LETTER ON LAND FRAUD 1921 June, 1
Department of Interior
United States Indian Service
Hayward Indian School,
June 1, 1921
To: The Honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs
Office of Indian Affairs
Received Stamp June 9, 1921
Dear Mr. Commissioner:
I came to the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation under
orders, to assist Superintendent Craigs in the hearing of the Federal Power
Commission to determine the status of the Indian Tribal Lands as to a concession
desired by the Wisconsin-Minnesota Power & Light Company. This hearing
was held at Reserve, Wisconsin; on the above named reservation, May 17th
and 18th, by Major Marks of the U.S. Army.
While in this work I received your letter, dated May 13, 1921, enclosing a copy of the record of the investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Real Estate Board of Madison; which record is the testimony introduced before said board concerning the activities of the A. Wise Land Company with the Indians and their allotments. This report has been carefully read and the facts brought out in the hearing used in my investigation. The stenographic work is very poor and it is not always possible to tell the value of the evidence given by some of the witnesses.
The hearing was held in the Town of Hayward, Wisconsin, on March 3, 1921, continuing several days. Its purpose was to determine if Clarence Wise, Cashier of the Farmers State Bank of Hayward and the dominant member of the A. Wise Land Company, should be granted a license to do a real estate business in Wisconsin in face of the numerous charges that had been brought to the attention of the Board by various Indians of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Chippewas. This movement started by George Gokey of Reserve, who had Father Gordon prepare his letter to Claire L. Wildner, President of the Board. E.W. Winton, the attorney for the Board, spent several days on the reservation preceding the hearing and found, according to his oral statement to me, a vast quantity of specific evidence that Clarence Wise had been guilty of deceit, misrepresentation, and fraud, in his dealings for Indian allotments.
The following Indians testified: Peter Wolf, George Gokey, Billy Grant, Mrs. Walter Trepania, Mrs. Bolonger, Mrs. George Gokey, Mrs. Angeline Buck, Mrs. Gertrude Patrick, Mrs. Essie LaRush, Mrs. Mary Isham-Demar, Mack Taylor and Edward Demar. The voluminous of evidence of fraud related by these under oath was sufficient, in the Boards opinion, to justify it to refuse Wise a license to do further brokerage work in land. It has come to my hearing that Wise will appeal to the State Courts to have the verdict of the Board set aside. I am inclined to think he will not so act, as only a small percent of his fraudulent transactions was brought to light in the investigation, and if he is wise he will let the matter stand as it is. As I understand it he is not now permitted to act as an agent in the selling of land for a commission, but he is permitted, of course to by and sell where he thinks best. This is a constitutional right and it may not be taken from him by any State.
The evidence adduced at the hearing and my personal investigation disclosed that Wisconsin-Minnesota Power & Light Company has been attempting for a number of years to secure possession of tribal lands and individual allotments for flowage purposes. These attempts took on more definite form in 1916, when Congress passed a law giving the flowage company the legal right to secure possession of lands they desired by certain procedures. From that time to the present, every effort has been made by the company and Wise to promulgate among the Indians the propaganda that they would eventually lose their lands, both tribal and allotments, and that it was necessary that they should sell to only the flowage company or its representative, Clarence Wise. I think that Wise is responsible directly for the greater part of this propaganda. The above impression came from the flowage company, through its representative Charles McPherson, in his various meetings and councils on the reservation, whom he was trying to persuade the Indians into entering into a voluntary contract with his company, and when, in his talks, he stated that the dam would eventually be built and his company would secure the land. The flowage company through its representative has never made, as far as I know, a direct statement to the Indians, whose allotments were within the flowage area, that they would not be permitted to sell to other purchasers. Scores of Indians told me that Wise had stated to them that they could sell to no one else but him, as the accredited local agent of the flowage company.
The impression created among the Indians certainly has been that they must sell to Wise and must accept his appraisements of their allotments. In those cases where the Indians would not accept the price he fixed to upon their land, he promised them their value and incorporated in the warranty deeds, without their knowledge or consent, the price he wished to pay and after recording the deeds he denied any further consideration. During the hearing I had several discussion with Mr. McPherson, the general counsel for the flowage company, who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and he stated he was uncertain just what relation Mr. Wise had to him and his company, but he supposed that the relation that would be called that of agent. He further stated that he had entered into agreement with the A. Wise Land Company to pay them $8.00 an acre for Indian lands they desired to overflow. The contract doesnít include anything other than the surface. Wise is permitted under his contract to dispose of the timber to whom he sees fit. Under the above-mentioned contract Wise secured deeds to Indian lands in whatever way profited him most, and his manner of dealing with allottees has never been questioned by the flowage company, so Mr. McPherson stated to me. The hearing held at Hayward did not convince Mr. McPherson that Wise had been guilty of any wrong doing and he was anxious to continue him as his agent had not the Indian Office notified Superintendent Craigs, under the date of May 3rd, that the Office would not permit Wise to again act as agent in securing deeds to restricted lands. Of course this doesnít prevent him dealing with those Indians who have their Certificates of Competency and who can sell to whom they see fit.
My investigation of the twelve transactions called to the attention of the Real Estate Board, brought to light a large number of other cases where the fraud was just as apparent or more so. These would considered and as much evidence as possible was secured a great many Certificates of Competency have been issued in the past four years and a very large majority of these allottees sold their land to Wise. I was not able, for several reasons, to see all of them or even a majority. Had I continued the investigation through several weeks, I have no doubt but that I would have found a score or more than herein reported, who were seriously wronged and deprived of their property for an inadequate consideration.
I did not take affidavits and statements from all whom I interviewed. Quite a number testified that they signed warranty deeds to Wise, knowing the purport of the deed and the consideration mentioned therein, although the price received was inadequate and several hundred dollars less than they could have received from the flowage company.
Wiseís method in dealing with Indians is very similar with that of other grafters operating in various sections of the Indian country. He selects an Indian who owns land he desires and begins to lend him money in various small sums, having executed therefore what the Indian thinks are notes and mortgages. He will within this time have him apply for his Certificate of Competency. As soon as this is issued and he can legally do so, he will place a deed on record and claim the land, paying as an additional sum to the Indian whatever he desires.
His manner of securing deeds were so plainly fraudulent in the evidence submitted to the Real Estate Board, that he admitted to the board that he intended that his warranty deeds should be interpreted as trust deeds or mortgages, given by the Indian to secure him for various moneys advanced. He also stated on the witness that that when these moneys with interest were paid to him, the land would be released. The above statements were given to the Board for the affect that they might have. In actual practice, the opposite is true. A number of the Indians, who became involved with him, secured other purchases and made effort to refund the money they had borrowed, but Wise would in all cases tell the Indians and the purchaser that the Indian had sold to him that his warranty deed was good and would stand.
Wise became so bold in his dealings as to unrestricted lands, that in two or more instances he held deeds for restricted lands, submitted to the Indian Office, were valid before their approval and he with the hesitation of no more than a few days, after filing his deed with the Superintendent, contracted and had removed timber on these restricted allotments.
Had Wise been surrounded with valuable lands as found at Omaha, Winnebago, Yakima and Oklahoma reservations, his machinations and manipulations would rank him with the great Indian grafters of the Service. The fact that the lands of the Lac Courte Oreilles are worth at best from $8 to $25 per acre prevented his making hundreds of thousands of dollars from these lands and their resources, secured fraudulently from the Indians.
All the transactions reviewed by me and reported upon in detail hereafter do not involve lands located solely within the flowage area. Flowage lands started Wise in his manipulations, but other allottees seeing the Indians having lands within the reservoir, securing money freely from Wise, would go to him to borrow and thereafter were hopelessly entangled in the web of the spider.
PETER WOLF is the soul heir of Bid-a-na-kwa-to-kwe, who was allotted the SW¼ SE¼ and the SE¼ SW¼ Section 6-39-7. Some time in 1919, the exact dates are not available at the Agency Office, Clarence Wise presented to the Superintendent for transmission to the Indian Office for its approval, a deed to the above-described land. It developed in the hearing held by the Wisconsin Real Estate Board, that no one knew the exact consideration mentioned in the deed. Wise in his sworn statement states that it was $640; Peter Wolf believed that he was to receive $800; O.B. Berkness, Principle of the Hayward Indian School, testified that he thought it was $480. Upon the presentation of the deed to the Superintendent it was discovered that the heirs of the above allottee had not been determined and the deed, check, and accompanying papers were returned to Wise with the information that a sale of this land could not be considered at that time. On or about October 27, 1920, the exact date of which is not available at the Agency, Peter Wolf executed another deed to Wise for the above-described land in consideration of $1400. Wolf admit that this consideration covered both the surface and the timber rights of his land but he asserts that the deed first mentioned should have reserved to him the use of the timber. This deed and all accompanying papers were submitted to the Indian Office by Superintendent Craigs on November 20, 1920. Under the date of December 18, 1920, the Office advised the Superintendent that this deed and others within the flowage area would not be considered until the flowage company had adjusted its matters concerning the tribal land, with the Department. A few days after securing this deed and filing it with the Superintendent, Wise sold the timber to Finch Brothers of Duluth, Minnesota, for a consideration of $1200. This timber company began its operations at once and removed a good portion. Nothing thus far has been done by the Superintendent to punish Wise for this infraction of the laws. Charles McPherson, attorney for the Wisconsin-Minnesota Light and Power Company, told me that he had paid $640 for the above mentioned Ďeightyí and adding this to the amount received from the Finch Brothers, Wise already has a profit of $440 for this transaction. The Finch Brothers gave him a note for $1200 properly secured and bearing interest of ten percent. Wolf, according to orders now on file at the Agency, is indebted to Wise $700, evidenced by several notes bearing ten percent interest. Besides the above profit, he is now drawing for himself or his bank, $190 interest per annum. This deed should now be considered and disapproved and the $1400 returned to Wise. As I take it, the Indian Office does not need and agent who must have as his pay, a commission of several dollars per acre to sell restricted Indian land to the flowage company. Superintendent Craigs, Farmer Cross and other employees, are competent to exact from the flowage company and other purchasers the full value of each unrestricted piece of land sold. It is presumptuous in Wise to think hereafter that such practices he attempted with Peter Wolf will convince you of his dishonestly and unscrupulousness. He at first attempted to buy for $640, land that he afterwards paid $1400 for, and from which he has received $1840. Superintendent Craigs should be advised what action is necessary to take to punish this man for removing timber from an unrestricted allotment before the approval of the sale and before he knew when such sale would be considered.
LOUISE PATRICK lives at Reserve, Wisconsin, on the reservation and was allotted the NW¼ SE¼ and the NE¼ SW¼ Section 3-39-8 to which a certificate was issued November 17, 1917. While Wise did not in the end secure possession of this land, I am reporting this at this time because it illustrates in a fair way the methods used by Wise in securing warranty deeds to Indian allotments and for the further reason that Louise and her husband William Patrick, are bright and competent young people who know what they are talking about and who kept in various ways, some evidence of their transactions with Wise. This affidavit states that on August 13, 1918, some time after the receipt of her certificate, she and her husband visited Wise at his bank in Hayward and there borrowed $25, giving as they thought, only their note due in two months. Nothing whatever was said by Wise of their executing a deed or mortgage to him to secure the above amount. This note was paid September 20, 1918. Other moneys were borrowed thereafter from time to time and notes were given. Each note now in possession of Louise shows that it was paid and cancelled on or before maturity. On the July 5, 1919, Louise and her husband entered into contract to sell the above-described land to C.N. Gerard of Bradford, Illinois, for a consideration of $650.00. While they were completing this transaction, it was discovered that Louise had executed to Wise a warranty deed, which bore the date of August 15, 1918. William Patrick, her husband refused to stand for this transaction and carried Mr. Gerard to Wise where he secured a quitclaim deed without trouble and by the payment of $25. For some cause, Wises dated the quitclaim deed on August 23, 1919. On this date Louise paid a $300 mortgage, which she had given to Art Smith for a team of horses for her husband. It is probable that Mr. Smith sold this mortgage to Wise and when it was paid Wise could not hope to hold the land when nothing was owed to him by Louise and William. As each note and mortgage was paid, they demanded and secured a return of all evidence of their indebtedness. Wise must have executed a quitclaim deed on April 23 to have it ready when he needed it or with crooked notaries he could have executed it on July 7, 1919 and dated it back to April 23, the date on which Louise and William satisfied heir indebtedness to the last cent. It will be revealed by other transactions later that on that if Louise and William had less force, they would have lost their land to Wise and would have received therefore, whatever consideration he desired to pay them. Mrs. Patrickís affidavit and an abstract of the County record is given herewith as Exhibit A.
MACK TAYLOR was the husband of Mary Everson Taylor to whom was allotted the S½ SE¼ Section 18-39-7 for which a certificate was issued October 29, 1918. Mack Taylor states in his affidavit that after this certificate came, his wife became very sick and because of her illness, he went to Clarence Wise and secured a loan of $135, it being agreed that a mortgage would be given on the above described land by his wife to secure this money. Wise prepared the necessary papers and Mack carried them to Reserve, his home, to secure the signature of his sick wife. Before letting her sign the papers, he carried them to Joe McKenzie, the trader at Reserve, who examined the papers and told Mack he was signing a warrantee deed instead of a mortgage. Mack refused to let his wife sign them and returned them to Wise. Some time later, Lawrence Wise a brother of Clarence, came to Reserve and had the sick Mrs. Taylor sign papers, which she said were drawn in accordance with the agreement made between her husband and his brother. She, thinking it was a mortgage, and being near death, signed the paper and $125 was paid her. Mack states his wife died on April 27, 1919, a few days after the visit of Lawrence Wise. Later, when he went to sell the land to a Mr. Gerard of Illinois, a warranty deed was discovered on record and this purchaser refuse to have anymore to do with it because Clarence Wise would not execute a quitclaim or in anyway release his lien on the settlement with Wise and received as final payment $200 more. The Farmer at Reserve, Jasper Cross, appraised the land as well worth $800. The records at Hayward disclose a warranty deed dated April 12. 1919, and place of record April 15,1919, and is acknowledged by Ernest Rohlf. Mack states that no notary accompanied Lawrence Wise on his visit to his home. Clarence Wise in his testimony before the Real Estate Board testified that neither he nor his brother had gone to Reserve to secure the deed, but that the deed had been signed in his bank. There were scores of witnesses who knew that Mrs. Taylor was sick and for a long time before her death and that for several weeks she was confined wholly and absolutely to her bed, and it was physically impossible for her to be in Hayward on April 12, five days before her death. The deed was executed at Reserve as Mack testifies and Ernest Rohlf has acknowledged a signature and a transaction, which he did not witness. He must so testify or be guilty of perjury. The County records further disclose that on January 6, 1920, the above-described land was deeded to the Couderay Land Company. This is a company composed of Clarence Wise and his wife, so far as known. On October 7, 1920, the land was mortgaged to Albert Quilling, President of the Menominee State Bank of Menominee, Wisconsin, for a consideration of $500. This mortgage indicates that Wise values the land at $1000. The affidavit of Mack Taylor and the abstract of record is given you as Exhibit B.
GEORGE WINTERS is the sole heir of Michael Wendel to who was allotted Lot 2 and the NW¼ NE¼ Section 31-40-8, to which a certificate was issued May 24, 1919. George testified that while his application was pending in Washington, he began to borrow money from Wise signing various notes and papers, the contents of which were not always known to him. This borrowing continued until the certificate was issued and on the day the affiant received this certificate from the Agency, he executed and delivered to Wise a warranty deed for the above land for a consideration of $600. $200 had been advanced to him before the deed was signed. A receipt for this certificate at the Agency office shows that George signed this deed, if his statements are true, within thirty days after the issuance of the certificate, the receipt being dated June 17, 1919. George said he found a purchaser who would pay him more that Wise would but that Wise refused to accept the return of the money that had been borrowed and to release him from the warranty deed he had signed through fraud and misrepresentation, he, never intending to sell this place to Wise for the consideration of $600. Later Mr. Gerard of Illinois wrote him and wanted to buy the place, but George did not consider it because he had accepted the word of Wise that he had lost his land and had received $400 as final settlement. This allotment contained about 100 acres and Mr. Cross, the Farmer, appraises it as easily worth $2,000. The Farmer has been told that $3000 would have been offered if he had not become involved with Wise. This allotment has considerable frontage on Grindstone Lake, one of most popular resort lakes of Northern Wisconsin. All of this frontage would have sold readily to rich resorters at a good price. I am convinced that George is telling the truth and that he signed the deed before the 30 days had elapsed after the issuance of the certificate in Washington, and that this transaction can be declared null and void in the United States Court and Wise can be prosecuted for this and other transaction hereinafter set out in this report. The action of the Wisconsin Real Estate Board, the testimony of notaries, and the general reputation of Wise in Hayward will completely destroy his credibility as a witness before any jury and for this reason the hesitancy which the average jury has in accepting statements of an Indian against the white will be overcome. The records at Hayward show that Wise waited 31 days after the issuance of the certificate before recording the deed. They also show that the land with various other Indian allotments were mortgaged to the E.M. Winter Estate on June 30, 1919, for a consideration of $4000 for 418 acres. All the lands included in this mortgage were evidently valued by Wise and the mortgagor, at $20 per acre. The affidavit of George Winters and an abstract of record are given you as exhibit C.
MRS. GEORGE GOKEY was allotted Lots 7 & 8 Section 5-38-8 to which certificate was August 9, 1920. George Gokey the husband, states that on or about September 10, 1920, he approached Clarence Wise to borrow money and was advanced $50. He was told to return in about 30 days from the time his certificate was recorded to sign a mortgage. On October 18, 1920, he again visited Wise and secured from him $25. He and his wife signed what he thought and was told was a note. Two days later he again visited Wise and signed what was purported to be a note for money secured. Later, he attempted to sell this land to C.M. Olson of Couderay, Wisconsin, for a consideration of $960. He then learned that he had given, without his knowledge and consent, a warranty deed to Wise. George states that he doesnít know when he and his wife signed this instrument. He further states that he received all told about $185 for this land and that recently he had signed and executed a mortgage for $200 in lieu of the warranty deed, but that Wise has not yet given him a quitclaim deed. The records at Hayward show that this landed was deeded to Wise on October 20, 1920, and Wise quitclaimed it back to Mary Gokey on December 20, 1920. On March 23, 1921, these people mortgaged their land to the Farmers State Bank of which Wise is cashier, for five years for a consideration of $200. George is the man who reported to the Wisconsin Real Estate Board the facts of his transactions with Wise. This perhaps frightened Wise, hence the quitclaim deed and his subsequent mortgage. Had not George become belligerent, Wise would have secured this land. The affidavit is made by George Gokey, but his wife was present. This affidavit and the abstract of the record is given you as Exhibit D.
GEORGE GOKEY was allotted the N½ NW¼ Section 2-39-7 to which a certificate was issued March 4, 1919. George states that before he applied for his certificate, he was passing the Farmers State Bank of Hayward and Clarence Wise stopped him and told him to come in; that he had some money for him. He went in knowing he had no money there and Wise told him he would give him $250 for his land, which was in the flowage area. When he refused to accept this, he was told that only 20 acres was desired by the flowage company. Wise, however, offered him 80 acres on land outside of the reservation in exchange for his allotment, promising him a like improvement and clearing. No trade or agreement was made at this time and no money was paid. Later, George was told by Wise and others that he could not sell his land to anyone but the flowage company. He wished to sell through the Agency, but Wise persuaded him to apply for his certificate of competency. After making his application, Wise advanced him $25 on December 10, 1918, and $50 on April 4, 1919. George states that on the day he received the certificate from the Government through the Farmer at Reserve, he took it to Wise at Hayward and there he executed a warranty deed for a consideration of $500, the timber being reserved to George. His indebtedness of $75 and interest was subtracted and the balance paid him. When the deed was finally recorded, the timber was not reserved and he lost it. George states that when he carried his certificate to Wise, he did so for the purpose of trading his land for another 80 acres, but that Wise, after getting hold of the certificate, refused to make this trade and forced him to sign a warranty deed for the above consideration. The records at Hayward disclose a warranty deed was executed May 2, 1919, for a consideration of $100. On the same date he sold to the Dells Paper & Power Company who would not have bought it had there not been considerable timber thereon. This place is worth from $1000 to $1200. Georgeís affidavit and an abstract of the record are given you as Exhibit E.
ANGELINE BUCK was allotted the S½ SW¼ Section 26-40-8 to which a certificate was issued February 16, 1920. Angeline states in her affidavit that she made her application for competency December 5, 1919, and that at the time she told Mr. Cross, the Farmer at Reserve, that she sold the land to Wise for a consideration of $700, reserving the timber, and that Wise had induced her to make the application advancing her $25. Previous to this application she had contracted the timber on this land to Thomas Bracklin, an Indian of Reserve, but the contract was not approved by the Superintendent before she made her application. While the application was pending and long before her certificate was issued, Wise sold to the Finch Brothers, of Duluth, the timber. This matter was reported to the Farmer and the Superintendent, and Wise paid to the Superintendent, either for himself or for the Finch Brothers, $809. Mr. Cross and A.M. Holmes, Scaler of the Government, estimated the 80900 board feet, valued at $10 per hundred board feet. The Superintendent accepted this appraisal and let Wise settle upon that basis, penalizing him in no way for trespassing on a restricted allotment, months before the certificate was valid. Superintendent Craige held the certificate for some time pending the settlement of the trespass and finally turned it over to Angeline on April 28, 1920. Angeline states that she signed a warranty deed for Wise on April 14. She had this date well fixed in her mind although she did not tell me why it was thus fixed other than to say that Wise madder her sign the deed a few days before he would pay the trespass money to the Superintendent. She was very anxious to have control of this money and acted as Wise demanded. The record at the Agency shows that Wise paid the $809 on April 17, 1920. After signing the deed she received no more money from Wise having been advanced $280. She states that in all her dealing with Wise that it was understood definitely that she had contracted her timber to Thomas Bracklin and that Wise was paying her $700 for the surface rights alone. Angeline is yet due $400 from Wise. The records disclose that a warranty deed was executed for this land on May 25, 1920, three days before the 30 days of record had expired. This whole transaction is fraudulent from the beginning to the end and an action should be instituted in the United States Court to not only set aside the deed but to punish Wise with a criminal prosecution for inducing an Indian to execute and deliver to him a deed before the legal date. Her affidavit and transcript of record are given you as Exhibit F.
ANGELINE WOLF is the equal heir with Alex Rousseau to the allotment of her father, George Trotrochard, who was allotted the E½ SW¼ Section 5-40-8, to which a certificate was issued on July 22, 1919. She states that Alex Rousseau notified Clarence Wise when the certificate arrived at the Farmers Station in Reserve and that Wise sent an auto to carry her and her husband, and Alex Rousseau and his wife to Hayward, where was executed a warranty deed for a consideration of $480, the affiantís husband, Peter Wolf, refusing to sign the deed. She was told by Alex Rousseau, her husband, and others, that they were executing a deed four or five days before the 30 days had elapsed since issuance of the certificate in Washington. Peter Wolf in his affidavit states that he knows that the 30 days had not elapsed when Wise secured the deed and the above land. Alex Rousseau in his affidavit states the same facts as his sister, Mrs. Wolf, and further asserts that he had agreed with Wise that a consideration would be $2000, but after the deed was signed and delivered it was discovered that it called for $480, which paid $280 each. This land is worth from $900 to $1000. Three intelligent witnesses state that this deed was executed before the legal time, hence action should be brought into the United States Court to set it aside and criminal action should be instituted against Wise. The records at Hayward disclose purported to have been signed August 23, 1919, 31 days after it was issued in Washington and five days after it was receipted for at the Farmerís Office. Credence is given to the statements of the Indians that they signed the deed 4 or 5 days before the 30 days had expired by the fact that Wise sent for them to come to Hayward as soon as Alex Rousseau notified him by telephone that the certificate was in their possession. They came and got their certificate according to the receipt now at the Agency, August 18, 1919. The car was immediately sent for them. I am giving you the affidavits of Angeline Wolf, Peter Wolf and Alex Rousseau and a transcript of the County record as Exhibit G.
ALEX DEMAR was allotted Lot 2 Section 8-39-7 and Lot 8 Section 29-40-8, the allotment containing 95 acres to which a certificate was issued August 25, 1919. Alex states in his affidavit that he was persuaded by C.M. Olson, of Couderay, Wisconsin, to sign a contract to execute to him a deed to the above land as soon as he could secure his certificate of competency. The contract was written out in pencil by the said Mr. Olson and signed by Alex. Alex did not make his application for several months after the contracting of selling his place but he eventually did so, and before his certificate was issued, he signed for Olson a warranty deed conveying as he thinks the whole 95 acres. Moneys were advanced by Olson in various sums to the amount of about $300. During the pending of his application, Alex went to St. Joseph, Missouri, to work, and while there he received a letter from Clarence Wise from Clarence Wise that his certificate had been issued and he also received a check to pay his expenses home. He returned, went to the Indian School, secured his certificate, and executed to Wise a warranty deed to Lot 8 Section 29-40-8, for a consideration of $400. Olson began to give him trouble because he had sold 40 acres to Wise when he had accepted Olsonís money and deeded him the land. Finally Wise gave him a quitclaim deed and received from Olson $125 therefore. Alex says that through the manipulation of Wise and Olson, Olson secured 40 acres of his land with a deed he had executed before he went to St. Joseph, Missouri. He states that he has not signed any papers for Olson since his return from that place. Alex had no intention of selling Wise more than 40 acres. There was no conversation and oral agreement to the contrary. The records also disclose that on October 11, 1919, Alex is reported to have executed another warranty deed to Wise for the same deed. On December 6, 1919, he is purported to have executed a deed to C.M. Olson for the entire 95 acres. On December 15, 1919, Wise quitclaimed to Alex Lot 2 Section 8-39-7. On September 27, 1919, Wise mortgaged Lot 8 Section 29-40-8 to Albert Quilling of Menomonee, Wisconsin, for a consideration of $500. Know one knows why Wise secured two deeds from Alex, both covering the same land and for the same consideration of $1. The date of the Officeís last ruling that certificates of competency are not valid until they have been recorded for 30 days is not known to me or anyone in this Agency. This date may have something to do with the way the land was juggled. It will take much court procedures to untangle this riddle. It is evident that the boy, although smart and competent, was defrauded by the manipulation of these two men. The land is worth $12.00 per acre. Land now held by Olson should be recovered in United States court and he should be prosecuted criminally. Alexís affidavit and a transcript of the records are given you as Exhibit H.
MARY THOMAS-MEKEE is an equal heir with her father, Frank Thomas, in the following described lands: S½ SE¼ Section 29-39-7 allotted to Charlotte Thomas to which a certificate was issued May 14, 1920. The E½ SW¼ Section 9-39-8 allotted to Ida Thomas, with a certificate of the same date. The NW¼ SE¼ Section 29-39-7 and the SW¼ NE¼ Section 28-39-7 allotted to Sophie Thomas, with a certificate of the same date. In her affidavit Mary states that her father has lived at the Lac du Flambeau Reservation for the last 3 years and that when he came to Reserve to make an application for his certificate of competency, he began borrowing money from Clarence Wise. She doesnít know what papers he signed, but she stated that she had $25 from Wise before the certificate was issued. On June 25, 1920, she came to Hayward from Odanah, Wisconsin and receipted for her certificate and at the same time executed warranty deeds to wise for the E½ SW¼ Section 9-39-8 and the NW¼ SE¼ Section 29-39-7 and SW¼ NE¼ Section 28-39-7. On this date she received from Wise $50 as is evident by a page torn from a notebook and attached now to her affidavit. She refused on this date to sign a deed to her motherís Charlotte Thomasí allotment, but on a later date probably July 3 she signed the deed for this at which time she received another $50. She states that at all times she objected to the signing of the deeds for a consideration of $400 each, knowing that her land was worth a lot more. She was told she had to sign the deeds because her father had sold the lands to him and that she could no longer hold on to her interest after her father sold his. He also told her that she should be more than satisfied with her consideration of $600 because she was really entitled to only ¼ when the true facts are, that her father inherited only a lifeís interest in two of the tracts. On July 17, she received another $100. She doesnít know when she received final settlement, but she now feels that she had $600 all told, ½ of the $1200 consideration paid by Wise for land worth $2100 or more. The records at the Agency show a warranty deed purported to have been executed July 17, 1920; 31 days after the certificate had been filed for record. All deeds are of the same date. Mary is not sure but she feels that it can be proven that her father was not visiting or in the vicinity of the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation on July 17, 1920, the date the deed was purported to have been signed. The records further disclose that the E½ SW¼ Section 9-39-8 was mortgaged to Albert Quilling for $600 on October 17, 1920. In making his mortgage, Wise evidentially appraised the land at $1200. The SW¼ NE¼ Section 28-39-7 was mortgage to Quilling On October 7, 1920 for $300, and S½ SE¼ Section 29-39-7 & NW¼ SE¼ Section 29-39-7 were mortgage to Goldie F. Reed for $800 on April 9, 1921, thus Wise secured $1700 in mortgages on land he purchased for $1200. I am convinced that Mary is telling the truth when she states she signed the deeds on June 15 and July 3, and further examination of witness will justify the Office setting aside these deed in the United States Court and prosecuting Wise criminally. Maryís affidavit and the abstracts of the County record are given you as Exhibit I.
BILLY GRANT is the sole heir of his mother who was allotted the W½ NE¼ Section 15-40-8, to which a certificate was issued August 9, 1920. He and his wife are the heirs of a son, Joseph Grant, who was allotted the E½ NE¼ Section 7-39-7, to which a certificate was issued February 9, 1920. Billy states that before his certificates to his motherís allotment came, he went to Hayward to borrow money for Mr. Johnson, who was on that day, absent from the city. He was seen by Clarence Wise and asked him what he was doing in town. Getting this information, Wise advanced him $60 deducting 10% for interest and a note was signed. Thereafter various sums ere advanced until the affiant owed Wise on this land $600 and also about $200 on his sonís allotment to which he executed a mortgage to said Wise. A large number of papers were signed for Wise but Grant was not familiar with their content or purpose. Mr. Johnson visited Grant at his home several times and tried to get him to agree to sell his motherís allotment to him. This Grant refused to do telling him that he had sold the land to Wise and that there would be trouble over it. Johnson informed him that such a sale was invalid because he had executed a deed before the certificate had been received and recorded for 30 days. When the 30 days were up to the hour, Johnson again saw Grant at his home and persuaded him to execute a warranty deed for the W½ NE¼ Section 15-40-8, for a consideration of $825, $25 of which was paid in cash and $800 in check. Grant carried the $800 check to Wise at his bank and told him he wanted to clear his complete indebtedness to Wise and to remove the mortgage Wise had against his sonís allotment. Wise accepted the $800 but refused to credit Grant with $200 on the mortgage, which Grant thought he had on his sonís allotment, claiming Grant had sold him his motherís land; that it belonged to him and that he was entitled to the full $800. Mr. Johnson testified before the Wisconsin Real Estate Board that while he was completing his deal with Grant at the Court House in Hayward, he called Wise at Grantís request and had him come to the Court House. At that time Wise protested at the sale telling Johnson that he bought the land from Grant with the $200 mentioned above but had advanced him $75 more. When I examined the records at Hayward, I found that instead of a mortgage, Grant had given Wise a warranty deed to the allotment of his son, Joseph Grant, dated May 12, 1920, Wise having recorded the certificate April 7, 1920. There was also a quitclaim deed on record from Wise to Grant dated May 19, 1921, a few days before I took Grantís affidavit. This was unknown to Grant and to me at the time. There was also a mortgage of recorded dated May 8, 1920 for $150. This was satisfied May 25, 1921 but a new mortgage was given to the Farmerís State Bank, of which Wise is cashier, for $200, on May 25, 1921. Wise has become frightened of Grantís activities to clear his land and quitclaimed it back but immediately thereafter placed a mortgage of record. I am convinced he influenced Grant who doesnít read or write English, to again sign paper, the contents of which are unknown by Grant. Grant has spent several months trying to clear his sonís allotment and thus far has not succeeded. Taking into consideration the statements of Grant, Mr. Johnson, and others, I am convinced that Grant deeded the W½ NE¼ Section 15-40-8 to Wise before the issuance of a certificate. Wise would not have advanced him $600 without feeling reasonably certain that he had possession of the land. Wise should be indicted for this deal. I am also certain in my own mind that Wise had a deed or mortgage to the E½ NE¼ Section 7-39-7 before one could be legally executed, but the moneys advanced and the papers signed by Grant were so numerous he would make an uncertain witness to this transaction. Grantís affidavits and a transcript of records are given you as Exhibit J.
JULIA SLATER-ISHAM was allotted the NW¼ SW¼ and Lot 3 Section 30-40-6, to which a certificate was issued October 30, 1918. Along or about June 15, 1918, when she made application for her certificate at the Farmerís Office at Reserve, she entered into a written contract while in that office to deed or mortgage the above land to C.M. Olson of Couderay for an unknown consideration. She received at that time $50 from Olson to affix her signature and afterwards she received $50 more making $100 in all. Later she sold the land to the A. Wise Land Company who assumed the payment of the above mortgage. She states that she was influenced by Wise and others to believe that she could sell her land to no one else than the flowage company and that she must accept a consideration of $400 for it. She was told that she was receiving adequate consideration and that she had to accept it because she could not sell to others. The Government Farmer, Mr. Cross, appraises this land at $750. Mr. Cross also witnessed the signing of the contract with Olson and has made that affidavit. Juliaís affidavits and a transcript of the record are given you as Exhibit K.
JULIA ISHAM-MUSTACHE was allotted the S½ NE¼ Section 35-40-8, to which a certificate was issued October 29, 1918. She states that on or about June 15, 1918, when she was making application for a certificate of competency at the Farmerís Office at Reserve, she entered into a written contract to deed or mortgage the above land to C.M. Olson of Couderay, Wisconsin, for an unknown consideration, she received $50 from Olson when she affixed her signature to the contract. Later, Olson secured possession of this land for a consideration of $400, this amount having been paid from time to time. Julia further states that Olson led her to believe that she was receiving an adequate consideration for her land and that she had to sell it to him or to the flowage company who would pay no more for it. She signed no papers for Olson after the issuance of her certificate and the whole transaction was based on the papers she signed at Reserve, Wisconsin on the date she made her application. The records at Hayward show a warranty deed purported to have been executed to Oscar Hooey and C.M. Olson on December 18, 1918 for a consideration of $480. Eugene E. Olson acknowledged it. The Farmer appraised this land as worth at least $800 and the allottee considered it worth $960.Under the date of May 27, 1921 I wrote the Commissioner enclosing the original of the affidavits of Julia Isham-Mustache and Julia Slater-Isham together with an affidavit from Jasper Cross, Government Farmer at Reserve, recommending that criminal action be taken against Olson before the statute of limitation expires against certain phases of these transaction. The affidavits of Julia and Mr. Cross and transcript of the County record are given you as Exhibit L.
BILLY WINTERS was allotted the W. Frac.½ of the SW¼ of Section 30-40-8, to which a certificate was issued December 20, 1918. He states in his affidavit that Clarence Wise sent for him twice by George Winters while the application was pending in Washington but refuse to see Wise because he was contemplating two deals, one with Carl Johnson and the other with Edward Toutant, the former offering him $14 per acre and the latter an improved property off the reservation which he desired. Both of these farmers made several visits to the Sub-Agency to see about the certificate. They became discouraged at the delay and dropped their trades. Wise sent for Winters a third time. Winters at the time had his certificate in his possession having received it Monday, January 13, 1919 and visited Wise on Thursday, January 16, 1919. He was carried by Wise to a rear room in the Farmers Bank of Hayward and offered $300 for his place. He of course refused to accept it. He was held in this rear room by Wise from 2 oíclock until 5 oíclock and having become discouraged and weary of the importunities of Wise, he finally signed a warranty deed to his land for a consideration of $325. On this date he received $100 and the balance was paid him in small amounts on his various visits to Hayward. He was told repeatedly by Wise that the land was no good and that more than $325 could not be paid profitably for it. He was also told he could not afford to hold this certificate as he would get into trouble with the County Officials with his taxes, etc. The Government Farmer appraises this land as worth at least $1500 because of its timber and its frontage, which makes it desirable for resort sites. Winters states that he signed this warranty deed 3 or 4 days before the 30 days limit had expired. His memory is good for without any reference to the calendar he stated that he got his certificate on a Monday and held it until Thursday when he carried it to Hayward and there executed the deed. When I researched the Agency at Reserve, I found that the official receipt dated January 13, 1919. This date falls on a Monday. Action should be brought in United States Court to set aside this deed and criminal prosecution instituted against Wise. The County records disclose that this land was placed with other acreage and was mortgaged to the E.M Winslow Estate for about $10 and acre indicating a value of $20 per acre. Wintersí affidavit and a transcript from the County record are given you as Exhibit M.
JOHN LARUSH was allotted the E½ NW¼ of Section 20-39-8, to which a certificate was issued January 16, 1918. LaRush died in May 1919. Mrs. Esther LaRush, an old lady, states that her husband went to Wise at Hayward and had some transacting with Wise, which he told her was a mortgage that he had signed to Wise. He wanted to sell the land to Wise, but Wise would not buy it stating to John that he had never seen the land and as soon as the snow and ice melted, he would visit it, appraise it and buy it. When he returned from his first visit to Wise, he brought back an inferior horse, goods and provisions, stating that he had received these in consideration for the mortgage he had given. He also told his relatives that he had bought a buggy or a sulky and that this would be delivered later. So far as his relatives know, the above value of the land received from Wise, which they estimate was less than $200. After Johnís death, his son-in-law Edward Demar went to Wise to close up the deal. He found that LaRush executed a warranty deed and it was of record. Wise gave him $22 for his mother-in-law; hence the total value received for the land was $225. The Farmer, Mr. Cross, appraises it at $800. Edward Demar, a son-in-law, states in his affidavit that the facts as given by Mrs. Esther LaRush are true. He had several conversations with his father-in-law concerning the deal with Wise. The ignorant old man always told his relatives that he had mortgaged his land to Wise receiving the above articles as consideration and that Wise was going to buy his land as soon as he could see it. The records at Hayward disclose that a warranty deed was purported to have been signed by John LaRush on December 19, 1918. This land was mortgaged to Albert Quilling on August 5, 1920 for $600 indicating a value of $1200. Wiseís admission before the Real Estate Board that his warranty deeds taken from the Indians should be interpreted as mortgages bears out the statements of the affidavits in this case. The affidavits and transcript of record are given you as Exhibit N.
ELLEN LARUSH, a daughter of John LaRush considered in a transaction before this was allotted the S¼ NW¼ Section 10-39-7, to which a certificate was issued December 21, 1917. Edward Demar, her husband, states that after she received the certificate, he sold this land to Wise for a consideration of $400 receiving this amount in various payments, first of which was $100. In all the talks, oral agreements were made that the timber should be reserved for the use of the allottee and that this should be incorporated in the warranty deed. At all times Wise readily agreed to this stating that he cared nothing for the timber and that all he wanted was the flowage rights on the 80 acres. When the warranty deed was recorded, the timber reservation was not included in it. Several years previous to this transaction with Wise, Mrs. Demar had sold the timber to Bekkedal Lumber Company of Couderay and had received advance payments of $200. The Bekkedal Lumber Company in a rough estimate placed the value of timber at $500. When Demar desired to complete this contract with the Bekkedal Company, Wise refused to permit it, stating that he owned the timber having bought it with the land. The timber is yet standing. Ellen Demar, the allottee, in this matter states that she is familiar with the facts and that they as given by her husband, are true. The records in Hayward disclose a warranty deed dated March 1, 1918, for a consideration of $640. Under the date of October 17, 1920, a timber contract was made with the Bekkedal Lumber Company, the consideration being $1. This land was placed with a number of other lands of the Indian lands to the Wisconsin-Minnesota Light & Power Company for a consideration or $8500. In this transaction with Wise, Mrs. Demar lost about $1000. The affidavits and a transcript of record are given you as Exhibit O.
JIM WINTERS was allotted the E½ SW¼ Section 30-40-8 to which a certificate was issued December 31, 1918. The affiant states that about 2 months after the issuance of his certificate, he sold his land to Wise for a consideration of $800, he received on that date, $10. Soon thereafter he was paid $25 and other payments were made at various times until the amount reached $300. At this time Wise told him that he had paid him the full value of the land and that he would not receive more money. He was told also that his land was no good and that he would receive no more for it. Having signed a warranty deed, which was of record, he was compelled to accept Wiseís settlement although the consideration was to have been $800. While his application was pending, Edward Toutant offered him $1200 for his Ď80í but before the certificate came this farmer had entered into a deal with his brother. The Government Farmer at Reserve appraises the land at well worth $1200. The records in Hayward disclose a mortgage to E.M. Winslow Estate executed June 30, 1919, for about $10 per acre, which would make the value as Wise appraises it to his loan company, at about $1600. This affidavit and transcript of record are given you as Exhibit P.
FRANCES TREPANIA nee ISHAM was allotted Lot 1 Section 23-39-8 and Lot 4 Section 24-39-8, containing 100 acres to which a certificate was issued June 15, 1920. The affiant states that after receiving her certificate, she went to Clarence Wise, Cashier of the State Bank at Hayward and began borrowing money securing at the first visit $100. Thereafter she secured various amount to $300 at which time she began to sign papers for said Wise and it is at this time that she signed a did which Wise told her was a mortgage against her land as security for the money she had borrowed. She thereafter continued to get money from the said Wise until she started to Camp Dix where her husband is now stationed at which time the total amount received was $800. She states further that in January 1921, she came from Camp Dix to sell the land to C.M. Olson of Couderay, she having received a letter from him at the camp wanting to buy it. When she reached home she and Olson discovered that the land had been deeded to Wise instead of mortgaged. In the face of the record, Olson of course refused to buy it. The government Farmer states that the surface value of the land is worth $1000 and that the virgin timber on 66 acres is worth $800, a total valuation of $1800. The records of Hayward disclose that the above land was transferred October 19, 1920 by warranty deed to the Couderay Land Company, which is composed of Clarence and his wife, Vera Wise, so far as the best information goes. On October 20, 1920 this land was mortgaged to Albert Quilling for a consideration of $1000, indicating a valuation of $2000. On October 17, 1920, a timber contract was made with the Bekkedal Lumber Company. I am certain that Frances signed a warranty deed to Wise before her certificate had been recorded 30 days. She began to deal with him on July 17, 1920, the date on which she received her certificate from the Agency. She says she signed the deed when the amount reached $300 and I am certain of my knowledge of Indian character that the $300 was received before August 20, the date on which the certificate would be legal. Wise admits in his hearing before the Real Estate Board that the final settlement is about $300. This brought out a strong suspicion that Frances had executed the deed before it was legal to do so. It is my opinion that if action is brought in the United States Court to declare this transaction null and void, sufficient evidence should be brought to light to justify such action. Francesí affidavit and transcript of record are given you as Exhibit Q.
MARY ISHAM-DEMAR was allotted the W½ SE¼ of Section 32-39-7 to which a certificate was issued October 29, 1918. She states that after the receipt of her certificate she went to Wise and borrowed $100 giving to him security what she was told and considered a mortgage. She desired a witness to this transaction, but Wise would not permit her to have one. She, as do all the other Indians, states that she did not appear before a notary. The affiant further states that upon two other occasions she went to Wise securing $50 and $25. Later she sold the land to C.M. Olson who discovered that she had issued a warranty deed to Wise instead of a mortgage. She demanded that Wise remove the lien against her land but he refused stating that he had bought it and would keep it. She was forced to accept Wiseís settlement of $200. The Government Farmer appraises the land at about $800. The transcripts reveals two warranty deeds executed to Wise, one dated March 13, 1920, and the other September 27, 1919, both for a consideration of $1. On January 1, 1920, it was transferred by warranty to the Couderay Land Company composed of Wise and his wife, Vera Wise. In the hearing before the Wisconsin State Real Estate Board several notes were examined signed by Mary Isham on which was noted ĎSecurity Real Estate Mortgage.í Wise admitted to the above board that this deed was a mortgage, however, when Mary carried a purchaser to pay her indebtedness and release the land of its lien, Wise would not consent. Maryís affidavit and a transcript of the record are given you herewith as Exhibit R.
SOPHIE BOLANGE was allotted the N½ NW¼ Section 9-39-8 to which a certificate was issued August 6, 1918. After receiving this certificate she received $200 from Clarence Wise signing and executing a mortgage to said Wise or his bank. Some six months later she secured another $100 from Wise executing and signing a warranty deed, so she states. She protested at signing the deed telling him the land was worth much more. The land is good and has timber on it and it is located adjacent to the school and the Agency at Reserve, Wisconsin. No one was present who spoke English well and the old lady did not know what she was doing. She is not very strong mentally and earns a living by washing for people around Reserve. Having received $300 for her land, she was reported out of $5. The old lady is mistaken as to executing a mortgage when she received $200 from Wise. She signed a warranty deed and it was placed at record in Hayward October 5, 1918, having been signed September 26, 1918, shortly after her certificate was valid. This to my mind is the most contemptible case in the investigation. This womanís contention that she executed a mortgage to Wise is borne out by Wiseís admission to the Wisconsin Real Estate Board that his warranty deed should be interpreted as mortgages. Sophieís affidavit and a transcript of record are given you as Exhibit S.
LOUIS MARTIN was allotted the N ½ SW ¼ Section 35-40-8 to which a certificate was issued January 22, 1919. He states that some time after receiving the certificate he borrowed $250 from Clarence Wise signing so far as he knows, a note, but records at Hayward disclose that he executed a mortgage on April 22, 1919 on the above land for a consideration of $250. Some six months later he agreed to sell 40 acres of this land to Wise for a consideration of $450 and in accordance with this, he and his wife Mary signed a warranty deed receiving at this time about $170. He states that shortly after making the deal, he was informed that it called for his entire 80 acres and not for 40. They, not being able to read or write the English language relied upon the honesty and integrity of Wise as to the contents of the papers they signed. They were not told by Wise nor their interpreter, William Isham, that the deed called fro 80 acres. As with all the other Indians, they did not appear before any notary. Mary Martin in her affidavit states that she knows the above facts are true. Martinís memory is good because the records at Hayward disclose a warranty deed executed October 24, 1919, six months after the execution of the mortgage. On August 5, 1920, this land was mortgaged to Albert Quilling for a consideration of $600. This makes the valuation as $1200 as priced by Wise or nearly three times as much as Louis received for its sale. The affidavits and transcript of record are given you as Exhibit T.
JAMES BENNETT was allotted Lots 9 & 10 Section 29-40-6 to which the certificate was issued May 29,1918. He states that after receiving the certificate he began to borrow money from Clarence Wise receiving on his first visit $150. He continued to get various sums of money from time to time until the amount is now $975. He did not desire to borrow money but Wise continued to bother him about it and he finally accepted the above sum in various payments. He states he always signed notes for the amount secured and that his wife joined him in signing the note for $150. He also states in his affidavit that if there is a mortgage or deed, on record, he knew nothing of it and does not remember having signed any such paper. Wise has never told him that he was executing a deed or a mortgage. He states that he has made an agreement with Wise to transfer his allotment to the flowage company for 160 acres outside the reservation. He has selected the land he desires but no deed has been given for it. Wise has repeatedly offered him $6.00 per acre but he as steadfastly refused it considering his 80 with a great deal of cleared land and improvements is worth $75 per acre. The Farmer appraises the value of it at about $3000. Without knowing the facts disclosed by the record I tried to convince Jim that he and his wife had executed some instrument against their land when they borrowed the first $150 and both signed papers. I was not able to do so. He and his wife both refused to admit that they ever signed knowingly any deed or mortgage. James is a leader among his Indians although he does not read or write the English language. The records in Hayward disclose that on August 15, 1918 that Bennett and his wife executed a warranty deed for $1 and other valuable consideration. The moneys advanced to Jim soon outgrew the consideration mentioned in the first deed, which Wise evidently held as a mortgage and a second deed was taken. Both of these were signed without the knowledge and consent of the owners. Under the date of September 5, 1919, this land was transferred by warranty deed to the Chippewa Valley Construction Company, which is the same company as far as we are concerned as the Wisconsin-Minnesota Light and Power Company. Jamesí affidavit and transcript of record are given you as Exhibit U.
JULIA BARBER-CLOUD was allotted Lot 1 SE ¼ NE ¼ Section 30-40-8 to which a certificate was issued December 19, 1918. She states that after receiving and holding her certificate for several weeks she took it to Hayward to record it and at the Court House she was told by the clerk she could borrow money on it from Clarence Wise. She saw him and secured $70, Wise telling her that it was not necessary for her to sign any papers at that time. She states that after about two months had passed from the recordation of her certificate, she owed Wise $200. On this date she went into the bank to see Wise and he coerced her into signing a deed by telling her that her land was not worth much and that the consideration he was offering was all he would give. She turned away from him several times and tried to get out of the bank, but he would get in front of her, preventing him from going, showing her $300 he continually held in his hand and before her eyes. Finally under protest, she placed her mark on the warranty and received the $300 as the final balance of the purchase price. She states that Fred Smith, a Chippewa Indian offered her $900 but Wise refused to let her sell it. The Government Farmer places its value at $1200 as it has 40 acres of frontage on Grindstone Lake with several sites suitable for resorts. The sister of Julia, Annie Barber, testifies in her affidavit that she was in the bank with Julia and that Wise would not permit Julia to leave the bank until she signed the warranty deed. The records at Hayward disclose a warranty deed executed February 18, 1919, and a quitclaim deed executed to Wise May 13, 1919, both bear the consideration of $1, both were signed by Julia and John Cloud. I do not know and cannot guess why this quitclaim deed was taken unless Wise appreciated the fact that he had secured the warranty deed with an undue influence. This land was mortgaged to the E.M. Winslow Estate June 30, 1919 with other lands for a consideration of $10 per acre showing a valuation, according to Wiseís appraisement of $20 per acre. These affidavits and a transcript of record are given you as Exhibit V.
CHARLOTTE OSHOGAY states that she is the heir together with George Barber, her former husband, of the land of a son, James Barber, who was allotted the SW¼ SE¼ Section 7-40-8 and SE¼ SW¼ Section 7-40-8 to which a certificate was issued July 18, 1918. She states that after receiving the certificate, she and George Barber mortgaged it to C.M. Olson of Couderay for $100 each. Soon after this mortgage George Olson found out that Clarence Wise had bought the mortgage from Olson and he took his former wife, Charlotte Oshogay before Wise and executed a warranty deed, Wise paying them $100 each and assuming or buying the mortgage held by Olson. She states that she did not desire to sell the land for $400 but that Wise influenced her to sign the deed. He claimed the land was very rough and not worth more. George Barber testified in his affidavit that Wise agreed to pay him $1200 for the above described land but after he had executed the deed and persuaded Charlotte Oshogay to do so, it was discovered that the consideration was only $400, $100 each paid to the signers of the deed and Wises assuming the mortgage for Olson of $200. The records at Hayward disclose a mortgage to C.M. Olson dated November 24, 1919 to the above described land for a consideration of $200. The receipt at the Agency for this certificate was signed by the heirs November 24, 1919, the day of the mortgage. It is believed at the Agency although the exact date is not know that a certificate dated in July1919 had a clause requiring a recordation of 30 days before being valid. If this contention is true, Olson had violated the statutes. The records disclose that a warranty deed was given to Clarence Wise May 25, 1920 and under date of June 21, 1920, was sold to John E. Moreland and H.B. Sabin, for deed having the consideration of $1.00. The affidavits and transcript of record are given you as Exhibit W.
CHARLOTTE OSHOGAY again states that she and her sister Mr. John Corbine inherited the allotment of her father, Joseph Shicog, to whom was allotted the S½ SW¼ Section 34-39-8 to which a certificate was issued November 29, 1920. She states that she and her sister mortgaged the above-described land for 5 years for a consideration of $100 each or $200, more than 30 days after the certificate had been recorded. She states in her affidavit that if a warranty deed is on record at Hayward, executed by Wise or anyone else, that said deed was secured through fraud and misrepresentation as neither she or her sister had any intentions of selling the land to any one. The records in Hayward disclose the Mrs. Oshogay and Mrs. John Corbine executed a warranty deed to Wise under the date of February 2, 1921, with a consideration of $1. The deed was underlined with a typewriter statement that it was given to secure a loan of $200. There for it has the effect of a mortgage as stated by Mrs. Oshogay. Affidavit and transcript of record are given you as Exhibit X.
GEORGE BARBER was allotted Lot 2 Section 28-40-8 and the NE ¼ NW ¼ Section 27-40-8 containing 89 acres to which a certificate was issued November 19, 1920. He states that after receiving his certificate he went to Clarence Wise and there entered into an agreement with said Wise in the presence of Benjamin Buck to sell the above land for a consideration of $1200. He received $5 advance money. Later in the day he changed his mind and tried to return the $5 to Wise and requested his certificate, which had been given to Wise earlier in the day. Both requests were refused. He states that after 30 days had expired, Wise gave him another $100 and had him execute another warranty deed. Later he was paid another $25 making in all $135, which he had received on the date of his affidavit as a consideration for the above land. Wise has persistently refused to settle on the basis of $1200, which he agreed orally to pay in the presence of a witness. Wise states repeatedly that the land is of no account and that he cannot pay $1200 for it. Barber has refused to accept any other settlement than the balance of the $1200. Barber cannot read or write and had to take Wiseís word that the deed contained $1200 consideration. Barberís affidavit and transcript of record are given you as Exhibit Y.
EMMA DEMAR-CROW was allotted the W ¼ SW ¼ Section 34-40-8 to which a certificate was issued December 19, 1918. She states that after receiving her certificate she began to borrow money from C.M. Olson of Couderay receiving it in various sums until the amount reached $230. She then sold the land to Clarence Wise receiving from Wise $50 as full consideration, Wise assuming the mortgage of $230 given to Olson. She states that she did not want to sell the land for this amount but Wise told her it was all it was worth and that she could not get more for it. She was wholly unfamiliar with her land and when Wise told her it was very rough and rocky and worth little, she was persuaded to execute a warranty deed because she had recently been bereft of a husband and was sorely in need of money to support her six children. The Government Farmer appraises this land at $800. She sacrificed it for a consideration of $280 and interest. Emmaís affidavit and transcript of record are given you as Exhibit Z. The records at Hayward disclose a mortgage to Oscar Hood dated April 2, 1919 for a consideration of $231, which was later satisfied; Hood evidently representing Olson. On June 6, 1919, she executed a warranty deed to Wise and on June 16, 1919, she executed another warranty deed to the Couderay Land Company composed of Wise and his wife. Vera Wise, wife of Clarence Wise, acknowledges the two dates. Under the date of November 8, 1919, the land was mortgaged to Lena Missler for a consideration of $1200, which confirms Emmaís statement that Wise grossly misrepresented the true facts to her when he told her the land was worth little.
EMMA DEMAR-CROW states that she was the wife of David Crow who was allotted Lots 1 and 7 of Section 28-40-6 to which was issued a certificate November 9, 1919. Affiant states that her husband was sick before and after the receipt of the certificate and she looked after his business for him. She sold the land to Clarence for $480 under the stress of sickness and want. The Government Farmer appraises its value at $640. The records at Hayward disclose that Wise sold it to the Dells Paper Company, an indication that the allotment had much merchantable timber on it, which in fact is unknown to the Government Farmer and was not considered when he made the appraisal. Emmaís affidavit and a transcript of record were given you as Exhibit Z.
The report of the above activities concludes my investigation of Clarence Wise and C.M. Olson. So far as I could ascertain, no other men have been guilty of trying to secure Indian allotments for a consideration at ½ and 1/3 its value. As stated in the beginning of this report, there are doubtless many more cases, which could be ascertained by a further stay and work upon the reservation. It saw only those who were easily reached and could be interviewed without loss of time.
It is known in Hayward and vicinity, that Clarence Wise, Scipio Wise, Lawrence Wise, The Couderay Land Company, Chippewa River Construction Company, A. Wise Land Company, and Wisconsin-Minnesota Power & Light Company, are so closely interwoven that, so far as civil and criminal action may be had on the transactions given in this report, they are one and the same person, Clarence Wise. He is responsible and seems to be solely, so far, for the great frauds that have been perpetrated against the Lac Courte Oreilles Indians and their lands. In 1918 and 19, it is probable that Clarence Wise and C.M. Olson were closely associated with each other in securing flowage rights for the flowage company, but later they disagreed and worked independently of each other. Thus it can be seen that the Indiansí Slough of Despond had many sources of entrance but it will be difficult to find one exit. Under the discussion each case I made my recommendations as to civil actions or criminal actions in United States Court. In a great number of cases recourse must be had in State Courts to clear the title of these lands and to secure the money for Indians from Wise. Two or three of the allottees told me that they had employed E.W. Winton, attorney for the Wisconsin Real Estate Board, to take their matters into the State Court. He has connected with others to do some of the legal work, Arthur LeSuer, of St. Paul, who impresses me as being a very fine lawyer. If he could be interested with Mr. Winton is presenting these cases to the State Courts, I am convinced that practically everyone disclosed by me could be won. I am told by some of the leading citizens of Hayward that little consideration would be given Wise in this vicinity because of his political, financial and social standing. His credibility as a witness has been destroyed by the action of the Real Estate Board in its hearing in March 1921. It seems that people of this section do not endorse such practices as Wise has been guilty of and they will be glad to have him held accountable. This feature is different from of the sections in which I have worked. Elsewhere the citizenship was largely with the grafter and considerable time had to be given by an investigating official to create a public sentiment and opinion that would permit the Indian to receive a just consideration at the hands of local courts. Superintendent Craigs advises me that he is heartily in sympathy with his Indians bringing suite to recover their lands or their value and he feels that with his assistance, each one of those mentioned above can secure sufficient money to pay the court cost of the case and to justify a lawyer giving his time and attention to it, provided of course, that the lawyer will accept the major part of his fee from the lands after they are recovered.