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Strange Times 134: Love Thy Neighbor's Wife
Today brings a master bigamist, amoral school children, and a Bostonian mind reader. Oh, and so, so many ads for straw hats. Subject children to compulsory religious instruction on…
May 14, 1921
Attempting to sail in spite of a strike by her crew, the Aquitania will make her upcoming voyage with a team of Cunard line executives serving as stewards.
The Weather: Cloudy and showers today; Sunday fair and cooler; moderate to fresh south and southwest winds.
Because the 1921 newspaper loves nothing more than bigamy, the Times’ continues its daily coverage of the elopement of Shubel K. Siver, who may be a more experienced bigamist than previously thought.
There was some confirmation yesterday of the belief that Shubel K. Siver, middle-aged church treasurer of New Brunswick, N.J., fled to Canada after he had deserted his wife and sons and married Adele Gouin, 18 years old, of Perth Amboy. The police, who are seeking Siver on a charge of embezzling $6,000 belonging to the First Reformed Church, were informed that one of Siver’s sons, Richard, received a letter from William Tunison, a chum who formerly lived in New Brunswick, saying that he saw and spoke to Siver in Saratoga Springs last Sunday. Siver, Tunison wrote, seemed reluctant to return the greeting. After Tunison had accosted him, he crossed the street and joined a young woman with whom he hurried away.
A development in the case that divided interest with the clue to the couple’s whereabouts, was information received yesterday, from Mrs. Elizabeth Eggers of 160 State Street, Perth Amboy, that Miss Gouin probably was Siver’s third wife and not his second. Mrs. Eggers said that he came to her home in Perth Amboy in 1920 with a blond woman about 27 years old whom he introduced as his wife. He remained there two weeks, sharing two rooms with this wife and a child called Teddy Siver, about 2 years old.
It had been known for some days that Mrs. Siver of New Brunswick, mother of Siver’s three grown sons, visited Miss Gouin in the apartment said to have been furnished for her by Siver in Perth Amboy and begged her to send siver back to his home. Today it was learned that the other Mrs. Siver also begged Miss Gouin to end the romance with Siver, likewise in vain.
There are so many things the District Attorney should be concerning himself with—crimes, for instance—and this is how he’s spending his time? All of the children’s answers are excellent. I don’t see anything to the effect of, “Don’t marry three women and steal $6,000 from your church,” so Shubel K. Siver should be in the clear.
District attorney Harry E. Lewis, speaking last night in the South Congregational Church, President and Court Streets, Brooklyn, told of a recent test made in a Brooklyn public school at his request to ascertain how many of the pupils knew the ten commandments. Out of 1,373 children questioned, 499 did not know the commandments and and 351 children had never heard of them. Asked to repeat the commandments, some of the pupils gave these answers:
The first commandment is not to shoot craps.
Do not make love to your neighbor’s wife.
There shall be light.
The ten commandments were the ten amendments to the constitution.
Children must keep off the steps of street cars.
Not to swear for anything.
Don’t hitch on wagons.
Don’t crook anything.
Thou shall not hit thy father or mother.
Love thy neighbor’s wife.
There shall be water.
Mr. Lewis declined to give the number of the school in which this test was made, but declared it illustrated the need of some sort of moral and religious training for these children.
There are so many things a governor should be concerning himself with—governing, for instance—and this is how he’s spending his time? I wonder if young Thelma knows the ten commandments…
BOSTON, May 13.—Hundreds of persons are going daily to a Tremont Street barber shop owned by Charles Wells to see his seven-year-old daughter Thelma, who has astounded, among others, Governor Cox and several Harvard professors by her occult powers. The girl, blindfolded and with her back to the wall, reads rapidly sentences and numbers as they are written in other parts of the room.
One of the most astonished auditors was a Harvard professor of psychology. When Governor Cox sent for the girl, it is said, she “read his mind like an open book.”
Talking of his daughter, Wells said about a month ago he first discovered her powers. “I was writing a letter while Thelma was in the room,” he said, “and heard Thelma repeating the words I had just written. I placed her back to me, facing the wall, and continued to write, and she recited all as I wrote. Words she does not even know she can read as written.”