Name:  Fay P. Rumsey

Age/DoB:  April 12, 1868

County of Conviction:  Rosebud

Judicial District:  15th

Case No.:  291

Date of Conviction:  Sept. 27, 1918

Sentence:  2-4 years





Allegations: That on April 1, 1918, said "that he wished the Germans would come in and clean up the U.S. and especially Sarpy Creek; that President Wilson was in cahoots with the money power of this country, and that if he was drafted he would not fight for the U.S. but would fight for the Kaiser."

Case Details:  Conviction based in part on testimony given in September 1917, before passage of the state sedition law (see Starr transcript). Three oldest daughters testified on his behalf. Found guilty by jury. Served 12 months; released Oct. 12, 1919.


Personal Information:  Born in Sherwood, Mich. Married Sarah in Michigan in 1901. Operated a dray business in Forsyth, Mont., before homesteading in Sarpy Creek area south of Hysham, where Fay built a small house and the couple raised 12 children. Two of them died on the same day in 1908. Their land was a target for rustlers, who would cut the fences and run cattle to destroy the crops and grass lands.  It had a stream running through it, making it more valuable. But after Fay's conviction, Sarah could not hold on to the homestead and it was foreclosed on for a few hundred dollars. Most of the children went to orphanages or were "let out" to other people and did not find each other until decades later. After his release from prison, Fay went back to Michigan and died on May 11, 1922, of heart disease in Cheshire, Mich. Daughters living in Oregon and Wyoming. Other relatives in Wyoming, Montana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon and California.


The Montana Sedition Project