Saturday, July 21, 2018

Dies of Year-Old Burns

Detroit Free Press, December 1, 1906
Now this story is just downright sad and horrific. It's hard to understand why Rose Day wasn't still at Eloise considering her mental and physical handicaps and then to boot she sustained devastating burns from a fire after being left unattended by her father. Mentions on her Find-A-Grave memorial that child welfare services wanted to take the child away because of numerous incidents which appeared in the newspapers led me to investigate further.

The family was living in a tepee at 476 Sidney Avenue after the house fire. Well, the father was. Apparently Rose was staying with a neighbor along with her mother. The dates in the original article don't jibe with this one from November 15, 1905. The original said that she was burned on the 2nd but was in the home on the 14th in this one when it was burned down. Unless there were two fires. Or the Free Press was once again inept in their fact-finding mission. No matter. She was not being properly cared for and her family was unstable. Proof in point is the mention that her father William Day had shot his young son to death 10 years previously when he pointed a supposedly empty gun at him and "clicked".

Detroit Free Press, November 15, 1905
The reason for her remaining in the pathetic situation becomes obvious when reading the final article. She was not taken away from the family due to her mother throwing a tantrum and declaring that no pale face would remove her child. James F. Hill, agent for the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, who had manned the case was told by Mrs. William Day that she was a bad woman and not to be messed with. Hill persevered but was finally dissuaded by Mrs. Day's stern language, proclaiming, "they'll never take her, because I'll kill them all and wade in their blood first." The warning was heeded and Rose Day lived out the final six months of her life in turmoil, strife and certainly pain and discomfort.

Detroit Free Press, March 10, 1906

Friday, July 20, 2018

Died On The Same Day

Detroit Free Press, April 8, 1904
Not they didn't! The story sounded implausible and statistically impossible minus a plague, natural disaster or a suicide pact and that's because it was. Not that the actual story isn't incredible enough, assuming that the newspaper which made up a fake headline didn't embellish the remaining aspects, but it simply isn't true. I think the greatest indicator of a tall tale was the line stating "who formerly might have been called the 'three musketeers' of the Wayne county house". It played into the sentiments of the reading audience and then lied. Plus, it appears that each man arrived at different times to the Wayne County House. One, seemingly just a month before his death, another a few months beforehand with the third having arrived a year or so prior.

Now for the actual facts: three guys who resided at the County House, who may or may not have been friends, died within 33 hours of each other. The first man to succumb to death was Michael Quinn, 71, a hostler, who died of senile gangrene, which is basically a lack of blood supply due to degeneration of the arterial walls.


The second man to die, about 14 hours after the first, was John Beaubien. He seems to have arrived at Eloise just a month beforehand while his supposed musketeer brothers Michael Quinn and Edward Schwartz both were admitted nearly a year apart. What's known is that Beaubien was a Teamster and died of organic heart disease. He was 57.


Edward Schwartz appears to have been institutionalized the longest having first been treated on March 12, 1903. Hardly the previously Autumn as stated in the Free Press tall tale! Though we can't discount that they could have possibly known each other outside of Eloise. Mr Schwartz, a shoemaker, was 75 at the time of his death.

Also, none of the men were buried on April 7, 1904, as the article states, but rather on March 28th and 29th of that year as indicated by their death certificates.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Insane Once Again

Detroit Free Press, October 12, 1883
Benjamin Neal or Benjamin Weals, we've long-established that the Free Press was tone deaf with names and facts, was shot and wounded by John Sullivan after he was "caught" and taken to his home. Obviously, Sullivan was criminally liable and eventually considered insane. More insane were the people who thought it wise to release him back into the general public six months later. No word on what got him re-committed.

Detroit Free Press, May 22, 1884

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Eloise Inn


Since Bill Eubank posted a photo of the Eloise Inn on the Facebook page I decided that I should do some follow-up with both old and new information. The photo that he posted was from the Patricia Ibbotson book "Eloise: Poorhouse, Farm, Asylum, and Hospital, 1839-1984" and appeared on page 97.

Detroit Free Press, June 6, 1978
Eloise Inn was situated at 31403 Michigan Avenue about a half mile from Eloise. It was owned by Viola Volbrecht up until the end of WWII when it was purchased by Douglas Slamers. He owned the Inn for over 43 years until 1989.

While long contended to be the drinking hole for Eloise patients, when Viola Volbrecht was charged in 1936 for selling alcohol to charges she denied the accusation blaming local blind pigs for the problem. Deputies from the sheriff's department agreed with her contention though it was likely that she had served some inmates inadvertently.

Dearborn Township Directory & Street Guide, October, 1952
Other information is scarce, such as when the Inn originally opened, but the phone number was WAYNE 9324 and according to the website link below that has compiled an ingenious list of former payphone numbers, theirs was (313) 721-9681.

A sign from the bar now resides at the Eloise Museum.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Get A Job, Job. POGIE Get A Job

Detroit Free Press, June 22, 1910
Despite the prodding of the irresistible Siren to be witty and wile I shall remain tactlessly factual and mundane.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Battle Over a Dog Has One Casualty

Detroit Free Press, November 25, 1933
Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Give him a dog and if he kicks it you'll beat his ass forever. Or you'll end up in Eloise hospital because you're drunk and can't fight. Such was the fate of Tony Klopfer at the hand of John Aimar.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Efforts to Break into Jail Foiled

Detroit Free Press, November 2, 1932
Joel Alexander, a 30-year-old vagrant, had a long-term plan of travelling to warmer climes to fight off the winter cold. But there was no Florida or the Bahamas in his itinerary. He wanted to go to jail. Once thwarted by a judge on a moral mission he attempted to peddle copyrighted music again in hopes of securing a bed, a cell and 3 squares per day. He even came equipped with the poor man's Kryptonite, an Eloise ticket. All to no avail. Sentence suspended. Now to find out if this erstwhile genius ever made it to our beloved haven of torture and dismay.