Monday, December 27, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Dave Cruvant and the Bonus Check

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. 

This week I transcribe a 1920 news story from the St. Louis Post Dispatch which mentions Dave Cruvant, the brother of my great grandmother, Bertha (Cruvant) Newmark.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1874-1922)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jul 6, 1920, pg. 8.

Two Accuse Each Other of Forging Check Issued to Negro

Federal officers are investigating the cashing of a soldier’s bonus check for $60, which was issued to Memberlee Parshman, negro, of East St. Louis, who died three weeks ago at Tupelo, Miss.

McKinley Stanford, 25, of 722 (rear) Third street, East St. Louis, and Alberta Martin of 209 St. Louis avenue are under arrest. Parshman boarded at Mrs Martin’s home and when the bonus check was received by her, she retained it. Dave Cruvant, a clothing dealer, cashed the check when, he said, it was presented by Stanford, bearing what appeared to be Parshman’s indorsement. Cruvant said Stanford said he was Parshman. Stanford and Mrs. Martin accuse each other of forging Parshman’s signature, and both seek to prove an alibi by saying they cannot read or write.

 1) I have found no follow-up news story indicating whether McKinley Stanford or Alberta Martin were ever convicted of anything.  I know nothing of either individual, or of Memberlee Parshman, beyond this news story.

2) David Cruvant (1885-1961) began working as a shoemaker, like his father, but later expanded his business, and ultimately left East St. Louis and moved to Baton Rouge, LA.  This news article doesn't tell me much about him I didn't already know.  It is interesting, though, how many of my paternal great uncles and cousins I have found mentioned in news stories primarily about other people.

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