Four fires in twenty-four hours in a house at 4210 Maryland avenue, Ridgewood, which contains two apartments, caused the occupants to ask Halethorpe police to investigate.
Mrs. Harry B. Botthof discovered the first fire in the rug, draperies and window frame in her dining room. The second and third blazes were discovered in two closets in separate rooms in the house. The fourth fire was discovered in a pile of rubbish in the cellar.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Botthof and Mr. and Mrs. Everett Overman, occupants of the two apartments in the house, told police they cannot account for the series of mysterious fires. No strangers have been seen around the premises, and neither family knows of anyone who might wish to harm them.
100 Years Ago
An article in the Feb. 7, 1914 edition of The Argus reported the results of a successful investigation.
As a result of an investigation which has been in progress for several days by the Catonsville police, seven boys of Irvington, ranging in age from 12 to 15 years, were before Justice Hoffman Wednesday night at the Catonsville Police Station, charged with sending in a false alarm of fire from Box No. 417, Beechfield and Frederick avenues, on January 25, and also of entering the house of Clifton E. Krebs, on Sorrento avenue, Athol Heights, on the same night. Patrolmen Peters and Moxley rounded up the following: Thomas Bannon, Charles Berningham, Howard Reck, Joseph Bannon, Joseph Donhauser, Harold Hyland and Edward Moxley. Justice Hoffman paroled Thomas Bannon for six months and the other boys were dismissed.
A chicken thief was discovered Thursday night of last week in the yard of George H. Lindauer, Old Frederick road. The man escaped without getting any fowls. Mr. Lindauer is the owner of a lot of prize poultry. He was aroused from sleep by the noise made by the chickens. He went to the rear of his home and switched on the electric button which illuminated the poultry yard. The thief then ran.
George Forney Baker, son of Richard J. Baker, is recovering from an infection of his leg at his home on Frederick avenue, caused by the sting of an insect in the timberlands of South Carolina several weeks ago.
When Mr. Baker, who is employed as an inspector of timber near Charleston, was stung, he thought little of it until the limb became inflamed and blood poisoning threatened to develop. Upon the advice oh his physician, he was brought home, where he is being attended by Dr. J. Charles Macgill. His condition has begun to improve.
Mr. Baker is the nephew of Bernard N. Baker, the well-known financier.
Considerable excitement prevailed about midnight Saturday on the Windsor Mill road at Woodlawn, and shotguns and pistols were brought into action when several farmers in that locality thought they had captured one of the chicken thieves who have been making serious raids on their henhouses in the last few weeks.
Early in the night, the henhouse of Charles Lang, on the Windsor Mill road, was entered and about a dozen fowls taken. An alarm was sent out and about half a dozen county patrolmen were soon on the scene, with an equal number of farmers, who were heavily armed. A man, thought to be one of the thieves, was captured and later released, as no evidence could be found against him.
For the past month, chicken thieves have been making frequent raids on poultry in and about Woodlawn, and the farmers are using every effort to capture the thieves.
Work will be started shortly on extending the concrete sidewalk on the south side of Frederick avenue, west from Melvin avenue, for a distance of about 500 feet, in front of the properties of Arthur W. Robson and H.L. Haines. Recently, work was completed on a concrete sidewalk on both sides of Frederick avenue, through Catonsville, at a cost of nearly $3,000.
Material from archives courtesy of the Catonsville Historical Society.