In March of 1889 Frank Cross, my notorious cousin of past posts, found himself in trouble. Surprise! Not.
In this case we find him in the newspaper under court goings on. Whatever could he have done now?:
Circuit Court — Justice French’s Court.
People vs. Frank Cross, larceny of an axe on complaint of Elihu B. Averill, pleaded guilty on the 11th and sentenced to pay a fine of $5.00 and in default of payment to ten days in jail. The fine was not paid and commitment was issued today.1
So Frank, being short of blunt, or just cheap, thought that he would pass on paying his fine. The court had no problem having him picked up and sent to the hoosegow in lieu of payment. A day or two later this notice appeared in the newspaper:
Frank Cross tired of prison life and went before Justice French and paid up his fine after a few hours in the jail.2
Now that’s a knee slapper! Maybe he didn’t realize how hard it would be to get a drink in jail.
The Kalamazoo Daily Telegraph, Thu Feb 28, 1889, page 7, col 3
The Kalamazoo Daily Telegraph, Fri Mar 1, 1889, page 7, col 1
Things have slowed down enough for me to write a letter now. I have been managing to write Lois, and that is about all.
I had a good trip over, leaving 17 March and arriving on the 20th. I rode in a Lockheed Constellation, which is one of the more luxurious planes. We stopped 6 hours in Honolulu and one hour on Wake Island. I spent three days in Japan and arrived in Rosia[?] on 24 March.
Was assigned to the 18th Fighter Bomber Wing at Osass Kova[?]. They call this base K-55. I am communications — Electronics Staff Office for the wing. They have F-86s, however, I am flying C-47s and letting the young fellows have the jets.
I am just settled down now and ready to put in my time and today is Sunday, so Ill close to go to church.
On October 30, 1931 Clarence John was driving home from a long day at work at his bowling alley in Oconto. It was 11:30ish at night and pouring rain.
The driver of the motorcycle was Harvey, a 20-year-old, who was accompanied by a friend. Harvey lost a leg due to the severity of his injury. His father, acting as his guardian, sued Clarence for damages and the case was brought to Brown County Court in March of 1932, however there was a request to change the venue to Oconto County, which was consented to.
There were no witnesses to the accident other than the three people involved. The only testimony in the case is from Clarence. Below is a scan of the first page from the testimony.
According to his testimony, he had half interest in a bowling alley in Oconto, at the armory, which he ran all by himself. He was living in Gillett with his wife, Myrtle, and his parents. They had no children at that time.
Clarence answered the suit against him with a definite ‘not my fault’, stating that the driver of the motorcycle was driving too fast for the conditions and lost control. Harvey’s lawyers and guardian denied the fault was his.
The damage that is visible on Clarence’s car does look like the other driver hit him, not the other way around. But in the end, we only have Clarence’s testimony, none from Harvey.
And, of course, no matter what we conclude seeing the evidence and reading the testimony, the jury’s opinion is the only one that matters. They found Clarence at fault, and ruled in favor of him paying damages of around $5100 for personal injuries sustained by the plaintiff. (If payment was for reparation for the loss of Harvey’s leg, it seems a bit cheap to me.)
In 1948, 15 years later, we find the case continued, because Clarence had yet to pay the $5100 he owed to the plaintiff.
The record, which consists of sworn affidavits of attorneys and the defendant, and the statements of counsel made in the record on this application, raises a serious question as to the truth of the allegations of the defendant in his affidavit. The plaintiff’s attorney at the time of the trial…swears that after the rendition of the judgment and for about nine years thereafter he industriously attempted to ascertain the financial condition of the defendant in Oconto and Forest Counties and that his investigation disclosed to his satisfaction that the defendant during that period was judgment-proof.*
From 1942-1948 no action or activity appeared to be going on regarding the collection of the debt. Until Harvey got impatient, and in 1948 started pushing for his money. Here is an excerpt from a letter from one lawyer to another regarding the matter, dated October 21, 1948:
I have checked with Findorff and they tell me that John terminated his employment with them sometime during the spring of this year. However, the motor vehicle dept. informs me that he has an automobile registered in his name – – -1936 Plymouth coach…residence being Crandon, Wisconsin.
Under the circumstances , there is no point in my filing the certified copy of the judgment, inasmuch as there is absolutely no chance of my garnisheeing his salary or having execution issued. In the event he is traced to Madison again, I will be happy to grab him by his pants. There may be a chance for you to have his car picked up if he has returned to Crandon.
This process continued until July of 1953. At this time Clarence was finally found in Wausau, and served, Harvey had made action to start the process of suing him, he was worried because the judgment would lapse in August of that year.
Clarence refused to show up in court, instead sending his attorney to file one paper which stated that since the judgment, he and his family had resided in Wisconsin all that time. They never received papers regarding the execution of the judgment, or even an attempt at communication, and that such in-action in all this time negates the ‘good cause’ requirements of the judgment. Basically, making it null and void.
But the lawyers for the plaintiff had this to say:
It looks like Clarence really didn’t want to pay this debt. But he never asked for an appeal to the judgment, which kind of makes his excuse a bit thin.
In the end all this work that Harvey put into getting his money came to nothing. My grandfather, Clarence, died in February of the next year, (1954). On his father’s birthday.
*Wikipedia definition of judgment-proof: In the context of debt collection and civil litigation, the term judgment proof is commonly used to refer to defendants who are financially insolvent, or whose income and assets cannot be obtained in satisfaction of a judgment. Being “judgment proof” is not a defense to a lawsuit. If sued, the defendant cannot claim being “judgment proof” as an affirmative defense. The term “judgment proof” instead refers to the inability of the judgment holder to obtain satisfaction of the judgment. If a plaintiff were to secure a legal judgment against an insolvent defendant, the defendant’s lack of funds would make the satisfaction of that judgment difficult, if not impossible, to secure.
Auto-Motorcycle Collide Friday Eve. on H’y 22, The Gillett Times, Gillet, Wisconsin, Thursday, November 5, 1931; No. 11, page 1, column 2.
Harvey Andrianssen vs. Clarence John, Circuit Court case #12741, Oconto Series 36, Green Bay ARC, UW Green Bay, Green Bay, WI. (Photographs from the accident taken from case file.) If interested in case just ask me for a copy.
How are you folks getting along? the weather here has been mostly hot and stuffy. According to the Omar Weather man on T.V. you have been having much cooler weather than here. We were glad to hear that you found everything O.K. How is the motor running? I kinda wondered about it as I didn’t get to try it out before you left. Ralph & Johnie [his brothers-in-law] Kring were to Harbor View with us over the 4th and he brought the Old Sea King along but it still wasn’t any better. Ralph is going to work on it some more, maybe he’ll run across the right solution some day. I’ve given it up for lost. Our boat broke loose in a storm last week, but didn’t do any damage to the boat, but did tear several places in the cover. Mr. Daymon saved the day by going out and retrieving the boat for me. Simon & Hazel are not coming over for their vacation, we received a letter from them yesterday and they gave 18 dozen different reasons why they couldn’t make it now. I was in hopes they could come over for a while.
Dosh & Burch [Aunt and Uncle on his Mother’s side] were over to Parkersburg over the 4th and I guess every body is OK as of now. Hod & Edna [Aunt and Uncle on his Mother’s side] went down south for their vacation so guess they weren’t so interested in going to Canada after all.
Max Hinkle and family were camping up at the State Park at East Harbor over the 4th so he took his boat and I took mine along with Johnie & Ralph and we went out to Middle Bass. We found Bess’s place and talked to her for a while. I enjoyed the trip a lot and hope to go again soon maybe we can do some fishing over around the islands. Ruth caught a 2 1/2 lb. cat fish week before last which is some what of a record us as far as Lake Erie fishing is concerned. That about all the news I can think of now so will turn it over to Ruth for a few lines, hope you are not catching all the fish leave a few for starter etc.
The Crandon newspapers have been providing me with much amusement lately. Here is an article that includes my grandfather and his Uncle Harry:
The masquerade given here last Friday night by the Woodman Lodge drew over fifty couples, including many maskers. Prizes were won by…Harry Cain, dressed as Charlie Chaplin, and most comic gentleman…Clarence John in an Odd Fellow’s suit was best dressed gentleman. The Royal Neighbors served supper on the stage.1
I think all that fame went to gramp’s head, and he felt the need to celebrate:
Clarence John has suddenly taken a musical turn of mind and has whittled a ukalale out of a cigar box and slab and with the aid of a little hay wire is now putting in his spare time playing those popular Keith & Hiles lumberyard strains, “The Curse Of An Aching Back”, and “Working For Whisnant At Two Bones A Day.”2
Sources: 1. Friday, Mar 1 1918, p8c3, No. 26 32nd year; Forest Republican, Crandon, WI —Crandon Public library digital images.
2. Friday, Mar 22, 1918, p1c2, No. 29 32nd year; Forest Republican, Crandon, WI —Crandon Public library digital images.
Ukulele plans found online: https://stansplans.com/ukulele_prplans.html. Get krackin’!
Just a line to let you know we arrived home okay we had dinner in St. Ignace and got across the straight about 2 P.M. We took Route 23 down to Standish where we stopped to ice the fish which lasted until we got home today. We ate supper in Vasser and got to Harbor View at 12:30 A.M. Every thing at Harbor View was O.K. we left there at 11:45 AM 11:45 A.M. today and arrived home about 3 P.M. found everything here OK. the fish were still frozen solid when we got here.
Charlie & Julie surly had a wonderful time and want to thank you for everything. Charlie said he forgot to thank you for the bread you sent home with us.
I surly hate to go back to work in the morning but at least I have some swell memories to take along with me. Ruth & I really enjoyed ourselves and want to thank you for the swell time. We all talked about different little incidents happened while we were there. Every time we eat one of those fish we will be catching it all over again.
We are going to take Ruths mom and dad out a couple of the Pike tonight and get all the latest news from Gahana. Also we are going to take Ralph a loaf of bread. Ruth is now getting supper and we are having bread and tea.
So will write you later when I get all the news Ruth & Herm (over)
We will call Edw to nite if we can get him that is find him home.
I just called aunt Dosh and she and Burch are okay. She mailed your check. Pauline & Lloyd & Jamie were over for Labor Day weekend. Jenny started to school this week. Brooks & Zara & the kids were up Sunday evening. Tommy just got over a bad case of poison ivy. The baby is getting real cute.
Ada wrote that Aunt Lib isn’t a bit good. Her heart doesn’t pump enough blood and she blacks out.
Well I guess this is about all the news. So will close. Ruth.
The fish kept swell. The frozen ones were stiff and the iced ones were so cold I could hardly handle them when I put them in freezer.
We had chilly weather all the way down. The rain was behind us most all the way. Only got in one little sprinkle.
Shirley says it’s been cool here in the last four days, but it sure was hot last week.
Margie was down home last weekend. She said Opel almost died from a miscarriage. She had twins at five months. They couldn’t tell for a while if she was dead or alive, but she pulled through. She must’ve been at the hospital because Margie said she was at home now and doing alright. The doctor said she must have an operation as soon as she can stand it. I hope she does before it is too late.
Everyone else in W Va was okay I will call Margie tomorrow, as I won’t have a chance to-nite. I want to go out home write. The bread is not spoiled Ha! Ha !Love Ruth.
My great great grandfather’s uncle, Asa Lyon Hatch, was one of the men in the boating incident I posted a few weeks earlier. As mentioned he survived that accident, with possibly just the loss of his dignity, and went on to live a few more decades. Sadly, due to bad luck, or crappy karma, neither of his two wives, or only child, survived him when he died in 1895.
I don’t know why, maybe it was just a slow day, but for no particular reason I started to do a very cursory background check on Asa. In the process of this search I learned that Asa was a very well-to-do merchant, who had lived in Rhode Island, Vermont, New York City, Kentucky, and who knows where else.
And then I found his will which he made in 1892, and I’m not really sure why, but I started reading it.
Estate of Asa Lyon Hatch
My Last Will!
In the name of God! Spirit of all things I Asa Lyon Hatch do make and declare this to be my last Will and Testament.
First. After my Spirit has passed to the World of Spirits, I request that my body be clothed in garments of pure white, as I have heretofore stated.
I wish my remains to be placed in a casket of clear white; not expensive.
Second. I desire my body placed in my grounds in the Cemetery in the Town of Grand Isle, State of Vermont. Have the grave dug North and South with the head to the north with the foot of my wife’s Elizabeth grave, on the west, and that of my wife’s Frances, on the North.
I desire to have placed at the head of my grave, a White Marble Head Stone similar to those placed at the head of my two wife’s, with the following words plainly and clearly cut on the same, with the name, cut in a square, raised letter the same as those of my two Wives
“I am the last of those called Mine:
“My resurrection morn; was, when spirit and body parted;
“I have left to join my Loved Ones;
“To spend with them – a Life Eternal!
“Earth Fare The Well! Asa Lyon Hatch
Third. I would name and appoint my brothers Henry R. Hatch and Arthur E. Hatch, both residents of Cleveland, of the State of Ohio, to be my Executors. And request that no bonds be required, of them.
It is my wish, that my friends Aldridge B. Gardiner of Providence, Rhode Island may carry out my wishes, as to the distribution of the small effect that I have left in the City of Providence, R.I.; a memorandum of which, I have left with this will.
Fourth. I give and bequeath, all my Real Estate and personal property, not designated in above memorandum to my two brothers Henry R. Hatch and Arthur E. Hatch; Share and share alike.
Fifth. I request that my Executors, shall set aside the sum of Five Hundred Dollars in cash, to be invested in the Bonds of the Town of Grand Isle Vermont; or of those of the County of Grand Isle; or of the State of Vermont; which shall be perfectly safe, praying an income that shall prove requisitor to carry out my wishes, as herein expressed.
Sixth. It is my wish that the sum of Five Hundred Dollars, may never be allowed to fall below the amount specified, and the income from which shall be used, to keep my grounds, or burial plat clean and free from grass or weeds; also the Marble Coping and Head Stones in place and in order.
Should any of the income remain after being as above applied I request that such of the remainder be used, as may be deemed necessary to keep clean and free from grass, the graves of my Father, my Mother and those of my Brothers and Sisters, as well as those of my Grandfather and GrandMother Lyon, and that of my Uncle Sewell [sic, should be Newell] Lyon.
Seventh. I have made and signed an order or Draft to the order of Mrs. Emma Hewett Taft, now of Providence, R.I for the sum of Five Hundred Dollars, to be paid to her to compensate her for the care and kindness shown me whilst sick, and feeble and I request that my executors have that order or draft honored and protected out of my estate.
Eighth. I request that my executors will see that my funeral expenses are paid as soon as after my decease as possible out of my estate.
In testimony whereof. I the said Asa Lyon Hatch, have to this my last will and testament contained on one sheet of paper, subscribed my name and affixed my seal this ninth day of April Eighteen hundred and ninety two.
Asa Lyon Hatch L.S. [seal]
He actually added a codicil in 1895 giving his caretaker Mrs. Taft another $1000. Only two of his siblings were still alive when he died, the two brother’s mentioned in the will.
I found the will amusing and sad at the same time. Sad because he had no one left to survive him other than his brothers. But then I had to laugh because he was so very particular about his pure white clothes, pure white casket (apparently he was also cheap), pure white headstone, and the placement of his remains.
Thinking about all that white has images of Col. Sanders constantly popping into my head. Maybe he thought that all that white would better grease the hinges of those pearly gates.
There are no descendants to share his life, show off pictures, or brag about his accomplishments. This will is the only thing of his I have found that gives me a sense of his personality. I know thinking about it in the future will make me smile, maybe you will too. That’s something anyway.
Summer is on its last legs now. About another month and the weather will start to be cool.
It wont be too long until you folks start west. I know you will like the winter here in California.
Kenny and I went deer hunting last week end. When
opening day broke, I was sitting in one side of a tree on a ridge, and Kenny was on the other side. Kenny saw the dear and tryed to show him to me. It took several minutes & when I saw it was a buck I asked him to shoot it. Kenny was a little shaky and asked me to do it. We are eating venison now. I hope to take K W out again next week and let him get one.
Havent seen Elsa lately. I was going to go fishing with him this summer but didn’t seem to make it. Perhaps we can before too long
Jean & Jenny haven’t been over for several months. We will have them all over when you get here.
Dont use up all your energy Dad. We have a walnut plantation that has to be harvested this fall.
Have you had any luck on selling the place yet?
What do you think of the Election? there seems to be more interest than in any since 1932. Its pretty divided out here. You want to be sure to get here before the election & football. We have TV!! Well Ill close. Take care of yourself and let me know when you are coming.
Courting Under Difficulties
Clarence John went to Cloma Sunday night, to sit up with a young lady friend. For the benefit of our readers who do not know where Cloma is located, we will state that it lies “somewhere near Nashville” and that S. W. Beggs is mayor of the village. Clarence evidently had some time, for in relating his trip he says, “I had heard it was hard to get there so I put on my bathing suit and started out at about eight bells. I walked two miles, swam a large creek, waded through mud up to my suspenders for a mile, jumped here and there on a wet corduroy road like a grasshopper and finally reached Siding Three at about twelve bells. Here I borrowed a horse from a gent and rode another mile, then a flock of large mosquitoes carried me a mile further, and at last I followed a cow into town just as Daddy Ison was getting up to feed his hog. The young lady was waiting for me so I sat down and rested a few minutes and then took a morning train back home. Talk about hard luck—I sure had it. I don’t see why girls want to move way out in the suburbs for anyway.”1
I have been having fun finding more digitizied newspapers available online. The Oconto County papers have been exceptionally good, and now I am finding some from Crandon.
This amusing tale was in the paper when Clarence, my grandfather, was 19 years old.
Source: 1. Friday, Jul 19, 1918, p1c1, No. 46, 32nd year; Forest Republican, Crandon, WI —Crandon Public library digital images.
While Ruth is busy preparing a few frys (9) for the freezer I thought it would be a good idea for me to write you a line or two. As you already know we arrived home O.K. but tired. My back was giving me some trouble, but it was not caused from building the dock or anything like that. I believe I must have wrenched it while I was loading our bags and etc. the Saturday we went out as I didn’t notice any pain befor that time. Well enough for that. What I would like to know, is the dock still standing? I hope so. Ruth O’Farrell called after she got home and told us what a wonderful time they had and how much fun you all had playing cards. I’m glad they cut you some wood and left you the “snake bite” We went up to Harbor View the week end following out trip from Canada and found every thing OK. except the grass and weeds about knee high. I had to use the sickle first and the lawn mower next to get it cut. While I was in the act of cutting the stuff who should drive in but Lydia [Dick’s sister?] & Charlie – so Charlie jumped in and helped me do the job or it
would have taken me all day to finish the job. I took them for a nice boat ride befor they went home. Charlie starts his vacation Aug. 10 and they have an apt. rented at Bay Bridge for a week so we are going to have them over to the cottage for that week end. I think the fishing bug has taken hold of them as they said they hadn’t been to church for 5 Sundays. Boy that fishing bug is the cause of a lot of peoples down fall also the down fall of your pocket book. We could buy fish a durn sight cheaper Ha Ha But who wants to buy fish when its so much fun to catch them. Charlie Hoff & June also came up to Harbor View the same week end and I finaly got Charlie & June in the boat and now he is crazy about it. We are planning on having them for the Labor Day week end which should be a lot of fun providing the weather stays O.K. Speaking of week ends they are getting scarce. There just are not enough of them in a summer, this coming week end we a having Johnie & Juanita Gatea and the 3rd Sunday of Aug we want to have Ralph, Lou and the kids, so that don’t leave to many.
You should hear Ralph & Johnie talk about that trip, you wouldn’t think there was anywhere else in the world like Cummins Lake and Johnie said boy that good bread he hasn’t forgotten that yet. He was telling me just today that he sure would like to be back there right now also he liked the little sand beach. I talked to Unk & Elzie and they said if there house is finished in time that they would like to go up for awhile they will let you know if they can make it. Aunt Doshie called today and says she is getting along OK I think moving & etc. must have caused her trouble. They were down to visit Brooks one night last week so if she can get out a little I believe that she is getting better. Burch seems to be getting along OK at work. I hope he likes it this time as I think he can do as well there as any place. Now is our slack season as far as grease work is concerned it will probably stay about the same till Oct. when we start to sell winter change over service, then he should really make some nice wages.
Bess brought Eddie down last Monday a week ago and he stayed till Friday. Ruth took him down town and I guess he
had a great time riding the escalator at Lazaruse and Morehouse – also he and I worked in the dark room one night. Vaughn & Lela are home now and are supposed to start back tomorrow they are all OK and look the same only Sandy is getting a little lanky as kids do at that age. I told them of your intentions of going to the coast this fall and they want you to be sure and look them up.
Its a good thing that I didn’t know Mr. Sherron was a hardware man or I would have talked a leg off him, maybe I’ll have to look him up yet. The store I was interersted in was sold just the other day maybe its for the best according to Mr Sherron. I was trying to get a loan on our house for additional money and while the Westerville Saving & Loan was making up there minds what to do the place sold. So now I’m watching for another deal. You know me Andrew H. Brown always got a “big deal on”. I got the color pictures back and every one turned out good. (lucky me) I haven’t printed the black & whites as yet. Hope to do it soon.
Doc & Sue we down from Pittsburg last Sat & Sun although we didn’t get to see them Doshie says the are OK and that Doc’s bald head shines like a beacon in the night.
Well the Conventions are both over and now all we have to do is listen to all the Bull slinging for the next few months I think I’ll still for “Taft” HaHa. may the best man win.
They had a bad storm at Harbor View it must have been the same day you had yours only the wind there was out of the West. there was quite a bit of damage to boats & etc. Andy Parker had 5 to get away from his dock. I don’t know wheather it damaged any of his or not. Mine came through O.K. although I did have to reset my stakes & etc. as it bent the stake at the front of the boat. Well I think Ive about hit all the high spots so will sign off for this time.