Waterville Historical Society

your connection to the past

The Waterville Historical Society collects, preserves, provides access to, interprets and fosters an appreciation of history that has an impact on the Waterville, Ohio and surrounding area.

The Strange Case of William Sargent


..The Mayor’s court records of Waterville are mostly a boring series of minor infractions of the law. Occasionally though, some rather bizarre cases appear. So it was that on June 3. 1895 one William Sargent was hauled into court by Marshal W.E. Snyder for peddling “from house to house without a license.” Mayor C.W. Shoemaker fined Mr. Sargent fifty cents for the offense, which he refused to pay. So Mr. Sargent was remanded to the Village jail to cool off until he decided to pay his fine. The next court record dated June 6, 1895 finds William Sargent back in court accused of aiding and assisting one Adam Peoples to escape from jail. Apparently he broke out of jail and also sprang Mr. Peoples who was in jail for the same offense and perhaps was his partner. Bail was set at two hundred dollars and Mr. Sargent was remanded to the county jail. The next criminal court docket with the same date and complaint number (4) complains that William E. Sargent “did unlawfully and maliciously injure the council building and jail and the fixtures belonging there to the amount of fifteen dollars in the value thereof by breaking the walls of the said jail and by breaking and destroying the floor thereof and by breaking and injuring the doors and fixtures thereof…” It seems to this researcher that Mr. Sargent had one serious temper tantrum. All this over a fifty cent fine? His bail for this offense was set at one hundred dollars and again he was remanded to the Lucas County jail to await criminal trial in the county court system. He was hauled off to the county jail June 7, 1895 by Marshal W.E. Snyder. The outcome of his trial in the county court would be in the Lucas County, Ohio archives and has not been researched. The strange case of Mr. W. E. Sargent appears in the Waterville Mayors Court Criminal Docket for the year 1895 pages 54-59.

Note: In 1900 the Waterville Village Council passed an ordinance making it illegal to assist someone to break out of jail. See the website article titled “Ordinance No. 111” published February 2016 in the “Did you Know” section.

P.O. Box 263,  Waterville, OH  43566            whs43566@outlook.com

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