March 06, 2021

Back in time

Farm Vandall

For several weeks a mysterious prowler had been annoying farmers east of Osceola. Excitement over the identity of the man reached its climax when Highway Patrolmen, Sheriff Likes and Deputy Estell spent the entire night in the vicinity and fired several shots at the man when he was seen around the Roy Lewis and Tom Land farms.

This started over a month prior when someone using an ice pick or something similar punched holes in four tractor and four passenger car tires at the Lewis farm and spread nails in the driveway. Someone later threw rocks through windows at the Land farm.

Officers at the farms set up a cordon around the area and an all-night game of hide and seek ensued. Estell saw the man in the dark near the Land farm and fired at him with a shotgun, but apparently missed

A thorough search was made of the barn and outbuildings at the farms but no one was found. Just at dawn a man was seen sneaking from a barn at the Lewis place and several shots were fired but he disappeared into the fields and could not be located.

The next night the officers again patrolled the area and it seemed evident the man was in the neighborhood. Between the times they passed once and returned a little later, all the lights were turned on in an unoccupied house on the Lewis farm.

Sheriff Likes said he did not believe there was any connection between reports of a prowler and window peeper in Osceola who was described as a man 25-30 and the depredations east of the city. It was believed it was not the work of juveniles. Law officers kept a constant vigil in hope that the offender would be caught.

Local officers reported the only difficulty they have with teen-agers is wild driving. One thing that bordered on vandalism was the sinking of Harry Ketcham’s boat in the East Lake. Several youths had been playing with the boat and it happened to capsize and sink on one of these “cruises.”


Marie White

My name is Marie (my maiden name was Gardner) White, I have always lived in Clarke County. Married to Bob White, daughter and son in law and 2 grandchildren. Son passed away in 2017. Graduated from Clarke in 1962. I have been a member of the Historical Society since 1971.