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This document, dated February 10, 1919, is described as "statements by Mr. and Mrs. D**" about the initial proceedings in the case against Hiram J. Stepp whom the D**s accused of raping their daughter and fathering her child. It was sent to Attorney General Langer by Luther Frank Hinegardner - a blacksmith in Sarles, ND who had previously visited Langer in person about the Stepp case. The statement describes how F******* D** was put under oath in front of her mother Matilda D**, States Attorney Gudmundur Grimson, Director of the Fargo Children's Home F.R. Hinkle, Judge W.J. Kneeshaw, Larry Stepp, and his father R.E. Stepp. She was asked about her relationship with Larry Stepp, but not his uncle Hiram J. Stepp. Hinkle and Judge Kneeshaw advised the D**s to settle out of court. Hinkle produced the money for the financial settlement and gave it to Ernest D**. Larry Stepp was turned over to Mr. Folley the juvenile probation officer. Hiram J. Stepp was brought in and the case against him was dismissed. F******* D** later stated that Hiram J. Stepp was the first man with whom she had intercourse at age 14.

See also "Hinegardner letter to Attorney General Langer Regarding Stepp Case, 1919" in which Hinegardner makes reference to an earlier visit with Langer and his acquisition of the D**s' statement about the initial proceedings in the Stepp case, as well as F******* D**'s report card. See also "States Attorney Grimson Letter to Attorney General Langer Regarding Initial Proceedings in Stepp Case, 1919" in which Grimson outlines the steps he took when he first learned of the accusations against Hiram J. Stepp.

See also:

1080, 1116, 1133, 1134

Publication Date



F******* D**, Hiram J. Stepp, Larry Stepp, rape case, Sarles, State v. Stepp

People Referenced

E***** D**, F******* D**, Matilda D**, Mr. Folley, F.R. Hinkle, W.J. Kneeshaw, Hiram J. Stepp, Larry Stepp, R.E. Stepp


Political History | United States History


Please note that information related to the identification of the underage victim in this case has been redacted from the digital collection per library policy. The original documents are available to researchers at the Chester Fritz Special Collections Library.

D**s' Statement on Initial Proceedings in Stepp Case, 1919