Monday, March 14, 2016

Amanuensis Monday: Barney Newmark Denies Knowledge of Stench Activity

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, newspaper articles, 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 look at a newspaper article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which mentions my great grandfather, Barney Newmark.

St. Louis Post Dispatch, December 1, 1937, page 3.


Owner Says Two Men Previously Tore Down Notice of Cut Prices, Threatened Him.

Police discovered early today that stench fluid had been sprayed into the shop of the Best Cleaners, 2825 North Vandeventer avenue.

A hold had been broken in the glass in a rear door and stench liquid introduced into the shop with a sprayer, officers reported. Members of the bombing squad said this was an effective means of saturating clothing with the offensive odor.

Tony Christopher, owner of the shop, told police that two weeks ago he cut prices. Subsequently two men visited his shop, tore down signs advertising the reduced prices and threatened to blow up the place, Christopher said.

Barney Newmark, 5946 Kingsbury avenue, business agent for the Local Union 27, Cleaners & Dyers, was taken into custody at his home for questioning. The union affiliated with the A. F. of L. is an organization of small cleaning shop owners. Newmark denied knowledge of the stench activity at the Best Cleaners.

[Deleted paragraph] ... Both men were released after questioning.


1) From this news article I have recorded the 1937 address for my great grandfather, and that he was a business agent for Local Union 27, Cleaners & Dyers.

He denied any knowledge of the 'stench activity,' and was released after questioning. I have found no other news articles concerning this case.

2) Barney celebrated his birthday on March 17th, and claimed to have been born in 1886. Thus, Thursday would be his 130th birthday. (There is some question as to the exact date of his birth; three different dates appear on separate documents. But with lack of a birth certificate, the day he chose to celebrate with family is as good as either of the other two.)

No comments: