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The County House Matter

The County House Matter image
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The Argus would gladly have kept silent coneerning the trouble at the eounty house between the late keeper,. J. H. McDowell and the superinteudents of the poor, had not his offlcious f rienda taken the matter into the columns of the republlcan or temperance papers of the eounty and endeavored to make party :capital outofit. Oertain it is that the matter neither refiects credit upon Keeper McDowell nor his officieus friends. The whole case may be stated in few words. Mr. AlcDowell is charged with taking away a cow, hams, crockery, furniture, etc, purchased by the eounty, wlien he left the eounty house. This charge he does not deny. He claims that.he took these things to replace articles of his own used up in the eounty service, lle did not have the permission of the superintendants of the poor to take away these articles. In fact they were not consulted about the matter but Mr. McDowell constituted himself the sole arbitrator in making the exchange between the eounty and himself. He evidently thought all the people of the eounty had such implicit faith in his integrity that they would trust him to take what he pleased and to put his own value on articles ef his own and of the eounty in making the exchange. But is this not asking too much faith in hujian nature'? Whatjfarmer would allow bis hired man on leavintf his employment too Jtake away whatever he pleased on,!without consulting the farmer at all, on the plea that he brought something on the farm? Mr. Platt, who appears as Mr. McDowell's doughty champion, says that when McDowell went to the house that there was nothing in the keeper's appartments excepting two carpets and a bed frame, and that McDotvell'a furniture fllled the deficiency. There is something decidedly suspicious connected with this claim . The iuventory made at the time McDowell took posession has disappeared f rom the üleskept at the couuty house. But Supt. Masón has in his possession;tlie;original draft of that portion of the inventory, which covers the keeper's house. It shows a large amount of bedding, furniture, etc, on hand. The official reports of ttie superintendents of the .oor show what was a fact that the superintendents at the time will recall vizrThat the eounty purchased a portion at least of Van Riper's furniture when he left the eounty house. The report tor Sept. 30, 1878, shows $214.60 spent that year for turniture of which $59.65 was paid Mr. Van Hiper for his furniture. This was part payment, for the next year we flnd S81.75 was paid Mr. Van Riper for furniiure. He went off to Texas and certainly couldu't wish to take furniture, the eounty was ready to buy, so great a aistance. rué rurniture accouni does not include bedding which is kept un der the head of dry goods and bedding in the county books. Since Mr. McDowell'3 incumbency, furuiture has been purchasedeachyear, running some years as high as $225. Can Mr. l'latt say who gave Mr. McDuwell perrmssion to trade furuiture with the county 'i Juat how much the superintendents claim is not accounted for, we are unable to state.i A newly purchased lot of crockery was taken to replace a set of Mr. McDowell's, broken in the county service. This is his ovvu statement. A cow figures promiuentlv in the case. Mr. Davis, formerly superintendant of the poor, gave Mr. McDowell's graud daughtera calf. It was kept until two years old at the county's expense and sold. Mr. McDowell now takes a cow to reulacethis one. It, is charged that he took the best cow on the farm . It is stated ou what seenis good authority that the calf given Mcuowell's grand daughter did not turn out well. That its calf carne too early and it never gave much milk and that, although the superiatendents passed a resolution last winter to allow McDowell to take away the calf or heifer given his grand daughter, he was never authorized to trade it for another cow. If Mr. McDowell desires to make any statement concerning the matter he should make it over his own name and our columns are open to him for that purpose. liut a republban state official should uot slop over about the matter. The superintendents have decided that the present keeper must either put a price on his furniture at which they will buy or he must at once remove it from the county house and the county will purchase requisite new funiture.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News