Walking stick, Charles J. Agrelius, Waupun, 1904-1915.
Alternate object name
Agrelius, Charles J., ca. 1831-1915
Materials and techniques
Steel wrapped with leather
Waupun, Dodge County, Wisconsin
Mt. Horeb, Dane County, Wisconsin
This walking stick is constructed from a steel shaft tightly wrapped with narrow strips of leather.
According to the records of the Mt. Horeb Area Historical Society, this cane was made by notorious horse thief Charles J. Agrelius while he served a fifteen-year sentence in the Wisconsin state prison at Waupun, Dodge County. Born in Sweden in 1831, Agrelius was a son of Reverend Carl Peter Agrelius, who served as a Methodist circuit rider in southwest Wisconsin. Charles Agrelius worked as a harness maker, a craft evident in the fine workmanship of this leather-wrapped cane. Between 1877 and 1904, he was arrested five times on charges of horse thievery.
"Aged Horsethief Applies for a Pardon" La Crosse Tribune, April 1, 1907; "Evidence of a Horse Thief" Past Times newsletter, Mt. Horeb Area Historical Society (February 2006)""Horse Play in Mt. Vernon" in "Pages of the Past" Mt. Horeb Area Historical Society (accessed December 12, 2008): http://www.mounthoreb.org/ppmvhorseplay.htm