The Secret Service said it was his “unusually inquisitive” nature about military matters that tipped off personnel about a German man working as a waiter in the officers’ mess at Camp Dodge, according to the Des Moines Register in 1917. John Conrad Ebert, 24, was arrested by federal agents on Saturday, November 24, 1917, at the camp. The agents had him under surveillance for about six weeks. He was charged as a suspected spy for Germany. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays.