Download Full Text (14.8 MB)


This document, dated February 10, 1919, is described as "statements by Mr. and Mrs. D**" regarding 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, North Dakota, 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:

Letter from G. Grimson to Attorney General Langer Regarding Initial Proceedings in Stepp Case, January 18, 1919

Letter From Mr. and Mrs. E. L. D** to Attorney General Langer Regarding Mrs. Hiram Stepp Threatening Their Pregnant Daughter, February 10, 1919

Letter from Sarles, ND Village Marshal Alvah Phillebaum to Attorney General Langer, February 10, 1919

Letter from L. F. Hinegardner to Attorney General Langer Accompanying Statement from Mr. and Mrs. D**, February 10, 1919

Letter from E. L. D** to Attorney General Langer Regarding State v. Stepp, April 16, 1919

Date of Work



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

People Referenced

E***** D**, F******* D**, Matilda D**, 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.

Statement of Ernest and Matilda D** Regarding Initial Proceedings in Stepp Case, February 10, 1919