Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1943 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
INDIVIDUALS USUALLY HAND PUNISHMENT TO
THE CRIME OF POVERTY
Although there are no laws speci
fically designed te punish the crime
of poverty, that it is a recognized
crime and is punished by the individ
uals, is evidenced -in the case of Mrs,
Marie Buschek. ' -
Mrs. Buschek is a little woman
whose husband deserted her a long
time ago, and when he was taken into
the Court of Demestic Relations and
ordered to pay $10 a week toward
the support of his family he crossed
the border line into Canada.
Then Mrs. Buschek began the bat
tie against poverty. There were her
two little boys, Willie, aged 7, and
Eddie, of 14 months. And there was
one thing Mrs. Buschek could do
sew on gloves.
It was in the season then, and she
used to work from 8 o'clock in the
morning until long after the wee tots
were asleep, and only the clock tick
ed off the weary seconds; and some
times the sun would pink the sky be
fore she stopped, because one must
make money when one can.
And then the work slacked off and
Mrs. Buschek began to scrape and
save, always because of the thing the
poor fear most the rent man. They
will go hungry, they will shiver with
the cold from lack of fuel, they will
wear clothing that is ragged, but they
always respect and fear the man who
owns the place where they live, for
the worst punishment that can be
meted out to poverty is to turn its
victims into the street, shelterless.
At last the dreaded -thing happen
ed. Mrs. Buschek did not have the
rent on the 1st of January.
Now, a man by the name of John
Bendel owns the building in which
Mrs. Buschek lives, and he owns sev
eral other buildings, but he is one
of the individuals who punishes pov
erty. "You got to get out if you ain't got
your rent," he told Mrs. Buschek.
Almost crazed with the memory of j
nights and days spent toiling that this
man of much money might have
more, Mrs. Buschek flared back:
"You cannot put me out now; you
have got to give me notice."
Mrs. Buschek was given notice.
A suit was filed to dispossess, her.
Meanwhile, a man suggested to her
that she go to the United Charities
and see if they would move her, if
they were not willing to pay her rent.
There isn't much need to linger
over this phase of the matter. The
United Charities would send the
children to an orphan asylum and
Mrs. Buschek to he Home for the
Friendless, which any police officer .
on the street could have done, and
was not charity bestowed by the U.
C, in that they are not supporters of
either the orphan asylum or the
Home of the Friendless, but Mrs.
Buschek would not break up her fam
ily, and so she was not given one iota
Then she was brought into court
The story was such a pathetic one
that Judge Thomas F. Scully told her
he would see that her rent was paid,
and the policemen in the courtroom
took up a collection.
Mrs. Buschek was jubilant. But
also she was ignorant of landlords
whose feelings had been tampered
Bendel refused to accept the rent
money and notified her, through his
agents, that she had to get out. She
pleaded, but it was useless.
Bendel did not intend to take anv
chances on having trouble about his
rent again, and, besides, the woman
had hurt his feelings.
All of several days Mrs. Buschek
hunted around for a flat, and every
where the answer was-the same:
Show us your last month's rent
Sometimes she stopped and ex
plained, but that availed nothing and
only made the treatment she receiv-