Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"there was so much disorder and confusion and display of firearms..."


What Attorney Stanley Says of the
Recent Convention In Kidder County.

   In a recent communication, regarding the "double header" convention in Kidder county, Attorney Charles H. Stanley gives the following claimed to be the facts in the case:

   The primaries resulted in the Belden combination securing twenty-two out of thirty-two delegates to the county convention, but Lyons attempted a contest against delegates from the precincts at Steele, Dawson, Allen Township and Rexin precinct on the grounds of illegal voting and general intimidation. The republican county central committee by a vote of ten to five rejected the Lyons contests as frivolous and without merit and reported in favor of seating the Belden delegates, who were the only ones having credentials of any kind.

   As to the merits of the contests the writer has personal knowledge of many of the facts and can say truthfully that the central committee acted fairly. In the Rexin precincts Lyons lost by one vote but claimed Belden received two illegal votes, the votes of young Russians. It was claimed these Russians had not taken' out citizenship papers but the facts are their fathers' were naturalized while they were minors and were living with their parents, and two men from this county were present as delegates in our convention who knew of the naturalization of the parents of those Russians and who were witnesses for such parents when naturalized. As to the Steele precinct Lyons claimed one legal vote was refused but this is denied. In this precinct Belden had eighteen majority over Lyons and every man in the precinct but eight voted. The Belden delegates in every precinct carried by him were given regular credentials, in one instance such credentials being signed by a personal friend of Lyons.

   As to the Dawson precincts Belden had one majority and it is claimed that there were four illegal votes cast there for Lyons, and the central committee so found.

   At the opening of the county convention the Lyons men seated themselves together and immediately after the chairman of the central committee called the convention to order they proceeded to go through the form of electing chairman and secretary without waiting for the report of the central committee and before it was known by anyone, excepting members of such committee, whom the committee had voted to seat in the convention. Then they nominate a county ticket and to elect delegates to the two state conventions, the legislative convention and to the judicial convention. Of those who so pretended to elect such delegates and nominate such ticket only ten were regularly elected delegates to the county convention, the balance being men who claimed to be entitled to seats in the county convention but who, it was shown by the report of the central committee, had no lawful right to sit as delegates in any convention.

   When the report of the central committee was read the Belden combination organized the convention and proceeded regularly with the work before it and carried every motion by decisive majorities, the Lyons legal delegates voting against every motion made by the Belden delegates, notwithstanding the fact that they, Lyon's delegates, claimed they had an organization of their own. In other words from their own standpoint they were participating in two conventions at one and the same time. After they had unsuccessfully opposed several motions made by the Belden delegates some one of their number discovered the awkwardness of their position and they then refused to longer vote in the convention but thereafter voted in what they chose to call their own convention. The Belden combination had twenty-two votes on every proposition and every one of the twenty-two was a legally elected delegate to the county convention. Lyons secured but ten delegates at the primaries and sought to get control of the convention by a so-called contest presented to the central committee by twelve men who claimed seats in the convention, such "contest" being in the following words and figures: "To the county central committee of Kidder county, the undersigned hereby respectfully submit their contest as follows: During the caucuses held on April 13, 1904, there were such irregularities and unlawful proceedings in the township of Woodlawn, Allen and Rexin No. 2, and Sibley, that the chairman of Woodlawn Township refused legal voters who had a right to vote therein and permitted others to vote who were not entitled, the same facts being true of all the above named townships wherein contest is made that in Sibley Township there was so much disorder and confusion and display of firearms that the legal and qualified voters were intimidated and did not vote; that all of the legal votes offered were counted it would change the result in favor of the contestants. The names of the contestants, as well as the so called accredited delegates appear in the affidavits hereto attached and made a part of this petition. Wherefore they respectfully submit this their petition of contest and ask that the accredited delegates as now appear before this convention be set aside, the contestants seated in their stead and be granted full power and lawful authority to act. Dated this 18th day day of April, 1904, P.J. Lyons, Henry Dell, Frank Leamy, Bruce Miller, Elihu Thompson, Fred Mclntyre, Ulysses Wise, M.F. Woessner, C.S. Roberts, John S. Werner, P.M. Immel, A. W. Thompkins.

   This "contest" was dismissed by the central committee after the taking of sworn testimony from both sides and by a vote of ten to five.

[Bismarck Daily Tribune, Bismark, North Dakota, Saturday, April 23, 1904. Pg. 2]

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