Pages of the Past: Scam artist left an impression by taking household valuables in 1912

An article in the Nov. 30, 1912, edition of The Argus reported an impersonator was a thief in disguise.

Baltimore detectives and the police of Catonsville are searching for a man who has been misrepresenting himself to the residents of Catonsville as an agent of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and also of a large nursery firm.

The stranger made his appearance in Catonsville about a week ago. When he left the residences after a visit, articles were missed in each place. The man is thought to be the same person who has been operating in other Maryland towns.


Samuel Turner, colored, was held for the action of County Court, by Justice Hoffman, Tuesday, charging with assaulting with intent to kill Charles Rogers, also colored, in a fight Monday night in Bloom's saloon at Paradise. Turner is charged with slashing the throat of Rogers with a knife.


Mr. John Watson, Jr., the well-known local attorney, exhibited at The Argus office Monday a mammoth white radish of the Japanese variety, weighing over five pounds, which he raised at his home on the Old Frederick road.


Miss Esther Merson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs Mortimer Mercen, was badly scalded Sunday at her home on Winters avenue when a tea kettle she held slipped from her hand. The contents splashed over her body and limbs.


Ground was broken Saturday at Halethorpe for the new Catholic Church which will be erected in that suburb. The first shovelful of earth was turned by Master J. Shelton Hull, Jr., and the new edifice will be known as St. Clement's Church.

The congregation was organized by Rev. James Holden, of St. Jerome's Church, Baltimore, several years ago and has steadily grown. Recently Cardinal Gibbons placed Rev. John L. Sullivan in charge, and the new edifice is being erected under his supervision. The corner-stone will be laid on Sunday, December 8, at 3 P.M.

75 Years Ago

An article in the Nov. 26, 1937 edition of The Catonsville Herald and Baltimore Countian commended a telephone operator whose quick thinking prevented significant damage to an unoccupied car repair shop.

To Mrs. Evelyn Schatz, night operator at the Catonsville telephone central office, goes the commendation of the community for her alertness and prompt action which led to discovery of the fire at Peters' Garage last Sunday morning.

Shortly after 6:30 A.M. Mrs. Schatz, on duty at the switchboard, noted a signal light burning that indicated some unusual difficulty with a telephone pay station at the garage. Mrs Schatz immediately rang another telephone in the garage office. Receiving no answer, she called the Catonsville Police Station. Prompt investigation by Patrolman Smith resulted in discovery of the blaze, which was already of serious proportions and might have resulted in considerable loss to surrounding property had not the alarm been so promptly turned in.

Catonsville, Halethorpe and Woodlawn fire companies soon reached the scene and worked so efficiently that the blaze was confined to the interior of the garage.


Irvin L. Meekins, 19, who died on November 22 in St. Agnes' Hospital of injuries received in an accident which occurred on the Dogwood Road near Woodlawn on November 20, was buried on Thursday at 2:30 o'clock.

Meekins received a fractured skull and facial wounds when his car struck a pole on the Dogwood Road about 9:30 P.M. last Saturday. He was taken to the hospital where he died on Monday.

The youth was found hanging on a wire fence after the accident. According to Woodlawn police, Meekins was driving east on the Dogwood Road near the intersection of Davis Avenue when his machine got out of control. Patrolman Albert Eitemiller of the Woodlawn police station is investigating the case.

Meekins is the state's 502nd automobile victim.


The Alumni Association of the Catonsville High School announces a Christmas Club Night Dance to be held on Monday, December 27 at Mt. Holly Inn. The Association has secured Billy Isaac's Orchestra for the occasion and the committee urges all members of the group to attend.

The committee is composed of the following members: Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Coblentz, Misses Katharine Hess, Marie Hottenbacher, Ruth Glauber, Adele Schaub, Messrs. Howard Walsh, Norton Porter, Stewart Benson.


Turning in a high score of 113, Mrs. Oscar B. Coblentz, Jr. , took first honors for last week in the Rolling Road Golf Club Bowling League. In the games, rolled at the Alph Alleys, Mrs. Coblentz also turned in the best three-game average of 94.

50 Years Ago

An article in the Nov. 29, 1962, edition of the Herald Argus and Baltimore Countian reported the capture of four men believed to be responsible for the bombing at a Catonsville area elementary school.

As a follow-up to the recent Westown School bombing, bail amounting to $10,000 has been set for four young men who have been confined to the Baltimore County jail awaiting action of Circuit Court. The youths, aged 23, 18 and two of them 21, waived preliminary hearing after they were arrested following the bomb explosion that took place in the Westown Elementary School on the night of Nov. 17.

Patrolman Herbert King of the Wilkens police station arrested one of the men as a result of information he received. With the assistance of Detective St. Edwin D. Shinnamon and Detective Cpl. Joseph Corrigan, the investigation led to the arrest of three other youths.

Chief Louis Irvin of the Baltimore County Fire Bureau Arson Squad said $3,000 worth of damage was done to the building and $500 to its contents.


M. Joseph Manzer, president of the P.T.A. of Edmondson Heights School presented the P.T.A. Outstanding Achievement Award to eleven-year-old Craig Simonsen, pupil, as Leonard Rapp, vice president of the P.T.A., and Samuel Colgain, principal, smile approval. The presentation took place at a recent school assembly.

This award is presented to the student who achieves outstanding performance during the school year. It will be an annual award; this is the first presentation.

Craig Simonsen is an unofficial birdman. He has several pets, including two canaries, a parakeet, a dog and his most recent addition, an owl. Craig found Chop-Chop, his owl, in a nearby wooded area about six months ago. The owl was just at death's door and Craig nursed it until the owl regained its strength. The owl has been exhibited in several local pet shows and continually wins awards.

Craig has entertained his school and playmates with Chop-Chop. More importantly, Craig has created an atmosphere of good will and kindness not only in his own but in others' daily lives.


A man and a woman were arrested on Nov. 20 when the owner of a motel in the 3600 block Washington Boulevard spotted the two leaving the motel with a portable television set valued at $160.

Two Baltimoreans each posted $503 collateral pending a hearing in Halethorpe police court.


Don McCatren, nationally known clarinet virtuoso, will appear as guest conductor and soloist at the Woodlawn High School Band concert on Nov. 30 at 8 P.M. in the school gymnasium.

Mr. Hardy, chairman of the music department, announced that Mr. McCathren will rehearse with about 80 members of the Woodlawn Concert Band for two days in order to prepare them for the full-length concert.

Material courtesy of the archives of The Catonsville Historical Society.

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