The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.

Filter by Date

  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 13, 1876
    A German Gage

    The report published exclusively by the Chicago Times yesterday morning, that city tax comptroller George Von Hollen has become a fugitive, leaving behind a deficit of at least $100,000 has created a general and painful surprise.

    Americans as well as Irish and Germans had absolute faith in his honesty. In 1871, when due to the great fire, the Germans had taken almost no part in the putting up of candidates, he was appointed tax comptroller by his American party friends and served as such under Medill. At that time, all the city taxes still went through his hands and it was easy for him to appropriate single accounts of $5,000 or $10,000 for his private speculations. After his reelection, when the city taxes went through the hands of the county treasurer, this would have hardly been possible. The manner in which he embezzled moneys entrusted to him, justifies the appellation: a second D. A. Gage. As Gage, so was Von Hollen prompted by ill-fated private speculations, to make loans from the accounts entrusted to him. As in the case of Gage, he had the intention to repay these loans, but instead of doing so, he felt compelled to make new loans. As Gage finally, he took to gambling 2in the hope of clearing the debt. There is ground for the supposition, that the city editor of the Times was informed of the flight of Von Hollen, ahead of any other newspaper, on account of his close association with the gamblers.

    This embezzlement has been made possible, by the complete lack of supervision over the bookkeeping of the city tax comptroller. The best means to prevent a recurrence is the abolition of the now completely superfluous office of city tax comptroller.

    The report published exclusively by the Chicago Times yesterday morning, that city tax comptroller George Von Hollen has become a fugitive, leaving behind a deficit of at least $100,000 has ...

    German
    I F 6, II E 2, I C, IV
  • Chicago Tribune -- May 13, 1876
    Defaulted

    The latest defalcation was made public yesterday. It is in the city collector's office, and the amount stolen is not less than $100,000, and may possibly reach double that sum. George Von Hollen is the defaulter, and today he is a fugitive from justice. Von Hollen loved whiskey, and he loved cards better.

    It is said that after the Times had let up on the collector, the editor and Von Hollen became chums, and that together they made the rounds of the gambling dens. Their great game was poker and roulette, and Von Hollen is said to have lost as high as $2,000 at the latter in one sitting. The frequented the Hankins' boys' place mostly, and there, nearly all the city's money has been lost.

    George Von Hollen first came into political notoriety on the fire proof ticket of 1871, when he was elected city collector. He began to steal as soon, almost, as he entered the office, from all appearances. He was in 2the habit of collecting the taxes outside and giving receipts therefor, pocketing cash which was never in any way accounted for. How much was stolen in this way, will never be told.

    The city collector, at the time of his sudden leave-taking, had in his possession the delinquent warrants from 1871 to 1875. Of these he has been collecting from time to time, and how much he has pocketed, can not now be told. When the People's party was organized, Von Hollen became one of its shining lights, and one of the bowers of Harvey D. Colvin's then full hand. He was renominated on the People's party ticket for the office which he then held. At that time, according to the evidence of Morris J. Dooley, Von Hollen's cashier, he was a defaulter to the tune of $30,000.

    At last fall's election, he was a candidate against Hesing for county treasurer. He was a strong opponent in the convention held at McCormick Hall. Hesing set up his claims for the office, for the reason that, through it, he could retrieve his fallen fortune. Von Hollen begged and pleaded 3for it on the same grounds. His cash was short at that time; he might be called upon at any time to show his books. A compromise was arranged between Hesing and Von Hollen. If the former was elected, he would see that George's deficit was made good. Von Hollen kept no bank account for the city money and had no system of correct bookkeeping. His cashier, himself, whose evidence is given in full below, stated that Von Hollen deposited due bills of from $30,000 to $100,000 in the safe, instead of money.

    Dooley knew Von Hollen was a defaulter, or at least, was behind in his accounts; yet he said nothing to the proper authorities, because he had been told by the collector he would fix matters all right. When he was behind, say, $30,000 or $100,000, George used to put an "I. O. U." in the safe, which would generally read that he owed the city treasurer that amount in cash, and the due bill was counted as so much of the taxpayers' money in the city vaults, which seems a great deal like the greenbacker's irredeemable paper joke. And then again, he would take in checks to the 4amount, say, of $3,000 or $4,000; George would get these cashed and just drop a memorandum in the drawer. He gave the city's receipts for the money, but Von Hollen took the cash.

    This thing, from every evidence which is being brought to light now, ran right along, covering a period of nearly four years. At night Von Hollen would be carousing around the Clark Street gambling hells, and during the day collecting money, which he was pocketing. The comptroller stated that Von Hollen had misappropriated the funds of the city for years, from what he had learned since his departure, from cashier Dooley. He had stated that Von Hollen was delinquent two years ago, when he was re-elected, and expected then to make good his deficiency.

    Wednesday evening Von Hollen went to his office and from the vault took about $700, all there was in it. That he went away pretty well fixed, there can be no doubt, and he is now probably on his way to Bremerhaven, Germany.

    The latest defalcation was made public yesterday. It is in the city collector's office, and the amount stolen is not less than $100,000, and may possibly reach double that sum. ...

    German
    II E 2, I F 6
  • Der Westen -- May 14, 1876
    Von Hollen and the Neue Freie Presse.

    The editor of the Neue Freie Presse says it was a lie to assert that Von Hollen had been a main share-holder of the Neue Freie Presse. The writer of this report grants that this had only been a supposition on his part. G. Von Hollen has never stated that he was a main share-holder of that paper, but in view of the sum, which he claims having invested in the Neue Freie Presse, if one remembers, that it may at any moment have the value of the shares of the Neue Freie Presse, i. e., nothing, this sum could have bought the majority if not all of the shares of the Neue Freie Presse.

    If said editor denies that Von Hollen is a share-holder at all, we wish to state that we rather give credence to the word of Von Hollen, although he was an unfaithful official, than to the editor of the Neue Freie Presse.

    The editor of the Neue Freie Presse says it was a lie to assert that Von Hollen had been a main share-holder of the Neue Freie Presse. The writer of ...

    German
    I F 6, II B 2 d 1, II E 2, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 17, 1876
    Whisky Trial; J. Rehm and His Story.

    Judge Blodgett. For the government, attorneys Bangs, Ayer and Bontell. For the defense, J. J. Ingersoll and S. K. Dow.

    Jacob Rehm is cross-examined by Ayer.

    Jacob Rehm: I have been 35 years in Chicago; was eleven years old when I came; moved with my relatives to a farm in Gage county; later I became a driver. In 1851 I became a policeman. In 1855 I was elected street commissioner for one year. In 1857 I was elected city marshall for 2 years. Then I got a position in the distillery of Lill and Diversey, where I remained until I became deputy superintendent of police. I soon resigned this position to return to Lill and Diversey. In 1862 I was appointed superintendent of police. After six months I resigned and returned once more to Lill. In 1863 I was elected county treasurer and I remained with Lill until 1865. Then I started my own brewery, which I sold after two years. In 1866 I was once more police superintendent and I resigned in 1868. In 1873 I was again elected police superintendent by Mayor Colvin and the city council. I resigned October 1, 1875 and I have held no office since. Since 1865 I have been in the malt business. My business is as prosperous 2as that of any firm in the city.

    Ayer: Tell the court and the jury what you know about the fabrication of contraband whisky.

    Witness: About the fabrication itself, I know nothing. In 1872 certain distillers complained about contraband work being done by Miller & Reid and requested me to ask Irwin to change the officials there. Irwin did it and transferred Adolph Muller. Hesing asked me why I had done that. He said that he had accepted $30,000 notes for Miller and that he did not know what to do. He said that I should see Irwin. I did so and Irwin said that if people do something illegal, they should pay for it. I told this to Hesing, who answered that Miller and Reid would pay $500 per month. Irwin considered this to be satisfactory and gave Miller & Reid the proper officials. After this payment other distillers also came. George Miller gave Hesing $500 which he turned over to me. Irwin at this time did not wish to shoulder all the risk alone and asked me to bring Bridges and Munn into the conspiracy. They both consented to join it.

    Cross-examination by Ingersoll.

    3

    J. Rehm: I came to Chicago in 1841 or 1842. As a policeman, I received $32 a month, as street commissioner I received from $2500 to $3,000 in commissions. Lill paid me $1,500 a year.

    Ingersoll: When did you begin the whisky fraud?

    Witness: 1872.

    Ingersoll: Have you ever been in partnership with thieves?

    Witness: No.

    Ingersoll: Tell us how you were drawn into this affair.

    Witness: At the exchange I heard complaints about contraband whisky. Was first told about it by Dr. Rush and George Barroughs. I was asked to see Irwin and to tell him that the Blackhawk distillery was cheating. He seized the crooked official.

    Ingersoll: And now the tempter approached you under the appearance of A. C. Hesing?

    4

    Witness: Yes.

    Ingersoll: When and how did he perpetrate this attack upon your virtue?

    Witness: In 1872, in a saloon.

    Ingersoll: What happened when Hesing thus approached you?

    Witness: Hesing said that he accepted notes for Miller and that the latter would not be able to pay them, if he should have to stop cheating. I should fix the collector that Miller could keep on cheating. I had much influence with Irwin. I helped elect him; I considered him honest even when I invited him to participate in the fraud (Laughter). When Irwin said that Miller would have to pay, Hesing promised that the latter would pay $500 a month.

    Ingersoll: How much are you worth now?

    Witness: About $200,000; perhaps a little more. I have no cash. I do not know how much my home is worth. I have received from $110,000 to $120,000 for corrupt purposes. I have spent from $12,000 to $20,000 for politics. I have helped the Republican party with this money. I have never told Hesing that I had 5received so much money, that I had to unload.

    My trial has not taken place yet. I have as yet not been sentenced. I have been indicted for conspiracy to evade the payment of taxes. I have pleaded guilty.

    Judge Blodgett. For the government, attorneys Bangs, Ayer and Bontell. For the defense, J. J. Ingersoll and S. K. Dow. Jacob Rehm is cross-examined by Ayer. Jacob Rehm: I have ...

    German
    II E 2, I F 6, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 19, 1876
    D. W Munn's Trial.

    Judge Blodgett; Prosecuting attorneys: Bangs and Ayer; for the defense: Ingersoll, Doolittle and Dow.

    Cross-examination of A. C. Hesing by Ingersoll:

    Hesing: My name is Anthony C. Hesing; I have been living in Chicago and neighborhood since 1854. I know Jacob Rehm and I also was acquainted with him in May, 1875. I had at that time a conversation with Rehm about the defendant Munn. Rehm said it was a shame that Munn had been discharged because Munn, so he said, had never belonged to the conspiracy.

    Ingersoll: Have you had a conversation with Rehm concerning a certain Beck, whom he wanted as tax supervisor in case Munn should be promoted to the office of commissioner?

    Witness: Yes, under the following circumstances. In the year 1874 Ch. Farwell was a candidate for congress, as well as my son, Washington Hesing. Great pressure was put upon me to have my son withdraw his candidacy, but I refused.

    2

    Rehm said that would cost much money and I answered that it would cost more than I was able to spend. But I told Rehm that no amount of money would induce me to sell my son; that he knew that I was in bad financial shape and that if he would discount my paper, he would render me a great service. He discounted my notes and took ten per cent interest and bond.

    Ingersoll (gravely): Mr. Hesing, have you really seduced J. Rehm? (Laughter)

    Witness: No, it is too ridiculous.

    Ingersoll: You thus do not need to assume the paternity of the contraband baby.

    Witness: If I had wanted to do that, I could have been at the head of the conspiracy, when I was offered the position of Collector in 1869.

    Cross-examination by Ayer.

    Hesing: There are three indictments against me; one against Rehm, Hoyt and myself for conspiracy; one on account of tax defraudation as distiller (upon 3this I have pleaded guilty); and one against Miller, Newhaus and myself.

    Since 1862 I have been in the newspaper business, Formerly I was deputy sheriff and sheriff of this county, and I have filled no other public office since. In 1875 I was candidate for the office of county treasurer. In 1870 I bought a third of an interest in the Keller brewery. My partners were Edward Salomon and Joseph Grunkut. I then went to California and later to Europe. When I returned from there after the great fire, the brewery had burned down. In 1872 I was not in partnership with H. B. Miller in a distillery; I paid Rehm money for Miller. After my return from Europe Miller came to me and asked me for a letter of credit and for bond for certain taxes he owed the government, which was at that time legal under the credit system of the tax office. But Collector Irwin received orders from Washington to confiscate the distillery on account of the taxes being in arrears. Irwin said that he could grant Miller no further time, but he accepted my name as sufficient security. In July, Miller told me that he had made some contraband whiskey. He asked me to get him from Rehm a storekeeper who could be trusted. When I told Rehm about it he smiled and said if Miller wants to make contraband whiskey, he must pay $10.00 a barrel and I should collect, because Miller talks too much. From the first $500 I gave him 4he allowed me $250. Miller knew that I kept part of the money because I had told him myself. From Miller I gave Rehm $1800 and I kept $900.

    In 1873, H. B. Miller was candidate for the office of county treasurer. At that time I surmised that he was crooked, but I was not sure. I supported him and he was elected. He was a good county treasurer and managed the money honestly. Miller paid me part of the interest of the county money, from $500 to $600 a month. From other politicians I have never received any money.

    Judge Blodgett; Prosecuting attorneys: Bangs and Ayer; for the defense: Ingersoll, Doolittle and Dow. Cross-examination of A. C. Hesing by Ingersoll: Hesing: My name is Anthony C. Hesing; I have ...

    German
    I F 6, II A 2, II E 2, I F 5, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 25, 1876
    A. C. Hesing's Answer to the Chicago Tribune.

    "The Chicago Tribune published an article on May 20th concerning my testimony in the trial of Munn. This article contains so many misrepresentations that I feel obliged to answer it. As guilty as I am, in a technical sense, of violation of the tax laws, I am not guilty in the manner and to the extent that the Tribune would make one believe. This paper has turned my testimony into something sensational. I hope that this paper will do me justice and publish also my answer.

    "First, I wish to explain a few unintentional errors in the reproduction by the Tribune. I have neither levied toll on H. B. Miller nor have I blackmailed him out of such amounts, that his profit was completely illusory. I maintain that Miller has not paid me money, for which he has not received equivalent value. Here are the facts: Mr. Miller was on the brink of bankruptcy. He owed the government $26,000 in taxes for which he was in arrears and he had no cash to run his distillery. In his distress he came to me for assistance. I vouched for the payment of his tax, so that time was given him and that the confiscation of his distillery was postponed. The tax was 2completely paid.

    "I accepted his notes to the amount of $35,000 so that he was able to continue his business. By accepting his notes, I endangered all my property and I saved him from bankruptcy and ruin. In ordinary times, this would have been called a praiseworthy action, but now even a gesture of friendship is branded as a crime. Mr. Miller was grateful for the service rendered and paid me for the risk I had taken. The fact that some of the money he paid me, came from contraband whiskey, is the only circumstance which makes any criminal proceedings against me in conjunction with Mr. Miller possible.

    "George Miller, the owner of the Lake Shore distillery found himslef in exactly the same circumstances as H. B. Miller. It has always been my fate that friends in distress have continuously come to me for assistance and that I have never turned anyone away. George Miller came to me and begged for assistance; without me he would have become a beggar. I accepted a note from him to the amount of $30,000. When I accepted his note he gave me a partnership in his distillery which I accepted. I did not know anything about the running of a distillery, nothing about its net profit. I had an inkling about the manner in which this distillery was operated and being a partner of the 3firm I was held legally responsible. Had it not been for this business connection with George Miller, I would have stood trial and I would have expected from my fellow citizens a verdict of 'not guilty'.

    "The Tribune also claims that I bled E. Jussen of $2,000 because I used my influence to have him appointed as collector. This is not so. It is true, that Mr. Jussen was appointed due to my influence but he was in office for almost six months before he paid me those $2,000. At that time the Republican party owed me $9,000 for printed matter and cash I had loaned. Mr. Jussen, who had secured through me a well paying office, had no objection to taking over part of this indebtedness. To this day the Republican party still owes me $7,000.

    "I believe that I have now corrected the main errors of the Tribune's article. Before I step before the judge, who will pronounce my sentence, I wish to tell the public that I fell as deeply as possible the shame to which I may be exposed. But I affirm that I am more unfortunate than guilty. I am no perjurer.

    "Fate has taken my riches. I am poor, poorer than when I started my career.

    4

    The severity of a Draconian law is facing me, but poverty and misfortune I shall endure with courage and, in spite of everything, rely on the future."

    "The Chicago Tribune published an article on May 20th concerning my testimony in the trial of Munn. This article contains so many misrepresentations that I feel obliged to answer it. ...

    German
    II E 2, IV, I C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 24, 1876
    Why A. C. Hesing Went to Jail.

    "Where is the 'People's Party' now, which with a 10,000 majority conquered our city two years ago? Hesing and 'Buffalo' Muller are in the county jail, von Holden and Hildreth are fugitives from justice, Rehm is standing on the door sill of the penitentiary, and in a few days Colvin will step back into the background. Will decent Germans and Irishmen ever again lend their support to conspiracies against the commonweal?" So speaks the Chicago Tribune.

    Mr. Joseph Medill has at last made an open confession. Hesing has never been forgiven for having created the People's Party which triumphed so completely over the puritan Know-Nothings. This accounts for the constant instigations; that Hesing should be punished severely. If the Tribune is so solicitous to see evil-doers punished, why not extend this solicitude to the punishment of Gage?

    The Tribune's article is proof that the conviction held by the majority of the population, that Hesing was mostly punished for the recognition he won for the foreign-born element, is well founded. The entire population has read with the utmost attention the reports concerning the whiskey trial and is convinced that Hesing should have received a lighter sentence than the other 2distillers.

    The majority of the people cannot understand, that Hesing's partner G. Miller, who swore in court, that Hesing never took part directly in the business and who swore that he gave Hesing $20,000 and Rehm $40,000, that this Miller should go free without one day in prison and without a one dollar fine, while Hesing was sentenced to two years imprisonment and $5,000 fine. The public cannot understand, why Rehm, who was no partner of Miller, received $40,000 and yet should go free.

    The only testimony against Hesing was that of Rehm, whose testimony was declared to be perjury by two juries and whose testimony was considered to be incredible by the judge and the federal attorneys. Hesing could have gotten off free, if he had consented to be a squealer and a perjurer. Leonard Swett came to him a few days after Ward and Wadsworth had been indicted and said: "Mr. Hesing, you may get off free, if you will testify against Ward and Wadsworth." But Mr. Hesing refused.

    3

    The 10,000 majority in 1873 and the fact that he refused to help the federal prosecutors, are the cause of Hesing's extreme punishment. Did not Mr. Bangs say to Buffalo Miller: "Oh, you are a pretty good fellow, you have never plotted against us, we shall let you down pretty easy." Mr. Bangs calls it a plot directed against him, that Hesing should have told the truth under oath.

    "Where is the 'People's Party' now, which with a 10,000 majority conquered our city two years ago? Hesing and 'Buffalo' Muller are in the county jail, von Holden and Hildreth ...

    German
    I F 6, II E 2, I F 5, I C, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 27, 1876
    The Whiskey War.

    Even yesterday it was still impossible to learn from Prosecuting Attorney Bangs, on what day sentence would be pronounced upon Jacob Rehm and the distillers.

    Mr. Bangs told the reporters that the matter would be settled this week, that so far he had been too busy to take care of it. There is no doubt that most of the distillers will get off free. In regard to the case of Rehm, the Federal prosecuting attorneys have apparently turned to Wshington in order to hide behind the large back of Uncle Sam, in case they should let him go free or impose only a nominal punishment.

    The ones convicted are, due to the great number of expressions of sympathy, doing fairly well. "Buffalo" Miller and Simon Powell have lost none of their friendly attitude. A. C. Hesing alone is still moody, but the conviction expressed by many, that he did not deserve such a harsh punishment, is helping him to regain his composure.

    2

    The situation of the convicted ones will be ameliorated in the next few days. The county commissioners have decided to turn the present rooms of the grand jury into a part of the prison. The grand jury rooms are on the third floor of the Criminal Court building and comprise two ante-chambers and other facilities.

    Even yesterday it was still impossible to learn from Prosecuting Attorney Bangs, on what day sentence would be pronounced upon Jacob Rehm and the distillers. Mr. Bangs told the reporters ...

    German
    I F 5, II E 2, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 28, 1876
    [The Hesing Case]

    The sympathy for Hesing as well as the opinion that this punishment is too great, is increasing from day to day. This opinion will not be altered even if Jacob Rehm should receive a severe punishment. The difference of guilt between A. C. Hesing and J. Rehm is so patent, that should the latter receive a minor punishment, public indignation would reach its highest point. In view of the fact that the government accepted Hesing's plea of guilt as a distiller, it had no right to assess upon him a penalty eight times as great as upon the other distillers.

    How great the sympathy is, has been proven during these last days. Visits by people who either had not known Hesing previously or who had been his political opponents are taking place uninterruptedly. Among the most conspicuous proofs of sympathy are the following: Yesterday Mr. Hesing received the following wire:

    "South Chicago, June 26

    "A. C. Hesing, County Jail.

    "The Germans of South Chicago are taking part in your misfortune and will 2do for you all they can. Tell 'Buffalo' Miller to cheer you up.

    C. Eigenmann, F. Fishrupp."

    Then a man, unknown to Hesing came to see him and offered to take his place. Hesing had difficulty convincing him that this could not be done. Another one, by the name of Theodore Jacklin, asked Hesing what he would prefer, $2,000 towards the payment of his fine or 2,000 signatures for a petition of pardon. Hesing of course gave preference to the signatures. By yesterday afternoon, Mr. Jacklin had already procured 400 signatures.

    The sympathy for Hesing as well as the opinion that this punishment is too great, is increasing from day to day. This opinion will not be altered even if Jacob ...

    German
    I F 5, II E 2, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 29, 1876
    [Jacob Rehm]

    Jacob Rehm will hear his sentence today. He has at least been ordered to appear in court for that purpose.

    Rehm expects that, should his lawyer be unble to get him off without any penalty in view of the fact that he testified for the state, he will at least get not more than six months imprisonment.

    That such a small penalty would create general indignation does not need to be said. Through the fact that he has been segregated from the other defendants, Rehm has been put into the rather unpleasant situation, that a more detailed attention is paid to his transgressions. If one analyzes the indictment against him, one realizes that wishout him the conspiracy would hardly have taken place, that he was the only one to bribe the officials and that afterwards he collected his dues from them without shame or pity. Thus, the Tribune reminded us yesterday that Rehm forced the unfortunate G. H. Muller to pay the $1,000 that his brother owed him; that from Waterman he received $500 for the appointment and subsequently $200 each month; that from Robinson he received $200 monthly for 14 months, etc.

    2

    These extortions from poor people will hurt Rehm much more in the eyes of the public than the contributions he received from the distillers. Yesterday afternoon Rehm went to the county jail. First he went to the door and asked Cooper to come out to meet him. when the latter refused, he went first to the Sheriff's office and then into the jail, where he spoke with Cooper and Pahlmann. It seemed as if he only intended to enter into friendly relations with the other prisoners, who are of course angry with him. If he will be successful the future will tell. Most of them refused to talk to him. On leaving, he said that he expected to return tomorrow.

    The storekeepers also must appear in court tomorrow. It is hoped that their punishment will be a light one.

    Jacob Rehm will hear his sentence today. He has at least been ordered to appear in court for that purpose. Rehm expects that, should his lawyer be unble to get ...

    German
    I F 6, I F 5, IV, II E 2