Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Ubiquitous Officer Miller Returns

Two summers ago, Gossips indulged an obsession with Officer Frank Miller, whose name appeared regularly in the newspapers a hundred years ago, in stories recounting his exploits arresting drunks and drifters, intervening in domestic squabbles, foiling attempted burglaries, and pursuing stolen cars. Recently, I stumbled upon another story involving Officer Miller, in the Hudson Evening Register for July 2, 1917. Because it involves the ubiquitous Officer Miller, and because it's a tad reminiscent of the incident last winter of the CPR dummy, which got Hudson mentioned on Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!, I share it here.

Smilingly, Dr. G. A. Klock, of Daytona, Florida, owner of the Daytona private hospital and sanitarium, admitted this morning that he has encountered numerous strange experiences, but the one confronting him Sunday morning in Hudson was really a "top-notcher."
Dr. Klock, who is one of the most widely known physicians in the Daytona section in Florida, said he was on his vacation. After an extremely busy winter he decided to take an auto trip north, and for a number of days has been "taking things easy."
Saturday night he arrived in Hudson rather late and parked his machine in front of an up-town boarding house. He left the "dimmers" on the car, and thought the machine would be all right along the street.
Shortly before midnight, Officer Miller's attention was attracted by the car, which had on it what appeared like a newly repainted license plate. The patrolman also found a gun in the car. He called Officer Slater and both agreed that it looked as if it might be a stolen machine. Sergeant Cruise then ordered the car placed in a local garage. 
Upon arising Sunday morning Dr. Klock found his car missing. The first thing that struck him was that it had been stolen. He called up police headquarters. Officer Connors was at the desk, having just come on duty. He knew nothing about the affair, and could not find a report of the matter. Chief Lane subsequently came in and the auto case was straightened out.
Dr. Klock, typical of the hospitable and general [sic] southern people, took [the] circumstance as a great joke, and explained satisfactorily the appearance of the license plate. He expects to remain in Hudson a day or two and to-day visited several of the city officials. He is dictator of the Daytona lodge of Moose and is health officer of his town. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
He left a card with Chief Lane, who declared he's going to keep it as a memento of a peculiar circumstance, and one which shows the Hudson police are alert.
A few months after this incident, in December 1917, Sergeant John Cruise, who ordered the car placed in a local garage, became the chief of police. A little more than four years after that, in March 1922, Chief Cruise was suspended as a consequence of a prohibition raid conducted in Hudson by the state police. He was subsequently tried, found guilty of dereliction of duty, and demoted to the rank of sergeant. Gossips told that story in 1915, a series of posts called The Scandal of 1922. 

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