Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Residents urge drayman to get another horse This story was published by the Ypsilanti daily Press on Friday, May 3, 1912. During the last three months Ypsilanti people have been considerably concerned over the condition of one of the horses which Ruel F. Smith drives on his dray. This feeling has changed to indignation in some quarters since persistent appeals to Mr. Smith have fallen utterly to the ground. One of the horse’s forefeet is in such a state that he puts it very gingerly to the ground, steps on it, and drags it along until he takes another step. Mr. Smith has been deaf to complaints and expostulations it was represented to him that his one well horse could, if attached to the single dray, pull as much as at present both horses are able to draw, for the one well horse really does the work of both. Special leniency has been shown Mr. Smith because of the paralytic stroke which he suffered last winter, but he shows no disposition to take advantage of the proposals of help made to him. Humane Officer Springstead has told him of a single dray he can procure at a reasonable price. One of the bankers in the city has gone even further and offered to get the money subscribed to buy a new horse while some business men, who have employed Smith for forty years or so and feel an interest in his welfare, stand ready to subscribe to the purchase price of a good horse. Yet time has drifted on and the people along the street are treated to the continual spectacle of this poor creature hobbling along. In the three months this has gone on , the ribs of the horse have grown continually more apparent. He stumbles along about four steps behind his mate. The nerves of the people seeing him daily are rather on edge over the affair. According to some people who know Mr. Springstead, it seems now that the matter will probably be permitted to stand as it is until the appointment next week of a new humane officer or the reappointment of Springstead. The penalty for cruelty to animals is imprisonment in jail for not exceeding three months or by fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or both such fine and imprisonment. It has been proposed that the bondsmen of Smith be looked up. Drayhorse gets a rest The Ypsilanti Daily Press reported the following on Saturday, May 4, 1012. Evidently Ruel Smith, the drayman, has not chosen to wait for official action to be tken in regard to his horse which has been driven on the streets of Ypsilanti this winter in an unfit condition, for it is reported that he has not driven the horse today. Until this winter Mr. Smith’s horses have always looked well cared for and equal to their work, and this recent occurrence has been the more inexplicable because of this fact.

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