Elisha Lair Decatur Herald, Decatur, Illinois 20 August 1949
BOY, 6, HELD IN CHAINS - Six year old James Lair, found chained in his home at Jacksonville, . is shown before Sheriff Ralph Bourn cut wires which fastened the chain, al ' ' " i fir r ' 3' . h Jacksonville Father Is Jailed For Chaining 6-Y ear-Old Son fo Chair : Jacksonville, Aug. 19 (AP) Police said a Jacksonville father chained his six year old son to a chair and whipped him with a razor strap to keep him from playing with other children. The father, Elisha Lair, 60,' a jeweler, was jailed on a charge cf endangering his son's life and health. , Henri Servais, county'juvenile officer, said he found, the -boy, James, still chained when he investigated neighbors' reports last night that the child was screaming. A PHYSICIAN said the boy's back bore numerous welts. - Servais, a Salvation Army major, said Lair admitted whipping the boy. He said Lair told him he considered it wrong for James to associate " with other children. " Servais said Lair related that he had locked James in a tiny first floor bath rooma numbe- of timss to keep him from joining his playmates. - . . lowing release of the' boy. The father, Elisha Lair, 60, was arrested ' Friday and charged with endangering the life and health of his son. - (ASSOCIATED PRESS WIREPHOTO) Servais said Lair gave this account of yesterday's events: After Lair locked James in the bath room, the boy broke a window and escaped but was caught by his father before he could leave the yard. LAIR, THEN chained the boy to a heavy chair, fastening the links about the child's neck with wire, and beat him with the razor strap "to put an end to this business once and for all." It was the boy's screams during the whipping which alajmed neighbors. Servais said James told him that he used a plunger to break the bath room window and escape because he couldn't stand the heat in the' tiny closed room. "Servais related that the boy's mother told him James was "adventurous" but "no worse than other boys." " For th present James will be in Servais' . custody.