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.