Horse Thief Captured

Sibley Gazette - December 3, 1875

    Tuesday noon, Sheriff Douglass, of this place, in company with Deputy Sheriff Adams, of Fairbault County, Minn., who had just arrived, started westward in search of a horse thief by the name of Wm. Gates.  They processed to Rock Rapids, thence to Canton, in the Dakota, just opposite Beloit.  Here Douglass dropped Mr. Adams and took with him the Sheriff of Lincoln County, D. T.  Wednesday afternoon they proceeded on their search and about a mile and a half south of that town he was found and arrested.  Having placed him in irons, Douglass remained with him.  Wednesday night, and yesterday brought him to this place, arriving about six o'clock in the evening.  They took quarters at the Sibley Hotel, and at 1:30 this morning took the northward train and began their way to Blue Earth City, Minn.  The preliminary examination of the prisoner will be held at that place.

    Thus Wm. Gates is a notorious horse thief, and supposed to be the leader of a large band which operated in Northern Iowa, Southern Minnesota and Dakota.  Some little time ago this Gates was arrested in Hancock County, this state, and was to have his preliminary examination at Garner, in that county.  It is reported that while waiting for the Justice of the Peace to arrive, he was being guarded by four mean, and just as the Justice arrived, he knocked the four men, sprawling in every direction, mounted the Justices' horse and put out for this section of the country, or rather to the place where he was arrested by Douglass.  Gates is a young man, we should think not more than twenty-eight years old.  He is very broad shouldered, heavy muscled, very nimble, and weighs 185 pounds.  He is reported to be one of the hardest cases to handle that have ever been in this part of the country.  Douglass was informed of this before he started out, and managed his case accordingly.  Gates stated that he had been in irons a number of times and that Douglass is the only man that ever arrested him without assistance and put him in the shackles.  This speaks well for Douglass as a Sheriff and as a man to hunt up and handle dare devils in the shape of horse thief's.  By the capture of this man, the country will be rid of one of the most troublesome horse thief's. 

    For the arrest of this man, there is a reward of $800 offered.  In addition to this, there is a reward of $200 offered by the State of Minnesota for his conviction.  The offering of these rewards go to show the vicious character of the man and his arrest a good thing for the country.  We will give a few more particulars of the case when Sheriff Douglass returns. 


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