Jun 4, 2012

Little Miss Preuss Update

Yesterday, I ran across a news story about a niece of my great grandmother. This morning, I have a little more information.

It looks like Rosa didn't escape her life in Lansing until she married Louis Flechner (b.1891 in Russia) on August 17, 1916 in Lansing.

Their first child, a daughter named Lillian, was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 1918. By 1930, the couple still lived in Milwaukee with 9 children.

Rosa made the news again on April 4, 1930 when her husband pointed a shotgun at her and threatened to kill her. She fled to a friend's home and reported the incident to police. Louis disappeared, but returned home several days later where he was arrested. No word (yet) on what happens next.

Rosa's family tended to make the news in the most unfortunate ways. In 1900, a child was injured by a horse:

No word on which child this was. Rosa was 2 years old, so it actually could have been her. She had a 3 year old sister (Gertie, who died from appendicitis in 1906) and a baby brother (Charlie, who died several months earlier than this incident, from Cholera.)

Rosa's father, Frank, was a meat dealer in Lansing. In 1913, there was a crack down on violators of Michigan's new pure food laws and Frank was among those arrested. As an example, he was the only one sentenced to jail time:

Rosa's son, Emil, made the national news in 1957 when he filed for a divorce due to "mismanagement of his affairs." Apparently, his wife claimed to have been saving money by buying a chair for 37 cents, then spending 200 dollars to repair the chair. That must have been some "news of the weird" type story. 

I don't know if Rosa ever managed to get out of going to school, but she at least saw a small part of the world outside of Lansing and certainly lead an eventful life!

Jun 3, 2012

Whatever Happened to Little Miss Preuss?

While reading old newspaper articles, I ran across a story about the niece of my Great Grandmother, Minnie Preuss Schaar.  Rosa L Preuss was the daughter of Frank and Hannah Preuss. Frank Preuss immigrated from Germany in 1894, 3 years before his parents and siblings, and settled in Lansing Michigan.

Lansing, Mish., May 31 -- Lansing has a 13-year-old girl, Rosa Preuss, who seems to have a mania for staying around summer resorts late at night alone. Twice in two days has Rosa been taken from summer resorts and to her home in North Lansing by the police and the officers are beginning to wonder what is to be done.
   At midnight Sunday a telephone call from the watchman at Waverly Park, three and one-half miles west of the city, notified the police that a small, bareheaded (?) girl was wandering about the park alone. The patrol automobile was sent and carried Rosa to the home of her father, Frank Pruess, a meat dealer. On the way the girl told the officers that she wanted to stay in the park, so she would have an early start for the Memorial day celebration. She said she was not afraid of the dark. The parents said she had left home early in the evening.
  Monday midnight the watchman at Pine lake resort, nine miles east of lansing, sent in a call. The patrol made this trip and again Rosa was wandering around the deserted park. The parents do not seem to be greatly concerned over the girl's escapades.
(Kalamazoo Gazette, June 1, 1910, p.2)
The incidents did cause concern to the patrolmen, because she ended up in court:
Say's She's Tired of School and Wants to See World.
Lansing, Mich., May 31 --
Rosie Preuss, the 13-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Preuss, will be taken before the judge of probate this week on a charge of incorrigibility.  Three times in less than a week the girl has run away from home, but each time has been caught in a nearby town and returned. She gives no excuse for her actions except that she is tired of going to school and wants to see the world. Monday she was found at a farm home near Pine Lake, ten miles from home, having walked the entire distance, she said.
(Saginaw News, 5-31-1910, p. 3)

I found Rosa in the 1900 and 1910 Census', but she would have been 23 years old in 1920 and is not listed with her parents. A quick search didn't turn up a marriage or death record, either. So I wonder... did she finally get away to see the world?