Michael Trautvetter’s livestock cost him an extra $15 in 1886. Apparently they got off his property and were responsible for damaging some property on his neighbor’s farm.
Trautvetter’s expenses totaled more than $15. That was just how much was awarded to J. H. Ensminger for the damage to his property. There were legal fees added to the amount Trautvetter owed the court when he lost the suit for “trespass and damage by stock” brought against him by J. H. Ensminger in 1886.
The Warsaw Bulletin devotes three lines to the livestock drama in its 29 October 1886 issue. The case was heard in Breckenridge.
But that’s not the county seat of Hancock County? No it’s not. In 1886 in Illinois, Justices of the Peace could hear civil cases under $200. That’s who heard this case the Justice of the Peace for Walker Township who apparently had his office in Breckenridge.
That’s also why I was unaware of this big livestock drama until recently. The records of many of these Justices of the Peace are no longer extant. The only reason I am aware of this suit between Trautvetter and Ensminger is because news of it made the local newspaper. My research into court records in Hancock County has concentrated on records of county-level courts which heard larger cases, probate cases and criminal cases. My not finding this case in the county records was simply because it was not heard there and is not contained among the records those courts.
It was not because I was unable to find it.
One has to know where to look to find the records. . Too bad these records are not extant. That packet of loose court papers would be interesting.
Unlike loose livestock.
Loose livestock are just irritating.