Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mrs. Julius Anklum goes out on the Town

One of my earliest posts in the Forgotten Brewery Cave series went by the fanciful title "The Cave of the Mad Poetess".  It recounted the eccentric doings of a certain Maude Phillips, poet, suffragette, adulteress and at least for a while in the winter of 1917, occupant of this former brewery cave overlooking the river in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Little did I know that the history of this particular cave featured another eccentric female scofflaw, the redoubtable Mrs. Julius Anklum.

While running through on line newspaper archives in search of more clues on brewery caves I ran across this rather remarkable 1905 entry:

A Scene in Municipal Court

In municipal court this morning Judge Gilbertson presiding, Mrs. Julius Anklum, who was found dead drunk in the old beer vault or cave near the Eau Claire river last Saturday afternoon, was given 15 days in jail in lieu of the $15.50 fine which she could not pay.

She was brought into court at 9 o'clock this morning and was still unsteady.  She wore an old shawl and hat which have become familiar on the street.

"Charged with being drunk and disorderly," said the judge.  "Guilty or not guilty?"

"Guilty", she responded.

"Fined $15.50" said the judge.

"Can't pay any fine", replied Mrs. Anklum.

"Fifteen days in jail", said the judge.

"Please judge", she said, "I'll get right out of town today and won't bother you any more."

"You've told us that a thousand times before.  You'll go and get drunk again as soon as you're out", said Chief of Police Higgins.

"No, honest I won't.  I want you to take my word for it.  I'll go right out of town, out on a farm where I will work.  I want to leave Jule," reiterated the woman.

"I think we had better send you to state prison to get rid of you", said the judge.

"I won't go to state prison.  I never killed nobody. I never did anybody any harm.  Honest, I'll get out of town.  I have been working a few days lately and got a little money but Jule stole it from me and got drunk"

(various other details are omitted for brevity here)

"If it hadn't been for Jule I'd never have drank", continued Mrs. Anklum.  "He got me drinking.  No judge, please let me go.  I'll go right out to my father's farm.  He wants me to come.  When I married Jule I had a big farm but now I have nothing.  Please let me go."

Eventually the Long Arms of the Law had to drag her from the courtroom and not without difficulty as she had a strong grip on the ornamental railing.

Of Mrs. Anklum's later legal antics I can report that a 1906 newspaper article titled Mrs. Anklum is Back, relates a sadly similar tale.

And what about her husband Julius, familiarly but not affectionately referred to as "Jule"?

With various spelling variations I think I have traced his life for nearly three unhappy decades.

1891  Eau Claire.  Julius Anklam fined $3 for use of abusive language after getting into a fight with a fellow masonry worker.  Details not specified but oddly the article mentions that his "wife deserted him some months ago at a Saturday night party for a handsome man."

1895  Eau Claire.  Julius Anklam is arrested when his team of horses runs into a horse that was watering at a trough.  In effect, a traffic accident with a parked "vehicle".  The horse he hit broke a leg and had to be killed.

1898  Fall Creek.  Julius Anklum arrested for selling mortgaged livestock and property.

1918.  St. Louis Minnesota.  The body of Julius Anklum, watchman, is found in the ruins of the Toro Motor company the day after a fire that destroyed the building.  Note: there actually is no community by the name given in the newspaper article.  As the Toro Motor company was headquartered in Minneapolis at this point in time, I suspect the fatal fire may have occurred in a suburb called St. Louis Park....unless the proof readers were having a really bad day, as Toro's main factory was in St. Paul.

Of Mrs. Julius Anklum's later career I have found nothing more.  It seems a shame that we don't even know her first name.

Addendum:  While browsing newspaper records I came across an article that went into more detail regarding the arrest of Mrs. Anklum in the beer cave.  I quote from same with apologies for the somewhat mean spirited tone of it:

The Corpse Was the Tripple Extract of Alcohol and Did Not Need the Coroner

"There's a dead woman in the beer vault!" was the startling information brought to No. 2 Hose House by some boys yesterday, during the dinner hour.

"What!" said Fire Chief Eldridge.  

"A dead woman! She's in the beer vault!" said the boys. "She was found by some girls from the Linen Mill." they added.

Hurry up messages were flashed to the county jail.  Messengers were sent to the police.  The coroner was notified and an exodus of officials, city and county, was in progress to the old beer vault on the banks of the Eau Claire river, some distance beyond the Linen Mill.

(evidently the girls had been picking flowers when they noticed a woman stretched out and not moving on the floor of the cave)

.....She presented a gruesome sight,her clothing was disarranged in the most startling manner.  They carried her out into the sunlight.  She showed signs of life.

"She's dead---drunk!" was the verdict of the assemblage.

"She's Jule Anklum's wife," said others.

(a search of the cave showed no sign of Jule.  Mrs. A. was taken off to jail and the Coroner and sundry officials left in a huff, having been called out for no good reason)

Mrs. Anklum is the condensed extract of three barrels of alcohol, and her hubby is the straight stuff. The Anklums live on Madison street, near McDonough, and their carrying on has scandalized the neighborhood.  The stories are sensational in the extreme - the Anklums have no blinds on their windows, and the sights keep the neighbors in constant indignation.

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