Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: theft

Monday, November 11, 1912

The unsuccessful grocery-store burglar from Friday night returned during the day Sunday and stole about $2 from the cash register. The Danville bloodhounds failed to arrive Friday, but last evening dogs arrived from Paxton and followed a trail to the vicinity of the Champaign gas house, where they lost the scent.

Five hold-ups occurred in Champaign Saturday evening, with particularly bad results for a wealthy retired farmer, who was knocked unconscious and sustained severe scalp wounds. The perpetrators are believed to be two well-dressed white men. The robberies occurred on North Walnut street, on East Main street, and in the Washington street subway.

A motorcyclist drove his machine through the ranks of the Odd Fellows attending the funeral of Andrew J. Dunlap at the First Christian church yesterday, as they prepared to leave for the Mount Hope cemetery. The man was recognized, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

I had no idea that the Urbana youth football team was called the Microbes. They were beaten 44 to 0 yesterday by the Champaign Stars on the Lynn street gridiron. Perhaps they ought to change their name to something larger.


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.”

Thursday, October 10, 1912

Two locomotive injuries are in the paper today. A man attempted to mount a moving Wabash engine, which had just started after a stop at the gas house crossing in Champaign, and fell beneath it, his leg being crushed off below the knee. He is in the Julia F. Burnham hospital, where he is reported to be in satisfactory condition.

A colored Pullman porter was alarmed by a crowd shouting what he took to be threats, when in actuality they were warning him of an approaching engine. “I heerd folks hollerin’ at me and it seemed dey wuz sayin’, ‘Ketch dat coon!—ketch ‘im! Dar he goes!’ Now it appears dat what dey sho’ nuff said was, ‘Look out for de keers, you blame fool niggah.” He was examined by a company surgeon, found to have a badly bruised hip, and taken to the poor farm.

There are rumors that a prize fight has been held, or may be held, in a barn near Mayview. Sheriff Davis is on the alert.

Garry Nordo, of Fifth and Vine streets in Champaign, has been “persecuted through some mysterious agency” for some time now. Last night a set of harness was stolen from his barn, and that was the last straw for Mr. Nordo. He sent to Paxton for a bloodhound, and this afternoon the hound (the charge of Deputy Sheriff Sid Cool) and a large crowd are on the trail of the “Black Hand,” which so far has led to north Race street in Urbana, near the city limits.

Tuesday, September 3, 1912

Finally I can write about what is in the Urbana Courier-Herald!

“Progressive headquarters have been established at 214 Main street, in the rooms formerly occupied by Claude E. Binyon.” This appeared in the personals column, amid all of the usual snippets about who visited whom, who is ill, and why one ought to shop for wall-paper at Leslie’s Drug Store. Later, on page 4, there is a notice about their campaign opening and a first meeting scheduled for tomorrow night. Among the speakers present will be a Rev. Otho Bartholow of Mt. Vernon, New York, whose “reputation as a speaker is well known.” I have heard Papa mention the new Progressive party—Mr. Roosevelt is their candidate. Mr. Roosevelt was our president before Mr. Taft—whom he selected to succeed him, but evidently now they are no longer friendly toward one another, as they are battling it out for the presidency, along with Mr. Wilson, the Democratic candidate. I would like to go to this meeting to hear what Rev. Bartholow has to say, but Papa says I am too young, and Mother says that ladies should leave politics to the men.

In the section with Illinois news by telegraph, there is a sad story from a town called Elizabeth about a woman who held her dead baby in her arms for six hours on a train, “fearful that she would be obliged to leave the train if she revealed the fact that her baby had died.”

There is also a report of a clever but unscrupulous Chicago fellow who was arrested by postal inspectors for fraud—he would read obituary columns in the public library to obtain names and then send cheap fountain pens to their addresses along with a bill for a far greater amount than their worth. “Many relatives paid the bills,” according to the report.

I am going to copy the full text of this item from Rockford that caught my eye, only because it is too sad for words. “The body of Miss Ludvicka Reder of Aurora, a nurse in a sanitarium here, who disappeared, was taken from Rock river. It is believed she committed suicide while temporarily deranged.” Yet in an article about a rich drowned man, investigators seem slower to jump to conclusions. I think I will just cut out the whole thing and paste it here.

In classified advertisements, I read how a man’s pocketbook was stolen at the fairgrounds by “a sneak thief in the jam at the flying machine.” Professor Wick continues to offer his services as a clairvoyant in his parlors on Church street in Champaign. And there is a weird advertisement of sorts under the heading CEMETERY—at least I think it may be an advertisement: “A piano, an auto, an outing and mother’s grave not endowed. Wonder if my children will be so ungrateful. Improvements and beauty being added to Mt. Hope daily.”

Finally, in St. Paul, Minnesota, a municipal court judge has ordered policemen, “Get the mashers parading St. Paul streets and insulting women. If caught red-handed give them a good clubbing, besides arresting them.”

My hand is cramping from all this writing. I suppose I had better go outside and air it out, lest it become twisted and ugly.