Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: law

Friday, December 6, 1912

Seventeen-year-old Elsie Slade, of Urbana, was taken into custody as a runaway in Danville. She had run away with two girls who had been visiting in Champaign. “They were arrested by a detective, who recognized the Wilson girl as unfit company for a lass of Miss Slade’s appearance.” Miss Wilson was arrested a couple of weeks ago, “following an encounter in a resort.”

In Quincy, a decree of divorce was granted to a fifteen-year-old mother of three children. She was married three years ago, and the charge was desertion.

The first jury of women in Idaho is apparently guilty of an “odd stunt,” because the hearing was adjourned while the jurors prepared the midday meals for their families, and they reached their verdict (finding a woman guilty of threatening a man with a revolver) in less than an hour.

Finally, there is a report from London that militant suffragettes decided at a recent meeting to blow up the lower house of Parliament if the government fails to adopt woman suffrage in a forthcoming bill, “according to a statement issued by a news agency.”

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Tuesday, December 3, 1912

One of the men who went off a bridge in an automobile the other day has died. James B. Busey, assistant cashier of Busey’s bank at Mahomet, died this morning at the Burnham hospital due to uremic poisoning resulting from internal injuries. This came as a bit of a surprise, as it had been thought that he was only suffering from exposure and nervous shock. He leaves behind a young wife and two infant children.

The District of Columbia court of appeals held that Thomas Edison is not the inventor of the motion picture film and that his patents are invalid, having “merely solved camera apparatus problems.” Mr. Edison had brought suit against the Chicago Film company for infringement on his patent. This decision will save millions of dollars to motion picture concerns.

Hsuan T’ung, the boy emperor of China, is seriously ill. “By the terms of the edict of abdication the boy emperor of China was permitted to retain his title and to reside in a palace in the Forbidden city with the dowager empress, Lung Yu. There he has been living in strict seclusion, in accordance with the ancient usage, and has been treated by his attendants and others as though he were still ruler of China.”

Saturday, November 23, 1912

John Schrank, the man who shot Theodore Roosevelt, has been examined by a team of alienists and declared to be insane. He will be committed to an asylum at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Here in town, Arthur Ogle, the Illini editor charged with contempt of court for publishing an editorial, was fined $10 and costs. Judge Philbrick said that the penalty was slight for such an attack on the integrity of the grand jury. “If it had been published in an ordinary newspaper of general circulation I should impose a severe penalty.”

Wednesday, November 20, 1912

SERVANT IN THE HOUSE MAKES WOE,” says the headline: A former cook at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house issued a writ in the Champaign court, seeking to regain two dozen knives and forks, a pair of gold opera glasses, and a sofa pillow which she claims the fraternity members, “angered because she left them without notice, refuse to surrender to her.” Law students at the house are preparing to fight the case.

Out of mixed amusement and horror, I will reproduce this item in “Illinois News by Telegraph,” from Sterling, in full: “Winfield Andrews, street car motorman, has emerged unscathed from wrecks and from affrays with belligerent passengers, but the unruly conduct of his own nasal equipment has put him out of the running and sent him to the hospital for repairs. Andrews was taken with a fit of sneezing. ‘Give us another volley,’ cried passengers on Andrews’ car, after he had ‘kerchooed’ ten times. ‘You’re just getting good.’ Andrews smiled between facial contortions and went at it again. He kept at it without a break for eight minutes. At the end of that time a doctor took an inventory of the damage done by the sneeze storm and found that Andrews had three loosened ribs and a dislocated shoulder.”

In Los Angeles, a grotesquely masked maniac with “an infernal machine containing enough dynamite to destroy an entire city block, a bottle of nitroglycerine and a .45 caliber revolver” took possession of the Central police station and held it for over an hour. A detective slipped behind him and knocked him unconscious, and the infernal machine’s fuse was lighted automatically! The detective hurled the machine into the street, where luckily there was no explosion, and the detective kicked at the dynamite and jumped on the fuse until it was put out.

Lastly, this advertisement made me laugh, which perhaps was the point, and perhaps not:

Tuesday, November 19, 1912

Sarah Durham, a Champaign seamstress, is seeking $50,000 in a lawsuit against C. W. Walcott, a well-known retired farmer living in Urbana. She charges that Walcott alienated the affections of his son, St. Elmo, from her. She says they were engaged in 1904 and that St. Elmo Walcott is the father of her nine-year-old boy. The elder Walcott, she charges, persuaded his son not to marry her. “Owing to the fact that the Walcott and Durham families moved in different social circles,” the article says, Miss Durham’s story of how she (as a high school girl) and Walcott (then a University student) became acquainted is “quite interesting.” It is, however, the opposite of interesting.

Saturday, November 16, 1912

The case of Arthur Ogle, the editor of the Illini who is charged with contempt of court for having published an editorial condemning the methods of the grand jury charged with investigating the student riot, has been continued one week. Judge Harker, dean of the College of Law, asked for leniency because of Ogle’s youth. “If that article had been written by a mature man, I can see that he would be deserving of punishment but here we have a boy, not yet twenty years of age, who hasn’t the discretion he will have a few years later.”

Thursday, November 14, 1912

James Cain, a farmer, appeared at the Lewis store where Margaret Lowry works as a bookkeeper and asked to escort her home. Months earlier she had rejected him, and so she refused, but he persisted until she agreed. On South Randolph street near her home, he exclaimed, “This is a good place,” and hit her twice on the back of the head with a hammer. Her condition is critical. The mangled body of her attacker, which could only be identified by his ring and hat, was found scattered along the Illinois Central track; it is believed to be a suicide.

James Eaton, the man who went mad with drink on election day and tried to kill a man at the polling place, was arrested yesterday. He was at the side of his dying baby and pleaded to be allowed to stay, but he was taken to the jail.

A Chicago woman was placing lighted blessed candles on the graves of relatives, when her clothing caught fire. A man ran to her and wrapped her in his overcoat, quenching the flames, but she was fatally injured.

After those stories of horror, I don’t know what to make of this next one. At first I thought it might be a made-up story because of the names. In Philadelphia, Magistrate Coward decided that it is no crime to call a policeman a “gink.” Policeman Pill of the vice squad had arrested Jack Hanlon, a former pugilist, whom he accused of calling him a gink while Pill was on duty. Said the judge, “I’m called worse things than that a dozen times a day. I don’t care how you take it. If that is all that the man said you had no right to arrest him.” During cross-examination by Hanlon’s lawyer, Pill admitted that he did not even know what the word meant.

Tuesday, November 12, 1912

“Interest in the indictment of four students for riot, this morning, paled somewhat when Arthur H. Ogle, editor of the Illini, the daily University newspaper, was arrested on a writ of attachment and brought before Judge Philbrick on a charge of contempt of court. An editorial in Saturday’s Illini, entitled “A Mock Tribunal,” in which the grand jury’s method was criticized for its investigation of the recent student riot, resulted in Ogle’s indictment and arrest.”

That is no joke, but here is a joke that also appeared in today’s Courier (“puzzle factory” is a slang term for “insane asylum”):

A highbrow was visiting the puzzle factory. As he passed cell 23 the grinning inmate demanded a hearing. “I must admit that I am at a loss for a suitable reply,” said the highbrow. “Tell me, why is a crow?”

“Caws,” grinned No. 23.

Saturday, November 9, 1912

The entire Champaign police force raided Hattie Gara’s notorious maison de joie at 201 North Water street in Champaign last night. Mrs. Gara, nine male patrons, and five female inmates were taken to the station. The patrons, whose names are listed in the paper, settled this morning for $7.50 each; Mrs. Gara and her girls await a hearing, but the usual fine is $27.50 for the proprietor and $17.50 for each girl.

A hardware store and a grocery were burglarized last night, although not much loot was taken: six razors, several knives, and a shaving brush from the hardware store, and nothing at all from the grocery, although a window had been pried open. The police have sent to Danville for bloodhounds.

A woman brought two boys who had been shooting pigeons into the Urbana police station. “Chief of Police Lindstrum disarmed them, taking an air rifle from one and a ‘nigger-shooter‘ from the other.”

The University of Illinois has opened a new archaeological museum in Lincoln Hall. Many interesting things are there, including the head of an Egyptian mummy!

A Chicago woman, the wife of a Democratic committeeman, sat in her home all night, reading election returns. She remarked, “I am glad Wilson won, because he is a good man.” A moment later, she fell dead, probably from strain caused by the election.

And finally, a hydroaeroplane beat an automobile in a race from Omaha to New Orleans. “The flying machine showed its ability to go about three miles to the automobile’s one, except when the automobile was using the best of roads.”

Monday, September 30, 1912

Two men claim to have seen a biplane fly over Urbana at ten o’clock this morning! “There is considerable speculation over the event as coming of the stranger of the air was not heralded.”

The sorority rushing season closed on Saturday “amid bedlam on John street. A burlesque band of students paraded in derision, while whirling autos driven by co-eds, carried pledges from their rooms to the sorority houses. There was plenty of excitement for two hours.”

John Philip Sousa, who will be here on Thursday, loves trap shooting. “Although he is an excellent shot, it is said he misses clay pigeons oftener than he allows a member of his band to play a false note.”

On Friday and Saturday at the state fair, Madame Somebody-or-Other from Cuba will drive her automobile down a 75-foot incline and turn a triple somersault! (I cannot make out her actual name, because there is a spot of jam over it. Strawberry, I believe.)

Illinois Socialists filed their list of presidential electors and University of Illinois trustees with the secretary of state; all of the trustee candidates are women of Chicago. And finally, the champion corn husker of Illinois sued another man for $20,000, charging “alienation of his wife’s affections.”