Police blotter from December 1942

Officer Matt Jones was called out early (4:35 a.m.) on the first day of December 1942. He was plum tuckered out running around trying to solve the problem that was causing so much trouble for some of Saranac Lake’s citizens that he was sworn to protect.

I knew Officer Jones. A big, soft spoken gentleman who lived with his wife at 46 Woodruff St. In the 1940s, I used to deliver The Enterprise to them along with about 50 other customers; three cents a copy so we had to collect 18 cents on Saturday and if possible return to the Enterprise and pay our bill that day or no later than Monday. The publisher John Ridenour’s charming daughter Eleanor worked at the front desk and collected the money, all in change.

Then in the later 1940s, Officer Jones would come along in the summer evenings when a gang of us would be congregated on the sidewalk at 4 Broadway, the location of Bernie Wilson’s restaurant, (now Cape Air/Art Gallery location) and send us home at 9:30 when the local curfew kicked in for those who were not yet age 16.

The blotter

12-1-42, 4:35 a.m. — Call from Tom Sheridan. Dog barking on Winona Avenue. Went out there and found Dean Myers chasing it with a broom. Said it had been barking for “hours”. Chased the dog all over Slater Hill and out Lake Flower Avenue for nearly an hour. Was unable to get within 150 feet of it so gave it up. It would circle around and come back. Small, black spaniel. Could hear it all the way down to the Town Hall. — Jones

12-2-42, 11: p.m. – Saw a man pushing a woman against the side of Joe Miner’s gas station. Found one John Doe and wife arguing. Told them to stop arguing on the street. He wanted to know if I had any complaint- “drunk & ugly” — I told him I didn’t need any complaint to check him out and he better get moving or else. He moved! – Wallace

12-3-42, 5 p.m. — Complaint that kids were on Garden Street grabbing the bumpers of cars so they could not make the hill. Chased them away three different times. — Ryan

12-3-42, 8 p.m. — Call from Mr. King at the Hotel Alpine. Says that it has been reported to him that boys are going into the house at 11 Marshall Street in the evening and playing cards or shooting craps by the light of candles. The house belongs to the Hotel Alpine. Wants us to check there in the evening. — Jones

12-4-42, 7:15 p.m. — Call that kids were on the roof of the Bowling Alley throwing snow down on women. Investigation showed Charles Harvey, ‘Poncho’ Rushlaw, Denton Lewis and Floyd Perkett [all friends of mine] gathered on the St. Regis Corner. They were covered with snow from head to foot. There was no doubt in my mind they were up there! Gave them a warning. — Higgins

12-6-42, 7 p.m. — Request from Seaver Miller for a Policeman to carry his sister upstairs. She had suffered a stroke and was paralyzed at her whole right side. Got “Mike” to help me carry her upstairs. –Wallace

12-11-42, 6 p.m. — Call from Ona Allen, kids were sliding on Virginia Street. Investigated by Wallace who found two Fobare boys, a Kingston and Baker boy. Warned them about sliding. — Ryan

12-14-42, 2 a.m. — Marie Fish acme to the police office to complain that someone had taken three five dollar bills out of her purse at Patsys Restaurant. She said that she left there and came down street and noticed her purse was missing. She went back up and Patsy handed it to her through the door and told her she had left in the women’s toilet. She came down to get a taxi and found the money missing. Her daughter, Mary Fish and a friend, Martin Johnson, were with her in Patsys. She will be in to see the Chief in the morning. Pretty well lit. – Ryan & Duprey

12-19-42, 4:20 p.m. — Charles Wright, New York Central railroad clerk says that last evening about 8 o’clock a Mrs. Burns Mclaughlin of 24 Baker street, Saranac Lake, left a pigskin, zippered, brown bag in the station on the seat while she was getting something to eat. It was missing when she came back. Valuable papers and a picture of her son in it. Wright says that the usual crowd of kids werehanging around. There had been complaints on the 17th about kids hanging around at train times – 6:30 and 9:50 p.m. No kids around when investigated. — Wallace

[There is a short note in the border reading: “Bag was found and put on next train to N.Y.C.” — Chief]

Eating crow

12-20-42, 6:05 p.m. — Call from Mrs. Dayton, Academy Street. Said she was going by Leonard’s store as a car driven by Mr. Friedman rain into the Christmas Tree in Berkley Square breaking branches and wires. License Ex 167. I went to Mr. Friedman’s home immediately but no one there and no car in the garage. Found the car across from the Hotel Saranac, all pine needles, etc. Put a ticket on the car for reckless driving. No report on this from Mr. Friedman until about 8 p.m. when he found the ticket. He said he had tried to call the station for about an hour and no one answered. He admits hitting the tree and said, “I skidded into the tree and my windshield was too frosty to see where I was going. Will be in about 10 a.m. – Wallace

Strange first call of the

new year 1943

1-3-43, 1 p.m. — Call from Mrs. Finnigan, 20 Margaret Street. Said she rented her basement apartment to some man and she just got a call from Mrs. George L. Starks saying the man was dead downstairs. Mrs. Finnigan was afraid to go down. Investigated by Ryan and Higgins.Found “Jake’ Hawley eating dinner – acted as if he was somewhat alive – case closed. – Higgins