This incident took place on William Bachelor’s Bar T Ranch northeast of Merriman, Nebraska. Steve Moreland’s dad and granddad, Bob and J.J. (Jack) Moreland purchased the home valley part of this ranch in 1946. It was then called the Green Valley Hereford Ranch for many years before later becoming part of Steve and Carol Moreland’s Spearhead Ranch. It is now owned by their son, Brock, his wife Chelsie, and their son and daughter, and they call it the Circle M Ranch.
1937, October 14, MERRIMAN MONITOR
TWO ARE ARRESTED FOR CATTLE THEFT
William D. Bachelor, rancher of north of Merriman, and Jim Cole were arrested by Sheriff Kime and E.L. Davis Monday noon at the Bachelor ranch on a charge of butchering stolen beef. They were taken to Valentine where Cole was lodged in the County Jail and Bachelor taken to the home of his brother. According to officers, they found freshly butchered beef at the Bachelor ranch and called upon him to produce the hide. He explained that the dogs had dragged the hide away and he could not produce it, but that the beef was one of his own herd.
Cole tells a different version of the story saying that the animal was taken from the “Windy” Brown herd across the line in South Dakota and taken to the Bachelor ranch where it was butchered. He said that the hide had been placed in a sack and that he put it in the Bachelor car and that Bachelor took it away to bury it.
Since the sentencing is purported to have been done in South Dakota, a charge was filed in Bennett County against both Cole and Bachelor. Bachelor was taken to Martin Wednesday and gave bond for appearance. Cole’s hearing will be at a later date.
1937, October 28, MERRIMAN MONITOR
BACHELOR BOUND OVER TO DISTRICT COURT
At a hearing held before Circuit Judge J.R. Cash in Martin last Tuesday, W.D. Bachelor was bound over to District Court, and on his plea of not guilty was released on bond of $1000. The cash bond was furnished by Ben Bachelor. Mr. Bachelor did not give any testimony himself, but was represented by his attorney, Mr. Hooper from Gregory. He will be tried at the spring term of District Court in Bennett County.
Two changes of venue were asked from the courts of M.V. Pock and Theo. H. Dover, Justices of the Peace, and the hearing was conducted in Judge Cash’s court. A great deal of interest was evidenced, and a number of people from Merriman were present.
Jim Cole, who was arrested with Bachelor on the charges of stealing a cow from the Berthol Brown herd, plead guilty before Judge Cash at Bonesteel, So. Dak. last week and was sentenced to five years in the South Dakota state penitentiary. He will be taken to Sioux Falls at once to begin serving his sentence.
At the hearing Tuesday the testimony of four witnesses was taken, that of Berthol Brown, owner of the critter alleged to have been butchered, and Jim Cole, who confessed to the theft of the critter. Cole stated that he and Bachelor had been stealing and butchering beef since 1932, most of the beef being stolen from the Brown herd.
E.L. Davis, Special Agent for the Nebraska Stockgrowers Assn., and Otho Kime, Sheriff of Cherry County, also gave testimony for the state. They stated that Bachelor refused to show the hide on questioning; that he first said he had buried the hide and later said he destroyed the hide.
Last edited by Soapweed
on Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.