Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Caged Rich Lunatic

Yes once again I found another article while searching on Genealogybank.com and thought I would share. This one of course caught my attention with the mention of witches and the thought of them crawling up someone’s pant leg. However I was sad to find out the circumstances behind this wealthy man’s illusions and the thought of him having to be confined to a cage because of his violent outburst. This article was in the St. Louis Republic from St. Louis, Missouri dated July 21, 1889.

He Thinks the Witches Crawl Up His
Pants Legs.

Special to The Republic.

Cincinnati, O, July 20 – Insane at times, so violent as to necessitate confinement in a cage. Such is the terrible fate of Samuel Armstrong, who is 82, and a former prominent resident of this city. For years he has been in close retirement at Wapello, where relatives reside, and although possessed of an estate valued at $350,000, the afflicted man has derived little or no benefit therefrom, if the stories of his relatives and friends be true. Strangers have been, under the guise of law and otherwise, given control of his property.
Armstrong many years ago was a prominent builder. Among his investments was one in 66 acres of land in the northern portion of Avondale. He owns property in Greenville, O, worth $100,000, and valuable property in Columbia, this county. About 20 years ago Armstrong was driving away a many who was stealing fruit form the Avondale place when the fellow picked up a large stone and, hurling it at him, struck him with great force on the head. He was never himself again.
Among his delusions is the firm belief in witches. He imagines these enter his room through the keyholes and cracks in the doors and he has had the apertures all stopped up. He also wears straps around his ankles to keep the witches from crawling up his trousers.
While in this condition of mind he fell into the hands of one Fred Rehling of Greenville, O. He was induced by Rhling to convey to him his valuable Avondale property. Rehling, it is said, did not pay him a cent for the property. After an extended litigation the conveyance was set aside. Armstrong’s affairs then came into the control of certain lawyers of the city Although Armstrong was a resident of this city and had never resided in Greenville. A member of a well known legal firm of this city made application to the Probate Court of Darke County for the appointment of a guardian for the insane man, and permission was asked to sell his Avondale property. The court appointed James Roes a Greenville blacksmith guardian. The court also decreed the sale of the Avondale property. Under this decree the property was sold about a year ago to a syndicate, headed by Robert Mitchell, for $100,169

Armstrong was never married. His sister’s children, who are his heirs, live at Wapello, Io They have begun inquiries into the administration of the estate. 

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