Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Chicago River Canned Meat Salvage Company -- 1919

Meat Me on the River (Chicago Daily News Archive)
So . . . on March 10, 1919 the wall of a warehouse that belonged to the United States Army’s quartermaster gave way, and 2,000 cases of beef for the fortunate troops fell into the Chicago River.  The clerk at the warehouse, Edward J. Maher, saw the whole thing take place, which was not a good thing for his career.  On April 26 Mr. Maher was “discharged from service in the quartermaster’s department.”  [Chicago Tribune, May 8, 1919]

Mr. Maher left the nation’s service, a wiser man, and he “took into his confidence Frank Zahour, a detective sergeant; Marcel Wieczerek, bridge tender, and Fred Bezwiewecz.  They formed a closed corporation for the salvage of the beef and set forth in a tug.”

Unfortunately for the beef quartet, Special Agent Jerry Bouchal of the Chicago Junction Railroad spotted the beef boys and “ended the existence of the salvage operation by taking the officers, directors and stockholders into custody.”

So it was that “The affairs of the Chicago River Canned Meat Salvage company [were] concluded except for the difficulties in which the promoters find themselves.”

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