Every Time Joe Green Wanted His House He Notified His Sister by Demolishing the Windows--Now He's Going to Get It.
The sovereign remedies, together with suffering humanity, were the children's inheritance. The oldest of the three children was a stepson, Colonel G. G. Green, who liked work. The next was Joe, who didn't like work. And the third was a daughter, who, being married to John Lupton and a co-heiress to millions, couldn't be expected to work. Colonel Green took charge of the business, extended it, made even better remedies than his father, and succeeded to his father's position as magnate of Woodbury. He was trustee of the estate, and carefully discharged his obligation towards his brother and his sister.
In 1879, shortly before the elder Green went the way of all doctors, as well as of all patients, he builded for his own enjoyment, and to the great honor of Woodbury, a gorgeous house at the northwest corner of West German street and Broadway. It was a gorgeous house with plenty of pillars on the front porch, and with glass windows all over it. "Plenty of light and lots of plate glass," were the instructions to the architect.
When the father died, he willed the $40,000 house to his son Joe, in fee simple. But Joe hadn't any use for it. He had a boathouse down on the banks of Woodbury creek that contained more fun in its back kitchen that the Broad street mansion did in its saloon parlor. Joe allowed the mansion to take care of itself; he was content to abide on the verdant banks of Woodbury creek.
Four years ago Mrs. Lupton, his sister, suggested that, as Joe was not using the Broad street house, he might as well let her live in it.
"All right," Joe answered, "go ahead. When I want it, I'll let you know."
One day late last winter he went to West German street and Broadway and rang the bell.
"I want my house, and I want it quick," he told his sister.
"Joe, you go right away from here. If you can't come around and behave like a gentleman, don't come at all."
"It's my house," said Joe, as he slowly descended the steps.
He walked thoughtfully into the middle of Broad street, picked up a stray brick, and heaved it through the parlor window.
"It's my house and my plate glass," he murmured when the tinkling ended. "I'll do what I darn please with it."
He walked along Broad street until he found another brick. He returned and smashed another window.
"Bully old house," said Joe Green in affectionate remorse as the glass showered on the porch outside and a Brussels carpet inside. "Bully old house." Pop built you. Never mind; I'll fix you up new when Mamie and I move in."
He went back to the boat-house and waited to become desperate again. It happened in a couple days. He smashed the German street windows this time.
"Plate glass is pretty dear," he reflected. "But, thanks to dear old father and to Brother George, the patent medicine business is paying yet."
"Joe Green's loose again."
"What's he after now?"
"He's going to plunk the third-story front this time; he's got a barrel load of bricks."
The price of bricks in Woodbury rose at one time from $9 to $13 per thousand. At length the Luptons had the ground floor windows all boarded up. But they would not move. Joe's wife became more than ever insistent that a boat-house in a catfish ditch was no fit residence for a lady who was the bride of a millionaire.
"My darling," said Joe early Monday morning, "you're right. I shall take possession of my house right away."
Unarmed, carrying not even half a brick, Joe went to Broad and West German streets and stood close to the kitchen door. Maryanne, who does housework for Mrs. Lupton, went into the yard to hang out the wash. As Maryanne went out Joe went in.
"Oh, but's Muster Joe!" exclaimed Maryanne, returning. "Go'way, fur the sake av me job an'yer own immorthal sowl, go'way."
"Maryanne," said Joe Green, affably, "It's my house. I've smashed all the windows and haven't done anything but harm my own property. Now I'm going to stay here, to live here, do you understand, Maryanne?"
Maryanne told her mistress. They tried in every way to get Joe out, but he could not be moved. He slept there overnight. His wife came for him the next morning. He consented then to depart, but gave the Luptons until June 1 to vacate the premises. They have decided to obey.
"I'm going to have my client move out in a short time." said her agent, Philip Cattell. "Still I can tell you right now there's going to be the deuce to pay before the summer's over."
|LM Green mansion (bottom) and Green opera house (top) |
from a 1927 Dallin aerial photograph
Hurled bricks at his house: Trouble in a millionaire family. (1900, April 26). Bridgeton Evening News, p. 4.