Name:  William Charles Shearer

Age/DoB:  April 7, 1876


County of Conviction:  Custer

Judicial District: 16th

Case No.:  856

Date of Conviction:  Oct. 8, 1918

Sentence:  $500









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Allegations: That on May 25, 1918, said that "people in New York were cutting the hands and feet off young children and taking them around the country to make people in the U.S. think they were Belgian children maimed by the Germans."


Case Details:  Defendant said he was merely repeating what he had heard from a stranger. At sentencing, judge told defendant that instead of repeating the statement, he should have grabbed the stranger by the back of the neck and hauled him up before an officer. Also told defendant he could afford to buy more than $50 worth of Liberty Bonds.


Personal Information:Born in Pennsylvania. In 1900, working as miner in St. Mary's, Teton County. In 1910, was working as a coal miner in Custer Co. Later became a locomotive engineer for Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, living in Miles City with wife Ida. Owned home worth $6,000. Died June 28, 1954 in Lewis & Clark County.


The Montana Sedition Project