Monday, January 3, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Carl Kroovand and the Summons

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 couple 1930 news stories involving a distant cousin who managed to get his photograph in the newspaper, handing a summons to the mayor of New York City.

Dunkirk Evening Observer (Dunkirk, NY)
August 29, 1930

But “Busines is Business” and He Took First Opportunity to Tack One on Jimmy Walker

New York. Aug. 29—(UP)—Carl Kroovand, the process server who interrupted Mayor. James J. Walker's address of welcome to the German fliers is sorry he selected that particular moment to serve the summons but "business Is business."

He strolled through a police line at city hall yesterday just as the mayor was stepping up to the microphone to make a speech for the benefit of Wolfgang von Gronau and the three other men who made the transatlantic flight. Walker was astounded as Kroovand slipped a paper into his hand which informed the mayor that one Jacob Cash was suing him for $250,000 charging slander.

"It was an Insult to the" people of New York, the people of the United States and the people of Germany." Walker said after completing his speech.

Kroovand did penance in these words: “I shouldn’t have stepped in while the mayor was welcoming the German fliers. I thought I had picked out a lull in the proceedings. But business is business and I had to serve that summons.”

He is head of the Kay Service bureau and “sometimes I go out on $500,000 cases and sometimes on $10 cases.”

“The bigger they are, the harder they fall,” declared Kroovand.

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, PA)
September 4, 1930

Just Imagine His Honor’s Surprise


His honor, Mayor James J. Walker, New York City, discovered that the what’s this was in reality a summons. The process server, Carl Kroovand, who seems to have a knowledge of publicity values, picked the reception to the German air heroes, recent conquerors of the Atlantic, as the best time to serve the Mayor in Jacob Cash’s (ex-marshal) $250,000 slander suit. The Mayor, interrupted in the middle of his radio address of welcome to the fliers, after reading the contents of the court order to newspapermen, said: “He picked out a nice place to serve a man that is hard to find.”


1) Wolfgang Von Groneau was a German aviator who was attempting to develop a commercial air route between Germany and North America.  This was the first of multiple transatlantic flights he performed attempting to prove the air route's viability.  (source.)

2) Jimmy Walker was Mayor of New York City from 1926-1932.  Then-Govenor, FDR, pressured him to step down from office in 1932 due to corruption scandals. (source)

3) Carl Kroovand (1899-1960) was the second cousin of my paternal grandfather.

4) This is my 100th Amanuensis Monday transcription.  I believe in 2011 I may begin including some transcriptions that don't directly mention kin, but are of interest historically, either in the Greater St. Louis area, or in other ancestral locations.  I also have a couple more audio tapes I still wish to transcribe - one of which excerpts from may appear here.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Congratulations on your 100th transcription. Thanks for hosting this meme every week. I appreciate it.