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.