The Anamosa Eureka
Thursday, December 12, 1902


Two Bank Robbers and Murderers Will be Executed in the Anamosa Penitentiary Dec 18, 1902

Seven prisoners were received at the pen last Monday night, three from Sioux City, two from Storm Lake, one from Winneshiek county and one from Clinton. Albert Phillips and Lewis Brooks, from Storm Lake, are bank robbers and killed John Sunblad and a constable by the name of Lodine. Last Thursday they were convicted of murder in the first degree and the extreme penalty of the law was named in each case. The sentence is death by hanging in the Anamosa penitentiary December 18, 1902, with the sheriff of Buena Vista county as the executioner.

It is high time for severe measures in these cases. Every professional bank robber and burglar, in the commission of a crime, is armed to take life and will take it if he is interfered with in his purposes. He is in reality a murderer at heart and that purpose simply awaits an opportunity to sacrifice human life. In view of these facts it seems to us that the penalties for repeated offenses of this character should be much more severe than they are. These human hyenas and desperadoes have no place in society and are better off behind prison walls than outside of them.

(ed. note: Phillips and Brooks were later granted new trials. As far as anyone knows, NO ONE was ever executed at Anamosa, although, obviously a number of inmates were sentenced to hang here. The law provided that the execution would take place at one of the penitentiaries (Fort Madison or Anamosa), depending on the district of conviction).