From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Crime in 1921, Laramie, Wyoming

Keeping the peace on the High Plains


Laramie's downtown historic district in 2004

On January 3, 1922, City Marshall J. W. Sigman reported to the city council of Laramie, Wyoming, about police activity during 1921. During the year, he stated, seventeen officers made a total of 321 arrests for offenses that included the following:

  • Drunks, 84
  • Breaches of the peace, 42
  • Prostitution, 25
  • Gambling, 35
  • Burglary, 2
  • Robbery, 3
  • Forgery, 4
  • Larceny, 2
  • Rape, 2
  • Assault and battery, 3
  • Speeding, 62
  • Bright lights, 2
  • Wrongful turning of corners, 3
  • Wrongful parking, 3
  • Running with mufflers open, 2
  • Lights out, 5
  • Reckless driving, 1
  • Riding on sidewalks, 4
  • Running on lawns, 1
  • Vagrancy, 6
  • Boys frequenting pool halls, 1
  • Making whisky, 4
  • Trespassing, 1
  • Refusing to pay occupation tax, 2
  • Blocking crossing, 1
  • Beating board bill, 2
  • Concerning rubbish, l
  • Interfering with officer, 1
  • Destruction of property, 1
  • Permitting unlawful cesspool, 1
  • Allowing dogs to run at large, 10
  • Using water unlawfully, 6
  • Keeping pool hall open, 1
  • Others, 2

(Source: Laramie Republican [Daily Edition] no. 123 January 04, 1922, page 5)

In 1921, traffic in Laramie would have been a mixture of horseback riders, horse-drawn vehicles, motor vehicles, and possibly bicycles. I'm guessing that the speeding violations primarily involved automobiles, but most of the riding-on-sidewalk violations involved horses.

William Conners, husband of Philena Baily (my first cousin 2x removed), was one of the policemen who kept the peace in Laramie in 1921. With 83 arrests, he was the most active officer of the Laramie law enforcement team for the year. I was a little surprised to find him on the police force, because he had been working for the Union Pacific railroad as a fireman. But maybe his wife wanted him to be at home, or maybe he was laid off as Union Pacific downsized after World War I.


Copyright 2013 by Genevieve Hill Netz. All rights reserved. Permission is granted for attaching this article to family trees, but this notice must remain with the article. Any other use requires written permission; please contact gnetz51@gmail.com. This article was published originally at http://prairiebluestem.blogspot.com/2013/04/crime-in-1921-laramie-wyoming.html.


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2 comments:

Collagemama said...

Sounds like an average day in the preschool class... How many arrests for nose-picking?

Genevieve Netz said...

The city had only 84 breaches of the peace in the whole year. I'll bet the preschool class had that many in a week or two. ;)

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