April 30, 1913: Patrolman discharged after caught drinking

On this day in Duluth in 1913, Duluth Police patrolman Wilfred Grandmaison was asked to “hand in his star and club” for drinking on the job. The previous January, Grandmaison made the newspapers when he was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital to battle an “acute attack of inflammatory rheumatism. That story claimed that Grandmaison was “the oldest policeman in point of service on the local police force” but several had been there much longer, including Chief Chauncy Troyer, who “summarily dismissed” Grandmaison after he was caught drinking on April 30. In fact, May 1, the very day newspapers reported he had been fired, would have been Grandmaison’s fourteenth anniversary with the Duluth Police Department. The previous day, according to newspapers, Grandmaison “was discovered in the saloon at 721 West Superior Street about 1 o’clock yesterday morning by other policemen. The place as locked.” Grandmaison explained that he “had been invited by the barkeeper to come in and help himself any time he was ‘thirsty.’ A thirst developing, he had let himself in and was doing what any other individual under similar circumstances would do, when he got caught red-handed, as the term goes.” Grandmaison and his wife and four children lived at 1320 Minnesota Avenue on Minnesota Point. On September 29 that same year the forty-four-year-old former patrolman “dropped dead…while walking on Park Point.”

 

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