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Controversy Following Publication

Hooked on the guaranty

Rodney Chatelle and Sheriff Walt Lathrop were Concordia visitors last Saturday.  When the automobile show was given here Mr. Chatelle was one of four business men to guarantee the return of the large tent rented by Promoter Crotsenburg of its owners, The Denver Tent and Awning Company.  It was of course taken for granted that Crotsenburg's part of the contract with the owners of the tent had been carried out until the guarantors were notified last Tuesday to prepare to settle in the sum of several hundred dollars.  The tent was in storage in Concordia and the charges against it had to be paid before it could be returned to its owners.  This was done and in due course of time some worthy man will be turned down when he needs business men with financial rating to assist him in his work.  This item would not be printed but for the fact that all the Smith Center publishers were parties to the guarantee feature of the automobile show a few weeks ago. - Smith County Journal

From the above and similar items from the papers published in every town in which C. B. Crotsenburg has stopped, it might seem we are entitled to some of the criticism now heaped upon us for not exposing his dishonest methods and ungoverned propensity for lying.

As a matter of fact we did know he was a crook and a liar; that knowledge was in our possession a week or less after we entered the agreement for the historical edition with him, and it grew alarmingly fast each day.  Scarcely a reputable person in our town but according to his story, Crotsenberg had caught in some heinous crime.  He committed crimes here for which we could have sent him up, or have lodged information with the proper authorities and they would have handled him, but he had come here almost naked and broke, a criminal scrape had run him out of Detroit and he had soaked his coat to a woman for $4.  We took him in, loaned him money, trusted him for board and room, washed, ironed, mended, cleaned and pressed his clothes free of charge, treated him as one of the family, helped him in every way to go straight, and we felt that we ought to give him another chance when he left here - and we kept silent, with the exception of Frank Boyd who asked us if we had any difficulty in settlement, and we told him we had, but we knew Frank would give Crotsenberg a clean square deal anyway.  And we begged Crotsenberg to go straight, and be honest with Frank and everyone else and he promised us on his honor (?) that he would.  But he hasn't.  A trail of lies, dishonesty, and criminal crookedness has followed him everywhere, but we still believe we were justified in giving that chance after we had done so much for him to our own detriment in business and financial way and the great annoyance and care to our family.

We are sorry that he did not go straight, but hope he may be checked in his career of crime by a short prison term; since it seems nothing else will avail.  To be kind to Crotsenberg merely meant to him a foothold on which he could stand while working a graft or circulating a string of his damnable dopy lies.

Norton County News, May 24, 1917, p. 5

Historical Facts not heretofore published
by Caroline Coler


C. B. Crotsenberg has now a well established criminal record, is being sought by sheriffs of other counties of the state; this, together with what our people know of him, and his alliance with the Champion gang will make Conway's task of lionizing him rather difficult, even if Crotsenberg's marriage into a Norton family does "entitle him to a hearing."  He married a Norton grass widow, whose history the News has refrained from writing because of her daughter and parents.  If it becomes necessary we shall write some of her family history, especially of herself and brother, in order to prove that his marriage with her does not entitle Crotsenberg nor any other mouth artist and crook to circulate damnable and vicious lies about honest people.  Her father opposed her association with Crotsenberg and as a result was branded by both as a vile and cruel parent.  We assume both were liars, for we never say anything in Jack Smith to lead us to think or believe that he won't try to keep his daughter single in order that she might make a living for him, regardless of how it was made.

If Crotsenburg told the lies on us he is credited with telling, even while he was here accepting our kindness, it is no wonder that he thinks he has reason to fear just punishment.  The lies he told about his wife would shame a lizzard (sic).  She said he was a liar.  She ought to know.  Many others, would say the same thing if they heard what he said about them,

Norton County News, June 7, 1917 p. 4




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2005 Ardie Grimes.  Transcribed from Norton County News,  re-organized and re-formatted for ease of use. These pages are dedicated to free access to records, documents and photos of historical and genealogical value. Documents contained herein may be copied for personal, non-commercial use as long as this statement remains on all copied material.   These records, documents and photos may not be reproduced, published or re-published for any reason, in any format,  including electronic (web pages or CD's) and print, without prior written consent of the contributors or copyright holders.


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Last updated 25 February 2005