Caswell, Lucien Beal / The reminiscences of the Hon. L. B. Caswell
Not as honest now
straight forward story, that no one tions he meets with in the cities to down. The first part of my life was could question, told how he and the distract and occupy his mind. Certain if spent in a country entirely new, any laccused, only three nights before, at rc it was that quite young students in without customs fixed, or laws enact- went in a sleigh to the Waterman the country school from the system ed. In common with others similarly farm and purchased the very hog of teaching mathematics the i they were dressing in the bushes that n in , situated, we began anew and worked 0 1 night. That they set the dog upon 4practice, became masters of arithme. C from the ground up, and if we did the animal to, catch him, causing the "tic, while too many now that grad-, not enact laws best adapted to our teeth marks uate from the high school have only wants and tastes, it was our own tglainly visible upon the kes a po an indefinite or surface knowledge f ault, and our own loss, if loss we hog's ears, at they stuck the hog of mathematics. have sustained. Before I settled up.: in the side of the neck, as could be NOT AS THOROUGHLY EDUCATED on the prof ession of law for a call- seen the one in court had been, and My judgment is, that the stu- ing and a means of earning a liveli- COPY then put him in the sleigh and drew I exact.) dents of the common school are hood I pondered much, and consid- him to the thicket, built a fire, heated not now as thoroughly educated (ered well. At times I thought it best some water, scalded and dressed the as they were in the days gone to be a farmer for my kindred had animal cut the head off in a zig-zag' by. In those days, the plan of indi- 'been so far as I was able to trace way, and there the head which I had vidual work was adopted for several them. I confess it was quite to my brought from the defendant's cellar studies, as well as for the arithme- liking,. and I felt my adaptation to was produced and fitted to the hog in tic. It furnished more work for the that high and most honorable calling. court, leaving no question whatever teacher, but better and more thor- My home was on a farm until I was but the hog that had been so com- e, and I trust ough work for the scholar. It put twenty-five years of ag pletely identified as the Standish pig, work the more responsibility upon the indi- I did my part in learning to was no other than the Waterman an- vidual pupil, than as a member of a farm which I helped to clear up, and imal. Mr. Waterman was also placed class. In fact he was a class by him- put in a most excellent condition. - I upon the stand, who identified the self. felt that I was quite a success at hog present as the one he sold to the NO CHANCE TO SHIRK farming. I could plow and sow, reap accused but three evenings ago. Af- There was no opportunity to and mow, as well and as f ast as the ter hearing this testimony, there was shirk or cover his poor progress. He best of them. Many of the days in the' but one verdict that a jury could find, thereby began in life the work of self harvest fields I could rake and bind!, and that was one of not guilty. reliance, which is a most important and with ease keep up to the best THE SURPRISED DISTRICT ATTORNEY asset for success. In those days, we cradler of wheat and oats that the The able, but much surprised Dis- e were not limited to or required to ountry round could produce. I couldl trict Attorney, was so suddenly study any particular book or science mow alongside of the best, and in no: hurled from his perch of victory thatl provided the teacher employed could instance nor in any part of the work it seemed difficult for him to deter- 1 teach it, but every one selected his did I fail to complete with the most mine whether he was in or out of i study and went at it with all the vig- experienced. I say this not because court. On the f aces of the great! or he could rally. I even taught Latin I would boast of what I could do but crowd of people standing about, ih to show what I did do. Still I be- and outside of the house, came a at one of my terms. Think of it, in licved I could be equally successful. a country school house. We enjoyed ' . broad grin. Everyone surprised, but more freedom then than now. in other occupations, and perhaps en-1 overjoyed when they realized the sta- NOT TIED HAND AND FOOT able myself to lead a more usefu tus of the case, and that their friend We were not tied hand and foot by life. Not because farming was notl and neighbor whom they esteemed so various schemes of progressive gov- useful and profitable and not so con- highly was not guilty after all. ernment but everyone was permitted spicuous in the workshop of mankind The verdict of "not guilty" was ac- to pursue the course of life he best but because there were many and cepted as true, and from that time enjoyed, provided he was within the more who were obliged to work at no ref erence to the lost hog was ever laws of his country. This method cul- manual labor, or at least adapted to made by the Standish -people. Queer! tivated and increased individuality. that class of labor, than otherwise. Was he not guilty after all? Did he NOT AS HONEST NOW Taking all things into consideration, not take this way to avert suspicion, Are we any- better now than we were the law practice seemed best suited and out wit his accuser. Some people then? I do not believe we &re as hon. to my tastes and exactly in accord believed he took the hoz, but not for est now and work in the open as then. with my ambition. It may seem some- gain but to perpetrate a huge joke Speculation and accumulation of, what presumptions for a country lad upon the bachelor and his old maid money then without earning it was to seek a profession of any kind, and sister. That he never made use of the almost unheard of. We trusted each especially the profession of law. But hog or sold it for gain, but carried it other, left our' doors open and win- it is not. In looking up the history of away if he did take it, so far from dows up at night, and slept undis- the successful men of this country, home that it never found the way turbed and as roundly as now. I be- and it may be so in other countries, back. lieve in the freedom of education and, the greatest per cent of the really My academic education fitted me the " selection 'of such studies as the successful, and we may add of the somewhat to teach school and I pupil desires and is best adapted to,4i most useful men, have been reared, taught four terms of country school, and not the classified course some of upon the farm. There is where the: except one of these terms was at Mil- which is highly obnoxious and in no most useful Iessons of life are ob- ton. The average teacher in those wise adapted to his tastes. To re- tained. There experience teaches days received only about twelve dol- quire a student to pursue a particular -them the real value of labor, some- lars per month. The last term, how. line of studies which is contrary to,, th g nothing else will; and they are ever, I taught, yielded me fifteen. But is a. not very likely to throw away one- this was after I had had training at misappropriation of his time and half of their life as many do, if not college and after I was admitted to ene ies which may result in the ut- all. the Bar but before I began to prac- terrfailure of his whole life. I have I believed the profession of law tise. In those days it was customary been on the board of education where was based upon and involved the ad- for the teacher of country schools to I live, now continuously more than justment of differences and the term. board around among the patrons; sixty years and take a dee interest ination of troubles, and that these ad- staying two or three weeks with each in the schools, and it can gardly be judications and settlements were family that was within reasonable said I have contracted these views, brought about by enforcing the laws distance of the school house. It was without some experience at least. But and the rules of equity and justice. not compulsory for anyone to have I believe, however, that as a whole. That these were based upon the eter- the teacher, no, not that, but entirely our schools are doing a great work nal principles of right between men. voluntary, and each family rejoiced for the generation in which we live,, If these rules and principles were ob- for theAime to come when they could and I intend to 've them my hearty served and adopted as a profession, i _,adored with the teacher's preys- Rnnort as londras Ilive. They cer-| whv should it not be a most noblel ence. Certainly this custom had a c ali c 9 I good side to it. It made all the fami- tainly ought to make goo prges - n lies so fvored wel acquaited withwith the support and advantages they! Fully in the faith of these princi-| the teacher and he had opportunity have now. pe dpe h rfsino a to explain lttle differeces that mayNOT WHOLLY ENDORSED and began its practice for a means of'. tric an friendsi betee the been on thse boad solng [ believe were to live my life over again,' myteachine wrei and pui.dheetrjofnn most cordially in our Free High though I think I could better it some, mysteacing woteroe in whihn adjining School system for we give the gradu- I would adopt the same profession. diestrcthool thouewa on ly in whchIlivead. ate by them a fairly good business If honestly followed it can not be bet-' aTqarersho frous was honly ao thiean education, and aid the common mass- tered. If dishonestly practiced, al- raso qure di not avai hmyelf For thi es f rom a common f und. Should not f privleg aof bxooaorndindgi arofund; with words should not all the money drawn |lIiving had better be chose.n for it. It| fonl twomexeptovrnis didIuta walk ay from the common treasury for school' is1 a great mistake to believe a rogued fo hoevenih;btwled to | purposes be confined to the support I is better adapted to this profession Imy homle. This gave me exercise in of the common and high school? Is than any other person. Certainly hel Ithe open air morning and eveningntti sfra i eesra is the most ill-fitted for it than for and ga ve me vigor and strength, no tshis just tothfar pash is necsay an al te rfessions or trades. A| which Ibelieve I would not have en. able to share in the higher education islawyer must have the confidence of . joyed if I had not taken these walks. | as we ought to go? Leaving this| his neighbors. He is charged with fered widely from the present. The g oselection and determines the coue tnthir dstnheirlvean Ientire studentry now, is classified I of life he intends to pursue. their fortunes, and how can he makeI , |and, of course, much time is saved, | If he determines to become an- peace if they do not put confidence l and the conveniences we have give| engineer, a teacher, a doctor, Breach.V*dtutiwhte anvss lI both the teacher and scholar every | er or lawyer, he should fAi back M bevto astuh e f Wietegachintge hnat tMnilton I had sev- pnh rvt rsucs.th that honesty is the most valuable as- ienty-one scholars. It can readily be n uulcad hr 8n es set financially, that a lawyer or other |seen I was of necessity kept quite I why the public should pay the ex- 'esncnpses.Ihv ee - Ibusy. My other schools had a less ! penses of acquiring a profession than 3, known many whweentoesad e lnumber. But the benches were most l a trade. No reason for the strongz true to the profession to accumulate f btwl ild I classifiedl some of| higher education to draw the publi lthnie membersofthte ba ar hoet I let each work alone. The result of to fit themsewhlves fost housae Obu n floodas ttheeirr bwonrd, ias i etil teo dustry, ntonly durig school hours | millions to build u an support a huch, ito wil behcarrie ote sandad- adn fro the beginirhang bto the donelvdof the intttos eatduhtt ec evr dollar invoulvd in the transeac- Ss mahematican i thue suchol Well, and! tatelawyer tpa"for it. n n ecaue I hae ben n er find stime enought the ustudy dutrinactta ulc oessol ee- ,Iwn osy htti sas Squires and his friend loaded the dead pig -into his sleigh an d went home. It was in the edge of -the eve- ning, and they went down about fif- ty rods f rom Squire's house into a small piece of bushes, built a fire, ob- tained a large kettle and heated some water with which to scald and dress it. They cut the head from the body, in a zig-zag way, and carried it to the house, down into the cellar, and covered it up, giving to it the ap- pearance of concealment. The body was left where they had dressed it. The vigilant eyes of the Standish family watched every movement of the Squires people. They, of course, saw the fire kindled in the bush, and lost no time in repairing to, or as near to as they thought wise, the place where the dressing was going I on. They could easily see and identi- ing. The secret was out, the guilty Squires was discovered. There he was with his friend and accomplice actually dressing the lost hog. This was sufficient proof to hang any man. They knew he was guilty all the time, murder will out, but before this they did not have actual proof. They had it now; so the alarm was given. There was an old Justice of the Peace named Kelley living in a log house on the bank of Rock river, about half a mile up the river from where the St. Paul R. R. crosses near Edgerton. Straightway went Standish the same night to this jus- tice, and made a complaint against Squires, obtained a warrant and be- fore morning Squires was under ar- rest. The prisoner said nothing. neither confessed or denied, but hung his head low in guilty fashion. The whole neighborhood was arounsed; was it possible that Squires would do such a thing. Everybody felt deeply sorry for the fallen man for almost everybody was his friend. There was la genuine mourning on all sides, but the proof seemed conclusive; there was no escape from hi's guilt. The district attorney, lawyer Keep, afterwards Judge of that Circuit, then residing at Beloit, was sent for; the day of trial was fixed almost immedi- ately. I attended the trial, so did al. most everv one for miles around. It was like a large funeral. Everybody seemed to be there with his head dropped in sorrow. A jury was imp panneled; the district attorney was prepared with an arm full of papers and documents which were to be used in giving this guilty man a quick journey to jail disgracing him for- ever. There was no help for him. He had no lawyer, poor fellow, but an old acquaintance, who had managed, things sometimes in Justice Court, appeared for him. He too, as well as hits client, wore a countenance of dis- pair. Squires came to me, and with a downcast look wanted I should mount my horse and go to his house two miles away, go down into the cellar, and under an old harness which he described, find a hog's head, and bring it to court, well covered up, so no one could see what it was until called for. I did not know what ob- ject he -had in bringing into court that stolen hog's head which, of course, would tend to prove his guilt but as the hog's body was already there I thought likely he felt like re- storing to the owner every part of the carcass and make good the loss so far as he could; so, being willing to do everything I could for the poor man, as every other one seemed to feel like doing, I went, found the head as he'said, wrapped a paper around it, and brought it to the Justice's house where it was carefully received by the guilty man, and laid away for use at the proper time. The trial be- gan; the district attorney, a very able man, went through with the wvitness- es, one by one, both of the Standishes giving their testimony with much precision, in describing the lost hog as identical in all respects with, the dead animal in court, just found in the possession 'of the prisoner, in a ,thicket of brush where it was being .;dressed in the night time. This was isufficient to convict anybody. The ill feeling existing between the two fam- ilies was detailed and dwelt upon at length as furnishing sufficient mo- tive for committing such an attro- cious offense. No theory was con- sistent except that pointing to thE guilt of the prisoner. The district attorney was sure of conviction af. ter producing this unbroken array ol facts in evidence. He rested the case HOW THE DEFENDANT PROVED HIS INNOCENCE The defendant's time had come, t prove his innocence if he could. Sur( ly the burden of doing so was upo him for as the case stood a verdict ( guilty was assured. In those da5 the defendant could not be a witne., f or himself and the proof of his hs nocence must come from other sources, and in this case such pro( could not be had. It would be impo sible. Captain Vreland, as the pri onerps, helper was sometimes calle, brought to the witness stand the mB who went with the prisoner to pu achwse the (lead hog,, in court, bi which hadl b~eul so surely id(-.tltifi( all l;nd al^i lll tiwR'Tj!stiM Vsiz t] Sit~aldish hoe,- 'the wittles;; ill a elt.
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