Make your own free website on Tripod.com
The Avalanche The Ward Family Web Pages

Extractions From the "Avalanche" a Crawford Co., MI Newspaper 1879-1940's

Notes


Arthur FOX

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-Died-Wednesday, July 26, Nellie May, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur FOX of this township, aged one year. The funeral was held at the M. E. Church in this village, Saturday, Rev. J. J. WILLITS of Frederic, officiating, and the burial took place at the cemetary in Pere Cheney. (3 Aug 1905)


Nellie May FOX

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-Died-Wednesday, July 26, Nellie May, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur FOX of this township, aged one year. The funeral was held at the M. E. Church in this village, Saturday, Rev. J. J. WILLITS of Frederic, officiating, and the burial took place at the cemetary in Pere Cheney. (3 Aug 1905)


Ed NICHELS

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-FREDERIC ITEMS.
Mrs. C. CRAVEN has returned from Bay City after the long serious illness of her sister Mrs. B. NICHELS. (3 Aug 1905)


Mrs. B. NICHELS PATTERSON

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-FREDERIC ITEMS.
Mrs. C. CRAVEN has returned from Bay City after the long serious illness of her sister Mrs. B. NICHELS. (3 Aug 1905)

-FREDERIC FREAKS.
Mrs. James PATTERSON is happy over the arrival of a grand-daughter at Bay City. Mrs. Bell NICKOLS being the possessor. (3 Sep 1908)

-FREDERIC FREAKS.
Mrs. Ed NICHOLES of West Bay City is visiting her parents Mr. and Mrs. Jas. PATTERSON. (22 Jul 1909)


Hazel NICHELS

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-FREDERIC FREAKS.
Little Hazel and Clarence NICHOLES of West Bay City visited their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. J. PATTERSON. (22 Apr 1909)


Clarence NICHELS

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-FREDERIC FREAKS.
Little Hazel and Clarence NICHOLES of West Bay City visited their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. J. PATTERSON. (22 Apr 1909)


Nels SORRENSON

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-As we go to press we learn of the death of Mrs. Nels SORRENSON, of Houghton Lake, which occurred Tuesday. We have been unable to learn particulars, but understand that she was having her teeth operated on and that chloroform had been administered, she passing away about half an hour after. This being the case there is no question but that her heart was affected. Our correspondent will no doubt give full particulars next week.-Ros. News. (10 Aug 1905)


Mrs. Nels SSORRENSON

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-As we go to press we learn of the death of Mrs. Nels SORRENSON, of Houghton Lake, which occurred Tuesday. We have been unable to learn particulars, but understand that she was having her teeth operated on and that chloroform had been administered, she passing away about half an hour after. This being the case there is no question but that her heart was affected. Our correspondent will no doubt give full particulars next week.-Ros. News. (10 Aug 1905)


A. P. W. BECKER

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-Mr. and Mrs. A. P. W. BECKER went to Detroit the first of the week to be present at the wedding of their son, Dr. Sigard BECKER and Miss Clara TOEPEL, at St. Mary's church Wednesday evening. The ceremony was followed by a reception at the home of the parents of the bride. The happy couple will leave today for this place by boat to Mackinaw, where they will make a brief stay. (17 Aug 1905)

-A. P. W. BECKER,
REPUBLICAN
NOMINEE FOR COUNTY TREASURER.
For Treasurer, Mr. BECKER has srved his first term with such ability as is recognized by all, and by the unwritten law of custom is entitled to a second term. His integrity is unquestioned, and the finanacial books and records of the county were never in more prfect shape, and proves him to be an expert book-keeper and accountant. (25 Oct 1906)

-Rev. A. P. W. BECKER and wife moved to Grant, Newaygo County, about thirty miles north of Grand Rapids, where he has accepted a call for the pastorate of the Lutheran church of that place. During the years of their resience here they have made many friends, who will regret their going and hope for the their return, while all wish for their success and happiness in his new field. (20 May 1909)


Dr. Sigard BECKER

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-Mr. and Mrs. A. P. W. BECKER went to Detroit the first of the week to be present at the wedding of their son, Dr. Sigard BECKER and Miss Clara TOEPEL, at St. Mary's church Wednesday evening. The ceremony was followed by a reception at the home of the parents of the bride. The happy couple will leave today for this place by boat to Mackinaw, where they will make a brief stay. (17 Aug 1905)


Clara TOEPEL

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-Mr. and Mrs. A. P. W. BECKER went to Detroit the first of the week to be present at the wedding of their son, Dr. Sigard BECKER and Miss Clara TOEPEL, at St. Mary's church Wednesday evening. The ceremony was followed by a reception at the home of the parents of the bride. The happy couple will leave today for this place by boat to Mackinaw, where they will make a brief stay. (17 Aug 1905)


Fred SOULE

The following information extracted from the 1900 Census of Churchill Township, Ogemaw, MI:
name - Frederick SOUL
a.33
b.Jun 1866 in Canada (Eng)
occupation - Day Laborer
Immigrated to US in 1874, lived in US 25 years
married to Neomi 5 years
f.b.Canada (Eng)
m.b.Canada (Eng)
NOTE: Lizie SOUL, a.8, b. MI, f.b.Canada, m.b.Canada, was enumerated in this household as step-daughter and Bessie SOUL, a. 19, b.May 1881, f.b.Canada, m.b.Canada, was enumerated in this household as sister.

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-THE ALDRIDGE MURDER CASE!
Mrs. Naomi ALRIDGE of Frederic, was arrested last Thursday, on suspicion of having caused the death of her boy in July, by poison. We forbear publishing the alleged facts in the case or commenting on the stories that are afloat, unsubstantiated.
The above item is all that we intended to publish in this case, until facts had been sifted from wild rumor. We have no use for sensational journalism without facts, and have no desire to manufacture evidence either for or against the accused. She stands today before the law, innocent, and if her innocence can be established, or rather if she be not proven guilty, the AVALANCHE will be glad. The charge is a most terrible one, and the circumstances are such as demand the most searching investigation. If as some claim, she has committed this crime under insanity, the people are entitled to protection, for none can tell who would be the next victim. If it be a premeditated crime, she deserves the full penalty of the law. If on the contrary she is guiltless, it should be shown if possible, and this awful cloud removed from her life.
The facts upon which this action has been taken are briefly: Mrs. ALDRIDGE, a deserted wife, was living at Frederic, with two sons, by her first husband, Fred SOULE, who died in Jan. 1902. The oldest boy, Frederic Dormand, was eight years old in March, and Earle was six years old in May. The mother procured insurance on their lives, for $50.00 each and received the policies early in July. A few hours after, both were taken ill, and the third day the youngest died, and the other the next morning. Dr. O'NEIL of Frederic, one of the coroners of this county was called to see them, and found their conditions very similar, and diagnosed symptoms of metalic poisoning. Viscera from the body of the last one was removed from the body by Dr. INSLEY, under direction of the coroner, and sent for analysis, which gave certain quantities of arsenic. This was reported to the Prosecuting Attorney who made complaint before Justice MAHON, and a warrant was issued upon which she was arrested. Complaint was then presented to the Coroner asking for disinterment and examination of the other body. A jury was impaneled and the autopsy performed by Dr. INSLEY the 14th inst., and the inquest adjourned to the 22nd, to await the report of the analysis.
In the meantime Mrs. ALDRIDGE had secured counsel in the person of Mr. E. M. HARRIS, Pros. Att'y of Ogemaw county, and the date for the examination fixed for the 24th inst.
The offices of the Pros. Att'y, Coroner and Sheriff have been beset by reporters from the metropolitan papers, clamorous for news, to which we have no objections, but some of them have gone beyond the bounds of decency, and have published merest gossip as facts, and in petty spite insinuated that the officers name were working at cross purposes, from personal jealousy, than which nothing could be farther from the truth. These officers are working together in perfect harmony for the enforcement of the law, and are willing to communicate any facts which the people have a right to know, that will not prejudice the case. (17 Aug 1905)


Mrs. Naomi ALDRIDGE

The following information extracted from the 1900 Census of Churchill Township, Ogemaw, MI:
name - Neomi SOUL
a.23
b.Nov 1876 in Canada (Eng)
Immigrated to US in 1880, lived in US 20 years
married to Frederick SOUL 5 years
mother of 2 children of which 2 still survived
f.b.Canada (Eng)
m.b.Canada (Eng)

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-THE ALDRIDGE MURDER CASE!
Mrs. Naomi ALRIDGE of Frederic, was arrested last Thursday, on suspicion of having caused the death of her boy in July, by poison. We forbear publishing the alleged facts in the case or commenting on the stories that are afloat, unsubstantiated.
The above item is all that we intended to publish in this case, until facts had been sifted from wild rumor. We have no use for sensational journalism without facts, and have no desire to manufacture evidence either for or against the accused. She stands today before the law, innocent, and if her innocence can be established, or rather if she be not proven guilty, the AVALANCHE will be glad. The charge is a most terrible one, and the circumstances are such as demand the most searching investigation. If as some claim, she has committed this crime under insanity, the people are entitled to protection, for none can tell who would be the next victim. If it be a premeditated crime, she deserves the full penalty of the law. If on the contrary she is guiltless, it should be shown if possible, and this awful cloud removed from her life.
The facts upon which this action has been taken are briefly: Mrs. ALDRIDGE, a deserted wife, was living at Frederic, with two sons, by her first husband, Fred SOULE, who died in Jan. 1902. The oldest boy, Frederic Dormand, was eight years old in March, and Earle was six years old in May. The mother procured insurance on their lives, for $50.00 each and received the policies early in July. A few hours after, both were taken ill, and the third day the youngest died, and the other the next morning. Dr. O'NEIL of Frederic, one of the coroners of this county was called to see them, and found their conditions very similar, and diagnosed symptoms of metalic poisoning. Viscera from the body of the last one was removed from the body by Dr. INSLEY, under direction of the coroner, and sent for analysis, which gave certain quantities of arsenic. This was reported to the Prosecuting Attorney who made complaint before Justice MAHON, and a warrant was issued upon which she was arrested. Complaint was then presented to the Coroner asking for disinterment and examination of the other body. A jury was impaneled and the autopsy performed by Dr. INSLEY the 14th inst., and the inquest adjourned to the 22nd, to await the report of the analysis.
In the meantime Mrs. ALDRIDGE had secured counsel in the person of Mr. E. M. HARRIS, Pros. Att'y of Ogemaw county, and the date for the examination fixed for the 24th inst.
The offices of the Pros. Att'y, Coroner and Sheriff have been beset by reporters from the metropolitan papers, clamorous for news, to which we have no objections, but some of them have gone beyond the bounds of decency, and have published merest gossip as facts, and in petty spite insinuated that the officers name were working at cross purposes, from personal jealousy, than which nothing could be farther from the truth. These officers are working together in perfect harmony for the enforcement of the law, and are willing to communicate any facts which the people have a right to know, that will not prejudice the case. (17 Aug 1905)

-CORONER'S INQUEST.
An analysis of the viscera taken from the body of Dormand ALDRIDGE showing a quanity of arsenic therein and the attending physician reporting that the symptoms were alike in the two boys, complaint was made to Coroner O'NEIL who after examination issued an order for the disinterment of the younger boy, Earle, and summond the following Coroner's Jury: H. H. STALKER, Chas. CRAVEN, Norman FISHER, Frank BRADY, Elmer BATTERSON and John H. HAGGERTY, all of Frederic. Dr. S. N. INSLEY of Grayling was summoned to make a post mortem examination. Viscera from the body was sent to Prof. F. S. KEDZIE of the Agriculture College for analysis, who found quanities of arsenic.
After hearing the evidence, the jury returned the following verdict: "That the said Earle ALDRICH came to his death by arsenic poisining administered to him by some person or persons unknown, on the 8th day of July A. D. 1905 and the circumstances indicate to us that Mrs. Naomi ALDRIDGE had some knowledge of said poison being administered. (24 Aug 1905)

-THE ALDRIDGE MURDER CASE.
The case of The People vs. Naomi ALDRIDGE, charged with the murder of her oldest boy, between eight and nine years of age, on July 9th by the administration of arsenic, was called for examination before Justice George MAHON on last Thursday. The prisoner was brought in by Sheriff STILWELL closely veiled in black, and accompanied by her sister, Mrs. McCALMAN of Frederic. She was defended by Messrs. E. M. HARRIS, Pros. Att'y of Ogemaw County, his partner, Mr. ROSS, and Attorney SNODGRASS of West Branch. The court room was filled with interested and inquisitive people, as might be expected in such a case, and every word was listened to with intense eagerness until the examination was closed Friday afternoon.
The evidence of Dr. O'NEIL of Frederic, described the symptoms of poisening identical in the two boys, and his action as Coroner in ordering a post mortem examination by Dr. INSLEY, and the analysis of the viscera taken by him from the body and sent to Prof. Frank S. KEDZIE of Lansing, who testified to the recovery of a quantity of the poison from this subject. Several of her neighbors were sworn concerning the care of her children, and her actions during their illness and at the time of their death, and as has been published, it was shown that she had insured them in the National Relief Society, of Bay City, for fifty dollars each, payable at their death, but a few days previous.
The cross examination of the witnesses was searching in character, and at the close a formal motion was made for her discharge which was remanded for trial in the Circuit Court. But little emotion was exhibited by the prisoner during the ordeal, until about the close, before which time she was alert and evidently calling the attention of her counsel to points of evidence as they were presented.
It is a sad case at best, presenting as it does the highest grade of criminality, or a degree of insanity unaccountable, or a succession of circumstances that could hardly be imagined. It can only be hoped that the facts may be fully proven whichever they may point. (31 Aug 1905)

-CIRCUIT COURT.
The Circuit Court for the County of Crawford, convened last Monday for the regular September term. Hon. Nelson SHARPE Circuit Judge presiding and Stenographer, C. L. AUSTIN, at his usual station, Messrs ROSS & HARRIS, and SNODGRASS attorneys of West Branch, E. B. CLARK of Bay City and H. H. WOODRUFF of Roscommon, with G. L. ALEXANDER and the Pros. Atty. of the local bar being present.
The cause of the People vs. Naomi ALDRICH charged with the crime of murder was called, the respondent standing mute, a plea of not guilty was entered by order of the Court, the reading of the information being waived, and on motion of the defendant, supported by affidavits the cause was continued to the 13th. of Novembr next, to a special term of the court to be called. (21 Sep 1905)

-CIRCUIT COURT.
The special term of our Circuit Court convened Monday, Judge SHARPE presiding. There was but three cases on the Calendar one criminal and two chancery. The case of the People vs. Naomi ALDRICH, Charged with the murder of her boy by poison, at Frederic was taken up. There had been a special panel of Jurors drawn, from which a jury was secured before noon as follows: David RAYMOND, Ray SKINGSLEY, T. BOESON, Chas. E. KELLOGG, Chas. RICHARDSON, A. FUNCK, W. SHELLENBARGER, D. HAYWOOD, J. BARRY, T. M. O'DELL, A. B. FAILING and John MALCO.
13 Jurors were challanged for cause and eight presumptory challanges were made, two for the people and six for the defence.
Dr. Charles H. O'NEIL, of Frederic was the first witness, and gave a detailed description of the symptoms of poisoning in the boy after he was called, and of his death, and of the Augopsy held with Dr. INGSLEY, of Grayling, who was the second witness, and who described the condition of the viscora removed from the body, which were analysed by Prof. F. C. KEDZIE, of the Agricultural College, who found over one-third of a grain of white Arsenic in the Viscora analysed and exhibit the same to the jury in the glass mirros where it was collected.
Prof. KEDZIE also testified that a box which had been recovered from the closet vault on the premises occupied by Mrs. ALDRICH was evidently "Rough on Rats," which was practically pure Arsenic. From the symptoms and the analysis, the Pros, and both physicians testified positivily that they believed the boy died from Arsonical poisoning. The fact of the insurance of the boy in a funeral benefit insurance company was established by the policy and correspondence, indentified by Thos. J. SALIARD, President of the Company, of Bay City.
These facts being satisfactorily proven, the evidence to day (Wednesday) will endeavor to show the procuring of the poision by the defendant, and her interest or motive for committing the crime. We borbear further comment until the case is closed.
The defense have given no clue to the line which they propose to follow. (16 Nov 1905)

-CIRCUIT COURT.
We went to press last week as the trial of the case of the People vs. Naomi ALDRIDGE was in progress, which was continued until three o'clock Thursday, when the charge of the court was completed and the jury retired to consider their verdict, which was given about nine o'clock, "Not Guilty," and the prisoner and jury were discharged. The black vail, which had been constantly worn by the prisoner, except when she was in the witness chair, was quickly raised, and she tripped lightly forward to shake hands with each of the jurors.
The verdict was evidently a disappointment to the large audience which awaited its coming, and the opinion is freely expressed that the impassioned appeal of Attorney HARRIS for sympathy for the accused had its effect. The defense presented nothing in favor of the accused, save her own evidence contradicting some of the direct testimony, and their work from the moment of beginning the examination of the jurors to the end of their closing plea was entirely directed to creating a doubt in the minds of the jury, and pleading for sympathy.
In the cases of Alexander WILCOX vs. Rosella WILCOX, and of Mary V. McMILLAN vs. Royal E. McMILLAN, for divorce, decrees were granted, and court adjourned. (23 Nov 1905)


Frederic Dormand SOULE

The following information extracted from the 1900 Census of Churchill Township, Ogemaw, MI:
name - Dorman SOUL
a.3
b.Mar 1897 in MI f.b.Canada
m.b.Canada

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-THE ALDRIDGE MURDER CASE!
Mrs. Naomi ALRIDGE of Frederic, was arrested last Thursday, on suspicion of having caused the death of her boy in July, by poison. We forbear publishing the alleged facts in the case or commenting on the stories that are afloat, unsubstantiated.
The above item is all that we intended to publish in this case, until facts had been sifted from wild rumor. We have no use for sensational journalism without facts, and have no desire to manufacture evidence either for or against the accused. She stands today before the law, innocent, and if her innocence can be established, or rather if she be not proven guilty, the AVALANCHE will be glad. The charge is a most terrible one, and the circumstances are such as demand the most searching investigation. If as some claim, she has committed this crime under insanity, the people are entitled to protection, for none can tell who would be the next victim. If it be a premeditated crime, she deserves the full penalty of the law. If on the contrary she is guiltless, it should be shown if possible, and this awful cloud removed from her life.
The facts upon which this action has been taken are briefly: Mrs. ALDRIDGE, a deserted wife, was living at Frederic, with two sons, by her first husband, Fred SOULE, who died in Jan. 1902. The oldest boy, Frederic Dormand, was eight years old in March, and Earle was six years old in May. The mother procured insurance on their lives, for $50.00 each and received the policies early in July. A few hours after, both were taken ill, and the third day the youngest died, and the other the next morning. Dr. O'NEIL of Frederic, one of the coroners of this county was called to see them, and found their conditions very similar, and diagnosed symptoms of metalic poisoning. Viscera from the body of the last one was removed from the body by Dr. INSLEY, under direction of the coroner, and sent for analysis, which gave certain quantities of arsenic. This was reported to the Prosecuting Attorney who made complaint before Justice MAHON, and a warrant was issued upon which she was arrested. Complaint was then presented to the Coroner asking for disinterment and examination of the other body. A jury was impaneled and the autopsy performed by Dr. INSLEY the 14th inst., and the inquest adjourned to the 22nd, to await the report of the analysis.
In the meantime Mrs. ALDRIDGE had secured counsel in the person of Mr. E. M. HARRIS, Pros. Att'y of Ogemaw county, and the date for the examination fixed for the 24th inst.
The offices of the Pros. Att'y, Coroner and Sheriff have been beset by reporters from the metropolitan papers, clamorous for news, to which we have no objections, but some of them have gone beyond the bounds of decency, and have published merest gossip as facts, and in petty spite insinuated that the officers name were working at cross purposes, from personal jealousy, than which nothing could be farther from the truth. These officers are working together in perfect harmony for the enforcement of the law, and are willing to communicate any facts which the people have a right to know, that will not prejudice the case. (17 Aug 1905)


Earle SOULE

The following information extracted from the 1900 Census of Churchill Township, Ogemaw, MI:
name - Earl SOUL
a.1
b.May 1899 in MI f.b.Canada
m.b.Canada

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-THE ALDRIDGE MURDER CASE!
Mrs. Naomi ALRIDGE of Frederic, was arrested last Thursday, on suspicion of having caused the death of her boy in July, by poison. We forbear publishing the alleged facts in the case or commenting on the stories that are afloat, unsubstantiated.
The above item is all that we intended to publish in this case, until facts had been sifted from wild rumor. We have no use for sensational journalism without facts, and have no desire to manufacture evidence either for or against the accused. She stands today before the law, innocent, and if her innocence can be established, or rather if she be not proven guilty, the AVALANCHE will be glad. The charge is a most terrible one, and the circumstances are such as demand the most searching investigation. If as some claim, she has committed this crime under insanity, the people are entitled to protection, for none can tell who would be the next victim. If it be a premeditated crime, she deserves the full penalty of the law. If on the contrary she is guiltless, it should be shown if possible, and this awful cloud removed from her life.
The facts upon which this action has been taken are briefly: Mrs. ALDRIDGE, a deserted wife, was living at Frederic, with two sons, by her first husband, Fred SOULE, who died in Jan. 1902. The oldest boy, Frederic Dormand, was eight years old in March, and Earle was six years old in May. The mother procured insurance on their lives, for $50.00 each and received the policies early in July. A few hours after, both were taken ill, and the third day the youngest died, and the other the next morning. Dr. O'NEIL of Frederic, one of the coroners of this county was called to see them, and found their conditions very similar, and diagnosed symptoms of metalic poisoning. Viscera from the body of the last one was removed from the body by Dr. INSLEY, under direction of the coroner, and sent for analysis, which gave certain quantities of arsenic. This was reported to the Prosecuting Attorney who made complaint before Justice MAHON, and a warrant was issued upon which she was arrested. Complaint was then presented to the Coroner asking for disinterment and examination of the other body. A jury was impaneled and the autopsy performed by Dr. INSLEY the 14th inst., and the inquest adjourned to the 22nd, to await the report of the analysis.
In the meantime Mrs. ALDRIDGE had secured counsel in the person of Mr. E. M. HARRIS, Pros. Att'y of Ogemaw county, and the date for the examination fixed for the 24th inst.
The offices of the Pros. Att'y, Coroner and Sheriff have been beset by reporters from the metropolitan papers, clamorous for news, to which we have no objections, but some of them have gone beyond the bounds of decency, and have published merest gossip as facts, and in petty spite insinuated that the officers name were working at cross purposes, from personal jealousy, than which nothing could be farther from the truth. These officers are working together in perfect harmony for the enforcement of the law, and are willing to communicate any facts which the people have a right to know, that will not prejudice the case. (17 Aug 1905)


ALDRIDGE

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-THE ALDRIDGE MURDER CASE!
Mrs. Naomi ALRIDGE of Frederic, was arrested last Thursday, on suspicion of having caused the death of her boy in July, by poison. We forbear publishing the alleged facts in the case or commenting on the stories that are afloat, unsubstantiated.
The above item is all that we intended to publish in this case, until facts had been sifted from wild rumor. We have no use for sensational journalism without facts, and have no desire to manufacture evidence either for or against the accused. She stands today before the law, innocent, and if her innocence can be established, or rather if she be not proven guilty, the AVALANCHE will be glad. The charge is a most terrible one, and the circumstances are such as demand the most searching investigation. If as some claim, she has committed this crime under insanity, the people are entitled to protection, for none can tell who would be the next victim. If it be a premeditated crime, she deserves the full penalty of the law. If on the contrary she is guiltless, it should be shown if possible, and this awful cloud removed from her life.
The facts upon which this action has been taken are briefly: Mrs. ALDRIDGE, a deserted wife, was living at Frederic, with two sons, by her first husband, Fred SOULE, who died in Jan. 1902. The oldest boy, Frederic Dormand, was eight years old in March, and Earle was six years old in May. The mother procured insurance on their lives, for $50.00 each and received the policies early in July. A few hours after, both were taken ill, and the third day the youngest died, and the other the next morning. Dr. O'NEIL of Frederic, one of the coroners of this county was called to see them, and found their conditions very similar, and diagnosed symptoms of metalic poisoning. Viscera from the body of the last one was removed from the body by Dr. INSLEY, under direction of the coroner, and sent for analysis, which gave certain quantities of arsenic. This was reported to the Prosecuting Attorney who made complaint before Justice MAHON, and a warrant was issued upon which she was arrested. Complaint was then presented to the Coroner asking for disinterment and examination of the other body. A jury was impaneled and the autopsy performed by Dr. INSLEY the 14th inst., and the inquest adjourned to the 22nd, to await the report of the analysis.
In the meantime Mrs. ALDRIDGE had secured counsel in the person of Mr. E. M. HARRIS, Pros. Att'y of Ogemaw county, and the date for the examination fixed for the 24th inst.
The offices of the Pros. Att'y, Coroner and Sheriff have been beset by reporters from the metropolitan papers, clamorous for news, to which we have no objections, but some of them have gone beyond the bounds of decency, and have published merest gossip as facts, and in petty spite insinuated that the officers name were working at cross purposes, from personal jealousy, than which nothing could be farther from the truth. These officers are working together in perfect harmony for the enforcement of the law, and are willing to communicate any facts which the people have a right to know, that will not prejudice the case. (17 Aug 1905)


Mrs. Naomi ALDRIDGE

The following information extracted from the 1900 Census of Churchill Township, Ogemaw, MI:
name - Neomi SOUL
a.23
b.Nov 1876 in Canada (Eng)
Immigrated to US in 1880, lived in US 20 years
married to Frederick SOUL 5 years
mother of 2 children of which 2 still survived
f.b.Canada (Eng)
m.b.Canada (Eng)

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-THE ALDRIDGE MURDER CASE!
Mrs. Naomi ALRIDGE of Frederic, was arrested last Thursday, on suspicion of having caused the death of her boy in July, by poison. We forbear publishing the alleged facts in the case or commenting on the stories that are afloat, unsubstantiated.
The above item is all that we intended to publish in this case, until facts had been sifted from wild rumor. We have no use for sensational journalism without facts, and have no desire to manufacture evidence either for or against the accused. She stands today before the law, innocent, and if her innocence can be established, or rather if she be not proven guilty, the AVALANCHE will be glad. The charge is a most terrible one, and the circumstances are such as demand the most searching investigation. If as some claim, she has committed this crime under insanity, the people are entitled to protection, for none can tell who would be the next victim. If it be a premeditated crime, she deserves the full penalty of the law. If on the contrary she is guiltless, it should be shown if possible, and this awful cloud removed from her life.
The facts upon which this action has been taken are briefly: Mrs. ALDRIDGE, a deserted wife, was living at Frederic, with two sons, by her first husband, Fred SOULE, who died in Jan. 1902. The oldest boy, Frederic Dormand, was eight years old in March, and Earle was six years old in May. The mother procured insurance on their lives, for $50.00 each and received the policies early in July. A few hours after, both were taken ill, and the third day the youngest died, and the other the next morning. Dr. O'NEIL of Frederic, one of the coroners of this county was called to see them, and found their conditions very similar, and diagnosed symptoms of metalic poisoning. Viscera from the body of the last one was removed from the body by Dr. INSLEY, under direction of the coroner, and sent for analysis, which gave certain quantities of arsenic. This was reported to the Prosecuting Attorney who made complaint before Justice MAHON, and a warrant was issued upon which she was arrested. Complaint was then presented to the Coroner asking for disinterment and examination of the other body. A jury was impaneled and the autopsy performed by Dr. INSLEY the 14th inst., and the inquest adjourned to the 22nd, to await the report of the analysis.
In the meantime Mrs. ALDRIDGE had secured counsel in the person of Mr. E. M. HARRIS, Pros. Att'y of Ogemaw county, and the date for the examination fixed for the 24th inst.
The offices of the Pros. Att'y, Coroner and Sheriff have been beset by reporters from the metropolitan papers, clamorous for news, to which we have no objections, but some of them have gone beyond the bounds of decency, and have published merest gossip as facts, and in petty spite insinuated that the officers name were working at cross purposes, from personal jealousy, than which nothing could be farther from the truth. These officers are working together in perfect harmony for the enforcement of the law, and are willing to communicate any facts which the people have a right to know, that will not prejudice the case. (17 Aug 1905)

-CORONER'S INQUEST.
An analysis of the viscera taken from the body of Dormand ALDRIDGE showing a quanity of arsenic therein and the attending physician reporting that the symptoms were alike in the two boys, complaint was made to Coroner O'NEIL who after examination issued an order for the disinterment of the younger boy, Earle, and summond the following Coroner's Jury: H. H. STALKER, Chas. CRAVEN, Norman FISHER, Frank BRADY, Elmer BATTERSON and John H. HAGGERTY, all of Frederic. Dr. S. N. INSLEY of Grayling was summoned to make a post mortem examination. Viscera from the body was sent to Prof. F. S. KEDZIE of the Agriculture College for analysis, who found quanities of arsenic.
After hearing the evidence, the jury returned the following verdict: "That the said Earle ALDRICH came to his death by arsenic poisining administered to him by some person or persons unknown, on the 8th day of July A. D. 1905 and the circumstances indicate to us that Mrs. Naomi ALDRIDGE had some knowledge of said poison being administered. (24 Aug 1905)

-THE ALDRIDGE MURDER CASE.
The case of The People vs. Naomi ALDRIDGE, charged with the murder of her oldest boy, between eight and nine years of age, on July 9th by the administration of arsenic, was called for examination before Justice George MAHON on last Thursday. The prisoner was brought in by Sheriff STILWELL closely veiled in black, and accompanied by her sister, Mrs. McCALMAN of Frederic. She was defended by Messrs. E. M. HARRIS, Pros. Att'y of Ogemaw County, his partner, Mr. ROSS, and Attorney SNODGRASS of West Branch. The court room was filled with interested and inquisitive people, as might be expected in such a case, and every word was listened to with intense eagerness until the examination was closed Friday afternoon.
The evidence of Dr. O'NEIL of Frederic, described the symptoms of poisening identical in the two boys, and his action as Coroner in ordering a post mortem examination by Dr. INSLEY, and the analysis of the viscera taken by him from the body and sent to Prof. Frank S. KEDZIE of Lansing, who testified to the recovery of a quantity of the poison from this subject. Several of her neighbors were sworn concerning the care of her children, and her actions during their illness and at the time of their death, and as has been published, it was shown that she had insured them in the National Relief Society, of Bay City, for fifty dollars each, payable at their death, but a few days previous.
The cross examination of the witnesses was searching in character, and at the close a formal motion was made for her discharge which was remanded for trial in the Circuit Court. But little emotion was exhibited by the prisoner during the ordeal, until about the close, before which time she was alert and evidently calling the attention of her counsel to points of evidence as they were presented.
It is a sad case at best, presenting as it does the highest grade of criminality, or a degree of insanity unaccountable, or a succession of circumstances that could hardly be imagined. It can only be hoped that the facts may be fully proven whichever they may point. (31 Aug 1905)

-CIRCUIT COURT.
The Circuit Court for the County of Crawford, convened last Monday for the regular September term. Hon. Nelson SHARPE Circuit Judge presiding and Stenographer, C. L. AUSTIN, at his usual station, Messrs ROSS & HARRIS, and SNODGRASS attorneys of West Branch, E. B. CLARK of Bay City and H. H. WOODRUFF of Roscommon, with G. L. ALEXANDER and the Pros. Atty. of the local bar being present.
The cause of the People vs. Naomi ALDRICH charged with the crime of murder was called, the respondent standing mute, a plea of not guilty was entered by order of the Court, the reading of the information being waived, and on motion of the defendant, supported by affidavits the cause was continued to the 13th. of Novembr next, to a special term of the court to be called. (21 Sep 1905)

-CIRCUIT COURT.
The special term of our Circuit Court convened Monday, Judge SHARPE presiding. There was but three cases on the Calendar one criminal and two chancery. The case of the People vs. Naomi ALDRICH, Charged with the murder of her boy by poison, at Frederic was taken up. There had been a special panel of Jurors drawn, from which a jury was secured before noon as follows: David RAYMOND, Ray SKINGSLEY, T. BOESON, Chas. E. KELLOGG, Chas. RICHARDSON, A. FUNCK, W. SHELLENBARGER, D. HAYWOOD, J. BARRY, T. M. O'DELL, A. B. FAILING and John MALCO.
13 Jurors were challanged for cause and eight presumptory challanges were made, two for the people and six for the defence.
Dr. Charles H. O'NEIL, of Frederic was the first witness, and gave a detailed description of the symptoms of poisoning in the boy after he was called, and of his death, and of the Augopsy held with Dr. INGSLEY, of Grayling, who was the second witness, and who described the condition of the viscora removed from the body, which were analysed by Prof. F. C. KEDZIE, of the Agricultural College, who found over one-third of a grain of white Arsenic in the Viscora analysed and exhibit the same to the jury in the glass mirros where it was collected.
Prof. KEDZIE also testified that a box which had been recovered from the closet vault on the premises occupied by Mrs. ALDRICH was evidently "Rough on Rats," which was practically pure Arsenic. From the symptoms and the analysis, the Pros, and both physicians testified positivily that they believed the boy died from Arsonical poisoning. The fact of the insurance of the boy in a funeral benefit insurance company was established by the policy and correspondence, indentified by Thos. J. SALIARD, President of the Company, of Bay City.
These facts being satisfactorily proven, the evidence to day (Wednesday) will endeavor to show the procuring of the poision by the defendant, and her interest or motive for committing the crime. We borbear further comment until the case is closed.
The defense have given no clue to the line which they propose to follow. (16 Nov 1905)

-CIRCUIT COURT.
We went to press last week as the trial of the case of the People vs. Naomi ALDRIDGE was in progress, which was continued until three o'clock Thursday, when the charge of the court was completed and the jury retired to consider their verdict, which was given about nine o'clock, "Not Guilty," and the prisoner and jury were discharged. The black vail, which had been constantly worn by the prisoner, except when she was in the witness chair, was quickly raised, and she tripped lightly forward to shake hands with each of the jurors.
The verdict was evidently a disappointment to the large audience which awaited its coming, and the opinion is freely expressed that the impassioned appeal of Attorney HARRIS for sympathy for the accused had its effect. The defense presented nothing in favor of the accused, save her own evidence contradicting some of the direct testimony, and their work from the moment of beginning the examination of the jurors to the end of their closing plea was entirely directed to creating a doubt in the minds of the jury, and pleading for sympathy.
In the cases of Alexander WILCOX vs. Rosella WILCOX, and of Mary V. McMILLAN vs. Royal E. McMILLAN, for divorce, decrees were granted, and court adjourned. (23 Nov 1905)


Father

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-THE ALDRIDGE MURDER CASE.
The case of The People vs. Naomi ALDRIDGE, charged with the murder of her oldest boy, between eight and nine years of age, on July 9th by the administration of arsenic, was called for examination before Justice George MAHON on last Thursday. The prisoner was brought in by Sheriff STILWELL closely veiled in black, and accompanied by her sister, Mrs. McCALMAN of Frederic. She was defended by Messrs. E. M. HARRIS, Pros. Att'y of Ogemaw County, his partner, Mr. ROSS, and Attorney SNODGRASS of West Branch. The court room was filled with interested and inquisitive people, as might be expected in such a case, and every word was listened to with intense eagerness until the examination was closed Friday afternoon.
The evidence of Dr. O'NEIL of Frederic, described the symptoms of poisening identical in the two boys, and his action as Coroner in ordering a post mortem examination by Dr. INSLEY, and the analysis of the viscera taken by him from the body and sent to Prof. Frank S. KEDZIE of Lansing, who testified to the recovery of a quantity of the poison from this subject. Several of her neighbors were sworn concerning the care of her children, and her actions during their illness and at the time of their death, and as has been published, it was shown that she had insured them in the National Relief Society, of Bay City, for fifty dollars each, payable at their death, but a few days previous.
The cross examination of the witnesses was searching in character, and at the close a formal motion was made for her discharge which was remanded for trial in the Circuit Court. But little emotion was exhibited by the prisoner during the ordeal, until about the close, before which time she was alert and evidently calling the attention of her counsel to points of evidence as they were presented.
It is a sad case at best, presenting as it does the highest grade of criminality, or a degree of insanity unaccountable, or a succession of circumstances that could hardly be imagined. It can only be hoped that the facts may be fully proven whichever they may point. (31 Aug 1905)


Larry HOESLI

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-Mrs. Larry HOESLI, nee WOODFIELD, went to Bay City Tuesday for a visit with her sister. (17 Aug 1905)


WOODFIELD

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-Mrs. Larry HOESLI, nee WOODFIELD, went to Bay City Tuesday for a visit with her sister. (17 Aug 1905)


WOODFIELD

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-RESOLUTIONS OF CONDOLENCE.
As the Angel of Death has again seen fit to visit the family circle of our esteemed sister, Sarah WOODFIELD, and taken from them their little beloved granddaughter, Ida Ethel BATISON, therefore be it
Resolved; that we, as members of Marvin Relief Corps No. 162, do sympathize with her in the loss of this little loved one, who was so kind and patient in all her severe suffering, and be it further
Resolved; that we commend her who has been bereaved of this little one, to the loving care of our Father, who doeth all things well, and may she say "His will not mine be done," and be it further
Resolved; That a copy of these resolutions be sent her, and also given the local paper for publication.
Rebecca WRIGHT,
Louella WINSLOW,
Rhoda EVERETT,
Committee. (31 Aug 1905)


Mrs. Sarah WOODFIELD

The following information extracted from the Grayling, Crawford Co., MI Newspaper Avalanche. NOTE: The date at the end of each extract indicates the date of the publication:
-RESOLUTIONS OF CONDOLENCE.
As the Angel of Death has again seen fit to visit the family circle of our esteemed sister, Sarah WOODFIELD, and taken from them their little beloved granddaughter, Ida Ethel BATISON, therefore be it
Resolved; that we, as members of Marvin Relief Corps No. 162, do sympathize with her in the loss of this little loved one, who was so kind and patient in all her severe suffering, and be it further
Resolved; that we commend her who has been bereaved of this little one, to the loving care of our Father, who doeth all things well, and may she say "His will not mine be done," and be it further
Resolved; That a copy of these resolutions be sent her, and also given the local paper for publication.
Rebecca WRIGHT,
Louella WINSLOW,
Rhoda EVERETT,
Committee. (31 Aug 1905)


Return to The Ward Family Web Page