The Press: Strange Doings in Noblesville
Daily Hudler is publisher of a weekly newspaper, the Times, in the little town (pop. 5,575) of Noblesville, Ind. One day last December a slight, cigar-chewing, onetime State policeman, Carl Losey, turned up in Noblesville, said he would like to buy Mr. Hudler's Noblesville press. Mr. Hudler said he was willing.
They got together in a lawyer's office and drew up the papers. Mr. Hudler was about to sign when Losey's Indianapolis lawyer pulled out a fat wallet, selected two crisp $5,000 bills as a down payment, planked them on the table. In a town like Noblesville you don't close a deal with $5,000 banknotes—you offer a certified check. Mr. Hudler thought it over awhile. Then he said: "I don't believe I'll sell my press."
Nevertheless, in Noblesville last week there appeared the first issue of a mysterious "national weekly," Roll-Call, with a Washington, D. C. dateline, an Indianapolis address, and no mention of Noblesville at all. Publisher of Roll-Call is Carl Losey, but his name did not appear on the masthead. Neither did any other name. Devoted, according to its own statement, "to enactments of the Congress," Roll-Call was a hodgepodge of approving quotations from the speeches of isolationists like Senator Burton Wheeler, ex-Senator Rush Holt, unsigned attacks on Franklin Roosevelt, Federal spending, aid for Britain, the U. S. Army, Jews, Communists, Chinese relief.
Roll-Call's slogan, twice-printed in bold type: "Keep America Christian."
Everybody guessed who was back of this clandestine, unmistakably Fascist publication: the goateed, vitriolic leader of the Hitler-aping Silvershirt Legion of America, investigated last year by the Dies Committee, William Dudley Pelley.
A logical playmate for Fascist Pelley was Carl Losey. He joined Indiana's Ku Klux Klan in its heyday in 1923. Klansman Losey sported the first bulletproof vest in Indiana, served as a personal bodyguard for Imperial Grand Dragon David Curtis Stephenson, who was convicted of second-degree murder at Noblesville in 1925, is now serving a life term in the penitentiary. Fiftyish Carl Losey looks ten years younger, always carries a heavy-calibre revolver. Graduate of no law school, he is a member of the Indiana bar.
When Newsman Hudler turned him down two months ago, Losey bought an abandoned box factory on the outskirts of Noblesville, started the Fellowship Press. From Asheville, N. C., he imported presses on which Fascist Pelley used to turn out his defunct Silvershirt organ, Liberation. He denied that Pelley had any connection with Fellowship Press, later admitted that he would publish Pelley's treatise on "metaphysics and esoterics."
In Noblesville, Metaphysician Pelley's silver-colored car became a familiar sight. Frequently seen too were the Connecticut license plates of his friend from Darien, George B. Fisher, who last year told the Dies Committee he had donated $20,000 to the Silvershirts in 18 months. Newsman Edward Throm of the Indianapolis Star discovered that the old box factory had been deeded not to Losey but to Agnes M. Henderson, named by the Dies Committee as Pelley's secretary.