Friday, December 5, 2008

Girl was a pillar of fire

This story was [ublished by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, December 7, 1908

Bertha Thorn, the 19 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Thorn, of Augusta township, who has been at the home of Henry R. Scovill in this city for some months as a housemaid, was seriously and probably fatally burned a little after midnight last night.

The girl had risen from bed and attempted to light a lamp when the chimney fell off and in reaching for this the sleeve of her outing nightdress caught fire. This frightened her and in her excitment the lamp was thrown onto the floor and the flames set fire to the bottem of her nightdress. The firl ran shricking a pillar of fire to the hall below where Miss Scovill aroused by her screams overtook her and succeede with rare presence of mind in wrapping her in a couch throw and extinguished the flames. A physician was summoned and it was found that she was burned from her neck to her feet the flesh being literally baked on her back, arms and limbs, although not so severely burned on her chest. The fact she was wearing a union suit of heavy underwear made the case more serious as it was almost impossible to remove the garments.

The unforunate girl suffered intensely through the night and this morning on the advice of the attending physician she was removed to the Homeopathic hospital in Ann Arbor where it is said her chances for life are very slight because of the extent of the surface burned over the the depth of the burns.

Mr. and Mrs. Thorn, parents of teh unfortunate woman, reached here about 4 o'clock this morning and are with her at the hospital.

Friday, November 28, 2008

In stalled automobile

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Record on Thursday, November 28, 1918.

Sunday Deputy Sheriff Dick Elliott and Policeman Bissell were given a tip that an automobile loaded with whiskey was stalled at the outskirts of the city. A little stroll was taken out South Huron street by the officers, which resulted in the arrest of three men and the finding of about 100 quarts of whiskey in the car

The men arrested were Lester J. Levan, Otto Knope and Ercle Mathews, all of Detroit. They were on a return trip from Toledo and had stalled here by the puncture of a tire. Another auto, said to be similar bound and loaded with the same goods, drove up, and because they could not buy soem of whiskey in the first machine, drove away peeved, and when they drove into the city told parties that there was an automobile loaded with wet goods which would soon be through and to watch for it.

(The sell of liqure in Michigan was made illegal by law in 1918, but was still legal in Ohio. For a time there was great traffic between Ohio and Michigan carrying car loads of liqure.)

The men were taken before Justice Stadtmiller, and Nope; who claimed that he had no knowadgle of the whiskey in the auto and who had only a quart and a half on him, waived examination and was bound over to the December term of court. HIs bail was fixed at $200, which he paid and went on his way.

Levans, who seemed to be the big one in the affair, was returned to the city jail in default of a $500 bail. His chances are good for a sojorn to the county jail.

Ercle Mathews seems to have been a victim of circumstances. He told that he was invited by Levans to ride to Detroit with them, and as he knew something about an auto if anything happened he could help them out.

It is rumored that of late there has been a good deal of Whiskey going through here from Toloedo on its way to Detroit, and that the knowing ones of that city are giving us the laugh; but lest they forget, we will remind them of that old adage, "He who laughs last laughs best."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Two killed in wreck at Dexter

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Friday, November 22, 1918.

Tweo men were killed and a third so badly injured that he is not expected to live, and three others were seriously injured when an eastbound express train ran into a west bound freight train a mile and a half west of Dexter on the Michigan Central at 4 o'clock this morning.

Anothony Rinshed, Detroit, engineer on the wxpress was taken from the cab of his engine horribly scalded. Death is believed to have been almost instantancous.

The fireman on the express, named Groswell from Chicago, was also fataly burned, but he lived to be taken to a hospital. He died, however, a few minutes after reaching there.

Charles Wells, also a firemand on the express was badly burned and one leg was mangled so that amputation near the knee was necessary. Physicians fear he connot live.

The crew of the freight were more fortunate. Alvin Rogers, engineer from Jackson was badly cut and bruised about the head and shoulders.

Harvey Blanchard, fireman on the freight was also injured about the head. Neither is believed in dangeous condition.

C. A. Casey, conductor, whose home is in Chelsea, was badly brused about the body. His injuries are not believed dangerous.

Wreck is due to failure on part of the freight crew to see a singal to stop at Dexter. The express was running on the left track on account of blocked traffic farther west and the crew had been instructed to get orders at Dexter. The freight crew had not been ordered to stop at Dexter, but a signal wasa given, according to statement today of M. C. offials, to stop. They were well past the station before discovering that they were running past a signal and had only just stopped when the express suddenly swung into sight and crashed into them before they had time to secape.

Thousands of people were on the scene of the wreck within a short time and remained there till well into the morning watching the M. C. wrecking crew clear away the wreckage.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Clark builds modern bakery

This story appeared in the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Saturday, October 3, 1908.

Modern in its equipment, the equal of the best in the state in facilities for turning out high grade goods, is the bakery of James Clark at 438 Huron street. The plant is a source of pride to the proprietor who has long wanted to possess the equipment that would enable him to successfully compete with the goods that are shipped into Ypsilanti daily.

Mr. Clark has invested several thousand dollars in his bakery. The building is constructed of concete blocks with concrete flooring. He buys flour by the carload and keeps it in the second story where the temperature is warm and the flour will be dry and free from any business. The flour passes through a large sifter to a dough maker of several barrels capacity, which is operated by an electric motor. A dough break will be installed within a few days to make the very finest grained bread.

A Petersen over was installed at the cost of $1,200. It has a capacity of 5,000 loaves every 24 hours. This would be suffcient to bake all the bread used in Ypsilanti. Bread is baked in 20 minutes.

There are departments for fruit, for lard, for angar, spices, etc, all the accessories that a baker uses. Ice cream is an all-year-round trade now, and Mr. Clark has a good equipment in ths department.

"I don't believe in newspaper advertising until you can deliver the goods as you represent them," said Mr. Clark. "For this reason I haven't sought much publicity. I am now in a position to give first class service in every branch of my business. I can make as good goods as is shipped in by any outsider.

"Seven men and two girls are employed in my bakery. Ypsilanti concumes about 1,200 loaves ofDetroit bread daily. If that bread were baked in my shop it would give employment to three men and one boy. Y can see how Ypsilanti would be benefitted if her citizens patronized home industries.

"No Detroit bread is shipped into Ann Arbor. Flint won't accept Detroit bread. I believe our citizens will be equally loyal when they learn that they can receive the same or better service at home that by patronizing outside firms."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Chief Milo Gage Hurt in mix-up

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, SEptember 21, 1908.

Chief Milo Gage(Chief of Police), is confined to his bed today, as the result of a fracas with Pete Furgeson, a stranger who drifted into town on the elecric car late Friday night. Pete, who had been drinking, said "bad words" in the presence of some ladies in front of the Epicure, and the chief put the "come along" on him, and started for jail, the prisoner resisting at every step. When they reached teh steps leading to the jail, the man braced himself against the railing and refused to go any further. Chief Gage stepped ahead of him, down one step, and attempted to persuade him by a gentle pressure of the "come along" to follow, which he did, but not in the way the chief liked. Letting go his hold on the railing, both men rolled down the steps, the chief hanging on to his prisoner, who received a black eye and several minor bruises.

Chief Gage was not so fortunate. He received a kick just above the knee on hhis right leg, that is causing him considerable pain. At first it was feared a bone was broken. Dr. H. B. Britton has been attending him.

"I will never ride on those elecric cars again," said Peter after ghe had been sentenced to 90 days in the Detroit house of coprrection by Justice Geo. Gunn. "Every time I ride on them I gets into trouble."

Pete had been in Jackson and had paid his fare through to Detroit but thought he would stop at Ypsilanti for a little stay, which was involuntarily prolonged.

"I've been to 'the house' a few times afore," said Pete in discussing his sentence, "but the Detroit fellows only makes you hit it from 10 to 15 days. You can bet if I ever have to go through this town again I'll go through on the flyer so I can't stop off"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ends his life by hanging

This story was published in the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Friday, September 18, 1908.

Despontent because of ill health and poverty, Lucas D. cole hanged himself in the barn at the rear of his home at 11 Adams Street. He is believed to have committed the deed Wednesday evening. His body was not found until last night when it was discovered by his son-in-law, Dee Sherwood.

Standing on a chair, the old man had thrown a chain over a beam, attached a rope, slipped the noose over his head and fastening it about his neck, deliberately kicked the chair from under his feet, ending his life by strangulation.

Mr. Cole was 69 years of age. Last winter while temporarily deranged he wandered away and suffered from exposure while scantily clad. He had held the contract for carrying the mail between the postoffice and the Michigan Central depot but lost it last spring on account of ill health. His case was a pathetic one. Abount the only comfort he took in life of late was fondling his little grandson.

Four childern survive him. Mrs. Sherwood, Mrs. Alice Bates, George B. Cole and Howard Cole of Luxemburg, Missouri.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Death claims Chester Yost

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Saturday, September 12, 1908.

Chester L. Yost, ex-mayor of Ypsilanti, expired suddenly at his home, 102 South Huron Street, at 4 o'clock this morning. He had been troubled qith neuralgia of the heart for the last year. His demise was due to heart failure.

Mr. Yost was at his office yesterday morning. He complained of not feeling well and Fred Swift in passing took him home in his buggy. He rested during athe afternoon and by evening appeared to be regaining his usual health. He was up and down during the night and early morning partally dressed and went down stairs to sit in his easly chair. It is believed he fell just as he was about to be seated. Mrs. McKinley who had stopped with Mrs. Yost for fear help might be needed during the night, heard him fall but he passed away as she reached his side.

Over exertion this week undoubtedly hastened Mr. Yost's end. His friends and relatives warned him from time to time to take better care of himself, but as he was naturally a stirring disposition he paid no heed to their suggestions. He and Mrs. Yost attended the state fair Tuesday. Wednesday he wasn't very well but thursday morning he took an early train for Pontiac where he arranged for the purchase of a carload of buggies, returning to the fair in the afternoon.

Mr. Yost did his full share to build up Ypsilanti. Houses and horses were his hobbies. He owned many of both. His custom was to buy houses, rebuild them into nice homes for himself and then not satisfied he would sell and but another house. At 10 o'clock Friday morning he said:

"I think I will build another house yet this fall. The one I have is too large."

Chester L. Yost was born in Waterloo, Seneca county, N. Y., March 10, 1838, and was a son of Wm. Yost a native of that place. He was educated in Waterloo, attending the Academy there until the age of 16.

In 1855 he came to Michigan, opened a harness shop here, then drifted into dealing in horses and carrriages. Shortly after this he bqecame intereested in flour miling at Flat Rock, and at one time controlled the Huron River mills. In 1881 he started the livery business, having one of the best livereries in the county. Auctioneering next engaged his attention, in which he wa very successful, especially in selling stock.

He was married to Miss Anna Vreeland, of Flat Rock, Mich., who survives him.

From 1884 to 1886 he was mayor of Ypsilanti and refused another nomination because of business interests.

Mr. Yost was one of the oldest members of Masonry in Ypsilanti and a member of the Royal Arcanum society. He was an earest worker in the Presbyterian church. He had been a delegate to several democratic, city, county and state convention at various times.

He leaves a widow, Mrs. C. L. Yost, and two sisters, Mrs (DR) Murdock of Northville and Mrs. W.J. Booth of Ann ARbor.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Local Cemetery Holds Unhappy Experiences for Louisville Man

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press Tuesday, July 23, 1918.

Attorney Burns C. Wetherall, Sr. of Louisville, Ka.. left a well filled grip Monday in the shade of a tree near Starkweather chapel, while he went to visit a sister’s grave in an effort to make an estimate of the size of the lot preparatory for the putting up a monument. When he returned, the grip and the contents which included a new suit of clothes, underwear and laundry, etc., were missing.

Mr. Wetherall has his suspicions as to the guilty parties and on his return from New York investigations will be made.

This particular cemetery has long figured in unhappy experiences for Wetherall. It was in this place he says; that he met a local college girl with whom he lived several unhappy years and from whom he was later divorced.

A year ago while attending memorial services he lost his wallet containing his money and a return railroad ticket to Cleveland, O.

Last fall he was minus his Masonic watch charm, when he returned from a ride through the cemetery and a few weeks ago while here with his two small children, he tarried too long with an Ypsilanti friend by the side of the graves of relatives and when the party of four were ready to leave in an automobile, the cemetery gates were locked. The sexton had to be roused at ten o’clock from his slumbers, and when they finally got out it was so late that the Wetherall family missed meeting their daughter, who was attending a Normal (EMU) event, and the 10:25 Michigan Central train which all of them were to have taken.

Indeed it seemed on this last occasion as if the father was meant to be bereft of all three of his children. The two who accompanied him to the cemetery were sure the sexton was only to be found at the red brick house south of the gates, and they started off alone to locate him at this point. They didn’t find him however, and instead of coming back to the cemetery, they headed the other way after an automobile that had passed, believing it to be the one in which they had been riding.

The youngsters were found later near the Swaine home (corner of River and Forest), nearly sick from fright.

“Your Highland cemetery may be beautiful, but I do not want to look forward to ‘resting’ in it. I would anticipate a grave robbery if I were buried here,” said Mr. Wetherall Monday, after hopeless hunt for his belongings and a recital of some of he happenings in which he had figured.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Citizens say vice is rampant

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on June 26, 1908.

Complaints have been made to the Daily Press of a place on Lincoln avenue which, residents of that section of the city declare, should be ‘cleaned up.’ The cleaning up is desired for the improvement of the moral atmosphere of the community. At almost every home in the vicinity are numerous children who see and hear things not good for childish eyes or ears.

This place, so those who know it best, say, has long been notorious. It is described as the headquarters for a certain ‘tough’ element that visits the town. It would serve no good purpose to describe in detail the unbecoming conduct of these visitors.

The character of this place is well known to the police force. That it is equally as well known to the police commissioners is undoubtedly true.

Why is this blot on the fair name of the community permitted to exist? Why are innocent little children subjected to scenes that help destroy the good influence of their parents?

It is because Garry W. Densmore and Chas. D. O’Connor, police commissioners, are perfectly satisfied to allow vice of this character to exist and flourish in the city’s midst. O’Connor is still on the police board. His term expired May 1 but as Robt. W. Hemphill refuses to accept the position when appointed by Mayor Kirk, O’Connor holds over under the provision of the charter that provides he may retain the office until his successor is named and qualifies.

The Press suggests that those immediately interested make an appeal to Mayor Kirk.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ira Lawrence drowns in Huron

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, June 22, 1908.

Ira Lawrence was drowned yesterday noon while swimming in the Huron River below the dam at the Ypsilanti Underwear factory. The three brothers, David, aged 21, Ira 19 and Lester 17 had walked in from their father’s home about a mile east of the city to go swimming. They went in below the dam and were swimming against the current in mid-stream when David weakened and called for help. Ira and Lester went to his assistance and started to carry him to the bank but before they reached a safe place Ira weakened. Lester, however, got David out on the bank and immediately jumped in after Ira and started to shore with him. By this time David thought he had recovered enough to go in and went to the assistance of Lester but was immediately overcome and sank. Ira saw David go under and turned to Lester and said, “Go and Help Dave out, or he’ll drown, I’m all right now.” Lester went to the rescue of Dave the second time and got him to the shore but when he turned to fine Ira he could not see him. He made a hurried search but could find no trace of the body. Help was called and the police notified and a systematic search started but the body was not recovered for nearly three hours when it was rescued by William House.

Ira Lawrence was the son of John M. Lawrence, conductor on the Michigan Central, who lives on Forest avenue, about half a mile east of the city limits. He graduated from the Ypsilanti high school with the class of 1907, and intended to enter the Normal (now Eastern) college in the fall. He was an accomplished writer, having had a number of articles in the magazines.

This is the third death in the family in the last four years. In 1904 Harold, aged 10, died from an operation for appendicitis and the following year Fred, conductor on the Michigan Central, died from blood poison. The other members of the family are: Frank L and the Misses Gertrude and Flossie, of Detroit, and Mrs. Katie Thomas of Dearborn.

The funeral will be held at the residence Tuesday at 10 a. m. with interment at Cherry Hill.

Ira Lawrence graduated from the Ypsilanti High school a year ago. He was president of his junior class and a prominent member of the Sigma Delta fraternity. In his senior year he was editor of the High School Chat and the senior annual, the Ypsi-Dixit, and intended to enter Normal college this fall preparatory to attending Albion college. His father is a well known conductor on the Michigan Central and arrived home shortly after the tragedy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ypsi-Dixits for sale

Just to let everyone know, the Ypsilanti Historical Society has old copies of the Ypsilanti High School year book, the Ypsi-Dixit, on sale now. There are only a few copies, as these are extras the society has collected over the years. Copies are $15 each and these are for the years: 1922, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1951, 1953 and 1955. Copies can be found in the Archives, which is in the basement of the Museum.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Raid House; three arrests

This story appeared in The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Tuesday, June 9, 1908.

Three arrests were made at the home of Mrs. Melissa Stewart on Towner Street last night. Those taken into custody were Mrs. Stewart, James McCray and Joe Friday. A third man—Joe’s companion—evaded arrest by leaping through a window.

McCray pleaded guilty before Justice Gunn this morning to using indecent language in the presence of Miss Ada White whom he accosted as she was passing along the street. He was fined $20 and assessed $4.90 costs, in default of which he will be imprisoned in the county jail for 30 days.

McCray told the court he has a wife residing on River street, but that he can’t get along with her and has made his home with Mrs. Stewart. He is the man who threw an exploding lamp out of Mrs. Stewart’s house and which struck her and set her clothing on fire last fall. The women had a narrow escape from being burned to death. He promised the justice that in future he will make his home elsewhere.

Mrs. Stewart pleaded not guilty to the charge of imputing to Mrs. Marie Riley, wife3 of ex-Constable William Riley, the crime of larceny. Mrs. Riley says Mrs. Stewart accused her of carrying away some the her furniture at the time of the fire. Mrs Stewart denies the charge.

Justice Gunn set her hearing for June 18 and placed her bond at $200 in default of which she was remanded to jail.

“Why don’t you live with your son Frank?” asked Justice Gunn. Frank gave her mother a home when she was burned out.

“I don’t have to,” she snapped. “He’s the last person on earth I’d live with. I have a home of my own and that’s where I am going to live.”

The house has not been repaired since it was partially destroyed by fire. Only one room is habitable.

Joe Friday worked on the Congress Street sewer (now Michigan Ave.) until he was laid off. He was charged with being disorderly. He promised to leave town and was discharged.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hurls victims from buggy

This story appeared in the Ypsilanti Daily Press of Saturday, June 6, 1908.

Struck broadside by a rapidly moving touring car as they were returning from a drive last evening, B. E. Miller, a university student and an Ypsilanti young woman were hurled from their buggy opposite the farm of Richard Kellogg, near the Lake Shore Crossing, miraculously escaping with their lives or even severe injury. The buggy was reduced to debris. The driver of the auto made no inquiry for the fate of his victims and his identity may never be known.

Miller secured the rig from DeMosh’s liver in the afternoon to drive to Ann Arbor. It appears that he turned well out when he saw the auto approaching, and when he was an accident was inevitable he saved the horse from injury but the machine crashed into the left front wheel. Every spoke was broken out and the rubber tire ripped off and the remainder of the wheel was thrown on the electric road where it was later run over by a car. Another wheel was stripped of spokes; the buggy box was jammed and broken. In fact the buggy is a complete wreck and the harness was cut and broken. The horse ran home and is unhurt.

Arthur B. Casler brought the couple to the Country club. The Ann Arbor chief of police was phoned to look out for the automobile but was unable to apprehend the driver.

Miller stated he completed his work at the university and is about to leave for his home in Ohio.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mrs. Brayton has disappeared

This story appeared in the Ypsilanti Daily Press of Thursday, June 4, 1908.

Mrs. Maria Brayton has mysteriously disappeared from the home of her sister, Mrs. Peter Staffin, 113 Miles Street, with whom she made her home.

Mrs. Brayton had been acting in a peculiar manner for the last few weeks, and this has led her friends to fear that she may have become deranged and wandered away.

At one time she was confined in an asylum for a number of years, and about six year ago went to Dixborro to reside with her sister, and moved with them to Ypsilanti about a year ago.

Yesterday morning about 11 o'clock she left the house appareatly going for a walk. She wore a black lawn dress with purple flowers, a heavy black winter coat and black hat. Her hair is gray and cut short, and she is about 50 years old.

Anyone hearing of her whereabouts please notify her sister, Mrs. Staffin.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Burning grease causes bad fire

This story appeared in the Ypsilanti Daily Press of Friday, May 29, 1908.

Jas. Clark’s bakery at 428 Huron street was damaged to the extent of about $1,500 this morning by fire.

Geo. Renton, the baker, was making doughnuts, when the grease caught fire. In attempting to put the fire out, the kettle containing several gallons of boiling grease was tipped over. The burning grease spread rapidly, and in a minute the whole room was ablaze. The fire department responded promptly and soon had the fire under control.

Several hundred loaves of bread were burned and the over damaged. The loss in partially covered by insurance.

Work of repair has already been started, and Mr. Clark hopes to be doing business again on Monday.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Limit in a near collision

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday, May 27, 1908.

But for the courage and presence of mind of Motorman Jacob Schaible, an accident almost identical as to the circumstances to the Denton wreck, would have occurred to the Detroit limited on the Detroit, Jackson & Chicago railway near Addison switch at 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon. This is the limited on which Motorman Isa Fay, of Jackson, and nine other persons lost their lives in a head on collision.

Arriving at Addison, Schaible alighted and stood by the block light until a Michigan avenue car pulled in. The motorman of the city car gave the limited “the block.” That is he switched the block light, indicating that the single track leading father into Detroit was clear.

Schaible turned on “the juice” and his car was just getting nicely under way when another interurban car, apparently traveling at 25 miles an hour, swung around the curve just ahead.

For one moment the motorman, frightened, stepped back, although his hands didn’t leave the controller and the air brake. Perhaps the thought of Fay’s fate—both feet ground off and instantly crushed to death as he remained at his post vainly trying to avert a collision—flashed through his mind. A second later he had thrown the reverse, brought his car to a standstill and was then speeding backward.

And none too soon! He had but cleared the switch when the onrushing local swept into it. Considering the rate at which the local interurban took the switch it had been running at a high rate, or its motorman didn’t appreciate the grave danger and hadn’t applied his brakes sharply.

Men seated in the front of the smoking compartment were aware of the near head on collision. Some grew suddenly pale and remained motionless and speechless in their seats from fright. Others called, “Look out for a collision,” jumped to their feet and prepared to leap from the door. Some of them personally thanked the motorman for “saving their lives,” as they styled it.

“The city man gave me the block,” was the only comment he made.

An official of the road says the block light was working badly, and the trammer had “flag” orders. They were warned to be on the lookout for approaching cars.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fire razes building on Hammond farm

This story was carried by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Saturday, May 18, 1918.

The house and large barns on what has been known as the Hammond farm or Larchfield Hall, on South Huron Street road, were destroyed by fire at about noon today.

The fire is believed to have originated in the large west barn in which was a quantity of baled hay and although strenuous efforts were made by neighbors, wind carried the fire to the other buildings. The Oliver family lived upon the farm.

The city fire company was called and responded but there was little that they could do because of the headway made by the flames before they could arrive.

The only building saved was a tenant house. The destroyed residence was one of the most beautiful in this vicinity and during the time the Hammond family lived there was a scene of many social funtions.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Midnight fire arouses family

Accidentally overturning a lamp with a pitcher in the rear of the attic which he used as a wash room, Zina Buck, a roomer and owner, stated a fire last midnight which burned C. S. Maddux and family out of their home at 605 Pearl Street. The oil flashed, caught in inflamable material, exploded a can containing a few quarts of oil, and within a few minutes the entire upper part of the house and roof was in flames.

Miss Grace Maddux, the only member of the family up, notified the fire deparment by phone, and its prompt arrival alone prevented the house being totally destroyed.

Mrs. Maddux, who in in poor health, fainted but her daughters carried her to the home of S. B. Mereness where the family found shelter for the rest of the night. Mrs. Maddux suffers from nervous shock, but is improved today

Part of the roof and the upper part of the house are badly damaged. Mr. Buck's loss and that of Mr. Maddux are fully covered by insurance. All the winter clothing of the Maddux family, which was stored in the attic, and the bedding and furniture on the second floor, was totally destroyed. The carpets and furniture on the first floor are badly damaged by water and smoke.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Henry Johnson dies suddenly

This story appeared in The Ypsilanti Daily Press of Saturday, May 9, 1908.

While he was conversing with Oscar R. Westfall, in his room in the boarding house at 40 Huron street at 7 o’clock last night, Henry Johnson, for a number of years prominent as a local business man, gasped and suddenly died. He expired without a word of warning.

Mr. Johnson had lived at Westfall’s for the last 12 years. He complained of feeling unwell this week but was able to be up and out almost daily.

“I asked him what he would have for supper,” said Mr. Westfall. “He said he had placed his order.”

“I suppose you will be going out now and have a visit with the boys’ he said to me. I told him I would not be away longer than to visit the meat marker: ‘I’m glad of that’ he added. It’s lonesome for me. I wish you would stay and visit until you are ready to go to bed.’

“We were chatting when he threw up his hand, gasped and expired.”

Mr. Johnson was born in Pontiac, March 6, 1857. He was best know in Ypsilanti as manager of the Rubber Tipped Dress Stay Co. in which were interested a number of local capitalists. He had the entire confidence of his associates and he made the business a success until changes in style of women’s dress killed the demand for stays. His factory was in the Curtis block in the quarters now occupied by the Daily Press.

Mr. Johnson was separated from his wife. They had no children. Mrs. Frank Johnson, widow of his only brother, living in Ann Arbor, made arrangements for the funeral. The body will remain at J. E. Moore’s undertaking rooms until Monday when a service will be held in the Presbyterian Church at Stony Creek at 2 p. m. The body will be interred beside those of his brother and mother.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

First gold star at Normal is for E. D. Stanberry

This story appeared in The Daily Ypsilanti Press of Monday, May 6, 1918.

The Normal Service flag has received its first gold star, and the man for whose memory it stands is truly worthy of pure gold. Elwood D. Stanberry, of the Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University) class of 1915, who entered the aviation camp for officers at Champaign, Ill., last summer and who went in September to the training camp at Oxford, England, is reported as ‘died by accident’ in Saturday’s casualty list. He was 21 years old.

Mr. Stanberry’s home was in Deerfield, but, following Supt. A. A. Riddering from Deerfield to Dundee he graduated from the Dundee high school in the same class as Merlin Kopka of this city, who is himself now on his way to France. Mr. Stanberry earned his way through the Normal College, taking three years for his course, and after graduation remained in the city as supervisor of the city playgrounds in 1915.

While in college he was prominent in oratory and debate, in athletics, more particularly in gymnasium work, and in many campus activities. He was born leader of men and a man of high character. He was a member of the Kappa Phi Alpha fraternity. On finishing here, he became director of physical education at Highland Park high school, and his family moved to Highland Park to be with him, which is why the casualty list credits him to that place.

Last October, after arriving at Oxford, he wrote home a letter showing how keenly he appreciated the opportunity of being in historic Oxford, and speaking warmly of the many colleges and churches he had been privileged to visit. He was in excellent health and looking forward eagerly to getting into active fighting. He sent many beautiful pictures of historic buildings to friends here, and only a few weeks ago sent a translation of a book by a German military officer giving the extreme militaristic view of the war from the German viewpoint to Prof. Roberts. He had annotated the book liberally, and wrote that Germany had suppressed it. He wrote that the soldiers over there did not fear death, that it was all in a day’s work; and that, although his eyes had been troubling him, he should keep on with his flying—he had gone over to France—he had gone over to France—unless forbidden to do so on account of his eyes. It is possible that this many account for the accident that caused his death.

A sad coincidence marked the death of Elwood D. Stanberry in a hospital in England. On the day he died, his elder brother, a veteran of the Spanish-American war, was buried at Jackson. The father, now childless, is a veteran of the Civil War. Elwood Stanberry was a fellow student at the aviation camp at Champaign, Ill., of Lietuts. G. O. Middleditch and C. A. Pudrith of Detroit, who were also, killed in a flying accident at Lincoln, England, last month, the same field where young Stanberry was fatally injured.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The King House

This story appeared in the Ypsilanti Commercial of Saturday, April 18, 1885, and informed the public about the new house Julia Ann King had built. King Hall on the campus of Eastern Michigan University is named in her honor. The King house still stands at 611 Pearl Street.

By the first of May, Messes C. S. Warner, and Charles Fleming will have completed their contract for building that handsome and convenient residence on Pearl Street, of Miss Julia A. King, preceptress at the Normal. The house is situated on south side of Pearl Street just above Perrin. It has a frontage of 45 feet and depth of 52 feet, two stories high all but the woodshed under one roof with four ornamental gables, entirely American in style.

The front entrance into the spacious hall is through a portico 7 x 20 feet. Rolling back the doors to the right, we find ourselves in a large, yet cozy appearing dining room with a register, and neat mantel piece, dish cupboard etc. This opens into a pantry, conveniently arranged, leading into the kitchen, which in turn opens into the woodshed. From the kitchen there is a back stairway, and also a door leading into a handy bath room which is connected with the bedroom situated on the east side of the house.

Going back to the front entrance and opening the folding doors to the left we enter the parlor, to be separated from the library by curtains, and from the bedroom before mentioned by rolling doors. In the library is a bay window and a mantel which for neatness is not often surpassed, the work of Mr. Fleming.

At the further end of the hall is winding staircases leading to a large hall upstairs where are found one double room, or suite of rooms and three single bedrooms, in al of which are arranged shelves and closepresses of ample dimensions. There is also a pump for raising water to the second story and a large tank which can be filled if desired.

The entrance to the cellar is through the kitchen. Here we find a Fuller & Warren hot air furnace which heats the entire house. Besides the division containing the furnace, and the coal room, there are three apartments, separated by brick partitions.

The house is finished after the latest and most approved patterns; on the first floor entirely in butternut, and above in butternut finish. The house is well lighted the panes of glass being of first class quality and good size gas pipe connections.

Mr. J. W. Martin drafted the plans for the house. The work has been done entirely by home parties. The mason work by Mr. Rob’t Curtis. Parson Bros. furnished part of the material for the house, and did the outside painting; the finishing work was made up in the house from planed boards. Mr. Chas. Hubbard of Amsdem & Hubbard did the inside painting and finishing. Mr. J. H. Sampson furnished the hardware and put in the hot air furnace, making the necessary pipe and connections.

For the present the ceiling and walls will be left in the white. Messes. Warner and Fleming have reason to feel gratified at so successful a completion of their contract.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Officer Tom Ryan is criticised

This story appeared in The Daily Ypsilanti Press of Wednesday. April 1, 1908.

Because Patrolman Tom Ryan took Alice Johnson, a 14-year-old girl from her home at a late hour of the night to the office of the chief of police and did not return her to her home until after midnight, that officer has been the subject of much criticism. Indignation is felt and has been expressed that Ryan should call in Jim Fulton, ex-bartender, at that time when the girl was placed in the sweat box. Chief of Police Gage says he was not notified that night.

Alice Johnson is the daughter of Mrs. Mae Johnson, the widow on Florence street whose three little children are objects of pity because of the awful condition of the home. Alice is confined in the Industrial School for girls in Adrian where she was sent by Judge Leland.

What Ryan said to the little girl and how he treated her the night he had in the Savings Bank Building (where police headquarters was in 1908) is told in two stories: Ryan says he was called by Mrs. Johnson who told him she couldn’t control the girl and that he took her to the office to frighten her, and did and said nothing that was wrong.

County Agent Childs, of Ann Arbor, who investigated the case, told the (words missing) said Ryan shook his fist in her face and swore at her. Mrs. Johnson states that Alice told her Ryan used vile and grossly insulting language to her.

Chief Gage says Alice denied in his presence and that of Ryan the stories she told her mother and others about the night Ryan had her out.

Judge Leland has promised that he will sent to Adrian and have the matron of the Industrial school question Alice closely concerning her experience with Ryan. As she will have no one to fear and no favors to expect, it is thought that she will make a frank statement of the whole affair.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Build Auction Sale Pavilion

This story appeared in the Ypsilanti Daily Press of Saturday, March 21, 1908

An auction sale pavilion, calling for an investment of more than $4,000, will be erected this spring by Warren Lewis, the international live stock auctioneer, on his property at Babbitt street and Lincoln avenue. It will stand unique in the state of Michigan, although similar institutions have proved successful in other American cities.

The sale pavilion will be built adjoining the Michigan Central sidetrack which passes over Mr. Lewis’ property. This insures the best of shipping facilities for those who will send stock here to dispose of at auction and to buyers who may wish to ship out heir purchases.

The pavilion will be built with glass sides and wholly enclosed. The seats will be amphitheater style with a ring as in a circus where the stock will be in plain view of everyone when it is under the hammer. There will be na auctioneer’s stand and cashier’s desk. The sales will be conduced summer and winter and in order to make it thoroughly comfortable in cold weather, the pavilion will be equipped with a steam heating plant. There won’t be anything small or cheap about the whole affair. It is designed to be one of the auction centers of the country and a leading attraction of the city.

“I propose to pul off some of the big farm auction sales here too,” said Mr. Lewis. “It will be central and farmers can bring in everything they have to offer. But it is principally designed for the sale of horses and cattle.”

Mr. Lewis owns the property from North to Babbitt street, lying along Lincoln avenue and the Michigan Central railroad. On North street he has fitted up one of the finest equipped had luxurious homes in the city.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Whole family has narrow escape

This story appeared in The Ypsilanti Daily Press of Tuesday, March 10, 1908

Roy Dickson, wife and two children, aged 20 months and six months old respectively, had a narrow escape from drowning on Friday. They were driving from the residence of Chas. McIntyre, to there home on the Marion Merritt farm, when the accident occurred.

A creek, which is dry in summer time, had owing to the thaw, became a raging stream of water so high that it covered the road. Mr. Dickerson had driven over this road only a few hours previous, and found the water just a few inches deep and did not anticipate any danger. He had crossed a small bridge on his way back, when the water struck his buggy, and he with his family were swept into the stream and carried nearly 30 yards in water over their heads. Mrs. Dickerson had the baby in her arms and pluckily hung to thee child. The water was over her head, and as she came to the top a second time she grasped a fence and hung on.

Mr. Dickerson in the meantime, with the older child had effected a landing on the side opposite his wife.

Palmer Gridley saw their predicament and with help took them to the Fullington farm, where they were cared for. The baby was only revived after it had been worked over for an hour and a half.

The horse when rescued had only its nose sticking about the water.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dynamite is savior

This story appeared in The Ypsilanti Record of Thursday, February 21, 1918.

The free use of dynamite in breaking up the ice pack which last Thursday night has choked Huron river from the Michigan avenue bridge south to a point some distance below the U. S. Pressed Steel plant, has undoubtedly saved thousands of dollars of property loss, to say nothing of inconvenience to residents along the river and to loss of time at the Pressed Steel plant and possibly the putting out of commission of the city water works plant and electric street lighting station.

A force of six men has been employed by the city daily since the ice pack and resulted flooding of the low sections along the river began, cutting trenches in the piled up ice fields and inserting and discharging dynamite. In all more than 400 sticks of explosives has been used, and to what good effect is seen in the wide expanse of river surface opened.

This timely action on the city's part did not prevent all damage, however. Such was the rush of floating ice and high waters last Thursday night that Water street was inundated and eleven families were driven from their homes in the night. Police calls were sent in and by 2 o'clock Friday chief of Police Cain and members of the police force had successed in taking the inmates of 11 homes to safety with a\the aid of boats.

The families driven from homes by the water were as follows:
Sheldon Granger, Thomas Barnum, H. Ross, Mrs. Josephine Alford, Frank Tuttle, Freemont Randail, Walter Russ, Robert Counsellor, Mrs. Wilmer Pressler, Mrs. Burrill and Lee Borch.

While the water had by Monday gone down several feet in the river and consequently drained the flooded district, residents of Water Street were still unable to return to their homes. Yards were piled high with cakes of ice and contents of the houses as far as the first floors were soaked. Thursday efforts were made by some of the occupants to build fires and dry out their homes, and by others to get conveyances at hand and move household goods elsewhere, but word came from Lowell where an Edison Co. dam is maintained, that the water was raising an inch an hour and a flood of even greater proportions that that of last Thursday night was predicted. Once more everybody was driven out from Water Street, and through Thursday night the houses were deserted. A sudden change in temperature caused the rain to cease and the river to freeze and the flood was temporarily averted.

Through the efforts of Mayor Brown a supply of dynamite was secured last Friday and a force of six men was secured last Friday from Shepherd ice house to handle it. The gang was to work below the Water Works station four of them sawing trenches and two planting and firing dynamite charges. Thus by Tuesday they had successed in opening the river from a point below the Pressed Steel Co. plant up stream to the gravel pit. Previous to this work the river had been frozen completely over and the floating ice from up-stream had been forced under water until the whole river bed was chocked.

Nor is the danger yet past. The thaws that must come are bound to produce a tremendous volume of water that must be carried off and if the ice is not kept out of the way floods are bound to result. Thus far Race street residents have not suffered. The water works and lighting station has been kept above water and the Pressed Steel Plant has been kept running. Still higher water in the near future is not impossible.

This is not the first time the Huron has caused damage by flooding. About 12 years ago unusually high water took out the Peninsular Paper Co.’s dam, the Knitting Mill dam and an Edison dam below. It also washed out the Forest avenue bridge and the East Cross street bridge.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Officers Pay visit

This story appeared in The Ypsilanti Record of Thursday, February 14, 1918.

Suspected of being in some way or other interested in the German government, Albert Hettich, residing at 430 North Hamilton street on Saturday was compelled to submit to a search of his home by representatives of the sheriff’s office, who called armed with a search warrant. The visit has aroused the indignation of Hettich and he declares the questioning of his loyalty to American an outrage.

Arthur D. Moore, of Ann Arbor, special deputy sheriff connected with the American Council of National Defense, came to Ypsilanti Saturday and appealed to Justice Stadtmiller for a search of Hettich’s home. The warrant was issued, authorizing a search for “books, papers or pamphlets” that might be derogatory to his loyalty to American.

Not until Wednesday morning was a return made on the warrant by Deputy Moore. In this return it was stated that a letter written by Mr. Hettich was found “displaying the typical Germanic hatred for the British policies.”

Mr. Hettich, and his wife who is now in Chicago, came to Ypsilanti several years ago, but what brought them here has never been clear in the mind of many. Mr. Hettich never seemed to have any definite occupation, while his wife’s sole activity seemed to be in connection with a semi-public restroom. Mrs. Hettich is said to be descended form near royalty in Hungary, and Mr. Hettich is said to have served in the German army as an officer, reaching the rank of captian before he retired.

Mrs. Hettich has many times explained their German relations, and has frequently emphasized her loyalty to the United States, but she oftentimes told of being the owner of a house in Berlin which was at one time the home of Count Zeppelin, of dirigible fame. This, it was claimed, was not the only property she possessed in Germany. She also owns property in Chicago, it is said.

Although believed to be a native born German, and still to be a subject of the fatherland. Mr. Hettich had not up to Wednesday noon, shown any disposition to appear before Chief of Police Cain and register with other German alien enemies, as required by the federal law. Four days were allowed last week and the first three days this week, in which registration could be made.

Failure to register, in case he is a native of Germany and has never completed his citizenship papers in the United States, will subject Mr. Hettich to arrest and internment for the period of the war.

Mr. Hettich is reported to have been very indignant at the search, and is said to have remarked before Deputy Moore’s return on the warrant was made, that the search was “without avail.” He is quoted as saying: “Nothing was found because there is nothing in my house that could not rightfully be in any American home.”

Speculation is rife as to the means of support of Mr. and Mrs. Hettich, since by the statement of Mrs. Hettich, all income from their foreign property was cut off when the war broke out.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Drinks acid to end his troubles

This story appeared in the Ypsilanti Daily Press of Tuesday, February 18, 1908.

“Your papa’s troubles are now over,” said William Johnson, of 310 Florence Avenue, to his four year old son at 8:30 this morning.

Mrs. Johnson, who was in the room turned, and saw her husband draining the contents of a glass.

“What have you done?” she cried.

“Here is your bottle,” he answered, throwing a bottle which had contained carbolic acid to her, and in a few seconds he was writhing in terrible agony on the floor. Dr. H. B. Britton was called, but Johnson died within 30 minutes after he had taken the poison.

“He had often said he would commit suicide, but I did not think he would do it,” said Mrs. Johnson.

The family have had bad luck during the past 18 months. Mr. Johnson, who was 47 years old, worked in Detroit for the American Car & Foundry Co., but was injured by a plank falling on him, a year ago last July. Since then he has been practically an invalid, and on Mrs. Johnson fell the task of providing for the needs of her sick husband and four children. She washed and worked in factories, until her strength was broken down. The day after New Year’s she was taken to Ann Arbor, where she underwent a serious operation, only returning home a couple of weeks ago.

“We always got along by working hard,” said Mrs. Johnson, “but this winter we have had to have help from the city. I am behind with my rent about $15, and if I can catch up with that, will be able to take care of my children.”

The family now consists of the widow and her four children: Alice aged 14; Bessie, 9; Henry, 6 and Carl 4. They are almost destitute circumstances.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Woodlawn Cemetery

Take Huron River Drive, go east past the Ypsilanti Township Civic Center and the National Guard Armory, and between Carton Avenue and Brown Drive, you will see a break in the trees. As you drive past, take a quick glance to your right. There you will see an open field, with a small wooden cross on the far side. This is the final resting place for about 150 persons, but there is no sign, no maker, only headstones to mark the graves. This is Woodlawn Cemetery, one of the abandoned cemeteries of Washtenaw County.

The Rev. Garther Roberson, of the Second Baptist Church of Ypsilanti, founded Woodlawn Cemetery in the early 1940’s, primarily for the parishioners of his church. The Rev. Roberson died in 1955, and the property passed to Estella Roberson and a Mrs. Booker Rhonenee. The two women soon after declared bankruptcy, as they were short of assets and since then both women have died. The Woodlawn Cemetery Association had failed to file the appropriate corporate papers and no money was set aside for perpetual care of the grounds. The last burial in Woodlawn may have been in 1965. There are no records of who is buried there, when they were buried or where in the cemetery they are buried. Today no one is sure who owns the property, and it has an assessed vale of zero. Ypsilanti Township has someone cut the grass a few times a year.

Today Woodlawn Cemetery is a snow-covered field, with the walls of a maintenance shed, its roof fallen in long ago, standing on the far edge of the grounds. A stack of used tires is on the ground nearby. The air is silent, but for the wind.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mike Shaw

I did not know that Mike Shaw had died until I read the posting on Mark Maynard’s blog by Old East Cross. I had noticed his absences from the city’s streets, but failed to wonder why. I just counted myself lucky that he would not stop me on the street, and I would have to listen to him mumble on about his landlord or some other topic. Mike was one of the colorful persons Ypsilanti is known for. He wondered the streets of the city, counting the squirrels, and looking for the Starkweather fountain.
I first came know Mike at the Ypsilanti City Archives, when he came in to do research. He believed he was descended from the Shaw family, who were among the first to settle here. The truth is, he was not, his father came here in the 20th century. His belief, I think, was based on his finding the Shaw family graves at Highland Cemetery. He loved Highland, and often talked of getting a job there as a grounds keeper. It never came to be. The women who worked at the archives were both concerned for him and frighten by him. Mike was like a grandson to them, be it a very troubled one. Mike had gone to Vietnam, and, in a real sense, part of him never left. He suffered an injury to the head that left him disabled.
Mike took an interest in the Starkweather Fountain, missing since the 1930’s. He came to believe it was hidden by his landlord, Kircher, in the basement of the Thompson Block. Once a sharp dealer sold Mike the head of a statue, telling him it was part of the Starkweather Fountain. He spent his pension for a month on the item. He asked me to stop by his apartment to take a look at This was not something I really wanted to do. The head, as it turned out, was made of plaster, and the fountain was made of bronze. I had to tell Mike the head was not part of the fountain, that he had wasted his money. I was nervous as I broke the news to him, not sure how he would react. Mike took the news well, as it did not seem to brother him. I left as quickly as I could.
Now Mike is gone. I pray his soul has found the peace it was denied in life.
Now, those of us who remain, as left with a question: Who will count the squirrels.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Barn on Newton Farm is Burned

The following story appeared in The Ypsilanti Record of Thursday, January 3, 1918.

The Lee Newton farm, one and one half miles west of Sheldon, stocked jointly by Henry Newton, his brother, and operated by Henry Newton, was the scene of a most disastrous barn fire fire Friday morning shortly after 7 o’clock when the huge building and most of its contents was completely destroyed.

Explosion from a gasoline engine by which the milking machine in the dairy was operated, is the cause of the fire. Among the heaviest of the losses was six head of fine milk cows, a recently purchased International tractor, 52 loads of hay, 100 bushels of wheat, 250 bushels of oats, two gas engines lows drill corn planter manure spreader, milking machine and a quantity of corn in shock.

Difficulty arose in starting the engine for operating the milking machine. An overcharge of gasoline was put in, which caused an explosion which set fire from the exhaust at the northeast corner of the barn into a stack of corn fodder which stood about 10 feet distant. The fodder caught fire, the wind carried the blaze to the scale house a short distance away where hay was stored and sweeping under the doors set the hay on fire. From there the fire communicated to the barn.

Six head of cattle were saved and six burned. The horses at the north end of the barn were saved. A tool house, standing midway between the barn and house, was saved by a constant application of water, and the house was thus kept from catching.

The owner of the farm, Lee Newton is postmaster at Denton. The remaining stock and feed on the farm were sold at auction on Wednesday after hurried preparations. The barn and contents were insured, but the loss considerably exceeds the insurance.