ber, Kubitsch, and Beck. Some of these, as Schaar and Kubitsch and Beck, are acknowledged as members in Freiheit; the others are well known as frequenters of the meetings now held in Coburger Hall, Stanton street, but formerly in a hall on Bond street, and in various other places where the association met to hear Most's harangues. Quiet inquiries in various quarters elicited the invariable response that all these men were Most's associates and members of either the International Working People's Association or the Social Revolutionary Club.
On the evening of May 14, 1883, Comrade Joseph Kaiser was so unfortunate as to suffer the ravages of a fire in his tenement at 432 East Fourteenth street. The fourth floor of this building was occupied by Adolph Kramer as a dwelling. Kaiser lived on the third floor, where the fire originated, owing, according to the story told to the firemen, to Mrs. Kaiser's accidentally letting a kerosene lamp fall. The building was damaged to the extent of $250. Mr. Kaiser's furniture naturally suffered some injury,—$25 worth, say the official records of the Fire Department. The insurance company which took the risk on the property, however, thought differently, and settled with the agitator for $278.68. The amount of the policy was $300, and it is a piece of good fortune that Mr. Kaiser had managed to secure the policy on May 7, a week preceding the calamity.
On November 27 John Charles Panzenbeck was then living at 406 East Sixty-third street. He or some resident of the building told the firemen that a picture fell from its place on the wall and knocked over a kerosene oil lamp. At any rate, the fire resulting from this or some other cause damaged the house to the extent of $1,000, but Caroline Yost, the owner, was amply insured. The contents of Panzenbeck's suite on the third floor were injured to the amount of several hundred dollars, he said. Some time in the first part of the month he had luckily taken out a policy for $700, and was paid nearly that amount as indemnity. Other tenants in the house lost from $50 to $100 each.
On the 2gth of December, 1884, Wilhelm Scharff applied to one of the greatest companies in the city for a policy upon worldly goods contained in the fourth floor tenement of 400 East Fifty-ninth street. His application was successful, and after the lapse of a few days he found himself the holder of a document securing him against loss by fire to the extent of $500. This was peculiarly fortunate; for, in the evening of January 5, 1885, six days after his application, a kerosene lamp upset in his apartments and fire broke out. The damage to the building, owned by John D. Hines, was not over $200. The record maker of the Fire Department thought Scharff's furniture was not injured over $200 worth, but the insurance company nevertheless were induced to settle for $456.25. An interesting feature of this case was that, when Scharff presented his bill of losses at the headquarters of the company, the day after the fire, his policy had not been registered. The money, however, was paid over.
Some time in this same year Carl Heusler, Social Democrat, established a small fancy-goods store at 137 Ludlow street. The building is a six-story tenement house, and was occupied in all apartments. On the evening of June 5, Mr. and Mrs. Heusler, after shutting up shop, entertained a few friends in the room back of the store. These people were Joseph Kaiser and his wife Mary, who lived at the time at 65 Walton street, Brooklyn; Hermann Wabnitz of 61 East Eleventh street, Carl Baum of 98 Avenue B, and Otto Nicolai, the engineer of St. Charles Hotel. Shortly after nine o'clock a kerosene oil lamp exploded, and besides damaging
the property caused severe but not dangerous injuries to the little party.