Willie Frank: A Wellsville Boy's Pluck (1877)

(Allegany County Democrat, Feb. 23, 1877. From files of the Allegany County Historian.)

One day last week a pack peddler visited Wellsville, taking dinner at Frank’s saloon near the depot. After he had left it was discovered that the peddler had stolen a paisley shawl and a cloak belonging to Alice Frank. Frank’s little boy Willie, about 13 years of age, without saying a word to his parents, jumped on board the cars and started for the thief, whom he found at Olean. He had him arrested, brought the justice, proved the peddler guilty who had to fork over $11 and cost of suit. The boy obtained the shawl and cloak. Before he left [for] home the peddler threatened to kill him. He had him arrested again and [put] in the lock-up. The boy came home, reported what he had done, when his father thought the poor pack peddler had suffered enough, and telegraphed to Olean to let him go. If another town can show a more plucky boy just trot him out.