Friday, March 21, 2008

Case number one

Dustin Lind is an intern working with us this semester. We use interns for many interesting assignments at the police department. Dustin's main focus is a long-term project to preserve some of our historical photographs and documents. He's been scanning, organizing, and most recently exploring. The exploration recently took him to the Nebraska Historical Society, where he scored a small collection of long-forgotten records. They are incredibly intriguing.

Here's one of the gems he found. It's case number one (click to enlarge):

Lincoln was incorporated in 1869, but it wasn't until 1870-71 that things got organized to create a board, city officers, and ordinances. Mr. Wallace, it appears, violated City Ordinance Number 8. It may be a little difficult to read, so here's my re-typed copy:

The fine of $5 and court costs of $3.35 would equal $135.37 today, according to my trusty inflation calculator. By comparison, the last time this guy was convicted of a similar offense (consuming alcohol in public)--136 years after Mr. Wallace--his fine and court costs totaled $144. If you sit that out in jail, you'll be cooling your heels for the weekend, cowboy.


Anonymous said...

Is there any truth to the rumor that Mr. Wallace then wrote a letter to the editor of the one-page local paper, excoriating the police for harassing carefree revelers like himself, instead of tracking down horse thieves, train robbers, and cattle rustlers? I just wondered if the binge-drinking apologists were around even back then. Probably.

I'm so old that I remember when we used to put being convicted of speeding 35/25 in the paper under court records. Actually, you're that old too, pardner, so quit yer laffin'!

Anonymous said...

Anything about any pirate arrests?

Anonymous said...


Flyover Living said...

It's great to see the historical records from your department. You never know where treasures will show up. Have you seen the Nebraska Memories website at This is a project sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission. I would love to talk to you more about adding some of the department's material to this project.