State of Iowa vs. Glenn James & Oscar Hess

On January 10, 1940, Glenn James, age 31of Sioux City, Iowa and Oscar Hess, age 27 of Sedalia, Missouri were charged with the alleged Robbery of Val Breuer's place of business in Ashton, Iowa on the night of December 6, 1939.

Events of the Crime

On the night of December 6, 1939, Val Breuer contacted Deputy Sheriff John Nicoll of the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, in Sibley, Iowa stating his place of business in Ashton, Iowa was held up and robbed.  Breuer reported the loss of $80.00 in US currency.  He told Deputy Nicoll that he was held up by two men, Glenn James a negro which struck Breuer with a shot gun, and Oscar Hess a white man.  A witness, R. Boor of Ashton, Iowa was present during the robbery and witnessed James strike Breuer with a shot gun.  Deputy Nicoll was notified by the Sioux City police, stating they had picked up Oscar Hess in Sioux City.  Hess confessed that he and Glenn James had held up Val Breuer on the night of December 6, 1939 and that Glenn used a shot gun when they were holding up Breuer.  Hess also confessed that he obtained the sum of $36 from the robbery.

    Striking a loose patch of gravel two miles southeast of Ashton, the car left the road, turned over several times.  According to the confession of James the automobile was traveling 65 miles at the time.  Unhurt, the men escaped from the wreck, walked six miles to Highway 59 where they stole a car belonging to Clifford Harding.  They then drove to Sioux City, abandoning the car.

    James served a sentence at Anamosa, having been charged with manslaughter.  Hess was in Jefferson City prison for forgery and car theft charges.

    Tuesday Deputy John Nicoll and Sheriff Edward Leemkuil of Primghar took the two men to prison.

picked up in Sioux City for failure to report to authorities, he having served two terms in the Missouri prison at Jefferson City.  James was later involved.

    Breuer identified the men, although not positively.  At the insistence of Osceola county officials the men were questioned and admitted their guilt.

    The two men left Sioux City December 2, according to their confessions, taking a freight train to Worthington, Minn.  They stole two cars, the second of which was taken from north of Rushmore the Wednesday evening of the robbery.  The men drove to Little Rock, then to Ashton where they robbed the Breuer place.





On January 13, 1940, Glenn James and Oscar Hess plead guilty to the crime of Robbery with Aggravation and were both sentenced to imprisonment in the State Penitentiary at Fort Madison, Iowa for and indeterminate period not to exceed 25 years.




Sibley Gazette - January 18, 1940

Glenn James and Oscar Hess

to Serve Indeterminate Terms

at Fort Madison



    Two former convicts, apprehended January 10 at Sioux City, pleaded guilty to the charge of robbery with aggravation before Judge W. C. Garberson in district count Saturday and were sentenced to Fort Madison for an indeterminate term not to exceed 25 years.

    The men were Glenn James, 31, a Negro of Sioux City, and Oscar L. Hess, 27, of Sedalia, Mo.

    Wednesday, December 6, the two men, held up the Val Breuer place at  Ashton, using a shot gun as the intimidating weapon.  Hess was













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