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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 06, 1917, LAST EDITION, Image 7

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1917-03-06/ed-2/seq-7/

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DEATH THREATS HIT PLUTES IN
CONTROL OF FOOD SUPPLIES
J. Ogden Armour, Nelson Morris
and Joseph Griffin three of the big
gest figures in the food markets of
the United States are being hound
ed by a hunger-goaded maniac.
)ther wealthy people are living under
heavy protection with fear of death
constantly haunting them.
This was the astounding develop
i ment yesterday in the high cost of
i " living situation as it became known
I that'the homes of those- named are
i, , well-guarded by city, federal and pri
, vate detectives while government
! sleuths are tracing down a plot to
slay the men blamed by some for
high prices.
1 A letter which a number of rich
, men in partial control of the food
! , supplies of Chicago received threat
ens death for the three men named
Armour, Morris and Griffin. The
i maniac who wrote the notes even
t ' specified the time he hoped to finish
j the job.
V 4 A copy of the note sent to Griffin
) . two weeks ago, in the hands of the
federal authorities, reads:
"Between 7 o'clock a. m., March 2,
and the same hour, March 3, Mr. Ar
mour, Mr. Morris and yourself will
be killed in your homes."
Griffin, who is head of the firm of
J. P. Griffin & Co., gave out the fol
lowing statement after he got his
note:'
"The form of the letter was what
frightened me. Blackmail letters are
received not infrequently by men in
such positions as ours. But money
is not mentioned in this one.
"It evidently was the work of a
fanatic, excited because of the high
cost of foodstuffs.
"It's not an easy matter to pro
tect one's home and family against
an imbecile. So I notified the city
detectives and turned the matter
over to Mi1. Clabaugh. My home has
'been guarded adequately, but I do
not know how many men protected
it Friday night or how many remain."
The Armour home was guarded by
private watchmen last night and a
constant outlook is kept by servants,
warned against allowing loiterers
near the building at 37th and Mich
igan av. Mr. Armour has been out
of town ten days.
The Nelson Morris property at
4800 Drexel blvd. was well protected
by a high iron fence and was lighted
from within the grounds as well as
by the street lights. Nelson Morris
left the city the day after the threat
ening notes were sent and was in
French Lick Springs when the day
set for the assasination came
around.
Thomas Wilson, head of Wilson &
Co., packers, is also out of town. At
his offices it is said he is on a busi
ness trip in the east
Hinton G. Clabaugh, chief of the
bureau of investigation of the de
partment of justice, admitted, today
that there was an investigation being
made of the threatening notes.
"There is not much we could do,
even ifcwe caught the writer of the
notes," said Claybough. "There is no
law against a person threatening to
kill another unless a demand for
money is made with the threat.
"We are not guarding the homes
of those threatened, but have warned
the threatened to be on watch, and
I believe most of them have hired
private watchmen."
Those food bosses not worried by
notes from fanatics wh'o apparently
hope to assasinate them have some
thing else on their mind. The U. S.
grand jury has been plodding into
records supposed to show that the
cause of the high price of food is
not over in Europe or in the fields
and ranges of the west, but behind
the mahogany desks and in swell
office buildings of Chicago.
At least a dozen of our food plutes
whose names have been used in
numbers of newspaper stories in
connection with the high cost of liy-

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