Visit the IAGenWeb!Visit the USGenWeb! Carroll County, Iowa
IAGenWeb  Project
Carroll County Genealogy

If you have information to share, please contact the  County Coordinator.

 

From the Press:

Transcribed by Joe Conroy

Carroll Deputy Marshall John Conway Fatally Shot

The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
26 May 1921
Page 1

Deputy Marshal John Conway Fatally Injured by Assassins Bullet Last Saturday Evening

Had Gone to help Arrest a Stranger who had Attempted to Pass a Forged Check. Three Bullets Fired in Body One of Them Severs Aorta and was Fatal

Posse Organized but Murderer Makes Getaway

Coroners Inquest held Sunday Afternoon. Two Strangers Held for Investigation and Later Released. Airplane Searchers work Part of Sunday Afternoon

    John F. Conway was shot and instantly killed Saturday evening—at about 9:40. The murder was perpetrated on the right of way of the Great Western railway, north, and a little east of Nettie's cafe, and the murderer is still at large.
John was a deputy marshal, and had been assisting night marshal A. H. Manemann each evening as called upon, and had always been helping on Saturday evenings, when traffic was heavy.
    Last Saturday evening, a man went into the Nockels and the Gnam clothing stores, as well as other places in town, and made small purchases, amounting to from $1 to $4, and in each instance he presented a check, supposed to have been signed by Jos. T. Judge, and written in favor of Bert Allen.
    After he left the Nockels store, one of the boys went out and notified night marshal Manemann that a man with a forged check was in the city, after first ascertaining from Mr. Judge that it was a forged check, and Mr. Manemann found John Conway, and they instituted a search.
    They found that the man had left a package of haberdashy at Gnams also, they having refused to cash his check. The stranger, who endorsed the check as Bert Allen, said he would go out and get the check cashed, and during this time both Conway and Manemann were close on his trail. They finally located him near the Great Western freight house, and Conway attempted to make an arrest. The fellow broke away and Conway went right after him, and knocked him down and clinched with him. The murderer shot 3 or 4 times, 3 of the shots entering the body of Conway, one of them being fatal. The shots were fired while they were so near to one another that powder marks were visible on the clothes of the murdered boy.
    As Manemann came around the corner of the cafe, the murderer started to run in a north-westerly direction and Manemann turned his attention to Conway, but he fired several shots, one of which he feels certain took effect as the fellow dropped, raised his hand to his shoulder, and then sped onward, and from that time to the present, no one is certain that the man has been seen, though several reports that seemed authentic, came in which went to show the man had continued northward for several blocks.
    As soon as possible, following the murder, the sheriffs and marshals deputized every one who had a fire arm of some kind, and any one else who wanted to act, and posses searched for the man all night long, and all of Sunday.
On Sunday afternoon, one of the Swaney airships, piloted by Claire Sherwood, came down from Fort Dodge and with Harry Nestle as lookout, the entire north half of the county was gone over without seeing any signs of the fugitive, and Harry said very small objects were plainly visible as they were flying even lower than would give them any guarantee of safety.
    Every sign that looked like it might be a clue that would lead to the hiding place of the murderer was watched and not a culvert, a bridge, a straw stack, a clump of bushes, or a grove in the nearby vicinity was overlooked.
On Monday, shortly after the noon hour, word came from Arcadia that a man was seen north of that place. The description varied a trifle from that of the description of the fugitive but officers took no chances and in an hour there were more than 50 men on the spot to get general directions as to how to capture him. He was traced to Breda, and it was found that it was Ed Bohnenkamp, who had walked from Arcadia to Breda, and had walked across fields.
Descriptions have been sent out and it is hoped that the fugitive can be picked up in some near by cities.

Coroner's Inquest.

    Coroner F. V. Hibbs empanelled a jury of M. J. Thelen, H. J. Walz, and F. H. Arts, and several witnesses were examined.
    It probably would not have been necessary to hold an inquest except for the fact that a rumor was started to the effect that night marshal Manemann had fired all the shots that were fired, and at least one stranger with a certain element in the city, wanted to establish a story that would be detrimental to Mr. Manemann.
    George Davis of Des Moines, who was one of at least two men who were here to peddle apples, expressed himself as being intensely interested in the affair, and in his testimony he charged Mr. Manemann with not doing his duty. He stated that six shots were fired and that Mr. Manemann fired them all. He also said that there was no scuffle between John Conway and the murderer.
    Mr. Davis and his partner, G. F. Acton, who also testified at the inquest, were later arrested and placed in the city jail where they remained until Monday morning. In the meantime mayor Johnston wire to various places they had sold apples, as well as to their homes in Des Moines, but found nothing against them, and he liberated them. They were then picked up by sheriff Janssen, upon demand of county attorney Saul. They were put through the grill again by Mr. Saul, but he liberated them later.
    Louise Mikesell said at the inquest that she did not see the shooting and only heard the shots, as was the fact concerning Mrs. Dein, who, reports said, had seen the entire event.
    C. C. Roberts said he was in the creamery and heard the shots fired, hurried to the scene, but found that John was gasping and died almost immediately. He did not know how many shots were fired.
    Dr. C. C. Bowie said the bullet that killed John Conway was the one that entered the left breast an inch to the left of the nipple line, passed through the left lung, severed the aorta and made exit from the boy at the right axilla.
    One wound was on the upper outer third of left arm. The upper arm or humerus was shattered and two pieces of bullet taken from the arm. The third bullet struck the cartilage at the base of the breast bone and made exit about 2 inches to the right of the nipple line.
    The bullets which were located, one of them being the one that killed him, was found after his clothes were removed and was a 32 calibre, soft-nosed, steel jacket, while the other bullet was the one that was found in his arm, of the same kind.
    The jurors brought in the following verdict:
    "We find that his death was caused by soft nosed, steel jacket bullets, fired by the hand of an unknown man. By evidence produced this date before the jury, we find absolutely no proof of marshal A. H. Manemann having fired any shots whatsoever into the body of said John Conway, Jr., and furthermore exonerate said A. H. Manemann from all blame."
M. J. Thelen,
H. J. Walz,
F. H. Arts.

    Mr. Manemann also gave testimony as to the facts of the shooting and he said that he did not get his gun out of his pocket until after Mr. Conway was down, and that he shot in the direction the man was going, feeling quite confident that he hit him, once, and probably twice, though of course until the man is captured it will not be definitely known that he hit his mark.
    It was shown in the evidence given at the inquest that the clothes of the murdered man had powder burns, which shows that the two men were right together when the fatal shots were fired. The evidence also shows that the bullets that entered the body of Conway were soft nosed bullets, while those used by Mr. Manemann are the steel nosed ones, which makes it absolutely impossible for Manemann to have fired any of the shots that struck John.

Funeral Services

    Requiem High Mass was celebrated at St. Joseph's church Tuesday morning at 9:30 with Rev. E. S. Butler as celebrant and in the sanctuary with him were Father LeCare of Auburn, Father Kucher of SS. Peter and Paul's. Father Foerster of SS. Peter and Paul's, and Father Cordes of St. Lawrence.
    The procession was led by the American Legion members, followed by members of the Knights of Columbus, and they by the Fire Department. The body escorted by six ex-service men, then the mourners and friends.
    The church would not hold half of the people who came to pay their last respects to the boy who had grown up in this city and was loved by all who knew him.
    The pall bearers were American Legion men, Glenn N. Weeks, Stanton L. Sherman, Will Holley, Wade Wissler, Frank Schirck, and Louis Gnam.
    Interment was made in the Catholic cemetery.
    Those attending the funeral from a distance were: Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Cummins and daughter of Des Moines, Pat Conway and sons of Minneapolis, Mike Folles of Sioux City, Mrs. Cox of Des Moines, Will Cochran of Des Moines, and Delbert Eldwell of Denison.

Obituary

    John Francis Conway was born in Carroll on December 9, 1896 and was 24 years, 5 months and 12 days old at the time of his death.
    He attended the Carroll High School, and went to work with his father and brother in the Conway dray line, which work he continued until called into the service.
    On April 28, 1917 he went to Camp Dodge and from there he was transferred to Jacksonville, Florida. He came home on furlough while at Jacksonville. At the conclusion of his furlough, in July 1917, he was sent overseas and served 18 months in France and Germany.
    He was advanced to sergeant of a convoy of trucks with the motor road convoy, and it was his duty to see that all trucks were loaded with ammunition during the day, and sent to the front at night. He drove ahead of the ammunition train on a motorcycle to the danger zone and received his orders to pass his convoy, after which it was distributed.
    All traveling was done during the night, a light never being used. His buddy, while in the service, John Calla, whose home is in Chicago, came to Carroll to be with John, and the boys were together in spare moments.
    When John came home from France he accepted a position with C. A. Mellott and remained there until the store was sold, after which he took his place on the Conway dray line again.
    John is survived by his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. John Conway, three sisters, Elvena, Grace and Marie and a brother, Henry, all of whom are living in Carroll.
    John Conway, Sr., marshal of Carroll, and father of John F., was recently operated upon and young John served as deputy marshal for his father and was acting in that capacity at the time of his death.

 



Vindicator and Republican
Estherville, Iowa
8 Jun 1921
Page 1

An Alleged Murderer Captured

Wanted For Murder of Carroll Deputy Marshal

Taken To Fort Dodge

Answers Description Of man Wanted—Big Reward For Him

    A man giving his name as Bert Morrison was taken into custody in this city last week and held for the murder of John Conway the deputy marshal of Carroll, Iowa. A description of the man was received in this city over the telephone following the murder and police officials were on the lookout for him. G. R. Taylor of this city is the man who found him and reported the matter to the officials. They found Morrison sitting on the steps of the U. S. Lunch counter last Wednesday afternoon and picked him up, later turning him loose because of lack of identification. Upon further word they again arrested him Thursday morning and held him until state agent Stoner arrived in the city. He was unable to identify him and he was turned loose once more only to be picked up again that evening. He was taken to Fort Dodge where he was placed in jail, and identified as the man wanted.
    The identification marks are two gold teeth and a scar across his nose. It seems as though he had trouble with the deputy marshal at Carroll and that in the fight the marshal was shot and instantly killed. The people of Carroll are wild about the murder and it was not deemed advisable to take him to that city. Whether or not he is the man that did the shooting is not known here but it is reported that he has been positively identified. A reward of $5,000 for the murderer of the popular deputy was posted by the people of Carroll, that county and the state, and if this man is the guilty party, Mr. Taylor of this city will undoubtedly get the reward as he is the man that found him and reported the (?) to the local authorities.
    Morrison is a man of slight build, has two gold teeth and the scar across his nose. He fills the description very closely and the state agents in charge of the case are certain they have the right man. The public does not know where he is confined, the officers fearing violence. It is reported that he is either in Fort Dodge or Des Moines jail. The murdered man was an ex-service man, a member of the American Legion and very popular in his home city. The people of Carroll are intensely aroused over the shooting and are eager to have the slayer apprehended. Local authorities are deserving of credit in getting this suspect and if he proves to be the right party, they will be given the proper credit in the case.

 



The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
9 Jun 1921
Page 1

Alleged Murderer Of Conway In Jail

State Agent Stoner Went To Estherville And Arrested T. J. Morrison.

Brought To Ft. Dodge

Positively Identified by C. Y. Zentz as Being the Man Who Fired Fatal Shot.

    A man who gave the name of T. J. Morrison was arrested in Estherville last Thursday and was brought to Ft. Dodge by state agent Stoner. Sheriff H. V. Janssen and county attorney W. I. Saul went to that city, after first notifying C. Y. Zentz of Battle Creek that he was wanted there to attempt to identify the man as being the one who rode from Wall Lake to Carroll with him on Saturday, May 21st, and afterward shot John Conway, Jr.
    Mr. Zentz positively identified the man as being the person suspected, and whose description had formerly been given by Mr. Zentz, though merchants from here who also went to identify the man who attempted the pass the worthless checks, could not say that he was the man.
    On the day of the shooting, C. Y. Zentz was on his way from Battle Creek to Council Bluffs to see his sister who was critically ill. On boarding the train at Wall Lake, the man who he alleges is the man who was arrested at Estherville and taken to Ft. Dodge, was on the same train and Mr. Zentz took particular notice of him because he did not have the appearance of a man of good habits.
    Later that evening, when the shooting took place, Mr. Zentz claims to be the first man on the scene, and in his statement he positively identifies the arrested man as being the man wanted for the crime.
    Mr. Zentz went on to Council Bluffs. His sister died and after the funeral he came to Carroll and gave the officials such an accurate description of the man that T. J. Morrison, as he gave his name, was arrested and brought to Ft. Dodge.
    The alleged murderer, according to a statement of the jailer at the Webster county jail, removed a gold crown from one of his teeth and it is supposed that he done this to avoid being identified. The belt worn by the accused man tallies exactly with the description given by Mr. Zentz. Following is a statement made by Mr. Zentz.

STATE OF IOWA:
ss.
WEBSTER COUNTY:
    I, C. Y. Zentz, being first duly sworn, on oath depose and say that I rode from Wall Lake to Carroll, Iowa, on the afternoon of May 21, 1921, on the Chicago Northwestern train with a stranger whom I now identify as being the same man who is on this date in the county jail of Webster county, Iowa. That at about 9:30 that evening, May 21, 1921, I saw Marshal Conway arrest this man in front of the Reed restaurant at Carroll, Iowa; I saw the man run around the west side of said restaurant followed by Conway; that I afterwards saw him fire three shots into Conway's body, which shots caused the death of Conway; that said shots were fired on the Chicago Great-Western right-of-way, in the rear of said restaurant building. That I afterward saw this man around the corner of a box car standing there and escape across a vacant lot. That this man was traveling in a northerly direction when last seen.
    I further state that the man who shot Conway and escaped as aforesaid is the same man who is on this date held in the county jail of Webster county, Iowa. I further state that at this time I rode from Wall Lake to Carroll with this man. I sized him up carefully and noticed a scar upper tooth on the left side; the across bridge of his nose; a gold color of his hair, his complexion, his worn belt and its buckle, and numerous other items of description, which I afterwards gave to the authorities. I further state that during the time that we were traveling from Wall Lake to Carroll that this man was talking about gambling, and card games, booze and fast women, and wanted to know of me if I knew where he could find any life of that character, and inasmuch as I was talking to him during this time I had an opportunity to carefully scrutinize this man, and he struck me as being a man of bad character.
    Dated at Forth Dodge, Webster county, Iowa, this 3rd day of June, A. D. 1921.
C. Y. Zentz.
    Subscribed and sworn to before me by the said C. Y. Zentz, this 3rd day of June, A. D. 1921.
Verner E. Gabrielson
Notary Public.

    The prisoner was brought down from Ft. Dodge Monday evening and arraigned before justice of the peace Jos. M. Dunck. He gave his name as T. J. Morrison and his home as being in Virginia.
    He claims to be a tile ditcher by occupation and that he has been in Carroll but once in his life and that was about eight years ago when he went through here. He also claims to be fairly well acquainted in the northwest part of the state, and that on the evening of the fatal shooting in Carroll, he attended a picture show in Sibley.
    He admitted that he had done no manual labor this season as his health would not allow it. He said he had been playing cards to considerable extent.
    The prisoner showed no signs of nervousness. He was perfectly calm and is evidently feeling safe that he can produce witnesses that will prove that he was in Sibley on the night of May 21st.
    Justice Dunck gave him until today (Thursday) to secure his witnesses and prepare his defense at which time he will be given a formal hearing in this county.
    He was returned to Ft. Dodge on Monday evening and during the interim will get busy with witnesses who he claims will be able to establish a positive alibi. Residents who heard the prisoner are divided in their opinions as to his guilt or innocence.

 



The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
16 Jun 1921
Page 1

Murder Trial To Be Heard Saturday

Preliminary Hearing Started Last Thursday Eve But Is Continued.

Judge Drees Hears It

Ray Files Appears for Defendant—County Attorney Saul For the State of Iowa.

    The preliminary hearing of T. J. Morrison, who was arrested a few days ago at Estherville and may be connected with the John Conway murder, was started before justice of the peace John Drees last Thursday evening but because of pressing matters at his home in Fort Dodge, Ray Files, who appeared for the defendant, had it postponed until next Saturday.
    The hearing was to have been before justice Jos. M. Dunck, but he was convalescing from a case of ptomaine poisoning, and did not feel equal to the occasion, hence the change of justices.
A. H. Manneman was the first witness called by the state and he gave his story, virtually the same as he has told it before. Mr. Files questioned him but slightly, following the queries of county attorney Saul and Mr. Manemann could not state positively that T. J. Morrison, the man who is under arrest, was the man who fired the fatal shot on Saturday evening, May 21.
    County coroner F. V. Hibbs was the second witness called by the state and the only part of the tragedy he could tell anything about was the general direction the bullets had taken, as well as to tell which one of the shots fired was the fatal one.
    C. Y. Zentz of Battle Creek, Iowa, was the third witness called and he still insists that he rode from Wall Lake to Carroll on the Northwestern line, with the man who is under arrest, and he also states that he afterwards saw the same man shoot John Conway. He does not say he guesses he is the man, but states positively, that T. J. Morrison is the guilty party.
    Mr. Zentz states that he was in or near the Northwestern station on the evening of May 21, and that he saw John Conway make the arrest, and afterwards saw the fellow break away and run. That he heard Conway shoot into the air and then he hastened over, and as he was going where the men were later struggling, that he fell down and Mr. Manemann came rushing by. That Manemann fired several shots in the direction of the fleeing man, but he did not stop.
    The prisoner was taken back to Fort Dodge Friday morning—and let it be said here that it is not because the officials fear any rough treatment from local residents, but in the event that the prisoner may be guilty, he is being kept in Fort Dodge so he will be where the officers expect him to be when the time comes for his trial.

 



The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
23 Jun 1921
Page 1

Morrison Is Bound Over To Grand Jury

Preliminary Hearing Concluded Before Justice J. A. Drees Saturday.

Is Held Without Bond

Two Witnesses From North Iowa Who Are Certain Morrison Was at Sibley on the 21st.

    T. J. Morrison, who for the past two weeks has been in jail at Ft. Dodge, making preparations for a preliminary hearing which was started two weeks ago today, and was postponed until last Saturday, was bound over to the grand jury, without bond, and will be compelled to wait until the grand jury convenes in October.
    George Davis, of Des Moines, was the first witness called Saturday. He is the young man who insisted at the coroner's inquest that the man who was clinched with John Conway did not do any shooting. He is an apple vendor, and it will be remembered that he and his partner were arrested and held for examination at that time.
    Mr. Davis, at the hearing Saturday, clung to his theory that there were but six shots fired that evening, but three of them being fired by Conway, and three by Manemann. He also claims to be one of the first men on the scene following the shooting and his testimony would lead one to believe that C. Y. Zentz, the state's star witness, was not there at the time of the fatality.
    Peter Conley, jr., was the next witness called and he was at his home, 1 1/2 blocks north of where the tragedy was enacted. He heard bullets cut the leaves of the trees and ran to the front of the house and saw a man running by. he does not know whether or not it was Morrison, but the man who was running was limping, favoring his right foot or side—and it may be mentioned here that Morrison walks and runs with a limp.
    C. Y. Zentz was the next witness called. He still clings to his first story, that the man Morrison is the man who came down from Wall Lake on the train, on Saturday, May 21, and that he afterwards saw said Morrison shoot John Conway. He is positive Morrison is the guilty man, and he cannot be shaken from that belief.
    Albert Weiderin was then called to testify and had gotten as far with his story as to say a stranger had received a match from him, with which to light a cigarette, when he was excused from testifying. Many of the spectators were, and are yet very anxious to know what Mr. Weiderin knows about the matter.
    John G. Billmire was called. He sat in his front yard on the night of the shooting and heard bullets whistle through the leaves of the trees. In just a few minutes a man, who was limping on his right foot, ran by. Mr. Billmire would not say positively that the suspect was the man who ran by, but he said Morrison was afterward called upon to demonstrate how he ran, and Mr. Billmire makes the statement that the man who ran by his home on the night of May 21, and the suspect, who ran by him to demonstrate, ran exactly the same.
    Dr. O. C. Morrison was then called and explained what shot it was the killed John Conway, and gave a general outline of the direction the bullets had traveled. He also said he had given the prisoner a physical examination and that a scar was found on or near the right ankle and in his judgment, the foot or ankle had been injured in a manner that it might cause a permanent limp.
    All of the above named witnesses were called by the state, and Dr. Morrison was then called by the defense and gave some more testimony, practically along the same line.
    John Berg of Forest City was then called. He said that during the part of May (around the 21st) he was working on a drainage job at Sibley and that he saw the defendant T. J. Morrison on the Saturday evening of the shooting, in Carroll, and also saw him in Sibley on the following Sunday. He said he had known Mr. Morrison about three years.
John Gronna, of Orange city, then testified that he came to Sibley on the morning train, about 7 o'clock, on May 22nd, and he saw Mr. Morrison, accompanied by a man named Carison, and that the three of them were together nearly all day Sunday. That they had played cards and attended a ball game together. However, that one day was the only time he had ever seen the defendant, Morrison.
    Coroner H. V. Hibbs also gave testimony concerning the coroner's inquest and the autopsy, and his testimony was virtually the same as he had given at the prior hearing.
    Attorney Files of Fort Dodge, who appeared for the defendant, then asked Justice Drees to release the man as there was no direct evidence which he would consider as reputable against the man.
County Attorney W. I. Saul then asked the justice, in behalf of the state, that Morrison be held to the grand jury, which convenes in October.
    Justice Drees, in finding against the defendant, said he believed the testimony produced by the state was of such character that he would hold him to the grand jury, without bond, and should be placed in the Carroll county jail until such time the grand jury should convene.
    A large crowd was present to hear the testimony.

 



The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
23 Jun 1921
Page 1

Steal Flowers From Grave

    Saturday when members of the Conway family went to the cemetery to place flowers on the grave of the late John Conway, they found that some wretch had stolen a wax wreath which had been sent here by a cousin from Des Moines, and had been placed on the grave. The Conway family is justly indignant.

 



The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
13 Oct 1921
Page 1

Net Tightens On Murder Suspect

State Agent Is Gathering the "Loose Ends" in Conway Shooting Case.

Hopeful of Conviction

County Attorney Saul Believes Evidence is Sufficient—Carroll Lawyer to Aid.

    Interest in the term of district court which starts Monday with the grand jury session centers largely around the trial of T. J. Morrison, charged with the murder of John F. Conway, deputy marshal, and according to County Attorney W. I. Saul the net of evidence is gradually closing about the alleged murderer and Mr. Saul expects to be ready for the trial at this term of court.
    According to Mr. Saul, there is little doubt but that the grand jury will indict Morrison, who has had a preliminary hearing and who is now in jail at Des Moines where he will be held until the case is set for trial in Carroll. The officers are taking no chances with a man whom they believe to be a desperate criminal.

State Agent On Case

    During the last few days H. M. Stoner, of Des Moines, the state agent who caused Morrison's arrest at Estherville a few days after the murder was committed, has been assisting Mr. Saul in gathering evidence to present to the grand jury. This evidence, in addition to evidence produced at the preliminary hearing, will be more than enough to warrant the grand jury to return an indictment against Morrison, Mr. Saul believes.
    In the event that the grand jury indicts Morrison for murder, Mr. Saul believes the case will be tried during the fall term of court because Morrison, held in jail at Des Moines, undoubtedly will demand a speedy trial.

Shooting of Conway

    Marshal Conway was shot and almost instantly killed about 9:40 o'clock the night of May 21 after he arrested a man believed to have been Morrison near the Great Western railroad tracks on Fifth street and not far from Nettie's cafe.
    Night Marshal A. H. Manemann and Deputy Marshal Conway were searching for a check forger and Marshal Conway found the man he was searching for and placed him under arrest. The fellow broke away and ran toward the railroad tracks, pursued by Conway, and the two exchanged shots at close range, three shots from the murderer's gun entering Conway's body, one of them proving fatal.

Murderer Escapes

    Marshal Manemann was only a few feet away when the arrest was made and arrived on the scene in time to take several shots at the fleeing figure of the murderer, who managed to make good his escape.
    Later Morrison was arrested at Estherville by State Agent Stoner, and in the preliminary hearing he was positively identified by Marshal Manemann and by Cyrus Zentz, of Battle Creek, who is expected to be the state's principal witness. Mr. Zentz is an employee of Ida county, according to Mr. Saul, who said he has investigated the character of this witness and finds him to be perfectly reliable.
    Morrison will no doubt attempt to establish an alibi, for at his preliminary hearing one witness swore that he was with Morrison in another town on the day of the fatal shooting.

Will Employ Legal Aid

    Mr. Saul has requested the assistance of another attorney in prosecuting this case, and it is expected that a decision as to who will be employed by the county to assist in the prosecution will be made Monday. It is highly probable, Mr. Saul says, that a Carroll attorney will be chosen.
    In the preliminary hearing Morrison was represented by Ray Files, a well known Fort Dodge attorney, and if Mr. Files appears as his attorney when the case is tried, court room spectators may witness one of the greatest legal battles ever staged in Carroll county.

 



The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
27 Oct 1921
Page 1

Main Alibi Witness in Murder Trial Repudiates Testimony for Defense

    John Berg, of Forest City, Admits Giving False Statements as to Alleged Murderer's Whereabouts on Day of Slaying—Trial Set for Monday—More Jurors to Be Summoned—Prosecutor to Insist upon Death Penalty—T. J. Drees to Defend Morrison and "Surprise" Is Expected—State Will Use 15 Witnesses—Wissler to Assist Prosecution.

    Trial of T. J. Morrison, indicted by the Carroll county grand jury for the murder of Deputy Marshal John F. Conway the night of May 21, is scheduled to begin Monday morning before Judge E. G. Albert. Attorneys believe the entire day and possibly Tuesday forenoon will be consumed in the selection of a jury of 12 persons who have no conscientious scruples against the infliction of the death penalty.
    It is known that John Berg, of Forest City, who appeared as one of Morrison's "alibi-witnesses," during the preliminary hearing, has changed his mind as to Morrison's whereabouts the day the murder was committed. Berg swore at the preliminary hearing that he was with Morrison in Sibley, Ia., on the day of the murder and that they played poker together in that city.

Admits Swearing Falsely

    Berg, who was here a few days ago to appear before the grand jury, admitted outside of the jury room to one of the prosecuting attorneys that he knew nothing of Morrison's whereabouts the day Marshal Conway was killed, but that he had testified falsely at the preliminary hearing at the request of Morrison's counsel.
    It is assumed that Berg corrected his previous testimony when he appeared before the grand jury, and at any rate he appears to have been eliminated as a witness in the case.
    "We expect to ask for the death penalty in this case," declared County Attorney W. I. Saul last night when questioned by The Times reporter. "If the court holds with us on this point, and the law seems quite clear, we will allow no man to sit on this jury who is conscientiously opposed to inflicting the death penalty."

Lawyer Denied Interview

    Morrison requested Judge Albert to appoint an attorney to defend him, and it was learned that he desired the appointment of T. J. Drees, former county attorney of Carroll county, now a resident attorney of Carroll. It is understood that a representative from the law office of Ray Files, the Fort Dodge attorney who appeared for Morrison in his preliminary hearing, came to Carroll a few days ago to interview Morrison and was denied an interview by the prisoner. It is stated that Morrison requested Carroll officers not to allow the Fort Dodge man to visit him.
    Judge Albert acceded to Morrison's request in the selection of an attorney and appointed Mr. Drees. Morrison appeared to be elated over the selection and for the first time since he was brought to Carroll from the Des Moines jail exhibited signs of pleasure. Practically ever since his arrest shortly after the murder Morrison has been morose and sullen, rarely speaking to anyone and then talking in jerky, low-toned sentences.

Will Use 15 Witnesses

    According to County Attorney Saul, the state will use about 15 witnesses, and he is visibly cheered by the recent turn of events that in his opinion strengthens the state's case. Mr. Saul will be aided in the prosecution by E. A. Wissler, former county attorney, who is reputed to be well versed in criminal law.
    Only 29 jurors of the present panel are now available, many of them having been excused for good reasons, and it will be necessary to summon additional jurors—possibly 20 to 30 men and women—to obtain 12 fair and impartial jurors who are not opposed to the death penalty for murder in the first degree.
    It is not known what the nature of the alleged murderer's defense will be. Carroll attorneys believe that he will attempt to prove an alibi—the one sure defense—and that a surprise may be introduced, the nature of which it is not permissible to discuss at this time.

 



The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
3 Nov 1921
Page 1

Times Prints Only Authentic Story

    In this issue of The Times will be found the only complete and authentic story of the greatest murder trial in the history of Carroll county. A summary of the testimony of every important witness on both sides of the case will be found in the story of this trial, a story which will be read with keen interest by every reader of this paper.
The Times goes to more than ordinary efforts in an endeavor to supply its readers with authentic news, complete in every detail. Where other newspapers "guess" at news, The Times supplies the facts.
    Readers of The Times know just how satisfactory this service is, and they are urged to impart this information to neighbors and friends. The Times makes good on every proposition. It goes every contemporary "one better." If you are not reading The Times, you are not getting ALL the news. No other newspaper in Carroll county prints HALF the news you will find each week in The Times.

 



The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
3 Nov 1921
Page 1

Jury Finds Morrison Not Guilty

Shatter All Records In Selection of Jury

Takes Only Two Hours to Pick 12 Men to Try Man for Murder—Thirty-One Are Examined—Death Penalty Asked by Prosecutor—Two Disqualify Themselves—Jurors Inspect Some of Crime—Prisoner Is an Unusual Man.

    Speed records were shattered Monday afternoon when a jury to try a man accused of murder was selected in exactly two hours, attorneys examining just 31 men in that length of time and making the challenges necessary to obtain a jury sworn to return a verdict according to the law and the evidence and to inflict the death penalty if they felt the crime justified such a decision.
    Jurors were first questioned by County Attorney W. I. Saul and it was evident from his line of questions that he expected to ask the death penalty for the man accused of the murder of Night Marshal John F. Conway. All the jurors admitted having heard of the case or having read of it in newspapers. Two jurors disqualified themselves, one by admitting that he had placed a wager on the result of the case, and the other stating that he could not return a fair and impartial verdict because of prejudice.
    Each juror was asked by the county attorney if he had any conscientious scruples against inflicting the death penalty if, in his judgment, the crime justified such punishment. Seven jurors were examined before a man was found who admitted he could not conscientiously impose the death penalty. Five, all told, did not favor the death penalty in any crime, but this did not disqualify them as jurors, although none made up the personnel of the trial jury.
    The county attorney exercised his right of preemptory challenge on the full number of jurors allowed by law, using eight challenges. the defendant used but five challenges. Each side "struck" two of the remaining names.

View Scene of Crime

    Court convened at 1:30 o'clock, following Friday's adjournment. At 3:30 o'clock the jury had been selected. The jury was then taken to the scene of the crime just north of Nettie's cafe on the Chicago Great Western right of way where they viewed the location of the cafe, billboards, railway tracks, sidewalks, ditches and other things that might have a bearing on the case.
    Witnesses had been summoned to appear Tuesday morning, and the court was adjourned until 9:30 o'clock the following day. The large crowd that had gathered expecting to hear at least a part of the testimony went away disappointed.

An Unusual Man

    Spectators at the trial fund much interest in the striking physical appearance of the man accused of having murdered the popular Carroll night marshal. Morrison is probably five feet and nine inches tall and is extremely slender. His hair is black and his cheek bones are extremely prominent, appearing so high as to be almost a deformity. His nose is slightly twisted and a scar extends across the bridge of his nose from his forehead.
    Most noticeable of all Morrison's features are his eyes. They are deep set and large, a rare combination, and in the court room the prisoner's gaze appeared to shift from one person to another with lightning rapidity. His cheeks are hollow and sunken and his sallow skin is drawn tightly across his high cheek bones like dried parchment.

Shows Gold Teeth

    When Morrison smiles, which he does rarely, he shows a mouth fairly filled with gold teeth, but when he smiles his eyes do not express humor. He has the appearance of a man who has forgotten how to laugh, and never once during the long trial was he observed to laugh aloud.
    Morrison appeared in court dressed in a khaki shirt, dark trousers and black shoes. His hair was combed back and plastered close to his head. During the court sessions he constantly twisted his slender fingers and appeared to be highly nervous. Occasionally he would hold a whispered conversation with his attorney and during the short recesses of the court he would chat in a friendly manner with anyone who approached to converse with him.

 



The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
3 Nov 1921
Page 1

Juror Hadn't Formed An Opinion; Merely Bet On The Result

    Court room attaches and the crowd that gathered to witness the selection of a jury in the Morrison murder trial found a bit of humor in the questioning of one juror who had placed a small wager on the result of the trial.
    County Attorney W. I. Saul was questioning the witness as to his qualifications as a juryman, and all of the answers were quite satisfactory. The prospective juror was not prejudiced and had not formed nor expressed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the accused, he declared. Apparently he would be entirely satisfactory to both sides.
    "By the way," remarked Mr. Saul, "have you by any chance made a wager on the outcome of this case?"
    The juror paused a moment. "Well, yes," he replied. "I did make a small bet on how it would turn out."
    "You are excused," said the judge. "Call another juror."

 



The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
3 Nov 1921
Page 1

Twelve Who Decided Morrison's Fate

Out of the 31 men examined for jurors in the case of the State vs. Morrison, these were selected as being qualified to render a fair and impartial verdict:

William Wilie, Maple River township, farmer, married.
Charles Loxterkamp, Dedham, garage man, married.
George P. Schelldorf, Manning, retired merchant, married.
Joe Sander, Kniest township, farmer, married.
Frank Enenbach, Arcadia, retired farmer, married.
George Lane, Lanesbororo, railroad employee, married.
Joseph Danner, Carroll, laborer, single.
Joseph Lechtenberg, Eden township, farmer, married.
August Gebhart, Manning, retired farmer, married.
Henry Steffes, Templeton, farmer married.
Christ Hausman, Washington township, farmer, married.
Glen Farrell, Carroll, restaurant proprietor, married.

 



The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
3 Nov 1921
Page 1

Six Hours Retired to Reach Verdict

Crowd in Court Room Cheers When Defendant Is FreedFirst Ballot Shows 11 for Acquittal—Five More Votes Taken Before Agreement Is Reached—Testimony of Night Marshal of Sibley Is Damaging to State's Case.

    Six hours after the jury retired to consider a verdict in the case of T. J. Morrison, charged with the murder of John F. Conway, May 21, 1921, the jurors filed back into a crowded court room and announced a verdict of not guilty. Loud applause from the court room spectators greeted the verdict. Morrison shook hands with some of his friends and left the court room a free man. He had been confined in the jails of Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Carroll since early in June.
    Six votes were taken before a decision was reached, the first vote, a test as to the guilt or innocence of the accused, standing 11 for acquittal and one for conviction. The jury retired to consider the verdict at 4:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon. At 10:30 o'clock last night the verdict was announced.
    Under the instructions of the court the jury could return either one of five verdicts. They first selected a foreman and decided to talk over the case a few moments before taking a vote. Failing to agree on the first ballot they again considered the various portions of the testimony, eliminating parts of it from further consideration, and then voted on the different degrees of punishment, beginning with the death penalty.
    All were opposed to imposing the death penalty. All were opposed to a verdict of guilty of first degree murder with life imprisonment. All were against a verdict of second degree murder. On a possible manslaughter verdict the vote stood 11 to one. One the sixth and final ballot all were agreed upon a verdict of acquittal. It was learned that the testimony of the night marshal and sheriff of Sibley were given great weight by the jurors.

Calls Morrison a Cur

    "Morrison, you miserable cur, you know who killed Johnny Conway," shouted E. A. Wissler near the close of his address to the jury yesterday afternoon. The defendant, pale as a man in death, fixed his eyes upon the assistant prosecutor and then quickly shifted his gaze to the faces of the 12 men who held his own life and liberty in their hands. But never for a moment did he betray the slightest emotion, even when his own attorney pleaded with the jury that he had already wasted six months of his life in jail, "away from the flowers and the beauty of autumn," and asked them not to "send the soul of an innocent man hurling through the stars into eternity."
    "Men, this man is innocent," pleaded Attorney T. J. Drees, "and I could not have been induced to become his attorney if I believed for a moment that he killed my friend, John Conway, whom I loved as my brother. One tragedy is enough. Don't, for God's sake, make a double tragedy by placing this man behind the bars for life or by sending him to his death on the gallows."

Court Room Packed

    The court presided over by Judge E. G. Albert was the scene of a hundred thrills yesterday during the taking of testimony in behalf of the man accused of the murder of Night Marshal Conway. Half an hour before time for court to convene in the morning nearly every seat in the large court room was occupied, and long before noon standing room was at a premium. Crowds gathered at every doorway, stood in the aisles, filled the windows and crowded in every available foot of space, even inside the railing reserved for attorneys and witnesses.
    Immediately after the testimony of George Davis, of Des Moines, in behalf of the State, was concluded yesterday morning the State rested its case and witnesses for the defense were called. The previous afternoon the trial had been halted by the failure of Mr. Davis to reach Carroll and adjournment was taken about 3:30 o'clock.

Poker Players' Reunion

    Judging by the testimony of an array of self-confessed gamblers who appeared to establish an alibi for the defendant, Sibley, Ia., a county seat town near the Minnesota line, is one of those "wide open" towns that rival those of the days of '49. Seven men, few of whom said they had any occupation other than that of gambler, testified they saw Morrison in Sibley on Saturday, May 21, the day Marshal Conway was killed, or the following day. Most of them testified they played poker with Morrison Saturday or Saturday night, and each one fixed the date by a ball game played in Sibley the following day.
    The most damaging testimony to the State's case was given by W. W. Harkness, night marshal at Sibley, who accompanied the sheriff to a grading camp to clean out a bunch of gamblers. Harkness didn't see Morrison on this trip, he said, but he fixed the date positively as being May 21. Sheriff G. F. Lowery was then called to the stand and testified he saw Morrison and talked with him on this trip to the grading camp, but he fixed the date as being early in June, although he said he could not be certain as to the exact date.

Star Witness Unshaken

    Withstanding a terrific barrage of questions on cross examination and emerging with his testimony shaken only on one or two minor details, Cyrus Zentz, of Battle Creek, star witness for the state, positively identified Morrison as being the man who shot and killed Marshal Conway. Again and again he repeated the assertion that Morrison was the man and that he could not be mistaken in his identity.
    Mr. Zentz, who is 42 years old and a widower, is a bridge builder in Ida county. According to his testimony he came to Carroll on May 21 en-route to Council Bluffs to attend the funeral of his sister. He changed trains in Carroll on the afternoon of that day and remained in the city until 10:15 o'clock that night.

Conversed With Morrison

    Mr. Zentz declared that Morrison boarded the train at Wall Lake, came into the coach where Zentz was sitting and sat down in the seat with Zentz. They engaged in conversation and Morrison asked Zentz if he knew anything about gambling and sporting life in Carroll, saying he was going to Carroll that day.
    The witness described Morrison fully and told what kind of clothing he wore. He described his gold teeth, a scar across his nose and other general characteristics of the defendant. Reaching Carroll Mr. Zentz walked around town waiting for a train to Council Bluffs and about 9 o'clock went to Nettie's cafe for a cup of coffee.

Sees Conway Make Arrest

    Before entering the cafe he observed Morrison and two other men standing near the cafe. He emerged a few minutes later and saw Marshal Conway step up to Morrison and place him under arrest. The witness testified he saw Morrison break away from the night marshal and run north on the west side of the cafe.
    According to Zentz, Conway shouted for the fleeing man to stop and then fired his revolver in the air, shooting as he ran after him. Zentz ran around the east side of the cafe, fell over a pile of tiling and lost his hat. He spent a moment in the semi-darkness searching for his hat and then continued toward the scene of the tragedy.

Witnesses Shooting

    In simple yet clear language Zentz described a scuffle between the officer and Morrison and described how Morrison stepped back and fired three shots into the body of Marshal Conway. Officer Manemann came to Conway's assistance, the witness said, and after reaching Conway's side stepped to the north and shot three times at Morrison. He saw Manemann return to where Conway was lying on the ground and then saw him again take up the chase and fire three more shots at the fleeing figure.
    On cross examination Attorney Drees endeavored to confuse the witness as to the details of the shooting, especially as to the positions occupied by Marshal Manemann, Marshal Conway and the man who escaped. The attorney made much of the inability of the witness to remember details of the conversation between himself and the man he claimed was Morrison.

Digs Into Past Life

    Mr. Drees questioned the witness as to where he had resided for the last several years and stressed the fact that he had moved from state to state until about four years ago when he went to Ida county. The questioning, however, contained a sting for the defense when the witness testified that he owned his own home in Battle Creek and had served on the police force.
    Zentz became confused about the color of the shirt worn by the man he said was Morrison. The attorney referred to the testimony of Zentz at Morrison's preliminary hearing and showed that he then described Morrison's shirt as a blue polkadot, although he testified this time that Morrison wore a blue checked shirt.
    Zentz denied that he knew a reward of $5,000 had been offered for conviction of the slayer of the night marshal until after the preliminary hearing and long after he gave Morrison's description to the officers.

Coroner Describes Wounds

    Dr. F. V. Hibbs, county coroner, who conducted the inquest over the body of Marshal Conway, was the first witness for the state. Dr. Hibbs described the three wounds in Conway's body, tracing the course of each bullet. One of the bullets, he said, entered the night marshal's left arm, shattered the bone of the upper arm and was found split in two pieces. One bullet struck a rib on Conway's left side and glanced, following the rib around toward the back and emerging. The third bullet entered Conway's breast from the left side at the fourth rib, ranged downward slightly, severed the aorta, or large artery which carries blood to all parts of the body, and also passed through one lung, emerging from the body. This bullet was found in Conway's clothing.
    Dr. Hibbs testified that all of the bullets had entered from the left front and that powder burns on the clothing indicated the man who did the shooting was standing very close to Conway.

Exhibit Conway's Clothing

    Blood-stained clothing worn by the night marshal was exhibited and identified by Dr. Hibbs who pointed out the bullet holes and powder burns.
    On cross examination Mr. Drees, attorney for the defendant, attempted to shake the doctor's testimony, without result. The cross examination brought out the fact that Dr. Hibbs had served 18 months in the Spanish-American War and was familiar with the use of firearms, had had experience with gunshot wounds and was capable of recognizing a powder mark when he saw one. His testimony was merely strengthened by the cross examination.

Relates Story of Crime

    A. H. Manemann, who has served as night marshal of Carroll for several months, was the State's second witness and related the story of events that led up to the shooting of his brother officer, describing in detail and with great clearness such of the shooting as he witnessed that night.
    According to marshal Manemann, he and Marshal Conway were patrolling the city and when Conway was near Nettie's cafe about 9:30 o'clock and Manemann was across the street to the south. Conway called that he had "got a man."

Prisoner Escapes

    As Manemann started across the street Conway's prisoner broke away and ran north around the west side of the cafe with Conway following close behind. Conway ordered him to stop and shot twice in the air. Manemann ran around the east side of the cafe and heard three muffled shots, one immediately following the other.
    Manemann saw the officer sink to the ground and ran to his side while the man who did the shooting ran northeast. Manemann testified that he paused for a moment when Conway reached toward him with one arm for support. He then stepped toward the fleeing figure and fired three shots, and the man dropped as though struck by a bullet.

Returns To Conway

    Manemann said he returned to Conway's side and then saw the man jump up and run toward the north. Manemann again started to follow him and shot three time in his direction and the man dropped to the ground. Manemann then returned to summon a physician and call the sheriff.
    Manemann testified that the man who did the shooting was tall and slender and that he ran with a limp, favoring his right leg. he said he later saw Morrison run, after he had been taken into custody, and that in his judgment the man who shot Marshal Conway and escaped in the darkness was Morrison.

Is Cross Examined

    Attorney Drees hurled a series of questions at the night marshal that failed to weaken his testimony. He admitted that he could not positively identify Morrison because he had seen him only after night and at a distance. However, he insisted that Morrison's general description tallied identically with that of the murderer and that his peculiar gait was exactly the same.
    The defendant's attorney endeavored to confuse the witness by calling attention to portions of his testimony at the preliminary hearing, but the marshal's statements on all material points remained positive and unchanged.

Stranger Made Threats

    Albert Weiderin, of Carroll, testified he was in town the night of the fatal shooting and that about 9 o'clock a stranger stopped him on the street and inquired the distance to Boone. The stranger appeared to be "sore" at the town and especially at one of the night marshals whom he described as "the little fellow."
    Weiderin was able to get a view of the man's features by the light of a match which he applied to a cigarette. The stranger called the officer a vile name and said he would "get the _______" before he left town. Weiderin described the man who made these threats and the description fitted Morrison. The witness, however, would not positively identify Morrison as the man with whom he had this conversation.

Saw Fatal Shooting

    Roscoe Sapp, residing a short distance north of Nettie's cafe, was at home the night of the shooting and heard two shots fired. He saw men running and then heard three shots in succession, although boxcars shut off his view. Then came other shots and he could see the flashes of the gun and knew the gun was pointed toward the north. Then a man ran north past the Sapp residence.
    Mrs. C. R. Warnstaff, residing a block and a half north of the cafe, heard two shots and hurried to a window. Several more shots were fired and a man ran past the house going north. Mr. Warnstaff also testified to hearing the shooting, first two shots, then three and then several more shots. He also saw a man run north on West street.

Ran With Limp

    John G. Billmire, railway engineer, who resides on West street slightly more than a block north of the cafe, heard the shooting and the last of the shots that were fired came whistling through the trees above his head as he stood in his dooryard.
    Mr. Billmire then saw a man come from the scene of the shooting on the run, but he was running with what Mr. Billmire described as an "unnatural step," favoring the right leg and running as though flat-footed. After Morrison was taken into custody he saw the prisoner run, and he swore positively that Morrison's step was identical to that of the man who ran from the scene of the crime on the night of May 21.

Saw Fleeing Figure

    John Billmire, Jr., gave testimony quite similar to that given by his father. He heard the shooting and heard bullets "zipping" through the trees. The night was not dark, he said, and by the moonlight and lights from street lamps he was able to get a good view of a man who ran past the Billmire house going north.
    Mr. Billmire described the man and the peculiar manner in which he ran—a swinging, flat-footed movement with a decided favoring of the right leg. This gait, he declared, was identical with the peculiar gait of the defendant.

Surgeon Takes Stand

    Dr. O. C. Morrison, Carroll physician and surgeon, testified that he made a physical examination of the defendant just prior to the preliminary hearing in June and that defendant had a scar on his right ankle, evidently an old wound made by some sharp instrument. This wound, Dr. Morrison said, was quite deep and the ligaments had been severed.
    Dr. Morrison described how the severing of the ligaments and cords of the ankle allowed the foot to rotate outward and that this was especially noticeable when the defendant ran. He described the peculiar gait of the defendant which, he said, was similar to that of a flat-footed man.

Assisted at Inquest

    Dr. Morrison was present at the coroner's inquest and assisted in tracing the course of the bullets that entered Conway's body. he said all of the shots entered from the left and front, ranging downward, and that there were powder burns on the marshal's coat. He said the shots had been fired at close range.
    "Is there anything in your medical training at school," inquired Mr. Drees on cross examination, "that teaches you about firearms and powder marks and makes you better qualified to judge them than the ordinary man?"
    "No, sir," replied the witness.
    "But from your experience you are better qualified, are you not?" immediately asked Mr. Wissler, attorney for the State.
    "Yes, sir," Dr. Morrison replied.
    "That is all," said Mr. Drees.

State Agent Testifies

    H. M. Stoner, state agent, testified he had been sent to Carroll to investigate the killing of Marshal Conway and that he later arrested Morrison at Estherville upon a description supplied the officers by Cyrus Zentz. He described Morrison's peculiar gait when running.
    Charles Hinze, deputy sheriff, saw an "exhibition run" by Morrison after his arrest, and described his gait, saying that he favored his right leg.
    Mr. Drees made a point for the defense by proving by the witness that Morrison ran voluntarily at the request of the officers.

"Apple Man" Tells Story

    George Davis, of Des Moines, known in Carroll as the "apple man," was the last witness for the State. He testified he was here to sell apples May 21 and in the evening shortly after 9 o'clock saw Marshal Conway arrest one of the two men who was standing near Nettie's cafe. He described how the man broke away from the night marshal and ran. He described the shooting that followed, his testimony differing from that of the other witnesses mainly in that he heard six shots fired. Asked who the man was who shot Conway, the witness pointed to Morrison and exclaimed,  "That's the man."
    Cross examination by Attorney Drees failed to weaken the testimony of Davis. He admitted that more than six shots might have been fired, but if so, he didn't hear them.

Defense Witnesses Excluded

    Just before the first witness for the defense was called to the stand County Attorney Saul asked the court to exclude all of the witnesses from the court room until they had given their testimony. All witnesses were ordered to leave the room.
    John Nockels was the first witness called, and he was questioned about some man who attempted to cash a check at his store the night of the murder. He was not permitted to tell the jury anything about such a man, attorneys for the State objected to the testimony as foreign to the issue. His incompleted story was stricken from the record.

Blames Manemann

    Joe Reid, husband of Nettie Reid, near whose cafe the shooting occurred, was the second witness called by the defense and it was plain to be seen from the questioning of the witness that the defendant planned to create a doubt in the minds of the jurors by casting suspicion upon Tony Manemann for killing Conway, perhaps accidentally.
    According to Reid, he heard a shot fired about 9:30 o'clock the night of the murder and ran to the back door of the restaurant, thinking that a man who had previously caused trouble in the cafe might be on a "rampage." He said he stood in the door of the cafe and heard two shots. Then a man who did not resemble Morrison in the least ran past the back door of the cafe, closely pursued by Conway.

Did Manemann Fire Shots?

    Just then, he said, three shots came from the east of the cafe and Conway fell to the ground. Manemann then ran from the east side of the cafe toward Conway and stopped beside Conway's body. The man Conway pursued, according to the witness, did not fire a shot and only six shots were fired, three from the west side of the cafe and three from the east side.
    On cross examination the witness declared he was not blaming Manemann for the murder of Conway. Questioned by Attorney Wissler the witness became rather angry when Wissler asked him if he had not had trouble with Manemann and "all the other officers." He was asked if he did not say right after the murder that he "was so excited he didn't know what happened."

Makes Many Denials

    Attorney Wissler virtually accused the witness of trying to "get" Manemann. The witness admitted he had given the officers no assistance and had never offered testimony that might shed light on the murder. Reid said he didn't want the officers "prying into his business." Wissler hurled query after query at the witness touching his conduct towards the officers in connection with the crime. Reid admitted that Conway was running northeast when the shots were fired from the east side of the cafe, and it was then pointed out that all of the shots in Conway's body entered from the left and front, which would make it impossible for him to have been shot by a man to the south of him.
    Artie Bell, colored musician and "shine," took the stand and gave a great deal of testimony, only a part of which was vital to the case. He said he never saw Morrison near the shoe shining parlor, adjoining Nettie's cafe, and that when the shooting started he ran around back of a billboard to see what it was all about. He corroborated a part of Reid's testimony relating to the shooting.

"No Love for Tony"

    On cross examination Bell admitted he had no love for Manemann. He admitted Manemann "pinched" him for getting drunk and that Manemann once slapped him when he called the officer a vile name. He admitted, too, that he wasn't "scare proof" and that the shooting had him greatly excited. He admitted, also, that he might have told stories at variance to his testimony on the stand. He said the whole affair took about eight seconds.
    Sheriff Thomas Nivison, of Estherville, testified he arrested Morrison three times at Estherville following the murder, turning him loose on two occasions, and that Morrison didn't try to escape.
    Night Marshal Harkness and Sheriff Lowery, of Sibley, gave their testimony which is mentioned elsewhere.

Barber Saw Morrison

    Ed McManus, a barber of Sibley, testified he saw Morrison in a restaurant about 10 o'clock the night of May 21. He fixed the date by a fishing license he had taken out a week earlier and said he went fishing the next day.
    M. Carlson, wanderer, known as "The Finn," testified he was with Morrison in Sibley Thursday night, Friday and Friday night and Saturday night, may 19, 20 and 21. He played poker with Morrison on those dates, he said.
Carlson admitted he was a professional gambler and that Morrison was known to the "fraternity" as "Goldie."

Poker Players Testify

    James Gronna said he played poker with Morrison in Sibley May 21, that Carlson was in the game and that they played with "three or four shines." Next day, he said, he and Morrison attended the ball game.
    B. O. Farley, who said he played poker now and then, swore he saw Morrison in Sibley May 21. He became badly tangled under the fire of cross examination. W. L. Farley, who says he also sits in a game now and then, was an alibi witness. He mixed his dates rather badly.
    R. H. Roberts, also a gambler, saw Morrison in Sibley the Sunday after the murder was committed. Each alibi witness fixed the date he played poker with Morrison by the ball game said to have taken place the next day. Each witness was asked concerning other dates and events, and most of them had remarkably poor memories.

Drawn by Home Brew

    Peter Kout added a touch of humor to an otherwise solemn occasion by testifying that he went to a grading camp where the cook had prepared some home brew May 21 and there saw the defendant, Morrison. Asked if he, too, played poker, he replied, "Yah, I play a little smear."
    John Rafeldt, who sometimes works at the carpenter trade, was also in Sibley, he said, May 21, "looking for a social game of cards." He saw Morrison in Sibley that night, he said, and the next day there was a ball game.
Al Ditto, former city marshal of Sibley, testified he saw Morrison in Sibley on or about Sunday, May 22. He didn't see him the previous Saturday.

Morrison's Letter

    After Morrison was placed in jail he wrote the former Sibley marshal about obtaining witnesses to establish an alibi. The letter was introduced and read to the jury. None of the names suggested as witnesses in Morrison's letter appeared on the list of witnesses called to testify for Morrison.
    The marshal's reply to Morrison also was read into the records. He wrote that he hoped Morrison would be successful in establishing an alibi.
    At 1:40 o'clock the defendant rested his case. The State then produced a colored man, one Columbus Brady, to testify that he was personally acquainted with "Goldie" and that he didn't see "Goldie" in Sibley when officers investigated the grading camp. Columbus was troubled with a poor memory as to dates and his testimony appeared to be of little value. At 1:45 o'clock the State rested.

Sums Up Evidence

    County Attorney Saul made the opening address to the jury, summing up the testimony and stressing the testimony of Weiderin as establishing a motive for the crime. He bitterly attacked Reid and said Reid had never offered a word of testimony to the officers of the law when they were investigating the case.
    Attorney Drees made an eloquent plea for "fair play" for the defendant, emphasizing the evidence offered to show that Morrison made no attempt to escape from the Estherville sheriff. He attacked the testimony of Zentz and Manemann and said Zentz was a weakling mentally and physically. He said the testimony of Zentz had not been substantiated by any Carroll citizen, and called attention to the favorable testimony of Sheriff Lowery and Night Marshal Harkness, of Sibley.

Makes Closing Argument

    Mr. Wissler, former county attorney, made the closing address to the jury, stressing the point that the best of evidence is that which does not agree in every detail with other evidence touching the same points. He called particular attention to the similarity of the evidence given by alibi witnesses, saying the testimony showed it had all been manufactured in advance. He said each witness fixed the date of the ball game by the date of the poker game and vice versa.
    Court room attachs believe Mr. Wissler scored his most telling point by driving home the fact that the best obtainable evidence as to the exact date of the Sibley ball game had not been introduced in court—the printed newspaper accounts of the game, the score book, testimony of the baseball manager or a printed bill announcing the game.

These pages were designed and are maintained by IAGenWeb, solely for the use and benefit of the IAGenWeb Project, a part of the USGenWeb Project.
Copyright 1997 by IAGenWeb & the Contributor of the specific information.   Rootsweb Please read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions, & Disclaimer  — all of which apply to Carroll Co.

Back to top of page                             Return to Carroll Co. IAGenWeb Home                             Back to top of page

Photo background collage is made from colorized penny postcards donated to the USGenWeb Archives