Name:  Martin Wehinger

Age/DoB:  58

County of Conviction: Custer

Judicial District:  16th

Case No.: 854

Date of Conviction:  June 10, 1918

Sentence:  3-6 years

 

 

Allegations: That at his ranch in Pine Hills on April 3, 1918, said to several freighters passing through that "There was nothing to the war and we would get licked; we had no business sticking our nose in there and we should get licked for doing so. In the first place we don't have any soldiers to amount to anything and those that did amount to something didn't have any guns and those behind them would have to wait until the first ones dropped so the other fellows could pick up the guns and fire; that one German soldier could kill 5 or 6 American soldiers without any trouble, because we didn't have any experience and were not trained and didn't know anything about war and we ought to get licked; that when the Tuscania was sunk it was just good enough for us because we didn't have any business carrying soldiers and guns at the same time; that if people here could read the German papers they would get the right news and that U.S. papers were not getting the facts; that U.S. is shipping a lot of good men over there and starving them to death.

 

Case Details:  Found guilty after jury trial June 8-10, 1918. Served 18 months. Released Dec. 14, 1919.

 

Personal Information:  Born in Dorbein, Austria in 1860. Followed his older brother Michael to Miles City. First employed as a freighter in Miles City area in late 1880s. Photographer L.A. Huffman took a studio photo of him and retold Wehinger's story of using an axe to kill a bear marauding his wagon. When railroads began cutting into the freighter business, he became a rancher in Pine Hills near his brother. After leaving prison, sought medical care for severe arthritis but broke a hip and died shortly thereafter on April 12, 1920. Great-grandniece in California. See extended profile

 

The Montana Sedition Project