Albion Interactive History / People / William Ristow

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / People

William Ristow
    Died January 1913

Another awful result of the perfidy of H.M. Dearing, the absconding cashier of the wrecked Albion National bank, was reveled this morning at 9:45, when the body of Wm Ristow, tailor, was found cold in death in his shop over the Dibble store, an empty carbolic acid bottle at his side testifying to the method of his death. Friends of the dead man say that H.M. Dearing is directly responsible for Ristow’s death as since the bank failure, two years, when the little humpbacked tailor lost something in the neighborhood of $900, his savings from his labors, the loss of his money has been almost his sole topic of conversation and the last three or four days before his untimely end he is said to have literally raved over the subject.

Mr. Ristow was found this morning by A.A. Dibble, who went up to the shop to get some clothing altered. Mr. Dibble, and one or two others, also, had gone to the shop Friday afternoon and had seen the tailor lying on a couch, apparently asleep, and nothing had been thought of it for of late Mr. Ristow had been accustomed to lying down for a nap, at almost any hour of the day. When Mr. Dibble found him in the same position this morning, however, he suspected something was wrong, and investigation proved that Ristow had been dead for hours. A physician was summoned and death was pronounced due to the taking of carbolic acid, an empty bottle of the stuff being found in an ash can at the side of the couch.

Justice of the Peace A.L. McCuthcheon impaneled a jury, consisting of L.S. Warren, A.R. Austin, E.J. Winchell, M.H. Fall, Frank Sebastian and G.M. Markie. The jury then viewed the remains and adjourned, to meet at nine o’clock Monday morning in Justice McCutcheon’s court, for the inquest.

The acid bottle had pasted on it a label from the E.L. Moore drug store. According to Mr. Moore’s books the acid was purchased about four o’clock of the afternoon of January 21, a young lady making the purchase and stating that it was for Mr. Ristow. The identity of the young woman is thus far a mystery, as Mr. Ristow, as far as can be learned, has no relative answering her description. She was unknown to Mr. Moore, but he supposed things were all right when she stated who the stuff was for. The inquest may bring out the name of the girl who thus probably unconsciously was an accomplice in the suicide.

The dead man’s nearest relative is a sister, Mrs. Carl Polzin, who lives at 903 Burr Oak street. She states that her brother, who made his home at her house, had been wont, of late, to remain much at his shop, so that she did not worry when he did not come home. He had not slept at the home, it is said, since January 20, so that it is likely that he had been dead since the evening of the 21st, the day the acid was purchased. His watch had stopped at 9:20, but whether in the morning or evening can not be known.

Mr. Ristow was about fifty years old. He was a member of the Jackson lodge of Elks and of the Albion D.O.J.

Source: “Dearing Blamed for Man’s Death, Remains of Wm. Ristow, Local Tailor, Found this Morning, with Empty Carbolic Acid Bottle at Side,” Albion Evening Recorder, January 1913.

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