When his daughter, Nettie, who was standing nearby, saw her father’s figure waver as he stood before the bar of justice, she stepped close to him, put her arms around his neck and hugged him close to her side so that he would not fall forward on the floor. Father and daughter’s tears mingled together as the judge pronounced the sentence.
Mrs. Sylvester, who was sitting in a chair at the front of the court room, turned her head aside and whispered to her neighbor in the next chair as her husband began to sob. Her only noticeable action during the proceedings was to bow her head on her hand to avoid the stares of the curious who crowded up so close that only a narrow ring was left around the judge’s bench.
Sylvester was expected to leave with the deputy sheriff and Mrs. Sylvester at 4 PM. Mrs. Sylvester however, said her husband is a sick man, and it was declared he will be given medical treatment as soon as he reaches the penitentiary.
The aged Plainview man’s wife said she will accompany her husband to Stillwater and will take an apartment there so she can be near him at all times.
Sylvester was taken out of his cell this morning to appear as a witness in a case growing out of the closing of the bank of which he was president. For an hour last night Sylvester conferred with C. L. Mikkelson, special examiner in charge of the bank’s affairs, and Senator J. a. Carley of Plainview, Attorney for the bank’s depositors.
Plans are being made today to doge the crowds that besieged the prisoner yesterday and almost trampled Mrs. Sylvester in the rush.
Several old friends called on the prisoner at the county jail this morning. Among them was John Joachim of Plainview, one of the depositors who lost money when the institution failed.
"We’re pretty sorry, E. L." Joachim told Sylvester as they shook hands through the bars.
Crowds of morbidly curious persons waited in the courthouse for nearly an hour after the arraignment hoping for another sight of the defendant and other principals in the case, but they were disappointed. Sylvester did not again come into view and County Attorney John R. Foley, who directed the search and prosecution of the Plainview man, returned to his home at Wabasha directly after the proceedings.
The charge on which Sylvester pleaded guilty was one of receiving a deposit in a bank when he had good reason to believe insolvent, in technical terms, but in the minds of all the onlookers he was arraigned for being principally responsible for the failure of his bank and that was the theory evident in words of the court and the attorneys on either side.
Judge Callaghan, who had known Sylvester for many years before the cloud of criminal charges descended upon the former leading citizen of Plainview, had intended to make his part of the proceedings as brief as possible after the pleas of the state and the defense had been heard. He was moved, however, to make some significant remarks about the criticism of the state parole and pardon boards, as a result of mention of the subject of pardon and parole in the attorney’s statements.
He declared that with the circumstances as set before him in this case, he would oppose the commutation of Sylvester’s sentence if petition was made for such action, but intimated that circumstances connected with Sylvester’s later actions in aiding to untangle the bank’s affairs in order to make restitution as far as possible to its depositors, might have some effect on his present attitude.
Criticism of the pardon and parole boards is unjustified, Judge Callaghan declared, as long as the public is willing to sign unthinkingly petitions for mercy and then
* SOURCE: Manzow, Ron (compiler), "The Sylvester Family of Plainview, Minnesota - a collection of information taken from the Plainview News, other newspapers, letters, and diaries beginning in 1884": Plainview Area History Center, 40 4th St. S.W., Plainview, MN 55964. Compiled in 2001.
NOTE: from Ron Manzow, December 2001: "Feel free to reproduce the pages for anyone who wants a copy. It was
compiled to be shared... All I ask is that they consider sending a check to the [Plainview Area] History Center to help us out. That
should be enough."
NOTE: from Ron Manzow, December 2001: "Feel free to reproduce the pages for anyone who wants a copy. It was compiled to be shared... All I ask is that they consider sending a check to the [Plainview Area] History Center to help us out. That should be enough."
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