Source: Cleveland Leader
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “The Home of Czolgosz”
City of publication: Cleveland, Ohio
Date of publication: 16 September 1901
Volume number: 54
Issue number: 259
|“The Home of Czolgosz.” Cleveland Leader 16 Sept. 1901 v54n259: p. 10.|
|Czolgosz residence; Waldeck Czolgosz; Czolgosz family; Waldeck Czolgosz (public statements); Leon Czolgosz.|
|Jacob Czolgosz; Leon Czolgosz; Paul Czolgosz; Waldeck Czolgosz; James A. Garfield; Emma Goldman; William McKinley; John Smid.|
|The article below is accompanied on the same page by a photograph with a caption that reads “The Czolgosz Home in Orange.”|
The Home of Czolgosz
THE ORANGE TOWNSHIP FARM IS VISITED BY A LEADER REPORTER.
ASSASSIN’S BROTHER WALDECK.
NEITHER INSANE, DULL NOR STUPID.
That Is the Opinion of Neighbors of the President’s Murderer—His Frequent
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 said
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.