Monday, August 30, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Ben Cruvant in Jefferson City

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

This week I transcribe two newspaper articles, in which appear the name of Ben Cruvant, a brother to my great grandmother, Bertha Cruvant.

The Sunday News and Tribune
Jefferson City, Missouri
Sunday, December 2, 1934

Taxi Driver, Found Guilty of Making Too Much Noise, to Appeal

The extent to which an automobile horn may be blown in Jefferson City will be decided in circuit court.

Following a trial before a police court jury yesterday in which BB Bohannon, taxi driver, was found guilty of excessive use of the horn and fined $3, attorneys for the defendant filed notice of appeal.

The verdict of guilty was returned after only a few minutes deliberation following a three-hour trial in which twelve witnesses were called to the stand.

Bohannon, who drives for the Economy Cab Co., was arrested upon complaint of Councilman Chet A Platt following a dispute near the cab company’s office, 309 Monroe Street, Friday when the city official objected to what he termed unnecessary blowing of the auto horn.

Platt testified that tenants in his apartments adjacent to the cab office, had frequently complained of noise occasioned by the taxi horns.

Mrs. Elva Baldwin, who with two daughters lives in an upstairs apartment directly above the cab office, testified that they were not disturbed.

Her testimony was substantiated by her daughter, Mary Jane Baldwin, who followed her on the witness stand.

Ben Cruvant, proprietor of a shoe repair shop adjacent to the cab office, testified that he and his family, who live in the rear of the establishment, had no cause of complaint.

Arthur Vogel, who conducts an insurance agency on the opposite side of the street, testified that no employee in the office ever complained of the taxicab horns.


Jefferson City Post Tribune
Friday, August, 13, 1937


Jefferson City shoe repairmen voted to affiliate with the National Shoe Repairer's Union of America, an A.F. of L. affiliate, at a meeting last night at the Capital Shoe Repair Shop.

Ben Cruvant was elected president, A. G. Mueller, vice president; and Charles Gatchet, secretary-treasurer. Cruvant said another meeting would be held soon.


1) I am once again thankful that newspapers are becoming digitized and searchable.  (I found these at NewspaperArchive.)  Ben Cruvant was living in St. Louis, Missouri in 1930, and was back in St. Louis by the time of his death in 1960.  I don't know where the 1940 census will record him yet, but I now know that in 1934 and 1937,  he and his family were living over 100 miles away in Jefferson City.  I have an approximate address for 1934,  and in 1937 his fellow-shoe repairers elected him as President of their local union.

2) The first story is a fun one historically, especially since I suspect the noise of the 'auto horn' paled in significance to the noise pollution we deal with today.  I don't know what happened to the court case on appeal.  I find it interesting that the reporter lists by name each individual who is a witness for the defense, and indicates where they live or work, but leaves the witnesses for the prosecution anonymous.

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