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The County's Hospitality

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Such a great hue and cry bas been raised since the superintendents of the poor decided to elect a euccessor to the late keeper of the county house, J. S. olcDowell tliat it creates the suspicion that some of those who were making so much ado in the matter are interested in some way other than out of pure t'riendship for Mr. McDowell. üue man in particular, who holds a high office in this state, a gift from the hands of a republican governor, lms more than once made himselt prominent in the matter. In fact he has said through the columns of a contemporary. "I'm getting mad in this business and wili spend time and money myself to see it straightened." Why is lie setting mad? We think the investigation made by the Argus will show why Mr. Ilenry D. l'latt threatens to let nis angry passions rist and spend nis money restlessly. The editor of the Argus drove down to the county house lastTuesday morning taking[IenryD.MeiTithew,Esq.with him to act as a notary public in taking such aftidavits as he thought might be useful in pursuing the investigation he vished to makeintothe former management of the county house. The affid.ivita wwe taken beeause the Argus did not deire to chronicle ar.y mere talk, which might or might not be 3trictly true. It wished to get at the exact f acts of the case. The statements of none oE the county charge3 were taken. The Argus makes no charges of any criminality against any one. But it does state that there has been a fearfully loose manner of running things at the county house, which the supervisors aLd the taxpayers of the county should know about. It seems that the house has been run as a kiLd of general boarding house for the public, those desiring, stopping as often as they pleased to partake of the IIOSPIT ALITY OF THE COUNTY. Atnong the frequent partakers of tt.e hospitality of the county was Stace Uil Inspector ilenry D. Platt. We instance lñm as an example of what it is sáid can be shown in other cases. His lióme is only about a mile away and it would seem that a man drawiug $1,500 salary from the state cmght at least drive Ms horses home rather than let the county feed them, expecia'ly when so near lióme. If this had been done only half a dozen times the Argus would have been the last paper to mention it, bitt the following sworu statements wère made to us: , "Mr.Platfs horses were feil here very öften. Tbey were given uats. I hae fed then myself. It was a commqn thingfor Mr. l'latt's horses to be here". AHÖTHEH AFFIDAYIT in our possession sets forth the fact iu as plain terms. Among other statements it contains the followiug: "I have been employed at the county house six or seven years. I have charge of the stables. Almost every driy I have had other horses to feed and take care of besides those belonging to the county. I have ofteri fed Mr. L'latt's horses. Sometimes he would come with a team and sometimes a single horse. It was often at dinner time but more frequently before supper. 1 1 would feed the horse or horses oats by the keepers order. He would ofteu bring his family with him. Sometimes he would come several times in a week. I have repeatedly seen Mr. Platt, his wife and bis daughter go into the garden and lili up baskets with vegetables which they have then taken away. I have often seen Mrs. McDowelI put vegetables in the wagon when she was going in the direetion of Mr. Platt's. I hae seen him take baskets of grapes trom the county farm. I never saw him bring anything which he left at the farm, to the best of my knowledge. I have known Mrs. McDowell to put a basket of spareribs in the wagon when she was going over to Mr. Platt's." Nor are these the only statement made concerning the free and mighborly way Mr. Platt has been living with the county, the county generously furnishing meáis and vegetables and so far as diligent inquiry could discover the only thing. f uruished by him in return was ONELONE, LORST TURKEY. Said one of the employees whose opportunities tor observation was the best; "I have seen Mr. H. D. Platt come over aud take fresh vegetables from the county garden, cabbage, com, tomatoes, etc. He would take a couple of good market basketsful. I have seen him take vegetables several times during the sumiuer. I never saw him bring anything here so far as I can remember excepting one turkey. The garden is right where I eau see it from the house." Some years ago some very fine grape vines were set out for the use of the inmates. It is from these vines that the baskets of grapes went over to Mr. Platfs. It wpuld seem that there were enough inmates who would have appreciated them and some of whom too were sickly . No one flnds any fault with a private person being hospitable. In fact that is a commendable virtue. Jkititisentirely ánother thing tor the eouuty farm to be drawn upon by neighbors, and articles taken forconsumption b; those who are not county charges or not employed upou the countv faim. Popularity gained by allowing this to be done should not prevent the election of a successor to a keeper except at the risk of being denounced by those whose private interest i,t was to have the old regime continue. Mr. Platt is NOT THE ONLY OXE who is living in a glass house and should cease throwing stones for tneir ovvn good. The keeper of the county house is given a salary and the living of his family, but the county does not expect hini to divide with the whole neighborhood of the county 's sustinence. A book was shown us, where a record had been kept of people whose horses were fed at the county house, which indicated the feeding of horses belonging to others to be An everyday occurrence. Thisjecord was not keept byjthe order of the keeper. To show the bad habit contracted in sending articles away we give one letter signed by the wife of ex-superintendent Greene and picked up at the county house. Ypsilanti, June S., 87. My Dear Mrs. McDowell. I atn sure I never can compénsate you for the many good things you have sent to us. I feel greatly indebted to you for the pickels etc to help out the season of dearth. We enjoyed the btown bread greatly and want the recipe if it wil] not be too niuch trouble to write it for me. My girls are worn with theii1 years work and need nourishing food easy of digestión and palatáble and they relished that so mnch. I wanted to give it to them. Pa is waiting and I will close-agam thanking you for all your kindnes. A. L. Greene. Another fact developed by a glance at the books was that THE SUPEKINTETDJLNTS lal been buying things of the county. Such eutries as "llour, drygoods, tea S3" were not infrequent with no specifications as to the atnount of llour or tea or the kindor quantity of dry jjnods When ex-Supt. Greene, whose failure to secure a re-election waa coraruented upou severely at the time, was secretary of tlie board during the last year of his term, we ünd such entries as June 21. D. 13. Greena, tea, flour and dry goods, S4.70. August 16. D. B. Greene. dry goods, SI. This practice of selling goods bought for the use of inmates to others should be at once broken up. The county ought not to engage in the mercantile business. Parties buying of the county where there are no checks, are open to suspicion at least, which all should repel. Mr. Greene was not thé only superintendent who bought of the connty, but he kept the booka and it certainly would have been better if he had itemized the purchases. Keeper McCormick states that when he took possession of the county house, the keepers part of the house had been stnpped of its content3. There was then to be found in it only the carpets, one bed and the bedding for it, two hanging lamps, and a very few dishes but all broken, cracked, or badly scratched. Justbefoie Mr. McDowell took possession, the Qrst draft of the inventory, taken at the time, shows the following articles to have been in part of the keeper's house. The articles in the cellar are not here given. keepbe's house. 6 sittinff room chaira, 1 bedroom table, Op-State bedroom bed-5 extra comforts, stoad, 1 feather bad, I feather bed . 6 featlier pillows, 1 feather pillows, 3 straw ticks, Í pillow cases, 1 hcdstead, 2 comforts, BOyards sheeting 2 sheets, cotton, 1 old bed stone, GIRL'S ROO3I. 1 bedstead, 8 sheets, 1 feather bed, 6 pair pillow cases, comforts, i cañe bottom chairs, l qullt, patched, li yards print, J slioüts, 4 yards doming, 1 looking glass, 'M pounds dried beef, 1 rag carpet, 1 hall closet up-stairs. 1 bowl and pitcher, DIKING KOOM. " table cloths, 1 buttry table, 1 extensión table, 1 flour barril, lstove pipe and zinc, ZOtinpans, 1 carpet, 1 milk strainer, . Sag bottom chairs, 1 meal aieve, leover table, 1 stone chura, 1 set dishes, 1 doz. knives and forks, KITCHEN OF KEEPER'S nOUSE. 1 cook stove and pipe,l barrel crackers, 1 kitchen table, 1 wash tub, 21amps, üjugs, 2 dish pans, 1 washing machine, 1 brass kettle, 6 short towels, 1 paus, 8 towels, 2 wash dishes and dip-1 ooflee mili, per, lsmall looking glass, 1 wooden bowl, 1 kitchen chair, 4Flatirons,


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News