© 2002-2017 Leona L. Gustafson

NOTE:  The format for this page is somewhat more time consuming than I had anticipated.  For that reason I have decided not to make additional entries here.  All newspaper items that appear in the future will be found at Old News from Columbus Newspapers

News Clips of Genealogical Value
Columbus & Central Ohio
from the
Columbus Citizen
Transcribed by ©

The Citizen
An Independent Newspaper.
Published Daily, Except Sunday

George W. Dun, Business Manager
George Smart, News Manager

Thursday Evening, March 2 , 1899 (continued)


Return to This & That From Columbus Newspapers

Franklin County Cemetery Photos


Page 6, column 1


From a Fast Train.

But He Is Now Safe

in Jail.

Tells the Story Himself and Glories in His Act.

Arrested on Another Charge, He Was Recognized.

    Roy Van Tress, alias Ben Wheeler, who was bound over to the grand jury last week on the charge of grand larceny, is acting as cook at the county. Van Tress is an expert in that line and has worked in some of the best cafes in the country. he tells a funny story about his experience with the police.

     .Van Tress was accused of stealing a bicycle in this city last fall. He sent a wheel by express to Cincinnati and followed it himself by freight, not having the price demanded by the passenger agent. The wheel was traced to Cincinnati, and when Van Tress called for it, having "dug up" enough to pay express charges, a gentleman wearing a badge was awaiting his arrival, Detective Tom O'Neill of the Columbus police force was sent to Cincinnati to bring the man back.

     Now Tom loves his little joke and en route from Cincinnati to Columbus he indulged his taste along that line. Van Tress confessed that he stole the wheel, but Tome, in order to pass away the time, pulled a large "string" on the prisoner, telling him that the police had enough cases of bicycle stealing against him to lay him away for from five to ten years. Van Tress Says he became alarmed and decided to escape.

     His escape was a remarkable one. He asked permission to go to the car closet. O'Neill unfastened the bracelets that tied him and the prisoner together and locked them on the later's wrists. Van Tress remained until O'Neill went after him. This gave him an idea as to how long an absence O'Neill would stand for. Later on in the journey he again asked permission to go to the closet. His wrists were in the cuffs, but he opened the window, reached out, grasped the iron handholds at the top of the car steps and, although the train was going at the rate of 50 miles an hour, swung himself from the window to the steps. He then waited a moment until the fireman opened the furnace to "hide" a few bushels of coal. The bright light of the furnace showed the shackled Van Tress that there were no ties or bowlders at the side of the track and, although the embankment was precipitous, he gave a great spring backward. There was an awful jolt at the end of that jump, but no bones were broken and a few bruises and several thousand stars not on the astronomer's maps, were the only results of the leap and landing. Van Tress footed it back to Cincinnati, got a shave and had his clothes brushed and then walked past Detective Eddie Moses, gvisitedm a friendly "time of day." Eddie did not recognize him.

     Van Tress made a sensation by his clever defense of himself in Police court in this city. He would not have been recaptured if he had not visityed his family in Wilmington [Fayette County], where he was picked up on another charge, of which he proved himself innocent. But he was recognized in court as the man who got away from O'Neill and was held on the charge of stealing a wheel.

     Van Tress says that he and Detective O'Neill had quite an encounter the other day and that he told the detective that the latter is a "lobster" and that alongside city detectives Tom looked like a a Hoopole county rube. But then Van Tress is in jail and O'Neill really has the laugh on his side, although he would like to know where those handcuffs are. Van Tress says he left them in a creek which is not on the maps.

     It is said that Van Tress is the son of a man who was a prominent lawyer and who was at one time treasurer of Clinton county, this state.


Slated For Chairman of City Democratic Committee.

    A call has been issued for a meeting of the new City Democratic committee for Saturday evening at 7:30. The meeting is called by Chairman Dave Sharp, of the old committee, and will be held in the county committee rooms. Very important business will be transacted.

     The executive committee will probably be selected at this meeting. It is understood that the executive committee this year will be very small, possibly not more than three or five members with the chairman and secretary. This committee has not been selected as yet, but the candidates and the people interested in the campaign will discuss the matter Friday afternoon or evening.

     It is practically settled that Ben Harmon, chairman of the county executive committee, will be the chairman of the city executive committee.

Page 6, column 2


In Reports as to Whether a Strike Exists or Not.

     Secretary Bishop of the state board of arbitration was in a quandary Thursday over the conflicting reports received in regard to an alleged strike at Rendville, Perry county. Some time ago Mr. Bishop saw a newspaper report of the trouble and, in compliance with the state arbitration law, immediately wrote the probate judge of the county and the mayor of the village for information. He has heard from both officials, but is as much in the dark as ever in regard to the true stat of affairs. The mayor, W. H. Matthews, replies that mine No. 3 at Rendville, owned by W. P. Rend, is closed down because the miners refuse to accept a 21-cent reduction from the 66-cent a ton rate adopted at the recent joint convention of operators and miners at Pittsburg [Sic.]. Probate Judge M. W. Wolfe, on the contrary, states that there was some trouble at Rendville, but that it has been satisfactorily adjusted. These two reports being diametrically opposed Secretary Bishop is still at sea as to the facts. He will at once make further inquiry and take all steps necessary under the law.

     In reply to an inquiry sent to the probate judge of Tuscarawas county, a letter was received by Mr. Bishop stating that there is no trouble in the county.


Member of the Fourth Ohio Up in Ploice Court and Pleads Guilty.

     Herbert McClurg, the young man arrested Wednesday for stealing his sister's watch, ring and a number of other articles, pleaded guilty to petit larceny in Police court Thursday. Judge Thompson fined him $15 and costs. McClurg was a member of company C, of the late Fourth Ohio.

     Harry Richardson, a lad about 15 years old, was called up to answer to a charge of petit larceny. He stole a number of grain sacks at 1156 North High street.

     John Higgins, the colored man who was arrested Wednesday for cruelly whipping his step daughter, was fined $10 and costs. It was his first appearance in Police court, hence he was given the minimum fine.

     Frank Johnson, the alleged cow thief, entered a plea of not guilty and his case was continued to Friday.


     The ladies' cooking class met this morning at 9 o'clock at the Y. W. C. A. at the corner of Fourth and Oak streets. Miss Rice has charge of the class, which is increasing steadily. This afternoon there was a game of basket ball between two teams composed of young ladies belonging to the association, and at 7 this evening the regular gymnastic class will meet.

    Tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock the East Side basket ball team will play the Centrals. A great deal of interest is taken in this game by the members and a large attendance is anticipated.


     Columbus yesterday captured the biennial meeting of the Grand Lodge of Fraternal Mystic Circle. It will assemble in the city March 1, 1901.

     The Columbus Mandolin club, G. Elmo Kalb manager, is furnishing the music during the week for the bicycle opening at the American Machine company.

     Mr. Lew Sells of the Sells-Forpaugh circus is in New York getting ready for the opening.

     Mr. Will J. Stacey of Cleveland is here visiting friends.

     The meeting of the Elks last night in their hall in the Goodale hotel was largely attended. The committee on arrange-ments for the street fair reported.

     The Baltimore and Ohio people have agreed to raise their tracks on the west side of the city so as to accommodate the necessities of the city in the construction of the West Side levee.

     Department Commander Pugh of the Grand Army [GAR] has returned from a visit to Youngstown, where the department encampment will be held in June. He says it will be one of the largest encampments ever held in the state.

     The young people of the South Congregational church will have their China meeting Friday evening in the auditorium of the church. There will be a lecture on Chinese customs and a reproduction of a Chinese wedding, funeral, calls and other social events. Admission free.

     The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick held a most enthusiastic meeting last evening in parlor W of the Chittenden hotel. It was decided to hold the charter membership list open until March 7. They have now 70 members. One hundred and thirty invitations have been issued for their banquet to be held St. Patrick's Day, March 17.

     The committee in charge of the arrangements for the meeting of the American Medical association met last evening at the Neil House and held a short session. A motion was adopted requesting the proprietors of all first-class boarding houses to report at once the number of physicians they could accommodate at the meeting, which will be held June 6 to 10 inclusive. The information should be addressed to Dr. C. F. Turney, chairman of the committee.

Page 6, column 4


Was the Game Warden, and Things Were Exciting

     In the case of the State of Ohio vs. John Agel, which was tried before uJstice [sic.] Roach, yesterday, Agel was acquitted of the charge of fishing with a dip net. Testimony was offered to show that he had been invitied into a saloon and an endeavor made to get him drunk so that he would plead guilty. Game Warden Terry, who made the arrest, became very wrathy, and threatened to whiy [whip?] Abe Klee-man, who was conducting the jury from Roach's room to the jury room. Things were exciting for a few minutes, but Terry finally left the building.


     Frank Shell, late of the Third O. V. I., was locked up at the city prison Wednesday night slated suspicion. He was found by the police in possession of some stolen property, since identified by Mrs. Martin Metz. He broke into the residence of Mrs. Metz on Walnut street Wednesday night and, armed with a hatchet, he proceeded to make himself very ugly. He threatened to kill Mrs. Metz and to perform other various deeds of terror, when the ploice gathered him in at State and High streets, where he had fallen in a drunken stupor. The husband of Mrs. Metz, whose home Shell had broken into, is now in the city prison for mistreating his wife.

Page 7, column 4


Set Fire to a Building After Killing Ther Victim.

     WAKEMAN, O. [Huron County], March 2.–The flouring mill of Gibson & Sons was completely destroyed by fire this morning at 4:40. William Gibson, junior partner of the firm, was burned to death. For some time the owners have missed flour from the mill, but no clue to the thieves could be found. Young Gibson has been going to the mill at 3 o'clock in the morning to catch them if possible. He did so this morning and this was the last seen of him alive.

     It is known that Gibson had between two and three hundred dollars on his person at the time of the fire. The theory is that the murderers fired the building after killing Gibson.


     Lemuel Haynes, a character well known to the police, gave himself up to Detective John Mahoney Thursday, confessing his guilt to burglary and petit larceny. He related that last night he crawled through a window into the bakery of C. C. Weil on Washington avenue and that he opened a cash register containing $74 in paper and $6 in silver money. He related that he took the silver money but left the paper as his only desire was to commit a crime serious enough to send him to the penitentiary.

     He is a victim of the morphine habit and says he wants to go to the state prison to be cured of this habit.


     Frank Johnson, the alleged cow thief, was caught in the act of attempting to escape from the city prison about 2 o'clock Thursday afternoon by Turnkey Keunheim. Johnson has served two terms in the penitentiary and the charge of being an habitual criminal has been added to that of grand larceny.



















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