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Grand Rapids in 1856

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Mr. Rover

Mr. Rover

GRHC - August 10th, 2011

A 1907 postcard series published in Grand Rapids, MI by the Reed Tandler Company featured Harry H. Wickham aka "Mr. Rover", a fellow who perhaps took his title too literally.



In 1907, a comic series of postcards was published and sold by the Reed-Tandler Company, a local printing/publishing company. Each of the cards, numbering 28 in all, depicted an oversize man sitting on or leaning against a different Grand Rapids site. 

The man who portrayed the fictional Mr. Rover in all of the cards was Harry H. Wykom, a young, and apparently successful local insurance broker, undoubtedly attracted to the Mr. Rover role by both the social and business notoriety that his image would assure.

But, all was not well with Harry Wykom. In the opening days of January, 1908, at a time when his face had become well-known in Grand Rapids, Wykom disappeared from town, taking with him all of the cash receipts of his insurance business, and his secretary, Miss Mamie Lynch. Neither Wykom nor Lynch were ever seen in Grand Rapids again, but apparently had been spotted a day or so after their local disappearance, by an alert hotel clerk in Detroit, who indicated that the pair were “going east”. Mrs. Wykom was reported to be most shocked and dismayed by her husband’s sudden departure.

It is hard to say if any of the Mr. Rover images presented an advance clue to Wykom’s plans. However, No. 26 in the series depicts Mr. Rover running to catch a train at Union Station, as Harry and Mamie might have done. No. 13 shows only Mr. Rover’s feet, running away from the local police headquarters.



Full Details

TitleMr. Rover
KeywordsGlance at the Past, history, Mr. Rover, Harry Wykom, postcards, WYCE, Grand Rapids, Historical Commission, radio, Podcast
Pubdate StringAugust 10th, 2011

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