July 21, 1996

25 Years Ago

Inmates Steal From Vendor – Unknown inmates at the Sykesville Correctional Laundry Camp Thursday stole an estimated $200 in coins and an undetermined amount of cigarettes and candy from a truck that was parked in the prison compound to fill the prison’s vending machines. A public information officer with the Department of Correction said that the truck, belonging to Quality Vending, Silver Spring, Md., was left unattended and open at the time of the robbery. She said that 18 cartons of cigarettes that had been “dispersed throughout the institution” were found immediately after the theft was reported. The money, she said, has not yet been recovered, as it was apparently “dispersed” among the inmates. An investigation into the incident will take place Monday she said, adding “they didn’t have the staff to do a shake down immediately.” She pointed out that at the time of the theft there were only 3 guards on duty – a captain, and 2 officers, one of whom was at the gate. She said that this was the first incident “of this magnitude” that has occurred at any of the camps in Maryland. Democratic Advocate, July 15, 1971.

50 Years Ago

Gospel Sails For Miles In Whiskey Bottles – “Whiskey Bottle Evangelist” has pitched 10,000 Sermons Out to Sea; Received 850 Letters From 42 States and 16 Countries – A smiling, middle-aged man who calls himself the “Whisky Bottle Evangelist,” Tacoma, Wash., has pitched his 10,000th—or 13,000th—sermon out to sea. George Phillips, winding up a half decade of preaching via the ocean waves, isn’t sure of the number because he hasn’t kept strict count of the bottles. Phillips, self-styled “missionary-evangelist,” has been consigning gospel tracts stoppered in empty whisky bottles to the waters for five years. He’s had 850 letters of reply from 16 countries and 42 states; some wrote that they’d been converted by his messages. Phillips tosses some of the bottles into Puget Sound. Others are launched in mid-ocean by the crews from ships. Fellow workers over the country toss other bottles into the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. Bottle evangelism caused some confusion during the war. The FBI called to find out what was being delivered in the bottles after a Puget Sound woman
found one on a beach, and frantically notified police that she had what seemed to be a bomb. But other bottles, says Phillips, have found their way to those who needed the message. “There was one family who’d broken with the church, moved far into the Montana backwoods,” Phillips recounted. “One day, a son found a whisky bottle in the river. When they opened it, there were the tracts. “God has followed us way up her’, the father said. We will have to go back to him,’ and they did.” Phillips, a jack of all trades— prizefighter, cowpuncher, railroad worker, car inspector—turned to evangelism 11 years ago. Democratic Advocate, July 12, 1946.

75 Years Ago

Through some mistake a foreigner was given a pay check belonging to someone else on the last pay-day at the Cement Plant. As he could neither read nor write our language he got someone
else to endorse it who used the name as was written on the face, the foreigner making his mark. Payment was refused upon presentation to the bank and later he was arrested and placed in jail. He was given a hearing on Thursday, when the case was dismissed for lack of evidence. The consensus of opinion is that he was innocent and the question, therefore, naturally arises why was he locked up at all? Union Bridge Pilot, July 8, 1921.

100 Years Ago

A Strange Case – A queer surprise occurred at a funeral at Fairview, about halfway between New Windsor and Mt. Airy, on Sunday. A body, which it was supposed was that of Zachariah
Dodson, colored, was sent to New Windsor and consigned to the charge of Undertake Charles P. Baile, for burial. Dodson died at the Maryland University Hospital, Baltimore, on the previous Thursday, and the body sent to New Windsor was identified as his by a woman in Baltimore who called herself his wife, and for whom he had deserted his real wife in this county. His Carroll county wife expected his remains would be sent to Mt. Airy and, with her friends, watched for the arrival of the body. On Sunday she learned that the funeral was taking place at Fairview and went to the church, with her children and friends. At her request and against the protest of wife No. 2 the coffin was opened and found to contain the body of a white man. The funeral services were discontinued and Undertaker Baile reshipped the body to Baltimore and it was taken to the morgue. Great excitement occurred at the grave and, it is said, violence was threatened against wife No. 2, who was suspected of having disposed of Dodson’s body in some other way. But the woman seems to have simply made a mistake and recognized the remains of somebody else as those of her alleged husband. The body has been ascertained to be that of Conrad Glaenzer, a white man. The bodies were mixed up at the morgue and Dodson was buried in the Western Public cemetery and Glaenzer shipped to Carroll county. The tangle has therefore been straightened and the mystery solved. Dodson’s body was exhumed and identified. American Sentinel, July 11, 1896.