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About The American. (Omaha, Nebraska) 1891-1899 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 4, 1895)
A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER. "AMERICA FOR AMERICANS." We hold that all men are A uerlcans who Swear Allegiance to the United Slates without a menial reservation In favor of the Pope. PRICE KIVK CKN1 S
Volume V. OMAHA, NEBlUSKA71,:lTli5A;O0T0HEK 4, 1SI:. Num7kr1o
ACCUSE THE PRIEST.
Miss Maud Steidel Disappears
from Her Home In St.
Her Mother and Friends Believe Friest
Wagner, of That Cltj, Unit Seduced
the Girl and Then Either Ab
ducted or Killed Her.
Another pretty girl is missing
She was the prime favorite of the
Her well-developed form excited his
amorous feelings, causing him to pay
her marked attentions.
Those attentions were remarked be
fore the disappeared.
They have been recalled vividly
since she so mysteriously pasted beyond
the protection of her mother, and all
kinds of stories are rife.
The St. Joe Daily News, in speaking
of the case, says:
The disappearance of pretty 15-year-old
Maud Steidel from her home at
514 Richardson street Sunday night
was so complete that the police have
not even a vestige of a clew to follow.
Even the "fly cops" are in the dark as
to her present whereabouts.
The heart-broken mother, however,
is emphatic in her accusations.
Father Domlnlck Wagner, of St.
Mary's Church, she declares, has
either spirited the girl away by force
or exercised an influence over her
which Is keeping her from home.
Excitement has been high in the
north part of the city to-day. Lynch
ing has been talked of. A reporter for
the Daily News was informed by a well
known resident of the north end that
an effort was being made to organize
a lynching party. William Llebig,
owner of a livery-stable, is the man.
He said that several men came to him
and asked that he lead the party. He
refused, and the promulgators of the
contemplated ljnchlcg tee skirmished
the neighborhood In an endeavor to In
crease their number.
Up to the hour of going to press the
"bee" hadn't come off, tut the feeling
Is still rife. Unless the girl is returned
to her mother it is possible that trouble
A Daily Neus reporter pall a visit to
the Steidel home and found the missing
girl's mother in a precarious condition,
brought on by excitement. Her eyes
were badly swollen and she was about
exhausted from weeping and loss of
sleep. She tadjnct closed her eyes
since the disappearance of her daugh
ter, Sunday night.
"No, they have not succeeded In find
ing my poor girl," she said, sobbing.
At mention of the priest's name the
woman's countenance changed sud
denly. A look of Intense hatred and
contempt replaced the sad and mourn
ful expression on her face as she
clenched her fists and exclaimed:
"He has got her and will never give
her up. By placing a ropa around his
neck, though, hei would show traits of
a coward and tell where she is, but not
otherwise. If there are men in the
nelghb( rhood who will place the nose
around his neck, I will take the other
end and swirg him high until a confes
sion isforced frm his lip?."
Saying which the poor woman bowed
her head in tears. Having received an
intimation that the girl was entirely
in the met lies of the'prii st the rep rter
put the delicate question to the mother.
She had no doubt tut that the priest
had won her daughter's conlideace.
Wnether she-was infatuated with him
and contented under his tragical power
to go with him of her own acaord, she
said she was unable to tell. Amid oc
casional outbursts of tears the grlef
strlcken widow related the story of her
life and concluded with the disappear
ance of her daughter, which his possi
bly proved a greater blow than tte
death of her husband did fifteen years
ago. She said:
"Death is nothing compared with
this. It is awful! My husband died a
young man fifteen years ago. It was a
terrible blow to mc. But it was noth
ing compared to this. Tbt feeling that
your daughter has been stolen from
you, after years of care and watchful
ness, is the rnoct agonizing grief one
My daughter went to school in
Father Wagner's parish for two years.
He became attached to her from the
time he laid eyes on her Bweet face,
and I'm afraid that her face has proved
her fate," sighed the mother mourn
fully. "Well, it can te readily infer
red," she continued, "that he set his
net for her. He favored her at the
school, showered his attentions on her,
and she succumbed to him because of
his reverence. Poor girl, he wa a
priest and she was brotght up to rev
erence them. He finally began Ij serd
presents for hor to the house. Im
agine my feeling upon surmising that
hi love for her was not of that nature
which a man in his position should
cherish for a young girl. It drove me
wild the thought of it. I refused to
allow him to give her any more pres
ents. He had, apparently, magne
tized the girl, though, and she con
tinued, I afterwards learned, to meet
"Sunday evening previous to going
across the yard to her aunt's house,
Maud put on an old red dress, which
she had outgrown, laughingly remark
ing to me that she wanted to tee how
she looked. She left my house to go to
her aunt's fifty feet away, and that was
the last I saw of her." At this junc
ture the sad-faced mother spoke chok
Irgly. Tears flowed from her swollen
eyes, and it wa a few moments before
she sufficiently recovered to proceed
with ber heart-rending tale.
"I called her name from our back
yard, and not receiving any response,
I became weak and faint. I hardly
know how I passed the night. It
seemed that I would die of grief unlees
she returned by morning. Midnight
came and passed, but still she didn't
come. When the gray dawn of morn
ing appeared, I knew that something
had happened her. Oh, the suspense
Is horrible. It's mure than I can
The unfortunate woman was obliged
to pause a moment to wipe away tears.
Asked concerning the accusations she
made to Father Wagner personally,
Mrs. Steidel said:
"Yes, I am nearing that part of it.
Give me time; I will teli It. Early in
the morning, some time after daylight,
I was aroused from my bed by the ring
ing of the church bells for early mass.
'Father Wagner does hold mass this
morning, I said to my uncle, who had
told me there was no mats that morn
ing, upon learnlrg of my Intention of
going to the priest for Information con
cerning my daughter. I slipped on my
shawl and in company with my uncle
vlsl ed the church. Fa'fcer Wagner
stood at the door greeiing the early
morning worshipers as we came up. I
approached him boldly and demanded
the return of my daughter. He de
clared that he knew nothing of her
whereabout?. I accused him of lyin,
and again demanded her return. See
ing that it would do no good to talk to
him commandingly, I begged of him to
let me have my dear, sweet girl. My
uncle drew me away from him, and we
visited the prosecuting atterney's oflicc
to swear out a warrant for his arrest.
They asked me for evidence. What
proof did I have? None. Oh, my
God, I can't stand it longer! Nothing
but trouble has come to me. Would
that she were dead instead of in such
hands. I belonged to St. Mary's
Church. I have been a Catholic all
The Daily News reporter called at
Father Wagner's parish during the
ferenoon and found a sign pinned to the
frontdoor. It read:
"Will be tack about 2 o'clock."
The police version of the disappear
ance Is that it Is an abduction, pure
and simple. Yesterday several mem
bers of the force, including one or two
iuspoctors, visited the parish and put
the priest through a category of ques
tions. Sergeant Fred Henry stated
that Fa! her Wagner proved a very
ready wilkeraul appeared at eae. II 3
said, however, that the priest contra
dicU d hiu.-elf several times. He hiul
claimed that he had not scan the girl
for two months or more, but Anally,
when pinned down, admitted that he
had seen her on the street a week or so
William Liebig teild the reporter
that he saw tho priest and Miss Steidel
walking together on St. Joseph avenue
Wednesday of fair week. The celibat3
appeared very assiduous In his atten
tions to the miss, he said, acd his man
ner indicated an intimacy between
But the question remains: Where is
It is a question that no one teems to
be able to answer. The police are
simply befuddled. They have struck
no lead, as yet, and the prevailing
opinion Is that the priest has success
fully baffled all.
There is a rumor current that Father
Wagner intends to leave St. Joseph in
the near future for Europe, where, it Is
said, he will come into possession of a
fortune and retire from the priesthood.
Members of the church say he has
been contemplating the change for
The Daily Herald, another paper pub
lished in the same city, in commenting
on the case, says: "Miss Maud Steidel,
the young girl who so mysteriously dis
appeared from her home at 514 Rich
ardson stioet on Sunday night, has
not yet returned to her mother' arms,
and Mrs. Steidel is almost frantic with
A clue was obtained yesterday, how
ever, which, it is believe J, will lead to
the final discovery and return to her
home of the young girl, who will not
be Id yearn old till next month.
It was rumored yesterday that the
girl had been seen on Monday and yes
terday by people who knew her, and
that she was kept in concealment by
the priest In charge of St. Mary's Cath
olic Church on the corner of Second
and Cherry Streets, and has a residence
next door north.
Residents ef the neighborhood say
that for a long time they have seen
Miss Steidel stopping at the church,
and that she was cordially received by
the reverecd father. Tho police went
to the church yesterday and interro
gated the priest. At first he denied
having seen the girl since July, but
finally admitted that he had seen her
lately on St. Joseph avenue. He told
several different stories as to his rela
tions with her." A Herald reporter
called on her mother, Mrs Matilda
Steidel, last night. Mrs. Steidel la a
woman apparently 35 years of age, and
seemed much grieved by the absence of
her only child. She said the girl had
gone away without a hat or any cloth
ing except what she had on. She said
that two years ago she started the child
to the school at St. Mary's Church, but
she did not like the actions of the
father in charge, and last year sent
the girl to the public school, where
she parsed the first grade and had a
certificate for admission to the high
school. Over a j car ago she sent the
child to visit her uncle's family in Hor
ton, Kan., and when she returned she
said that tho father had come back on
the train with her. The mother later
found that the priest had gore to the
home of the uncle, Alex, Podvant, and
remained for several days, bringing the
little gill home.
Last July, Mrs. Steidel says, Maud
went to visit her grandpa on the Roch
ester read near L iver's Laue, and when
she went there to see her little girl she
foucd ihe prlcstthere. She reproached
her father In-law for allowing tl e
prleBt to stay in the house, and brought
her daugh'er home. She says that the
father had leen in the habit of calling
her daughter his niece, and that she
told him In her own house thathe must
not do it again.
IIj replied th.it he had been In the
habit of calling her his niece, and it
was generally uiderstoexi that this re
lation existed and ended by asking the
mother what she was going to do about
it. Mrs. Steidel further says that she
Is satisfied that th ? fat her abducted her
daughter and knows where she Is.
It was stated yesterday by a well
known business man that he had been
told that the girl left the church by a
back entrance yesterday while the po
lice were in front, and went toward
Third street. He would not tell who
this party was, but said it would te
proved that the girl had been scn on
Monday and yesterday.
Mr. Podvant, the uncle of the girl,
was very diligent In his search je tor
day, and later went to Conception in the
belief that the child had teen spirited
away to that place.
It is said tint the par tor has not been
In good odor with his church for some
Certain it is that Maud Steidel Is net
at home and tint U ere ate parties who
say she was last seen coming from S'.
Mary'a Church, and Mrs. Sleidol says
that the priest came to her and pro
posed that he would tend her to the
convent at his own expense. Mrs. Slei
del is an old resident of S. Josef h, her
maiden rume being La Croix. Her
ancestors are among the first settlers
of tho Platte purchase. The priest is
a man of about thi rty-five years of age,
and Is originally from Chcago. He
was for a long time in Conception, Mo.,
after which he came here and organ
ized the St. Mary's Church, which was
completed some four years ago. Her
ald. An uncle of Maud's lives in Omaha
and works for a large installment
house. He has been in daily tele
graphic communication with the
mother of the missing girl. He called
at our oflice Monday of this week and
asked our assistance in finding bis
niece. He also published a card offer
ing $50 for information that would lead
to the discovery of the whereabouts of
As our readers will notico, this Is
not an A. P. A. charge against the
priest. It comes from a Roman Cath
olic, the mother of the missing girl.
It should serve as a warning to Cath
olic mothers and fathers who have pre-
possessing daughters going to paro
chial schools or to the confessional.
It needs no words of ours to picture
the desolation and shame that may
come to their homes.
They should decree "The confosslenal
Will the-y do it?
Shice writing the above, Maud Stei
del has been discovered. The Chicago
Daily Dixpntch of Tuesday gives this
version of her stay la that city:
Pretty Maud Steidel, who was found
in a West Side convent yesterday after
the police bad vainly searched for her
for days, was before Justice Chott, at
the Desplalnes Street Station, this
morning. She told the story of her
abduction from St. Joseph, Mo , by
Albert Klandt, who acted at the insti
gation of his brother-in-law, Father
Wagner, priest of one of the leading
churches there. Albert Elandt was
arraigned, held In 14,000 bonds to the
grand jury, and given some good ad
vice by Inspector Shea. Maud, who
is a pretty child of 15 years, told her
story in a straightforward manner.
She first told it to Matron Keegan, and
repeated it in court.
"Father Wagner has been intimate
with me for over a year," she said,
"and my coming to Chicago with hU
brother-in-law, Elandt, was arranged
so we could live together without any
one to quarrel with us. We could not
live together in St. Joseph, for the
church people were suspicious, and
Father Wagner did not want it to be
"How old were you when ycu first be
came intimate with Father Wagner?"
"I was 14, and ho told me it was all
right. He told me not to tell my
mother nor any of my chums, and I
obeyed him. When he decided for us
to live together in Chicago, he said it
would be much nicer that way; and he
bought some furniture and sent it here.
We were not going to beard, for I
know how to keep house, and that was
what we were going to do."
"How did you come to Chicago?"
"Father Wagner sent for Mr. Elandt
atd told me to go with him, and do
whatever he told me, acd to wait until
all was reiidy for bim to leave his
church in St. Joe and join me In Chi
cago. Mr. Elandt did not abduct me.
I came to Chicago of my own free wil'.
Mr. Elandt placed me In the convent,
and I was wailing for Father Wagcer
when the police came. I sent the tele
gram to my mother, tolling her not to
do anything to Father Wagner, for I
was afraid he would not come if she did
not let him alone."
Elandt lives at 1014 Diversey street,
and the police think he will tell all
about the case when taken to St. Jo
seph to answer for abduction. He was
arrested this morning at his home,
and was in his working-clothes when
brought before Justice Chott.
L. A. Podvant, of Holton, Kan., an
uncle of Maud Steidel, told the court
that Elandt had admitted to him that
he abducted the girl and brought her
to Chicago at the instigation of Father
Wagner. "The first clew to Maud's
whereabouts," said Podvant, "was the
shipment cf a lot of household goods to
Chicago by the priest. We felt cer
tain then that Maud was bete and that
Wagner was coming."
While Maud was on the stand she
stated that Father Wngner gave her
$40 for expenses. She stopped at
Elandt's s veial days, then went to the
hon e of James I'ugert (120 Fullerton
avenue) a fi iend ef the Elandts; and
then finally was taken to tho Catholic
Aeaclemy at Pai k and Oakley avenues.
The girl is unusually pretty. She is
a trunctte, with large, sympathetic
eyes, aid her hair is seft, dark and
After the hearing, when questioned
by Inspector Shea, Elandt admitted
that he brought the girl to Chicago at
the instigatii n of his priestly brother-in-law.
Wagner had written him about
the rx a ter, and when he received a
cipher telegram Sept. 20 he understood
what was wanted, and, going to St. Joe,
found the girl and brought her to
Cbkago. "You're a poor man with a
family," said Inspector Shea to Elandt,
"and no one had any right to get you
into this scrape. Ihe way for you to
get out of it Is to go bask to St. Joseph
with Podvant, without requiring requi
sition papers, and tell tho truth on the
"I will go task all right," said
Elandt, "and tell all I know."
Maud Steidel disappeared from St.
Jce a week ago last Saturday. Her
mother is a widow in moderate circum
stances, but well respecte d. The affair
created a sedation owiog to tho promi
nence and previous good tame of
Father Domicick Wagcer, priest in
charge of a leading Catholic church.
WAGNEK IS IN JAIL.
St. Joseph, Mo., Oct. 1. Upon In
formation rtH'clved from Chicago at 2
o'clock this morning the Rev. I hunt
nick Wagner, pastor of St. Mary's
Church, i arrested on tho charge of
having abducted Maud Steidel, IC-ytar-old
daughter of a w idow parishioner.
Father Wagner spent the early worn
lag hours in jail. Owing to the con
clusiveness of the evidence against him
and the certainty that he would floe if
(riven an opportunity, It Is not thought
that he will lie admitted to ball. The
priests of St. Joseph, who had previ
ously declared belief In the Innocence
of Father Wagner, have telegraphed
to Bishop Burke, now in New York,
urging him to take Immetdiate action
In banishing Wagner from the church.
Only last Saturday night Wagner is
sued a newspaper card, denying any
restonslblllty for or knowledge of the
dlsapie'arance of Maud Steidel, and be
publicly and dtamatically swore that
this statement was true. Wagner is 3.1
years old and a native of Ottawa, 111.
WANTS TO UK A MAN.
ST. Jo.sEl'H, Mo., Oct. 2. Maud Stei
del arrived home from Chicago this
morning, accompanied by hor brothtr-in-law,
EliPcdvant. She looked happy
when she alighted from the train, but
the meeting with her mother was very
sorrowful, Elandt, Father Wagner's
brother In-law, was also one of the
party. He was in the custody of a de
tective. This afternoon Father Wag
ner confessed everything and has asked
permission to marry the girl. Ills con
fession Is made to Sheriff Adrlano and
Alexander Podvant, Maud Steldel's un
cle. No action has yet been taken by
HOW TO IMWN THE A. P. A.
Ajnx has Plan Which the Pope is
Invited to Put lute Execution,
The greatest cf all "farce-comedies,"
"The Landlngofthe Mugs," with Fa
ther (?) Finer ty as "gab-shoot er-ln-chief,"
haveat last agreed that Ireland
shall have homo ru'e. From all ac
counts, the new movement Is to bo one cf
' fource;" tint Is, that England Is to be
"fourced" Into relinquishing all claim
to govern Ihs bog trotters, that they
mHy set up their own king or pope. If
the convention of Urrlers Irid sgreed
to use tho "fource to banish tho priests
and Jesuits from Ireland (as it is
clalrr.ed St. Patrick bo.nlsi.c3 the
snakes), they would have had some hlng
very much resembling genuine home
rule, by the tia e the last ef the "fak
ers" had slatted for Rome. There will
rever te Bny home-rule In Ii e'and i ntll
the people of that priest-ridden Island
get8uflielcrjt'yon!ii;hte.e toshuflle off
blird and ignorant superstition, whlih
holds them um er Rome rule. If the
British lion had tc;n here to listen to
the gal -shoe ting of Fine; ty & Co., he
would have made a b e line for the Af
rican jungles or someo'hor place where
the weather was not so "boatt'y warm,"
Roman Schaack stopped the' so-calle 1
anarchist t of ore ho had uttered one
per cent, tf the treason and anarchy
which were contained in some of the
speeches te'ore the "new movement."
"I am as good a citizen as any man,"
said Mr. Finerty during his speech,
"but I would welcome tie? sight of 100,
000 arnel Americans breaking thecej
trallly laws In telialf of Cuba, and
doubly could I welcome the sU httf 500,
000 armed Americans breaking 1 fie neu
trally laws with England In beha'f tf
"Agitation," said Mr. Fir.erty,
"seems to te a failure, and now I advo
cate some other course."
How fiery and firious some people
can be when the jnople they are a sail
ing are th-ee thousand mil's away!
As the St. JamesGazt tt.) says:
"There is none so valiant, as t'lo ex
iled Hibernian in the secure at-nOo-phere
of an American liquor saleion.
There is nor. e so ready to attick the
Saxon when tho Saxon carina get at
him, or so patriotic in raising other
people's money for war."
Among the Illinois gang were an ex
congressman, state senat )r, state leg
islator, member ef city council, police
forte and justice shop, while the board
ef education, Democratic party and the
Gocd Old party were net without rep
resentation. The delegates were very
conspicuous on "the levee" on Tuesday
evening, and there was many a sore
head on Wednesday morning. They
all wore a small button on the lapel of
their coats ('hose who had coats to
wcar),on which was stamped an "Amer
ican Hag" and a "gre-en rag," with the
words "Liberty for Ireland." From
the headquarters on "the levee" the
crowd in large numters "took in" the
sights, and the saloons and dives did a
rushing busice-s. As ore of the tough
saloon-keepers remarked: "Business
had not teen so lively since the World's
Fair." They appeared to te right at
home, and one de'egate compared "the
levee" to the "Kerry Patch" of St.
Louis, while another thought It resem
ble! In none particulars "the French
Market" of New Orleans. Not I avlng
any night toss I on on Tuesday, was the
cause of many of them leaving town
before the end of the convention.
Many others got disgusted when
they saw the turn affairs were taking,
and one of them retnarkt d while labor
ing under too much Ore-water, that it
was not to free Ireland at all, but to
knock out thed A. I'. Ayzes. Tbl
remark fits very nicely with this clip
ping from a Chicago daily:
"P. II. Duggan, late of the Chicago
beard of education, who has just re
turned from Ireland, says In his judg
ment that the Irish people are well sat
isfied with the government under which
they now live.
"In Ireland," be said, "I did not talk
with the scum of tho cities, but with
the pcoplo who are owners of tho toll
and tillers. I found that they do not
want separation. They dodeslre union
with England. They said to me they
had the real democracy and that our
government was but the counterfeit.
For Instance, I talked with a Mr. Pha
len, a west of Ireland man, who said
to me that he had been foolish enough
to be a nationalist fifteen years ago,
but he bad got over It. In illustration,
be said to me that years ago elks' horns
were found in the bogs of Ireland, but
during the last hundred years but one
set had been found. It would be just
ashard,he said, to find a nationalist
in Ireland now as a sot of elks' boms.
I think tho people there are satisfied
with their government, and wish no
change. The Irish movement -In this
country, In my judgment, Is but a part
of American politics, and amounts to
nothing, so far as the real Ireland is
concerned. I lcarnod that much while
I was with the Irish people them
selves." A similar organization has just been
formed among the German followers of
the "dago," and the "old banana ped
dler" has sent them his blessing:
Dt'iiL'ejUE, Iowa, Sept. 27. Cardinal
Rampolla has cabled the secretary of
the German Roman Catholic congress
held at Dyersvlllo yesterday that "tho
sentiments of the German Catholic so
cieties have been most pleasing to the
holy fathc, who blesses them with the
full blessings of his heart." This Is an
endorsement of the plan for a national
organization of German Roman Cath
olics to icslst, by united political ac
tion, laws aimed against church and
These movements may be in answer
to the prayers for "more power for tho
pope," and this socalled God ujnm
earth may be conte mplatlng the beau
ties e f his "temporal power" in Amer
ica surrounded by these armed mobs;
but he will discover ere long that the
people tf the Ur Ited States are dis
gusted with what Rome-rule they have
had up to the present time, and will
not tolerate at y more.
It Is said that the pope's Irish would
as soon think of changing their seeks
as of changing their religion. If Leo's
mouth-pieces expect to defeat the A.
P. A.'s they will have to change their
tactics. There is only one way In which
they can ever defeat the A. P. A.'s and
the other patrlotlo organizations In
America, and I will give his "royal
jiggers" a "quiet tip."
Leiad all your nunneries, convents,
monasteries, fairs, Hibernians, sodali
ties, Clan n a-Gaels, Molly Maguire?,
Mafia?, crooks, confidence men, gam
blers, thieves, safo-blowors, thugs,
burglars, sandb:jgger3, mashers, vugs,
priests, confessional-boxes, nuns, bish
o:s and archbishop, Lincoln assas
sins, Dr. Cronin murderers, priz j-fight-ers,
sour bier, pro'any, vice and rot
tenness generally on hoard some vessel
and take them to Rome, where they
wil! be under your wing and within
sound of your "voleocf God," and then
the A. P. A.'s will be out of a job.
Chicago, III., Oct. 1. Ajax.
"F h wa tis iaiillict. Dicrus?" inquired
Mr. Ilertity of her stolid-faced hus
band. "Sure an how can Oi tell jez?" re
sponded Mr. Herrity. "Ther civer was
o' thim amongst the Ilerrities that Oi
iver heard of, and O.'m wan that kapes
to his own payple."
"The praste was after tellin' me that
Fayther Dolan had a grate intillict,"
pursued Mrs. Herrity.
"Sure, an it's some sort av a fever,
thin," said her spouse with decision.
"It's that as killed the poor man, with
out a doubt."
"An' it's goin' the roucd?'' Inquired
Mrs. Herrity, anxiously. "It's only a.
wake since Fayther Dolan doid, an
there's our Johnny look in' "
"Niver jou fret about Jonny," coun
seled Mr. Herrity. "He's a chip av
the old block, an' if he gets an intillict,
It'll be because somebody has give It to
him on the sthrate. Kape him at home
wid yerself, or in the prehokial school,
Nora, an' he'll be all raight. Ex.
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