Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Sad Valentine: Lovers' Attempted Elopement Thwarted by Crafty Pelham Parents in 1885

Ah, young love!  What better day to tell a story of Pelham love than Saint Valentine's Day?  Idealistically, of course, young love in Pelham always turns out happily ever after!  Indeed, I have written before of magical Saint Valentine's Days in the little Town of Pelham.  Seee.g.:  Fri., Feb. 13, 2015:  A Magical Valentine's Day in Pelham Manor in 1895.  

Tens of thousands of times in the last 250 years, young love in Pelham has turned out perfectly.  It has made many hearts sing and has led to many happy endings of countless Pelham stories.  Students of Pelham history know, however, that sometimes young love in our midst does not end "happily ever after."

In 1885, Pelhamville was gripped with romanticized stories and wild rumors of young love prompted when two local lovers reportedly tried to elope, only to be thwarted by the girl's parents.  Indeed, newspapers throughout the region told the story of nineteen-year-old Emily Frances Bryson (also known as Emma and Emmie) and her beau, a young dentist from Mount Vernon named William H. Traband.  (Some of the early news stories got the names wrong, referencing Emily by her sister's name, Maud, and giving Dr. Traband's name as "Thibaud.")

Emma Bryson was a beautiful young woman.  She was an "amateur actress" and an accomplished musician with a compelling stage presence who also earned an enviable local reputation and some social prominence as an accomplished singer.  She had many admirers including William H. Traband, the young dentist in Mount Vernon who lived at the time with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bryson.  

According to multiple accounts, on Monday, August 10, 1885, Emma Bryson told her parents she was off to a picnic with a friend.  As she left her house in Pelhamville, her mother noticed that much of Emma's clothing was missing.  She immediately suspected her daughter had decided to elope with her beau, Dr. Traband, and alerted her husband.

Mr. and Mrs. Bryson hatched a plan to foil the scheme of their daughter and her beau.  Mr. Bryson took off for the Mount Vernon train station to intercept the couple there.  Mrs. Bryson went to Dr. Traband's home where she hid out of sight and watched the home carefully.

Soon, William Traband emerged from the home carrying a satchel.  Mrs. Bryson began following him, carefully remaining out of sight as she followed.  She followed him to the Mount Vernon train station where her husband waited and saw the young man as well.

Soon, a New York City bound train pulled into the station and young Emily Bryson emerged from the train to greet her beloved beau and help him aboard for the trip to New York.  When the couple embraced on the platform before boarding together, Emily's parents pounced.  Though multiple reports of the encounter differ over the precise details, it is clear that some dramatic confrontation occurred, attracting a crowd of spectators and setting tongues wagging all over Mount Vernon and Pelham.

According to one report, Mr. and Mrs. Bryson confronted the young lovers who admitted that they planned to elope.  Dr. Traband told the Brysons that "no one should part them."  Mrs. Bryson reportedly slapped the young man.  Mr. Bryson and young Dr. Traband reportedly came to blows.  Emily assumed a "stage attitude" and dramatically threw herself down exclaiming that the couple soon would marry no matter what her parents said.  The young woman dramatically remained prostrate as her mother "boxed her ears" in an effort to get her to her feet so the parents could drag her home.  The girl refused until "her mother pounded her with a big yellow sunshade."  Only then did a "now heart-broken Doctor" and young Emily consent to return to their respective homes.  The train pulled away from the station with Emily's clothes-filled bag on board.  The couple vowed to follow that bag together in marriage "pretty soon."

As scattered news reports began to appear describing the spectacle, Richard Bryson attempted to quell the embarrassing reports.  He wrote a letter to the local newspaper that made no effort to explain the spectacle witnessed by so many.  Instead, the letter stated that the entire story of a foiled elopement had been fabricated and that Bryson wanted to set the record straight.  He claimed in the letter that the couple had been engaged for quite a time and that Dr. Traband was an honorable man who was "innocent of the charge imputed to him."

In any event, as one might expect, young love prevailed.  The young couple married on November 18, 1885 at Pelhamville.  Their first child, Albert, was born the following year and a second was born the year after that.  There was, however, no happy ending.  As all parents are wont to say, the young people should have listened to their elders.    

The young couple moved to Hudson City (part of today's Jersey City) where Dr. Traband built a thriving and profitable dental practice that earned about $10,000 a year (nearly $340,000 in today's dollars).  As later revealed, it appears that neither of the two was a model spouse.  Emily accused her husband of "making love to the pretty female patients who came to his office to have their teeth tinkered."  The young dentist accused his wife of having multiple affairs including one with a boarder and another with an "aeronaut" (balloonist) with whom she performed.  He further claimed that his wife became so overt in her efforts to attract lovers that his dental practice was destroyed because patients avoided the scandalous couple.  In 1894 the young couple separated.  Dr. Traband moved back to Mount Vernon.  There he tried to rebuild his dental practice, but failed when Emily returned to Mount Vernon demanding support and claiming she was penniless.  Again, patients seeking to avoid the scandalous couple avoided Traband's dental practice.

Clearly the separation became ugly.  On Monday, September 24, 1894, a jury trial was held in City Court in Mount Vernon in an action of replevin brought be Dr. William Traband against Emma's father, R. H. Bryson.  (An action in replevin is to recover specific physical items of personal property that have been unlawfully taken, as opposed to seeking money damages for property that has been taken.)  After a day-long trial, the jury deliberated until well into the night.  They finally returned saying they were deadlocked.  The judge sent them back for further deliberations.  At 8:30 p.m. they reported they remained deadlocked.  Thus, the Judge discharged them without a verdict. 

Alas, like the jury, the once-enthralled young lovers could not agree on anything.  By 1897, the couple was through.  Dr. William Traband commenced an action in New York Supreme Court seeking an "absolute divorce" from his wife.  The suit languished for a time and, in November 1898, Traband discontinued the action, claiming that he had to drop the case because one of his witnesses had died and another had disappeared.  

In 1899, Dr. Traband filed a second action seeking an absolute divorce.  This time the action was prosecuted in full with both parties slinging mud.  Indeed, the entire tawdry mess played out in sensational newspaper reports detailing the charges and counter-charges of adultery.  Dr. Traband even produced letters written by his wife to one of her lovers, one of which was printed in its entirety by a local newspaper.

If all this weren't bad enough -- and sad for those of us who pine for the success of young love on this Valentine's Day -- things next became bizarre.  

During the second divorce proceeding, the judge ordered William Traband to pay Emily $100 to help with her legal fees and to begin paying $10 a week in alimony.  Additionally, the Court awarded custody of the two children to Emily.

Dr. Traband promptly moved to an undisclosed location in New Jersey from which he refused to pay any of the alimony awarded by the Court.  Emily, as one might expect, was beside herself.  She looked for William Traband hoping to gain enforcement of his financial obligations.  There are suggestions that at least the couple's son, Albert R. Traband (then about fourteen years old), somehow knew his father's whereabouts, but would disclose it to no one, including his mother.  Indeed, young Albert seems to have been estranged from his mother at the time.  The fourteen-year-old lived on his own in Mount Vernon and worked for a local business.

On December 2, 1900, little Albert was kidnapped in broad daylight by a group of men who drugged him and spirited him off to a deserted tenement house in New York City where they interrogated the young boy about the whereabouts of his missing father.  The fourteen-year-old refused to divulge what he knew.  The men locked him up and even knocked him unconscious at one point.  Still the young boy refused to tell what he knew.  Finally the men relented and released the youngster who returned home and told local newspapers that he suspected that his own mother, Emily Bryson Traband, was behind his kidnapping. 

Alas, research has not yet revealed how this story of young love gone bad eventually played out.  It seems certain, however, that the embattled young couple from Pelhamville and Mount Vernon, did not live happily ever after. . . . . . . . . 

1885 Valentine Such as Those Likely Exchanged
at the Time Emily Frances Bryson and William H.
Traband Attempted to Elope.

*          *          *          *          *

There are dozens and dozens of news articles that touch on today's subject, only a few of which have been transcribed below.  Each is followed by a citation and link to its source.

A Pretty Singer, Foiled in Her Attempt to Elope, Returns Home But Not to Stay.

NEW YORK, Aug. 12. -- Maud Bryson, a girl of fifteen years, 

"COUNTY ITEMS. . . . .

-- Pelhamville was excited last Monday, over an attempted elopement, by a lady of the Bryson family and a Dr. Thibaud of Mt. Vernon.  Mrs. Bryson noticed that Emma Bryson's washing was missing, and that Miss Emma had also disappeared.  Mr. Bryson at once concluded an elopment was on foot.  Dr. Thibaud lives with his father, a merchant of Mt. Vernon.  Mrs. Bryson went to the young man's house and watched it carefully, while her husband went to the Mt. Vernon depot and watched that.  Everything happened just as they wanted it to.  First, Dr. Thibaud came out of his father's house with a little satchel, and scudded toward the depot, with the lady who didn't want to be his mother-in-law scudding after him.  Just as he had bought two tickets and walked out on the platform along came a train bound from New York with Miss Emma on the alert to embrace her co-eloper.  She did embrace him, and then she was dragged down off the car by her mother and father.  The young lady struck a 'stage' attitude, and said she would stick to her lover through all things; and that anyhow all her washing was gone on the train.  The Doctor said that no one should part them, and was slapped by Mrs. Bryson for his pains, after which the girl's parents worked hard to get her home.  Her mother boxed her ears; but it was not until her mother pounded her with a big yellow sunshade that she yielded to the entreaties of the now heart-broken Doctor and consented to go home.  The young people say they will follow that washing pretty soon."

Source:  COUNTY ITEMS, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Aug. 14, 1885, Vol. XLI, No. 19, p. 4, col. 2.  

"AN ELOPEMENT NIPPED IN THE BUD. -- Last winter Miss Maud [sic] Bryson, of Pelhamville, sang at some public entertainments in Mount Vernon, and among those who particularly admired her was one William H. Traband, a dentist.  Last Monday the young lady saying she was going to a picnic started off.  Soon afterward her mother found that the girl's clothes were missing, and concluded that there was more on Maud's programme than attending a picnic.  The parents followed the daughter to Mount Vernon, where the picnic was to be held, and arrived just in time to see their daughter and Traband get aboard a train bound for New York.  They snatched her from him and hurried her along Fourth avenue a little way, and Bryson and Traband had some angry words and several blows.  Miss Bryson lay down on the sidewalk and declared she would not return home with her parents, and even blows could not induce her to rise.  Finally, as the only way to get rid of the spectators and crowd, her lover advised her to go home with her parents which she did."

Source:  AN ELOPMENT NIPPED IN THE BUD, The Yonkers Statesman, Aug. 12, 1885, Vol. II, No. 537, p. 1, col. 4.  See also She Will Yet Be His Wife, The Buffalo Courier, Aug. 13, 1885, Vol. L, No. 225, p. 3, col. 4 (similar text with same mistake referencing "Maud," a sister of Emma).    

"LOCAL NEWS. . . . 

There was quite a scene in the vicinity of the New Haven Depot, last Tuesday noon, in which Mr. and Mrs. R. Bryson, of Pelhamville their daughter Emma, about 19 years of age, and Wm. H. Traband, of this village, figured prominently.  Miss Bryson has acquired some popularity in local circles, as a singer, and among her admirers is Mr. Traband, to whom she is engaged to be married.  On Tuesday, the young lady set out from home to visit a friend, without consulting her mother, who, by the way was absent from home at the time.  She had been gone but a short time, when Mrs. Bryson arrived from home, and upon some volunteered information from a neighbor set out to find the girl and met her at the New Haven Depot, just as she was about to board a train, having missed a train on the Harlem road.  The parent was indignant and would listen to no explanation, but insisted on her daughter going home immediately.  Mr. Traband was at the depot, and Mr. Bryson was in the vicinity, which accounts for the meeting.  The young lady resisted the interference of her mother and insisted upon proceeding on her journey, and a misunderstanding all round was the occasion of the scene.  Finally, at the solicitation of her affianced the young lady was induced to return home.  The story of an attempted elopement is all a fabrication.  Mr. Traband and Miss Bryson are engaged to be married, and the parents entirely acquiesce.  Mr. Bryson has sent us the following communication, in relation to the affair.

Pelhamville April 12th

Mr. D. LEWIS, --

Dear Sir -- There having appeared in several New York papers, a report entitled 'An Elopement Stopped,' in justice to myself and family, I would state there is no truth in the report.  In regard to Dr. Traband, he is innocent of the charge imputed to him.  Hoping you will give this a place is your columns and place all parties right before the community, I remain Very Truly Yours.

R. Bryson."

Source:  LOCAL NEWSThe Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Aug. 14, 1885, The Chronicle [Mt. Vernon, NY], Vol. XVI, No. 830, p. 3, cols. 1-2.  

The Place to Study How the Other Half Lives.

The 21st jury term of the City Court opened Monday morning with three cases on the calendar. . . . 


The first case, Dr. Traband against R. H. Bryson to recover goods that had been replevined.  This case took up the entire day and was given to the jury at 5 o'clock in the afternoon.  At 7 o'clock the jury informed the Court that they could not agree.  They were sent out again, and at 8.30 o'clock, were just as far from agreeing as at the beginning.  They were discharged by the Court.  For plaintiff, M. J. Teirney, of New Rochelle, assisted by Charles Irwin; for defendant, S. J. Stilwell."

Source:  LIFE AT THE CITY COURT -- HUMANITY'S DOINGS THERE DAY BY DAY -- The Place to Study How the Other Half Lives, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Sep. 26, 1894, Vol. 3, No. 759, p. 1, col. 6.  

"No Verdict Agreed Upon.

Monday morning the regular jury term of the city court convened.  The principal case upon the calendar was a suit of replevin between Dr. William Traband and his wife.  The suit may be preliminary to future proceedings, and each presented a hard fight.  The dentist is a son of Mr. Edward Traband, a merchant at 147 South Fourth avenue.  His wife is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Bryson of Washington street.  The suit is for the possession of household goods which they held in common before their domestic troubles began.  Now both claim ownership . Stephen J. Stillwell appeared for Mrs. Traband and Justice Tierney of M. J. Keogh's office, for her husband.  The trial lasted all day.  At nine in the evening the jury, after deliberating since five o'clock, reported they found it impossible to agree and were accordingly dismissed."

Source:  No Verdict Agreed Upon, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Sep. 27, 1894, Vol. XXV, No. 1656, p. 4, col. 1.  

Worse Offense Was to Work a Buzz Saw on His Women Patients.
Sunday School Teacher Makes a Voluntary Affidavit Disclaiming Any Intimacy with the Dentist.

Dr. William H. Traband. a prominent and wealthy dentist of Mount Vernon, was accused by his wife yesterday of making love to the pretty female patients who came to his office to have their teeth tinkered.  While the dentist worked over his patients in the chair, torturing them with buzzing drills and hammers, his wife says he found time and opportunity to say sweet things to them and tie strings to their fluttering hearts.  Whether he used laughing gas to aid in his fell purpose is not shown in the testimony vouchsafed by his wife.  It was no laughing matter to her, for she applied to Justice Bischoff in the Supreme Court yesterday for an absolute divorce from the dentist.  She would wash her hands of him and leave him to get along without her.

While Mrs. Emily Traband purposely omitted to mention the names of the women whom she charged her husband with making love to, Miss Emma Seaman, a Sunday school teacher, of Mount Vernon, appeared of her own accord and volunteered the statement that she was not guilty of any misdeeds with the dentist.

Pending a settlement of her suit for divorce Justice Bischoff granted Mrs. Traband $100 for counsel fees and $10 a week alimony.

Dentist Makes Charges, Too.

Traband also has a grievance against his wife and has entered counter-charges.  He declared she had been intimate with a boarder, Harry Rispon.

Dr. and Mrs. Traband separated in 1894, when the dentist alleges that his wife's misconduct first became known to him.  He obtained an order to serve her with summons to his complaint by publication.

Mrs. Traband alleges that his reason for doing so was in order that he might obtain a judgment against her by default and that he knew she was living with her mother, Mrs. Charlotte Bryson, at 180 Lexington avenue.

She also says her husband was aware that she was away from her mother's home at the time of the alleged wrongdoing, as her mother was staying at Southern Pines, N. C., for her health.

In her affidavit Mrs. Traband says her husband was intimate with at least two women patients of his.  She says she would rather not give their names at present, but one, says Mrs. Traband, 'was a light brunette.'

Emma L. Seaman, of Mount Vernon, evidently imagines she is one of the women designated by Mrs. Traband.  So she voluntarily came forth and made an affidavit in the dentist's behalf, saying that Dr. Traband never did anything improper while manipulating the buzzer and the drill.  All he was ever guilty of, she says, was to examine her mouth in a most circumspect manner, and then only when she was accompanied by a 'lady friend.'

Mrs. Seaman, Emma's mamma, says her daughter is a Sunday school teacher and of eminent respectability.  She also says her daughter never let Dr. Traband peer into her mouth, unless she had a female bodyguard with her -- at least, not that she knew of.

Dr. Traband says his wife intends to drive him out of the business and that she already drove him away from a lucrative practice in Hudson City.  He was compelled to move to Mount Vernon.

'And now she is not satisfied,' he says sorrowfully, 'but wants a divorce as well.'"

Source:  DR. TRABAND DENIES HIS WIFE'S CHARGES -- Worse Offense Was to Work a Buzz Saw on His Women Patients -- MISS SEAMAN IS ALARMED -- Sunday School Teacher Makes a Voluntary Affidavit Disclaiming Any Intimacy with the Dentist, The Morning Telegraph [NY, NY], Aug. 3, 1899, Vol. 61, No. 215, p. 1, col. 2.  

Dr. Traband, a Mt. Vernon Dentist, Wants Absolute Divorce.
Accuses Husband of Improper Conduct with a Patient and Two Other Women.

'I am ill and penniless.  I need food and clothing and shelter, and I need it now.  I am suffering from consumption and am solely dependent on my mother and my brother for my support,' was the answer put in by Mrs. Emily Frances Traband, in the Supreme Court, yesterday, before Justice McLean, in reply to a request by her husband, Dr. William H. Traband, a prosperous Mount Vernon dentist, that a stay of an order made by Justice Bischoff, allowing her $100 counsel fee and $10 a week alimony should be granted, so as to permit him to appeal from that award.  Justice MacLean denied the motion.

Dr. Traband has brought a suit for an absolute divorce from his wife, in which he names as co-respondent Harry Rispen, with whom he alleges Mrs. Traband was too intimate when she was a boarder at the house of Mrs. Fredericks Creighton, at 46 West Twenty-fourth street, last Fall.  Dr. Traband incidentally charges his wife with having been too intimate with a man known as 'Billy Kendal,' who is an aeronaut.

Mrs. Traband denies her husband's charges and has brought a countersuit, in which she says he has been guilty of improper conduct with Miss Emma L. Seaman, who is a patient of his; with Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Hopper, of 312 West 120th street; with a woman known as 'Skip,' and with a lady, whose name she declines to mention on the ground that she does not wish to stir up public scandal.  All the co-respondents in Mrs. Traband's cross-action vehemently deny her allegations.

This is the second action for an absolute divorce which Dr. Traband has brought against his wife.  In 1897 he commenced a similar suit, but discontinued it last November.  He gave as his reasons for dropping the case that one of his witnesses had died, and that another had disappeared.

Was an Amateur Actress.

The Trabands were married on Nov. 18, 1885, at Pelhamville, and have two children, 13 and 12 years old, respectively.  Both of them demand the custody of the children.

Prior to her marriage Mrs. Traband, who is the daughter of a traveling salesman for a Maiden Lane firm, was Miss Emily Frances Bryson.  As a girl she was famed throughout Westchester County for her cleverness as an amateur actress, and her ability as a musician.  She and her sister, Maud Bryson, appeared in many entertainments given under the auspices of the First Baptist Church of Mount Vernon.  She was also known as the authoress of a song entitled 'Mary Jane of Maiden Lane,' which made a tremendous hit in White Plains and New Rochelle, where she introduced it, and just before her husband began his first action against her she sang it with great success on the stage of an uptown music hall, four young women assisting her.  The quintet were seated at typewriting machines, which they operated to the air of the song.

Dr. Traband in his affidavit contradicted all his wife's assertions and said that he was doing a flourishing business in the town of Hudson and making nearly $10,000 a year until she began a life of dissipation.  Her name became coupled, he said, with certain men, and his clients and customers left him to avoid meeting her.  Then she left him and he went to Mount Vernon, but she soon followed him and again resumed her downward career.  Her conduct almost ruined his business, and his income was reduced to less than $1,000 a year.

Submits Alleged Confession.

He submitted an affidavit by Rispin admitting his guilt, and another from Al. E. Moore, a theatrical manager, of 129 East 122d street, who heard Rispin's story, when, besides telling of his own guilt, he told of Mrs. Traband's aeronautic performances with Kendal.

As a proof of his wife's relations with Kendal he put in copies of two letters written to him by Mrs. Traband, in which she addressed him as 'Dear Billy.'  In one she said:

'To receive one fairly civil letter from you was a real pleasure to me.  It had one drawback -- its allusion to Mr. Rispin.  Aside from that, it was more like the Billy I cared for.  In a kindly letter, and I think yours was intended as such, that little sarcasm was better left unwritten, for in your heart you know you do both parties an injustice, and your views are warped by the governing power of that green eyed monster, jealousy, for which you have little cause of complaint.

'You say that I have broken your heart.  What have you done to mine?  Shattered the last fragments of faith I shall ever have in mankind again.  It means misery, for when there is no love there is no suffering, and I feel I have had my measure of the latter.  You wish me to believe that you have had nothing to do with my husband.  I am willing to believe you, nd wish to thank you for your kind offer to be of assistance to me in the future.  With only the kindest wishes for you, believe me to be no one's else,


Dr. Traband also wanted his wife to give him a bill of particulars as to the names and identity of the co-respondents named in her suit, but on the motion of Goldfogle, Cohn & Lind, who represent Mrs. Traband, Justice MacLean denied the application, holding that she had sufficiently identified them."

Source:  HE NAMES TWO CO-RESPONDENTS -- Dr. Traband, a Mt. Vernon Dentist, Wants Absolute Divorce -- WIFE FILES A COUNTER SUIT -Accuses Husband of Improper Conduct with a Patient and Two Other Women, The Sunday Telegraph, Aug. 27, 1899, Vol. 61, No. 239, p. 1, col. 3.

William H. Traband's Wife, Who, He Says, Is Stage Struck, Makes Counter charges Against Him.

William H. Traband, a dentist, of Mount Vernon, who was married a dozen years ago to Emily Frances Bryson, who was noted for her beauty and had wide distinction as an amateur actress and because of her ability as a musician, is for a second time seeking to obtain a divorce.  His wife makes counter-charges against him and asks for affirmative relief.  She has been allowed $100 counsel fee and $10 weekly alimony, which he objects to paying, and applied to Judge MacLean, of the Supreme Court, for a stay of the payment of these moneys pending an appeal to the Appellate Division.  He also applied to compel her to furnish a bill of particulars, giving the details of the charges that she makes against him.  Both motions were denied yesterday by Judge MacLean.

Dr. Traband several years ago had a practice in Hudson of about $7,000 a year.  He said his wife was stage struck, that on account of her conduct his business was ruined and that she had deserted him and their two children.  He went to Mount Vernon, but she followed him there, and he says her behavior was such that he was forced to sue for divorce in April, 1897.

She then said his charges were groundless.  That action was never tried, and he was compelled to discontinue it in November last as one of his main witnesses died and the other disappeared.  He now alleges he has proof of his wife's misconduct.

Mrs. Traband refutes her husband's accusations, and says he has not lived the life of a model husband.  She declares she is penniless and in need of food and clothing, while her husband has an income of $4,000 from his practice, and is the owner of real estate in Mount Vernon.

She says she is a victim of consumption, and that the $225 he was forced to pay her after he brought his first action she expended while visiting North Carolina, where her physician had directed her to go for her health."

Source:  DENTIST AGAIN SEEKS DIVORCE -- William H. Traband's Wife, Who, He Says, Is Stage Struck, Makes Counter charges Against Him, N.Y. Herald, Aug. 27, 1899, p. 7, col. 4.  

Albert R. Traband, Fourteen Years Old, Says Two Men Drugged and Abducted Him.
Mount Vernon Lad Asserts He Was Brought Here in Effort to Learn Father's Address.

MOUNT VERNON, N. Y., Saturday. -- Albert R. Traband, fourteen years old, son of Dr. W. H. Traband, a prominent dentist, of this place, says he was kidnapped in broad daylight yesterday by two men, who drugged him and took him to New York, where they held him a prisoner for half a day in a dark room in a tenement house.

Dr. W. H. Traband and his wife have cross suits for divorce.  Mrs. Traband was Miss Bryson, daughter of Richard E. Bryson, a commercial traveller, who formerly lived here.  Mrs. Traband now lives in New York city, and it is said that Dr. Traband is in New Jersey to escape paying alimony.  

Young Traband lives at No. 223 South Sixth avenue, Mount Vernon.  He is employed by George W. Bard, a real estate agent in South Fourth avenue, in whose presence this morning he gave the following account of his adventure: -- 

'I took Mr. Bard's wheel and started home for my dinner just before noon yesterday.  After eating I started on my wheel for Fourteenth avenue, where I heard that the firm's sign on a house had been torn off.  At Eleventh avenue two men stopped me.  One asked me the way to Mundy's lane, and I directed them.  Then the other said he would watch my wheel if I would go with his friend.  I said I would, and after going two blocks we walked up on the veranda of an empty house and the man rang the bell.  Then I started to go, and the stranger held me fast and put his hand over my mouth and nose.  Just then I saw the other man ride by the house on my wheel.

'Suddenly I became drowsy when the man suggested that we take a trolley ride.  I tried to resist, but was so helpless that the men half dragged me to a trolley car bound for New York.  I remember trying to get off the car and being held in my seat by the men.


'Then I went to sleep.  The next thing I remember is being awakened by the men who told me to come along and not say a word.  I was half dazed and don't know where we went.  We walked several blocks and then entered a deserted looking tenement house where an Italian was standing in the doorway.  The men hustled me up stairs to the second floor.  Then we entered a room in which there was only a rickety chair and a table.  They locked the door.

'I'm sure they had been told to take me there by my mother to make me tell where my father is.  As soon as they asked me I tried to escape.  I reached the door and was turning the key when a heavy blow on the head knocked me unconscious on the floor.


'When my senses came back the room was dark and I was alone.  Then I heard a church clock strike ten.  A few minutes later the men returned and again tried to get my father's address.  They offered to give me $20 and a new wheel if I would tell them.  I refused, and one of the men threatened to keep me in the room forever.  Then they went away, locking the door.

'They stayed away about ten minutes and they brought me a plate of turkey.  After I ate it the men dragged me down to the street.  Then they pushed me out and one of them said: -- 'Now, get.'  They had slipped a nickel into my pocket and I ran down the street and boarded a trolley for Mount Vernon, getting here after midnight.'  

Traband said it was not the first time men had accosted him in the street and inquired about his father.  He says he has recently been watched by strange men, who stop him and try to pry into his family affairs.  Young Traband went this morning to the empty house in Eleventh avenue, to which he says the strangers yesterday took him, and inside the veranda found his wheel.  

Young Dr. Traband, in charge of his brother's dental parlors here, refuses to discuss the case."

Source:  ODD KIDNAPPING TALE TOLD BY BOY -- Albert R. Traband, Fourteen Years Old, Says Two Men Drugged and Abducted Him -- HE BLAMES HIS MOTHER -- Mount Vernon Lad Asserts He Was Brought Here in Effort to Learn Father's Address, N.Y. Herald, Dec. 2, 1900, Second Section, p. 9, col. 4.  See also KIDNAP BOY AND LOCK HIM UP, The Buffalo Courier, Dec. 3, 1900, p. 3, col. 2 (essentially the same text).  

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