Muscatine County, Iowa


Family Story of Ralph Lake

Submitted by Charlene Hixon, on May 8, 2011

Source of Article: “Muscatine (Iowa) Journal", December 27, 1946

Veteran and Family Seek Home After Eviction from Apartment Condemned As “Fire Trap” Here

     The holiday season was far from joyful today for Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Lake and their four small children as they faced the winter weather without a home. The family was moved out of their three-room garage apartment in the rear of 309 ½ Second street after the home was declared a “fire trap” by city inspectors. --- Shown in the above photograph with their furniture are Mr. and Mrs. Lake, Ronald LaVerne, six months old, in his father’s arms; Sharon Elaine, two years old, being held by the mother; Thomas LeRoy, four and Albert Dennis, three , with pointed cap.
     “I don’t know what we’ll do now,” Lake, who is a veteran of World War II said after his eviction this morning. “We’ve been trying for weeks to find a place, ever since we received the first notice to vacate, but there is nothing vacant.”
      F. E. Tewksbury, city building inspector, and Fire Chief Harold Bierman, in an inspection in October, found the place to be definitely a fire hazard and notified the owner of the building, Abe Glass, to have it vacated.The notice was sent to Mr. Glass Oct. 7 but eviction was delayed to give the family an opportunity to find new quarters. Local veterans’ organizations interested themselves in the family and made a survey of available housing. Efforts to find a home were being intensified this afternoon when news of the plight of the evicted family spread and several offers of free transportation of the furniture were made. Lake is employed at Henderson’s garage under the G. I. training program.
      Building Inspector Tewksbury, who made a careful inspection of the premises, said the quarters were definitely unsafe, not only from the standpoint of fire but from other requirements in the state building laws. “If those children had been caught in a fire, the responsibility would have been our,” he said.


Source of Article: "Davenport (Iowa) Democrat", December 28, 1946

Evicted Vet and Family of Four in New Quarters

      Muscatine, Ia. – Ralph Lake, war veteran, his wife and four children are temporarily quartered in the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Lake, who have four children of their own, in their four-room house at 1426 Grand avenue.
      Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Lake and their children, Ronald LaVerne, six months old; Sharon Elaine, 2; Albert Dennis, 3; and Thomas LeRoy, 4, were moved out of a garage apartment in the rear of 309 ½ West Second street Friday after city inspectors several weeks ago declared the place a fire hazard.
      Furniture of the evicted family, stacked on the curbing on West Second street by sheriff’s officers acting on court orders, was exposed to Friday’s rain but was moved to shelter early in the evening by the VFW post. Clarence Smith, a member of the post, donated part of his double garage at 1003 Cypress street for the storage of the furniture, and a truck to haul away the household belongings was arranged for by the post.
      The evicted father, a veteran of World War II, is a mechanic in the Henderson’s garage under the GI training program.

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