The third annual outing of the merchants of New Castle was held on 26th August 1931 at Cascade park. Twenty-five thousand people attended the event, though there was heavy rain all day, from the races and athletics competitions in the morning to the prize waltzing contest at night.
For a reason that no one could determine, the mood of the young men of New Castle was particularly rowdy. The distribution of free hot dogs at noon and in the early evening was hampered by crowds of youths who rushed the stands and made off with most of what was on offer, and the afternoon’s pie-eating contest was abandoned when six hundred young men stormed the table, with the result that all forty-five pies were either consumed or trampled into the mud in a matter of minutes.
There was no great disapproval. It was the last large picnic of the year and high spirits were perhaps to be expected.
Around the time the final prize of the day—a brand new automobile—was being awarded in Cascade park, Warren Dewyer and five of his friends were breaking into the garage of Lilian Keder, on East Washington street, and stealing her sedan. They were all good boys, straight out of high school—two of them, Otto and Vilho Maki, were sons of the minister of the Finnish Lutheran church—and none had any previous record of misbehaviour. The theft of a car was quite uncharacteristic. High spirits were no doubt involved.
They left New Castle, heading west. After four hours and two hundred miles, they reached Columbus, Ohio, where their escapade ended in an accident that destroyed the car but left them unharmed. The next day, New Castle detectives arrived to take them back home. Their parents were either unable or unwilling to meet the $1,000 bail, so they were kept in jail for two weeks until their trial, when they were given five-year suspended sentences and ordered to pay Lilian Keder $47 each to cover the cost of the car. It was mid-September; the end of summer and the beginning of their adult lives.
Warren got a job in Johnson Bronze, which he never left. He was married at the age of twenty-two and divorced two years later, his wife claiming cruel and barbarous treatment. He played a lot of softball and basketball for the company’s teams in New Castle’s industrial leagues. In 1950, he was arrested and fined a small amount for driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated; the crime for which his mug shot was taken.
Warren’s second wife, Mary Valentine was a star player on the Johnson Bronze bowling team. They were married in 1959 and Warren joined the team soon after, competing until he retired in 1978. He died in 1988, at the age of seventy-five.Sources: New Castle News (27 Aug 1931, “Estimate 25,000 Throng Park For Merchants Picnic”; 28 Aug 1931, “Six Held In Columbus Auto Theft”; 31 Aug 1931, “Youths Jailed On Larceny Charge”; 14 Sep 1931, “Two Given Terms To Penitentiary”; 5 Nov 1937, “On Court House Hill”; 3 May 1938, “Strollers Defeat Team On Monday”; 18 Nov 1947, “City-County Floor League Organized, Five Teams In Fold”; 11 March 1950, “Jury Returns Partial Report”; 1 July 1957, “Court House News”; 9 Oct 1973, “Bowling Results”; 18 Oct 1977, “Bowling Results”; 30 Nov 1977, “Bowling Results”).