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.