3 F. 378 (D.Iowa. 1880), Mersman v. Werges

Citation:3 F. 378
Party Name:MERSMAN v. WERGES and another.
Case Date:June 23, 1880
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 378

3 F. 378 (D.Iowa. 1880)

MERSMAN

v.

WERGES and another.

United States Circuit Court, D. Iowa.

June 23, 1880

Wright, Gatch & Wright, for complainant.

J. O. Crosby and Parsons & Runnells, for respondents.

In Equity.

LOVE, D.J.

This is a bill to foreclose a mortgage upon certain lands, the property of Lucy W. Werges, situated in Clayton county, Iowa. The husband, Casper A. Werges, joined in the mortgage without any title to the lands, or any interest, except what the law gives him. The essential facts are as follows:

Casper A. Werges, with one E. H. Kreuger, now deceased, was engaged in the milling business at Clayton county, Iowa, under the firm name of Kreuger, Werges & Co. E. H. Kreuger was the managing partner. Werges seems to have been committing the business to his exclusive control. Kreuger went to St. Louis and agreed with the complainant for a loan of $6,000 to the firm of Kreuger, Werges & Co., and for their use and benefit. To secure this loan, Casper A. Werges executed his note, payable to the order of Kreuger, his partner. The mortgage in question was also executed and delivered, with the note, to Kreuger. Kreuger, while the note was in

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his possession, and before its delivery to the complainant, forged the name of Mrs. Werges to the note. He indorsed this forged note to the complainant, placed the mortgage in the hands of the recorder for record, and received the $6,000, for which the note and mortgage were given.

The complainant was wholly ignorant of the forgery, and in nowise implicated in it. His perfect good faith in the transaction cannot be impugned. I find the fact to be that Kreuger committed the forgery of Mrs. Werges' name. There is no direct evidence to establish the fact, but the negative and circumstantial evidence is, to my mind, conclusive.

It is in evidence, and not, I think, seriously questioned, that when the note passed into the hands of Kreuger the name of Mrs. Werges was not signed to it. Her name was placed upon the note by somebody who had an interest in so doing. Neither she nor her husband signed her name to the note. Her name was put to the note without her knowledge or consent. There is no evidence that the note was ever in the possession, after its delivery to Kreuger, of any person but Kreuger and the complainant. The complainant did not commit the forgery. This is conceded. Who, then, did commit the forgery? It must have been some one who had an interest in the note, and a motive to commit the crime. No stranger to the note, without interest or motive, would have forged Mrs. Werges' name, or could have done it without...

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