Name: Louis R. Fowler, aka Joseph Clingenhoefer


Age/DoB: abt 1857


County of Conviction: Madison


Judicial District:  5th


Case No.: 309


Date of Conviction:    Information filed April 18, 1918.


Sentence: 4-8 years plus $3,000 fine









No photo


Allegations:    In a conversation with neighboring farmers about the difficulty of irrigating their land, allegedly said "Let the sons-of bitches eat hay (with reference to raising wheat to feed soldiers, thereby advocating the curtailing of production); This is not our war; we have no business being in this war; Wilson did not do right in getting us into this war to fight somebody else's battles; If I do any fighting in this war, I will fight the British; Anyone who will wear the uniform of the United States is a damn fool; I will not buy Liberty Bonds but will dispose of my property go to South America and let Germany have my money; He must think I am a damned fool, to buy Liberty Bonds and go against my own."


Case Details: Fowler paid $10,000 cash bond to defend himself. Fowler maintained that he was not referring to U.S. soldiers when he said, "sons of bitches," but was using that expression in general terms (referring to anybody) as a result of his "habit of swearing."

Jury found him guilty. He did not go to prison but was held in jail for five months and paid the $3,000 fine. Fowler appealed to the state supreme court which affirmed on 3/29/21 59 Mont. 346 196 Pac. 992 (1921)  #s 4301, 4400


Personal Information: Louis was born in Maryland to German parents. His occupation was listed as stock raising. He farmed in the Bear Creek, Cameron, Union area south of Ennis and lived with Carrie Howe who was divorced. Louis died in Madison Co. on April 12, 1939, and is probably buried in the Bear Creek Cemetery or at the Ennis Cemetery in an unmarked grave. Carrie died in 1931, and is buried in the Bear Creek Cemetery, also unmarked.


The Montana Sedition Project