Date Original

1917 September 11


Article from the Arkansas Gazette about sedition and disloyal activity in White County, Arkansas.


One Brother Jailed Here
Another Said to Have Tried
to Buy Ammunition
Shortly after Louis Miller of White
county had been returned to the
county jail in Little rock yesterday
morning under a $2,000 bond on the
charge of uttering seditious state-
ments, a younger brother aged about
16, tried to buy 20 rounds of No. 41
Colt cartridges from a hardware store
in Judsonia, White county. the am-
munition was refused the boy by the
management of the Forbes Bros.
hardware store in Judsonia, Sheriff
B.P. Plant of White county said over
long-distance telephone last night. A
few days ago Sheriff Plant said the
boy tried to buy a Winchester rifle
at Glover's hardware store in Jud-
sonia. There were no winchesters in
stock, so the boy bought a box of 32
cartridges and a lot of buckshot.
"A boy of that age would not want
the ammunition for himself," said
Sheriff Plant. "He must have been
sent by others. The matter is being
thoroughly investigated. The father
of the Miller boy, it is reported, has
been making some very seditious
statements and it is believed that
there may be a gang opposed to the
war in White county, and that they
may try to resist the draft and to ob-
struct the government by armed
Disloyal Utterances Charged
Louis Miller, aged 25, who deliver-
ed several addresses to large audiences
at the schoolhouse at Holly Springs
recently, is reported to have told the
boys who had been drafted that they
didn't have to go. According to the
testimony of J.T. Bell, constable,
school director and deacon of the
church at Holly Springs, Miller at a
meeting at the schoolhouse there Au-
gust 22 spoke as follows:
"If you were to resist it alone,
they would take you up, but if you
join this order (Working Class Union)
you can stand together and resist go-
ing. If it is necessary, we can take
up arms, but we do not believe it nec-
essary. We could place a man down
at Judsonia and we could slip a hand-
ful of sand in the journal boxes on
the cars and it would have a hot box and
the train carrying troops would be
derailed. If this did not work, we
could drive wedges in the rails on a
few curves and wreck a few cars and
kill a good many, but not as many as
we could kill if we took up arms."
Woman Also Speaks
Many persons in the community
urged that Mr. Bell investigate the
meetings that were being held at the
schoolhouse at Holly Springs and
other schoolhouses near by, so he at-
tended the meeting August 22. It is
said that Miller spoke before a
packed house. On the evening of
August 22 he alone gave a talk. On
the evening of August 16 a woman
also spoke. The woman is said to be
Mrs. May Willett of Oklahoma. She
since has disappeared. She was with
Miller the night the schoolhouse of
District No. 88 was fired into while
a meeting was being held. The latter
schoolhouse is about six miles from
Holly Springs. The order that was
being organized by Miller and the
woman was to be known as the
Working Class Union.
[Page 2] Mr. Bell testified that he had
heard a secret meeting would be held
at a neighbor's and that the order
had a charter. He asked one of the
boys present at the meeting August
22 as to the nature of the charter.
Miller came up to him, he says, and
told him if he wanted to see the char-
ter he could go home and "look into
the baby's mouth."
While sitting on a wagon while
church services were in progress at
another time Bell says that he heard
Miller say that the persident of the
United States and the congressmen
who had the draft law passed should
be placed in the front ranks and kill-
ed off as quickly as possible. Miller
is said to have made a similar remark
at the meeting August 16, according
to Bell and the other witnesses, who
were Noah Ellis, B.E. Ellis and J.M.
Siler, farmers of White county.
He Won't Be Present
The younger Miller boy who tried
to get ammunition at Judsonia about
noon yesterday was present when his
brother, Louis, was arrested two
miles from Judsonia Saturday night.
Louis Miller was given a hearing be-
fore Commissioner W.S. Allen yes-
terday morning, in which the federal
government was represented by As-
sistant United States Attorney W.H.
Recotr and the defendant by U.S.
Brafton. Miller did not testify. He
was to have appeared before the ex-
amining board at Searcy today. "I
do not think he will be able to make
bond," said Mr. Bratton, his attorney,
last night. "It is likely that Miller
will be transferred by the Searcy
examining board to the Little Rock
examining board."

Physical Description



World War I, 1914-1918; Freedom of speech; Sedition


Arkansas Gazette

Geographical Area





MFILM NEWS 000431 Roll 0148


Newspaper microfilm collection


Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

"Sedition Reported in White County," Arkansas Gazette, September 11, 1917, Newspaper microfilm collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Use and reproduction of images held by the Arkansas State Archives without prior written permission is prohibited. For information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6900 or email at


image preview



Download Full Text (3.0 MB)