Jefferson County, NY


Published Watertown, NY.


The grand jury entered the court room about 4 o'clock last Friday P.M., having completed its investigations into criminal matters that came before them. The true bills found were against the following persons:

MERIBAH RANKINS, three indictments for arson, perjury and attempt to defraud an insurance company
MELCHERT RANKINS, Meribah's husband, one indictment for bigamy.
GEORGE ST. DENNY, for burglary in the third degree
WILLIAM H. SATTIMORE for being accessory to a felony
ORLIN ROWE for burglary in the third degree
FRANK BERTRAND for attempting to commit the crime of assault in the first degree
ELDEN SPRAGUE for violation of Chapter 141, laws of 1886, in catching in a seine at Henderson Bay, seven bullheads, on December 27, 1887. This is a test case and the result will be watched with interest.


MERIBAH RANKINS, the Carthage woman, against whom there is three indictments
MELCHERT RANKINS, her husband, who is charged with bigamy
JAMES CALON, one of the chicken thieves
GEORGE ST. DENNY, the Philadelphia boy burglar
FRANK BERTRAND who attempted to shoot policeman Van Wormer
ORLIN ROWE, who stole a bag of wheat from the barn owned by George McChemachen, on the Ives Road, on Sunday, Feb. 5
WILLIAM SATTIMORE, charged with being accessory to Rowe's crime

All were arraigned before Judge Walts shortly after the Grand Jury returned the indictments. They all pleaded not guilty to the respective charges preferred against them. Mrs. Rankin was the only woman prisoner in court...


THOMAS CONLEY, who was arrested with Bertrand on the charge of assault in the first degree was not indicted.
HARRY HALL, of Sackets Harbor, charged with burglary, was not indicted
DANIEL WOODARD and PATRICK CAULFIELD, two disorderly persons, were discharged from custody.


The Grand Jury found a true bill against JULIUS FAUERBACH, the forger, who was arrested in New York City, December 23, 1887, and has since been confined in the jail in this city. It will be remembered that Fauerbach was a clerk at Madison Barracks at Sackets Harbor about a year ago, when he forged the name of "George Hall & Co" upon checks to the amount of $2,200 upon the Jefferson County Bank. He was arraigned in court last Thursday and pleaded to the charge of forgery in the second degree.

The followup from the Watertown Re-Union Newspaper on Feb. 22, 1888, p. 8:

GEORGE S. DENNY, who broke into the station at Philadelphia last December, changed his plea "not guilty" to "guilty: of burglary in the third degree.

MELCHERT RANKIN, husband of MERIBAH RANKINS, the Carthage woman, changed his plea also and pleaded guilty to the crime of bigamy. He was not sentenced.

FRANK BERTRAND was tried and convicted of the crime of assault in the first degree for attempting to shoot Policeman Van Wormer, Dec. 3, 1887.

EBENEZER BREWER, age about 55 years and a resident of Stone Mills, charged with practicing medicine without have registered as required by law, was found guilty and sentenced to pay a fine of $250, or in default of fine to be imprisoned in the penitentiary for six months. Paid.

JOHN COSTELLO, charged with threatening to kill his wife, was committed to jail until the next Court of Sessions, being unable to furnish $300 bail bonds.

The court ordered that JESSE LEVERY, charged with assault with intent to rape upon an old woman in Carthage, to be held to await the action of the next grand jury.

BART NELLIS, of this city, was tried and found guilty of burglary in the third degree. He, accompanied by CHARLES HORTON, who turned State's evidence, stole a half barrel of ale from G. Scobell's bottling establishment in this city on Oct. 2, 1887. He was not sentenced.

ANDREW WELDON of this city, was convicted of the crime of receiving stolen property. The crime was committed in this city last August. He was not sentenced.

ELDEN SPRAGUE was arraigned on an indictment, which charges that in Jefferson County, in Henderson Bay, on December 27, 1887, he caught in a seine seven fish against the laws of the State. He pleaded "not guilty". An order was granted, putting the case over until the May term of court, and Mr. Sprague was bailed in the amount of $300.


GEORGE ST. DENNY, the Philadelphia burglar, JAMES CATON, the chicken thief and FRANK BERTRAND were sentenced Thursday afternoon. St. Denny was sentenced to the Auburn Prison for three years and three months. CATON was sentenced to the Auburn Prison for four years and 4 months and Bartrand was sentenced there for eight years.

MERIBAH RANKINS, against whom there are three indictments--turned to the civil trial which affect the indictments.

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