Wednesday, October 21, 2015

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 21

October 21, 1913 – When William E. Carruthers was taken back to the state penitentiary this afternoon because he had violated his conditional pardon, it was a question of who was more disappointed, Warden Wolfer, who brought him back, or the man himself.

Carruthers was released last July from a five-year sentence for forgery, begun in March 1911, on the recommendation of Warden Wolfer, and continued his work in the auditing department of the farm machinery section at the penitentiary at a salary of $100 a month.

His pardon was to remain intact as long as he kept away from drink.

Nine days ago he violated this clause in his pardon. Carruthers asked for a day off, and it was granted to him. That was the last seen of him until he was arrested Sunday at his mother’s home in Minneapolis. According to the warden, Carruthers started drinking the day he got off, and in some way got to Minneapolis.

He is the second man in the 22 years Warden Wolfer has been at the penitentiary who, having been released on a conditional pardon on the warden’s recommendation, has violated it and been brought back to prison.

“I am very much disappointed,” said Warden Wolfer. “I rarely make a mistake in my judgment of a man, and Carruthers looked the man who wanted to make good, if ever a man did.

“But drink is to blame. The man would never do the things he has done unless under the influence of liquor. It is a disease with him. I don’t know which of us was the more disappointed when I took him back [today], Carruthers was broken hearted about it, and he felt more sorry because he had disappointed me than at his going back to prison.”

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune
; “Warden and Prisoner Both Disappointed. One Because Ward Failed to Make Good; Other Because He Lost. William E. Carruthers, Given Chance of Freedom, Sent Back After Drinking. Mr. Wolfer Took Personal Interest in Prisoner; Latter an Able Accountant.”; October 22, 1913; p. 1.


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