After a day of questioning before the grand jury Thursday, Dennis Piggott made a clean breast of his doings at the Thos. Rafferty home. Piggott is a young man of about twenty-eight years of age and has not been considered overly bright and by his waywardness has always given his parents trouble. Of late years he has been somewhat of a wanderer and doesn't appear to have picked up anything good. He is a son of Con Piggott a retired farmer not living in this city and he has spent about all his life in Cherokee.
The confession is as follows:
State of Iowa, County of Cherokee, S.S.
I Dennis Piggott, a resident of Cherokee county, Iowa, and 28 years old make the following statement voluntarily, without any promise of hope of reward or any promise of protection from the law and without any force or intimidation on the part of anyone whatsoever.
On or about the 13th day of November, 1909, I bought chloral hydrate of a druggist in the town of Luverne, Minn., and later mixed it with some whiskey and on the 18th day of November at the home of Thomas Rafferty in Sheriden township, Cherokee county, Iowa, I gave Thomas Rafferty three drinks out of the bottle containing chloral and whiskey. About an hour later Rafferty laid down on the lounge and went to sleep. I tried to rouse him but could not then I knocked the stove in the room over and pulled the clock and dishes off the table; then went to my sister's and stiad all night.
Signed in presence of F. H. Molyneux, A. C. Smith, C. A. Banister, R. J. Smyth and W. Pelton.
On the above confession being made the jury returned a verdict that deceased came to his death from a poison and exposure the poison having been administered by Dennis Piggott.
Piggott also made a statement but not under oath as to where he had hidden the vial containing the chloral and the whiskey bottle and offered to go with the officers and produce them. Friday the Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff, Constable Smyth and County Attorney accompanied Piggott to the Rafferty farm and Piggott obtained the bottles for these, one of these was a pint whiskey bottle and the other a quart beer bottle which had contained whiskey. One of them was found under a board in the chicken house and the other under a board at the bottom of a corn crib.
Piggott is now confined in jail where unless he demands a preliminary hearing he will probably remain until the grand jury acts on his case.
Two robberies were committed in Cherokee over the week end.
McWilliams' drug store was robbed of $65 in cash between midnight Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday and the home of Al Zimmer was entered early Sunday morning.
The money was stolen from three cash registers in the store. Entrance was gained through the basement door, facing the alley back of the store. No attempt was made to open a safe in the back room and no goods was taken.
A brace and bit was used to bore four holes above the cross bar on the door. A knife was run thru the holes, and the robber reached through and lifted the bar. The brace and bit were left in the store. The robber left the store through the side door on Second Street.
Discovery of the theft was made at 8 a.m. Sunday, when the store was opened by Pat McWilliams, jr.
The theft was reported to the sheriff, who is investigating the case.
A robber entered the home of Al Zimmer, 812 West Willow, about 6 a.m. Sunday and stole $20. The money was in a billfold lying in the Zimmer kitchen. A watch lying beside the billfold was not taken. Zimmer heard a noise in the kitchen and thought it was his son moving about. He called, and when he relieved no answer, went out to investigate. The empty billfold was found on the front porch.
Entrance to the house was probably made through the front door, which was left unlocked Saturday night, Zimmer reported.
Twins as pupils is the order of the day in schools of Cherokee county, according to Irene Brooks, county superintendent, who has discovered that 12 pairs are enrolled in 10 schools of her territory. She has compiled information on twins of all rural and town systems except Cleghorn, Marcus and Meriden. To her knowledge none is registered in those schools.
Three sets of twins entered rural schools as beginners this fall, the coincidence causing Miss Brooks to make investigation as to other student twins of the county. Five pairs are enrolled in rural and seven in town systems. All but four sets are identical twins, the other pairs including a member of each sex.
Glasses worn by "half a pair," difference in the color of eyes and hair and other slight unlikenesses serve to enable Miss Brooks to distinguish between members of several sets. On other cases she admits it is difficult to identify the individuals.
Instructors have reported that in a few instances the scholastic standing of twin members show a slight contract. In no case does any one pair range from below normal to superior in intelligence.
A resume of Cherokee Chamber of Commerce activities during 1959 shows a number of highlights during each month of the past year.
Last January, the following C. of C. officers took over their duties: B. E. Adams, president; Dan Rice, vice-president; Dr. J. H. Johnson, treasurer, the annual I & M Bureau "Attendance Recognition" dinner was an event of that month.
In a trade promotion project, 80 retailers, business and professional men called on residents in 180 sections of rural Cherokee during January, February and March.
In the second month, the Chamber entertained officials of the Northwest Iowa Band Festival and took part in dedication of the new $850,000 Northwestern Bell Telephone building. Other events included the Home Builders Show, participation in Career Day at Washington High School and attendance by three C. of C. members at an annual Iowa Development Commission Clinic.
Another highlight of February and the entire year was the choice of Cherokee as an award winning city for community progress by the Iowa Development Commission.
Red Ribbon openings for the Green Lantern Café, Arrow Café and Champion Electric Store were staged during March. The C. of C. also took part in welcoming Calumet Class B state basketball champions upon their return from the state tournament. The Chamber highway Committee appeared at a hearing before the Iowa Highway Commission in Ames.
Members of the Retail Trade Bureau entertained 175 employees at dinner in April and the C.of C. entertained coaches and officials of the Tomahawk Relays at an annual luncheon here. Washington High School juniors and seniors were entertained at a post-prom party.
Red Ribbon openings were held during May for Sears Order Office, Tots and Teens, Waltmer Beauty Salon and National Auto Parts. During that month 40 Chariton businessmen toured Cherokee and inspected city facilities and industry. Other activities were the annual Barnes Rodeo; the spring Clean Up, Paint-Up Campaign and prizes furnished by Cherokee Manufacturers for the annual meeting of Iowa Chamber of Commerce Executives in Sioux City.
The Chamber held Red Ribbon openings during June for Swanson Oil Company, Rubel's Standard Station and Dick & Mert's TV. The Miss Cherokee contest held here was attended by some 4,000 persons from throughout the Times land area. "Miss Cherokee" appeared in the "Miss Iowa" contest at Arnolds Park on Lake Okoboji. Cherokee was the site of the Northwest Iowa Rose Show and the C. of C. float was a feature of celebration parades at Kingsley, Everly and Alton. The Chamber also provided a "coffee break" for the SERPACI tour through here.
Events during July included a Red Ribbon opening for Green Gables Café, July Fourth parade and fireworks display and attendance of the Chamber Highway Committee at an Iowa State Highway Commission hearing in Denison.
The second annual "Loco Day" was held in August as well as the Cherokee County Fair, a sports car rally, a White Sox baseball clinic and the annual Business-Industry-Education Day for teachers. A Red Ribbon opening was staged for Thermogas Company.
An Appreciation Festival attended by 6,000 Timesland residents was a highlight of September. The Chamber was host to the Iowa Development Commission Rural Youth Tour, sponsored the first meeting of the Salesmen's Bureau and assisted with the Cherokee Flying Club Flight Breakfast. The C. of C. float appeared in a parade at Hawarden.
October was highlighted by an All-Chamber dinner meeting, a survey of manufacturing firms conducted here by the Small Business Administration and election of Chamber bureau officers.
The Employer-Employee Dinner was held in November and the Chamber was host that month to an Iowa Development Commission area conference. The Christmas season opened with the arrival of Santa Claus and the annual "Miss Merry Christmas" luncheon.
Other Chamber-sponsored events were Santa's Workshop, a store window-decorating contest, home lighting program and free movies each Saturday from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
It was announced in December that the Prairie Gold Area Council Boy Scouts of America will hold a Golden Jubilee Jambo-Ralee in Cherokee July 22-24 in 1960. A Red Ribbon opening was held for Starlite Bowling Lanes and the following C. of C. officers were elected for 1960: Roger Millikan, president; Harlan Moen, vice-president; James Corken, treasurer.
Though there are no definite enforcement plans, Cherokee police will be watching for violators of Iowa's new child restraint law.
The new law, which goes into effect Tuesday, requires that children under the age of 3 be protected in a car safety seat when they are transported in a motor vehicle. Children ages 3 to 5 must be secured in a safety seat or seat belts.
Cherokee Police Chief Norm Hill said there are no definite enforcement plans for the new law. He said it was obvious that every car cannot be stopped to check for a violation, but "a law is a law" and the new child restraint rule will be enforced in Cherokee.
Enforcement of the law could be something officers happen into, such as when a car is stopped for a traffic violation or when an accident is investigated, Hill said.
Also, failure to use safety seats will not be considered negligence in a civil damage suit.
The law came about over concerns about injuries and fatalities of young Iowans involved in accidents. Doug Wolf, American Automobile Association Iowa Manager of Safety, said in a press release that "motor vehicle crashes claim the lives of more children age one through five than any other cause."
The new law is designed to protect this age group. However, there are some instances where it does not apply.
The law does not apply if a physician certifies a child should not be secured in a safety seat for physical or medical reasons.
Also, the new law does not apply to children transported in school buses, on motorcycles, in trucks weighing more than 5 tons or in vehicles built before 1965, the year seat belts became standard equipment in new cars.
The law also does not apply to children transported by law enforcement officials on duty and non-residents of Iowa.
The American Automobile Association offers a brochure detailing several tips on child car safety seats.
The AAA recommends buying a child restraint device manufactured after Jan. 1,1961, the date federal standards for safety seats became effective.
The AAA also recommends that adults buckle up, as a protection for themselves and to set an example for the child in the vehicle.
Child restraints are available from several outlets, including local AAA clubs, discount stores, department stores, care dealers, hospitals, automotive retain and supply stores and baby supply stores.
The Cherokee County Public Health Nurse's office has about 150 seats available to rent. Seats for infants can be rented for six months for $8. Seats for toddlers can be rented for six months for $10. In both cases $5 is refunded when the seats are returned.
Seats for infants are generally for children from birth to about 20 pounds. The infant is seated facing the rear of the vehicle. Toddler restraints are for children approximately 20 to 40 pounds and face forward in the vehicle.
Convertible seats are adjustable and fit from birth to four years old. The AAA says the convertible seat is usually the most cost efficient one to purchase.
Before buying a safety seat, the AAA recommends putting the child in the seat and testing it in the seat of the car. This is recommended because not all seats fit cars of seat belt systems.
Those wanting more information about safety seats and the new law can contact the Iowa Department of Transportation or the local AAA club.