Name:  Herman Bausch

Age/DoB:  Dec. 11, 1881

County of Conviction:  Yellowstone

Judicial District:  13th

Case No.: 1441

Date of Conviction:  May 14. 1918

Sentence:  4-8 years





Allegations: That on April 13, 1918, (while being grilled by a local committee about why he hadn't purchased Liberty Bonds) allegedly said "I do not care anything about the Red, White and Blue; I won't do anything voluntarily to aid this war; I don't care who wins this war; I would rather see Germany win than England or France; I am not prepared to say whether or not Germany is in the right; We should never have entered this war and this war should be stopped immediately and peace declared; We should stop sending ships with supplies and ammunition to our soldiers; As far as I am concerned, I do not care if the Third Liberty Loan is a success or a failure."


Case details:  A man who read philosophy and politics, Herman despised all war and refused to contribute to its financing. Finally a local "third degree committee" came to his farm west of town. His wife watched while holding their infant in her arms as the men strung a rope over the limb of an apple tree. When Herman continued to refuse to buy Liberty Bonds, the committee ran him into town and grilled him until early morning in the hall of a local fraternal organization. A local lawyer sat on the arm of his chair and threatened to punch him in the face unless he agreed to buy bonds. What Herman said in defense of his actions was used to prosecute him for sedition, The Billings Gazette editorialized that "he should be prosecuted to the extreme limit of the law." He was convicted in a  1 ½-day jury trial and served 28 months. He was released Sep. 12, 1920.


Personal Information:  Born in Germany. Immigrated to U.S. in 1899. Took out citizenship papers in Butte County, S.D., where he lived seven years before moving to Billings, where he farmed. Married Helen Louise and had four children. Both sons died, one of infant dysentery while he was in prison, the other killed when hit by an automobile in 1934. Returned to farming in Billings after his release from prison. Separated from wife, Helen Louise, who died in Carbondale, Ill. in 1998 at age 99. Herman died March 24, 1958, in Long Beach, Calif., of complications from Parkinson's disease. His youngest daughter lives in California. Other relatives in Oregon and Montana. Herman's extensive written memoirs are the only personal record known to the Montana Sedition Project.

 revised 7/11/08