Aug 08

Out of Our Past

August 8, 2009 – Battle Creek Enquirer.com

100 years ago today, 1909: A race riot on the carnival grounds was averted by Constable Fonda last evening when a gang of Italian laborers, who crowded the grounds, started a rumpus with a Battle Creek lad. There were several car loads of the foreigners on a side track near the grounds and every night they been attending the carnival. Last evening one of these armed with a tickler was amusing himself when a local lad grabbed it. Frenzied for the moment, the laborer seized the boy and in the scuffle the Italian’s coat was nearly torn from his back. From all parts of the grounds, the Italians began to rally to support of their friends. Things looked ominous for a while, but Constable Fonda stepped in, jerked the fellow off and told the American boy to make his escape. – Historical information is provided by local and family history librarian George Livingston of Willard Library.

LaVerneFonda_1900

Newton LaVerne Fonda (Battle Creek Constable)

Note from fonda.org – the bio for Constable (Newton LaVerne) Fonda: b. Pennfield, MI; 1880 Census, Athens, Calhoun, MI; 1907 Battle Creek City Directory; 1900 Census, Battle Creek, Calhoun Co. MI (indexed as La Verne N Ferredy); 1910 Census, Battle Creek, Calhoun Co. MI (indexed as La Verne Fods); 1920 & 1930 Census, Battle Creek, Calhoun Co., MI; 1921 Battle Creek City Directory, LaVerne (Nellie) Fondy (under-sheriff); bur Athens Twp., Calhoun Co., MI; o. Hook & Ladder Co. Foreman, Street Car Conductor, Deputy Sheriff, City Constable; [battlecreekenquirer.com – Dec 8, 2006 – Name of officer killed in 1926 to go on memorial – Trace Christenson – The Enquirer – An accidental shooting killed a Battle Creek police officer 80 years ago. Clayton Weed was a patrolman and just 26 when he died April 14, 1926, 15 days after he was shot in the leg inside police headquarters. According to newspaper accounts, Weed and other officers were in the headquarters just before 10 p.m. Weed was sitting when a revolver fell from the holster of officer Floyd Bailey and fired, hit the chair and lodged in Weed’s leg. Officer Bailey was exonerated in the shooting by Chief LaVern Fonda, but the chief ordered that all officers were to carry their revolvers with an empty chamber under the hammer. Weed was not added to the department’s list of officers killed on duty until 1987, after Deputy Chief Terry Tobias researched police records and learned more about the death.]; [World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 – Newton LA Verne Fonda (LaVerne); White; b. 8 Feb 1874; Registration Place: Battle Creek, Calhoun Co., MI] >> www.fonda.org <<

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