“By Jack O’Keefe
They will bury 65-year-old Homer Collyer today in a casket with bronze trimmings at the Cypress Hills Cemetery, The funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. and the big question is whether Homer’s brother, the missing Hermit from 2078 Fifth Avenue, will turn up at the service.
Police weren’t pinning too much hope on the frightened Langley’s turning up and continued their search through the junk-filled Collyer mansion in Harlem. The formal evacuation of the valuables and junk in the house began yesterday morning under Robert Roberts, from the Public Administrator’s office. At the day’s end police were able to affirm with certainty that Langley was not in the lower front room.
May Still Be In The House
But there were still chances he might be in the blocked hallways between floors into which the police have not yet ventured since the search for Langley began after Homer was discovered dead in the ghost house 10 days ago. It will cost the Langley estate $120 a day to get the valuables out of the house. Five moving men are working an eight hour day and receiving $2 an hour; the van of the Cirker Moving and Storage Co. Inc., 316 E. 46th St., costs $4 an JUL One man is acting as a checker $1 an hour.
Move 2987 Books On Law, Medicine
toAI;¬ß;¬ß0tii;l1aMonday they started B ust-encrusted books. v¬ß¬ßm1;m- they had removed 2,987 of limes‚Äô ‚Äúi*0St of them said to be the Semfm ue, medical books from was a v?1`uC0llyers library -he and book e `kH0wn dgynecologist- Homer v5 of ,law an engineering. Langle as 3l¬∞1_&dm;1‚Äòalty lawyer, _ Y an englneer. .._c ‘
Of greater value was a gold leaf bible, the King James version, in good condition. A collector’s item was a New York Telephone Directory for 1908. It covered all five boroughs in 560 pages. The father was listed as residing at 153 West 77th St. and his home number was 3094 Riverside. A 1914 book showed him as still there, but listed Homer, Langley and Susan Cage Collyer, their mother, as residing at 2078 Fifth Ave., the mansion now being searched. Their phone number was Harlem 466.
They Had Ford Car in the House
One of the last items carried out yesterday was a four cylinder engine of a Ford. With the wheels previously carried out, and the chassis, this indicated that at least one legend was true: Langley did have a Ford car in the house.
One of the several pianos was carried out. It was a Steinway, the old-fashioned square type, with wonderful high polish. One of the local critics got his hands on it and tapped its yellowed keys.
“Very good tone,” he said. It sounded pleasant.
‘Win With Wilson’ Election Buttons
A handful of election buttons of another era were among the many items brought out. Some read “Win With Wilson,” others: “Vote No on Woman Suffrage.”
The Sanitation Dept. had hoped to move some of its trucks into the street and cart away the useless rubbish which will not be moved by the Cirker firm. However, another City department suddenly turned up to complicate the situation. West 128th St., which flanks the downtown side of the building, has been torn up for some time. Yesterday a steam shovel moved in prepared to rip the roadway and widen it. This will probably hold up the Sanitation Dept. plans.”
PDF is here…Document
PM, March 24, 1947 (Photo by John Albert)
“A dead tree, a house of death, the blocked and barricaded windows of the one-time mansion that holds the mysteries of the Collyer hermit-brothers. Police plan to break into the house today to hunt for Langley. Arrow shows where watchers thought they glimpsed him Sunday. Body of Homer was found there Friday.”
PM Daily, June 22, 1947 (Photo by Morris Gordon)
“Mrs. Irving Hafftel, 87 Taylor St., Brooklyn, was at the auction Friday at the Collyer Palace of Trash on upper Fifth Ave. and bought this piano – one of eight the Collyers had – for $45. Eleven other prospective buyers were present, but they rejected the other 15 items which were offered at auction. Entire contents of the house then were sold for $100 to Carlos Martin, a Third Ave. second hand dealer.
PM Daily, June 20, 1947
Melody Lingers On
This organ and two others along with eight pianos will be sold at auction this morning at the Collyer home, 2079  Fifth Avenue. Workmen were busy yesterday clearing paths through the junk-filled rooms so curiosity buyers might examine the last of the trash the dead hermits held so dear.
Google Street View of 2078 Fifth Ave.
PM Daily, April 1, 1947
“Will Homer’s Burial Today Lure Langley?
They will bury 65-year-old Homer Collyer today in a casket with bronze trimmings at the Cypress Hill Cemetery… And the big question is whether Homer’s brother, the missing Hermit from 2078 Fifth Avenue, will turn up at the service…
At 8:3 a.m. they started to move the dust-encrusted books. By 3 p.m. they had removed 2,987 volumes, most of them said to be of little value, medical books from the senior Collyer’s library – he was a well-known gynecologist – and books of law and engineering. Homer was an admiralty lawyer, Langley an engineer…
A collector’s item was a New York Telephone Directory for 1908…
… At least one legend was true: Langley did have a Ford car in the house…
One of several pianos was carried out. It was a Steinway…”
Photos by John De Biase, PM
(To be continued…)
PM Daily, March 28, 1947
Photos by Morris Gordon
“Patrolman William Haag examines the 34 bankbooks found in the decrepit Collyer house during yesterday’s second-floor search. Earliest account dated back to 1894. Most recent withdrawal was in 1942. Total deposits: $3007.”
“On an inside window sill, second floor, police found a cigar box wrapped in rags. Inside were these three old break-type revolvers. two .38s and a .32, in good working condition and oiled. There was no ammunition.”
“They found a miniature arsenal in the Collyer mansion – three revolvers, two rifles, a shotgun, a saber, a French Bayonet. Fire chief T. Douglas Collyer, Rutherford, N.J., a cousin, is shown with some of the firearms.”