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1900-1949 SECTION ON HISTORY OF

 

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History of the

Watertown Police Department

Serving the community since 1853

 

 

 

 

 

 

1900

01 02       TRAMPS RELEASED EARLY?

The Watertown Daily Times publishes an article in which it says:  "It is openly charged by police officers and at least one justice of the peace in this city that men who are sent to the county jail at Jefferson as tramps are in some cases, it is alleged, allowed their liberty before the expiration of the sentence imposed.”  Sheriff Jaehnke, when shown the above, denied the charge that he ever willingly allowed a tramp or other person in his custody to leave the jail before the time for which he sentenced expired.  He said that it is possible that one may have escaped from the stockade, as it is a difficult matter to prevent one from securing his freedom if he so desires, but if so it was not with his consent.  We know that Sheriff Jaehnke is endeavoring to faithfully discharge the duties of his office, and when he made the above statement we believe it to be true. Jefferson Banner.   WR

 

02 13       ASSAILANTS OF OFFICER BRUEGGER GUILTY

The trial of Henry Saum and Edward Gruel, of this city, charged with assaulting Policeman Lucius Bruegger on West Main Street, September 17, last, was begun in the circuit court at Jefferson last Thursday.  Attorney C. H. Gardner appeared for the defendants, while the district attorney prosecuted.  A number of witnesses from this city testified and the case went to the jury Friday afternoon, a verdict of guilty being rendered.  Judge Dunwiddie imposed a sentence of one year in the state prison for each defendant, the 17th of September to be spent in solitary confinement.  The prisoners were taken to Waupun yesterday.  It will be remembered that during the fracas of which this case was the outcome, a companion of the sentenced men, Gustave Dumpke, was shot dead by Officer Bruegger.  The assault occurred while Bruegger was in the pursuit of his duties and was apparently without justification.

 

04 20       BICYCLE THIEF APPREHENDED

Last Saturday afternoon a young man, a stranger in these parts, entered the hardware store of Wm. Weber & Co. and represented that he wanted to buy a bicycle.  He picked out the wheel he wanted and asked if he could try it before completing the bargain to buy.  He was granted permission, mounted the wheel and rode east.  He did not return within a reasonable time, and Mr. Weber notified the police.  Chiefs Block informed the law officers of the surrounding towns and then went to the Junction accompanied by Oscar Weber, and got on a freight train going east, the train men of which agreed to slow up the train if anyone riding a wheel was seen on the track ahead.  When the train got about two miles this side of Oconomowoc the engineer saw two men on the track, one of whom had a wheel; the train was slowed up and Messrs. Block and Weber got off, and found the fellow with the wheel was the one wanted.  He gave his name as Harry Barnes and was brought back to this city and placed in jail.  Monday morning he was taken before Justice Stacy, District Attorney Rogers being present and prosecuting.  He was bound over to the circuit court for trial, his bonds being placed at $300.  Not being able to furnish bail, he was taken to the county jail.   WG

 

1901

03 13       TRAMPS CAUSE DISTURBANCE (1)

Monday evening the police were called upon to quell a disturbance near the Junction which was being carried on by four tramps who were badly polluted with liquor. The tramps were very boisterous and daring, and made matters extremely unpleasant to the people of that vicinity.  Chief Block and Officer Bruegger responded to the call for help and upon arriving on the scene found the “hoboes” all ready to fight for their liberty.  Nothing daunted, the minions of the law warmed up to their task and in short order had two of the disturbers who seemed particularly anxious to battle in complete subjection.  The remaining two were also captured with the aid of other police.  Yesterday morning the tramps were brought into justice court and given county jail sentences.    WR

 

08 09       TRAMPS CAUSE DISTURBANCE (2)

Last Monday evening a tramp made things quite lively on the west side for police officers.  Officer Butzler ordered him out of town, and refusing to go, he was taken in charge by the officer.  At the corner of West Main and Montgomery streets, without warnings or provocation, he struck the officer in the mouth, inflicting an ugly cut, and then followed this up with another punch in the face.  Officer Butzler thought it about time to retaliate, and knocked foe fellow down.  The tramp then refused to go further, and Chief Block was sent for.  His persuasive powers had no more effect on his trampship than Butzler’s, and the unruly fellow was given a ride to foe city jail in a wheelbarrow.  On Tuesday morning Justice Stacy sentenced him to 15 days in the county jail.  Nine years ago our officers had the same kind of trouble with the same tramp, and he did not visit our city again until last week.  Such fellows deserve harsh treatment.  Chief Block says he is the most utterly ugly fellow that has ever visited our city.     WG

 

1902

05 17       ASSAILANT ATTEMPTED TO KILL POLICE CHIEF

Chief of Police Block, having been informed that a man had been held up and robbed near Fond du Lac, was more than ever alert and on the watch for suspicious characters, and on Saturday about noon his attention was attracted to two strangers, apparently tramps, and he deemed it advisable to learn something of their antecedents, and so he invited them to accompany him to his office in the City Hall.

 

They went along quietly enough until near their destination when one struck the Chief a hard blow in the face that somewhat stunned him, meanwhile the other drew a revolver from an inside pocket.  As soon as the Chief saw the revolver he grabbed and broke it so as to throw out the cartridges.  But that the assailant meant to kill the officer is evident from the fact that pressing the revolver almost against the person of the Chief he pulled the trigger several times but fortunately the quick action of the latter in breaking the revolver saved his life.

 

The Chief called on the bystanders to assist in the arresting the would-be murderer.  Attorney W. H. Woodard and Robert Kulen being at hand responded and the fellow was secured and disarmed.

 

Meanwhile his comrade had sought to escape by running north.   Undersheriff O’Byne, of Jefferson, and others turned their attention to his capture.  The fugitive was finally found in an out building near St Henry’s church and was brought back.

 

The prisoners gave their names as James Francis and Edward Hays.  Hays, Chief Block’s assailant, was taken before Justice Stacy Saturday evening and was held for assault with intent to commit murder and in default of bail was committed to the county jail to await examination next Monday.  His partner was sent up for ninety days in the County Jail.

 

The coolness and prompt action of the Chief undoubtedly saved his life.  It was a daring thing to do but was done promptly and successfully and he is entitled to much credit for making the arrest.  The men were each armed with a 38-caliber revolver and had some money.  It Is known that one of the parties is an old time criminal and has served a sentence in prison.                   The Watertown Republican, 17 May 1902

 

1905

09 27       THE MAYOR MEANS BUSINESS

The following proclamation was issued Saturday and the slot devices have disappeared.

 

The use and operation of slot machines and all other forms of devices received and practices, used for the purpose of playing games of chance for money or other property is strictly prohibited in the city of Watertown.  The police of the city are hereby notified to enforce the law by seizing or causing to be seized all forms of machines, implements and devices which may be used in the playing of such games of chance and causes their destruction according to law; and by prosecuting all persons playing such machines, implements or other devices and those in whose charge such machines, implements or other devices may be found, or who may be found to be the owners bear out.

 

H. WERTHEIMER,

Mayor.                WRep

 

10 11       “TANKED UP” FARMER DETAINED

A farmer living near the city came to the city Saturday and “tanked up” and in the afternoon when he started for home lost his bearings and was driving his team upon the sidewalks and trying to drive into residences.  Policeman Bruegger gathered him in and he was detained until he was sober, escorted into court and informed that he must dig up $1 and costs and then go straight home which he did.  It was lucky for him that he was arrested, for if he had not been, he and his team might have wound up on the railroad track upon which he was driving when arrested.  He got off cheap and being a pretty good fellow, we will not mention his name but caution him not to mix drinks hereafter.        WR

 

10 22       DEATH OF JOHN REICHERT

John Reichert, one of Watertown's best known and most esteemed residents died suddenly last Sunday at his home, 1129 Third Street.  While eating his supper he complained of a choking sensation and died a moment afterwards in his wife’s arms.  Deceased was born in Germany, January 15, 1837, and came to America in 1853, residing for two years in New York, he then located at Fond du Lac in this state, and removed from there to this city in 1869, and has ever since made it his home. 

 

He was an auctioneer by profession and was quite prominent here in his younger days in politics, being city marshal and deputy city marshal a number of times, and was also chief of the fire department and founder of the hook and ladder company.  During the war of the rebellion he enlisted from Fond du Lac August 15, 1862, in Co. E, 26th Wisconsin regiment, being discharged for disability March 23m, 1863.

 

11 14       PATROL WAGON:  ONE WHEEL AND WITH DUMPING ARRANGEMENT

Jerry Butzler, the policeman, found a “drunk” near the corner of Main and Third streets.  He hunted up a patrol wagon consisting of one wheel and two sighting rods and loaded his find and started for the city jail down Main St. accompanied on his journey by a hundred or more interested spectators who encouraged him on the way and spit in their hands whenever Jerry became tired and great beads of perspiration trickled down his face.  When he reached the jail, the patrol wagon, being provided with an automatic dumping arrangement, the “drunk” dumped himself upon the ground while Jerry was busy unlocking the door of the bastille and endeavored to crawl away on his one leg and hands.  The crowd aided him in the effort, but the officer finally landed his man and is entitled to praise for his humanity, for the “drunk” would have frozen had he not been taken care of by the officer.

 

11 15       COURT CASES

Saturday afternoon, a drunk and disorderly was waltzed up before Judge Henze by Chief of Police Block who had given him lodging during the previous night.  The complaint being read to him and it being impossible for him to plead otherwise, he informed the court that he was guilty, and thereupon the court fined him $1., the price of twenty beers, and the costs, $5.45, one hundred and nine more beers, which are gone forever.  He paid the fine and costs and departed a sad and dry man.

 

Harry Kerwin, who is not a Frenchman, as his name will not indicate, was introduced to Judge Henze.  He was charged with carrying around more booze than was good for his system and good order, and pleaded guilty.  The court informed him that he must dig up $6.45 fine and costs or go down to the Jefferson county jail and break rock for five days.  His appetite for intoxicants having absorbed all his wealth he took the journey to Jefferson.

 

Monday forenoon a civil case was disposed of, Mrs. Matilda Klein suing John Altwardt for rent.  C. A. Kading appeared for the plaintiff and Skinner & Thauer for the defendant.  After hearing the evidence of the parties interested, the action was dismissed for the reason that the contract was made on Sunday and consequently was void.

 

12 08       CIGAR MANUFACTURER RELIEVED OF CASH

Wednesday of last week Louis Brumm, of Hubbleton, was taken before Justice Henze on complaint of Chas. Becker, a cigar manufacturer of this city, who claimed that Brumm relieved him of $260 while he was in Hubbleton the day previous.   Brumm confessed to Chief of Police Block that he had taken the money and he accompanied Mr. Block to Hubbleton, where they recovered $205 of the money.  Brumm claims another man took some money from Becker also.  Brumm waived examination and Justice Henze placed him under $200 bail, in default of which he was committed to the Jefferson county jail for trial at the next term of the circuit court.  Mr. Becker missed his train at Hubbleton on the day he was relieved of his money, and had Brumm drive him to his home in this city.  He did not miss the loss of money until next day.     WG

 

1906

08 31       OFFICER BUTZLER ARRESTS OFFENDER

Sunday evening a man by the name of John Hoffmann, who was wanted by the Columbus police authorities was picked up in this city by officer Butzler.  Upon being searched at police headquarters, there was found on his person the sum of $63.25, four razors, two lady’s watch chains, a lady’s gold watch, a pair of spectacles and a pair of gold cuff buttons which he had taken from four residences, which he had burglarized in the city of Columbus and then skidooed.  Yesterday, the chief of police of Columbus and a gentleman whose home had been burglarized came to this city and identified a part of the things found upon the person of Hoffmann and the Columbus chief of police took him back to answer for his foolishness for breaking into houses and going to Watertown to fall into the hands of officer Butzler who has his eyes open for offenders against the law.  The fellow created a disturbance in a couple of saloons while in company with a negro and during an altercation is said to have pulled a revolver which was taken away from him by the negro.  This is what is said to have led to the arrest by Officer Butzler.  Those who witnessed the trouble claim that it was a case where the negro was the white man and the white man the “nigger”.  They claimed to be connected with the carnival.

 

09 27       SLOT MACHINE PROCLAMATION

The mayor means business.  The following proclamation was issued Saturday and the slot devices have disappeared:

 

The use and operation of slot machines and all other forms of devices received and practices, used for the purpose of playing games of chance for money or other property is strictly prohibited in the city of Watertown.  The police of the city are hereby notified to enforce the law by seizing or causing to be seized all forms of machines, implements and devices which may be used in the playing of such games of chance and causes their destruction according to law; and by prosecuting all persons playing such machines, implements or other devices and those in whose charge such machines, implements or other devices may be found, or who may be found to be the owners bear out.

 

H. WERTHEIMER,

Mayor.

 

12 29       CHIEF BLOCK ARRESTS POULTRY AND SEED THIEF  

The “smooth individual’’ who committed the robbery of poultry and seed at the farm of Henry F. Achilles at an early hour Friday morning demonstrated the fact that he was somewhat on the “sandpaper” order, despite the fact that the robbery was quite cleverly planned and executed.  The thief laid a snare for his own capture and fell into the trap at Madison yesterday morning, when Chief of Police Block placed the fellow under the strong arm of the law, as the party appeared at the NorthWestern depot to claim the clover seed, which he had shipped from here the previous day.  Here was where the fellow showed decidedly poor judgment.  From the description given of the man wanted, the chief found no difficulty in detecting the much wanted individual.  Chief Block returned yesterday afternoon with Edward Williams, alias Fred Kock, who was arraigned in Justice Henze’s court yesterday afternoon.  The prisoner apparently has a good stock of aliases, as in court he first gave a third name, but later decided that it might be more convenient to disclaim it.  The examination was adjourned to December 31st, and in default of $500 bail, the alleged chicken thief was remanded to jail to await the time of explanation.

 

1907

12 31       SUMMARY OF WORK OF POLICE FORCE for calendar year 1907

The following is a summary of the work performed during the year ending December 31, 1907, by the police force of this city.

 

PRISONERS.

Burglary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Arrested on telegram instructions . .  . 3

Drunks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Larceny . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Assault and Battery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Abandonment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Forgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Non-Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Arson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

TOTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

 

During the year, the number of persons furnished lodging at the city jail was 89.

 

During the year the city has been phenomenally free from crime and the police force alert and active in preserving the peace and preventing the committing of violations of the laws against person and property and each member of the force is entitled to the thanks of the community.

 

The fact that so large a number of unfortunates were provided with lodging during the year demonstrates one of two conditions; either tramping is a profession or that the times have been hard and many men out of employment.  

 

1908

01 17       TALKING BACK TO AN OFFICER

John Walitz of Shields has learned by experience that it does not pay to talk back to an officer.  The fellow was ushered into Justice Henze's court yesterday afternoon, charged with recklessly driving a horse on Main Street.  Despite the fact that Walitz was requested by chief of Police Block to stop, the fellow disregarded the appeal and answered in an impertinent manner, whereupon the chief concluded that it was time that patience ceased to be a virtue and the “wise guy” was taken before the bar of justice with the result that he was given a small fine.  The chief “opened his heart” and interceded to have the $5 fine remitted, not taking his own fees, saving the party a good little sum.  Walitz showed that he was destitute of appreciation when he “read the riot act” to Chief Block, after luckily escaping with only the justice costs.

 

1910

Chief of Police:  H. C. Block

Policemen:  Lucius Bruegger, Charles Pieritz, Gerhardt Butzler, Charles Kerr

Special Policemen:  Carl Beduhn, Bert W. Smith

 

07 01       GET OFF MAIN ST. OCCASIONALLY

The mayor should suggest to the policemen on the night force, to get off of Main Street occasionally to see what is going on in other parts of the city.  It is pleasant, of course, to walk up and down the street and show themselves, but they should remember that but little crime is committed on Main Street.     WLeader

 

1912

05 02       POLICE OFFICERS SHOULD ACT AS GENTLEMEN, Not as Boors

Editor Gazette:  Complaints are being made that police officers are making use of their authority to gratify personal spite or to "get even" for political reasons.  One or two officers in particular seem to have it in for certain parties and never lose an opportunity to insult them.  Indeed, they seem to go out of their way in their efforts to provoke a quarrel.  They evidently take great delight in sneering at persons of different political belief than themselves, and in hurling low, cheap witticisms at them, which they perhaps read in the comic supplements and try to pass off as original, while others are allowed to loaf in doorways and on corners, undisturbed as long as they wish.  They appear to be under the protecting wing of these officers, and no doubt they are, since it was voters of this brand who had much to do with electing the present administration.

 

It is indeed cowardly for officers to shield themselves behind their stars so that people can give no back talk to their insults.  Such officers generally hold office through political "pull" and are unfit for the position.

 

When it is necessary to censure persons for loitering, etc., it should be done in a gentlemanly manner.  For instance the other evening a group of young men were standing in front of a candy store.  One of the older policemen came along and said “They want you inside boys."  The boys took the hint and moved along laughing.  The officer's words had no sting or insult in them to provoke anger.  – A Minor    WG

 

05 09       EDITOR DAILY TIMES MIGHT TAKE OWN ADVICE Before "Rushing Into Print"

Editor Gazette:—The Daily Times of Saturday evening calls an unsigned article in The Gazette against members of the police force "cowardly," that it “cast odium upon the whole department."  ………….  The Times says "Of late it seems to be the fad to discredit everybody connected with the conduct of city affairs, and the police of course come in for their share."  On the contrary, it seems to be the fad for some of those connected with the city administration to insult everyone with any claim to respectability, and the police can expect nothing else than to be discredited if they follow the lead of some of their superiors.  – A Minor.   WG  

 

1913

01 09       KERR RESIGNS FROM POLICE FORCE

On Tuesday Charles Kerr resigned from the police force of this city.  He was appointed to the force about 26 years ago, and for a number of years was city marshal and head of the police force, the office of chief then being designated as marshal.  He was night patrolman for 16 years.  During all his years in the service of the city he was ever faithful to his duties and was popular with all classes of citizens.  He was faithful to his duties and carried them out courageously and was regarded one of the very best police officers this city has ever had.  Our people regret his resignation, but his wife has been in poor health for several months past and she needs Mr. Kerr’s care at home.

 

1914

02 05       SALARIES

Police officers' salaries hereafter will be regulated upon the class in which they are placed.  In accordance with a governing statute, four classes of policemen were established by the ordinance as follows:  Class A $900, Class B $720, Class C $660, Class D $540.  At present all patrolmen are receiving $720 per year.   WG

 

03 05       GERHARD BUTZLER RESIGNATION

On March 1st Gerhard Butzler, who has been for the past 13 years a member of the Watertown police force, resigned from the force and he will in a short time move to Fond du Lac to make his home with his daughters.  Mr. Butzler has suffered greatly for some time with an affliction of one of his limbs and he finally decided to retire and take life easy.  Jerry was always a favorite on the police force, and we believe did not have an enemy in the city.  His many friends will regret his departure from the city very much and all wish him happiness wherever he may reside in the future.  His place is being temporarily filled by William Murphy, proprietor of the Belvidere Hotel.   WG

 

07 23       POLICEMAN WEIS GETS THE CRIMINALS

Policeman Herbie Weis evidently is the “right man in the right place.”  Monday evening he found a man prowling in the rear of Schempf Bros. store, who acted as if he was endeavoring to effect an entrance to the store.  He was placed in the city lockup overnight and next morning Justice Rohr gave him thirty days in the county jail.

 

The same evening Policeman Weis rounded up a negro near the Junction.  The colored gentleman used abusive language to the policeman and refused to move on.  The officer took him in tow and was leading him to the city jail when the fellow broke away from the officer and refused to halt even after the officer fired after him to scare him.  A second shot from the officer, however, hit the fellow in the ball of the foot and he is now receiving treatment at St. Mary’s Hospital.  Herbie evidently is not afraid to go after either white or colored criminals.

 

Wednesday afternoon a hobo and railway detective got into an alteration at the Junction and the police department was notified.  Herbie chartered an auto, made the Junction in double-quick time and placed the hobo in the jail.  Next day he was given a term in the county jail.   WG  

 

1915

01 21       POLICEMAN WEIS GETS HITCHED

Married.  Herbert A. Weis and Miss Marguerite S. Nabel of Madison were married at Waukegan, Ills., last week Wednesday by Rev. Mr. Gangster at the Episcopal church.  Clarence A. Schimmel and wife of this city attended them.  The groom is one of Watertown’s popular policemen and his bride has been connected as a pianist for some time with one of our moving picture theatres.  She is a most excellent young lady and both she and her husband have the well wishes of all our people in the life they have just entered.  They will make their home at the Washington House.   WG

 

07 01       BARKER LUMBER FIRE, police presence at 

   3:40 am alarm turned in by Patrolman Arthur Doerr

 

10 07       OFFICER DOERR’S CLOSE CALL

      Olympian Trail Bandits Thought Arrested

      Police of Watertown Engage in Midnight Revolver Fight with Three Desperados.

  

The three desperados suspected of having held up and robbed the Olympian train of the Milwaukee Road in Washington last week escaped from officials in Watertown early at 1 o’clock Wednesday morning by keeping up an incessant fire from their automatic revolvers.

 

Only the fortunate failure of a cartridge to explode probably saved the life of Patrolman Arthur Doerr and Lucius Bruegger of the Watertown force.  With an automatic revolver leveled at their heads, when taken by surprise, they would have been killed by the train bandits.  The shot failed to explore, but the click of the trigger warned Doerr and he dropped to the ground in darkness.  Fully fifty shots were exchanged in the fight that followed.

 

The Milwaukee police were warned to be on the alert for the bandits and two suspects were arrested early Wednesday morning.  They were found in a box car on an incoming rain.  Chief Herman Block of Watertown and Patrolman Doerr arrived in Milwaukee later in the day and saw the suspects in the central police station.  Block and Doerr were unable to identify them.

 

The Milwaukee police have every reason to believe that the men who tried to take the life of Bruegger and Doerr are the same men who held up the train near the Pacific coast.

 

Since the Olympian was heId up, three men, who tally to the description of the train robbers, have been working their way east, robbing station agents and citizens along the way in a manner which showed them to be desperate and dangerous.  Three stations west of Madison were ransacked in the past two nights.

 

In Portage early Tuesday night a citizen was held up and robbed, and according to word received here two patrolmen in that city tried to arrest the armed robbers.  Instead the officers were backed up against a barn and were disarmed of their weapons and released by their captors under threat of being murdered if they gave any alarm before the robbers would escape.

 

The police in Portage wired to Watertown, requesting that all incoming trains be searched.  Patrolmen Doerr, Bruegger and Weis and C. D. Lapham, night operator at the Junction, went to search a freight train which had arrived.  They found the quarry in the first car.  Not knowing that the men were in the car, Doerr took his flashlight and in the illumination saw the three men.

 

“What are you doing here?” he asked.  Without saying a word, one of the suspects drew an automatic revolver and pressed it against the nose of the officer.  A click of the trigger followed, but there was no explosion of the cartridge.

 

Doerr dropped to the ground to save himself.  The suspects jumped back into the boxcar, while Doerr began firing at them until his revolver was empty.  The suspects, every time the officer fired, answered the shots and bullets went over the officer’s head, but none of them found their mark.

 

Officers Bruegger and Weis took a hand in the game and a running fire of revolver play ensued.  The operator agent and Officer Weis followed one of the suspects along the track, but the suspect held them at bay by frequent shots from his revolver and escaped.

 

“I have learned my lesson,” said Doerr this morning.  “Next time I will be better armed and have enough shots with me.”

 

Doerr attributes the escape of the train robbers to the fact that they were better armed and provided with several rounds of ammunition.

 

At noon on Wednesday the police department of this city received word from Johnson Creek that a man had sought surgical aid there and that a bullet had been removed from the fleshy part of his arm.  He was brought here in the afternoon and Officer Weis identified him as the man who shot at Lapham.  The fellow claims he was in the railroad yards at the time of the gun play between Watertown police force and the bandits, but was not one of them.  He says he was working his way to Chicago from the harvest fields of South Dakota.    WG

 

12 21       ALDERMAN WANTS PUBLIC WHIPPING POST

 

Says he would be willing to apply the lash on some offenders

 

The special meeting of the Watertown city council was enlivened last Tuesday evening by Alderman Glatzel, who expressed regret that Watertown does not maintain a public whipping post.

 

He even selected the exact spot he wanted it located — in front of city hall.

 

Mr. Glatzel, in his enthusiasm for the establishment of the flogging pillar, even offered to donate his service free to the city if he could be appointed the official wielder of the “cat ’o nine tails.”

 

The incident which inspired Alderman Glatzel to his speech was the fact that one of his constituents started to “rough house” his home.  The story goes that a Sixth ward citizen in a frenzy beat his wife, leaving evidences on her face of violent handling, after which a policeman was called in.

 

When the officer arrived the wife protested an arrest, saying her husband was sleeping, and did not think arrest would serve any good purpose.  The officer acceded to her request and left the husband peacefully sleeping.

 

The alderman did not feel that justice had been properly handled and felt that he would be justified in making the arrest himself in order to jail the offender.

 

Mayor Kading felt that, inasmuch as the wife requested the officer not to make the arrest, probably all interests had been fairly served by not stacking up court costs, and this ended the whipping post incident in the council.                          The Watertown Weekly Leader, 21 Dec 1915

 

1916

11 24       CHIEF BLOCK RESIGNS

Following the action of the police and fire commission in passing a resolution prohibiting the Chief of Police to leave the city without consent of either the president or secretary of the commission, Chief of Police Herman C. Block tendered his resignation.  This action was taken by Mr. Block as he could not see his way clear to the proper exercise of his duties if restrictions were to be enforced similar to the one adopted by the police and fire commission.  Chief Block was a member of the Watertown police department 23 years and was at the head of the department for 21 years.   WDT

 

__________________________________________________________

1916 Rules and Regulations

Board of Police and Fire Commissioners

Regarding Watertown Police and Fire Departments

City of Watertown

Selected portions of Rules and Regulations: Adopted July 3, 1916.

 

Sec. 959-45. 1. The Chief of Police and the Chief of the Fire Department shall hold their respective offices during good behavior, subject, however, to suspension or removal as herein provided, at any time for cause. In suspending a chief officer the board may act on its own initiative or upon written charges made by any qualified elector of said city and filed with the president of the board. Pending the investigation of any such charges, the board may, in its discretion, suspend any such chief officer . . .

 

Sec. 959-45. 2. Every other officer or member of either department shall be subject to suspension, for cause, by the chief of the department or by said board. If suspension is made by the chief officer he shall immediately report the same with the cause of such suspension to the president of the board, and the board shall thereupon proceed to examine the charges against such suspended person, giving him an opportunity to be heard in his defense. After hearing the evidence the board shall determine whether said charges are sustained . . .   Riedl, Ken, Watertown Fire Department: 1858-2007, 2007, pg 194

 

Police and fire commissions date back to a time, more than a century ago, when the Wisconsin Legislature enacted a measure establishing such commissions as municipal bodies.  Recognizing the critical role of police officers and firefighters in assuring the public's safety, the Legislature believed that by creating an independent body, one that no political party could come to dominate, the selection and removal of police officers and fire fighters would be insulated from the vagaries of partisan politics.

 

When Commissions Must Be Created:  Under Wisconsin law, cities with a population of 4,000 or more must create police and fire commissions. Cities with a population of under 4,000 may, by ordinance, create a police and fire commission, but are not required to do so. (Section 62.13(2), Wisconsin Statutes.) Villages are treated differently under state law and in a manner that is sometimes confusing.   Riedl, Ken, Watertown Fire Department: 1858-2007, 2007, pg 428

 

1916-30

CHARLES PIERITZ:  Chief from Dec. 1, 1916 to his retirement in Dec. 31, 1930. 

                         File on Pieritz

 

1917

08 06       WAGON FOR POLICE BADLY NEEDED

There is no question but what a patrol wagon for the use of the policy department is a needed requirement, and some sort of vehicle should be provided if better service is of any consequence, as we believe it is in this age of rapid transportation.  At present when a call for the police comes from a remote part of the city the officer is compelled to walk, which requires considerable time and in many cases defeats the end sought and required of that official.  It is claimed that in cities smaller than Watertown a police patrol is maintained.  An automobile is a popular vehicle and is one which would meet the requirements and can be purchased at a small cost; it seems that the investment should be made.     Watertown News

 

08 06       THE POLICE RECORD FOR 1917

The record of the police department for 1917 shows a total of 119 arrests, of which 38 were sent to jail.  The police answered 152 phone calls and found 44 doors unlocked in the business district at night.  The lodgers enumerated were mostly credited to the winter months of a year ago, as tramps have been scarce in this section the past six months.

 

Arrests during year — 119

Lodgers — 634

Doors found open — 44

Phone calls — 152

Fines paid — 81

Sent to jail — 38.                                > >   01 02 1918

 

1918

William Grossert joins dept, substitute officer 

 

01 09       MOTORCYCLE FOR POLICE ARRIVES IN THE CITY

Indian enthusiasts gathered in the store of Schmutzler & Schlueter last night to welcome the first 1918 Powerplus to arrive in this city.  The new machine had been ordered by the city of Watertown for the use of the motorcycle policeman.  The agency had a busy time of it, the doors being closed only at a late hour, in order not to disappoint the late comers and to give all hands a chance to study the machine to their satisfaction.

 

The new model is a classy machine in all respects, being strong, light and durable. It is a government model and is painted a khaki color.  The machine is fitted with electric lighting and an electric signal.  The current for the lamps and horn is furnished by a battery, kept charged by a neat and inconspicuous generator mounted in front of the motor.  This electric generator is driven directly from the motor by a wire belt which runs in a casing. All parts are thoroughly weatherproof and operate without attention from the rider.

 

The headlight is fitted with a powerful main bulb and a small pilot bulb, the latter being for use in city riding, where a strong light is undesirable.  The horn can be regulated in sound, being amply powerful for any kind of traffic conditions or soft enough to give a pleasant warning at close quarters.    The Watertown News, 01 09 1918

 

Cross reference:  Link to online photo of 1918 Powerplus motorcycle.   

 

01 11       C. A. GAMM RESIGNS AS POLICE-FIRE COMMISSIONER

Charles A. Gamm today tendered his resignation as a member of the Police and Fire Commission.  He gave as a reason that he expects to be absent from the city considerably owing to poor health.  His term expires in 1922.  His successor will be appointed by Mayor Mulberger and under the rule will be a republican in politics.  Confirmation by the council is necessary.  Mr. Gamm was appointed a member of the commission when it was first organized, by Mayor H. G. Grube, and has served continuously since.

 

01 18       ALL GERMAN ALIENS MUST REGISTER NOW

All German aliens over 14 years of age in the city of Watertown must register with the Chief of Police at the city hall between February 4, 1918 and up to and including February 9, 1918.  The office will be open between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. each day.

 

Failure to register will mean arrest and possible confinement during the war, and in severe cases, deportation from the country after the war.  And it is made the duty of every American citizen to notify the Chief of Police of any alien that he knows so that proper registration can be made.  Any person born in Germany who has not taken out his full second papers is an alien enemy. 

 

Notice to the above effect has been received from the United States marshal’s office at Madison by me.

 

CHARLES PIERITZ,

Chief of Police.         The Watertown News, January 18, 1918.

 

08 30       PATROLMEN ASK FOR MORE PAY OR WILL RESIGN

Unless the police and fire commission and city council grants an increase in pay to the present police patrolmen they will tender their resignations.  This in effect the action taken at a meeting of the four patrolmen held on Thursday, and their action was conveyed to the police and fire commission and the city council in communications sent to those bodies today.

 

The men who have signed the petition are Officers Bruegger, Doerr, Rutz and Zimmermann, and they ask that their pay be raised to three dollars a day, little enough they claim under present conditions and a rate of wage which common labor is receiving.  They ask that the council take action at its first meeting, and a reasonable time will be given the city in which to fill their places, provided the council refuses their request.

 

At present they are receiving $2.50 a day, which they consider altogether too small in these days of high cost of living.   The Watertown News

 

11 18       CLOSING ORDER, INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC

PUT ON FLU LID

MANY CASES ARE REPORTED

 

CLOSING ORDER

 

November 18, 1918

 

Mr. Charles Pieritz,

Chief of Police, Watertown

 

Dear Sir: In view of the recurrence of epidemic influenza in a serious form, the Department of Health, acting under instructions from the State Board of Health, has found it necessary to institute the following measures in order to prevent its further spread:

 

All schools and churches in the city must be closed.

 

All theatres, movies, pool rooms, bowling alleys and other places of amusement must be closed.

 

All public meetings of any character are prohibited.

 

All funerals must be private.

 

Saloons to be open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., and no free lunch to be served.

 

No loitering or congregating in saloons or on the streets.

 

Will you kindly see that above regulations are strictly enforced at once until further notice.

 

Very truly yours,

C. J. Habhegger,

Health Commissioner.

 

1919

William Grossert given rank of patrolman 

 

1925

12 16       NEW POLICE SIGNAL SYSTEM

At the city council meeting the matter of spending $225 for a police signal system was voted on.  The police signal system is necessary, Alderman Gruetzmacher stated, because the present system, whereby the mushroom lights are used, cannot be relied upon due to the snow which often covers them.  Under the new plan, red lights will be suspended from the trolley wires at the intersection of West Main and Church streets and West Main and Water streets and on Main Street at First, Third, Fifth and Eighth streets.  The signal system will be operated from a switch at the city hall.  When calls come for police at night and the officers are out on the street the lights are turned on and give the signal that they are to report at the city hall.

 

1926

11 15        Police Flivver Patrol is Wrecked in Crash

Watertown's flivver [slang for an automobile] police patrol was wrecked at 1:30 a. m. Sunday at the intersection of Third and Milwaukee streets when it collided with a touring car and trailer carrying Harold Menning and members of his orchestra from Appleton who were enroute from Fort Atkinson where they had played at a dance.

 

In the police car at the time of the accident were Captain Michael Bolger and Officer William Grossert who were making their nightly rounds in that part of the city.

 

The Appleton car was not badly damaged.  The police car received a damaged radiator and a broken fender and light.  Captain Bolger escaped without a scratch but Officer Grossert was bruised about the head.  The damage to the patrol was repaired Sunday and Sunday evening the flivver was back on the job.

 

11 18        HERMAN C. BLOCK, 1860-1926

 

Herman C. Block, former chief of police here, died of a heart attack at his home, 117 North Washington Street, at 10:20 o'clock Thursday night.  Mr. Block's death was sudden and came unexpected.  He had not been feeling well for several months but was not confined to his home and during the day yesterday he was up and about the city and when he retired last night there was no indication that death was near.

 

Mr. Block was appointed to the police department as a night man on May 1, 1893 and was elected chief of police on May 1, 1895 and served as chief until his resignation on December 1, 1916 when he accepted a position with the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad.

 

 

Mr. Block was born in Germany on July 31, 1860 and came to Watertown at the age of 9 years.  He was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Block and he made his home in Watertown ever since coming to this city.

 

On March 26, 1883 he married Miss Ida Krebs of this city.  She survives him as do one daughter and three sons, Mrs. F. W. Borth of Milwaukee, George C. Block, William H. Block and Fred W. Block of Milwaukee.  There are six grandchildren and Mr. Block is also survived by three sisters and three brothers, Mrs. Frank Steffen, Mrs. Albert Guetzlaff of Watertown, Mrs. Fred Borth who resides four miles north of Watertown, John Block and Charles Block of Watertown and Albert Block of Milwaukee.

 

Mr. Block was a member of the Masons, the Plattdeutscher Verein and of the Wisconsin Association of Police Chiefs.

 

The death of Herman C. Block removes a well-known citizen and one of the best-known police officials in Wisconsin.  In Watertown where he was so well known the news of his death will be learned with deepest regret by his many. warm friends, who knew him for a man of fine character with a kindly nature which was exercised many times during his long career as a police officer and chief of police.  Although with full authority to act as he saw fit in cases which called for police intervention he was always the peacemaker and used his good offices to keep people out of the courts.  But he was [always] the police official when crime was involved and relentlessly pursued the criminal with an unerring judgment which brought him to justice.

 

 

A few years ago he resigned as chief of police and entered the employ of the Milwaukee road where he became lieutenant of police and proved to be a most valuable and able official who held the confidence and respect of his superiors who always found in him a dependable man and one who could be thoroughly relied upon.  He died in the harness with the consciousness of duty well performed.

 

The funeral will be held on Sunday afternoon with services at the home at 2:30 o'clock, the Rev. William E. Berger officiating.  Services at the grave will be under Masonic auspices.  Interment is to be in Oak Hill cemetery.

 

1927

THE 1927 DEPARTMENT consisted of H. A. Weis, A. J. Doerr, Arthur Glaser, William Grossert, H. Rutz, and W. Zimmermann.  Seated: Chief of Police C. H. Pieritz, and Assistant Chief M. H. Bolger.

 

10 04       POLICE GET TEAR GAS BOMBS

      AND TWO FEDERAL GAS BILLIES IN CASE OF DESPERATE SITUATIONS

 

Uncertain date

POLICE PATROL PARADE FLOAT

  

 

1928

12 05       NEW PATROL HERE; COUNCIL CONSIGNS IT TO BASEMENT

Watertown’s new police patrol, purchased through the C. H. Tidd Co., arrived in the city was placed on exhibition at the City Hall.  The council consigned the patrol to quarters that are being prepared for it in the basement by the committee on public buildings.

 

Opposition to placing the patrol in the basement, at the extreme northwest end of the building, has arisen and protests were launched in the council by some aldermen who said that a more convenient place should be secured.  It was decided, however, to continue the plans as undertaken by the committee on public buildings and give the basement quarters a trial.  Remodeling of the place, the city engineer said, is not costly, and he said he felt the plan will work out alright.

 

Captain Bolger, in charge of the night police force, said that it was up to the council to decide where the patrol is to be housed, but he said that in his estimation, and in the estimation of some other officials, the basement quarters are in an out of the way place.

 

“The police patrol should be just as handy and ready for service as are the fire trucks,” he said.  “When people call the police, especially at night they want quick service and at time there will be delay in getting the patrol from its quarters, especially if the alleyways about the building are covered with snow or coated with ice.  At times, I venture to say, it will be wholly impossible to get out with the machine.  We have had experience along this line and even with the Ford car we used so long it was impossible at times to mount the hill.  It must be remembered that there is no chance of getting a start from the bottom end of the city hall, because the incline starts at once.”

 

Must Be Quartered

 

It was pointed out that the new machine is one that will not be allowed to stand out in any kind of weather, ready for use when needed as was the old car, but that it must be quartered between calls for its use.

 

The police get far more calls at night than people are aware of and the patrol goes out time after time and even the slightest delay at times will result in protest from the public requiring the services of officers.

 

The city engineer said that he was operating under the orders of the committee on public buildings and had no voice in the matter, but that he felt the plans of the committee would work out satisfactorily.

 

Following the suggestion of Alderman Stacy, the new patrol will be kept ready at all times and is to be oiled, cleaned and maintained in serviceable condition by a member of the fire department whose duty it will be to see that the car is fit for use whenever  required by the police.  Present plans are to turn this work over to Emil Luther, janitor of the city and a member of the fire department.  The service will be paid for in addition to the regular salary received by him.

 

A test was to be made this afternoon of the patrol in an effort to find out how the proposed new quarters will serve the convenience of drivers.  It was to be conducted by members of the department under the direction of Joseph M. Solon of the C. H. Tidd Co. who negotiated the deal for the purchase of the vehicle with the city.   WDT

 

1930

08 10       CHIEF PIERITZ SUSPENDED

Charles Pieritz, Chief of Police for 35 years, was suspended for 30 days without pay by the police and fire commission for non-performance of duties.  His suspension will begin Aug 10.  Capt. Michael Bolger named acting chief.   Milw Jour

 

                Retirement of Chief Pieritz.  (obit mistakenly gave 1932 as year of retirement)

 

1931-44

ALBERT N. QUEST APPOINTED CHIEF OF POLICE

                          

Pieritz was succeeded by Quest on Jan. 1, 1931.  Mr. Quest was a retired Milwaukee police officer and his tenure here resulted in a complete overhauling of the Police Department, bringing it up to a new high standard and organization.  He was stricken with a heart attack and died on June 11, 1944.

 

1932

07 26       NO DECISION IN APPOINTING TWO NEW POLICEMEN

Reports that the board of police and fire commissioners had reached a decision on the two new policemen who are to be appointed to the department were denied today and it will be at least another week before the examinations are completed and the board makes its decision.  The examinations by Dr. F. C. Haney, city commissioner of health, have not been completed.  The reports on the Wassermann tests made Monday are due from Madison and after they are received the balance of the physical examinations will be made.  At least another week will be required before a decision can be reached.

 

07 26       VETO PLAN FOR NEW MOTORCYCLE

Mayor Lutovsky today vetoed the city council's resolution calling for the purchase of a new Indian motorcycle for the police department.  The resolution was adopted last week by a vote of 8 to 4.  The mayor vetoed the resolution because the procedure of purchase was held illegal.  Bids were not advertised for as provided by law when the amount involved exceeds $500.  The mayor said he had no alternative but to veto the measure.  The question of legality of the council's action was raised several days ago and the mayor asked an opinion.  The city attorney held the measure was illegal.  The mayor’s veto will he presented to the council at its next meeting, together with his message.

 

08 01       SOLICITOR FLEES CITY AFTER RETRIEVING SOCKS AND TOOTHBRUSH

     Chief of Police Puts Stop to One Man Campaign Drive

 

It didn't take Chief of Police Albert N. Quest long Saturday evening to break up a campaign fund for the “Lone Star Mission” which a solicitor for the mission was carrying on here, after he got word over the telephone that a religions racketeer was in the city begging funds for the mission. 

 

The chief was sitting in his office with a reporter Saturday evening when he received a telephone call from Theo. Koerner of the Kopp & Koerner hardware store that a man who claimed to be a solicitor for the Lone Star Mission was operating in that section.  Mr. Koerner said he was suspicious of the man, since he could show no permit and asked the chief to investigate.  This he did. 

 

At the corner of North Second and Madison streets, the chief halted while a familiar figure shuffled up.  He carried a tray on which was a card and $1.50 in change which he had collected from mission-minded Christians along the street.  The chief stopped him.  He questioned him about his credentials, but all he could show was a printed card giving the name of The Lone Star Mission.  The chief eyed him and then said:

 

“You don’t remember me, do you, old timer?  But I remember you.  You’ve worked this racket in Milwaukee, but you can’t work it here.  Mission work is alright, but not when fellows like you come around to collect funds.  And right now we have in this city enough work to be done by people who are charitably inclined and we don't want outsiders like you butting in. especially when you have no permit to operate here.  Do you want me to pick you up and have you get 90 days for soliciting on our streets without a permit, or do you want to get out of town quietly?"

 

By this time the face of the chief had become familiar to the solicitor and he recognized him as a former Milwaukee officer.  But the chief had recognized him the minute he shuffled up with his tray.  The man agreed to leave town.  He pocketed his cash and promised not to solicit here in the future.

 

The chief went back to bis office.  Mr. Koerner went back to his store.  The one man campaign committee went to his hotel to pick up an extra pair of sox and his toothbrush with only one thought in mind—to get out of town as fast as he could.      WDTimes

 

c.1932

PATROLLING THE STREETS

    Harley motorcycle operated by Officer Raymond Brier.  Attempted to capture Rock River Sea Monster.

 

1933

09 02       POLICE IN DRIVE ON “JUNGLES” TO CLEAN OUT HOBOES

Police this afternoon started a drive against hobo camps located in the “jungles” along the Milwaukee and North Western railroad tracks, following complaints that an unusually large number of men were making their headquarters there, doing their cooking and establishing sleeping quarters.  A number of police left the city hall in a car shortly before 2 o’clock to open the drive.  They will order as many men as possible out of the city, it is said.  The police were equipped with tear gas in case of trouble and were prepared to bring the leaders to jail if necessary.

 

The “jungles” have long been the favorite hangout for hobo hordes and a drive is carried on every so often to rid the place of the most undesirable types.  Complaints about tramps becoming abusive when begging food and clothing have been coming in to police lately and in neighborhoods which never before were visited by tramps are reporting them in recent weeks.     WDTimes, 09 02 1933

 

1934

06 06       POLICE COURT ESTABLISHED / Office of Police Justice

This city is no longer a municipality with a police force to arrest violators of ordinances but no place to try the cases of the offenders.  The peculiar status of a city without a police justice and advisability of immediate action was stressed at the council meeting by City Atty. Harold Hartwig, with the result that the office of police justice was created.  Previously all cases were tried by justices of the peace but a recent opinion by the attorney general relative to the legality of such practice in third class cities left Watertown without a court in which to try violators of ordinances.   Milw Jour

 

Department Report for 1934:  Chief Quest and eight officers.  The daytime detail consists of Sergeant Zimmerman, in charge, and Officer Weiss.  The night detail is in charge of Capt. Grossest, night chief, and Sergeant Doerr, in charge of the night street patrol.  The night patrol consists of the following four officers, Glaser, Novotny, Viogt, and Brier.  A patrol car has been furnished the department to facilitate its work.

 

1935

     Ports in windshield and shields mounted on bumper

 

1936

ENGELKE MURDER

      Arthur Zimmermann, William Voss [murderer], Harry O'Brien, Harold Dakin

 

07 02       GOOD POLICE WORK DURING 1936 CENTENNIAL

The enormous crowds which the city entertained during the festivities could not have been handled as they were without an efficiently organized and directed police force and special police assistants.  It is to the credit of the department that the traffic was handled to ably and that the enormous throngs of people were taken care of without mishap and in so orderly a manner.  Chief of Police Albert N. Quest today acknowledged the help and cooperation of the departments of Sheriff Joseph T. Lange and Walter Buschkopf and the fireman and other special officers, including American Legion members who assisted in police duty.  He also took occasion to thank the public for its cooperation in reducing traffic hazards and traffic tie-ups and for the general cooperation which the department received.

 

1939

DEPT PATROL CARS.  Car on right believed to be a 1938 or 39 Plymouth

       

Memorial Park, today municipal bldg.  Hartig Brewery in background.

 

1940

06 22       NIGHT PATROL IN DOWNTOWN

Watertown business men are still-neglecting the matter of locking the doors of their stores at night: . . .  Nearly every night members of the police department in making their rounds in the business section come across doors that are unlocked after the last person in the business places have gone home. . . .  In some cases the keys are left in the door, some business men being either that careless or so forgetful.   WDT

 

                DEATH OF SGT. ARTHUR '"ZIMMIE"ZIMMERMANN

Joined department in 1916; one of the first motorcycle policemen.

 

1942

LEONARD BRAUNSCHWEIG and CLARENCE DALY join dept.  

01 03                      

 

06 28       POLICE RESERVE [WATERTOWN AUXILIARY POLICE]

Watertown has the oldest police auxiliary group in the state.  The Watertown Police Reserve, originally known as the Watertown Auxiliary Police group, has been ongoing consecutively from 1942.  The Milwaukee Police Auxiliary is the next oldest organization, having been formed after World War II.  The American Legion was founded in 1919 and since there was no group to give the veterans of World War I military honors, a firing squad was started to provide the duty.  The squad was composed of members that could easily get away from work for funerals.   WDT

 

The Watertown Auxiliary Police force, not to be confused with the Watertown Special Police, was formed in 1942 as a Civil Defense Corps during World War II under the direction of a County Defense Chairman.  The primary function of the organization at that time was to assist residents in the event of an attack by a foreign country.  Upon conclusion of World War II, then Police Chief Theodore Voigt asked the group to become an Auxiliary Police squadron.  The group became the Watertown Auxiliary Police and have been assisting sworn officers at special events and major incidents demanding prolonged law enforcement services ever since.   Riedl, Ken, Watertown Fire Department: 1858-2007, 2007, pg 87

 

1942

RETIREMENT OF HERBERT WEIS (d.1946)

First Watertown policeman to ride a motorcycle

     Joined Department in June of 1914

 

Sergt. Herbert A. Weis, 702 Western Avenue, will retire from the Watertown police department.

 

He submitted his resignation to Chief of Police Albert N. Quest today.  He has been eligible for retirement for some time and will receive a police pension.

 

In point of service, Sergt. Weis is one of the veterans of the department here, having joined the force on June 14, 1914.  He has served under three police chiefs, the late Herman C. Block, the late Charles Pieritz and the present chief of police. He was named sergeant two years ago upon recommendation of Chief Quest.

 

Sergt. Weis was the first Watertown policeman to ride a motorcycle.  In fact, when he joined the department he bought his first machine, later selling it to the city under an arrangement that was worked out at that time.  (N.B.  Harley motorcycle operated by Officer Brier noted in 1930s section)

 

Chief Quest said today that he had accepted the Weis resignation with regret, but that it was no surprise to him, because the sergeant had talked over his plans with him several days ago and had announced his intention of retiring from the department several times in the past year or so.  Nevertheless, the chief said, when he was handed the resignation today he was reluctant to accept it.

 

"Sergeant Weis has been an asset to this department and has turned in good work.  His record over the years speaks for itself,” the chief said.  "I don’t think there is a man on the department who has had so many friends among the children of the city as has Herb Weis.  They are going to miss him.  He has served as an escort for school children on dangerous crossings for years and hundreds of children came to know him and like him.  He has had the respect of the men on .his department and has been a most co-operative worker.  We are losing a mighty good man and we hate to see him go.  I know every man on the department joins me in this expression and that they also join me in wishing him years of good health and happiness.”

 

1943

07 17       JOHN BENTHEIMER joins force

    Died 05 22 1953.  

 

1944

01 01       WILLIAM GROSSERT, retirement of

  Captain William Grossert Retired from Force

 

01 04       THEODORE VOIGT, succeeded Grossert

 

Promoted sergeant to captain, succeeding William Grossert, retired.  Former U.S. Marine in charge of the night force.

 

06 12       ALBERT QUEST, 1885-1944

Funeral services for Albert Quest, Chief of Police, who died on Sunday at St. Mary’s hospital, will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Henry’s church.  A former detective with the Milwaukee police force, Quest accepted the post of Watertown chief in 1932 and reorganized the local force.  He was born in Jefferson.   Milw Jour

 

1944        HILBERT ISFELDT, appointed patrolman

 

Hilbert C. Eisfeldt, Watertown’s newest police officer.  He was appointed to the position of patrolman by the board of police and fire commissioners at a recent meeting to fill one of the vacancies in the department.  Two vacancies still exist, one due to the retirement of Captain William Grossert last Jan. 1 and the other due to the death of Chief of Police Albert N. Quest, whose office has been assigned to Theodore C. Voigt, former police captain.  A third vacancy on the department is of a temporary nature, due to the leave of absence granted Clarence Daily who is now serving in the United States navy.  Eisfeldt was the last man on the eligible list for appointment.  Officials say it is virtually impossible to establish a new eligible list at this time, due to war-time conditions and selective service which makes men of minimum police age eligible for induction.

 

1944-1954

THEODORE C. VOIGT

    

Chief Theodore C. Voigt took over his duties on July 1, 1944.  The chief rose from the ranks of the Police Department.  A former member of the U. S. Marine Corps, Voigt, joined the department in 1932, serving as patrolman until 1939.  On March 25, 1939 he was named sergeant and served in that capacity until Jan. 3, 1944, when he became captain, succeeding Capt. William Grossert when the latter retired from the department.

 

On Sept. 20, 1950 Voigt was named a special agent of the FBI and was granted a leave of absence by the city council to accept the position.  He served until July of 1953 when his service with the FBI terminated and he returned to his duties as chief.

 

During his absence Herbert Vehlow served as acting Chief of Police.  Since Voigt's return, Vehlow has held the rank of police inspector.

 

Under Chief Quest and Chief Voigt the department has made its greatest strides toward modern police methods.  Its men have attended special schools for police training, some of them conducted by the FBI.  It has modernized its equipment, a police radio system has been installed and modern fingerprinting, photography and modern filing systems have been introduced.  The old police patrol was abandoned with the advent of the modern automobile and now the department uses squad cars and motorcycles in its work.  Through radio the department is in constant touch with sheriff's departments and police authorities in other cities.

 

1945

10 31             Herbert W. Tessman [l] and Wilbur F. Wollin [r], began their duties November 1.  Both were veterans of World War II and were appointed to their new positions following examinations.  Tessman was a platoon sergeant in the U. S. Marines and saw duty in the Pacific; Wollin was a lieutenant in the Army and served in Europe.  The two men replaced George Helmke who resigned and Arthur Glaser who had recently retired from the department.

 

1945c

   Exterior view of old City Hall.  When one walked in the main entrance of City Hall the police department was straight ahead.  A door to the Fire Department was off the right.  The jail was on the first floor, behind the police dept.  Originally consisted of 3 cells, but later on was used for storage.  Stairway to left upon entering led to offices of mayor, city clerk and city treasurer located on second floor.  City nurse and Army and Navy recruiter were on third floor. . . .

 

1946

01 09          Gordon Gerth, 23, son of Alderman and Mrs. Herman Gerth [*], took over his duties as patrolman with the local police department.  Officer Gerth was a graduate of the Watertown High School, where he played football, and attended Ripon College for two years.   WDT     Chapter on Gordon Gerth  

     [*] Herman Gerth:  1956, Last Man’s Club, Company E;  1958, G B Lewis 25 year club; member of Auxiliary Police in 1960

 

01 10       Herbert Weis, 1887-1946

Said to be first Watertown policeman to ride a motorcycle; it was his own.  (Harley motorcycle operated by Officer Brier noted in 1930s section)

 

   Believed to be Herbert Weiss.  Year unknown.

 

      Leonard Braunschweig on motorcycle

 

 

1947

01 01       FOUR POLICEMENT APPOINTED

Palmer Freres, Raymond Berg, Edward Hoppe, Melvin Wendt

 

07 01       CLARENCE TESSMANN

Clarence Tessmann joined the department on July 1, 1947.

 

1949

11 07       ARTHUR GLASER, 1888-1949

 

Birth:  Mar. 4, 1888, Death:  Nov. 6, 1949, Note:  Pfc 325 Guard & Fir Co QWC WW I

 

Known for uncanny ability to remember license plate numbers that had been relayed in reports seeking the recovery of stolen cars.  Policeman for 22 years, retiring in 1945.  Worked in the plant of the Brandt-Dent Co. before joining the department.  WDT obit includes picture at time of retirement.  Burial in  Oak Hill Cemetery, Plot: Sec 11  

 

1940s

POLICEMAN AT SCHOOL CORNER

  

CROSS REFERENCE REGARDING POLICE NEAR SCHOOLS

Dr. Rudolph Hoermann (Renata nee Mueller) had one son, Harold Mueller, who was killed in an automobile accident (c.1920) at the age of ten years.  Following this the city put policemen on all corners near the schools for the lad was returning home from school when struck by the machine causing his death.

 

 

 

 

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1842-1899 section http://www.newadvent.org/images/navarrow-left.jpg  Other Segments  http://www.newadvent.org/images/navarrow-right.jpg 1950-1999 section   

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Table of Contents 

History of Watertown, Wisconsin

Index