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"ONE TOWNSHIP'S YESTERDAYS"
By Edwin Corwin
XLII. LAW AND ORDER
"Fear God, and offend not the king nor his laws, And keep thyself out of the Magistrate's claws."...Tusser of old England
FIRE-WATER AND THE DAWN, OF CIVILIZATION went "hand in hand" and the white man's follies became the red man's tragedy.
In the beginning, dating the review of history back to the days of the Indians and the first white settlements in northern Indiana, the chronicler finds little savoring of organized law and order, so far as present-day standards are concerned. Since the "ancient history" of this region must necessarily have its origin among the "redskins," a glimpse of conditions as pertained to them in the first half of the Nineteenth Century might prove of interest.
The records coming down to us from those early times, one discovers, maybe construed as negative, when one considers the Indian's respect for the white man's standards. The poor Indian, it is found, had difficulty in maintaining peace and a well-ordered manner of living after the pattern of our so-called civilization.
As every school child knows, the Indian was noted for his perfidy, his petty lying and thievery, his sneaking habits, his ruthless raids and depredations, and his warlike habits. Every child knows of his war-whoops. But he had other whoops. The white man was responsible for them, just as he was for some of the other sins laid at the door of the red man's wigwam.
"Demon rum," fed to him by white hands, was just about "death and destruction" to the Indian. When the poor uncivilized native became properly and overly fed on fire-water, he "whooped it up" and no mistake about it. Then, of course, he transgressed; the laws of the palefaces were shattered and the peace-loving white folks were grievously disturbed.
History, as a general rule, paints an all too dark picture of the Indian; he had his qualities, his good points as well as the bad. Left alone, undisturbed, he was fairly peaceable. There were warlike tribes, of course, but the general run of Indians preferred to hunt and fish, and live and loaf, in peace and blissful serenity.
The reports to the "outside world," made by early travelers who visited Indiana, did not always agree regarding the Indian's deportment. According to one account, the Indians observed at Vincennes, even though "addicted to spirits, and often intoxicated," were generally civil and' good humored. A French traveler, Volney, reported however in 1804 as to the Indians frequenting Vincennes: "It was rare for a day to pass without a deadly quarrel, by which about ten men lose their lives yearly. A savage once stabbed his wife, in four places, with a knife, a few paces from me. A similar event took place a fortnight before, and five such the preceding year. For this, vengeance is either immediately taken, or deferred to a future opportunity by the relations of the slain, which affords fresh cause for bloodshed and treachery."
On the other hand, a surveyor by the name of Buck, before 1817, reported coming across many Indians while surveying in the wilderness, seemingly in this upper part of the State, and "they appeared friendly," and offered the surveyors honey and venison.
"The demeanor of the Indians toward the white settlers," according to the Rev. Warren Taylor, who referred to the Indians of this immediate section, "was with few exceptions peaceable and friendly." The itinerant preacher added: "All, however, did not possess this spirit." He then related the tragic end of Chief Au-bee-nau-bee, who presided over several Potawatomi bands, in Marshall and Fulton counties, and made his permanent home in a village bearing his name, located a few miles south of Maxinkuckee lake. McDonald said that Au-bee-nau-bee was "a stout, robust, coarse featured, sullen specimen of his race, and when under the influence of liquor, which he nearly always was for a long time prior to his tragic death, was quarrelsome, vicious and unmanageable. . . . In one of his drunken sprees he quarreled with one of his wives (of which he had several), and in a fit of anger killed her. A council of the chiefs of the different bands of the Potawatomi was called, so the story goes, to deliberate as to what the punishment should be. The council, following an ancient custom, decided that the oldest son should be the avenger of the murder of his mother and slay his father. The sentence of death was pronounced and the son was given a certain number of moons to carry it into execution. The father had the right to defend himself, and if he could keep out of the way and escape the infliction of the penalty until the time had expired he was to be considered a free man. His son kept watch of him, and as he wanted the old man out of the way so he could succeed him as chief of the band, he was really in earnest in wanting to kill him. Finally the opportunity presented itself. One day the old man drank to excess and, sitting down in a chair in the Blodgett log shanty (just over the line in Fulton county), went to sleep. His son, having followed him, approached stealthily into his presence, pulled his tomahawk from his belt, and, with a terrific blow, thrust it into his head up to the handle. The blood spurted to the low ceiling above, and with a single groan and struggle, the great chief, Au-bee-nau-bee, fell over on the floor, dead!"
The son, Pau-koo-shuck, succeeded his father as chief, and the same year disposed of the lands belonging to the reservation by treaty to the government, and with his band, in September, 1838, was started for the reservation west of the Missouri river.
A member of that expedition reported that, when near the Mississippi river, Pau-koo-shuck refused to go further, escaped, and returned to the old hunting-grounds, where he hunted, fished, drank and caroused, until death overtook him, not long afterward. There is a story that he got into a disturbance, near Winamac, and was so badly hurt that disease set in and he died. His body was brought from Winamac to Lake Maxinkuckee, it was said, and buried on Long Point alongside of an Indian named Whip-poor-will. A legend persists that the ghost of Pau-koo-shuck came forth on favorable nights, pranked about Long Point, hovered over the marshes, skipped about on the water, and even paddled his little canoe about the lake.
Such punishment as was meted out by Pau-koo-shuck has a parallel in a case reported by David Thomas, a traveler in Indiana, who in 1819 wrote regarding the pernicious effects of spirituous liquors on the Indians: "One killed his fellow. To terminate the feud, and to prevent retaliation, it became necessary by their custom, that the murderer should be dispatched by his own brother, and the horrid task was accordingly performed." Thomas also told of a Potawatomi chief slain by the use of a club, by whom it was undiscovered. "Though Indians often kill each other," he said, "their weapons are the knife and the tomahawk."
An Indian by the name of Marshall visited the residence of Anthony Niago north of Bourbon in an early day, and threatened to kill him for some imaginary cause. In self-defense, Niago took his gun down from over his door and shot him dead in his tracks. Niago (or Ni-go) for all that, was a friendly and peaceable soul. He died in Plymouth in 1878.
Timothy Flint, missionary traveler, wrote in 1826 that the sparse population of the wilderness suffered severely from the "savages," until the peace, restored by the treaty at Greenville. Later, many settlements were reported broken up by the Indians and the tide of immigration for a spell almost completely arrested, about the time of or preceding the bloody battle of Tippecanoe.
Many other incidents pertaining to law and order, and the lack of it, amongst the Indians could be cited, but we must now pass on to the white man's phase.
Justices of the Peace or Union Township from the organization of the County onward were the following:
Thomas McDonald 1837
Theophilus Jones 1838
John B. Dickson 1842
Hugh Brownlee 1847
Eph Moore 1849
Peter Smith __________ 1853
Ephraim Moore 1854
William D. Thompson 1854
Lewis C. Larue 1858
Peter Smith 1861
Eli Parker 1862-66
Nelson 37cLaughlin 1863-67
L. P. Vanschoiack 1870
J. J. Bryant 1871-75
J. L. Mosher 1874-80
G. A. Durr 1874
Ira J. Baker 1876-80
Thomas Medbourn 1881-82
J. S. Sheuerman 1882-86
Allen N. Bogardus 1886-91
Oliver Morris 1888-
G. A. Williams 1892-
Isaiah C. Brooke 1892-00
John H. Burns 1897-00
Jacob H. Zechiel 1901-02
Lewis F. Stahl 1903-
George W. Voreis 1904-34
J. W. Currens 1910-15
Frank L. Glass 1915
Glenn Snapp 1915-18
J. W. Riggens 1918-35
For a number of years, Union Township has been allowed two Justices of the Peace. The record for tenure, of office was that of George W. Voreis, who when he died in 1934 had rounded out over thirty years as Justice. Of recent years, both parties, Republican and Democratic, have been represented with Justices. Justice Riggens, a Republican, is the present incumbent.
An attempt has been made by the writer, through research, to obtain as complete a list as possible of the Constables of Union Township. It has been an arduous task. The following names of Constables appear in court records dating back to 1846, on file at the Town Hall in Culver, with dates of service, apparently incomplete:
John H. Clark, 1847-48.
Samuel McDonald 1849-50-51-52.
William Cantwell, 1851-52.
Jesse D. Clark, 1852.
Squier Owens, 1853-54.
William R. Wickizer, 1855.
James Smith, 1855.
William Jones, 1858-59-60-61-69-70-71.
James Plant, 1856-57.
James Lyon, 1854-61.
Daniel Strohacker, 1860-61-6263-64-65-66-67-68-69-70-71-72-7374.
William Thompson, 1867-68-69.
George H. Thompson, 1868.
Nelson McLaughlin, 1871.
J. W. Maxey, 1872-73.
Samuel R. Green (Deputy Constable), 1870.
Andrew W. Duff, 1873-74-7576-77-78.
Morris Agler, 1876.
Lewis F. Stahl, 1877-78.
James H. Castleman, 1878-7980-81.
S. A. Shaw, 1882.
John A. Large, 1882.
Frank Hawk (Special), 1883.
Debolt Kline (Special), 1884.
John Kline (Special), 1884.
John Snyder (Special), 1885S6.
David C. Knott (Special), 1886.
William Louden (Special), 1886-88
James W. Wilson (Special), 1856.
Frank Fletcher (Special), 1S87.
Nathaniel Gandy. 1885-89-91.
D. H. Smith, 1892.
John F. Cromley, 1892-93-94-95-96-97-98.
T. K. Mawhorter, 1901.
Fly Spencer, 1902.
G. W. Smith, 1904.
John F. Cromley, 1904.
Jesse W. Rhodes, 1905.
Fred W. Cook, 1910.
W. A. VanMeter, 1912-13-1415-16-17.
Frank McLane, 1912-14.
George R. Woodward, 1918.
Ed R. Cook, 1918.
Tennis Mattix, 1918-19.
Bert Hisey, 1918.
William Murphy, 1919-20-21-22-23-24-25-26-27.
Charles Miles (Special, game), 1919.
Pete Whaley (Special), 1920.
J. E. Marshall, 1921.
I. G. Fisher, 1924.
G. W. Bogardus, 1924-25.
Joseph Hathaway, 1925-26.
A. B. Cromley, 1926.
Bert E. Fry (Special, game); 1927-30.
William Baldwin (Special, game), 1929-30-31.
Ed R. Cook, 1929-30-31-32.
Charles A. Buffington, 1932-33-34-35.
In the old days the Indians fought it out amongst themselves. Some of them hereabouts were reported killed, usually in some fracas or carousal. Almost always they themselves suffered the consequences, rarely any one of the white race. One dead Indian, so disposed of, was set up against a tree east of Lake Maxinkuckee, so the story goes. He was all rigged out in finery. Some wild fracas had spelled his doom.
For contrast, let us look into the white man's doings. In the 'sixties, after the Civil War, mutual detective associations were formed in certain communities of the county, for the purpose of capturing horse-thieves.
As late as 1904, "horse-thief swindlers" were still pestiferous in these parts. The gas-buggy was just getting started, and the horse was not beaten yet. The horse-thieves would come to town driving a team, perhaps all the way from Illinois, would put up at a livery stable, then sell the horses, one or both for what they could get, sometimes for sixty dollars when the steed was worth at least a hundred. The slick strangers would depart by rail. Clever crooks that they were, they would get word to the distant liveryman from whom they hired the horses. Then the liveryman would come and claim the stolen property. Buyers were losers.
Bands of horse-thieves were reported as operating near by in July, 1904. In September that year we hear much talk of the operations of a notorious horse-thief. That same month the stolen dray team incident occurred. Jake Landis hauled a load of household furniture to Plymouth. A boy, his cousin, was to drive the team home. He disappeared, and was traced back as far as Twin Lakes, thence to Teegarden. There was a bay horse and a bay and white spotted one. Later, the boy returned. The horses were found. One had been sold for nine dollars, and the buyer hid it in a tamarack swamp. Jake had to pay five dollars to get it back.
In the summer of '04 there was a movement to organize the sheriffs of northern Indiana and southern Michigan for protection against the operations of horse-thieves. The bold methods of the thieves indicated some special means they must have had of disposing of stolen horses. Stations were believed to be located at intervals of about forty miles between the headquarters of the gang and Chicago.
Also, that same year, house burglars came in the middle of the night. And "green goods" workers and swindlers were at large then. They swindled a farmer named Crowfoot, living near Bremen, out of $5,000 in a fake gambling game.
In March of the year "naughty-five" came the startling Burr Oak burglary. Burglars made a big haul all William Vanderweele's saloon at two in the morning. They blew the safe, quite wrecked the place. The terrific explosion well nigh awakened the entire town. Only the bedfast failed finally to come forth to prevent the marauders from carrying the town away. "Doe" Blake and Van appeared very early. The burglars told them to get back in the house. They did, pronto. Shots were fired. No one was harmed. The Nickel Plate office and both hand-car houses were raided, and the raiders escaped using a horse and buggy belonging to Cal Marsh.
The welfare of the youth of our communities had to be looked to in those days, also. Word came to the Vandalia railroad officials in June, '05, that the management of the Union News Company had been notified that in the future detective stories and bloodcurdling stories of every nature would be barred from the trains and stations of the Pennsylvania system. Railroad men at Culver explained that the order was in accordance with a decision of the Pennsylvania higher officials to eliminate what they considered one of the breeders of crime in the country.
Robbers played high jinks in Culver in 1916. Three times burglars robbed Rector's pharmacy. The first time was the night of September 14th. It was assumed that the burglars came to town by auto and by night entered the drug store. It was estimated by Mr. Rector that booty to the value of $1,200 bad been taken. The burglars smashed the glass in the front door and entered. Then again, on the night of November 13th! The same method was followed as on September 14th, and the loss was between $350 and $400. The last time, December 7th, the town was all shot up with excitement. Nine business, places, including Rector's, were entered by burglars, but very little loot was secured. The nine places robbed (it sounds like a business directory) were Meredith's real estate office, Speyer's store, Mikesell's meat market, Rector's pharmacy, Warner's store, Ferrier's lumber office, Hawkins's elevator. Cook's blacksmith shop, Plotner's garage; and the school house was entered, too. A clue was found there: tobacco spit on the floor of Miss McFarland's room. Janitor Buswell saw evidences of an attempt to start the engines. Bloodhounds, brought from South Whitley, acted quite dumb.
Among other robberies was that of the F. G. Solomon store in Culver, which was entered early in the morning of July 9, 1924. The place was looted, about $1,200 worth of merchandise being taken.
Clinton Cochran was sentenced to fifteen years for auto banditry and the theft of $2,000 worth of clothing from the Mitchell & Stabenow Store. In November, 1934, Cochran committed suicide at the State Reformatory at Pendleton. He drank a mixture of lye and acid, obtained from the prison hospital. Cochran was sentenced on September 3, 1929. Seven days before the date of trial, be was one of three to escape from the Marshall County jail. All three were caught before reaching the city limits, Cochran being the last. He was found hiding in a lumber pile.
The two bank robberies at Culver were of course the most spectacular and exciting of all. The State Exchange Bank was first robbed by bandits on December 29, 1920. There were five in the gang of desperadoes. One of them, Earl Wilkes, got away and was never located. The other four, including John Burns, were captured. One citizen, Jacob Russell Sable, was shot by the bandits and died about a mouth later. Jerome Zechiel, of the citizenry, was wounded. There was a lot of shooting, on both sides, by citizens and bandits, and for awhile the battle was hot and furious. Bandit Burns, convicted and sent to prison, escaped from the "big house" at Michigan City in 1933. It was believed that he went to Chicago and joined with the notorious Dillinger gang; at least, so said Edward Shouse, who was one of those who made the sensational prison break, but who was captured and returned to the State "pen." Burns had often stated that he would go to South America if he ever escaped from prison. But apparently he changed his travel itinerary.
The second robbery of the same bank was in the morning of May 29, 1933, when a gang of seven armed bandits held up and robbed the bank and disturbed things quite generally, but within a few hours the "bad men" were in a sorry plight. One was shot and killed. Five were almost immediately captured by vigilantes, and the other fellow was later seized in Chicago, "given away" by a girl friend.
Harmless in comparison with this later day lawlessness were the pranks of long ago, such as the "raising of Cain" around Hibbard when Hibbard was "Helltown" or Dante.
The old jail in Culver stood originally in Harding Court, as now designated, between Lake Shore Drive and Washington Street, just about where Rollins Chapel of the A. M. E. Church is today located. It stood on the church lot, before it was a church lot. It was built there and moved some years ago to a new site. The jail was still there in 1901, but there was not much use for it then, except. maybe when some one came in on an excursion and got a little tight and had to be put in there to sober up. The old jail is still in Culver, doing duty as a coal and wood shed, close to the rear of a house on Lakeview Street, the property of A. L. Warner. No one seems to remember the date of its removal. But there it is, a structure 14 feet, 6 inches square, and nine feet high on the high side, with a four-inch fall. It is made of two-by-fours laid flat, something like a log house. Old square nails were used in it, heavy ones.
The building is just about square. There are three windows, two at the back and one at, the front, all high up. The front window is the only one in which the bars remain. The bars are set close and upright. The windows are small, all sized about the same. The opening of the front window is 15 by 24 inches, and the two cell windows at the rear, 16 by 25 inches. There is a door at the front, also made of two-by-fours laid flat. It is heavy, like an old safe door, and has heavy iron hinges and an iron bar toe bolt it securely. The ironwork was hammered probably by a local blacksmith. Inside the jail there is no finish. There is a room across the front and two back rooms, the cells, with a window apiece. All the two-by-fours were spiked together to stay. They stayed. That old jail is like an old-fashioned ice-box; in truth, a "cooler" . . . and a "coop."
In the light of the present day that old jail does not seem to amount to much. It is a curiosity. It fades into insignificance in a time of wholesale jail-breaks and mass deliveries of desperate criminals, for whom great walls of stone, built like those of fortresses and manned with armed guards, and cages of steel, are but barriers that may by some crafty means be surmounted. "Neighbor" Cromley, who was Marshall for a number of years, remembers well the old jail when it stood on its original site. "The old jail stood on the same ground that Rollins Chapel now stands on," he recalls. "I was Marshall when it was there."
The first lawyer to locate permanently in the county for the purpose of practicing law was probably Hon. Charles H. Reeve.
Judge Albertus C. Capron, prominent jurist, had a cottage near the Maxinkuckee landing. He died there, May 13, 1905.
|XLIII. THE TURN OF THE CENTURY|
"Ring out the old, ring in the new."
... Alfred Tennyson
A NEW CENTURY dawned. The last sun of an Old Century had set. A new age was beginning. New ideas were taking form. People assumed a looking-forward attitude. Things of the past became "old fashioned." Things of the present were "up-to-date." The world, very consciously, was "making progress." Almost everything had to be new to be acceptable; old things were taboo.
Union Township, at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, felt this "urge" to become modern. Evidences of the new trend were to be found on all sides. The Nineteenth Century was gone, ended, a matter of the past. The New Century was at hand, demanding a different sort of pace. Union Township was not dilatory in accepting the new order.
The turn of the century was known to many as the "Fill de siecle," meaning literally the end of the century, especially the Nineteenth Century. An Indiana author, Booth Tarkington, ably describes this rather unique and bizarre period of American history in his book, "The World Does Move." He depicts a fascinating era, from an Indiana viewpoint, and a great deal of his story applies quite truthfully to conditions as existing in Union Township.
Tarkington says that "never did an epoch more placidly be lieve itself the last word than did the `fin de siecle' and every country newspaper glibly used that phrase, so sophisticated was our whole nation in those days. The `fin de siecle' was the last word in scientific achievement, in modern inventions, in literature and the fine arts, in good taste, in luxury, in elegance, in extravagance, in dress, in cleverness and in the art of being blase."
It would be hopeless to attempt a thorough survey of this period for a history of Union Township. Too much happened in those early days of the New Century. A few glimpses may suffice.
Those were the days of the "new speed mania." The bicycle speeders were beginning to meet, sometimes unsuccessfully, the competition of the "one lunged" auto speeders. Horse racing was still in vogue, also rubber-tired buggies, family carriages, phaetons, dogcarts and runabouts, vying with the gas-buggy for the rights of the road.
Women cyclists began wearing bloomers and gaiters. Other forms of feminine dress became a bit more daring, somewhat radical. The changes were stirring up quite a furor in certain circles. During the first five years of the New Century, the advance was rapid. In the summer of '05, it was said: "The shirt-waist man and the netwaist girl go hand in hand today . . . go rollicking down the way." That was in Culver. Clothes were growing fewer and thinner. Speculators were asking: "Then what?" City shops were full of openwork stockings. Times were becoming scandalous. The shirt-waist was bad enough, but then appeared the wasp-waist, too. That was the limit.
At the beginning of the century, the men were wearing derby hats. Some of them wore silk hats. But, when he took his coat off and went about in a shirt-waist, then man at last became a subject to be talked about . . . over tea and wafers, no doubt.
"Teas" and afternoon calls were the rage. Hostesses were as busy as hens with Teddy Rooseveltian broods. The round of affairs and events was nearly "killing." The pace was awful, by day and by night. There was no end of entertaining and being entertained. Those were jolly times. The improved phonograph, no longer a mere "talking machine," was working over-time. The evening breezes were filled with the tinkle of mandolins and guitars on summer verandas, the twanging of banjos, and the singing of "coon songs" and "Mandalay" Music drifted over the lake from the cottages along its shores and from the boats on its surface. And, in the midst, of it all, somewhere along Maxinkuckee's strand, Riley, the people's great poet of that romantic period, was composing verses about the, “gleaming and glorified lake."
"The green below and the blue above,
Heigh, young hearts and the hopes thereof--
Kate in the hammock and Tom sprawled on
The sward--like a lover's picture drawn
By the lucky dog himself, with Kate
To moon o'er his shoulder and meditate
On a fat old purse or a lank young love—
The green below and the blue above."
How difficult it is to leave the first few years of the Twentieth Century! But other periods are calling, and time and space will not permit much tarrying. Just a few more glimpses before we go, little intimate views, around the lake, in town, here and there in the township, during those early years of the Twentieth Century. Contemporary views, quoted:
"A galaxy of twenty-seven young ladies of Kewanna spent last Saturday at the lake (Maxinkuckee). They appeared to enjoy themselves-so did some other people."
Some young men gave a hay ride party and supper to their lady friends, around the lake. (August, 1904).
The Long Point Card Club was active (Summer, '04).
"A bunch of gypsies were in Culver and raked in a lot of money telling fortunes." (July, 01).
A Culver business man of that period, "still doing business at the same old stand," recalls (in 1934) the carrying of lanterns through the streets by individuals and groups of individuals, on their way to and from parties and other social events. The town was dark, except on moonlight nights. More light, however, was beginning to appear with the "fin de siecle." Witness an item, dated May 26, 1904: "Ephraim Poor has out two incandescent lights in his shop . . . and now he has one of the best lighted shops to be found anywhere." Ephraim Poor was the proprietor of the Culver barber shop.
"The farmers have been going in for some of the luxuries of life, too, particularly in the way of rubber-tired buggies and carriages." They bought up the sponge or took to the byways.
The motor cars! They came and came. As Riley remarked in verse, the roads were "full o' loads-full . . an' all hot, an' smokin' an' chokin' with dust." Riley knew. It was the same here as elsewhere. Riley knew that too, for he sojourned at the lake in those times.
The motors multiplied, something after the fashion of rabbits and flies, while the steeds diminished in numbers, like a vanishing race of aborigines. After a valiant struggle, the horse finally all but gave up and succumbed to the inevitable, which was the ignoble fate of being literally run off the highways by the chugging, grinding, back-firing and evil-smelling gas-buggy.
In Union Township there were many fine road-horses and many horse-lovers as well. But, with the coming of the Twentieth Century, the urge to become "modern" was early felt in this section and, beginning with a few daring individuals possessing mechanical and experimental streaks, the motor craze was not long in taking hold.
Many of the finest of the driving horses were high-strung and spirited beasts, and naturally they resented the intrusion of the strange contraptions that were appearing on the roads. Drivers of those days still remember vividly certain experiences with balking and rearing and capering horses, with animals suddenly becoming wild-eyed and almost vicious on the appearance ahead . . . or behind . . . of some snorting monster not of their own ilk or kind. With Riley, they "heerd the hoss snort and kick up his heels like he wuz skeerd." Horsemen tell of being compelled to take to the fields in order to circumnavigate the motor cars. Thus the horse gave in, and the automobile secured the right of way.
Since this section of the country was so little removed from the original home of what was claimed to be the very first of the automobiles, it was a natural consequence that experimentation should begin at an early date in Union Township. People soon became "motor conscious," and, in the language of the day, horse and horseman were forced to "go 'way back and sit down."
There was much talk in Culver and vicinity, during the early years of the New Century, about cruelty to animals, and the. S. P. C. A. movement was gaining momentum.
Runaways became more common, mostly runaway horses, but once in a while the motor car did the running, while the horse stood aside and gave it the horse laugh. There had always been runaway horses, however, even before the advent of the motor vehicle, but with such things now in the roads, it was no wonder that the horse more frequently "took to his heels and made off." Motorists complained that they always got the blame, no matter what the circumstances were. The truth is that, even in this new motor age, horses ran away and got into accidents and other kinds of trouble of their own accord. Sometimes a gas-buggy was nowhere in sight. Sometimes it was just a case of "nerves."
J. D. Heiser of Burr Oak, in 1905, had the misfortune to have his team run away between Culver and Burr Oak. One horse was killed.
A law suit claimed attention in the summer of that same year. It was a local collision between rig and buggy. No automobile figured in it at all. Injuries were sustained. It was claimed one driver had been under the influence of liquor. Fire-water prevented careful driving.
Those terrible auto horns often did the trick. The tooting of one of them frightened the horse George Osborn was driving in Culver in July, 1905. An unusual mix-up followed. Auto and buggy collided. George Osborn, his wife and daughter were all thrown and injured, not seriously. The Osborn horse, perhaps resenting the horn, had made a sort of dive for the offending antagonist. All came to grief in a pile of bricks at one side of the street. G. E. Kimmel of Hibbard was the autoist. The scene of action was in the thoroughfare now known as Lake Shore Drive, and nearly in front of the Shilling residence.
This accident of the George Osborn family was consequential: it drew attention to the automobile law, which had often been ignored or disregarded, as almost all laws are. The law was very stringent. It had been passed by the last legislature previous to the accident.
Speed limits were defined: no greater than eight miles an hour in business and closely built up portions of municipalities, nor more than fifteen miles in other portions of such municipalities, nor more than twenty miles an hour outside such municipalities. Motorists were to provide an: efficient brake and suitable bell, horn or other signal. Persons with horses on the road could hold up a hand as a signal and the automobilist had to bring his motor vehicle to a stop and allow the Horse & Co., Ltd., to pass.
Just a hint of the future, when the bottom was destined to drop out of the market, could be found perhaps in conditions along towards the 'Fall and Winter of 1905, when certain stocks were beginning to be sold cheap. In Culver, for example, Hayes
Son's Livery had for sale "first and second-hand buggies and carriages at your own price." That was in the fall, but in the Winter the same concern had bargains in sleighs. In time, sad to relate, even sleighs and the merry jingle of the sleigh-bells were to become antique things. Times were soon to go against them all, except the gas-buggy. Even sleighing snow began to get scarcer and scarcer, and oldtimers in this section remark in this later day that "we don't have nowheres near the snows we used to have 'round here. Say, I can remember when . . .
Sic transit gloria mundi. So passes away the glory of the world.