Series: (Series N2009- 3, Koreshan Unity; Papers, ca. 1887-1990.)
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Unity Backed in Removing Eagle Editor
Allen H. Andrews’ fight to regain control of the Koreshan Unity at Estero and continue publication of the group’s weekly paper, the American Eagle, received a setback yesterday when Circuit Judge Lynn Gerald dismissed Andrews’ petition charging starvation of his supporters and backed the Unity board of directors in the removal of Andrews as editor.
Meanwhile Andrews himself was out on $100 bond on a charge of assault and battery on Lawrence W. Bubbett, president of the group that believes the world is hollow. Both men are over 60. Bubbett on Friday filed an information resulting in the charge as the outcome of an alleged altercation the day before during which he claimed Andrews struck and punished him. The argument came about over removal of some of the older members of the community from a frame building to one which had been renovated for their use. County Attorney John K. Woolslair said the case has been set for the May term of county court.
Main Issue Pending
The main question, whether the present board of directors is illegally elected and without authority as Andrews claims, still remains to be ruled on by the judge and a final hearing has not yet been held. A motion has been entered by the defense to dismiss the suit on grounds that the issue was settled in a previous suit in 1935 in which Andrews was the defendant against charges similar to those he now makes against the present board.
In his order yesterday, Judge Gerald held that the petition of Andrews and his pressman, Jesse Putnam, charging starvation and medical neglect of a minority factin [sic] in the Unity was not made in good faith and should be dismissed because competent doctors were available and Putnam actually had received the necessary food. The judge added that Andrews, the co-plaintiff, had authority “without limit or amount to procure and prepare food for the members.”
He added that the board of directors resolution removing Andrews as head of the printing department and editor and business manager of the American Eagle
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Fort Myers News Press Article—Clipping 2
Unity Ouster Wins in Court
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“appears to be proper and should be complied with.”
Judge Gerald took exception both to Andrews’ petition itself and to a controversial editorial in the Eagle headed “Surrender or Starve” which claimed opponents of the present board were being starved into submission and denied medical care. He held both petition and editorial were “in bad faith and without reasonable grounds for their support.”
“The action of Andrews in using the columns of said publication for his own benefit, in failing to make monthly reports of finances and operations, and in locking the doors of the building housing the publication are improper and should not be continued,” the judge declared. He added that “the court has no power to interpose its authority for the purpose of adjusting controversies between directors of a corporation and the court will not interfere when it does not appear their actions are fraudulent or otherwise illegal or improper.”