1918 – Lynched for Resisting WWI

On this day an armed mob estimated at 200 people surrounded the Clark Co. home of Mrs. Caroline Krueger and her sons, who had in the First World War. “They said that if the war was in this country they would be among the first to volunteer,” “They declared however that it was not right to send American soldiers to France and that they never would go.” The family was known for its religious and pacifist views, but that didn’t matter to a mob of patriotic citizens. When the boys refused to respond to a draft notice, a crowd from nearby Owen, Wis., surrounded their home. A shootout followed, one of the mob was killed, one of the Kruegers shot through both legs, and their barn was burned down to smoke out the other sons. Two of the sons were convicted of murder and served 13 years before being transferred to a psychiatric institution, driven insane by their ordeal according to the press. The third son, Ennis, was believed killed when a youth matching his description was shot trying to escape authorities a few days later. This was, however, merely the final injustice in the sequence of events, as in 1933. When officials entered the farmhouse after the shootout, they found an American flag mounted above the family hearth.