April 30, 1889
For several weeks tramps have had their rendezvous alongside the C.& N.W. track south of this city. The camp was about forty rods outside the city limits and the tramps knew it. They grew more bold and insolent each day. They were prowling around in Claus Bush's kitchen during the night time. They slept in John W. Munneke's barn and started a fire in his barn. They bought numerous kegs of beer and gallons of whisky and put themselves outside the same with great expedition. They became so bad that John W. Munneke came to town and swore out a warrant charging them with vagrancy. The city marshal organized a posse comitatus and,aided by Deputy Sheriff Fay and Constables J.W. Farley and Hervey Smith went to the camp of the tramps and arrested seventeen of them. Four others were arrested in the city. They were tried before George Terwilliger, justice of the peace, and eighteen of them convicted. One was sentenced to pay a fine of $20 or be imprisoned in the county jail five days; six to pay a fine of $30 or be imprisoned thirty days; eleven to pay a fine of $50 or be imprisoned fifty days. C.W. Knapp conducted the prosecution in an able manner. George E. Duis, of Dixon, who is attending the college and will graduate in June, defended one of the tramps, Frank Wilson, the one who received the lightest sentence. The tramps were taken to the county jail Tuesday. They were a bad crowd. There were half a dozen razors and more knives found concealed on their persons. Sheriff Keefer does not like such prisoners. He keeps the jail clean and free from vermin and this class of prisoners makes him and his assistants a great deal of extra work.