Archive for Friday, August 3, 2012

100 years ago: Lawrence man jailed after suspicious house fire

August 3, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Aug. 3, 1912:

  • "Accused of arson, Calmer Riddle is being held in the county jail today. He was taken into custody this morning following the rumors that he had started the fire in his home at 625 Vermont street last night. A charge of arson probably will be preferred against the man if the investigation offers sufficient evidence of his having started the blaze.... It is alleged that in the closet where the fire was found, rags saturated in coal oil were lying on the floor. This led to the suspicion that the fire had been set and an investigation followed.... [Investigators] learned from some rumors at the place that a fire had been discovered by them in the same place about a week ago but that they had put it out without calling in the fire department.... Underneath the first floor standing on a cross piece between two of the sills Marshall Myers found a package of papers with the end charred, showing that it had been afire but had gone out before burning entirely. It is suspected that this was a torch that had been used to start either the fire last night or a previous one.... Mr. Riddle was seen to leave the place last night shortly before the fire. It is said that he came out of the front door, closed it and then hastened across the yard and down the street. He did not run but the witness stated that he walked 'very fast.'... Just what the outcome of this case will be is rather uncertain. Arson cases are very infrequent in Lawrence."
  • "Mrs. Hattie Morrison was in police court all morning being tried on a charge of conducting a disorderly house. The testimony drew out and at noon Judge Benson adjourned the court until 1:30. At that time the witnesses began to reappear on the scene but no Hattie Morrison arrived. The bird had flown during the recess. It was stated that she left on the Number One for other parts.... Five others charged with having been visitors, frequenters or inmates of the place were then brought before the judgment bar and all pleaded guilty. A total of $55 in fines was imposed by the court."

Comments

FlintlockRifle 2 years, 7 months ago

""Mrs. Hattie Morrison was in police court all morning being tried on a charge of conducting a disorderly house ''----In our town just a short 100 years ago, oh for the shame. Miss Sarah you still have the best reads every day, thanks.

AnnaUndercover 2 years, 7 months ago

"This soiled dove had wings!"

This observation is posted without any permission whatsoever from the uppity friend who posted it on my Facebook wall.

:)

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