Picture of the Week – Ypsilanti police get new patrol car(t)


The Ypsilanti Police took possession of a new Patrol Cart this afternoon. The cart will be used during festivals and special events.

It was a gift to the department from the Friends of the Ypsilanti Police.

The Disappearance of Lula Kohlasch

July 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Columnists

Lula disappeared in the summer of 1905.

Lula disappeared in the summer of 1905.

When Lula Kohlasch abandoned her husband and children in the summer of 1905, the only thing she left behind was her wheelchair.

The July 19, 1905 Ypsilanti Daily Press said, “If any question as to the metropolitan character of Ypsilanti is still entertained, it will promptly be set at rest by the discovery that the city has its sensations as well as the larger cities. All this came to light this morning by the report of Mr. Kohlasch, a respectable and hardworking man, whose wife, Mrs. Kohlasch, is and has been for some time an invalid and a cripple.”

Charles Kohlasch worked as a day laborer. In 1900, 40-year-old Kohlasch lived in Plymouth with his 24-year-old wife Lula. The Press spelled her name Lura, and on various other records it appears as Lola, Tola, Tula, and Jula. The couple lived with their 3-year-old son Walter and infant Rosella. They had married 4 years prior in nearby Northfield Township.

The family moved to Ypsilanti and by 1903 were renting a home at 438 Chidester Street, midway between Catherine and Spring streets. Two more children followed by 1905. Lula likely had a hard time caring for the 4 children ranging in age from 8 to 2.

Mr. Kohlasch, said the paper, had had difficulty securing household help. He eventually found a good candidate in Detroit, and the young woman began working in the house. Everything seemed fine until “a young fellow,” said the paper, “who makes his home on Forest Avenue at his brother’s, saw the girl for the first time, took her walking and the couple forgot to return. They claim that they expect to be married soon, although the ceremony has not yet taken place.”

Kohlasch was again without help. The Ypsilanti Daily Press said that he went to Ann Arbor to ask a young lady who’d previously worked in the house to return. He likely wanted to hire some help before leaving on a short trip that he and Lula had planned. He’d just been paid for the month–$16, or $380 today.

When Kohlasch returned home, his wife and the money were gone.

Also missing were some of her skirts, blouses, and shoes, as well as 13-year-old neighbor boy Carl Pepper, who had wheeled Lula around town in the past.

“Mr. Kohlasch has reported the matter to the police department,” said the Daily Press, “who are endeavoring to locate the couple. The husband is a hard-working man and is well liked by those who knew them. Mrs. Kohlasch has had every comfort lavished on her by her husband and no explanation of her absence can be offered.”

Lula’s wheelchair was found, said the following day’s Press, at John Schaff’s home at 113 Miles Street.

The paper continued, “Warrants which were sworn out by the father of the boy for truancy and for the woman for abandoning her children are still in the hands of the Ann Arbor officials, who have yet not been able to serve them.”

Gossip swirled around town. “Neighbors claim that Mrs. Kohlasch was not so ill as was supposed,” said the paper. “It is said that frequently on Sundays they would have a violin player at the house and dance at these times. Mr. Kohlasch would join in the merrymaking.”

The paper continued, “When asked about this the husband replied that his wife enjoyed the music as much as any one and sometimes would get up and step around to the music just as any one who is full of life.”

Lula, said her husband, “‘was getting to feel more like herself and had been able to do more than for some time.’”

Kohlasch was asked if the couple had had problems. He replied, said the Press, “‘No, we hadn’t any trouble lately; that is to say since I called her down for being too friendly with the boy, but I thought I had a perfect right to do that under the circumstances. She just laughed at me, but their actions worried me some. I hate to think of her leaving her children so and going off in that way.’”

Pepper was in his last week of summer grade school taught at the Normal College, said the paper.

The Press reported that Kohlasch had left the children with a neighbor. It continued, “When asked if he would take her back [he] replied that the matter was entirely out of his hands now, as he had gone before the prosecuting attorney and the crime for which the warrants were issued is punishable by not less than three years or more than ten.”

Town gossip intensified. “The report that Charles Kohlasch does not look after his children, which has been circulated in some quarters, is not true,” said the July 28, 1905 Ypsilanti Daily Press. “Mr. Kohlasch is a hard-working, industrious man, who bears a good reputation among his neighbors for sobriety and honesty.”

The paper continued, “Since the departure of his wife over a week ago in company with a 13-year-old boy, it has been something of a problem to the father to see how he could care for his motherless brood and at the same time earn money with which to feed and clothe them. Kindly neighbors, pitying the little family, came to the rescue and cared for them until the father could straighten out his affairs and find out what to do. At this point the usual busybodies interested themselves in the matter and applied to County Agent Childs to have them sent to the state public school at Coldwater.”

Agent Childs refused the request, said the Press, and when a local priest offered to place the children in a Catholic children’s home, Kohlasch expressed gratitude but said, as noted in the paper, that “he had made arrangements for a housekeeper to come next Monday and that he will try to keep the little family together.”

He succeeded. The couple eventually reunited.

The reasons for Lula’s disappearance remain unclear.

The family soon moved to Missouri, where son Frank was born, and then Kansas, where daughter Fern was born. Eventually Charles and Lula would return to Missouri, where a separation awaited the couple.

For the moment, however, Charles had succeeded in keeping his family together during a sad and difficult time in Ypsilanti.

Laura Bien is the author of “Tales from the Ypsilanti Archives.” Have an old-time Ypsilanti story to share? Contact her at [email protected]

Obit: Angie Veigel

July 25, 2010 by  
Filed under News, Obituaries

angie-veigelAngeline R. (Angie) Veigel passed away Wednesday, July 21, 2010. Angie was born in Tripoli, Greece the daughter of Peter and Priscilla (Anguras) Roopas. She graduated from Ann Arbor Senior High School in 1947, attended the University of Michigan Business School and Washtenaw Community College. Angie owned and operated A. J. Stenographic Service in Ann Arbor for 11 years. She had worked as a Probate Court Clerk and Deputy County Clerk for 10 years.

She was an executive secretary to Local 252 I.B.E.W. and worked as a substitute teacher for Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor Public Schools and Washtenaw Community College. Angie served on the Washtenaw County Jury Board for 13 years. She was instrumental and initiated the Greek/American flags at the Statue of Demetrius in Ypsilanti.

Angie was a member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and member of Philoptochos Society, Daughters of Penelope, Senior Citizens in Ypsilanti and the church where she held offices and was an active member. She was a lifetime member in the V.F.W. Women’s Auxiliary and a member of Lambda Chi Omega Sorority. Angie loved sports, golf, gardening, crocheting, knitting, music, dancing, traveling and acrobatics.

She is survived by her loving husband, Fred Veigel, her son, Dr. Michael (Jonna) Roopas and granddaughter Samantha; three step-children, Karen (Ron) Veigel-Coon, Teri Veigel-Nims and grandchildren, Travis and Crystal Nims and David Veigel as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by five siblings, John, George, Tony, Heidi and Kula.


St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
3109 Scio Church Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103


2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., Trisagion service at 7 p.m.
Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nie Family Funeral Home – Carpenter Rd. Chapel
2400 Carpenter Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108


11:00 a.m.
Monday, July 26, 2010

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
3109 Scio Church Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103


Bethlehem Cemetery
Ann Arbor, MI

Wanted: Do you know me?

July 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Breaking News, News

Pictured below is a suspect that used a stolen credit card to make several purchases.


If you can help identify this person, please contact Cpl Gerald Wagner at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s office (734) 973-4694.

Click on the picture to view a larger picture.

Five file for Ypsilanti Charter Commission

July 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Breaking News, News

Five petitions were filed today with the Ypsilanti City Clerk to be on the ballot in November for the Ypsilanti Charter Commission.

They include former mayor Cheryl Farmer, former City Council member John Gawlas, Attorney and former EMU Regent Karen Valvo, former EMU Professor Bill Fennel, and former Ypsilanti School Superindent James Hawkins.

On November 2, Ypsilanti voters will be asked if a Charter commission should be convened. Also on the November ballot will be the five names.

If the voters say no to convening a Charter Commission, then the votes for commission members do not count.

Mayor Paul Schreiber and former Mayor Pete Murdock have both previously said publicly they were opposed to convening a Charter Commission.

The Threat to Ypsi’s Local Economy in 1906 (Not Globalization)

July 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Columnists

flobertCheap goods shipped from distant places hurt the local economy. It’s better—no, vital—to shop locally. It’s also a waste of money to buy a cheap but inferior product from afar when a better, if more expensive local one will last longer.

These were the themes of a talk given at an Ypsilanti business association. The themes sound familiar in a globalized Internet age that offers the choice of whether to buy goods made elsewhere or online, or patronize an Ypsilanti store. “Buy Local” is now a familiar idea.

But it isn’t new. The talk at the business meeting occurred not in 2010 but in 1906. The goods from afar undercutting the local economy weren’t from distant countries or the Internet.

“Last night’s meeting of the Ypsilanti Business Men’s Association in Cleary College reading room was a fine one and the turn out of citizens was magnificent,” said the March 2, 1906 Ypsilanti Daily Press. “The singing of the Pease men’s quartet was a revelation to those that had never heard them and they were heartily cheered by their delighted hearers. The talk given by [downtown clothing store co-owner] Mr. Horner was one that should have been heard by every person in Washtenaw County . . .”

Fred Horner went on to discuss the decline of downtown trade from the farmers around Ypsilanti. “That the rural trade of merchants of Ypsilanti is not what it should be is evident from the fact that the question has been asked, ‘what is the cause of the decline?’”

Horner attributed the decrease in large part to mail order companies. “They scatter their catalogues promiscuously throughout the country quoting prices (that to the customer seem great bargains) and reap a harvest in return, when the same quality could be bought at home for the same, or less, and the freight or express saved, and have the satisfaction of having kept the money at home. It seems like poor policy for any person that has any interest in the welfare of his home market to send abroad for his supplies, even though he could save a few dollars in his yearly purchases . . .”

Most of the large mail order houses, or “catalogue houses,” were in Chicago. Sears, Roebuck & Company with its iconic catalogue dominated them all. Sears is likely the “large catalogue house in Chicago” to which a February 19, 1906 Ypsilanti Daily Press editorial refers.

“The pure food commission of Minnesota recently issued a bulletin disclosing the names of concerns which have shipped adulterated foods into that state,” said the paper. “In this list the name of a large catalogue house in Chicago appears four or five times. The report, which is a scathing denunciation of manufacturers and dealers selling impure foods, shows that catalogue houses sell goods that are not only inferior, but a menace to health, if not life itself.”

The paper continued, “The commissioners declare, and their report is based upon an analysis of samples purchased, that the house referred to sells evaporated milk labeled evaporated cream; wild cherry phosphate colored with coal tar dye; cheese containing borax, and stuff which it advertises as pure fruit jelly, but is a glucose compound artificially colored and flavored. Thus is the secret of the low prices of catalogue houses exposed. They buy inferior goods because they can buy them at a low price, but they advertise them as the best on the market.”

“The agricultural implements offered by catalogue houses never bear the names and brands that are known to the trade, unless there is a deliberate steal of a name or brand, as sometimes occurs. The machines are made from obsolete patterns, hurriedly constructed out of inferior material.” Agricultural implements were manufactured and sold in the city by, among others, O. E. Thompson in the former Thompson Block. The paper continued, “The same thing is true of buggies and carriages.” In years past, the Beach Carriage Company had produced carriages in Ypsilanti.

The article concluded, “The catalogue houses buy these goods at low prices. Why shouldn’t they? But they sell them at high prices, considering their value. When a concern has been convicted of selling inferior and impure foods intelligent buyers should be suspicious of its other lines.”

Or at least some of its lines. The 1902 Sears, Roebuck & Company catalogue has an extensive gun section, featuring rifles bearing the storied names of Winchester and Remington that evoke the romance of the Old West.

It also carried the Flobert.

In all caps, the catalog’s blurb for the gun reads “WE DO NOT RECOMMEND NOR GUARANTEE FLOBERT RIFLES. Buy a good rifle. It will pay in the end . . . We think No. 6R665 [elsewhere on the page] is the best value for the money.”

A genuine Remington rifle on the next page sold for $7.50 [$184 today]. The Flobert went for $1.60 [$39].

Although they carried some iffy products, the catalogue houses also employed many craftsmen in producing worthwhile goods, as noted by one editorial written by a Midwest merchant in the February 23, 1901 Sanitary and Heating Age trade magazine.

“Now, 60 miles east of me is a small stove foundry,” said the writer. “They make a good cheap cook stove. A Chicago house takes their entire output. Can any one, or any association, by entreaty or legislation, or by ‘Influence and wisdom,’ stop this leak for the legitimate dealer? We cannot influence our home customer with the plea that the catalogue houses are putting out ‘shyster’ goods, for they are not. The stove I speak of is a good one, and offered cheaper than I can sell it.”

Despite this assertion, the reputation of catalogue houses was so poor that the 1902 Sears catalogue, in its introduction, said that it would ship goods in unmarked packaging. Merchants reselling the goods would not be stigmatized. “As some of our customers, especially townspeople and business houses, request us to ship our goods in plain packages or boxes, leaving off our name and address, so that no one will know what they have bought or where the goods come from, we have decided to make the transaction strictly confidential.”

Town merchants had demanded the anonymity, but it was likely also a blessing for Sears–at least when shipping out Floberts.

Laura Bien is the author of “Tales from the Ypsilanti Archives.” Have an old-time Ypsi story to share? Contact her at [email protected]

The Declaration of Independence


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America:

1776-de-indWhen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare,

That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

— And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Still Cookin’ with Aunt Gerry

July 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Columnists

Aunt Gerry apologizes for being a day late with her column.  Caroline, Aunt Gerry’s 5 year old granddaughter was visiting and days were filled with cookie baking, story time and lots of giggles.  Columns can wait – 5 year old granddaughters can’t.


Culinarily speaking, Quiche is the pride of the french.  This may seem an odd column choice as we approach the July 4th holiday, however, France also gave us the Statue of Liberty.  I’m posting this recipe in response to a request from my grandniece Kathleen.  ~Aunt Gerry

1  9-inch unbaked pastry shell
8 slices bacon, diced
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
1  3/4 cups milk

Poke pastry shell all over with fork.  Bake pastry shell in a 450 degree oven for 7 minutes or just till lightly browned.  Remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Fry bacon till crisp; drain and crumble.  Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon for trim.  Place remaining bacon in pie shell; add cheese.  Combine remaining ingredients; pour over.  Sprinkle reserved bacon atop in a circle.  Bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or till almost set in center.  Let cool 25 minutes before serving.  Serve with a garnish of green onions wrapped in ham slices.



These are a soft, delicious cookie.  They’re Uncle Joe’s favorite!  ~Aunt Gerry

3/4 cup softened shortening
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2  1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger 

Mix shortening, sugar, egg and molasses.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Chill dough.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts and dip tops in sugar.  Place sugared side up on greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle 2-3 drops water on each ball for a cracked surface.  Bake 10-12 minutes.