Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Parents keep tots behind barred doors, fearing "nice man"

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on August 18, 1909.

“Mother and fathers of Ypsilanti who reside on the east side and near the beautiful east side playground, Prospect park, are keeping their children within their homes, forbidding them even to venture forth for provisions or candy at the stores,fearing that they may be snatched from them by an old man, who it is declared, has been endeavoring to seduce children with tempting offers of candy, ice cream, automobile rides, and other things dear to a child’s heart.

It is said that this old man, who is a stranger in this city, has endeavored in every possible way to secure the friendship of the children in that neighborhood, and many of the little tots have gone to their homes, dazzled, yet afraid to accept, by the offers of the ‘nice stranger.’

‘Why mamma,’ said one little girl, ‘that nice man offered to get all the candy and fruit and ice cream I could eat, and take me for an automobile rede and everything—but—I didn’t like his eyes when he said that, and so I told him I was mother’s little girl and that she would give me all the goodies I could eat—and besides an automobile was liable to hit something.”

A communication from an anxious mother is printed below:

“Is our beautiful Prospect park to be made an unsafe playground for our girls by the continuous presence of a repulsive old man who persists in talking to the innocent little ones and offering candy, ice cream, automobile rides and other inducements?

Cannot something be done to clear away this nuisance before it is too late?”

A Fourth Ward Parent

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