Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Charred body of man discoveed after barn fire

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press of Tuesday, May 3, 1927.

Identity of a man whose charred remains were found Monday evening in the debris of a barn fire, is being sought by sheriff's officers today.

A bullet hole in the man's skull and a badly burned 22 caliber rifle beside him, make either murder or suicide possible.

The initials E. D. K., found on a watch, and H. K., on a wedding ring, are the only clues so far discovered.

The barn, an old structure which had been unused for some time, burned Jan 16. It was located on the Pleasant Lake Road, about two miles from Lodi Town Hall, and across from the Burns School, and belonged to William Ossius, who lives in Ann Arbor.

Monday afternoon a ten year old boy, William Scbroen,who lives with William Fritz, Freedom Township, tried of his task of digging post holes and when in the vicinity of the old barn, started poking about in the charred debris. He found the skeleton, called Mr. Fritz, and the officers were notified.

Preliminary examination by Deputy Clifford West and Coroner E. C. Ganzhorn revealed that the man was of medium build. His body was badly burned, about all that remained being the skull, ribs and hip bones. A portion of the jaw had been torn away.

Beside the body were found a man's belt buclke with the initial E., some over all buckles scissors, looking glass, two jack knifes, a dime and a penny.

Mr. Ossius who was questioned after the discovery was made, could offer no explanation. He had not used the barn for a period of several months, was not living at the farm when it burned, and had never known haw the fire started. He collected about $400 insurance on the building, which he estimated to be about half its value.

The sheriff's department has no record of any missing person whose initials correspond to those found on the watch and ring.

Surprise has been expressed that the body was not found sooner. childern from the school have passed by the old barn daily, and the Schroen child said the skeleton was in plan view when he stumbled upon it.

Coroner Gazhorn has ordered the remains held, while sheriff's officers endeavor to determine identity.

That is the story. What do you think happened?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hangs Head Down From Moving Car

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press of Tuesday, April 23, 1907.

Harry Armstrong,night operator at Wiard's Crossing, (east of Ypsilanti) narrowly escaped death last night when dragged along head downwards by a moving freight car which he attempted to board. He miraculously escaped with a broken collar bone. Armstrong is the man who was slugged by a holdup man in the Wiard station last fall and was laid up for more than a month.

Armstrong's home is about half a mile from the station.

"It's such a nice night, come down and spend the evening with me," were his parting words to his wife and little daughter.

Twenty minutes later they found him lying beside the railroad track suffering agony from his injuries.

In attempting to board a freight train he slipped. His foot caught in the ladder on the side of a freight car and he was dragged along, head downwards for a distance of 10 to 15 rods. finally he dropped beside the track.

Dr. Byron Arnold of Denton was called and until his arrival Armstrong suffered intense pain. He was unable to sleep all night.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Joe King Almost Suffocated

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press onSaturday, April 21, 1907.

Joseph King, the well known shoe man, narrowly escaped suffocation when the fire broke out in John Kuster's meat market on Congress street (now Michigan Ave.) shortly after 2:30 o'clock this morning. It was from Mr. King's rooms above his shoe store that the alarm was turned in to the fire department.

Smoke from the burning meat market, which was gutted and an entire loss, poured into Mr. King's bedroom. He has been lying very ill for several days. The smoke was so thick that the light could not be distingushed from the bedside. Mrs. King and her sister, Mrs. Bourke of Jackson, were there. Frank Minnis, Mr. King's traveling salesman, was dummoned and assisted in getting Mr. King from his bed to fresh air near a window. It was a long time before the rooms could be freed of smoke.

Today Mr. King complained of soreness in his lungs. They feel as if they were raw. The effect of the smoke may be very serious, taken inconjunction with the illness which has afflicted him.

Mr. Kuster carried $700 insurance with John P. Kirk's agency. The insurance will probably cover the loss. The origin of the fire in unknown. The fire department did good work, else the fire would have spread and done damage to adjoining stores.

It is a strange coincidence that just one year ago today John Kuster Jr. accidentally cut off his fingers in the meat market.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Drunk Tears Out Sewerage in Jail

This story is from The Ypsilanti Daily Press of Tuesday, April 16, 1907.

Michael Smith known as Julius Smith was arrested yesterday charged with being a drunkard and tippler, first offense. In jail he gave an imitation of Carrie Nation.

He defied Officer Ryan, who warned him to get off the street. He attempted to show his pugilistic ability but was carried off to jail in a hack.

There he tore up the sewerage and broke all available furniture. Consequently, Deputy Sheriff Westfall took him to Ann Arbor last evening.

He was arraigned before the justice this morning and was fined $10 and $7.41 costs or 15 days in jail.

This jail sewerage, which was just recently installed, seems to be fated. A week ago a man named Martin Miller proved himsefl a destructive element by likewise tearing up the plaumming

Overtaken by Death

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press of Monday, April 1, 1907.

Mrs. Charles Carr died at her residence, 16 Hamilton street, at about 8 o'clock last evening. Her death is a great shock to the community at large. She has been active and in apparently good health, and showed no signs of callapse yesterday. She attended morning service at St. Luke's and it was over exertion in hurrying to church last evening which undoubtly brought on a callapse of the heart.

Mrs. CArr expressed being somewhat out of breath from fast walking, entering the church, only to leave it almost immediately, stating that she was going home. When she arrived at the church steps Mr. M. M. Read noticed that she staggered and hurried to her assistance.

She again stated that she was going home, but when only a door from the church, she became almost helpless fro m exhaustion. It was thought best to take her inside, but this was impossible as the warm air seemed ti stifle her, and when her granddaughter reached her side, only a few minutes later, her suffering was intense. A carrage and physician were summoned, and she was removed to her home saying as she went that she would not live through the night. She best knew he own condation, for she died shortly after her arrival home.

Mrs. Carr, whose maiden name was Clara Harper, was born at Clyde, Wayne Co., New York in 1834. She was married to Chas. C. Carr in 1854, and their removal to Ypsilanti, where she has since resided, with the exception of three years, was in 1859.

Mrs. Carr's life has been a quit, unassuming one. Her chief attribute was thoughtfulness of others and her unselfish devotion toward any good cause has made her greatly esteemed by all who knew her. Her temperament corresponded to that chareteristie in that she was always bright and energetic.

Mrs. Carr was a member of St. Luke's Episcapal church and since her affifiaton with that church she has been faithful in attendance.

Friday, March 16, 2007

House histories, talks and tours

Houses are the stages on which we enact the stories of our lives. The stories are sometimes drama, sometimes comedy, and sometimes, sadly, tragedy. These stories can the daily life of a family, with the birth of children, and the death of parents, and the changes that occur as a part of passing time. As a result of these changes a house becomes a home, and home is the most important place in our lives; and in the end, that which we want most is to go home.

Every house has stories to tell, stories of the people who lived there. These stories are of their hopes and dreams, and the drama of their lives, and the changing times in which they occurred. The stories may not be earth shacking events, but were important to those who lived them. These same stories may be of interest to those who now live in the house, and would like to know more of those who lived there before.

I would like to offer my professional services to those interested to learning the stories of their house. I can research the history of your house, find out when it was built, the names and stories of those who have lived there, and write a history of your house. I charge $35 per hour, and am willing to work out a payment plan, so you do not have to pay me all at once. Please contact me at my email address if you are interested in taking advantage of my skills. My email address is:

I am also available as a gust speaker for your club or group, and can, if you request, research a subject of interest to your club or group, and give a talk or your enjoyment. The usual charge for this is $50. Again, we can work out an arrangement if that is a problem. I once gave a talk to a class of schoolchildren, for which I received payment in brownies.

I can also give tours of any section of the city, or can research a subject and present a tour of interest to your group of club on request. Again the usual fee if $5 per person.

I hope you are interested in taking advantage of my skills, and will email me at:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Recovers from awful shock

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Thursday, March 14, 1907.

Burton Patterson, the electrician who was struck by a high voltage current at the power house Wednesday afternoon is resting easily at the Congress Hotel. There is every indication now that he will entirely recover from his awful experience.

Patterson owes his life to the prompt action taken by fellow workermen at the power house. His fall was broken by Roy Pringie, who was working beside him. Patterson was as stiff as a marble statue when laid on the ground. workmen ran to his side and began the life saving tacties. They are similar to to those employed to resusicitatn persons who have almost drowned. The arms are worked back and forth, to expand the chest, and start respiration and heart action. It was but a few minutes before he showed signs of returning life. A physician arrived and helped on the good work.

Two red spots in the head just above the temple showed where the current had struck the man. The hair was singed, too. Otherwise there were no marks on him.

Pattersonwas placed under opiates, and when he awoke during the night he showed much improvement. He rested well during teh remainder of the night.

It is the opinion of chief Engineer Curtis that Patterson's hair came in contact with the high voltage wire.

"The wire carried 22,840 volts," he said. "A high voltage current will leap but a very short distnace, although when established it may be drawn out to more than a foot. Patterson was a very careful worker. He came here from Detroit and was assisting in installing a new switchboard."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Find "Happy" Very Sick Man

The following story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Friday, March 8, 1907.

Sleeping on rude trunks which he fitted up for his bed, and scantily covered with layers of burlap, that odd genius, popularly known as “Happy Hooligan,” was found in a bare, cheerless room in the Union block, ill with pneumonia. Today, under orders of the city physician, he was removed to the county house for treatment.

“The man is undoubtedly insane,” said the city physician to the Daily Press. “He was refused admittance to the University of Michigan Hospital, and fearing that he delay in getting him admitted to the asylum in Pontiac might be fatal, we removed him to the county house. With good treatment he will likely recover.”

Chief of Police Gage says that he man had a little fuel when he arrived. He had some bread and milk for food. He became delirious and threatened to shoot his attendant with a revolver. The weapon was taken from him.

“Happy” is a sign painter. He strayed into town several years ago. No one knows where he came from. Neither is his real name known. Chief Gage says that it is Harry Roman. That is the name he places on his signs. Another man told the Press that he once made out a check for him and “Happy” hesitated when asked what name should be written in. He finally said Leslie, but gave no initials.

Hooligan is about 40 years of age. He is slender and delicate-looking, with a pale face, and a sandy mustache. He wears a small gray hat.

“Happy” caries a big tin watch which he prizes highly. He tells that it was owned by one of his ancestors, whom he claims, was a duke.

Prize fighting is “Happy’s” hobby. He isn’t a fighter but he knows all about the fast ones that wear gloves. He keeps a scrap book in which he pastes newspaper accounts of all the big fights. He likes to quote scripture, too. He is pretty well versed in the bible.

“Happy” wears a leather belt to which is attached a plate. On the plate are initials, and the information that in case of death word should be sent to a bureau in Philadelphia, where he can be identified.

He always had a roll of bills, and boasted that he wasn’t broke.