routine. Headed by veteran police officer Erwin H. Kubath, who was elected to his sixth term as sheriff last November, the department handled more than 5,000 complaints of all types in 1954. Three shifts of deputies covered nearly a half million miles on routine patrol, processed more than 4,000 prisoners and solved the vast majority of larcenies, knifings, robberies and burglaries they faced during the past 12 months. They also policed over a thousand accidents. Berrien county today boast's one of the finest sheriff's departments in the state of Michigan. Large, efficient and hard working, its 1954 record stands as another monument to its claim that it is dedicated to public service. From Christmas Day in 1952 until October of 1954, the department enjoyed an unusual calm. During that time sheriff's actively patrolled territory in Berrien had no murders. But in October of this year, Franklin Garrett, 33-year-old farm hand, was slain on a Royalton township farm after a bloody battle. Warren F. Barnes, a 52-year old co-worker was arrested by Sgt. Eddie Sandera, and Deputies Richard Layne, Bud Umphrey, and Wesley Bowerman. These same officers gathered the evidence that brought in a conviction of manslaughter about two months later. Generally, the men are on patrol and have to deal with the routine matters of building checks and issuing tickets. But when a serious crime breaks, they move quickly. Ample testimony of swift action came from Herbert Sill, owner of the farm where Garrett was shot and killed. He said, "After I called the sheriff's office office, I never saw so many policemen answer a call so fast in all my life." The same praise came from Benton Township station attendant Lawrence Scherer, who drove off a thug early this month. "They came fast again", he said. Last June sheriff's men were faced with a puzzler when a safe containing ,000 in stocks and bonds vanished from the Winkel Machine company in Watervliet. On an alert broadcast by deputies, Niles Police picked up two subjects about 48 hours later. One, Henry Frazier, Jr. 21, Watervliet was sentenced to prison. Charles Albertson, 23, Coloma, reputed to be the ring leader, went bark to prison for parole violation. The loot was recovered. A safe burglary is unusual. Routine finds the men on traffic patrol. Headed by Sgts. Sandera, Victor Yost, Jr., and Victor Haunch, patrolmen maintain a round the clock watch of Berrien's roads and highways. Generally not publicized are the many building establishments Sheriff's men find open at night in the smaller villages and cities around the county. Deputies make a complete check of the building and then stand by while the chagrined owner comes down to "lock up" for the night. It has had its humor too. They have chased the "phantom cat," gazed skeptically at reports of "things in the sky" and also rounded up an escaped convict who played the kettle drums in the Twin City Symphony Orchestra and hobnobbed with the community's best families. Folks in the fancy set were shocked when Alton Dean Elliott was unmasked in a police trap. As Raymond Law, 25-year-old escapee from Menard, Ill. Sheriff Kubath led a squad of deputies who got Law after an all night stakeout around a Fair Plain home. He was sent back to Menard, leaving behind debts, some surprised citizens, and the symphony he wanted to direct. Sheriff's men watch over homes when the owners take vacation trips. "We have yet to find a home broken onto when the owner has gone on vacation," declared Undersheriff Henry Griese. The Sheriff's office is constantly plagued with minor burglaries, generally done by transients or youngsters. Sometimes both can be hard to nab, but deputies have a fairly good record this year. Such veterans as Murvin Merrill, Jr., Matt Casserly, Ed Joseph, Arthur Johnson, Richard Layne, Bud Umphrey and Wesley Bowerman bolster the department.
Supervisors O.K. Berrien Police Radio
April 12, 1940
2-Way Station Will Link Twin Cities And Sheriff's Department
The Berrien county police and sheriff's department radio network which will link stations in the twin cities with the rest of the county in a two-way system of either communication for quicker apprehension of criminals will become a reality this spring. Approval of the board of supervisors was voted today and the finance committee was given power to act in the manner. The entire system including a 500-watt general transmitter, which may be housed in the third floor of the county building, will cost somewhat more than ,000.
Cities Buy Transmitter
Fifty-watt transmitters, together with receiving sets for a number of cars, have already been purchased by the police departments of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph. Radio engineers plan to make tests during the next few days to establish the best location for the main transmitter, which will be under the direction of the sheriff's department, after which installation work will begin at once. A licensed radio operator will be hired to maintain the equipment on a part time basis, and members of the sheriff's department will act as dispatchers.
Supervisors Will Discuss Pensions for Sheriff's Men
Sep 9, 1955
Berrien's Board of Supervisors will be asked next month to investigate the feasibility of supplying a pension program for deputies in the Berrien county sheriff's department. A committee of deputy sheriff's appealed to board chairman Herman Gnodtke to make time to make time available in the October session for Norman L. McCready Pension Engineers, of Indianapolis, Ind. Chief Deputy Edward Sandera said McCready will outline the tasks connected with a survey on a pension system. The board will be asked to approve a study. The request came to light today when the September board agenda gave advanced notice of the plan. Chief Sandera said today the committee includes Sgt. Robert Rinker, Deputy Jack Lewis, and Identification Officer Jerry Hass, who serves as secretary-treasurer. The Sheriff's department currently has 32 officers, including Sheriff, Undersheriff, Chief Deputy, Detectives, Sergeants, Jailers, and Deputies. The study would determine who would qualify for pensions if they are approved. Deputies are currently under social security and retire at 65.
April 23, 1949
After years in breeches and puttees, uniformed patrolmen of Berrien county sheriff's office have finally been graduated into long pants. Holdover from the days of motorcycle patrols, the uncomfortable putts and tight breeches were ordered done away with by Sheriff Erwin H. Kubath, himself a veteran of "bike" patrols. The Sheriff lowed as how the motorcycles apparently weren't coming back into police work and that his deputies might just as well be comfortable while patrolling in the modern squad cars. The new uniform pants are similar to those worn by Michigan State Police Officers, being dark blue whip cord with a lighter blue stripe. However, within eight hours after the uniforming of the department two of the officers were prone to take a dim view of their new arrangement. The long trousers were definitely on the damp side around the ankles of the pair after several hours in the rain policing a bad crackup. "Guess I'll have to invest in a steam iron," Deputy Ted Bartz said as he ruefully glanced at the sodden cuffs.
Increase In Crime Keeps Sheriff And Staff Busy
Saturday, December 31, 1949
With crime on the upswing in the area, the Berrien county sheriff's department under the direction of Sheriff Erwin H. Kubath had one of its busiest years in 1949. And, if present unsettled economic conditions prevail during the next 12 months, the county's chief law enforcement agency will have an even busier year in 1950 Sheriff Kubath forecast. Commenting on the past year, the sheriff stated: "Unfortunately the rate of crime in Berrien county has been on the upswing in the past year, but compared with other areas in the state and the nation at large the increase has been small. Most of it stems from economic factors, with lack of work and lowered income causing many persons, particularly younger people to turn to crime. "There's one trend in the county, which is nation wide, that alarms me and that is the increase in sex crimes. We've been fortunate so far in that we've had no brutal sex crime involving murder, but we have had more statutory and rape cases as well as crimes against nature and homosexual offenses. "It will be the goal of my department during the next year to keep these offenses at a minimum, and we'll spare no effort to track down and bring to justice anyone who perpetrates such a crime in our area."
17 On Staff
Despite the rising incidence of crime, Sheriff Kubath has maintained a high degree of law and order with the smallest staff of officers of any unit in the county. His department consists of 17 persons, including two administrative officers, a combined stenographer and a license clerk and two radio men. Reflecting the increase in work, the departments patrol cars covered some 410,000 miles a 15 per cent increase over 1948. The result of this extended patrolling is shown in the fact that 18 stolen cars were recovered during this year as well as ,000 in stolen property, topping all other police agencies in the county in both departments.
Accident Rate Lower
One department in which there was a decided drop during the past year has been the accident rate on the highways. Fatal accidents have almost been cut by one third, from 50 in 1948 to 35 in 1949. Receiving most of the credit for the drop in traffic accidents has been the use of white patrol cars during the peak travel periods over holidays. Replacing the drab black cars, the distinctive cars have had a salutary effect on the motorist. The cars have also been responsible, Sheriff Kubath believes for a sharp drop in the number of complaints from farmers regarding thefts of fruits and other produce. With on constant patrol in all section of the county, petty thieves have thought more than once before risking arrest for looting a framers field.
No Unsolved Crimes
Despite the hike in the number of crimes, the sheriff's office closes 1949 without a single unsolved major crime on its books-a record few law enforcement agencies handling the volume of the county office can boast. The sheriff's office did a rushing business in burglary investigations during the year, being plagued for the first time in recent years by which were committed by a number of safe jobs that most of which were committed by professional criminals. County officers captured three gangs of youthful burglars during the year, resulting in the solution of some 50 burglaries and the recovery of thousands of dollars in loot. One of the best pieces of detective work was turned in by Detective Andrew Novikoff in the apprehension of a gang of five youths from Buchanan who had been looting scores of stores in the south part of the county, Novikoff tracked a set footprints in snow and mud last March after an attempt to break into the Flowing Well store on M-140. The tracks led to a spot where a car had been broken down, and from the clues gained there the five were traced and taken into custody. Three youths, Alfador Widing, John Lefler, and Vernon Kline, received prison terms after confessing scores of burglaries. The others, involved to a lesser degree, were placed on probation. A gang of thieves was captured after a chase on foot along the Lake Michigan Beach in the Mizpah Park area early this fall resulting in the solution of a half dozen crimes. The five taken into custody have pleaded guilty and presently awaiting sentence. The third gang, involving George Walters and Robert Belland of Benton Harbor, was broken up last February. Those two are serving long prison terms while several others were placed on probation.
There was also a bumper crop of murders housed in the county jail during the past year - with nine in custody and awaiting disposition of their cases at one time. Those investigated by the sheriff's department included the ambush slaying of John Malsch on his Three Oaks farm by Francis Mitchell; the shotgun slaying of Johnny Williams in the federal housing project by Beatrice Williams, and the clubbing to death of a Negro in the Eau Claire area by Eddie Lee Quinn. Another murderer, Robert Hughes, was arrest on a tip in the county and turned over to Chicago authorities who had long been seeking him. Probably the most sensational event in the action packed year was the attempted breaks on two occasions of Jewell Lee Chenoworth, young Benton Harbor hoodlum who was returned here for a new trial on an armed robbery count which occurred in 1947. Once during his retrial in the Berrien county circuit court on Oct. 21, Chenoweth broke away from his guards and was only subdued only by officers including Sheriff Kubath and state police officers from New Buffalo. A week later during the closing part of the retrial, Chenoweth made a daring break out into the corridor of the bullpen threatening Sheriff Kubath with a penknife he had obtained in the bullpen. A dozen officers succeeded in subduing him, after which he was taken to court, the trial concluded and he was re-sentenced to a 30 year life term. Two "tough kids," Harry Cochrane and Donald Fields, also provided excitement. The teenagers smashed isolation cells in the old jail and broke out without detection once, only to be captured a short time later. Both were sent to prison for a service station burglary despite their youthfulness. The deputies also had to place second charges against Rudy Reynolds who wrote threatening letters to his accusers while held in jail. He smuggled the letters out of the bullpen believing the source would go undetected. He was found out, however, and turned over to the FBI for prosecution. An extremely modern identification bureau has led to the apprehension of a score of persons for other agencies after they were first arrested here on other charges. Among these were George Beaver, arrested here as a drunk and later identified by his fingerprints as Lon Uptigraft, a rapist who had escaped five years previously from an Indiana prison. Jimmy Smith, also arrested as a drunk, was identified as Angel Layton, wanted in Arkansas as an escapee on a grand larceny sentence.
Sheriff Kubath was high in his praise of the work of his officers, terming them highly efficient, courteous, and with the continued welfare of the public in mind. He also praised the co-operation received from other departments, the St. Joseph Police Department under Chief Tom Gillespie, The Benton Harbor and Niles Police Departments as well as Buchanan's Department, and the two State Police Posts in the area. "The interlocking efforts of all agencies and their willingness to trade information has aided all of us in making Berrien County a better and safer place to live in I look forward to it continuing in 1950," the sheriff concluded.
Supervisors Provide 0 To Buy 8 Sets
January 16, 1937
Delay Action On Board increase Until April Session
Police radios for deputy sheriff's cars in Berrien was voted by the board of county supervisors during the closing minutes of its January session late yesterday. The Board approved unanimously the recommendation of the sheriff and justice claims committee to set aside 0 from the 1937 contingent account for this purpose.
Will Buy 8 Sets
The 0 will be sufficient to equip eight cars with radio receiving sets and generators. Suggestion to purchase fewer sets to try out the radios was discussed by the committee, but finally decided against when Sheriff Charles L. Miller pointed out that eight were necessary to have four in use both day and night. Sheriff Miller originally asked for authority to purchase 10 sets, but stated at that time the full number might not be installed at once. Equipping the deputies' cars with radios gives the Berrien County law enforcement department a closer link with the State Police, and particularly with the new State Police broadcasting Station opened up at Paw Paw only last month.
To Get New Office Radio
In addition, the state department of public safety will furnish the sheriff's office with a new model receiving set free of charge for office use. The radios probably will be secured through the public safety department, which has tried out many types and selected the one best adapted for the work in the cars operated by state troopers. The cost to the car radios to the county will be .50 each. An additional must be paid for a generator, as the radios are turned on at all times. The installation charge is additional and the cost varies with the type of car owned by the deputies. Upon recommendation of the sheriff and justice claims committee, a special committee named by Chairman John Warman yesterday to represent the board in the purchase of the radios. This special committee includes Supervisors John Chaddock, of Benton Harbor, chairman of the sheriff and justice claims committee; Harry King, Sodus; Simon Kreitner, Hager; and Alvin O. Knaak, of St. Joseph. Installation of the radios, however will not give the Berrien deputies direct communication with the Berrien Sheriff's Department. Messages to the deputies will be transmitted from the Paw Paw or Lansing stations. The recommendation to purchase the radios was made following a long joint session with the finance committee, which concurred in the reports of the justice and claims committee.
Delay Board Bill Actions
Action on the sheriff's request for an increase in the amount now paid for prisoners' board, however, was delayed until the April session. The county now pays 45 cents a day per prisoner. The committee recommended action be delayed when Sheriff Miller said he would be unable to furnish the committee with figures to show that increase needed in view of higher cost of foodstuffs. Sheriff Miller will keep a record of the food bills from now until the April session when the matter would be reopened for consideration.
Police Radio Equipment Is Installed At Jail
Berrien's radio set which the state is installing in all sheriff's offices in Michigan as an aid to catching crooks, was received by Sheriff Fred G. Bryant late last night. The set was hooked up temporarily and a test program broadcast from the key station at East Lansing. The set operates only on short wave lengths. An electric bell is attached which rings when the East Lansing Station wishes to start broadcasting information. Authority to install a broadcasting station at East Lansing for the State Police was obtained early this year from the federal radio commission. Through its use, descriptions of crooks in emergencies can be placed in the hands of officers all over the state within a few minutes after the information is received. In case of a bank robbery here, for instance, the information would be sent to the key station by telephone, and broadcast from there to all points having the receiving sets. The state is equipping all state police stations, and all sheriff's offices applying for one, free of cost. The set remains the property of the state, and is to be maintained by the county. Sheriff Bryant expects to have a permanent hook up completed within a few days, as soon as it is decided just where the set will be placed in the sheriff's office.
Jail Roster At 89; A New High Mark For Year
August 26, 1931
Relieve Congestion Today by Removing Four to Jackson 'Pen'
The population of the Berrien County Jail reached a new record for 1931 Tuesday afternoon when the number of prisoners totaled 89. This is just six less than the all time record established two years ago when Fred G. Bryant was Sheriff. Sheriff Fred J. Cutler soon remedied the situation today when he ordered Chief Deputy Sheriff Phil Cutler to remove four of the prisoners sentenced to serve prison terms by Judge Charles E. White to the Jackson prison. The prisoners taken to Jackson today were: Milford Bonham, six months to a year for violation of liquor laws: Frank Sommers, who was sentenced to serve two to 14 years, and Benjamin Parker, who will serve three to 14 years. The latter two men were charged with forgery. More prisoners will be taken from the county jail Thursday to relieve the crowded conditions. With sleeping accommodations for but 40, more than half of the prisoners are forced to sleep on the floors.
When Buchanan Paraded to South Bend By Way of Niles
Berrien County Record - July 27, 1933
H. N. Hathaway
Republicans Staged Patriotic Parade in Horse-drawn Vehicles During Second Lincoln Campaign
In 1864, Lincoln ran for president the second time and I was living in Buchanan on the lot now owned by T. Tourge at the corner of Oak and Third Street. I am going to relate an occurrence that took place that fall wherein the city of Niles and the village of Buchanan joined forces and worked together.
Senator Howard of Michigan was to speak in South Bend, about the 20th of October and Berrien County was to furnish a large Michigan delegation, the larger the better. The Niles delegation was to cross the river at Niles, come west to the Gitchell school house, then south to the Dutch grocery, then on to the corners east of Amos House's place, meeting the Buchanan delegation. To do our part Buchanan appointed two committees to make the arrangements for Buchanan. I can only remember the names of the committee who were appointed to get together a delegation of young ladies to represent each state and provide conveyance, also to look after them from start to finish. They were Harvey Roe, James Wood and Homer Hathaway. This committee met and divided the work like this; Mr. Roe and Mr. Wood was to find the ladies and look after all they required except the conveyance that I was to furnish and see that they were carried safely with all the comfort of a farm wagon without springs, to which I agreed. I told them that I wanted to make a box large enough to carry all the ladies on one wagon. To this Mr. Roe objected and Mr. Wood said let us see the girls and let them decide which way they would rather go. We suggested they (draw) the names from a hat so they would know what state each was to represent, as the southern states were to be represented by ladies dressed in deep mourning. The next meeting occurred the second night and the ladies were all there. They drew their states then voted to go in one conveyance. While they had done their work, I had found dry boards, 14 inches wide and 22 feet long at Charles Roe's saw mill two miles north of town.
I drove down there the next morning before breakfast so as to have those boards come on the first load from the mill. When they got here I had James Sherwood and another man ready to go to work on the box and get it done in time. The other committee had been out and got a delegation to meet at Buchanan from the Bend of the River, Oronoko, Warsaw and one from Three Oaks. Galien come up the Buffalo Road and met us at the House school house, one and one half miles south of Buchanan. The day came and was very pleasant for our purpose. The front wagon carrying the Buchanan Military band and a very large Lincoln flag and was drawn by four horses driven by James Scott of the firm of Scott and Collins, then in hardware business in Buchanan. Then followed the ladies, 37 in number, with Mrs. James Wood as the Goddess of Liberty (I should have said Miss Raymond, as that was her name at that time), William and Homer Hathaway in charge of six horses, James Woods, Harvey Roe and James Sherwood as escorts for the ladies. Our marshal of the day was Deputy Sheriff Nathan Hamilton of Buchanan. We passed the Galien and Three Oaks delegations just in time and when their last wagon left the school house the front team was two miles away. Other teams fell in so we were over the Niles delegation in length when we got to the meeting place.
Niles had been waiting about 20 minutes. They had a brass band and they took the lead with our two head wagons next and so on they all go together without stopping. We go to South Bend all right with the front end of our procession, but as it was nearly an hour after we got into the city before our band on the front end of the delegation passed the courthouse, many who were behind turned around or never went into the town. I clouded up before the front teams got to the court house and the wind came from the north, cold, and we turned east at the first corner south of the court house and went to Michigan Street then north to Washington and west to the St. Joseph Hotel which stood on the same ground now occupied by the large fireproof hotel, only it was not nearly as large, although it was the best at that time.
We were all very chilly and glad to find a comfortable place to warm and we had it, our load was the banner load in South Bend that day.
We were made welcome at the hotel and had a fine supper. The city was crowded to overflowing and it kept cloudy and cold until sundown. The ladies stayed at the hotel, and in the evening were sown up onto the roof to see the wide awake march around the city so that each company could pass the grand stand at the court house. There was said to be a five mile procession when traveling two abreast. We waited at the hotel and did not start for home until 9:15 p.m.
It was much more pleasant after sundown as the wind stopped blowing. Our band had stopped and put up their horses with ours and also the Marshall, so we were all together when we started home. The first thing to note on the way home, we came to a church four miles this side of the Bend, where the band wagon stopped and asked us to turn west and travel on the road in the center of the prairies as that was the way he was going. William and I thought we had better come the same way we went as we had taken notice of how the hills on the way were washed in ruts and we planned just how and where to lock our hind wheels and come down in the ruts. It was settled by a vote of the company. I think Jim Wood proposed it and Marshall Hamilton put the question and declared the vote in favor of coming the way we had drove. At that, Mr. Scott cracked his whip and for the prairie road he went, saying to the Marshall, "Come on then, this is the best way." "No," said the Marshall, "I shall stay with the largest crowd," so he came with us. When we got to the foot of the hill where we met the Niles delegation, Marshall Hamilton said, "I will ride ahead and see that they do not come in ahead and leave us." Their load was so light for their team they could trot most of the time.
When he went ahead of us on a canter our horses all broke into a trot and trotted a number of rods until they come to where it was too much up hill and then they held to walking fast. We met the Marshall at the top of the hill and he said, "I have not heard anything of them, I guess they have gone to sleep," when someone in the load said no, I hear them. And we all listened but did not hear anything. The Marshall said, "I will go ahead again and keep you from running together, for if they should hear us coming, Scott will run his team to their very best to come in ahead," and away he went faster than ever as it was down hill.
I said, "Ladies we will let our horses trot if it does not jar you too much," to which the answer was to go ahead and come in ahead of them if you can. Just then back came the Marshall and said, "They have woke up and hear you coming, and they are playing the whip just as I thought they would, but you can come in ahead on this trot." Away he went again on the gallop. Our horses heard the other wagon rattle and they broke into a gallop, so we passed the four corners where Amos House's brick residence not stands on Portage Prairie, the other team about two rods behind and as some of the ladies said don't let them run by us, William cracked our whip for the first time and I slacked the lines. There was a fair race only we had the beaten track and they the rough side, but they could not come in ahead before we come to the hollow. That was not filled wide enough for two teams to run side by side and they had to take the lower track. They could not stop until they were in the mud in the hollow. We stopped at the top of the hollow and got them in ahead. We cam on home without any further amusement and got home a 12 o'clock.
A week or ten days after that, Senator Howard spoke a Kalamazoo. Marshall Hamilton was called on to bring his delegation of ladies, horses and wagon all by railroad, and Kalamazoo would pay all the expenses for us to be in their parade. But there were quite a number of ladies that were going from Buchanan and gave up their going to go with us to South Bend.
Thus ends my recollection of the trip to South Bend in October, 1864.