Pioneering News: 1900

~ June 23, 1900 • Lead Daily Call ~

Cattle Rustlers in Court

Circuit Court is in session in Sturgis where a series of important trials are in progress wherein Nicholas Kieffer, Matthias Kieffer and Ferninand Kieffer, three brothers are charged with cattle stealing. Cattlemen and the farmers have been satisfied for sometime that these men were cattle “rustlers,” and the State’s Attorney and the Sheriff of Meade county, with two of the Stock Association’s detectives laid a trap and caught their men. Flavin and Willard are butchers in Sturgis, and were buying meat of the Kieffers and becoming suspicious of them, they Flavin and Willard notified the officers who thereupon began to keep a close watch on the Kieffers. On March 18, 1900, Flavin and Willard’s butcher, a Mr. Farver, by a pre-arrangement with the Kieffers, drove to their ranch and assisted the Kieffers to butcher three head of cattle, belonging to three different corporations, and while thus engaged Sheriff Smith and a posse, surprised and arrested all three of the Kieffers. Nick Kieffer was tried and found guilty by a jury yesterday. Matthias Kieffer is now on trial. Meade county is thoroughly aroused over the cases against these “rustlers,” as they are numerous on the ranges. Court will probably last two weeks.

~ June 29, 1900 • The Daily Pioneer-Times ~

Convicted of Cattle Stealing

Nicholas Kieffer was convicted in circuit court at Sturgis last Friday of stealing cattle belonging to the Arden Cattle company in which Harris Franklin and N. E. Franklin of Deadwood are heavy owners. Three Kieffer brothers were indicted for the crime and Matthew was on trial yesterday. Ferdinand, the third brother will be given his trial as soon as Matthew’s trial is finished. The trial is attracting much attention and the court room is crowded each day.

The men were caught red-handed and it was proven that they had been killing cattle on the range and selling them to the meat markets in Sturgis. In addition to being indicted for stealing cattle belonging to the Arden company, they were also indicted for killing cattle belonging to the VVV and 101 cattle outfits. They are being defended by W.L. McLaughlin and M. McMahon and the prosecution is in the hands of J.F. McClung for the state and Chauncey Woods for the association assisted by W. A. Stuart.

~ June 30, 1900 • Deadwood Daily Pioneer-Times ~

Nicholas is Convicted While His Two Brothers are turned loose

Matthew and Ferdinand Kieffer, indicted at Sturgis with their brother Nicholas, for killing and selling beef belonging to the Arden Cattle company have been acquitted. Nicholas was tried last week and in his case the jury returned a verdict of guilty. The court has deferred pronouncing sentence until next Monday and in the meantime, motion will be made for a new trial.

The Sturgis Record suggests that this is a travesty on justice, one way or another. The three Kieffer boys were arrested and tried for killing the same cattle. Nicholas was convicted for the larceny of an animal that his brother — one of the men afterwards acquitted — had killed and the Record wants to know why Nicholas should not now be turned loose.

~ Sept. 21, 1900 • Deadwood Daily Pioneer-Times ~

Lively Court Work

Nicholas Kieffer was convicted in the last term of court about two months ago, for cattle stealing. He had been a successful rustler and the proof showed that he stole cattle, butchered them and sold the carcasses to local butchers, making his crime difficult to detect. Two of his partners had been tried and acquitted and an effort was make to get a new trial for him. This was the reason for his not having been sentenced before. Judge Moore overruled the motion for a new trial and sentenced Kieffer to one year in the penitentiary.

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