Chris Hertig

In addition to finger prints, Chris Hertig's card shows his crime as possession of mash in Tillamook County, sentence 2 years.
Chris Hertig's Oregon State Penitentiary fingerprint card. Enlarge image

Chris Hertig was sentenced to two years and fined $3000 for possession of corn mash. It was, in actuality, a parole violation that landed him in the State Penitentiary.

Originally arrested on violation of the prohibition laws in November of 1928 and paroled in Tillamook County in April of 1929, one of the conditions of his parole was that he “remain entirely away and apart from his family” including having no contact or communication.  According to an order from the Tillamook County Circuit Court revoking his parole in November of 1930, Hertig “went to the residence of his wife and children and annoyed, molested, communicated with, and harassed his family in violation of the above mentioned condition.”

The records indicate this was not surprising.  In the District Attorney’s report to the Parole Board, he noted that “He has been convicted three times for assaulting and brutally beating his wife … within the last six years.”  In a letter from Martha Ann Prothero, the Executive Secretary of the Clatsop County Chapter of the American Red Cross, she states that she was “very much interested in the family of Mr. Chris Hertig” and wanted to know when he was due to be released as “In view of his past record, it is quite important that I have this information.”  Hertig seemed to epitomize the temperance movement’s view that drinking liquor imperiled a man’s family by making him violent.

In a conduct report and disciplinary order, Hertig was punished for fighting in the cell block and was ordered to be placed in the “bull pen” for thirty days as punishment.  

He was denied parole and discharged in March of 1932 after serving approximately 16 months.  His death certificate, dated May 1, 1951, lists his cause of death as “fulminating tuberculosis pneumonia.” In a letter from Warden Lewis dated September 14, 1931, he noted that Hertig “left the impression with the Board that he was inclined to be somewhat quarrelsome and blamed all of his troubles on others.”