Martin C. Golden

Peddler Narrowly Escaped Violence Near Dennison

Grand Haven Daily Tribune - April 30, 1906


Peddler Narrowly Escaped Violence Near Dennison


Excitement ran high last night when the report spread that the murderer of Martin C. Golden had been captured near Dennison and was lodged in jail here.  It was true that a stranger had been captured at a farm house north of Dennison and was in jail here about eleven o’clock, but the officers do not believe that he is wanted at all.


Jeremiah Curtin, A New Englander, peddler of razor dressings, who travels afoot through the country, stopped at the home of a man named McBain, living about a mile and a half north of Dennison.  Here the road rover stopped and arranged for a night’s lodging and prepared to retire early.  He had walked from Muskegon during the day and was tired.  At McBain’s he sharpened up some shears and razors and talked to the man of the house upon many subjects.


However, some of the neighbors had seen him and word was telephoned in to the sheriff’s office here that the slayer of Martin Golden was at McBain’s.  Sheriff Woodbury immediately dispatched Deputy Sheriffs Klaver and Luikens to capture the man and bring him in.  The officers were armed and prepared for the undertaking, getting out of the city via the Interurban route at eight o’clock.


When they arrived at Dennison, they found many of the Dennison citizens armed and eager for the chase.  The officers went on out to McBain’s and walked in upon the Yankee peddler, just as he was about to retire.


Outside the road was lined with armed men and the house was heavily guarded with citizens, all waiting for the officers to come.


Officer Luikens and Klaver went immediately to the man’s room and ordered him to throw up his hands.  He asked no questions but submitted immediately.  When he was told that he was wanted for murder, however, he was taken completely by surprise and stoutly protested that he had never committed any crime.


Down stairs the lower rooms were filled with excited men and as the officers brought Curtin through they pressed in close upon him until the sheriffs feared that they would seize him.


Both of the officers protested that Curtin was not the man wanted and were finally permitted to take their prisoner out of the house, where he was put in a carriage and driven to the railroad.  Even then there were threats and misgivings on the part of some of the crowd and had it not been for the officers and the work of some of the cooler heads, Dennison might have been the scene of another tragedy, a lynching.


The posse of citizens was not an easy one with which to deal and it required all the persuasive power of the officers to keep them quiet.  The scene at the McBain place when the officers arrived, was a wild one and looked more like the skirmish line on a battle field than an innocent country road.  The prisoner was put aboard of the car in safety however, and arrived at the jail here after eleven o’clock.  Today he has recovered from his scare and is himself again.


Curtin stated this morning at the jail, that he was born in Boston but called Ohio his home state.  He has done nearly everything to make a living but his principal jobs have been firing and night watching.  Now, however, as he is passing middle age he has taken to the road.  He deals with farmers almost entirely and makes his journeys on foot along the country roads.,


Curtin states that he was in Cannonsburg, Kent County on the night of the murder and refers the officers to the men he was with at the time.  From there he worked over to Muskegon and bought some socks and a pair of trousers there Saturday.  At the time of his capture he was heading for Dennison and not running away.


The prisoner tells a very straight story willingly accounting for his presence at his various stops to the officers.  Curtin stated this morning that he was well acquainted with John O’Donnell at Grand Rapids and often stayed with him while in the Valley City.


The man captured yesterday is rather well educated for a hobo and shows considerable evidence of good schooling of some sort.  The officers will probably release the man as they are fully convinced that he knew nothing of it.  He had read of the case but thought that the murderer had been caught or the affair had quieted down and never thought of being picked up himself.


Under Sheriff Salisbury and Deputies Taylor, Buxton and Brown with Sheriff Clinger and party from Muskegon spent all day yesterday and today up in the northern end of Muskegon county looking for the fugitive, who is believed to be the Golden murderer and who is also supposed to be flying from justice.


Officer Salisbury notified the jail office here today that nothing had as yet been seen of the much wanted man.,  The woods in the vicinity of White Lake had been scoured thoroughly without a mite of success.


It was reported that the fugitive had been ferried across White Lake from Whitehall to Montague yesterday morning.  That was the extent of the information however, and it was the last heard of the man as well.  The little bridge which connects the two towns, Whitehall and Montague is a much sorter and easier route than the trans lake way and it is believed that the man who took this method of gaining the Montague side was undoubtedly trying to avoid being seen.  He may be hiding in the woods or he may be fleeing across the country but thus far the officers have failed utterly to over take him.


Prosecuting Attorney Pageleau is waiting anxiously t hear from Muskegon county and is inclined to believe that the fugitive will be rounded up and taken.  All through the affair, Mr. Pageleau has held optimistic views.