Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fire trap found in Mills’ barn

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, December 14, 1931.

Deputy State Fire Marshall Peter B. Karns and officers of the sheriffs’ department are today conducting an investigation into the attempted burning of a large barn on the farm occupied by Frank Mills, two and one-half miles north of Ypsilanti.

Mr. Mills discovered the “fire box”, the work of a professional, Sunday morning at 7 o’clock while securing feed for the stock. At that time the candle which had been ignited so in time it would burn to oil-soaked contents, was out.

The fire trap, an ordinary square box, cleverly arranged for starting a blaze, was packed with excelsior and manufactured kindling. The contents were soaked with oil and four pieces of pitch were placed in the box. The candle was placed so that it would burn to the contents and give the person lighting it, ample time to escape,. Although given proper ventilation the flame on the candle had gone out.

Mr. Mills is certain the “fire box” was planted in the hay mow Saturday evening as each morning he secures feed there, and it was placed in such a spot that he could not have escaped noticing it, had it been there Saturday morning.

Investigators are of the belief that it was a “fire bug”, who makes practices of such acts, as Mr. Mills stated he has had no trouble recently.

United Stove Company planning new building

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Saturday, December 12, 1936.

A new factory building costing $42,000 which will be erected by the United Stove Co. at the rear of its plant on Huron St. is the third addition to be built by the company this year. This brings a total of almost $100,000 spent by United Stove on new buildings here during the past six months.

The application granted Friday by the city specifies a building 29,000 feet square, to be located along the Lowell ST. line south of the Michigan Central Railroad tracks. The foundation wall will be of concrete, and the flooring of concrete and wood. Brick construction will be semi-fireproof.

Two other building permits were also signed by Fred Older, city engineer, Friday. One is for a two story building to be erected on Block No. 31, Grant St. by Ray L. Leever. A. B. Curtis was also granted a permit to build a 1 half story house at 905 Pleasant Drive in Woods subdivision.

One in custody following raid

This story was published by the Daily Ypsilanti Press on Saturday, December 12, 1931.

Harold Lucas, 612 Monroe St., is in custody as result of a raid conducted by local police shortly after midnight.

Officers were delayed in entering the building by a system of locks and chains on the front door but broke down the back entrance.

In the meantime, their report states, three gallons of moonshine had been poured down the soil pipe of the kitchen sink. A search of the building revealed a half pint concealed in the table drawer.

Five other persons in the building at the time were released. They were Minor Foley, 303 Harriet St., Sherman Morgan, same address, Arthur Starks, 309 Catherine St., Joseph Reed who is staying at the Byron Tanner residence on Hawkins St., and Carrie Palmer, 325 Watling Blvd.

Agatha Bingham, sister of Lucas, was informed of the raid by officers so that she could watch the house which was left open when officers broke the door.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Girl ‘policeman’ gets both men

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Tuesday, December 8, 1936.

When times comes for a police woman to be added to the law enforcement organization of Ypsilanti, Miss Audrey Riggs may be offered the position. She proved her mettle as an efficient worker Monday afternoon when she brought two offending motorists into court.

According to her story to the judge, Miss Riggs, with her mother, Mrs. Mabel Bryant, who resides at 501 N. Washington ST., was returning from Detroit Monday afternoon when they saw a car approaching along a more of less winding trail. She tried to avoid an accident, but failed. Owning to her caution the collision was not serious, but in her judgment the condition of the offending driver was. She decided to do something about it and summarily ordered him out of the driver’s seat while she took the wheel of his car and drove him and a companion to Ypsilanti for an accounting.

The driver was Lester C. Darling, 723 McKiney Ave, Ann Arbor, and his companion was Oscar Weinman, 104 Hill St., also Ann Arbor.

At the station of the state police she stopped and reported her mission. Officers conducted the case from that point and placed the two gentlemen in the city jail for a night of relaxation.

This morning they were arraigned before Justice Arthur M. Vandersall. To Mr. Weinman he read the sentence, “10 fine or 10 days in the county jail,” and to Mr. Darling he imparted the information that his bad driving would cost him $50 and that failure to pay would call for 60 days of enforced retirement, the charge being operation of an automobile while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. And as a matter of further protection to other motorists, the judge ordered Mr. Darling’s license revoked for one year.

Court evidence revealed that Darling was already on probation for a previous traffic offense.

Mrs. Durham killed by M. C. Train

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday, December 6, 1911.

Mrs. Frank Durham of 226 Prospect Street was struck by an eastbound M.C.R.R. freight train this morning at 9 o’clock and instantly killed. She was attempting to cross the tracks at Grove Street when the gate keeper, it is claimed, warned her to wait for an eastbound train that was approaching. She did not heed the warning, however, and went in front of the closed gates. The train which was going almost at full speed threw her fully 30 feet, breaking nearly every bone in her body. The body was taken to the M.C. baggage room and Coroner Burchfield summoned. An inquest, however, was considered unnecessary.

Just who she did not heed the gate man’s warning is not known but it is thought, that she was under the impression that she could cross before the second train pulled in. Mr. Durham is working in Detroit and she had left her two small children at home with her husband’s brother and was hurrying home that he might take the next train for Detroit.

Packers outlet store to open

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Tuesday, December 1, 1936.

Announcement is made today of the opening of a complete food market at 27-29 E. Michigan Ave., by Packers Outlet. The new store carrying all food products and operating on a self-serve basis will open Wednesday.

Groceries, meats, dairy products, fruits and vegetables are included in the stock. The Packers Outlet are owned by a Michigan wholesale grocery firm and are located in Detroit, Redford, Royal Oak, Pontiac and Ann Arbor. There are nine stores in Detroit and one in each of the other cities.

Guy Primeau, Pontiac, has been selected to manage the Ypsilanti store. He established the first self-serve store in Michigan and has been identified with this style of merchandising for many years.

This store will employ many local people.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Firemen prevent explosion of oil

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Saturday, November 28, 1931.

Chief Alonzo Miller, John Hadley and Gerald Kelly of the fire department prevented a major conflagration in the business district this morning when they risked their lives to prevent flames from reaching two 100-gallon oil tanks in the basement of the Grinnell store, 210 W. Michigan Ave.

The fire, which is believed to have started from defective wiring, was confined to the radio department in the basement but did damage estimated at $2,000 before it was brought under control. Every piece of equipment was summoned from the fire barns.

Mr. Miller, Mr. Hadley and Mr. Kelly were the first to enter the room in which the flames were creeping toward the oil, and stationed themselfes between it and the fire. Other members of the darpment followed and bent their efforts toward keeping the flames away from the bid, stationary storage tanks.

A number of radios were burned and several machines in the repair department were damaged. Smoke and water were also responsible for considerable loss.

Mrs. Carrie Chadwick, manager of the store, discovered the flames.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Another mysterious fire

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Tuesday, October 31, 1911.

Fire broke out in the residence of Peter Stetson at 413 Monroe avenue Monday night about 8:45. The fire department was called and by their prompt action the flames were confined to the rear of the house where the fire started. There was no one in the house at the time and the origin is unknown. The house was owned by Charles Thompson.

Someone threw a match on Western Union awning

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, October 30, 1911.

A small blaze in front of the Western Union Telegraph office caused considerable excitement in the business section Saturday evening about 7:30. The quick work on the part of the fire department, however, prevented any serious consequences.

Just how the fire originated is not definitely known but it is thought that some one passing by tossed a lighted match or a cigarette stub in the awning which immediately set fire to the front of the store. The chemicals used by the fire department together with the prompt assistance of those near by prevented the flames from spreading beyond the awning and scorching the paint on the front of the woodwork of the store.

Charles Richards killed in freak wind accident

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Friday, October 30, 1936.

Charles Richards, 48, Platt, employee of the Washtenaw County Road Commission, was fatally injured about 5 o’clock Thursday night, when he was blown or dragged from one of the county trucks as the men were returning form work. The accident occurred on Ellsworth Road just off US-23.

The strong wind apparently tore the canvas covering from the back of the truck in which Richards was riding alone at the time, said Kenneth L. Hallenbeck, county commissioner, and the covering either caught Richards, or he tried to hold it from blowing off and was dragged from the truck.

Mr. Richards was rushed to Beyer Hospital in Ypsilanti but was dead upon admittance, Charles St. Clair, 436 Second St., Ann Arbor, driver of the truck, said he saw the covering being whipped from the truck and stopped, but not soon enough to prevent the accident. The body was removed to the Muehllig Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor.

Mr. Richards is survived by his wife, and three children, all grown up. He was not a member of the company local benefit insurance plan, but the members are meeting today to consider his case.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fire destroys Johnson barn

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, October 19, 1931.

Three fires in Ypsilanti over the week end caused damage amounting to more than $1,300 with the largest loss being the burning of the barn owned by Mrs. Adele Johnson, 507 Holmes Rd., Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock.

Ypsilanti fire department in answering the call was delayed by a freight train and when they reached the address it was too late to save the old building, which had stood for more than 50 years. The entire framework except the north and east sides burned to the ground and tools and stored articles in the barn were also burned.

Origin of the fire is not known to Fire Chief Alonzo Miller.

Fire department was also called to the rooming house above 201 West Michigan Ave., Sunday morning at 11 o’clock when an over-stuffed chair caught fire. The blaze was restricted to the chair and damage was slight. It is believed a cigarette was the cause.

The third fire came this morning at 9 o’clock when a defective chimney started a blaze in the home of R. R. Edmonds, 520 Harriet Street. Damage was confined to near the chimney.

Baby opossum on Downtown street defies populace

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Saturday, October 17, 1936.

Some hunters may have to use a gun and tramp miles through field and wood for their game, but Gordon Teal, 922 Davis Street, merely walks on to East Michigan Ave., downtown and picks up a live baby opossum from the sidewalk.

The ‘possum crouched on the walk at 6 East Michigan Ave., and glared at storeowners this morning when they came to open for the day. No one knew quite what to do with the stubborn little beastie. It has been so long since wild animals’ roamed Ypsilanti streets tha the courageous pioneering spirit of the local natives had died away.

Then along came Mr. Teal, who is practically an authority on what to do with Ypsilanti opossum, for he picked one up a year ago near his home and kept it for several months as a pet. He grabbed Brer ‘Possum by the tail and popped him into a big sugar pail gotten from a nearby restaurant.

Now the opossum is being cared for in the Normal College science building, where he was taken by John Grinage, Jr., 550 Harriet Street.

Wife alarmed as husband leaves, plans unknown

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Friday, October 16, 1931.

The family of A. F. McDougall, 121 North Normal Street, are concerned to day for his safety, but expect his safe return soon, following his strange disappearance about 2 o’clock this morning.

Mr. McDougall had been worried financially, it is understood. He was heard leaving the house about 2 o’clock by one of the student roomers who thought little of it, and did not disturb Mrs. McDougall. About an hour later when their small son wakened her, she discovered that he was gone.

Mr. McDougall left only one note; it was a message of instructions to his broker.

Alarmed when she found the note and realized that Mr. McDougall had left with no word to her, Mrs. McDougall called the police. Search was immediately started. Officers even included the river bank and all trains and busses leaving the city, but found no trace of him.

Mr. McDougall took no clothing and left the family car. So far as his wife knows, he had very little money.

Officers doubt that he took his own life, or intends not to return. It is believed his worries made him feel it would be better to leave the city quietly for a short time, and be alone until he could settle upon the best course of action.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

17 year old son gets drunk

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Record on Wednesday, October 12, 1921.

Last Friday before Justice Stadtmiller a father brought his 17 year old son, stating that his son had left home the previous night sober and came home under the influence of liquor; that his son refused to tell where he got the liquor. Before Justice Stadtmiller the boy admitted the truth of the charge and said he got the whisky, a quart, in Belleville. He said that he could point out the house but did not know the party’s name that sold him the whisky.

The father took the boy to Belleville with the intention of getting out a search warrant and also arresting the offender. Belleville being in Wayne County, the arrest and warrant would have to be made in that county.

Thieves rob restaurant of Charles Pullen

This story was published by the Daily Ypsilanti Press on Tuesday, October 11, 1921.

Charles R. Pullen’s restaurant was robbed early this morning of $20, the theft occurring between 2:30 and 4 o’clock. The thieves gained entrance by breaking the glass in the front door just below the lock, reaching in and unlocking the door and then opening the cash drawer.

When the night watchman left at 2:30 he noticed two men in a car who followed him several blocks, and he thought they going to ask him to ride. However, they soon turned in another direction. At 4 o’clock in the morning the police found the broken glass and called Mr. Pullen up and telling him to come down and see if any thing was missing.

The glass was broken by a pop bottle, which ws discarded in the street. Pieces of glass were found at the other side of the lunch room when Mr. Pullen arrived. The drawer had been opened by someone who knew the combination, as the register was not broken.

The robbery is blamed to two strangers who appeared around town yesterday, apparently taking a look at things on North Washington Street. They went into Gilmore’s once, and into Hughes plumbing establishment three times, in both cases going to the rear of the store before anyone had a chance to ask what they wanted. They were also seen at the back of the stores, trying the doors once or twice. Practically everyone along the west side of that block noticed them, and it is thought that they were undoubtedly the ones who robbed Mr. Pullen. One of the men was tall, and wore a oravanet overcoat, the other was a shorter man without an overcoat.

This is the second time in two months that Mr. Pullen’s restaurant has been entered. The first time entrance was gained through the rear.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Antiques taken from Panek shop

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Friday, October 9, 1931.

The fifth robbery of outlaying business places in Ypsilanti since Sept. 6 occurred between midnight and 8 o’clock this morning when articles valued at $100 were stolen from the Frank Panek Upholstering Shop, 128 Towner St.

The loss was discovered this morning when Mr. Panek went to open the shop which is situated on the rear of his lot on Towner ST. Neighbors on Arnett St.., down which the robbers evidently carried the stolen articles to a waiting automobile stated to Chief of Police Ralph L. Southard this morning that they had remained up until midnight and heard no noise.

Among articles taken were a roll of imitation leather upholstering, approximately four yards of mohair upholstering, an antique small center table and another antique chest, both of which were being refinished and several tools, including saws, hammers, bits and braces.

The robbers entered through an unlocked window and shoe tracks make it evident that they carried the goods across another lot to an automobile on Arnet St.

The only clue left by the robbers were the tracks, evidently of large men, an investigation by Chief Southard revealed.

The two pieces of furniture were antiques brought from Scotland.

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, October 8, 1911.

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Thursday, October 8, 1936.

A $19,248 WPA project for cleaning and beautifying the Huron River through Ypsilanti is one step nearer, it was announced today.

The project had been signed by the President and passed through the comptroller general’s office in Washington, but before reaching Ypsilanti, must be sent through the state office in Lansing and the county office at Ann Arbor. The process will require approximately six weeks.

Work will consist of cleaning the river bottom, constructing rip rap walls along the bank, finishing the stone dams already started near the Michigan Ave. bridge, planting trees and shrubs along the banks, and grading the banks through Ypsilanti.

T. Fred Older, the city engineer, says that work on the project will be started as soon as he has been officially notified.

Elm and maple will be the chief trees planted and they will be placed near the water works.

Sixty eight men will be employed for a period of six months and work will be started on the stretch of land along the banks of the river, from Cross ST., to Michigan Ave.

Farmer sleeps while horses go for stroll

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, October 8, 1911.

Sunday afternoon, as Mr. and Mrs. William Alexander were driving in their car along the Ann Arbor road, they passed a team of horses, one a black and one a gray, coming by themselves hitched to a farmer’s wagon. Later, about a quarter before eight in the evening, as they came into Ypsilanti, they found the same team standing by the standtower. They came down town after Marshal Gage and took him back to the spot. Closer examination revealed that the horses had been hitched there and that huddled in the bottom of the wagon was a man asleep. Efforts to rouse him failed, and Marshal Gage got in the wagon and drove the team to one of the livery stables. On the way, however, the man woke up and gave an account of himself.

He was a Polish farmer from Sumpter and had driven to Ann Arbor he said, with a load of potatoes to sell. What he had done in Ann Arbor which had so long delayed his starting for his Sumpter home he did not state, but, after feeding the team he started home with horses.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Storm hit hard near Ypsilanti

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday, September 27, 1911.

Considerable damage was done by the heavy rain and electrical storm which visited this vicinity between four and five o’clock this morning.

A barn containing between six and eight tons of hay on the Watson Barr farm at Stony Creek was struck by lightning and burned to the ground before sufficient help could be secured to quench the flames. There is a possibility that some of the cattle may have been killed as not all have been located since the storm. Some harness and farm tools were also destroyed.

A shed on the farm of Frank Begole, who resides about three miles west of the city on the Saline road, was struck at the same time and was burned. A hog pen near by was also struck and a peculiar feature of the affair was that he pen where the hogs were was strewn in splinters but not an animal was injured. The shed which was burned was filled with straw and it was only the prompt assistance of the kind neighbors and friends that saved the adjoining barns. Not only the men but the women joined in the bucket brigade and saved the other property.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Three Damsels Find Selves All Dressed Up, No Place To Go

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Friday, September 4, 1936.

All dressed up and no place to go was the sad plight of three young women locked in a beauty parlor on N. Washington St. Thursday evening

After giving Miss Florence Hess, Ann Arbor, and Miss Ruth Gander, 11 N. Hamilton St., hair treatments, Mrs. Sara Yedley, proprietor of the shop, left instructions with the third member of the party, Miss Ellen Rowden, 1436 N. Prospect St., to comb their hair out when it was dry. Having left minute instructions, Mrs. Yedley left at 7 o’clock, intending to return at 8 to make sure that the building was locked.

Another occupant of the building, Dr. Howard Meritt, also entertained a sense of social responsibility and carefully proceeded to lock the building thoroughly when he left a few minutes later.

At 7:30 when the trio was ready to leave, lo! There was no way of exit except through the second story window. After telephoning in a vain effort to locate business occupants of the building, they called the police, who obtained keys from Joseph Fortunato, owner.

As the rescued damsels rushed past the officers, one sighed remorsefully, “And I had a date!”

Friday, September 2, 2011

Jewelry theft discovered here

The following story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday, September 2, 1931.

Police have been asked to investigate the disappearance of jewelry valued at $1,035 from the home of Mrs. George W. Hand, 303 Hiawatha St.

Mrs. Hand told officers that the articles had been taken from the dresser drawer of a second floor bedroom sometime between Aug. 18, when she last noticed them, and Tuesday noon. She reported the loss of pearl beads valued at $150; a rhinestone bag worth $35 and a watch, with diamond and onyx border, which she values at $850. She also misses one set of bronze and one set of cut steel slipper buckles. All were insured.

The onyx section of the watch was broken and she had gone to get it to send to a relative, who is a jeweler, when she discovered her loss.

Since Aug 18, no signs of the house being ransacked or of a window or door being forced open have been noticed by members of the household, officers were told.

Mr. Hand, who is a salesman, is to return her Friday, and has not been informed of the loss. He and Mrs. Hand moved here from Chicago early this summer.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Equipped with all modern machinery

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Record on Wednesday, March 9, 1921.

Ypsilanti’s Farm Bureau elevator has taken form in an attractive two-story building with an 80-foot elevator all of reinforced concrete and equipped with the best and most modern machinery made for such institutions.

Already the warehouse is well stocked with seeds, fertilizer and flour and is receiving and caring for eggs assembled for the Washtenaw hatchery. A spur from the M.C. R.R. tracks is being built alongside the building and as soon as this is finished, which will be within two or three weeks, the association will begin shipping grain. Five carloads of wheat contracted for shipment await the completion of this spur, and it is anticipated that wheat shipments will keep the association busy once they are ready to handle them, as about 50 per cent of the wheat grown in Washtenaw county last year is still in the granaries.

Very soon too, the association will grinding feed—would be doing so now had the first grinding machine received proved satisfactory. The necessity of changing for a better machine has delayed this work.

Livestock shipments are being made by the association right along at the rate of about a carload each week. Several carloads of hay also have been shipped.

False teeth, glass eyes only articles not left in theater

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Thursday, March 5, 1931.

Glenn Harris manager of the Wuerth hasn’t found any false teeth or glass eyes in the auditorium of his theater, but almost everything else has been lost there. He makes a practice of keeping mismated gloves, neck scarves and innumerable other things in the box office for a 30 day period and then takes them to the basement for an additional 60 days. He is planning to very that practice however, with number of articles which have been unclaimed since the Christmas holidays and is going to turn them over to Miss Inez Graves, social service worker.

He has a box of hundreds of articles, most of which may be of use. Included in it are $50 worth of scarfs, gloves of every description, mouth organs, rubbers umbrellas, pocket books, cards, new handkerchiefs, belts, buckles, pins, neckties, hats, caps, and even plumbers’ supplies.

Mr. Harris has noticed that pictures which are sad enough or funny enough to change the mood of the onlookers result in more lost articles than less emotional films. During the stress of the play the audience forgets almost anything. Men have been known to leave their pipes and women their diamonds.

A not infrequent occurrence is the breaking of beads caused possibly by an unconscious twisting of the strand. These trinkets have been found in large quantities. Some difficulty has been experienced in recovering the complete assortment as sometimes they are broken at the back of the auditorium and roll down to the front, some lodging behind the chairs.

A man living out of the city was sent a pocketbook which had been found with his name and address in it and was apparently grateful to the theater for its consideration as a short time ago he was in the city and again patronized the theater. This time he left a check book.

Peculiar letter mystifies police

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday, March 4, 1936.

Ypsilanti police today are puzzled over a letter addressed to ‘city trustees’, which contains no writing, but several figures, which may convey a message or merely be from a fanatic.

The letter was sent from San Francisco, Calif. and was dated Feb. 29, 11:30 p. m. It came ti the attention of Mrs. Mabel I. Stadtmiller, this morning, as the scrawled penciled writing of ‘trustees’ resembled ‘treasurere.’ Ypsilanti was spelled Y-P-S-A-L-A-N-T-I and apparently to ‘Miss,” instead of ‘Mich.’

There is not one word of writing in the contents, but it contained a short newspaper clipping of the sudden manner in which a clergyman died, a cartoon of a man reaching out for children, who are playing in the street, a top section of a woman with an apparent halo drawn in pencil above her head, and a cross or dagger also drawn below her left hand. From the elbow to the end of her hand it is drawn in pencil. There is also the head cut of a man, with the left arm drawn in pencil from the shoulder and the right hand clutching at the heart.

The only possible clue as to whom might be the sender is offered by three letters cut from newspaper headings and pasted on a heavy piece of paper. They are ‘U. S. F.’

In is not known whether the ‘letter’ had any connection with the slaying of Richard Streicher, Jr., whose body was found with 14 stab wounds under Cross St. bridge, one year ago next Saturday, but Chief Southard is studying it carefully in attempting to solve the ‘message or puzzle.’

Old Post House damaged today by fire in attic

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday, March 4, 1931.

Between $3,000 and $4,000 damage was done to the home of Mrs. Mary Tuthill, 207 N. Hamilton St. when fire broke out in the attic shortly before noon. The flames had gained considerable headway before they were noticed by a passerby and an alarm was given.

Two trucks from the fire department responded to the first call at 11:40 and later the third was summond. Firemen played three lines of hose on the flames for nearly an hour and a half.

The fire was confined to the central portion of the house and the front and back parts were not damaged except for water and smoke. No furniture was burned though some was wet and suffered some smoke damage. Flames penetrated below the attic level, creeping through the walls.

The building is one of the oldest in Ypsilanti, having been originally the John Van Cleve property. It was used as a hostelry for many years and now is a rooming house, the property of the Samuel Post estate.

Origin of the fire has not been determined

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Deputy Cook arrests two rum runners

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Record on Wednesday, March 2, 1921.

Saturday morning two rum runners were chased six miles by Deputy Sheriff Cook of Saline before they were willing to surrender to the majesty of the law. Not until the deputy had shot the rear tires of their machine were they halted in their mad flight to get away. The two men gave their names as Wm. Parker and Richard Wallace of Detroit.

Wallace made two unsuccessful attempts to escape. The first attempt was made when he jumped from the car and ran, but was captured and taken to Saline. He made the second attempt while waiting for the car to take him to Ann Arbor. He sent a boy out to get him a clean collar, and asked to go into another room, where there was a glass, that he might see to put on the collar. When he did not return the deputy went into the room and found that Wallace had once again made his escape through a window. Deputy Sheriff Dick Elliott of Ypsilanti was notified and shortly after picked up Wallace as he was getting out of a machine he hired in Saline to take him to Ypsilanti, where he said his wife was dying in the hospital.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Officer closes bar in one-man raid near here

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Thursday, February 24, 1931.

A one man raid of a residence near the Ypsilanti Armory, Monday night, is the opening gun in a campaign to keep Washtenaw county dry, Sheriff Jacob Andres stated this morning.

One of the deputies stepped into the residence Monday night to “look things over’ and decided to conduct the raid single handed. He found the residence, a stucco house contained a bar with beer on tap, and an assortment of whiskey and wine. The stock of gin, he was told, had been depleted. As he entered, the bar tender, Gordon Parrington, R F. D. 1 had just placed a whiskey serving on the counter and informed a customer, “That’s good”. “I’ll take it then,” the deputy said and proceeded with the raid.

Contrivance for the serving of beer, well iced, was made of a garbage can in which the ice was packed around a system of coils. A faucet had been attached to one side of the can and a pressure gauge, air compression chamber and rubber tubing completed the outfit. There was no brass rail the deputy says, but there was an iron one, a bar and even an old spittoon.

He made the bar tender and the door keeper, Francis Guyer, 23, R. F. D. 1, empty out the beer on the premises and carry the apparatus to the county jail. Both are held on charges of possession.

“I was so darned anxious to let you in!” the door tender regretfully remarked, indicating to the deputy the men expected there was to be active trade.

The house is an eight room building of recent construction.

Numerous complaints had been received of the place Sheriff Andres says.

During the last week an intensive campaign has been made in Wayne county to drive out bootleggers and they are trying to “muscle” into Washtenaw county, the sheriff explains.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Officers fork hay Sunday evening

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Record of Wednesday, February 23, 1921.
Mrs. Adeline Beilek and Harry Merritt were both bound over by Justice Stadtmiller on a statutory charge preferred by Henry Beilek, husband of Adeline.
Sunday night Beilek told officers that his wife was in the habit of going out nights and coming back home about 2 o’clock in the morning. “She smells like a horse,” he told officers, “and I believe she stays in a barn.”
Officers Connors, Elliott and Laidlaw Sunday night on a tip from the husband went to the barn of Merritt, on Water Street, and broke into it. They went up in the hay loft and looked and listened. They neither saw nor heard. Then they began to fork hay. Chief Connors says he forked a ton, while Deputy Sheriff Dick Elliott thinks he forked more than a ton. Laidlaw and Beilek also forked some.
The latter was extremely anxious to find the man and kept jabbing his fork down in the hay continually, thinking he would run it into the man. After the officers were exhausted they finally uncovered Mrs. Beilek and she was taken to the detention room at the city hall and locked up. Tuesday she made a voluntary confession, stating that she had been guilty of the crime charged. Bail was fixed at $500 each. Merritt furnished bail, his two brothers coming to the rescue. Mrs. Beilek was unable to get bail and was committed to the county jail to await trail

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Troopers raid Deihl shack at Hospital site

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Saturday, February 7, 1931.

State troopers Friday afternoon swung axes freely at Ypsilanti State Hospital when liquor was found at the Frank Deihl restaurant, a temporary shack near the dormitory. Two men , who were found in the building at the time, were taken into custody and a warrant was issued for the apprehension of Deihl. He had not been arrested this morning.

Stanley Ferguson and Joseph Priestas, state troopers, acting under orders from the state department where a complaint had been sent concerning conditions at the hospital site, conducted the raid which occurred between 2 and 3 o’clock. Deihl is accused of possession of three had a half pints of whiskey and three quarts of wine.

Anthony De Mico and David McIntosh, both giving the state hospital as their address, were arrested and taken before Justice Bert E. Fry. Both pleaded not guilty and demanded examination which was set for Feb. 13. Bonds of $100 were furnished by William Deihl. Disorderly charges were lodged against them.

The state officers broke windows of the restaurant, a temporary structure 50 by 25 feet long and wrecked furniture and equipment

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Aged man jumps to escape blaze

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Friday, January 30, 1931.

Forced to jump from the roof of a coal shed 10 feet high, to escape threatening flames, F. C. Lewis, 88 years old, narrowly escaped serious injury this morning at 4:30 o’clock when fire destroyed his home at 116 Factory St. Damage is estimated by Mr. Lewis at $7,000.

Mr. Lewis, who lived alone in the large one story dwelling, had been frying lard on a coal stove when the lard ignited and flames shot high around the container. Mr. Lewis hurried to his bedroom for a blanket to smother the flames, but before he could return, the interior of the kitchen started burning.

Flames and smoke blocked escape through the kitchen. With smoke choking him in the bedroom he shoved out tow wooden blinds, which covered a window, and with the aid of a plank crawled from the first story window to the coal shed, a distance of five feet.

According to Mr. Lewis as he jumped from the roof, flames were rolling out of the bed room window. He was not hurt, but badly shaken up by the drop.

Ypsilanti fire department saved the house from burning to the ground although the rear section and roof is a charred mass. Combined flames, smoke and water ruined the interior.

Mr. Lewis states the loss is covered by insurance.

The fire department was also called to the home of Serene Casler, 208 Catherine St., at 3:30 Thursday afternoon to extinguish a small blaze which had started. Damage was slight.

Garage burns, one auto lost

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Thursday, January 29, 1931.

Fire at 2 o’clock this morning, believed to have originated from defective automobile wiring, burned a large sedan, purchased one month ago, and destroyed a one car frame garage belonging to George Crippen, 417 W. Michigan Ave. Loss is estimated at $1,500.

Work of the Ypsilanti Fire Department saved the two story house which stands only 10 feet from the garage. Siding at the southwest corner burned and fire started in an upstairs room but was controlled. The west side of the house was scorched.

When the fire was first discovered by Donald Wallace, 511 W. Michigan Ave. the roof and interior of the garage were in flames. The fire department saved the garage from burning to the ground, but only after the roof and three sides were badly burned. Futile efforts were made to keep the machine from burning.

The loss is partially covered by insurance.

Mr. Crippen in carrying furniture from the house, Slipped on the ice and dislocated his left shoulder.

The fire department was also called to extinguish a chimney fire at 609 Emmet St., Wednesday evening at 7 o’clock. Damage was slight.

Police establish identity of man killed near city

This story was published by the Ypsilanti daily Press on Tuesday, January 28, 1936.

State police at 3 o’clock established identity of a Monday
night traffic victim as Fred Fuseek, 1115 Knapp St., Flint.

An unidentified and poorly dressed man was almost instantly killed at 9:30 Monday night on Ecorse Road one and a half miles east of Ypsilanti when he ran in front of a car driven by Joseph Jarzynka, Rockwood.

Mr. Jarzynka said that the man had hailed him for a ride and then ran in front of his car forcing him to pull to the left side of the road. He was unable to avoid the accident and could not understand why the man ran into the path of his machine.

The dead man suffered a badly broken right leg, a broken left wrist and a number of bruises on his body and one on his right temple. He wore a dark gray plaid mackinaw. He is about 45 years old, five feet six inches tall and weights about 155 pounds.

The body was taken to a local undertaking establishment and finger prints were made this morning by Sergeant Lyle Merse of the Michigan State Police.

Officers probing death of frozen Sumpter Farmer

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, January 27, 1936.

Herbert Whittaker, 62 year old Sumpter Township farmer, was found frozen and covered with blood in the yard in front of his home on Harris Rd. at 8 o’clock this morning by a neighbor, John Demsky, who was the last to see him alive. The two had been to a beer garden Sunday night and had returned at about 1 o’clock this morning. Mr. Demsky observed while on his way to work this morning that there was no smoke coming from his neighbor’s chimney and on investigation found the body lying in the snow. He admitted that they had both drinking strong liquor during the previous evening.

The circumstances so far determined do not point to foul play, according to Corporal Frank Walker of the Ypsilanti State police and Wayne County Deputy Harry Agge, who are investigating the case. Two windows were found broken in the front of the house and two in the rear. A bench beneath the front windows was overturned a few feet from the frozen body. The key to the house was found in the snow. A bill fold containing a one dollar bill was found in the dead man’s clothing and there was no evidence that a struggle had taken place inside the house.

Corporal Walker thinks it possible that Mr. Whittaker lost his key and then attempted to get into his home through the windows, injuring himself in the process and then dying of exposure. The body has been taken to the Wayne County morgue and will be examined to determine the nature of the injuries.

Mr. Whittaker was unmarried and lived alone. He has a brother, Walter, 64, who lives on Bemus Road about a mile from his home.

The following was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Tuesday, January 28, 1936.

Farmer’s death caused by cold

Herbert Whittaker, 62, Sumpter farmer, died of exposure, according to findings of Dr. R. Robert Kallman, Wayne County medical examiner. Mr. Whittaker was found dead in the yard of his home Monday.

Deep cuts on the face and arms, which at first caused Wayne County deputy sheriffs to believe he had been slain, evidently were received when he broke a window while trying to get into his house. He had spent the evening before in a beer parlor with a neighbor.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Flames damage two dwellings

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Tuesday, January 26, 1936.

Two fires on Maple St. Thursday evening, resulted in an estimated damage of more than $700 as parts of two dwellings were destroyed.

The greatest loss, approximately $500, occurred at 301 Maple St. at 7:30 when the flames ruined the interior and parts of the contents of the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Parks and Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Clark, who reside there.

Ypsilanti fire department, who reached the burning buildings in three minutes after the alarm was given, battled for nearly two hours in the zero temperatures before the fire was controlled.

The flames started in a dugout under the house where Mr. Parks was thawing water pipes with a blow torch and spread rapidly throughout the house. Within a few minutes the blaze, following the partition from the first floor to the second, burned a hole in the roof. Because most of the fire was confined to the walls it was difficult for the firemen to check thoroughly.

Most of the contents on the first floor were saved by both families but several articles of clothing and other furnishings on the second floor burned. A dog, trapped on the second floor, died of suffocation.

Within a short time after the firemen returned to the station they were summoned to Maples St. again, this time to Mrs. John Frentner’s home at 405 Maple St.

Fire of undetermined origin starting in the coal bin caused damage of approximately $200 at the Frentner dwelling. Several holes were burned in the flooring but most of the fire was confined to the basement. Water and smoke damage added to the loss.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Families forced to flee flames in scanty attire

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday January 22, 1936.

Four families were forced to flee to the stret in their night clothing at 3 o’clock this morning with the temperature hovering at 14 degrees when fire swept their home at 315 N. Prospect St. causing damage estimated at more than $500.

Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Maloney, who reside in an upstairs section of the house were shut off by intense smoke and flames, and were carried to safety from the porch roof of the building by Ypsilanti firemen. The other families, Mr. and Mrs. John Allen and child, and Mrs. Ivan Marshall and child, and Mr. and Mrs., Paul Jordan and two children fled to safety in their night garments after the fire was discovered. They were cared for by neighbors until the blaze had been brought under control.

The fire was discovered by Mr. and Mrs. Allen. Flames had gained rapid headway from the basement where they originated, and the house was filled with smoke. Mr. and Mrs. Allen aroused the other occupants.

The blaze was confined to wall partitions but reached the second floor before they could be brought under control by the firemen after a long battle. The walls in the house were charred and there was heavy loss from water and smoke.

It is not determined how the blaze started but it was near the furnace where the most damage resulted, leading Chief Alonzo H. Miller to believe that defective furnace equipment started the fire.

The building is owned by Mrs. Jennie Hadley, Ypsilanti resident, who has been staying in Detroit with her daughter.

Second dairy barn on Palma Farm burned

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday, January 21, 1931.

Valuable dairy equipment and 150 tons of hay were lost when fire early this morning burned to the ground the modern dairy barn on the Ferdinand Palma farm, situated on the east side of Stony Creek Road, one half mile south of the city limits. Loss is estimated at $50,000.

No cause of the fire could be given this morning by Mr. Palma or Fire Chief Alonzo H. Miller, but the possibility of arson is being investigated. A second theory advanced was that the stored hay caused spontaneous combustion, but Mr. Palma states that hay will not cause combustion at this time of year.

Flames were leaping high from the roof and the entire top section was ablaze when the fire was first discovered at 1 a. m. by one to the employees of the Bella Vista farms, which Mr. Palma owns.

The fire at time of discovery had gained such headway that it was impossible to save the barn, and attention was given other adjacent buildings.

Work of the Ypsilanti Fire department, and the fact that the wind was blowing flames from other buildings kept the fire from spreading. Only a milk house attached to the burning barn was damaged.

The roof of the barn caved in first, soon after the alarm was sounded, and a few minutes later the sides gave way. Fifty steel stanchions, a platform scale and feed truck were a jumbled mass of steel after the flames had finished playing havoc with the buildings.

The barn, which was 134 x 38 feet, had recently been repainted and put in good condition in preparation for housing 50 dairy cattle. Previously it had been standing idle and empty.

The loss was only partially covered by insurance.

H. J. Rhodes is manager of the farm where the barn burned. A barn standing in approximately the same spot, burned six years ago, causing heavy loss.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bold attempt to wreck car

On the night of Friday, January 14, 1921, Roy Burrell saw a large Paige touring car on the east bound track of the Michigan Central Railroad, at the Wayne and Washtenaw county line. He notified Justice D. Z. Curtiss at Ypsilanti just after 10:00 p.m. Justice Curtiss in turn informed Constable William D. Schneff. He quickly formed a posse and hurried to the spot. There they found the car directly across the tracks, with the emergency brake on the in low.

“Just as they arrived the headlights of an approaching train was seen, but by quick work they succeeded in getting the car off the track just as the whizzed by,” reported The Daily Ypsilanti Press of Saturday, January 15, 1921.

“The car was taken off the track about one-half minute before the east bound passenger train, due here (Ypsilanti) at 10:55 p. m., whizzed by,” noted The Ypsilanti Record of Wednesday, January 21, 1921. “The officers are at a loss to know what motive prompted anyone to place the car on the tracks.”

“Nobody was in the vicinity of the crossing, and the fact that the emergency brake was set with the power being in low, makes Justice Curtiss opine that either somebody was after the car insurance or that an attempt was made to wreck a M. C. R. R. train,” reported The Daily Ypsilanti Press.

“Monday Elmer Harden of Belleville, appeared at police headquarters and stated the car was his and had been stolen from a garage in Belleville that same night it was found on the track,” concluded The Ypsilanti Record.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fire, Explosion wreck Washington St. House

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Thursday, January 15, 1931.

Fire Wednesday evening, 6:30, followed by an explosion which rocked houses in the immediate vicinity was heard nearly ten blocks away, completely wrecked the two story frame dwelling at 420 S. Washington St., owned by Joseph Richardson and injured one tenant.

The force of the explosion which was caused by carbon monoxide gas hurled Mrs. Jennie Murphy, 20 years old, from the front room of the house, through the front door opening and down the steps nearly 15 feet from the dwelling. Mrs. Murphy had started to leave when the fire was discovered and as she reached the front door the explosion occurred. She was severely stunned and received cuts and bruises about her body, caused by flying glass and the fall. She required the medical treatment of a physician but was not taken to hospital.

Fragments of glass of the window panes were strewn within a radius of 75 feet of the wrecked house and flying missiles broke a window in a house 80 feet away. Other pieces of glass were found on roofs ad window sills of adjoining buildings.

The entire southern portion of the roof of the house was blown to the ground. North and south sides of the house were bulged approximately six inches, and pictures, wall paper and plaster were broken loose from the inside of the building. When the roof was blown off parts of bedding and household articles wre also catapulted from the house.

Furniture in the house was overturned, rafters, beams and floors loosened.

There are three families and two boarders living in the home. Viola Wright and her two children, Isabella, 17, and Anne, 10, and Mr. and Mrs. Murphy lived downstairs. Mr. and Mrs. Austin Patterson, two small girls, Margaret, five, and a two-year-old girl and Archie Fielder a Mrs. Abrams lived upstairs.

At the time of the fire only Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Patterson and her two children and Isabella and Anne Wright were at home.

Mrs. Patterson and children wre taken from the roof above the porch after smoke had blocked escape down the stairs. They groped their way back through the smoke to an outside window and to the roof, as the explosion occurred.

The fire was discovered by Isabella in the kitchen, in an opening where there had been a stairway at one time. She said flames were licking the walls and were climbing rapidly up the opening to the upstairs.

Smoke filled all rooms of the house, and lack of ventilation caused the explosion. The fire department arrived just as the blast occurred: according to Fire Chief A. H. Miller, it probably could have been averted if windows and doors had been opened.

After battling the flames for nearly one0half hour the fire was brought under control.

Origin of the fire is undetermined according to Chief Miller, an investigation failing to reveal any method by which it could start. No charged wires or stoves are near the opening where Isabella first saw the flames. Mice nests were found after the fire and it is possible mice may have been responsible.

“In 18 years of service on the local fire department,” states Mr. Miller, “this is the first time I have ever witnessed a fire and explosion of this character.”

Mr. Miller explains the gas which formed, and caused the explosion. “The first thing a fireman does in answering a call is to see that air circulates throughout the house, as there is gas formed in the black smoke of a flame which is highly explosive and as soon as a back draft hits this gas, it is almost sure to explode.”

Damage to the house was estimated well over $5,000. It was partially covered by insurance.

Unidentified man killed by M. C. Train

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Saturday, January 14, 1931.

An unidentified man supposedly a tramp was struck by an eastbound freight train near Lowell about 4:30 Friday afternoon and instantly killed. The body was badly mangled both arms and legs being broken and the head partially severed. Mr. Cook of Lowell, who witnessed the accident immediately notified officers of this city and the body was brought to Wallace and Clarke’s undertaking parlors, where it is now awaiting identification.

The clothing would indicate that the dead man was a laborer. His shoes were worn and he was wearing a pair of yarn mittens which were badly in need of darning. A paper sack which might have contained a lunch and a paper with a small amount of tobacco were found in his pockets. No money was found about his person. He was probably about 35 years old.

Just a few moments before the accident Mr. Cook of Lowell met the man as he was walking on the tracks and was speaking with him. Mr. Cook passed on and as he noticed a train approaching stepped out of the way and turned to see if the stranger also had noticed its approach. He evidently had not so Mr. Cook called to him but was unable to make him hear on account of noise made by the train. The east and west bound trains pass each other at this place and in stepping out of the way of one train he stepped in the way of the other.

One theory is the bosy was thrown by one train to the small space between the two tracks against the second train and was bounded back and forth two or three times. This might account for the legs being broken and the top of the head being severed and the trunk of the body not being mutilated. The clothing was torn to shreds.

This is the second accident of the kind to occur at Lowell during the past few days, Mr. Smith, formerly of Ypsilanti, having met his death just below the crossing of the road with the railroad track and the unidentified man just above the crossing.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Intoxicated man found half frozen on porch, ordered to pay fine

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Friday, January 9, 1931.

George Roach, employee at the Recreation Lunch, was fined $10 and ordered to pay hospital coasts of $4 when he appeared before Justice A. M. Vandersall this morning on charges of being drunk and disorderly.

Roach was arrested by Officers Walter Laidlaw and Coy Rankin at shortly before 3 o’clock this morning when residents at 422 S. Adams St., reported there was an intoxicated man on the porch who refused to leave. Police found Roach in a half frozen condition and took him to Beyer Hospital where he was given a heat treatment and first aid for cut and bruises on his face. He was unable to account for his battered appearance.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Police after Bessie Gordon and Jos. Flick

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Tuesday, January 4, 1921.

Joseph Flick of Ypsilanti, until recently employed on the interurban line, and Bessie Gordon of Ann Arbor are both charged by Jesse Gordon of Ann Arbor, with desertion. Flick with having deserted his wife and five children and Mrs. Gordon deserting her husband and six children.

Chief Connors has been looking for Flick for some time. A couple of days ago he came into town, had a dispute with his wife, who, it is said, accused him of not behaving as a husband should. He said he would look around and try to et another job. He has not been seen since.

Mrs. Bessie Gordon left Ann Arbor early in the morning of December first, supposedly to visit her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Ollie Bargdill of Dayton. She has never been heard from since.

A country wide search was instituted. At first Mr. Gordon stoutly refused to believe than that his wife had been taken suddenly ill and had been unable to communicate with her family. Their married life, he said, had been happy and he was positive that no other man had any place in her heart.

However, within 48 hours after her disappearance became known, the husband said he was informed that his wife had for weeks been meeting Joseph Flick at a certain hour each morning in Ann Arbor.

In the meantime the Gordon children are scattered. Twines of 7 years are being cared for in the community house in Ann Arbor; the boy of 13 and a girl of 11 are with their father.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Man injured by severe beating

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Friday, January 2, 1931.

Charged with assault and battery, Mrs. Carrie Palmer, 36, Monroe Ave, was sentenced to 90 days in the Detroit House of Correction and Roy Mahaley, 50, 412 Monroe Ave, was given the alternative of paying $25 fine or spending 30 days in county jail by Justice A. M. Vandersall in municipal court at noon today.

The pair were arrested this morning by Patrolman Ernest Rowe after they had been released at noon Thursday for beating Charles Johnson, 628 Monroe Ave into unconsciousness at his home shortly after 3 o’clock New Years morning. They used a stick of fire wood one inch in diameter and one foot in length.

Johnson had returned to his home from a watch night service held on Watling Blvd at 1:30 a. m. and approximately one-half hour later Mahaley was admitted to the house.

Mrs. Palmer, Johnson’s housekeeper, who was also up, and Mahaley engaged in drinking; about 3 a. m. the fight occurred. At 7 a. m. when Johnson regained consciousness he found himself lying in a pool of blood and the club nearby was covered with blood. Both Mrs. Palmer and Mahaley had disappeared.