Erich's obituary gave me some new information about his occupations. It said that he was once a tavern owner in Fort Wayne, Indiana and later a member of the police force there. It also said that he lived in Fort Wayne until 1894 when he moved to Napoleon, Ohio where he was in the restaurant and hotel business.
I did not know anything about these occupations and thought that maybe his sister, Zilla, who I presume is the one that gave the information to the newspaper, must have gotten confused and given information about another brother. (At this time, I don't even know if she had another brother.) The only occupation I had learned about was sign painter. But I did a quick search of The Fort Wayne News and found a couple of articles about Officer Richter. So all week I have been looking through old newspapers and City Directories to verify the information in the obituary.
I knew that Erich was born in Germany and came to the USA in about 1881, when he was 27 years old. The following year, he married Ida. But I have not been able to find anything about his occupation until 1885.
I found Erich in the 1885-1886 Fort Wayne City Directory. It reads: Richter Erick, brickmaker Alexander McKernan, res s of New Haven road nr tollgate.
However, in September of 1885, I found this in the newspaper:
"Erich Richter has been sworn in as a special officer to do duty for Keil Bro.'s, Fred Eckart and other merchants in the block opposite the court house. Keil Bro.'s now have a light burning in their store at night. Before the recent burglary they did not, although the police frequently prevailed on them to do so." - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Sep. 29, 1885
In the 1887 city directory he is listed as a watchman and then in the city directories from 1888 through 1894, he is listed as being a policeman or patrolman. I also found many newspaper articles about arrests he made. Here is one that I found amusing:
"Louis Hamilton, a printer, was arrested by Officer Richter for intoxication. Hamilton got bail for a prisoner yesterday, and alas, poor fellow, his thanks came not by a similar favor to day. Cyrus Danes and John Nalligan were arrested by Officers Limecooly and Richter, and both are now in jail for eleven days." - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Feb. 11, 1890
Then I came across a couple of articles regarding an incident in May of 1890 that led to Erich being suspended from the police department for 30 days.
"The police commissioners met last night, with Mayor Harding in the chair, and investigated charges of intoxication which had been proferred against Lieut. Leonard Fuchshuber, and Officers Erich Richter and Henry Stoll. Lieutenant Fuchshuber was dismissed from the service, Officer Richter suspended for thirty days and Officer Stoll let go with reprimand. The board elected Henry Lapp as the new Lieutenant in place of Fuchshuber, dismissed, promoting Mr. Lapp from the ranks. Mr. Lapp is a faithful officer and will no doubt make a good lieutenant. The vacancy on the force will be filled at a meeting of the board next Tuesday evening." - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, May 24, 1890
"Another lively and interesting discussion was one caused by councilman Boltz objecting to a section in the police commissioner's report wherein Officer Eric Richter was suspended from the police force for thirty days. Mr. Boltz wanted to know why Officer Stoll was not suspended too. Both were eating frogs from the same dish, he said and drinking wine from the same bottle at the Globe restaurant in company with Lieutenant Leonard Fuchshuber, who was discharged from the force. This was too much for some of the police commission who simultaneously jumped to their feet. Councilman Michael insisted that certain affidavits relating to the case be read to the council to show that the members of the police board were honest in their action. Councilman Gordon, also a member, addressed the meeting in emphatic and cloquent terms. Councilman Meyer, a member, demanded that an investigation be made in Stoll's case and Gordon forthwith filed a resolution demanding that Mr. Boltz produce certain testimony to bear on the case, which resolution was adopted." - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, May 28, 1890
Erich returns to the police force:
"Officer Richter will resume his beat on the police force next Monday, after thirty days' suspension." - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, June 20, 1890
And then I saw this headline in The Fort Wayne Sentinel: "Charles Beuret Stands Trial for attacking Officer Richter With a Razor". I gasped when I read what happened to him!
"Charles Beuret, who attacked Officer Eric Richter with a razor, pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault with intent to kill, and is having a trial in the circuit court. On the night of the 8th, young Beuret insulted ex-Councilman Aime Racine and another gentleman as they were about to enter the Randall hotel. Officer Richter ordered Beuret to move on, but the young man continued to loiter in the vicinity. A second time the officer repeated his warning, whereupon he was attacked by Beuret, who drew a razor from his pocket and slashed it across the shoulder and neck of the officer, inflicting an ugly wound and nearly severing the jugular vein. The brave officer overpowered his assailant and soon had him behind the bars. The prisoner had a hearing and was bound over to await trial. The circumstances are very much against Beuret. The officer's heavy coat, worn on the night of the assault, is to be brought before the jury, showing where the keen blade cut through the garment and indicating the force with which the instrument was dealt in the attack. Prosecutor J. M. Robinson will put up a strong case. The defense is represented by J. R. Bittenger and George W. Louttit. The prisoner, a young man of perhaps twenty-three years of age, formerly worked in the Olda spoke factory. His aged father, Charles A. Beuret, a respected citizen, residing at 34 East Second Street, attends the trial at the side of his son and council." - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Oct. 24, 1890
The newspapers have several other articles about arrests that he made until 1894. Then I found this article in 1919 titled "What Happened Twenty-five Years Ago.":
"June 1. - Twelve well known policemen will be discharged through political change. They are Stephen Fletcher, William Rohrer, Erick Richter, Charles Lindsey, Frank Roelle, Fred Limecooly, Joseph Gushing, Dennis O'Connor, John Tremmel, Jessie Trautmann, William Pappert, George McCrory. Three new men who will be placed on the force are Albert G. Foulks, John W. Flickinger, Theodore Hardendorf." - The Fort Wayne News And Sentinel, June 2, 1919
After he was let go from the police department on June 1, 1894, I checked the city directories to see what he was doing. I didn't expect to find him because his obituary said he moved to Ohio in 1894. But he was still in Fort Wayne until some time in 1897 or 1898.
The 1895 Fort Wayne City Direcotry lists his business/occupation as grocer & saloon, 1896 - grocer, 1897 - saloon. After that, I did not find him in the Fort Wayne city directories.
The censuses from 1900 thru 1930 all show that he was living in Napoleon, Ohio and his occupation was sign painter. But I came across a Fort Wayne newspaper article that had a totally new occupation:
"Eric Richter, who will be remembered as a member of the city police force some years ago, is spending a few days in the city. Mr. Richter is now the representative of the Erie Manufacturing company, with headquarters at Toledo." - The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Jul. 6, 1907
I found him listed in the Toledo, Ohio City Directories in 1907 and 1908 but he wasn't living in Toledo, he was still living in Napoleon. Here is what the 1908 listing looked like: "Richter Erich J B (Erie Mngf Co), res Napoleon, O."
The last thing I found was a random article that contained a part of the 1916 Farmer's Directory for Napoleon, Ohio and Erich was listed in that as a sign painter.