The Home of Czolgosz
THE ORANGE TOWNSHIP FARM IS VISITED BY A LEADER
ASSASSIN’S BROTHER WALDECK.
NEITHER INSANE, DULL NOR STUPID.
That Is the Opinion of Neighbors of the President’s Murderer—His
Night Trips to Cleveland.
While every true American
citizen deeply regrets the deed of the arch-traitor and assassin,
Leon Czolgosz, that feeling is nothing compared to the feeling of
regret, mingled with shame, that prevails throughout this section
of the Western Reserve when the citizens of this world-famous community
stop to think that the fiendish Anarchist who shot down the beloved
President in cold blood is one of its own citizens. His home until
recently was located just four miles west of Chagrin Falls, on a
farm in the southwest corner of Orange township.
The farm consists of fifty-five acres
and is located about fifteen minutes’ walk south of the Cleveland
& Chagrin Falls electric railway from Orange switch, and the
house can be seen from the windows of the cars which pass to and
fro daily between this place and Cleveland.
THE FARM WAS
formerly known as the Madroo and Walkden farm. The
house is a two-story frame dwelling, and it was here that Leon Czolgosz
lived while he was studying the doctrines that made him the assassin
of President McKinley.
In 1897 Paul Czolgosz, the father
of the assassin, bought the Orange township farm and moved thereon.
The venture did not prove a success in every sense, although it
did financially, but this was on account of Leon and the other brothers
continually quarreling with the stepmother and their father. They
finally succeeded in getting a purchaser, and three weeks ago sold
the farm to John Smid, of Cleveland, who now occupies the place.
Waldeck Czolgosz, an older brother of the assassin, decided to remain
on the farm and assist Smid for awhile with his work, the rest of
the family having moved back to Cleveland.
Waldeck Czolgosz, the brother, aged
thirty-four years, is a good looking, intelligent fellow, well built,
and much resembles the pictures of Leon which have been published
in the Leader since the assassination. He speaks good English, is
pleasant appearing, and when found on the farm by a Leader reporter
was busily engaged. He had not heard of his brother’s rash act,
and when plied with question after question he answered them intelligently,
but several times hesitated and looked at his questioner deeply
puzzled. He said that Leon had trouble with the family, and that
there had been many disputes. Continuing, he said;
“Leon did not like to work on the
farm, and once or twice a week he would go to Cleveland and be gone
for the night. Several times I asked him why he went to Cleveland
so often. He told me he could manage his own affairs. If questioned,
when going away, as to when he would return, Leon always told me
not to depend on him to finish up the work. He was sick a good deal
and spent more than $100 doctoring for what his attending physician
WAS HEART TROUBLE.
Because of his sickness we never asked him to do hard
work, and his going to Cleveland did not worry us, for we supposed
he was going to the homes of his cousins there.
“He read socialistic books and papers
a great deal, but he always kept them where none of us could find
them. We never suspicioned anything whatever, and this fact never
caused us any alarm. He was a great reader. Continued quarrels with
his father and stepmother increased his dissatisfaction with the
farm here, and last April he disposed of his interest in the farm
to his brother, Jacob Czolgosz, of Cleveland, for $70, and on June
15 went to Ft. Wayne, Ind. That is the last I ever saw of him. I
don’t know where he is now.”
As Waldeck, with his frank, honest-looking
face, intently recited this simple story it did not seem possible
that this could be a brother of the fiend who shot the beloved President.
Then Waldeck pointed out, and later the reporter walked over the
footpath across the lonely fields and through the more lonely woods—the
same path that Leon Czolgosz, the assassin, has made as he wended
his way so often to meet the electric car which conveyed him to
Cleveland, where he poisoned his mind and fitted himself for the
fiendish, anarchistic act which he professes to believe was his
duty. And as Waldeck recited the great number of times his brother
traversed that path, and sighed as tears dropped from his honest-looking
eyes as he commented on the result of those frequent trips, even
the most hardened wretch could do naught else but pity him.
On being shown the picture of Leon
Czolgosz that had previously appeared in the Leader Waldeck looked
at it long and, gazing intently, said:
A BROTHER’S SORROW.
“He must be a fool!”
By this time a great change had come
over Waldeck. His lips quivered; his eyes glistened with tears;
his usually rosy face became an ashen hue, and it was easy to be
seen that he cruelly felt the disgrace his poison-minded brother
Leon had brought upon him.
To the close observer who visits the
former Orange township home of the assassin, there is a singular
feature that is sure to impress one, viz.: A little more than a
mile from the former home of Leon Czolgosz is the birthplace of
the martyred President, James A. Garfield.
Much has been said to the effect that
Leon Czolgosz is insane. Neighbors with whom he mingled, and with
whom he dealt now and then during the past few years while he resided
on the farm west of town, say he was neither insane nor dull and
stupid. On the other hand he could drive a bargain with any average
farmer, and seemed to be well posted and well read on things in
general. It must have been that with every case and sordid passion,
inflamed by reason of the anarchistic teachings of Emma Goldman,
he resolved that he must do something for anarchy’s cause, and the
result was that he committed one of the blackest, foulest, and most
cowardly crimes in the history of the American people.