Roy Saunders, a 9-year-old lad who has a strong tendency to be incorrigible, was locked up at the central station last night on suspicion, it being claimed that he drove away with a load of potatoes belonging to a peddler. The lad’s mother and step-father live at 6 Clinton street and their son ran away Friday afternoon. They looked for him nearly all night and were beginning to give up all hope of finding him when an officer escorted him into the house.
Young Saunders has a wise head on his shoulders and after knocking around with a gang of other boys he decided to hunt up a job. He finally struck one with a peddler named William Doherty, of 469 Chene street, who hired him to drive his horse and watch the wagon while he was delivering potatoes. Everything went along smoothly until about 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon when Doherty stopped at his home for a few minutes to see his sister. When he came out the horse and wagon had disappeared and could not be found. The last seen of Saunders he was driving down Russell street with a companion and both were trying to sell the load of potatoes. They were not heard of again until an officer noticed the wagon on Belle Isle early last evening, and he took Saunders into custody.
The youthful prisoner’s right name is Willie Johnson and his mother begged to allow him to remain at home until Monday, but Capt. Culver refused as the boy is an old offender. Some months ago he drove a wagon away from in front of police headquarters and took a lot of companions out to Grosse Pointe. On returning to the city he drove to a small place south of Ypsilanti where he tried to dispose of the rig. Since that time efforts have been made to keep him at school, but he ran away whenever an opportunity offered.
From The Detroit Free Press, 18 April 1897, Page 2