During their time in Syracuse it was Theodore that generated the more
notorious headlines in the local newspapers. Syracuse had a large German
population, especially on the north side. The breweries naturally
followed this group of avid beer drinkers and by 1880 there were about
40 breweries in the city of Syracuse. [Ensminger] Needless to say there
were a large number of saloons in which that beer was being consumed and
that led to problems. The Raines Law, that went into affect in April 30,
1896, drove 303 of these establishments out of business. In 1897 there
were 415 establishments in Onondaga County that were licensed to sell
alcohol by the glass. The Raines investigating committee visited
Syracuse in January 1897 and was not pleased with what they found. A
member of the committee, Senator John H. Ford, expressed their
displeasure, “Syracuse is wallowing in a slough of vice and crime and is
glorying in it. A most deplorable state of affairs exists and the apathy
shown by the city officers toward the [Raines] law is disheartening.”
Faatz Takes Over The
Watering Trough Saloon
Around the fall of 1903 an opportunity to take over the new Rose Lawn hotel developed. Faatz got his ex-partner (Evans) to take over the Switzer hotel, to finish out that lease, so he could move on the Rose Lawn opportunity. The original lease would have run out in September 1904. By February 1904, Evans was back as proprietor of the Plankingdon hotel. [1904-02-23] By March 1905, Evans was gone and a new proprietor, named John L. Wall, had taken over. [1905-03-20] These events are consistent with Evans helping out his old friend, Theodore Faatz.
Rose Lawn Destroyed by Fire
After the destruction of Lizzie Gannon’s roadhouse on February 24, 1899, Hattie Hallock purchased the site as an investment and had her husband's construction company build a replacement roadhouse. In 1901, she leased the place to Harry Jeffs who operated for about a year as The Central Hotel. George Shimer bought the Rose Lawn property from Hattie Hallock on April 18, 1903 [1903 - Deed] and became the new proprietor and owner of the hotel.
Up the Plank Road
Another Fire At The Rose Lawn Site
On February 15, 1907, at about 8 o’clock in the evening, a fire broke out in the barn behind the Rural Inn on the Cicero plank road. Theodore Faatz, the proprietor of the inn, and two of his employees were engaged in trying to confine the fire to the barn. The fire was spreading quickly and it appeared there was every chance that it would reach the hotel. At about 8:25 the members of a bible class from the city of Syracuse, on a sleigh ride outing, were approaching the hotel and saw the fire. They stopped and began organizing a bucket brigade. “A ladder was placed against the rear of the hotel and three of the boys mounted to the roof of the building. Two others remained on the ladder and passed up pails of water as rapidly as they were brought from a nearby well.” [1907-02-16a], [1907-02-16b] They continued for the next half hour until the hotel was past its greatest danger. After rendering assistance the bible class continued on their way to Cicero where they dined at the Parker House. The roof of the hotel was scorched in a couple places but otherwise suffered no harm.
The article describing the February 1907 barn fire at the Rural Inn stated that George Shimer was the owner of the barn. This was the evidence that showed that Shimer was leasing the Rural Inn to Theodore Faatz. Therefore Shimer was still the owner of the property in early 1907. At some point George Gronau and his wife Mary came into possession of the Rose Lawn property. The Gronaus sold the property to Theodore Faatz on September 30, 1914, and that transaction was recorded in the Clerk’s Office at the Onondaga County Courthouse, in Syracuse, NY. [1914 – Deed] Some speculation on how the Gronau's came to own the property can be found here.
On March 8, 1919 a raid was conducted on the Faatz Hotel, where James Wheeler was then the proprietor. Theodore Faatz still owned the property but he had stepped back from the operation of the hotel. Wheeler escaped the arm of the law on the night of the raid but turned himself in on March 20th. Wheeler had been indicted on charges of “allowing his premises to become disorderly” and violating the excise laws. [1919-05-02] At the conclusion of his trial on May 2nd Wheeler was sentenced to four months in the penitentiary.
Young Girl In Auto Accident
Shoot Out At Faatz Hotel
When the truck
stopped behind the hotel the two prohibition officers stepped out from
their hiding places and with flashlights shining on the two suspects in
the truck, told them to get out of the truck with their hands up. The
driver obeyed but the bootlegger approached one of the officers, shots
were fired and the bootlegger went down. This all caused quite a problem
in law enforcement circles. “The killing of a bootlegger last night in
the Cicero road threatened today to shake government and city police
organizations with investigations of dry enforcement operations.” For
several days no one could “remember” who had shot Bruno Nestico, the
bootlegger. The two city police officers that had helped out on the trap
were operating a couple miles outside the city, the limit of their
jurisdiction. The ramifications of that little operation echoed through
the law enforcement organizations for a couple years. [1923-05-24]
Faatz Retired From The Saloon Business
- Brewing in Syracuse... from 1804 to the Middle Ages, by Peter A.
[1897-01-18] - The Raines Law, Syracuse Daily Standard, Syracuse, NY, January 18, 1897.
[1900 Census] - NY, Onondaga, Syracuse WD17, T623\1138\15A.
[1901-09-25] - "Faatz Wanted Water - Sues for $1000 Because He
Didn’t Get It," The Syracuse
[1903 - Deed] - Hattie Hallock to George Shimer, Deed Book 355, Pg 328, Onondaga County Clerk's Office, Syracuse, NY.
[1904-02-23] - Mr. D. T. Evans, Proprietor of the Plankingdon House, The
[1905-03-20] - The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, March 20, 1905.
[1907-02-16a] - "Bible Class Fights Fire," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, February 16, 1907.
[1907-02-16b] - "Bible Class Saves Fire Doomed Hotel," Syracuse Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, February 16, 1907.
[1914 – Deed] – George amd Mary Gronau to Theodore Faatz, Deed Book 444, Pg 11, Rec. September 30, 1914, Onondaga County Clerk’s Office, Syracuse, NY.
[1919-05-02] - Hotel Proprietor Is Given 4 Months, Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, May 2, 1919.
[1919-11-20] - Faatz Freed on Charge of Killing Girl, Syracuse Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, November 20, 1919.
[1921-11-01] - Bootlegger Slaying Involves Officials, The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, November 1, 1921
[1923-05-24] - Dry Agents’ Guns For Defense Only, The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, May 24, 1923