Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Sat May 24, 2014 4:27 am

FITCH W. SWAN

GEORGE H. VOLGER


Muscatine, Iowa


DOUBLE TRAGEDY

Fitch W. Swan, Prominent Jeweler of Muscatine, Iowa, Shoots Geo. H. Volger, Another Jeweler, and Then Commits Suicide

Muscatine, Ia., Aug. 3.–The double tragedy which occurred in this city on Monday and which resulted in the death of George H. Volger and Fitch W. Swan, has removed from the business world of Muscatine two prominent and well-known jewelers. Mr. Swan, particularly, was considered one of the oldest and most widely known members of the trade in this State, as well as a leading jeweler of Muscatine.

The facts, as determined by the inquiry that followed the deaths of both men, have shown clearly that Swan killed Volger while mentally deranged or laboring under great excitement, and then deliberately took his own life by swallowing poison. Mr. Swan was 71 years old and Mr. Volger 36. Volger was evidently shot by Swan in the back of the latter's establishment, and Swan's suicide occurred in the Rankin undertaking parlors, to which place he went following the shooting.

While the friends of Mr. Swan put the terrible deed down to the fact of a deranged mind, resulting from business reverses and from brooding over a long series of quarrels with Mr. Volger, it is clear that the deed was premeditated, carried out according to plan, and that Swan deliberately took his own life afterward.

First knowledge of the tragedy came when Swan's body was found by Undertaker Rankin, lying on a couch in his establishment, beside which were cyanide crystals, a key to Swan's jewelry store, a sealed letter to S. G. Bronner, chief of police, and an open note to the public. While the letter to the chief of police was not given out, it is known that it was a bitter attack on Volger, and indicated that Swan suffered from intense excitement and anger. The open note found near Swan's body simply said, "I have killed George Volger. His body is in the back of the store."

The chief of police, the mayor, Dr. E. B. Fulliam and D. W. Truxell, who were summoned, immediately went to Swan's store, where Mr. Volger's body was found in the room, lying face downward in a pool of blood. At first it was not known how he had died and the officers were under the impression that he had been induced to drink poison, as there were several bottles on the workbench. Closer examination later, however, disclosed a bullet hole in the back of Volger's skull, undoubtedly from the shot of a 32-calibre revolver.

Investigation also disclosed that following the shooting of Volger, Mr. Swan had evidently locked up his place of business and proceeded to the telegraph office and sent some telegrams. Several residents talked to him before he went to the undertaker's shop where he later committed suicide, but none of them noticed anything unusual in his manner, nor did he indicate in any way by word or action, what he had done or what he intended to do.

It is known that Swan and Volger had had many quarrels as a result of business rivalry, and that Mr. Swan was worked up over the actions of his competitor, but his friends claim that this was not the real cause of the tragedy, but that Swan's mind had been upset by a series of business troubles. He had been disappointed in the result of an investment in oil securities, and had recently been compelled to mortgage his home for $10,000. In his upset mental state, it is believed he attributed his business reverses to Mr. Volger.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular - 10th August 1921


Follow-up:

A LOSS TO THE TRADE

Career of Muscatine Jewelers, Victims of the Recent Double Tragedy

Muscatine, la., Aug. 10—The double tragedy which occurred here Aug. 7, when Fitch W. Swan shot and killed George H. Volger and then committed suicide (as told in full in the last issue of The Jewelers' Circular) has shocked not only the jewelers of this section but those throughout Iowa, and is still a subject of comment.

The report last week, while giving details of the tragedy, gave few facts about the lives of the two deceased jewelers.

Both victims of the dual tragedy were more than ordinarily prominent among the business men of Muscatine, and each took active part in civic affairs. Mr. Swan had operated a jewelry store here continuously for the past 45 years, and was one of the most highly respected members of the local Masonic fraternity.

Mr. Swan was probably one of the best known of the older business men in Muscatine. His jewelry store was regarded as the oldest commercial enterprise in Muscatine which had continued without a break under the same management. Throughout his mature years he had been a leader in local business circles and in civic life. He served for several years as park commissioner.

Mr. Volger had managed to cram into his 36 years more numerous and more diversified activities than many another successful business man living to a ripe old age.

Everything he touched, be it in the field of business or of sports, seemed to prosper, and prosper forthwith. He had built up an enviable trade in the jewelry business here, and in less than two weeks would have opened up one of the finest jewelry stores in Iowa, at Davenport.

Scarcely less shocking than the blow dealt to his family was that sustained by the local and Davenport Masonic bodies, in the loss of Mr. Volger. His home was visited by hundreds of members of local lodges Sunday afternoon, for these men realized that there had been taken from their midst a brother who was as much admired for his efficient services' as he was loved for his instantaneous-friend-making type of personality.

He was president of the Muscatine Shrine Club, was a member of De Molay Commandery, No. 1. Knights Templar; Webb Council, R. & S. M., Washington Chapter, No. 4, R. A. M., Iowa Lodge, No. 2, A. F. & A. M., and Muscatine Lodge No. 304 B. P. O. E.

He was also a member of the Muscatine Rotary and Muscatine Advertising clubs, a number of other civic and social organizations, and of the First Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Volger was born in Muscatine, March 19, 1885. He attended the public schools and the local high school, and finishing his schooling, commenced work for Mr. Swan. On July 14. 1909, he was united in marriage to Miss Helen Knopp, of this city.

As a boy at school, the deceased was a leader in athletic sports. In the Winters of 1907-1908 he made a tour of the United States, with the Tourists, Muscatine's well-known basketball team, which won the world championship the season they were on the road.

He also managed to snatch enough time from his business to manage the "Muskies," world basketball title claimants, in 1917, 1918 and 1919. At the time of his death, he was a member of the board of directors of the Muscatine baseball club.

In addition to the grief-stricken wife, there remain to mourn the deceased three children, George. Jr., age 7 years; Charles, 4, and Marion, 3; two sisters, Mrs. William Liebbe, and Mrs. Philip Thomson, and two brothers, Edward and William, both of this city.

Fitch William Swan was born in Milwaukee, Wis., July 8, 1850. He was brought to Muscatine in his infancy and attended the public schools here. Entering business life he was employed as a clerk in a dry goods store for a short period and then began learning the jeweler's and watchmaker's trade with which line he was associated during the entire remainder of his lifetime.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular - 17th August 1921

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:28 am

HARRY I. GLASSER (GLASER BROTHERS)

Boston


Four Nurses Run Down by Automobile Driven by Boston Jewelry Manufacturer

Boston, Mass., April 26.–Four nurses belonging to the Cambridge Tuberculosis hospital were run down by an automobile driven by Harry I. Glaser, of Glaser Bros., manufacturing jewelers of this city, Saturday night at 9 o'clock on Harvard bridge, which connects Cambridge with Boston. All four were injured, one of them seriously. They were removed, after emergency treatment at the Charlesgate hospital, to the Cambridge city hospital, where, according to latest reports, they are all resting and recovering under medical treatment. None of the cases is likely to prove fatal.

Mr. Glaser was arrested by the Cambridge police, charged with reckless driving, but was released on bail of $500 for a hearing in the Third District Court.

Mitchell Hamelburg, of 12 Castlegate road, Dorchester, was a passenger with Glaser, but was not arrested.

The injured nurses are:
Miss Sarah Ryan, abrasions on the face and badly shaken up. She escaped with the least injury.

Miss Katherine Ford, two fractured ribs, injuries to her face, a deep cut in the head and one on her left knee. She was dragged by the hair.

Miss Tilla Stone, concussion of the brain and contusions on the forehead.

Miss Pearl McPherson. fractured jaw, injuries to her face and one ankle, bruises all over body and possible injuries to the spine.

Miss Ford's hair was caught in the driving shaft under the automobile and she was dragged some 50 or 75 feet, it is said, before Mr. Glaser was aware. He told the police later that she was held fast to his machine. It was necessary to cut her hair before she could be released from the car's driving shaft.

Mr. Glaser, the police report, was going toward Boston and the accident occurred about 15 feet from the drawbridge toward the Cambridge end of the bridge. When the women were struck they were apparently standing on the inward tracks waiting for a trolley car to pass toward Boston.

James W. Connell, of 7½ Brewer St., Cambridge, who was operating a trolley car acoss the bridge into Cambridge, told the police that Mr. Glaser made a quick, sharp turn toward his trolley car and then swung off to the other side of the bridge.

Mr. Glaser told the police that he was confused by the glaring lights of approaching automobiles and that he did not see the nurses on the bridge. As soon as he struck the women, Glaser told the officers, he made every effort to stop his machine at once.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular - 28th April 1920

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:27 am

H.S. ALLER

H.S. Aller Jewelry Co., St. Louis


FOUND DEAD IN HOTEL

St. Louis Jobber Reports Being Robbed and Then Commits Suicide.

St. Louis, Mo.. Nov. 5.–H. S. Aller. of the H. S. Aller Jewelry Co., jewelers' jobber in the Equitable building, reported to the police Tuesday that he had been robbed of jewelry valued at $3,500 to $4,000 by three men who held him up at 6:45 Monday night on the Florissant road, in St. Louis county, as he was on his way in a coupe to his home at Ferguson, St. Louis county, and struck him on the head, presumably with a sand bag.

Aller said that he passed three men in an automobile on Grand Ave., who followed him to Pine Lawn, where they passed him, but slowed up and permitted him to pass them. At Normandy, he said, after turning from the Natural Bridge road to the Florissant road, they again passed him and at St. Ann's lane, stopped in such a way as to block the road.

When he stepped back of their machine, he said a man opened each door of the coupe and pointed revolvers at him, and telling him that they would kill him if he made an outcry, they demanded the key to the deck door at the rear of the coupe.

He gave it to them, he said, and was again warned not to make an outcry and not to look back. Then one of them suggested that it would probably be better to hit him over the head. He was struck on the head and lost consciousness. When he recovered the men were gone, taking his jewelry case. He went to the home of a T. Walter Hardy, at the old and new Florissant roads. A doctor was called. There was a bump on his head, but no abrasion. He was taken home and is in bed. Aller said he carried the jewelry with him because he intended to make stops at retail jewelry stores on his way down town the next morning.

Thursday afternoon the body of Aller was found in a room at the American Hotel, with an empty bottle which had contained poison on the bed. He had been dead several hours. The body was discovered by a clerk of the hotel after he had received no response to his knocks.

The hotel clerk went to the room under instructions from a stenographer for James Stuart, a jeweler who had received a note from Aller saying that he contemplated suicide. The stenographer opened the note and communicated its contents to her employer, who was in East St. Louis. Stuart directed her to get in touch with the American Hotel. The clerk of the hotel told the police that Aller had registered under the name of H. L. Bush, Wellsville, Mo., about 8 o'clock Thursday morning.

Stuart identified the body at the morgue and then went to Aller's office, where he found Mrs. Aller awaiting the return of her husband, with whom she had an appointment at 11 o'clock.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular - 10th November 1920

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:27 am

EMIL F. KVASNICKA

Chicago

Tragic Death of Emil F. Kvasnicka

Chicago, May 25.–Emil F. Kvasnicka, a well-known jeweler at 603 Blue Island Ave., died, Friday, May 22, at his country home near North Judson, Ind. He was shot at 10 o'clock at night on May 21 while in his barnyard, after his return with his family from an entertainment in North Judson. Mr. Kvasnicka had recently acquired his farm at North Judson, and in the early part of the week he had run out to look things over. A disagreement occurred with his farm hand, Albert Roubick, and he discharged him. Suspicion therefore pointed to Roubick as the man who committed the deed, and he was arrested by Deputy Marshal Henry Kuester.

On the return from the entertainment on Thursday evening, Mrs. Kvasnicka went into the house and soon after heard the shot, and a few minutes later Kvasnicka staggered into the house crying, "My God! Albert Roubick has shot me."

When Roubick was arrested he seemed amazed at the charge and made a strong denial.

Mr. Kvasnicka was well known on the west side and had acquired a competence estimated at $30,000 to $50,000. He was 37 years old, married and had three children He was prominent in Bohemian societies and charities.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 27th May 1908

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:51 pm

W. RAW

Whitby, Yorkshire

On Sabbath, June 8, Henry, son of Mr. W, Raw, Silversmith, a promising youth of sixteen, and a man named Griffiths, both belonging to the ship Abeona, of Whitby, were unfortunately drowned at Quebec.

Source: Whitby Panorama and Monthly Chronicle - 1828

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:03 am

DOMINICK PARETI

Wallingford, Connecticut

Cough Drop and Clock Key Refute Theory of Suicide

New Haven, Conn., Feb. 8 (AP) - A cough drop and a tiny night watchman's time-clock key enabled Mrs. Josephine D. Pareti, of Wallingford, to refute a verdict of probable suicide in the death of her husband, Dominick. After 22 months of investigation, she was awarded $2,150 compensation for her husband's accidental death.

The 52-year-old Pareti was found dead of poison in a Wallingford silverware factory, where he worked as a night watchman.

His widow told friends then that she would refute the probable suicide verdict "if it takes me 10 years." She employed Thomas P. Robinson, a New Haven attorney, and as a result of his investigation, the award to Mrs. Pareti, approved by Compensation Commissioner Louis Sachs, was made without a hearing.

The attorney was prepared to offer medical evidence that the cough drop found in Pareti's mouth probably would not have remained there had he administered poison to himself.

Another clue was the key found months after Pareti's death at the bottom of a vat of potassium cyanide. It was pointed out that he might, in trying to recover it, have absorbed enough of the solution through his hands to kill him or inadvertently poisoned himself later when he put the cough drop into his mouth.


Source: Reading Eagle - 8th February 1940

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:27 am

NATHAN WOLFF

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Ore., Jeweler Killed in His Store by Thieves

Portland, Ore., May 2.–Nathan Wolff, a pawnbroker and jeweler who had been in business in Portland for 25 years, was murdered by robbers last night. He was shot in the neck and hacked with a hatchet.

Wolff carried a large stock of diamonds. The robbers took $1,700 in jewelry and money.

The victim of the robbers has long been known to the jewelry trade. For many years in early life he traveled for the house of Henry Wolff, San Francisco, and was also for a time with S. B. Dinkelspiel & Co., of that city. He started in business in this city under the style of Wolff & Eisner, and succeeded to the business about 16 years ago. He was highly regarded in the trade and in social circles, and his tragic death is mourned throughout the jewelry industry on the Pacific Coast.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 6th May 1908

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:59 am

FRANK P. ROOP

Shreve & Co., San Francisco


MEETS SUDDEN DEATH

Frank P. Roop, Vice-President of Shreve & Co., San Francisco, Killed in an Automobile Accident

San Francisco, April 28.–A gloom has been thrown over San Francisco jewelers this week by the sudden and untimely death of Frank P. Roop, vice-president of Shreve & Co. He was instantly killed when returning home in his automobile early on the morning of April 21 by his car crashing into the rear of a garbage truck, at Geary and Leavenworth Sts.

The steering gear crashed into Mr. Roop's chest, and although he was rushed to the Central Emergency Hospital, nothing could be done. Mrs. Roop, who accompanied her husband, escaped all injury. The driver of the truck was arrested and charged with carrying no tail light.

The deceased, who was 37 years of age, was a native of this city. His education was obtained in the San Francisco public schools, and he later went to sea in the transport service. He began his career with Shreve & Co. as a clerk, and won rapid advancement. His specialty was the diamond department, and he had made numerous trips to Europe.

Mr. Roop is survived by a widow and two young sons.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular - 5th May 1920

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:52 am

JOSEPH BEIN

Unger Brothers

Newark, N. J., April 24.–Unger Bros, were the defendants in an action for $15,000 damages, put on trial Wednesday in the Circuit Court before Judge Child. Joseph Bein appeared as the plaintiff. His story was that he lost two fingers and a thumb while working for the firm on Aug. 26 last. The accident occurred while Bein was working on a machine used for stamping silver and other materials.

The plaintiff was represented by Samuel Kalisch, and Edward M. Colic, the defendants, who claimed that it was Bein's own carelessness that caused the accident.

The jury awarded Bein $5,000 damages. Unger Bros, will immediately appeal.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 26th April 1899

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:45 am

ROBERT WHITBY

Middletown, Connecticut


Domestic Troubles Induce Robert Whitby to End His Life

Springfield, Mass., July 3.–Robert Whitby, a traveling jeweler of Middletown, Conn., committed suicide in this city Tuesday by shooting himself twice in the head after taking an ounce of laudanum. Whitby came to this city Monday afternoon and called to see H. B. Davison, who has a watch repairing establishment in H. J. Davison's store and who formerly occupied part of Mr. Whitby's store in Portland, Conn. The suicide told Mr. Davison that he had started for Denver, but had stopped over in this city to see him, look for a business location and meet his half-brother who was expected that evening. He intended taking a trip to Holyoke and asked Mr. Davison to take charge of his valise which contained about $4,000 worth of jewelry.

During his stay in the store Monday he told the proprietor that he had trouble with his wife and appeared to be greatly distressed, but gave no hint of suicide. He spent Monday night in this city. Tuesday he brought his grip to the store and asked to be directed to the toilet room. He went to the basement and suddenly two shots rang through the store. H. B. and R. H. Davison hurried down stairs and found Mr. Whitby lying on the floor with two bullet holes in his head and blood coming from his forehead and mouth. He was taken to the hospital where he died during the afternoon from a hemorrhage of the brain.

After the shooting he told the police inspector that his wife was the cause of the trouble and that he did not care whether he lived or not. It seems that they never agreed very well and both had sought a separation. Tuesday evening the suicide's halfbrother, Fred. Hobson, appeared on the scene and demanded custody of the body and the valuables of the deceased. Both were given him and he gave a receipt to the medical examiner for the jewelry amounting to about $4,000 and for $250 in cash. About 10 o'clock the same evening Mrs. Whitby telephoned the local police from Middletown ordering them to hold the valuables for her, but they were already in the possession of the halfbrother and a lawsuit is likely to result.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 7th July 1897

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:32 am

HENRY BERVOLITZ

Hoboken, New Jersey

Henry Bervolitz Commits Suicide by Taking Poison, in His Jewelry Store at Union Hill, N. J.

Hoboken, N. J., May 11.–Henry Bervolitz, who conducts a large jewelry business at 263 Bergen Ave., Union Hill, committed suicide in his store Friday morning by taking poison. A customer who entered the place, after waiting some time, could get no one to attend to him and became suspicious and instituted a search, after calling the police. In a little room in the rear of the store the jeweler's body was found lying on the floor. A physician said that he had been dead for some time.

Bervolitz opened his place early Friday morning, and was seen by passers-by busied about his work. It was shortly after 9 o'clock the discovery was made that he had killed himself with poison, the nature of which has not yet been ascertained. No reason can be assigned for his act, as his business, which was one of the largest in the town, had apparently been prosperous.

He was 34 years old and unmarried. He had no family ties of any kind. His near kindred, if he had any, are supposed to be in his native land, Russia.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 13th May 1908

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:30 am

COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER BUILDING FIRE

New York


Dead in the Fire of the Commercial Advertiser Building.

A conservative estimate of the losses by the Commercial Advertiser building fire, 130 Fulton St., and the adjoining building, 85 Nassau St., New York, last week is $350,000. Some of the losses reported to the fire department are as follows : F. H. Hewlett, optician, $2,000; A. Bantle, gold plater, $5,000; Engelfried, Braun & Weidmann, manufacturing jewelers, $10,000; L. Adelmann, jeweler, $2,000; J. Lochmeyer, diamond broker, $5,000; estate of L. Reimenschneider,optician, $3,500 ; Mr. Calvert, clock maker, $2,000 ; E. S. Usener, optical goods, $2,000 ; John Hartman, diamond setter, $2,000 ; J. Hilton, jeweler, $2,000 ; Daniel Veit, diamond broker, $5,000; Charles Begerow, manufacturing jeweler, $3,000; J. Rosen, diamond setter, $1,000, insured for $300; Joseph Fischer, diamond setter, $1,000 ; S. Goldner, diamond mountings, $2,000; N. M. Shepard, badge manufacturer, fully insured, $1,000; R. Reimheer, engraver, $500 ; William Kuehler, enameler, $500; Henry Armsheimer, jewelers' tools, $1,500; S. Hohenhausen, engraver, $500; M. J. Lasar, diamond broker, $1,000, fully insured ; W. Vandel, manufacturer of plated goods, $7,500 ; C. Armsheimer, jeweler, $1,500 ; T. Knuffer, watch repairer, $500; A. Dividoff, diamond setter, $500; Edward Brown, watch glasses, $500, and Daniel Bate, $1,000.

On Thursday two charred and headless bodies were recovered from the ruins and they were at once identified as those of John Adelmann and Frederick Adelmann, father and son, opticians, who had an office in the burnt building.

A. Bantle has opened an office at 142 Fulton. The following tenants of 85 Nassau St. have opened offices at 66 Nassau St.: Henry Armsheimer, R. Reimheer and William Kuehler; N. M. Sheperd has moved to 95 Nassau St., and M. J. Lasar to 32 John St.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 23rd September 1891

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:45 am

THOMAS LAILEY

Chatham, Ontario


The Terrible Experience of Jeweler Thomas Lailey

Detroit, Mich., Dec. 1.–Dispatches to Detroit papers from Chatham, Ont., state that Thomas Lailey, jeweler, was working at his bench last week and had a large spirit lamp in front of him when suddenly it took fire and exploded, scattering burning alcohol over the jeweler's face and head.

Maddened with pain he rushed around the store, but it was some time before the flames were extinguished. His face is a mass of blisters and it is probable he will lose his eyesight.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 6th December 1893

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:57 am

KARL KEMPTER

Philadelphia


Electrocution of John Morrison, Who Killed a Man While Escaping from a Jewelry Store Robbery. Set for Feb. 16

Philadelphia, Jan. 29.–John Morrison, the youth who almost two years ago shot and killed a man while escaping after the robbery of the jewelry store of Karl Kempter, 1108 Girard Ave., will die in the electric chair in the Central State Penitentiary at Bellefonte, Pa., on Feb. 16.

Governor Sproul. two days ago, set the date for Morrison's electrocution. The robbery of the Kempter store and the subsequent murder were described in detail in issues of The Jewelers' Circular for that period, together with a remarkable confession made by John Morrison in an effort to shield his younger brothers, Edward and James, who participated in the robbery.

Morrison is 24 years old and was convicted in January of last year of murder in the first degree. His victim was Charles Martin, of 958 N. 11th St.. who was on his way home from work and tried to intercept the robbers. Morrison was sentenced to the chair by Judge Monaghan on May 15 of last year. It was not until this week, however, that the date was set. The robbery of the Kempter store occurred on April 9, 1918.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 4th February 1920

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:25 am

GEORGE W. FECHNER

New York

Suicide of George W. Fechner

A man stoppered, as if intoxicated, down the steps of the New York City Hall police station about 2 o'clock Monday afternoon, and opening the door, lurched heavily against the steam heater. He appeared to be a German, about 45 years old, and his clothes were travel stained. Acting Sergeant Cullen asked him what he wanted. "I've tried to kill myself; I've taken carbolic acid," muttered the man. Then he sank into an arm-chair near the door. An ambulance was summoned, and the man was nearly unconscious when it arrived six minutes later, and died about two hours after being taken to the Hudson St. Hospital.

Letters in his pocket showed that he was George W. Fechner, an auctioneer, of Washton. The letters were from his wife, who had written to him daily since he left the national capital on the 18th inst. They indicated that Fechner was involved in business troubles and was in financial straits.

Washington, D. C, March 29.–George Fechner, who committed suicide in New York, was well known here. He had been a jeweler at one time, having a store under the Metropolitan Hotel, some years ago. At this time Fechner was considered fairly prosperous, but he afterwards gave up the store and engaged in business as an auctioneer and traveling salesman. He lived with his wife and their 16-year-old daughter at 221, 2d St., N. W. Nothing was known there to-night about his suicide or the particular causes leading up to it, except that he had been very despondent over his business affairs, and this, it is supposed, drove him to suicide.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 31st March 1897

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:47 am

C.V. BENCETTE

Windsor, Ontario


A very Sad Case. –Mrs. Alice Bencette, seventy years old mother of C. V. Bencette, jeweler, Sandwich Street East, Windsor, Ont., was burned to death on Sunday afternoon, December 31st, at her home in the Grand Marias settlement. Sandwich East, about three miles from Windsor. Mrs. Bencette who was a widow, had quarters in the front portion of the house, the rest of which was occupied by her son Paul and his family. She was standing by the stove frying pork for her dinner, when suddenly the meat caught fire. The flames shot up into her face, and in an instant her light cotton dress was ablaze. Her little grandchild, who was in the room and witnessed the accident, ran screaming for help to her parents in the other part of the house. The child's father hurried in and found his mother with her clothing nearly all burned off, writhing in her death agony on the floor. He caught the burning form in his arms and, rushing outside, extinguished the flames by rolling his burden in the light snow that had fallen. But help had come too late. It was a charred corpse he carried back into the house. The poor woman's face and arms were burned to a crisp. Bencette's own clothes caught fire while he was trying to render assistance to his mother, and one of his arms was badly burned. Mrs. Bencette was well known in Sandwich East, where she had resided nearly all her life.

Source: The Trader & Canadian Jeweller - February 1900

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:39 am

LEWIS E. LADD

Potter & Buffinton Co.

Providence R.I.

KILLED IN AUTO ACCIDENT

Lewis E. Ladd Crashed Into Trolley Car at Providence, R. I, While Driving Across Tracks.

Providence, R.I., Oct. 31.–Lewis E. Ladd, who is associated with the Potter & Buffinton Co., manufacturing jewelers, 7 Beverly St., was instantly killed at an early hour this morning at the corner of Waterman and Hope Sts., when the automobile he was driving at a fast rate of speed crashed into a trolley car. Five persons on the trolley car were injured.

According to the motor man on the trolley car he was making his last trip of the day and was coming toward the center of the city. His car had passed half-way over the intersection of the two streets when he saw the coupe approaching at a rapid rate. He endeavered to cross Hope St. ahead of the coupe, putting on full speed in an effort to jump his car and avoid a collision.

The coupe hit the trolley car in the side, throwing its operator, Mr. Ladd, through the windshield over the hood, his head striking the wire window guard on the trolley and breaking the glass. Mr. Ladd fell to the street under the trucks of the trolley car and was dragged a distance of nearly 50 feet when the trolley left the rails and crashed into a tree on the left side of Waterman St.

When the electric left the rails, the rear truck passed over Mr. Ladd's head, throwing him to the right side of the street the head remaining under the rear wheels of the car. Mr. Ladd had been at the Metacomet Golf Club all the evening leaving there after midnight.

An inspection of the automobile after the accident revealed that the emergency brakes were set indicating that Mr. Ladd had made every effort to stop his machine when he saw that a collision was imminent.

Charles W. Ferguson, the motorman, was placed under arrest and was arraigned on a charge of manslaughter later this morning at a special session of the Sixth District Court, at the Central police station. He pleaded not guilty and was held by Judge Nathan Wright under $3,000 bonds for trial on Nov. 12.

Mr. Ladd was born in Boston, and was in his 40th year. His boyhood days were spent at Attleboro, where he served an apprenticeship in a manufacturing jewelry concern, after a common school education. After working as a journeyman jeweler with several concerns he entered the ranks of the sales forces and later became a member of the firm of Blackinton & Ladd, which dissolved after a few years.

He was afterwards pattern maker and foreman with firms in this city and also at Newark, N. J., including J. T. Mauran Mfg. Co. in Providence and Layman Strauss and J. & B. Granbery at Newark.

In 1912, he became associated with the manufacturing jewelry concern of Potter & Buffinton in this city, later becoming financially interested. The business was reorganized about two years ago, Herman Heilman and Mr. Ladd becoming largely interested in the concern, Mr. Ladd being elected secretary, succeeding L. H. Bosworth, who became treasurer of the firm. He is a member of the New England Manufacturing Jewelers' and Silversmiths' Association of which he is a director.

He is survived by his widow, Mary Bucklin (Wales) Ladd; his father, Charles E. Ladd and a sister, both of Attleboro.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular - 3rd November 1920

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:58 pm

JOHN G. WITTE

New York

Mr. John G. Witte, of New York, for many years known to the wholesale jewelry and fancy goods trade of Canada, last month in a fit of temporary insanity committed suicide by shooting himself through the head at the St. Lawrence Hall Hotel, Montreal.

Source: The Trader and Canadian Jeweller - May 1890

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:48 am

A. REHFELD

Seattle, Washington


DIAMOND BROKER MURDERED

Seattle Gem Dealer Attacked in His Office and Dies Within a Short Time– Assailant Escapes

Seattle, Wash., April 25– The identity of the man who last Thursday stabbed and killed A. Rehfeld, a diamond broker, who operated under the name of the Washington Brokerage Co., Green building, still remains unsolved. Mr. Rehfeld was attacked about 12:25 P.M. at his place of business, and five minutes later died in a doctor's office in the same building.

The first intimation anyone had that Mr. Rehfeld had been assailed, came when the broker in staggering from his office shattered a large pane of glass.

Tenants were at once attracted by the noise and when Mr. Rehfeld's serious condition was discovered he was at once taken into the doctor's office, where he died a few minutes later, without being able to give a good description of his assailant.

On top of Mr. Rehfeld's desk were found a diamond ring and watch, a $50 bill and. $42 in coin, together with an uncompleted receipt for $50. The assailant left a green hat and a grey raincoat in his haste to make his escape.

Coroner Charles Tiffin, who also has offices in the Green building, was with Rehfeld when he expired.

"Did the man who paid you the $50 stab you?" the dying man was asked.

Rehfeld was sinking rapidly, but he nodded, "Yes." "Was it Bailey?" Again Rehfeld nodded. From different people in the building the police have been able to obtain a good description of the man. Probably the only one to see the murderer in flight is a doctor who maintains an office adjoining the broker's place.

Hearing the crash of glass in the Rehfeld door across the way, the doctor opened his own door, and noticed a bareheaded man dart down the hall, and turn around, on the way to the elevator. The elevator boys can not remember a bareheaded man in their cars, but that occurred during one of the busiest hours of the day.

It was also learned later that a man with his hands and coat sleeves covered with blood had called at a local hat store closely following the murder of Mr. Rehfeld. The hat store is only a block away from the scene of the murder. The man rushed into the store according to reports, and after hurriedly grabbing a hat, for which he paid $1, left the store.

Many other clues have been uncovered by the police, but as yet the police have been unable to apprehend the murderer. The attack on the diamond broker is considered one of the most daring and brutal crimes ever committed in this city.

Mr. Rehfeld lived at the Fairmont Hotel, but as far as can be learned he has no relatives here. His parents live at Bakersfield, Cal.

The murderer is described as about five feet, eight inches, tall, 150 pounds in weight, dark complexion and smooth shaven. At the time of the Rehfeld murder he is said to have worn a dark blue suit.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular- 2nd May 1917

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Re: Some Macabre Stories of the Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:04 am

JOSEPH REIMER

Chicago


Men Who Try to Hold Up Chicago Jeweler Wounded in Running Fight and Taken Into Custody

Chicago, June 21.–An attempt by three desperate young men to rob the jewelry store of Joseph Reimer, 455 S. Kedzie Ave., went wrong last week. No jewelry was taken and the thieves were wounded and captured after a chase.

Two of the bandits entered the store, pretending to be customers. One of them showed Mr. Reimer a ring, which he said he wanted soldered. As the jeweler fixed his eyeglass to examine the ring both bandits drew revolvers. Mr. Reimer was asked to elevate his hands. The same request was made of Mrs. Bessie Reimer, his wife, who entered at that moment. Mrs. Reimer was backed into a corner and warned not the scream. Just at that instant an automobile drove past slowly. The driver blew a whistle and the two bandits rushed out of the store without taking anything. They climbed into the machine and started away.

Mr. Reimer snatched up a revolver and gave chase to the thieves. At Van Buren and Kedzie Sts. he was joined by Sergeant H. Kellogg of the Maxwell St.
Station and Abe Prevolseky, a peddler of fish. As the bandits began to distance them in their car the trio leaped in the machine of J. Obermayer, a salesman for the Globe-Wernicke Co. The pursuit continued through the leading streets of the west side, both the bandits and their pursuers exchanging shots.

No little excitement ensued. When the bandits came to a viaduct at 26th St. and Western Ave. Obermayer managed to get his machine in front of them. The men then surrendered. All had been wounded. They gave the names of John Rooney, 19 years old, Eugene Marshank, 18 years old, and Arthur McNally, 22 years old. Rooney was shot in both legs, Marshank was shot in the abdomen, and McNally received a ball in the hand. Marshank will probably die.

The police believe they have the members of a gang which has been active on the west side for several years.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular- 27th June 1917

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