Monday, December 7, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: Anti-Smoke Violator

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

As I mentioned on Monday I recently discovered the St. Louis Post Dispatch archives from 1874-1922 were searchable online with a St. Louis County Library card. I found a lot of news articles on family members. Not all of them were positive revelations.

St. Louis Post Dispatch: May 6, 1912, p. 3

15 Warrants for Anti-Smoke Law Violation Issued

Attorney Frank A Thompson, Representing Col. J.H. Butler, Obtains Them.

Fifteen warrants charging violation of the anti-smoke ordinance were issued Monday at the request of Attorney Frank A. Thompson, representing Col. James Gay Butler, who is financing the war on smoke. The following men are the defendants:

Harry Israel, Savoy Hotel, 4 North Thirteenth street.

Charlie Jahle, apartments, 3193 South Grand avenue.

H. Ruecking, Reucking Construction Col, Marine and Gasconade avenue.

Charles Kern, Union Biscuit Co., Sixth and Carr streets.

C. Homer Mason, Rodham Apartments, 5701 Julian avenue.

Albert Baumgartner, Normandie Hotel, Theresa and Franklin avenues.

S. Feinstein, Central Laundry, Twenty-third and Carr streets.

M.S. Fuqua, Lotta-Hord Laundry, 2800 Laclede avenue.

Joseph Mesmer, Barbers’ Supply House, 18 South Broadway.

H.J. Cummings, L & N freight house, Dickson and Collins streets.

S.S. Pingree, F.C. Taylor and Co., 109 North First street.

A.R. Chappell, Chappell Oil and Grease Co., 200 North Levee.

S. Feinstein is undoubtedly my second great grandfather, Selig Feinstein, as he had entered the laundry business by 1912. Since I was aware that the yellow fog mentioned in T.S. Eliot's 'Prufrock' has been said to reference the St. Louis factory smoke at the turn of the century, I wasn't confused into thinking that St. Louis was passing anti-cigarette/cigar ordinances 100 years ago. Further research has shown that their 'war on smoke' was indeed against coal smoke.

I knew my second great grandfather was a blacksmith, junk dealer, laundrist, and real estate broker. I can now add 'polluter' to his list of accolades. (Of course, I don't know for certain whether he was convicted on the charges.)

Note: It is my belief that my inclusion of the image of the news article falls within ProQuest's Permitted Uses, under 'educational. scientific, or research purposes.' (ProQuest Terms & Conditions) It is also my belief that the content, and therefore my transcription, is in the public domain, due to being published in the US prior to 1923.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

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