Thursday, January 19, 2012

“Geauga in Print: Part Five”


c. 2011 Rod Ice
All rights reserved
(10-11)



A look through the time tunnel – that is the experience yielded by researching the vast library of online newspaper archives. Echoes of yesterday linger in these yellowed pages of print. Yet strangely, some of the local stories contained therein seem to touch on issues still very much in the minds of modern-day Geauga County residents.

What follows here are a few examples:

FLAG ABUSE
Spokane Daily Chronicle, June 22, 1963


“CHARDON, Ohio – A 39-year-old former high school teacher, who stepped on an American flag in a classroom demonstration, has been acquitted of charges of defiling the flag. A Geauga County Common Pleas jury deliberated the fate of Arlie McCartt for an hour before rendering a verdict Friday night. Judge Robert B. Ford had specified that malicious intent to desecrate the flag must be shown for a conviction under the law. Several witnesses testified McCartt pulled the flag off its stand, stepped on it and said: ‘If I had done this during the Spanish-American war, I might have been shot.”

THE PEACE MOVEMENT
Painesville Telegraph, Nov. 11, 1938


“Ministers of Lake and Geauga counties and their wives met at Disciple Christian church, Chardon, Thursday to attend the peace meeting which is one of the many meetings being sponsored by the state federation of churches throughout the counties in Ohio. The Rev. F. Howard Callahan of Akron, representing the state federation, spoke on ‘Peace’ and urged the ministers to organize groups and meetings in an effort to stir up interest in the peace movement. The Rev. Mr. Callahan is one of the 18 prominent Ohio clergymen who are giving their time to assist in carrying the peace message to the ministers in the state. By this program, people are encouraged to read and study the international problems of the world today, in order to command for themselves a better understanding of the world situation. Through the peace program that is being carried out now, it is hoped to enlist more than 3,000 ministers in the holding of peace forums in local churches. The Rev. William B. Robinson, of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Painesville, president of the association of Lake and Geauga counties, conducted the meeting. Luncheon was served to the 30 ministers and their wives who attended the meeting.”

CRIME
Youngstown Vindicator, April 4, 1901

“Chardon, Ohio – A gang of half a dozen robbers, early today, blew open the safe of the Citizens’ Savings bank here, and after a desperate fight with Night Watchman Pomeroy and a citizen, succeeded in making their escape. It is believed the robbers secured less than $200. The night watchman discovered the men at work in the bank. He was seized, bound and gagged, but not until he had shot one of the burglars. Dr. Hudson, who lives near the bank, was aroused by the noise and came to the scene. He was also seized and tied, hand and foot. It required three big charges of dynamite to blow the safe door off. After completing their work, the robbers left town on a handcar. Early today, two men were arrested at Willoughby upon the charge of being members of the gang which robbed the Chardon bank. The robbers only succeeded in gaining entrance to one compartment of the big safe. In another part, which was not reached, it is said nearly $50,000 was stored. Pomeroy, the night watchman, is badly used up. After he shot one of the burglars he was unmercifully clubbed over the head. After being bound and gagged the watchman was dragged into the bank. He lay there a witness to all the operations. At each explosion, the robbers retired to places of safety. Pomeroy lay in an exposed place and no attention was paid to him except that one of the robbers, whose arm had evidently been broken by the shot from the night watchman’s revolver, occasionally gave him a kick in the ribs as he passed. The robbers were a long time getting into the vault. They gathered up the loose coins lying about and then went at the strong box. They exploded several charges but could not force it. After an investigation today Cashier Smith made this statement concerning the booty secured by the cracksmen: ‘The robbers got $125 in gold, $20,000 in certificates held against the bank by individuals and $25,000 or $30,000 worth of mortgages and other securities belonging to individuals. None of the paper taken is negotiable. There was $30,000 in currency in an inner vault which they did not get. The books and records of the bank were not disturbed.’ A posse of citizens is scouring the surrounding country for the robbers. It is believed that some coins in possession of the two men arrested at Willoughby are a part of those taken from the bank. The men also had several sticks of dynamite in their pockets.”

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