News: Krueger Family Trial Continues (3 Apr 1919)
Contact: Ann Stevens
Surnames: Krueger, Jackson, Silverwood, Reynolds, Rush, O’Neill, Martin, Durst, Davis, Page, Graves, Schnabel, Hake, Quicker, Ure, Toptine, Raether, Battersby, Wolbert, Struensee, Steffen, Seif, Krause, Wilding, Jensen, Gantz, Marks, Rasmusson/Rasmuson, Kidd, Paige, Lainio, Elliott, Griffin, Vater, Stockwell, Fickes, Griebnow, Lamont, O’Connor, Johnson, Berger, Williams, Spaulding, Anderson, White, Good, Connell. Irvine, Frantz, Merrill, Bartholomew, Peyson, Gorman, Hansen, Belknap, Kountz, Crye, Asplin, Shipper, Bowman, Brown, Tufts, Paulson,
----Source: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 4/3/1919
Krueger Family Trial Continues (3 Apr 1919)
Says Ennis Did the Shooting
Frank Krueger Was on Stand
Celebrated Case Will Soon Go To The Jury
The Krueger case will go to the jury very soon. This was evidenced when it was ascertained that the defense would close its testimony Wednesday and arguments to the jury would begin Thursday.
It is expected that District Attorney Frank P. Jackson will open the arguments for the state. He will be followed by Thomas P. Silverwood and John W. Reynolds, chief counsel for the defense, while former District Attorney W.J. Rush will close for the state
Judge James O’Neill will provide in his instructions to the Jury for all but one degree of murder. All three defendants are charged with first-degree murder and under these instructions, while any of the three defendants may be acquitted or convicted, without regard to the others, none of them may be convicted of a lesser crime than murder.
Byline: W.D. Martin
Fifty-five of the 60 men of the fourth special venire that had been summoned reported Thursday morning and their examination was recommended as soon as court was convened.
John Durst was excused by the court on account of illness and Truman Davis, Warren Page and Herbert Graves had opinions formed that caused them to step down. Alfred Schnabel of Grant and Rush Hake of Grant were retained, making 20 men in the box.
At this point, when the court and spectators had settled down to a long and tedious examination, the defense sprung a surprise by announcing that the state had accepted the offer of the defense to select the 12 jurymen from the 20 men in the box. The state exercised three peremptory challenges under the agreement and the defense five.
This left the jury composed of: Alfred Schnabel, Grant; Rush Hake, Grant; James Quicker, Lynn; Ray Ure, York; Newton Toptine, Neillsville; Scott Raether, Levis; John Battersby, Levis; Edward Wolbert, Pine Valley; Joseph Struensee, Levis; Gust Steffen, Grant; John Seif, Seif; Joseph Krause, Grant.
The court then announced an adjournment until two o’clock in order to allow the jurymen to make such necessary arrangements as they desired for their service. They were placed in charge of Myron Wilding as bailiff.
Both the state and defense made their opening statements to the jury Thursday afternoon before the introduction of testimony, and both created sensations by the claims made. Attorney Rush, who opened for the state, charged that the murder of Harry Jensen was deliberate and intentional, and that the motive for the crime was the information given by Jensen to the sheriff concerning the arrival of a quantity of ammunition at Withee last fall, which resulted in the seizure of the ammunition by the sheriff. He charged that the Kruegers had a long range field glass in their possession by which they were enabled to identify Jensen and kill him with a rifle. Mr. Rush said that Mrs. Krueger and three sons, Frank, Ennis and Leslie, were at the house on September 14, and that they all acted together, making all equally guilty under the law, no difference which one fired the fatal shot.
He related the state’s theory of the facts in the case, saying that Deputy United States Marshals Joseph Gantz and C.E. Marks came to Owen on September 14 with warrants for the arrest of Frank and Ennis Krueger for not registering September 12. They met Village Marshal Rasmuson at Owen and asked him to accompany them, to show them where the Krueger place was and identify the men they wanted. They secured Earl Kidd, who owned a car, to drive them, and went to the Krueger house, where they were informed that the boys were in the corn field. They drove north on the highway and saw the boys some 30 feet from the fence. The three officers got out of the car and called to the Kruegers to come to the fence. This the Kruegers refused to do, and both drew guns and began shooting at the officers, at the same time retreating to the house. Here the men secured high powered rifles, claimed the attorney, and shot again at the officers.
The two federal officers remained to watch the house, Mr. Rush asserts, while the other two men returned to Owen for help. When Kidd and some other men returned, four of them, Page, Lainio, Elliott, and Griffin, started across a field to guard the house, when Page and Lainio were shot in the legs by the Kruegers, both men lying there under fire until dark, when they were rescued. Bullets cut the suspenders and shirt of one of them while he was lying there, it was stated.
Mr. Rush said that Harry Jensen was in the crowd that gathered in the road at the Vater place north of the Krueger house, and that a volley came from the house, one ball striking Jensen in the throat and killing him. Mr. Rush asserted that up to the time of the killing of Jensen no shots had been fired at the house, which was about a quarter of a mile distant.
Mrs. Krueger came out and gave a signal to the officers and asked them to come and get Frank, who was wounded, and care for him. She had tried to get a doctor over the telephone, but no one would venture to go to the house. She finally was induced to come out to the road, when she was arrested, after considerable resistance and bad language on her part, Mr. Rush said. Then Mr. Vater went to the house and got Frank, who was given surgical care. The other two boys escaped at this time.
Leslie was a deserter from the army, Mr. Rush asserted, and had been hiding on the premises that day.
The Defense’s Theory
Attorney Reynolds elected to make the defense’s statement at this time.
He characterized the affair as an attack by a mob, not a posse. He said that the officers were inefficient, inexperienced and incompetent and that they had a warrant for Frank and Ennis for a misdemeanor only, giving them no right to shoot. He said that when the officers approached the fence and called to the boys in the field, the officers shot as soon as the Kruegers refused to come to the fence. He stated that Kidd got help and that they began to shoot at the Kruegers, who were at the house when the car returned, just as soon as they found it was the Kruegers there. He said that Gantz and Marks were not there when the shooting of Jensen occurred, as when they got back to the farm, it was all over.
“Jensen came there by himself,” he said, “armed with a rifle and was shooting at the house when he was killed. We do not know who killed him. It might have been some of this mob, which was firing in all directions, or it might have been Ennis Krueger who fired the shot---nobody knows. But if it was Ennis, he had a perfect right to shoot. He was being illegally attacked and he was protecting his mother and his home.”
He took the case of each defendant separately and said that if they had not defended themselves, they would all have died that day.
As to the ammunition seized, he said that it was shipped on July 19, before anyone knew that there would be registration of the older and younger men on September 12.
C. S. Stockwell, a civil engineer, was the first witness. He had detailed drawings of the Krueger place and testified as to them.
Dr. H.C. Fickes
Dr. H.C. Fickes, of Owen, who attended Jensen when he was shot, testified that the bullet hit him in the throat and came out of the back of his neck, two or three inches below the point of entrance. He said Jensen died about 5:30 p.m., living only five or ten minutes after the doctor reached him.
Fred Griebnow, a merchant and undertaker at Owen, testified that Jensen died at his place and also that he sold buckshot shells to Frank Krueger the morning of the shooting. He stated that Jensen’s clothing had been preserved by him for use as evidence, but was destroyed when the Griebnow store burned March 8.
Earl Kidd, who drove the car taking the officers out from Owen, was the last witness called Thursday. He told the story of the first shooting, saying that the Kruegers commenced shooting after a short conversation with the officers, and retreated to the house. He went to Owen and got men armed with rifles and returned. He did not see the officers when he returned, he said, but sent four men across the field to keep the Kruegers from escaping into the woods back of the house. It was while crossing the field that Page and Lainio were shot. He said the officers returned the fire when the Kruegers first shot at them.
He said that Jensen was in the road, north of the Vater house, when he was shot. He did not see Jensen hit, as he was about two car lengths away. He testified that 40 or 50 shots were fired at the crowd in the road from the Krueger buildings and was sure that there was no firing at the house from the crowd until after Jensen was shot.
On cross-examination he said that there had been a picnic at Owen that day and he told everyone he saw to go to the Krueger place. He admitted that he was not an officer and had not been sworn in as one. In a number of cases his testimony was shown to differ from that given at the preliminary last October, he saying that his memory was better at that time than now.
“The killing of Jensen grew out of the trouble you made when you came back, didn’t it?” asked Mr. Reynolds.
“I wouldn’t think so,” replied the witness with evident embarrassment.
“You heard a lot of firing before Jensen was killed, didn’t you,” asked Mr. Reynolds.
“Yes,” said the witness.
“That’s all,” said Mr. Reynolds.
“Wait,” called Mr. Rush. “Where did that firing come from?”
“From the Krueger house,” replied the witness.
All the witnesses are excluded from the court room until called, with the exception of Mrs. Jensen and a few of the federal officers present.
The testimony of Joseph Gantz, deputy United States marshal from La Crosse, formed the interesting part of the testimony Friday morning. Mr. Gantz was the officer in charge of the attempt to arrest Fran and Ennis Krueger. His testimony was to the effect that as soon as he told the two Kruegers that he had a warrant for them, they both began shooting. He hid behind a stump and returned the fire, while the Kruegers zigzagged across the field to the house.
After he sent Kidd and Rasmusson back to Owen after help, he said, he tried to telephone Eau Claire for instructions, but found no telephone at the house he entered. He then stopped two cars that passed, by firing into the air, and rode back to Withee in one of them, talking to the United States marshal’s office from there and receiving instructions to get help and arrest the Kruegers. On cross-examination he stated that his instructions, received over the telephone from Mr. Lamont, in Marshal O’Conner’s office at Eau Claire, were to “shoot to kill.” He denied that any of the party displayed guns until after Ennis Krueger had shot.
He told of Mrs. Krueger’s arrest, saying that she came out and made signals and he called to her to come out to the road. She refused to do this, and a neighbor, Mr. Vator, offered to go and talk to her, provided Gantz guaranteed that there would be no shooting at the house. Mr. Vater then went and induced Mrs. Krueger to come out to the road and north on
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the highway, where she was arrested. She fought and kicked him, Gantz said, and had to be carried in and handcuffed. She said her boys might as well fight here as be killed in France, he asserted. She said Frank was wounded and finally Mr. Vater went to the house and brought Frank away in a rig. He was given first aid and then given surgical attention, the witness stated.
He said that he ordered no shooting after Mrs. Krueger and Frank surrendered.
On cross-examination he was given a severe questioning by Mr. Reynolds, the line being to establish the defense’s theory that the posse was not legally qualified to shoot. Mr. Gantz admitted that he had sworn in none of the posse and admitted that anything that was done before he returned from Withee was without his authority. He said he was in charge at the Krueger place, but had not sent the men across the field where Page and Lainio were wounded.
Frank Griffin, a druggist at Owen, was the next witness called. He was one of the men who went to the Krueger farm with Kidd when he went back to Owen for help. He and the rest of the party were armed with rifles, he said, and he did some shooting at the Krueger barn, shooting into the basement door when he saw smoke from there. He said on cross-examination that he received no instructions from anyone except Kidd.
Attorneys Rush and Reynolds clashed frequently during the Friday afternoon session over questions asked witnesses. The cross-examination of Deputy Gantz was finished.
Mrs. Harry Jensen
Mrs. Harry Jensen, widow of the dead man, testified that a brown hat shown her belonged to her husband and was worn the day he was killed. It had three holes through it.
Axel Johnson, a farmer living at Longwood, one-half mile from the Krueger farm, testified that he took Deputy Gantz to Withee after the first shooting, and went to a hardware store with a small party and got rifles and ammunition. As they were starting back to the farm some of the party asked about being deputized and Gantz said, “You are all deputized,” Johnson said. He said when he reached the Vater place he saw Harry Jensen behind him, though he did not know how he got there. Jensen had a rifle, he stated, but he was positive he did not use it. “A volley came from the Krueger place,” the witness said, “and I heard someone say, “I’ve got it.” I turned and the blood gushed from a wound in Jensen’s throat. He fell to his knees and dropped his rifle. I, with others, helped him to a car and we took him to Owen, where he died in a few minutes.”
Johnson was very deliberate and, as he expressed it, “careful,” and his testimony was unshaken by cross-examination. He did not think there were any shots from the crowd until after Jensen was hit.
Deputy Marshal Lamont
John Lamont, of Madison, chief deputy United States marshal for the western district of Wisconsin, testified that Deputy Gantz called him at Eau Claire the day of the shooting and he told Gantz that the warrant was given him for execution and it was up to him to serve it. He said he talked to Frank while he was taking him to a hospital at Chippewa Falls and Frank said he had shot at Gantz after he got back to the house.
C.E. Marks, of Madison, of the Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, corroborated Deputy Gantz’s story as to the preliminary shooting at the cornfield, and told of being shot at soon afterward, while near the Vater place, with rifles.
On cross-examination he said he went there to find Leslie and Louis, who were deserters from the army, but had authority to make arrests without warrants.
“Did you run when they shot at you at Vater’s?” he was asked.
“The only time I stopped running was to let Gantz catch up with me,” he replied.
Peter Rasmuson, village marshal at Owen, who went to the Krueger farm with the two officers in the first place, told practically the same story as the officers did. He maintained that no shooting was done by the officers until after Ennis Krueger had fired. Some discrepancies between his story and his testimony at the preliminary at Owen in October were shown by the defense. He said many people went out to the Krueger farm just to see the excitement that day.
Judge O’Neill announced at the opening of court Saturday morning that the rule banishing the witnesses from the court room until after they had testified was abrogated and all witnesses were thereafter admitted and permitted to hear the evidence.
Carl Berger, a hardware merchant at Withee, testified as to the federal officials getting rifles and ammunition at his store September 14. He said Jensen was in the store at the time, but was not with the party nor did he get any arms there.
Dr. Williams of Owen testified that he went to the Krueger farm and was standing near Jensen when he was shot. He was positive that Jensen had not fired his rifle and that there had been no shooting from the crowd in the road at the Vater place until after Jensen was shot.
B.C. Spaulding, proprietor of the Idle Hour Theatre at Owen, testified that he saw Jensen just before he was shot. He was sure there had been no shooting from the crowd until after Jensen was killed.
Angus Page of Owen testified that he was shot through the left thigh in the same volley that killed Jensen. He was sure there had been no shooting from the crowd at that time.
Gunder Anderson, in whose car a party went to the Krueger place, and who took the federal officers back to Withee to telephone to Eau Claire, said there were no shots from the road. He had no gun and did not shoot.
Frank White of Owen was in the party that was sent across the field to prevent the Kruegers from escaping. He was hit and fell to the ground. The bullet went through his leg and as he lay on the ground his shirt and suspenders were cut by another bullet. Neither he not Lainio shot, he said. The counsel for the defense tried to draw an admission from him that he intended to shoot either of the Kruegers if that had approached him, but he would not say this.
Emil Lainio, who was with White and who was shot nine times as he lay on the ground in the field north of the Krueger house, testified that he dropped to the ground at the first shooting and was struck on the right foot, left foot, twice, side, arm, left leg and right leg three times. He and Lainio lay there until dark, when they were rescued by their friends.
A.R. Mularkey, a member of the Neillsville Company of Guards, testified that he found a loaded automatic rifle and shotgun buried in the sawdust in the ice house, and that the rifle was covered with blood, a trail of blood leading to the back porch. He said that the guards opened the well and fired down into it. They were searching for a supposed tunnel from the well, he stated.
He also found a suitcase in the haymow, he said, containing clothing and ammunition, and found empty cartridges in the basement of the house. A large pool of blood was between the house and barn, he testified. He described the condition of the house, saying there were many bullet holes in it and the windows were shattered. He said he received his orders from Lieutenant Irvine.
Henry Frantz, another member of the company, corroborated Mularkey as to finding the guns in the ice house.
James Merrill said he saw a lot of empty shells at the basement window, with children playing with them, on Sunday.
C.S. Stockwell was recalled and testified as to the plan of the basement of the Krueger house. He said the Vater place was visible from the basement window.
Herman Bartholomew, constable and marshal of Withee, testified that he went to the Krueger house with Peyson and Hewett in July and heard Frank intimate that he would not register. He said when they first went to the house. Frank came out of the tool shed “like a mad dog” and demanded that Peyson show his badge when he said he was an officer.
He also went to the Krueger house September 14, he said, and was shot at several times while on guard in the road south of the house. He said none of his party fired at the Krueger place until after they were fired upon. He saw Mrs. Krueger in the yard, but saw none of the Kruger boys.
The defense strenuously objected Saturday afternoon to the introduction of the clothing work by Lainio when he was shot and the court finally decided to allow the shoes to be introduced as evidence, but excluded the rest of the clothing.
The court also instructed the jury to disregard any admissions made by Frank Krueger at Chippewa Falls, as testified to by witnesses, as relating to any of the defendants except himself.
Charles Good of Ashland, deputy State Fire Marshal, testified that he talked to Frank Krueger when he was in a hospital at Chippewa Falls. Frank asked about his mother, he said, and told the witness that he shot at one of the government officers from the house and intended to kill him.
Another conversation was held with Frank on September 21, he said, in which Frank said all of the Kruegers had guns, ammunition and high-powered rifles. Frank said that Leslie had been hiding on the farm all summer, sleeping in the barn in the daytime and “bumming around” at night. Frank said that Leslie was at home September 14, and was there when Mr. Vater came and took Frank away after he was wounded. Frank told the witnesses, he said, that all the trouble was over the draft and said that he and his mother were against war.
James Connell of Chippewa Falls, sheriff of Chippewa County, testified that he talked to Frank while the latter was in the hospital. Frank told him all of the Kruegers had rifles except Louis, who had a Colt revolver. Frank told the witness that Leslie was in the barn when the shooting started. Frank told the witness that he and Ennis opened fire on the officers and said his brothers would not submit to arrest.
George Gorman of Eau Claire, ex-sheriff of Eau Claire County, said he talked to Frank in the hospital. Frank told him he was on the windmill platform when he was shot through both legs. He crawled back to the house, he said, washed and bandaged his wounds, and took the elevator to the cellar. It was cold down there and he went back upstairs and resumed firing. The witness said Attorney Rush was present at the conversation and asked Frank how many shots he fired.
“I did not fire a shot,” Frank replied.
“Why you just said you did,” said Mr. Rush.
“You can’t pull off anything like that on me,” was the rejoinder. The witness admitted that he called Mrs. Krueger a murderess when she was brought to his jail, but said he apologized for it later, when he broke the news of Ennis’ death to her.
F.J. Peyson, formerly a special agent of the United States Department of Justice, who resides in Chippewa Falls, testified that he visited the Krueger place in July, 1918, in company with Harry Hewett, at that time sheriff of Clark County, who came to Withee in response to a telephone message from the witness. He stated that Frank Krueger made threats and said if any of the government officers came after them, the officers had better come well armed.
Here the defense objected strenuously to the introduction of any testimony concerning anything that occurred prior to September 14, and the court ordered the jury removed from the room. After hearing arguments the judge decided that such questions as related to threats and intent to resist authority might be admitted. The jury was then returned to their places.
The witness said that Mrs. Krueger saw his gun and said,” I wonder if we can’t carry one of those things.” The witness told her she could not without a proper permit. She said her life had been threatened and he told her that Sheriff Hewett would protect her, but she refused to give any names to Mr. Hewett or himself of persons who had threatened her. Frank said he did not know whether he would register or not and said, “If you come after me, you had better bring plenty of help.” Ennis was present at the time of the conversation, Mr. Peyson said.
The witness said he was looking for Louis and Leslie, who were deserters, and Frank showed his through the house.
Harry Hewett, at the time of the shooting, sheriff of Clark County, testified as to seizing a quantity of ammunition and guns at Withee, consigned to Ennis Krueger. He also corroborated the testimony of Mr. Peyson as to the visit to the Krueger place in July. Frank said, the witness stated, that he did not intend to register.
The ammunition seized at Withee, as well as the guns, were introduced, over the objection of the defense, and Mr. Hewett identified it.
Mr. Hewett said that Leslie told him he was home September 14 and saw the first shooting from the barn. Leslie said that the marshals shot first. Leslie said he left after dark after Mr. Vater had taken Frank away, and went west. He said he saw a man 30 or 40 feet away, but the man paid no attention to him, “and it was a good thing for him he didn’t,” Leslie remarked.
The witness told of a cellar window in the house with the screen partly torn off and a quantity of blood on the floor under the window.
Chris Hansen, a farmer living near the Krueger place, told of passing the Krueger place September 14 and seeing a man come out of the yard and shoot north on the highway. He did not know Frank Krueger, but said the man was about Frank’s size.
Attorney Reynolds of the defense created a mild sensation Monday morning by making a direct charge that the home guards, in the charge of Deputy United States Marshal Gantz, had burned the Krueger barn two days after the two boys had escaped, “because Gantz had it in for the Kruegers.” The charge was made while arguing the admissibility of evidence and was strongly objected to by Attorney Rush.
Harry Hewett was recalled and testified that he arrived at nine or ten o’clock the night of September 15 and remained all night in the vicinity. He said that the next morning United States Marshal O’Connor took Mrs. Krueger back to the Krueger house and that when the guards attempted to open the well, she stood on the platform and refused to allow the well opened. He said he removed her and she struck at him with a spade. He said on cross-examination that he did not know how the home guard came to be there, that he did not call for them and, so far as he knew, the governor did not order them out.
Herman Bartholomew was recalled and testified that a rise in the ground prevented him seeing anyone at the Vater place from the Larsen place. On cross-examination the witness admitted refusing to talk to Attorney Reynolds at the witness’ home some time ago, but denied that he said he wanted to see the Kruegers convicted on general principles. He said none of his party would shoot at Mrs. Krueger and that they could easily have shot her when she was in the yard if they had wanted to.
Thomas Belknap of Withee was at the Larsen place. He said Mr. Larsen’s boy was cutting corn near the house and the bullets from the Krueger place began striking in the corn field, whereupon the boy unhitched and came in.
R.F. Kountz, city attorney and member of the draft board, testified that Leslie appeared for physical examination, but failed to entrain when so ordered June 24, 1918. Louis, he said, did not appear for examination when called February 22, 1918. He had an inventory of the ammunition seized at Withee and produced it. He said he found empty shells and clips in the Krueger house Sunday morning after the battle.
Mrs. Harry Jensen
Mrs. Harry Jensen, widow of the man for whose murder the Kruegers are being tried, testified that she assisted her husband in his work as express agent and positively identified Frank Krueger as having come to the express office and demanded the ammunition seized. The ammunition was addressed to Ennis. She said Frank was very angry.
John Irvine, first lieutenant of the Neillsville Company of Guards, testified as to going to the Krueger place and said he got his instructions from United States Marshal O’Connor. He saw a bloody trail between the ice house and well and saw the guns found by Mularkey in the ice house. The bloody trail went from the kitchen to the elevator and then to the cellar, he said. He identified a pair of field glasses as the ones he saw in the Krueger house Sunday, upstairs.
Frank L. Crye
Frank L. Crye of Owen was the last witness called Monday. He was driving past and saw Frank Krueger sitting by the thresher in the yard and holding a gun on his knees. Another man was in the hay barn door, he said.
Clinton Asplin, the road patrolman, testified Tuesday morning that he, with his wife, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and children, were passing the Krueger place September 14, at the time of the first shooting between the Kruegers and officers. Mr. Asplin had to turn his car quickly out of the road, he said, to avoid running over a man who rolled out of the car standing in the road at the first shot fired. The Asplin party then went to the Larsen home, just south of Krueger’s and witnessed the battle that followed from a balcony. He saw two men come out of the Krueger place with rifles and shoot north into the road and saw the shooting toward the crowd that gathered at the Vater place. He was positive that the men in the cornfield fired first at the men near the car and that shots from the Krueger place preceded any firing from the crowd at the Vater place. He could not identify the men he saw firing as the Kruegers, as he did not know them.
George Ure, the clerk of the court, testified that the field glasses found at the Krueger home were of long range and high power.
Edward Shipper, 18 years old, a member of the home guard, told of finding a revolver in the basement of the barn.
William A. Bowman
William A. Bowman of Owen, an engineer, told of driving along the road south of the Krueger place the day of the shooting and of seeing a man in the yard and one in the barn, both with guns. He was near to Jensen when he was shot and had heard no shooting from the crowd at the Vater place before the volley that killed Jensen.
R.V. Brown, county agricultural agent, saw Jensen fall and said Jensen had no gun that he saw. He said Jensen fell at the first volley fired.
Here the state rested its case.
Defense Takes the Case
Attorney Reynolds for the defense then, the jury being excluded, made a motion for a dismissal of the charge against all three defendants. He said that no evidence had been introduced to show that Mrs. Caroline Krueger was in any way connected with the shooting, that it was not shown that she had spoken a word in the way of abetting or counseling any shooting, nor had she even had a gun in her hand. As to Leslie, he said it had not been shown that he was in any way connected with the shooting. As to Frank, he said it had not been shown that he was a principal in the affair and should not be held for murder.
Judge O’Neill at first stated that he considered it useless to argue the point, as he could not see how a dismissal of either of the defendants could be granted. Nevertheless, Attorney Reynolds quoted the case of Miller vs. the State of Wisconsin at length to support his contention.
Attorney Silverwood also spoke, saying that so far as Mrs. Krueger was concerned, she had done absolutely nothing, as shown by any evidence, except what she had a right to do and what any mother would do under the circumstances, with one son wounded and all being attacked by armed men. Mrs. Krueger wept while Mr. Silverwood was speaking.
The jury was then brought back and the defense called Robert Vater, the farmer living north of the Krueger place, in front of whose home the crowd gathered when Jensen was shot. It is one-fourth mile between the two houses, Mr. Vater said. He said he saw the shooting in the cornfield, but saw only the officers and Ennis firing. He said after the first shooting, Deputy Marshal Gantz asked him if he had a gun. He answered, “Not to shoot a neighbor.” Gantz then asked the question again, and upon Mr. Vater saying that he had a gun, the Vater boy was sent after it, whereupon Gantz took it and went north in the road, he said. He testified that Gantz ordered the crowd in the road to shoot to kill and told of the inducing of Mrs. Krueger to come out. Mr. Vater offered, he said, to go and see Mrs. Krueger and endeavor to get her to give up in order to prevent further bloodshed, and he went to the Krueger house. Mrs. Krueger told him, he stated, that “the picnic at Owen was only to shoot at our boys.” Mrs. Krueger came with him north in the road and she was seized by Gantz and Olson and carried into his house, he said. This was after Mrs. Krueger had waved a white cloth from the house.
Robert Vater was recalled and testified
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that Marshal Gantz asked him to go back to the Krueger house the second time, to try and get the remaining two boys to surrender. Mrs. Krueger also asked him to do this, he said, while she was in custody of the officers at the Vater home. She was handcuffed.
“I then went to the Krueger house and found Frank lying on the bathroom floor upstairs, wounded,” the witness said. “I got him to consent to go, but he said he could not walk, so I went and got my horse and buggy and hauled him to my place. The officers carried him into the house.”
“I made another trip to the house about dark, but saw none of the Kruegers there. A man was in the front yard near a bunch of trees, and he fired at the house. There were shots from the house at this man.
“I was asked to go to the house a fifth time and started with my lantern, but returned home. My reason for refusing to go this time was that the officers had promised me, and I had promised the Kruegers that there would be no firing at the house while I was there, and this promise had not been kept. Some called me a coward when I came back and I offered my lantern to anyone who wanted to make the trip, but no one took it.
“I heard the officers say, ‘If we can only get the old lady out of the house.’
“There was a man there who was called a ‘westerner’. He crawled along a ditch and shot and said he had shot Frank. I heard people say, ‘Shoot the house to pieces.’
On cross-examination Mr. Vater was not materially changed in his story. He said he heard no shots when he saw Gantz and Marks run north past his place. He said many bullet holes were in the house and the windows were shattered. He denied any prejudice against the officers or sympathy for the Kruegers, saying that he had had trouble with the Kruegers.
William Tufts, a banker at Withee and Owen, testified that he came to the Larsen place September 14 and fired 20 times at the Krueger house and barn. He said Vater was on the Krueger premises when he shot, but the witness did not know it. He said his shooting was after he had been fired upon from the Krueger premises.
Paul Paulson, postmaster of Withee, said he counted 100 bullet holes in the Krueger house soon after the shooting and “then got tired and quit.” He said the glass was shattered and that the shots had come from all directions. Door knobs had been removed and trunks opened, he said.
Frank Krueger, one of the defendants, was called at four o’clock and the large audience up and took notice. He was 36 years old and lived on the Krueger farm nearly all his life. He lived with his mother, his father having died nine years ago. He first told of the visit of Peyson, Hewett and Bartholomew to the Krueger home in July. He said he was in the blacksmith shop when Peyson began to pound on the door. The witness came out and ordered Peyson off the porch, he said, whereupon Peyson said he was a government officer and on demand got his coat from the car and showed his badge. The witness said he told Peyson an officer could come there any time with the proper authority and showed him all through the house. “He asked me if I was going to register if there was another registration,” Krueger said, “and I told him I would think about that when the time came. He asked me about a shipment of ammunition to Withee and I told him I thought my brother had ordered some ammunition. He asked me what I would do if a mob came to attack me and I told him I would defend myself the best I could in that case.
“There are no tunnels, barricades or defenses on the Krueger farm.”
“I was at Owen the morning of September 14, had returned home and, with my brother, Ennis, was cutting corn north of the house when a car stopped in the road. I recognized Rasmuson and Kidd. They came to the fence and one of them called, ‘Frank, come here, I want to talk to you.’ I asked him what he wanted and he repeated the demand three times. I replied, ‘If you have anything to say, say it from where you are,’ and he raised his hand and began to shoot.
“I was somewhat dazed for a minute, but heard Ennis say, ‘Gee whiz,’ and he drew his gun and shot. I ran east and south to the house. The man kept on shooting and I was shot in the left leg.
“I entered the basement, got my gun and loaded it. Then I went out in the road and fired a shot north, to scare the men away who had been shooting at me. I did not shoot to hit them. I then went to the east side of the house and stayed half an hour, mother and Ennis, who had also reached the house with me. Then I went to the basement to get more ammunition. I got a rifle and shotgun, with two boxes of shells, went to the windmill and saw four gentlemen coming toward the barn. I shouted to them as loudly as I could to get off the premises, when I was shot through both legs. I picked up my two guns and hobbled to the threshing machine. I was in great pain and could not shoot. I sat down in the yard and left the two guns on the ground there.
I bandaged my wounds with my handkerchief. I was struck from the north, the shots could have come from Vater’s. I had no gun in my hand after that. I was in intense pain and was losing much blood. “I would have certainly shot the four men who were coming across the field if I could. I crawled on the back porch.
“There were no firearms in the basement. I never fired toward Vater’s nor did I fire from the house at all.
“I went into the kitchen and sat down on the floor. I asked mother for hot water and she helped me care for my wounds. While we were there rifle balls struck the house fast, plaster fell, glass was broken and bullets struck the range, china closet and radiator pipes. Mother got behind the large chimney in the kitchen.
“I crawled to the elevator and went to the basement to escape the bullets. I stayed there about 20 minutes. I took off my shoes in the basement and crawled upstairs on my hands and knees.
Court adjourned at this time until Wednesday morning.
Frank Krueger, the elder of the Krueger boys, resumed his testimony. He stated positively that he did not fire a shot September 14, except one shot with a rifle, fired north in the road in front of the Krueger house, “to scare away the men who had shot at me in the cornfield.” He said his brother, Ennis, did the shooting.
“I got to the bathroom and another volley came,” he said. “I was lying on the floor of the bathroom and heard bullets strike the strings of the piano and radiator pipes. Mr. Vater and Ennis came up and Mr. Vater wanted me to surrender. I told him I was willing to do so, but must have surgical attention as I could not walk. He then got his rig and hauled me to the Vater home. I got no attention for some 25 minutes, but kept asking for a doctor and finally one was brought to me.
“Our barn was full of hay and straw and had 5 sets of harness in it. Leslie had been in and out of the barn and house that day.
“I was kept in the jail at Owen that night and taken to Chippewa Falls next day.” He denied the statements testified to by officers that he had admitted shooting while in the hospital at Chippewa Falls. He said he had a college education, being educated at Ashland. He said Ennis went after ammunition at Withee on a bicycle and not the witness, as testified by Mrs. Jensen, though he admitted some trouble with him over an order for bathroom fixtures early in1918.
“I have kept ammunition in the house for 25 years,” he said. He said the field glass introduced was left at the Krueger home by a hunter 12 years ago and that he had not used it September 14.
On cross-examination he stuck to his story and was not affected materially by the searching questioning given him by Attorney Rush. He said that he did not register “because I do not believe in war.”
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