And Now You Know: Runaway girls, fugitive captured, broken mast, and a Marx Brother lived in Orange circ. 1929

Published 1:58 am Saturday, March 7, 2020

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Mike Louviere, And Now you Know

In mid-September, four runaway girls were “captured” in Orange. Two were returned whence they came, two remained in the Orange County jail.

The two girls in jail gave their names as Helen and Edith McCauley and gave their ages as 19 and 18, respectively. The girls were said to be “lounging” on their jail cots and in the best of spirits.

“You can do anything with us you please and it won’t make any difference to us unless you take us home,” declared the girls.

When asked how they would like to go to Gatesville, the site of a state women’s prison. Helen asked, “Gatesville, what’s up there?” 

She continued her comments by saying that if there was anything good up there, they were ready to go.

Letters that were found in the small dilapidated suitcase the girls carried suggested that the girls had given fictitious names and that they had given fictitious home addresses.

Wires were sent to Rusk by the sheriff’s department where the girls had claimed to be from and to Eagle Lake where they also said they had lived. It was hoped that they would help locate the parents of the girls.

The girls maintained a defiant attitude and said they had been rudely taken into custody by Orange lawmen.

“I thought we were being kidnapped when a man came up to us and rudely demanded that we get into his car yesterday morning,” Helen said. “Then he turned back the lapel of his coat and showed us his badge. We got into his car and found out we were in trouble.”

Those who had interviewed the girls believed they were younger than they said they were. It was believed that they were 13 and 14 years old.

There was a report that a man who had remained hidden from the law for two years after his indictment by the grand jury was now in custody.

J.L. Thornton, aged about 35 years, was now in the county jail awaiting trial on the charge of swindling. His trial would be held in the upcoming session of the district court in October.

Thornton had been indicted at the October 1927 session of the grand jury. He left Orange and remained at large until he was captured near Liberty law enforcement officer who used “a clever ruse.”

The forward mast of the British steamer Kghan was broken while the vessel was being loaded at the municipal docks.

Captain L. Webb, commander of the ship said the mast would not be repaired. 

“We can get along very well without the forward mast,” the captain said.

The vessel was being loaded with a derrick barge.

“Ikey” Marx once lived in Orange and worked at the general merchandise store owned by the late L. Miller. The store was located at Fourth and Front Streets.

Persons attending the Marx Brothers movie “Cocoanuts” at the Strand Theater recognized one of the Marx Brothers as “Ikey”, who had been living in Orange.

Marx had left Orange a few years earlier and only a few people had known his whereabouts until he was seen on the screen.

Judge L.J. Miller, nephew of the late L. Miller was one of the first to identify “Ikey” as one of the world-famous Marx Brothers.

This writer has attempted to find which of the Marx Brothers was once known as “Ikey”. It is doubtful he was Groucho. That leaves Chico, Harpo, Zeppo, and Gummo. There are records as how the five brothers acquired the stage names they used, but so far, no information as to who “Ikey” was.

“And now you know.”