Livingston County, Illinois
Genealogy and History
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Court News


-- In the circuit court at Pontiac, Judge Pillsbury presiding, Leonard Gardner and Mollie Stewart, of Fairbury, were tried for abducting Miss Annie Manning, of Wapello, for purposes of prostitution, and were both sentenced to prison for eighteen months. Gardner was also sentenced to the county jail for one year for resisting the officer. [The Cairo Bulletin 10 June 1879; sub. by Pam Geyer]

-- Suit has been commenced by Judge Pillsbury in the Livingston county circuit court against the Chicago & Alton railroad company for $50,000 damages on account of the wound he received while riding upon their cars last summer. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 23 June 1883; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]

A ditch case of more than ordinary interest was tried in the circuit court last week. J. W. Nicols sued the highway commissioners of Eppards Point, claiming $2,000 damages for taking water, as he claimed, out of the natural course through a ditch along the highway and discharging it through culverts on to Mr. Nicols’ farm. McIlduff & Torrance prosecuted the case for Mr. Nicols and Strawn & Patton defended the highway commissioners. A large number of witnesses testified in the case. The case was ably contested by the lawyers, but the preponderance of the evidence was in favor of the commissioners establishing the fact that the water naturally flowed over Mr. Nicols’ farm. The case occupied nearly three days and the jury was out only twenty minutes and returned a verdict in favor of the commissioners. The costs in the case will amount to several hundred dollars. Pontiac Free Trader. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Nov. 5, 1886; sub. by PHG]

-- The first case of a miner sueing a Coal Company for damages, for injuries received in a mine, in this section, resulted in a verdict of $50 for the injured miner, at Pontiac the other day. The Pontiac Union Coal Co. was defendant. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 24 November 1888 - Page 8; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]

A few days ago an important case was settled in Judge Tifton's court at Pontiac. The case was that of Marshall  vs. the Leslie E. Keeley company, in which $20,000 from the company for alleged results following the treatment of his wife, who is now in the asylum at Elgin for the morphine habit. Dr. Clevenger, of Chicago, and Dr. Lowrey, of Elgin, testified as experts to the harmlessness and efficacy of the Keeley cure, and the jury found for the defendants and exonerated the Keeley company from all responsibility. [True Republican 12 February 1896; sub. by Pam Geyer]

Judge Myers has refused to appoint a receiver for the Pontiac Sentinel as petitioned by H. J. Clark, the owner, who had won a former suit against C. K. Truitt, the present publisher, for specific fulfillment of the contract to sell back to Clark a half interest in the paper. Truitt had appealed when Clark asked for a receiver. Flanagan. [The Weekly Pantagraph, July 1, 1898; sub. by PHG]

H. J. Clark has won his suit against C. R. Truitt, Judge Patton ruling in the Livingston county circuit court that the defendant must comply with his contract and sell a half interest in the Pontiac Sentinel to the plaintiff. Mr. Truitt has taken the necessary steps for an appeal. [The Weekly Pantagraph, June 3, 1898; sub. by PHG]

The complaint of Mr. Breedlove to the court that the McDowell elevator is a nuisance has been met with a petition signed by a large number of the residents of that vicinity declaring that the elevator is not a nuisance. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Apr. 7, 1899; sub. by PHG]

Haag Sentenced to Prison.
Pontiac, Mar. 23:  Albert Haag, who was found guilty of manslaughter in the circuit court here ten days ago, was sentenced to the Joliet penitentiary by Judge Patton for an indefinite period. Haag, who is but 22 years old, was tried and found guilty of killing his father last July. [Urbana Daily Courier 23 March 1909; Sub. by Pam Geyer, who adds this Note: Albert Haag and his parents are all buried in the family plot at West Lawn Cemetery in Cullom, Illinois]

CHURCH AND HOSPITAL Beneficiaries Under Will of the Late William Swendeman.
Pontiac, ILL., Oct. 29. - The will of the late William Swendeman has been filed for probate in the county court here and among the beneficiaries are the First Presbyterian church of Pontiac, to the extent of $1,000, and St. James hospital, to the extent of $500. The surviving widow is given a life estate in all the property, or as long as she remains his widow, and at her death or marriage the lands are to be sold and divided as directed in the will.  The estate consists of eighty acres of land in Eppards Point, house and lot in Pontiac, besides other personal property. The funds bequeathed to the church and hospital are in trust, the interest only to be used. That for the church is to be known as the William Swendeman fund and the $500 for the hospital is to be used to furnish a room and keep it up, the room to be known as the William Swendeman room. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Nov. 3, 1911; sub. by PHG]

Now They're Ruling For Freedom Of Air; Here's Initial Case
JOLIET, Mar. 23 -- The first court fight for the freedom of the air will take place at the Livingston county court house, at Pontiac, near here, during the April term, it was announced today. Edward McWilliams, wealthy president of the State Bank of Dwight, last November was granted a temporary injunction restraining G.Wylie Berman, 18 years old, amateur wireless operator at Dwight, from using his broadcasting station, because it is alleged to have interfered with the receiving of radio telephone service at the McWilliams home. The eyes of  the radio world will be on the case and men of national note from all sections of the country, including Herbert Hoover, secretary of commerce, Mitchell Lewis, machine gun manufacturer of New York, and Hiram Maxim, president of the American relay league, have signified their intention of attending the hearing. [Daily Illini, 24 March 1923; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]

Played the Baby Act.
Among the opinions handed down by the appellate court last week was that of Louis Strawn, appellee, and Nicholas Vipond, appellant started by the latter. The case resulted from a gambling game at Vipond's saloon in Streator. Strawn is a Pontiac attorney and the case dates back to 1899. Vipond held a promissory note given by Strawn dated October 18, 1906 for $100, and interest, with power of attorney to confess judgment attached, and on February 2, 1912, obtained judgment by confession thereon in a justice court for $141.92. Strawn filed a bill in equity to annul the judgment and restrain the collection of the note on the grounds that its only consideration was losses at gambling. The case was referred to the master in chancery of Livingston County to take evidence. He found that the allegation in the bill were true and recommended a decree for Strawn. The testimony showed that Strawn spent the night gambling, and he was without cash, but was given chips. After the game was over he gave his note for the chips handed to him, which ho lost during the night. The opinion of the appellate court affirmed the action of the master in chancery who heard the evidence. [The Lacon Home Journal 28 January 1915; Sub. by Pam Geyer]


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