Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tradition Ended by Death

Mrs. Martha J. Shankland was 80 years of age on July 29, 1913, when she went to bed that night. All seemed well at the house at 517 Cross Street, where she lived with her daughter Harriet. At about 2:30 in the morning Harriet looked into the room where her mother slept. She saw her was asleep and all was quiet. There was reason for concern, although there had been no signs of despair or grief that day. “Mrs. Shankland had been in feeble health for some time. Recently occurred the death of her brother, and since that time she has been moody and despondent. She has never been able to become accustomed to his absence,” noted The Daily Ypsilanti Press of Wednesday, July 30, 1913. The next morning Harriet missed her mother when she arose. There was no trace of her in the house, and none of her cloths were missing. It was thought she had wondered away, dressed only in her night gown. “A search was at once instituted, neighbors and friends with automobiles volunteering their services, and scouring the country and environs of Ypsilanti, while persons on foot attempted to find some trace of her in nearer spots,” reported the account. Oscar Snyder, employed by an ice company, was driving his wagon across the bridge near the Peninsular Paper mill, where peninsular Place Apartments are now, when he saw the body in the Huron River. He at once informed officials at the paper mill. John J. Haviland, an employee of the paper mill oversaw the recovery of the body from the river. Mrs. Shankland was dressed only in her heavy bath robe, shoes and night cloths. Ypsilanti Mayor Frank Norton identified the body as that of Mrs. Martha Shankland. “The body was taken to the undertaking establishment of Clark Brothers,” reported the account. The coroner decided that a post mortem would not be necessary. “She had brought a rope with her, and crossing the bridge, had tied one end around a little tree at the top of the great concrete abutment, and the other around her waist. Then it would seem she had leaped into the darkness toward the river. The rope broke, and she struck her head on a jagged rock, a blow that doubtless produced unconsciousness at once,” reported The Daily Ypsilanti Press. The funeral was set for the Friday of that week, with interment in the cemetery at Dixbore. The death of Mrs. Shankland turned a tradition into a living memory, noted The Daily Ypsilanti Press of Thursday, July 31, 1913. All her life at Ypsilanti, Mrs. Shankland conducted a boarding and rooming house for students at the Normal College, now Eastern Michigan University. The college had no dormitories then, so students rented rooms in houses in the city. “Innumerable men and women who came here for their few years—members of classes that graduated 30 and more years ago—have memories of the days they spent within her homelike dwelling, and it has been their custom when they returned to the city for reunions or at any other time, to call upon her, and revive old memories. Mrs. Shankland was a figure of college life years before many of the splendid modern buildings of the campus were more than dreams, or even conceived.”

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pugilist Lands in Court after Winning Fight

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Wednesday, June 13, 1923. Seeking satisfaction through pugilistic methods in not always satisfactory; at any rate, it landed Freemont Peterson in jail. This is the way it happened. Harry Hixon has a cleaning establishment on Huron Street and Freemont Peterson was one of his costumers, his name is no longer on the books. According to the story told the judge, Peterson left a suit there to be cleaned, and in the cleaning process it was burned, or in some manner other way ruined. Several times Peterson declares, he endeavored to have the loss adjusted but without success, and last evening when he went to the hixon place, he intended to get satisfaction if possible. Peterson declares that what he really received at the hands of Hixon was not at all satisfactory. In act, he charges that Hixon hit him in the jaw. In the fight that followed, it seems that Peterson proved to be the best man. Hixon’s father was summoned before the fight ended, and when he endeavored to interfere Peterson’s son objected and a second round, by two different members of the same two families was staged, in which the Petersons were again triumphant. But here the law stepped in. Freemont Peterson was escorted to the city jail where he spent the night, and this morning Harry Hixon signed a complaint against him charging assault and battery. The law acted quickly, Peterson being arraigned during the forenoon. He pleaded not guilty, on the grounds that Hixon struck the first blow and trail will take place tomorrow morning. So far no suit has resulted from the second bout. (The jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty.)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

River Banks Not To Be Used AS City’s Dumping Grounds

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Tuesday, June 5, 1923. Dumping of rubbish in vacant lots in the city is not to be conuntenanced by the city any longer. With the Centennial nearing, it is felt the more imperative that the city be cleaned up and at the meeting of the city council last evening it was voted that the dumping of rubbish along the river banks should be prohibited henceforth. Not only are the river banks barred as a dumping ground, but all city property is included in the general order, and the street commissioner is authorized to post notices to this effect. The using of vacant property, especially the river banks, as a dumping grounds, was felt to be disgraceful to the city. As Alderman Ableson expressed it, “If the old Indians who used to live here could see what we’ve done to the river banks, they’d scalp the whole bunch of us.” In addition to the action on the part of the city, a communication from residents of North River and Norris Streets, protesting the dumping of rubbish on vacant lots in that vicinity, was favorably considered. The communication was referred to the aldermen of the ward, with instructions to investigate and report back to the council. The city is not without a dumping grounds. The Norris Street pit can be used for the dumping of all rubbish, as the pit should be filled up anyway, Alderman Beck announced.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Arrest Burglar Entering Davis Store at Depot

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Monday, June 4, 1923. Steve Michaels is in the city jail today facing a charge of attempted burglary following his arrest Sunday night by Officers Lawrence, Vay and Morey. Two companions escaped. About 10:30 Sunday night residents in the vicinity of Cross and River Streets saw three men prowling around back of the D. L. Davis store and notified police. The officers were dispatched and caught Michaels in the garage back of the store. The two men who were with him made good their escape when they saw the officers coming. Michaels had with him a revolver, two sledge hammers, the heads of which were covered with tape to prevent any sound, a jimmy, gloves and a flash light. Police confiscated his tools. Michaels had entered the garage through a window. The garage is connected with the store, and he was about to force entry into the store when captured. Michaels and his two companions, one of whom is known to police, have been in town only a short time. Saturday they worked for the Scovill Lumber Company at odd jobs about the yards, and were seen about town Sunday. They did not have a car. Michaels, who is about 25 years old, and a Pole, has so far refused to give any information as to where he comes from or who his companions were. He will be arraigned before Justice Stadtmiller some time this afternoon.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rapid Progress to Be Made On Funeral Chapel

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Tuesday, May 24, 1938. With the excavation on the Geer Funeral Home completed and the footings already poured construction is expected to proceed rapidly with the building scheduled for formal opening about January 1. Worden E. Geer is the owner of the new business. The home will be located on the former site of the First Baptist Church at the corner of Washington and Cross Streets. The building, which will face Washington St., has a total dimension of 75 feet, 8 inches by 63 feet with a driveway from Cross St. Space will be provided for parking. Exterior of both the Funeral Home and attached garage will be of face brick and a colonial design will be followed. The building will have a complete air-conditioning system. On the first floor is located the chapel with accommodations for 150 persons. From the chapel there is a convenient exit to the porte-cochere on the south. Adjacent to the chapel is the family room large enough for 40 people and which has a separate exit to the porte-cochere. Music will be provided by an electric recording organ. On the other side of the chapel is located the entrance lobby, reception room and office. Two slumber rooms are provided on the north side. Corridors provide access to the family room, also to the elevator, garage and storage room. From the Cross St. entrance there is a winding stairway to the second floor apartment consisting of living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook, bath and three bedrooms. There is a fireplace in the living room on the south and a covered porch over the porte-cochere. Mr. and Mrs. Geer will make this their home. Sales Display Room, operating room and equipment room complete the second story. Included in the full basement will be a contagious slumber room with a full length glass door. This room is especially wired for automatic fumigation. There will also be a recreation room, caretaker’s room, utility room, fruit room and a large storage room. Mr. Geer is the son of Mrs. Vera Geer and is well known in Ypsilanti. He served his apprenticeship with Stevens and Bush, after which he attended the Cincinnati College of Embalming. Upon graduation and after passing the examination of the Michigan State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors Mr. Geer was associated with J. E. Moore & Co. of this city. There will be an attendant on duty 24 hours each day.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pittsfield Has Grange Building

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, May 22, 1933. With the building filled to capacity, dedication exercises were held for the new Pittsfield Union Grange Hall, located on Saline Road, Sunday afternoon. The main speaker of the afternoon was C.H. Branble, Lansing, master of the Michigan State Grange, who told of the many activities carried on by the organization and praised the Pittsfield unit for its spirit of progressiveness. The first formal meeting in the new hall is to be held Wednesday evening.

Lightning Strikes Tree and House; Melts Wires

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Thursday, May 22, 1913. A large elm was struck by lightning and spit to the roots in the rear of the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Anderson on South Adams Street during yesterday’s storm. The current followed wires attached to the tree and a chimney, and entered the house, knocking some glass from a shelf and tearing off plaster in the upstairs room. Then the bolt knocked boards off the side of the house, and smoked paint on it. The wires, of which there were several, were completely melted by the lightning. Mrs. Anderson was in the kitchen but was not injured.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lanterns Left In Cemetery after Ghostly Council There

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Monday, May 21, 1923. Under the ghastly light of some 20 red lanterns ghosts held a council in Spencer cemetery Saturday night, leaving the lanterns there as proof of their visit. Residents in the neighborhood of the cemetery were startled by the appearance of the lanterns but none ventured into the cemetery in investigate, although many a wary glance was cast in that direction. Some of the good folk vouch for the fact that they actually heard Gabriel blowing his horn and fearing that the Resurrection Day was at hand, hastily summoned Constable Schneff and Justice Curtiss, who having safely piloted them through many temporal worldly storms, should be able to guide them up to St. Peter in the end, they felt. The constable and justice proved worthy of the confidence reposed in them, far outclassing a certain young man who, when asked by his young lady companion to stop the car and see what was wrong in the cemetery, stepped on the accelerator instead and tore past the scene with a speed which would have made old Ichabod Crane green with envy had he been able to compare it with his own feeble efforts in Sleepy Hollow nd would have cost him $25 and costs had Chief of Police Connors been on the scene and Justice Stadtmiller on the bench. The Young man is in disgrace today and Constable Schneff and Justice Curtiss the heroes of the occasion. For these two courageous men braved the dangers of a ghost council and invaded the cemetery, taking the lanterns away with them, and apparently breaking up the ghostly conference, for nothing more was heard of Gabriel’s horn and there was no noticeable signs of Resurrection yesterday. Today the lanterns are reposing in the barns back of the city hall,. The city does not claim them, nether does the D. U. R. and they are the only two possible temporal owners who have been questioned. Justice Curtiss and Constable Schneff were of the opinion that some fraternity had sent pledged to the cemetery with the lanterns after first surreptitiously removing them from the city streets, but this explanation having been proved false, it is now assured that they were left there by the ghosts after the justice and the constable broke up the party

Aged Resident Electrocuted By Edison Wires

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Monday, May 21, 1923. Coming in contact with a high tension Edison Co. wire which had come down in the storm last week William Gee, 78, was electrocuted Sunday morning. Mr. Gee, who roomed at 104 North Huron ST. had a little garden back of the Reinhart house in which he had been working this spring. Quite early in the forenoon he went down to the garden and in crossing the wires, which were hanging nearly to the ground due to the fact that a pole had given way in the storm, he was killed. The body was not found until 11 o’clock when Henry Teachout chanced that way. He was lying on his back, his hat still on and his pipe in his hand, and burns on his legs showed that he must have touched the wires and been knocked over backwards by the force of the electricity. Chief of Police John Conners and Coroner Birchfield were summoned and although no inquest was held, an investigation is being made. Coroner Birchfield was informed that the wires have been down since last Friday and that other people in the neighborhood have received shocks, but have not been seriously injured. No information could be obtained from the Edison office today as to whether or not the wires have yet been put up. Mr. Gee had lived in Ypsilanti only a short time coming here from Sumpter Township where he had lived most of his life. So far as is known, he had no relatives. Funeral services will be held Wednesday morning at ten o’clock from Belleville Methodist Church with interment at Belleville cemetery.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Arsonist May Be Setting Fires on Farms In County

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press Friday, May 6, 1938. Because of the sudden increase in the number of farm fires Sheriff Jacob B Andres of Washtenaw County is becoming increasingly apprehensive over the possibility of a ‘firebug’. A large fare in Dexter Wednesday evening caused the death of a woman, a fire in Dixboro Thursday night, and the destruction of two barns near Bridgewater Thursday night added greatly to the suspicions. Thursday evening the two barns on different farms belonging to William Klug were almost totally destroyed. The farms are located about seven miles west of Saline and one mile from Bridgewater and are a quarter of a mile apart. The place is known as the Phillip Blum farm. The first fire was discovered about seven p. m. when the barn on the unoccupied farm burned. Eight horses, two colts, a tractor, tools stored hay, straw and grain, and several small buildings were destroyed, although the vacant house was in no danger at any time. The horses had been put in the barn about 6:30. The second fire started in the other barn about 10:15 p. m. At this farm Mr. Klug resides with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hincks. About 30 head of cattle, 17 head of young stock, one horse and one colt, another tractor, tools hay and grain and a toolshed were destroyed. This barn survived a fire last fall which took all the other buildings with the exception of the house. As in the first fire, the house was not endangered. Origin of the fires was undetermined. The first barn was not wired for electricity. The Manchester Fire Department refused to answer the call to the first fire without a cash deposit. The second fire was answered by the Bridgewater Fire Department which had been forgotten in the first excitement. The second fire could not have been caused from sparks from the first as the wind was in the wrong direction. Mr. Hinck discovered the fire. Flames illumined the sky and were visible for miles Thursday night as the house at the Haskell Shankland farm on the Town Line Rd. north of Dixboro, caused extensive damage. An estimate of the loss has not been made and no one was injured in the blaze which attracted a large crowd of neighbors and passing motorists. Mr. Shankland was in the yard at the time the fire started. He noticed smoke on the east of the house, and on investigating, discovered the fire burning around a door frame and up the side of the room. The first ones who arrived saved most of the furniture and some dishes from the first floor; nothing was saved from upstairs, and only a few cans of fruit from the cellar. In about ten minutes it was too hot and dangerous to try to remove anything else. The woodshed, chicken coops and woodpile burned, and the firefighters put all their effort into keeping sparks and small fires from igniting the big barn. The house was gone when the Salem Fire Department arrived but they stayed awhile to put out fires that the brisk wind carried toward the barn and other small buildings from the burning timbers and trees. The house was covered by insurance.

Monday, May 6, 2013

McCormick Farm Barns Burned IN High Wind Today

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Saturday, May 5, 1923. The barns on the old George McCormick farm, 8 miles north of Ypsilanti in Salem Township, burned to the ground this afternoon, causing a damage of around $2,000. Mr. Kruse has been living on the farm and he discovered the blaze at about one o’clock todayin the top of the straw stack. A high wind tanned the blaze and made it impossible to put the fire out although a large number of neighbors soon gathered to lend whatever assistance they could. Because of the high winds and the start the fire had obtained before it was discovered, no effort was made to put it out. There were a few horses in the barn and these were taken out and all machinery moved away and saved. As the wind blew the flames away from the house, the fire was confined to the barn. The building was an old one, and insured, so the loss as far as the barn is concerned may not exceed $1,500. There was some hay in the barns but it is not known exactly how much or whether or not it was insured.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ellen Richards House Girls Learn Practical Home Work

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Thursday, May 3, 1933. Some exceptionally interesting work has been done in the Ellen Richards house of the Home Economics Department during the past college year. Over seven hundred dollars has been spent on improvements and new furniture, and a new system established there under the direction of Miss Faith Kidoo, head of the Home Economics Faculty which enables work of a broader scope to be accomplished. A complete new dining room set was among the things purchased. For the kitchen a new gas range was bought and new linoleum was placed on the floor. Besides these things new beds were secured including mattresses. A fine new washing machine was also purchased. For the living room the class has purchased a large davenport, and the floors of this room were varnished by the students. Finances for this project were secured through the home economics lunch room together with some money received from the college. Before selecting the new furniture the Home Economics class visited Detroit and Ann Arbor to get an idea what to buy and then returned here because they felt they could get more value for the money which they had than they could elsewhere. The selecting of the furniture was made the subject of study and was taken up in class discussions where such things as cost, kind and practicability were considered. Besides purchasing the furniture the girls painted and varnished parts of the house without aid. The system under which the students work at the practice house is to have the house occupied by seven girls at a time. They must be seniors in college unless there is a vacancy and a new set of students is taken every quarter. At the present times, Miss Mabel Stanhope of Hart is the pioneer student there. Although getting credit for only one quarter Miss Stanhope has lived at the house during the whole college coarse. This is because it so happened that there was always a vacancy for her to fill. These seven students have a systematized way of going about the art of housekeeping in order to make the atmosphere of the place more home like one of the seven girls is appointed ‘house mother’ Her duty is to take charge of the buying which she does on Saturday. She also computes the cost of keeping house and superintends the six so called ‘House Daughters.’ Each one of the house daughters has her special duty and in order that the unpleasant work is not done by the same person for the whole quarter each week the girls change duties for this way practiced in housekeeping is gained from every angle. As an example of the work accomplished by the students’ costs of meals were given by Miss Kiddo. The average cost of breakfast per person is 9 to 11 cents lunch 13 to 15 cents and dinner 20 to 25 cents. To prove that for this price good meal can be prepared she gave the following menu for dinner: Browned beef stew and dumpling, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, perfection salad. The meals are always served but the person serving sits at the table with other diners. This Miss Kiddo states is to get away from the old idea of class and also to make it seem more home like. Miss Kiddo declared that it would be splendid if more cottages co8ld be established and run by the student co-operatively because of the enjoyment derived from such a system. “The girls value the Ellen Richards house more than they do their sorority,” she concluded.

Caught in Belt, is Killed; Body Badly Mangled

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Saturday, May 3, 1913. Frank Everett, Railroad Street, 32, a laborer at the Peninsular Paper Company, was instantly killed this morning, at 6:45, at the factory, when his hand was caught between a belt he was fixing and a revolving wheel, and he was drawn in. He is survived by a wife and two children. When the machine was stopped and the body recovered, it was found to have broken nearly every bone in his body, and an arm and both legs were torn completely off. Dr. G. M. Hull was called, and the remains were taken at once to the undertaker. When the coroner had made inquiries, it was decided not to hold an inquest, the death having plainly been accidental. Mr. Everett was a balloonist on the side, and had made 18 ascensions. The funeral will be held at the home of his mother, Mrs. Russo.

Ford Dam Open as River Rises

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Press of Tuesday, May 2, 1933. With five sluice gates open two wheels running and nine inches running water over the top of the Ford dam at the power site, the Ford Motor Company is carefully watching the water condition in the rainy period which stated Saturday. A height of 685 feet above sea level is maintained at the dam and water reaching a higher altitude than this is useless to the plaint. When 685 feet of water was attained Sunday night the sluice gates were opened to let the water go down the river. Locally the river reached its peak Monday, when the water came up to the railroad tack which curves along the river bank to the plant. Rain of last night and today has served to increase height of the river. A singular manifestation of Sunday’s storm took place on the William Wiard farm in Ypsilanti Township, on Wiard Road south of the Ecorse highway. The Wiard household had watched six or seven maples and evergreens being uprooted on the Archie Freeman farm owned by Henry Ford, and then saw the funnel shaped cloud cross the field toward the house and barn on the Wiard property, a loud noise accompanying its course. It suddenly changed its direction and went like a whirlwind through a pool of water, catching the water up and carrying it into the air 500 feet it was estimated by members of the family. It then went on across the Ecorse Road. Fish are scattered over the near-by field.

A Saloon No Longer

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Tuesday, May 2, 1913. With John Kings’ passing from the saloon at 304 East Congress Street (now East Michigan Ave.) passes one saloon from the city; and incidentally passes the life of that building as a saloon. It, as well as the saloon at 309 East Congress Street, run by William A. Moore, are within the 500 foot limit, prescribed by law, about a school house, to be kept free from saloons. It will not be rented toa prospective salon keeper in the future. Mr. King is moving from the building because the proprietress will not put in the improvements he deems necessary, as he says. It is within 500 feet of the Woodruff school.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Trial Demanded in Chicken Case

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, April 18, 1938. Charles Long, James Poole and William Duckett, all residents of this city, demanded examination on chicken theft charges when arraigned in Ann Arbor this morning. The trio appeared before Justice Harry Reading and their hearing was set for Apr. 22. In the meantime all are held in county jail in lieu of $1,500 apiece. A fourth Ypsilanti resident, Amos Dew, accused of receiving and disposing of the purloined fowl also demanded trial and examination was set for Apr. 21. AS his alleged offense is a misdemeanor bond of but $500 was required for his release. It has not been provided.

Condemn House and River

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on April 17, 1923. The second and third floors of the old brick building at 323 River, corner of E. Cross and River, was last night condemned by the Ypsilanti Board of Health and notice is to be served on the tenants that they must vacate as soon as City Attorney can draw up the necessary papers. Chief Connors today stated that the old building had been a sore spot in the city for years with conditions daily growing worse and that he will serve the notices on the tenants ordering them out of the building as soon as possible.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Deputy Sheriff Elliott Resigns

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Tuesday, April 17, 1923. Chief Deputy Dick Elliott of the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department today made public his resignation from the department which takes effect May 1. Mr. Elliott is leaving to accept a position with the Dawson Construction Co. which holds forth much greater inducements in the way of remuneration, he stated this morning. Mr. Elliott has been with the department four years and nine months and in that time he has made an enviable record. He served under Sheriff Lindenschmidt five months, under Sheriff Pack 4 years and this past four months under Sheriff Robinson and each has stated most emphatically that Mr. Elliott was one of the best officers they ever had to work with. Mr. Elliott will be missed in Ypsilanti quite as much as in the county department as he has worked with Chief of Police John Connors, leading his assistance whenever there was need for it. Chief Connors today stated that the department is losing a real officer and that he deeply regrets Mr. Elliott’s move. Mr. Elliott has been instrumental in many of the most important cases the county has handled since he was with the force. Chief among them are the Burk Fulmore slayings of Saline for which Sam Moceri is now serving a life sentence in Marquette and Tony Spino in Jackson and Avivle Hawkes robbery in Whittaker for which Sam Stanich is now serving a term in Jackson. Mr. Elliott was also instrumental in tracing Mrs. May Moreau notorious blackmailer, who some time ago endeavored to secure money from people in this city. “Elliott was a real officer. When he arrested a man he first got ‘goods’ enough on him so the court could convict him. I don’t believe a case was ever lost where Dick Elliott made the Arrest,” Justice Stadtmiller stated today.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Two Incendiary Fires Started Department Short Handed This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, April 2, 1923. Nineteen fires in the past seven days, six calls over the week end, two fires Sunday deliberately set and the fire department handicapped by the illness of Chief Miller who is confined to his home with influenza and the resignation of one man, is the record which the city fire department ha to report today. Whether or not an investigation will be conducted into the two fires which were of incendiary origin, the firemen were unable to say today. Both fires were started in old shacks which were mainly an eye-sore. Because of the absence of the chief no one was able to make an authoritative statement. Damage estimated at around $500 was sustained when the old Jacob Grob barn burned, but the other fire was less serious. The call to Norris St. came about 8:30 in the evening. The fire was discovered before it had gained much of a headway and the men were able to quickly extinguish it. The old shack was not in use. While the men were at Norris St., neighbors discovered the Grob fire. Every effort was made to get word to the men but before the telephone girls could find anyone to take the message to the department, the men saw the fire and went to the rescue. The whole sky was lighted by the flames from this fire and the blaze could be seen for miles around. While the firemen were still working on the Grob fire, a call came from the Lawrence Anderson house, 725 W. Congress St., where a roof fire had started. Small damage was done here. Because of the fact that both the Norris St. shack and the Groh barn are not equipped with telephones, and not in use, it was almost impossible for the telephone girls to let the firemen know of calls which came in after they left the barns for Norris St. A call came in on the Grob barn fire and the girls made every effort to get in touch with the department, but before they were able to send word, the men had seen the flames. The call to West Michigan came at a time the men were at the Grob fire. Chief Miller’s son was passing the fire barns and hearing the bells there took the call to Michigan Ave. The men were able to get to the Anderson house in time to put out the blaze before it had obtained a start. Damage at the Norris St. fire and the Anderson home was slight, the men report. They are today expressing utmost gratitude to the telephone girls for their efforts to locate them and report the fires. The first week end fire occurred Saturday afternoon when the roof of the Gillian house 601 Emmet caught fire from a spark from the chimney. Damage here was probably around $100, firemen state. Sunday morning a roof fire at the William Richter house, 203 Maple, caused considerable damage. This fire is thought to have started from a spark from the chimney. Besides the fires in the city there was a grass fire outside the city limits on Michigan Ave., near the bend, and tow of the men were called out there with chemicals to put it out. The fire occurred Sunday afternoon. It caused no damage. Firemen today stated that only the two barn fires out of the nineteen calls in the past seven have been incendiary. All of the other blazes have started from some known cause, they feel confident. The men today are nearly worn out from the unusual amount of work they have been compelled to do. It was 2:30 this morning before they were through with their work for last night and were able to rest. Because of the fact that the department was short-handed by two men, more difficulty was encountered in combating the fires than would have occurred ordinarily when three calls come in at once. The work of the fire department in meeting this unusual situation so satisfactorily is being highly commended today.
Orphans in need of Clothing for Father’s Rites This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Friday, April 1, 1938. The five young children of John Channel, 64-year-old WPA worker, who died Wednesday night unattended by a physician at his home, 540 Jefferson Ave., are in dire need of clothing, Miss Inez Graves, social worker, revealed today. Mrs. Channel has been left with the care of three girls, 8, 12 and 14 years of age and two boys 14 and 17 with no certainty of the future. The boys particularly need trousers Miss Graves said, to attend the funeral of their father. Short knicker pants, size 14, and a long pair of trousers, waist 28 and length 31, would provide the boys with adequate clothing. The girls have dresses, but more could be used to good advantage. Funeral services for Mr. Channel will be Saturday at 2 o’clock at the Church of God. Other Clothing Needed In addition to the Channel family needs, Miss Graves stated, there are others in similar circumstances. There is special need for boys’ blouses, sizes seven to 14, boys stockings, and knickers and long pants for boys. Any material that could be converted into blouses or pants would be appreciated. Miss Graves said. Available women relief workers can make clothing over for use.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Warm Weather brings Fighting

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday, March 23, 1938. Early spring weather brought thoughts of love and fishing to youths in this area Tuesday, and resulted in two fights. One here involved six men on the banks of the Huron River and one in Milan 28 men near the railroad tracks. Hospitals received three from the local fracas, and one from Milan. Police said the fight here started when Cyril E. Kennedy, 11 South Grove Street, disturbed three men who were fishing on the river bank near the water works, and when told to go away, refused. The trio, Emerson Golden, 19, Elijah Thompson, 17, and Kenneth Walker, 21, then knocked Kennedy on the head with a piece of pipe. At this juncture, Edward and Thomas Riley jumped into the fray to aid Kennedy, and were hit over the heads and dumped into the river for their pains. Police who pulled the Rileys out of the river called an ambulance for them and for Kennedy and took the fishermen to the station but did not hold them. They said the three who were taken to the hospital precipitated the battle. Stitches were taken in the scalps of the Riley’s , and with Kennedy they were later discharged from Beyer. Burt Bolster, 22, Dundee, was treated at Mercy Hospital, Monroe, for a fractured jaw he clamed he sustained in a free for all fist fight among 28 young men in Milan Tuesday evening. Bolster told sheriff’s officers he was having an argument with another man over a girl when four cars drove up and and youths jumped out and began fighting. Deputy Sheriff Charles Blanck was called but they drove away before he could question them.

House Struck by Lightning Burns

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday, March 23, 1938. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Brace and infant son, located at the corner of Bemis and Crane Roads burned to the ground about 11:30 Tuesday night after it had been struck by lightning. Loss which was estimated at $2,000 was not covered by insurance. Mr. and Mrs. Grace and son were visiting at the home of her patents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Estermeyer, Ypsilanti, when the tragedy occurred. Mr. and Mrs. Victor Grace, who live east of the Albert Grace home, heard the bolt and travelled three miles to report the fire as telephone wires in that area had been affected by the storm. The house had been a street car which had been converted into living quarters. Neighbors and a group of people at at party at the Oaklawn School rushed to the fire but were too late to save the building or its contents. The pet dag, “Babe” and four pigs in a pen at the north of the house were saved. Mr. Mrs. Grace are staying at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Estermeyer at present. They may rebuild in the summer.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Killed by Train at the Knapp Crossing

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Wednesday, February 13, 1913. The commonplace but no less sad tragedy of a man meeting a lonely death of the railroad tracks was repeated Tuesday night just about a mile and a half west of the city at Knapp’s crossing. It was train No. 6, due to reach Ypsilanti at 6:25 that struck the man. He was brought on the train to the baggage room and from there conveyed to Jay Moore’s undertaking establishment. The coroner Dr. Clark, of Ann Arbor, came and by means of letters in the victim’s pockets his identity was established. He was a marine fire man, Charles Stieber by name, and his home is in Cheboygan, Wisconsin, where his mother resides. Whether he has a family besides his mother is not known. She has been advised of his death by telegraph. The young man was twenty-two years old and rather shabbily dressed, though the body was so shattered by its impact with the train that it was difficult to judge the cloths. An inquest to fix the responsibility for the accident will be held in Justice Stedtmiller’s office next Wednesday night.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Students Arrested with Beer

Five young men were arrested on the morning of Wednesday, February 7, 1923, after their car skidded into a water hydrant at 2:00 a.m. and officers found three cases of beer in the car. The young men said they were students at the University of Michigan, and gave their names as, Ronald Selway of Seattle, Washington, James Hoover of Debols, Pa., Max Van Sandt from Oklahoma City, Okla.: Sheldon Brown from Dubols, Pa.: Lawrence Howe of Clearfield, Pa.. Two of the students said they were seniors and expected to graduate in June. The other three students were freshmen. All of the young men were members of a fraternity at the University, and one was a member of the Michiganensian. That afternoon the five were arraigned before Justice Stadtmiller on a charge of unlawfully transporting and having in their possession 63 pints of beer. “According to the story told Justice Stadtmiller, the boys had gone to Wyandotte where they purchased drinks. Two of them, both freshmen, became intoxicated, but the other three were not. One of the boys, Ronald Selway, a senior from Seattle, Washington, took all responsibility for having the booze in the car, stating that he purchased it for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house, 1408 Washtenaw Avenue, the inference being that possibly it was for J-Hop consumption. He declared that he did not tell the rest of the boys that he had secured the liquor, or that it was in the machine, and that they accordingly knew nothing of its presence. The boys corroborated his story. Selway himself does not drink, he told officers, and he was not drunk when arrested,” reported The Daily Ypsilanti Press of Thursday, February 8, 1923. The five waived examination and were bound over to the March term of the circuit court. Bail was set at $2,000, which none were able to give. All were taken to the jail at Ann Arbor.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vorce Home is Burned

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press of February 1, 1913. The horrors attendant upon a fire in the country were experienced Friday afternoon by Fred Vorce when his country home near the county line three miles east of Ypsilanti burned to the ground. It took littlemore than an hour for this substantial structure built when big timbers were liberally used to become ashes. It was about five o’clock in the afternoon when flames burst from the furnace room. Earlier in the day Perry Vorce had cleaned the carbide lighting plant in the furnace room and refilled the tank. This he had done on many former occasions, but in some way the gas seems to have escaped. Fred Vorce went down later into the furnace room and detected a peculiar odor which he could not identify. Twenty minutes later, shortly after his wife had returned home, there was a terrific burst of flames from the furnace room. R. Vorce owns a chemical fire extinguisher and he quickly set this into operation, but it made no headway in quelling the fire which had begun large. The word quickly spread abroad tha the homestead was burning and farmers from miles around made their way to the scene. All helped in saving the furniture and this was entirely accomplished except in the case of the two rooms above and the contents of the cellar. The wind blew violently and it seemed doubtful at times if the barns could be saved. The horses and cows were brought out, but no attempt was made to remove the 400 bushels of beans stored there. However the fire was so valiantly fought that it was confined to the one house. The house which was destroyed was the old Vorce homestead into which Fred Vorce moved with his bride about two years ago. The parents, Mr. and Mrs. Perry Vorce, who are wealthy farmers, immediately opened their home across the way to the son and his wife, and the furniture was taken there at once. The insurance, which amounted to but $1200 would not go far toward replacing the homestead.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Milton Hightower: The Clever Burglar

On the morning of Sunday, January 28, 1923, Roy Lindsey, who lived in an apartment at 102 South Washington Street, Ypsilanti, Heard someone at the back door of the house. Lindsey took hold of a pistol, and went to investigate. In the back hallway, between the two apartments, Lindsey found Milton Hightower who had just entered the house. Lindsey held Hightower at the point of his pistol, a D. L. Davis called the police. Ypsilanti Chief of Police John Connors received the call asking him to send a man to the house. Connors later said he did not know the reason for the call, and if he had, he would have gone himself. Instead, he sent Officer William Morey to the house. “When the officer arrived Hightower was apparently drunk. During the time he was held by Mr. Lindsey he had pleaded to be allowed to go, stating that he was employed at an Ann Arbor fraternity and would have to be there for work later in the morning. Lindsey also thought he might be drunk and refused to consider allowing him to go,” reported The Daily Ypsilanti Press of Monday, January 29, 1923. When Morey arrived, he thought Hightower was drunk and failed to handcuff him. “As they left the house Morey slipped on the ice sidewalk and at the same instant Hightower tripped him and ran. Officer Morey threw his club at the fleeing man, hitting him on the back of the head and damaging only the club, which bounded high in the air. Morey also shot, but was unable to hit Hightower, who must carry a potent rabbit’s foot,” noted The Ypsilanti Record of Thursday, February 1, 1923. Chief Connors was informed of what had happened, and arrived on the scene soon after. Connors and Morey searched the neighborhood, but could not find Hightower. Chief Connors did learn Hightower was employed at the Chi Psi house at 620 South State Street in Ann Arbor. As police entered the front door of the house, Hightower, without a word to anyone, calmly walked out the back door of the kitchen. At this time Hightower was on parole from Jackson prison, on a charge of burglary. He had two more reports to make at the prison before his parole ended. He had been sentenced in 1917 to 5 to 15 years in prison for a robbery in Detroit. He had been paroled in 1920. Nothing more was heard of Hightower until April, when Chief Connors received a tip that Hightower was returning to Ypsilanti. When Connors was sure he knew where Hightower was to be found, on the evening of Saturday, April 15, 1923, he summoned officers Lawrence, Morey and Washtenaw County Deputy Sheriff Dick Elliott. The men surrounded the building, on the south side of Michigan Avenue between Huron and Washington Streets. “As he (Connors) went up the stairway, Hightower went to the door to see who was coming, and recognizing the chief, rushed back in, barricaded the door and was about to jump out of a two story window when the chief broke through the door. Seeing Mr. Elliott standing below the window Hightower turned back in the room to face the chief, and realizing that escape was cut off, he surrendered with trouble,” reported The Daily Ypsilanti Press of Monday, April 16, 1923. Hightower was arraigned on the afternoon of Monday, April 16, 1923, and asked for an examination which was set for April 24, 1923. He said he was too drunk on the day he entered the Davis house to know what he was doing. Bail was set at $5,000 which he was unable to secure. At the examination his case turned over for trial at the circuit court in the May term. Hightower was most likely returned to the prison at Jackson, to complete the previous sentence.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Farmer shot by man attempting to steal to steal traps

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Monday, January 8, 1933. Leroy Fulton, Cherry Hill, was shot Saturday afternoon by Erwin Herrin, no address, when Fulton caught Herrin in the act of stealing his traps, according to Trooper Paul Frederick of the state police. Fulton, who was not seriously injured, was treated for shotgun wounds at Eloise Hospital, and Herrin was apprehended in Dearborn, by Sergeant Bruce McGlone and Trooper Frederick. According to the trooper’s statement, Fulton surprised Herrin on his Cherry Hill farm, and was struck over the head when he attempted to stop the theft. Fulton says that Herrin then pointed his shotgun at him and ordered to hold up his hands, first shooting into the ground. Fulton claims that Herrin then ordered him to run for the house and threatened to shoot as soon as he was on his way. Although Fulton thought the threat was just ‘talk’, he started for the house and when he turned, Herrin fired the shots striking Fulton in the back. Fulton was saved from serious injury by his heavy clothing. Trooper Frederick received the complaint and traced Herrin, who admits he is a floater, to Dearborn. The trooper then communicated with Sergeant McGlone and the two offers arrested Herrin and confined him to the Dearborn Township jail. Herrin is to be arraigned before Justice Mokersky, Inkster, today.

Fire Damages Fletcher House

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Monday, January 8, 1923. Fire which caused a loss estimated at $1,500 broke out in the Sam Fletcher house, 433 South Huron Street Sunday morning at 9 o’clock and only prompt action on the part of the local fire department saved the house from being destroyed, Mr. Fletcher states. It is thought that the fire started from a spark from the furnace falling onto a pile shingles used for kindling, which were lying near the furnace door. The fire had just been replenished for the morning when Mrs. R. Wigle, who is visiting at the Fletcher house smelled smoke, and opening the cellar door discovered that the whole basement was filled with smoke and flames. The department was at once summoned and the blaze put out, but not until every room in the house but one had been damaged by smoke. The fire was confined to the basement, but it had gained considerable head way before it was discovered, and the smoke had penetrated through the entire building. Mr. Fletcher states that the fire department was at his house in less than five minutes time and put out the blaze in short order. Loss is partially covered by insurance.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Powell Plant is destroyed by Fire

This story was published by the Daily Ypsilanti Press on Wednesday, January 8 1913. The first fire of 1913 occurred this morning, Charles W. Powell, waking up about quarter before three o’clock, was startled by clouds of fire streaming up to the south of his house. Judging that it was the Ypsilanti Garment company’s plant, he hastily telephoned for the fire department. Mrs. Powell meanwhile discovered, however, that the blaze proceeded from their own new tire setting plant, which is just east of the garment factory. There was no hope whatever of saving the building or contents, for when the fire department came out of the station they could see the reflection of the fire and the building was practically gone. There being no wind the fire did not extend to other buildings around, and the garment company’s plant was not damaged The building was a small frame structure built by Mr. Powell for his tire setting work and for work in pressed steel. It was 14 x 20 and was built only last fall, so had never been regularly occupied as yet. It was filled worth machinery and tools and these were entirely ruined. A surprising circumstance is the fact the burning of so small a building would create heat enough to work such complete destruction. The building has been insured with the last two or three weeks for $1200, so that the loss sustained is pretty well covered. It stood on land leased for the Ypsilanti Garment Co.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Damage Case is Finally Settled

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Friday, January 5, 1923. A case started in June, 1920 was settled this morning when Justice Curtiss received from the county treasurer a check for $63.40 in payment of damages sustained by Ferdinand Palma when dogs killed three of his thoroughbred sheep. According to law, when unknown dogs kill animals, damages shall be paid by the county, as the county collects a dog tax. In June 1920 three sheep valued at $35 apiece were killed and although an effort was made to discover the owner of the dogs responsible for the damage, it was not successful. Shortly after the sheep were killed, the payment of such claims was taken from the township to the county treasury, claims to be determined through the county board of auditors. It was necessary for Justice Curtiss to file a new claim and the case has been hanging fire ever since. Today the check was received, the adjustment being made on the basis of the meat value of sheep in that year.

Think Booze Car was Stolen, Men Took D. U. R. Later

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Friday, January 5, 1923. That the Hayness car abandoned here yesterday by its two occupants after an accident in which their load of Moonshine was spilled, was a stolen machine is the theory police have advanced today following the discovery that the machine is listed as belonging to W. W. Sperry, 1416 East Grand Blv.Detroit. Mr. Sperry will probably be notified as soon as Chief Connors, who has been out of the city for a few days, returns this afternoon. In the mean time acting chief Morey has put the machine in a local garage pending Mr. Connors arrival. The identity of the drivers still remains unknown. Some time after the accident happened Mr. Morey was notified that two men answering the description given of them by the waiter in the Ypsilanti restaurant who was the only eyewitness so far discovered, were seen boarding a limited car at Prospect Street, going east. Mr. Morey was told that the men took a taxi to Prospect St., where they waited with the taxi until an eastbound interurban came along. They were seen to board the car, but just haw far they went is not known. The description of the men who boarded this car, and that of the two men seen to leave the auto, tallies. One was a tall heavily built man, wearing a overcoat with a fur collar. The other was a shorter man. Both were well dressed Where they took the taxi from or who drove the machine, Mr. Morey was not informed. The broken crocks and a bottle full of their contents were saved for evidence.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Newton’s Store Robbed in Night

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Thursday, January 4, 1913. Police were notified this morning that the Newton store on the corner of Monroe and Huron streets was robbed last night of a quantity of cigars and cigarettes. When Harry Newton, proprietor, went to his store this morning, he discovered that the glass in the upper window pane had been broken and the window unlocked and then raised. Looking over his stock he found nothing missing except the tobaccos. Both Deputy Sheriff Dick Elliott and officer Morey were summoned and mde an investigation. There was no clue to the robber other than the tracks in the snow which went south on Huron street toward the cider mill. Newton has no idea of what time during the night the store was entered, and has not yet estimated the value of the goods stolen. He had not left any money in the store police were told. Officers are now working on the case in an endeavor to ascertain who committed the robbery.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ypsilanti Girls hurt in accident here last night

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Monday, January 11923. Miss Gwendolyn Staib and Miss Ruth Laflin are in Beyer hospital, suffering from injuries received when the car in which they were riding was struck by an unidentified autoist as they were returning home from a party in Ann Arbor last evening at 12:30. As the auto was driving into Ypsilanti on the Washtenaw Ave. road, the machine crashed into them, taking off a wheel of their car. The auto did not stop, and they have no way of knowing who the driver was. Miss Staib, who was sitting in the front seat, was injured more seriously than the rest of the party, being badly cut and bruised. She was unconscious for some time, but this morning has regained consciousness and is reported as being much better. The machine was driven by Stanley Davies. Roy Fitzpatrick was in the back seat with Miss Laflin. The girls were taken at once to the William Strang home where first aid was administered, and later they were taken to the hospital. Neither of the young men were badly hurt. Both were from Ann Arbor. Miss Laflin, while cut somewhat around the eyes, is not considered in a serious condition. She is suffering from sever nervous shock, but as soon as she recovers from the nervousness it is thought she will be able to return home. Miss Staib has bled profusely and her condition is much more serious.