1885 - MARY FOLHART'S STORY. Why a Brooklyn Girl was Arrested for Theft.
She Visits a Female Friend to Attend Her Through Illness and Receives a Proposal of Marriage from a Married Man - Going to Saratoga County to Face Her Accuser.
A lank, knowing looking countryman dropped into Police Headquarters yesterday afternoon and asked with an air of great importance for the Superintendent of Police. He was shown into Chief Campbell's room and then reveled his identity.
"I am George A. Rice," said he, "constable of Stillwater, Saratoga County, N. Y., and I have with me a warrant for the arrest of Mary Folhart, who was formerly a servant for John Ferron, of Stillwater, Saratoga County, N. Y. She is charged with having stolen wearing apparel, money and jewelry, and is said to live at 353 South Fourth street."
Superintendent Campbell gave the warrant to Detective Mahoney, who went to the house in South Fourth street and found Miss Folhart living with her father. When the gentlemanly detective told her of the charge against her she was very indignant, but expressed her willingness to go immediately to Stillwater and confront her accuser.
Miss Folhart is a young lady about 20 years of age, a blonde with deep blue eyes and of very prepossessing appearance. She is well and favorably known in the neighborhood of her home, and her family and those who are acquainted with her speak highly of her as a young lady of many estimable qualities. To Detective Mahoney she told the following story of her life with Ferron:
"My father has known of the Ferron family for years, and I and the Ferron girls were friends from childhood. This man, John Ferron, I did not know until recently. He is about 35 years of age and about five years ago married the woman who is now Mrs. Ferron. At that time she was nearly 60, and his only object in marrying her was to get possession of her property. She had two stepdaughters nearly grown up. Well, the upshot of the marriage was that the old lady would not give up her property, and she and her youthful husband had frequent quarrels. About a year ago he left her and persuaded one of her stepdaughters to go and keep house for him. This girl I knew, as I said, from my childhood. In June last she wrote me, saying that she was sick, and desired that I should go to her and help her with the housekeeping during the Summer months. It was an excellent opportunity for me to spend the Summer in the country, I thought, and so I went. When I reached there the girl was sick with consumption, and three weeks after my arrival she died. I nursed her through all her sickness, and when she was dying she gave me two calico wrappers, some toweling, her trinkets and a few dollars she had saved. After the funeral, I determined to go home, but his man Ferron begged me so hard to stay for another month that I consented. He said he could not hire a girl for any money at that season of the year, and that his men who were working on the farm would leave him. Everything went on well enough for a week, when one day he came to me and began making love to me. I resented his advances and then he asked me to marry him. 'Marry you,' said I, 'no, sir; I came to your house at the request of your dying stepdaughter, and when she was buried I wished to go home. You begged me to stay and now you insult me.' He then apologized, and as I did not wish to see him lose his crop, I remained. At the end of two weeks he began to make more advances to me, when I packed up my things and ordered him to leave me at the railroad station at Mechanicsville. He did so, and during all the drive he did nothing but talk love to me, saying that he would get a divorce from his wife in a year, and that then the marriage would be all right. I will admit I treated him savagely, but a proposal of marriage from him, already a married man, I looked upon as an insult, and as such I was not particularly choice in the manner I resented it. And now to think that after I have been home three weeks that man will trump up such a charge against me and disgrace me before everybody."
At this point the girl's indignation gave way to a fit of crying and she sobbed bitterly. Detective Mahoney tried to cheer her up and insisted on her brother, who was present at the time, accompanying her to Police Headquarters. The young man did so and there the fair prisoner was given in charge of Constable Rice, who took her back to Stillwater. Her brother accompanied her, vowing vengeance on Ferron, who cast such an aspersion on his sister's character.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn, New York
August 23, 1885
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