A mouse to me was always something we set a trap for when and if there was evidence of one being present. However, I found this story in a 1942 Morrow County Independent that I had never heard. So, I’m sharing it with you.

It relates that a couple in Fulton who had recently purchased the house found a mouse hole in a clothes closet and while investigating that hole further, they found six packages of paper currency concealed behind the baseboard in the room. The money, all in large size bills of $1, $5, $10 and $20 denomination, had been pressed flat with an iron.

For years, the residence was the home of a Mrs. Jane Averill who died January 6, 1940 at the age of 97. It is presumed that the money was secreted in the wall by Mrs. Averill who received assistance from the division of aid for the aged for a few months prior to her death.

The mouse, which led to the discovery of the money, first ran across the living room, chased by the resident’s dog and jumped into a davenport. Poked out of the davenport, the mouse ran into the clothes closet.

Using his flashlight, the house owner noticed a small piece of cardboard which had been nearly covered over with plaster. He tore it loose, believing that it might cover a hole used by the mouse. When the cardboard was ripped away, a package of money was uncovered.

A further search of the house revealed five other pieces of cardboard which covered packages of money! A thorough search of the house failed to reveal any more money after the six packages were uncovered.

Mrs. Averill was a lifelong resident of the county and her only near relatives were nephews and nieces. She was the widow of John Averill, a house mover, whose death occurred a quarter of a century ago.

Hmm – maybe I’ll look at a mouse a little differently – but at a good wide distance.

Looking back: October, 1942: Dr. Lowell Murphy purchased the Elizabeth Neal residence on East Main Street. Two men serving sentences in the Morrow County Jail were released to enlist in the U S. Army. Walter Long of Cardington, was awarded a government contract for assembly work on cables used in military aircraft. He employed 12 men working on two shifts in the room formerly occupied by the Meredith Grocery Store.


By Evelyn Long

Contributing columnist