June 21, 1908
NO ONE SUSPECTED WEALTH.
He Had Saved $15,000 -- His
Although N. N. Pushkareff, a Russian, up until his death a few weeks ago is in the vicinity of his little houseboat near Harlem, was always considered among his associates a man of little means, it has developed that the man had a balance of $15,000 to his credit in a local bank and possessed considerable property in various sections of the city.
After his death his body was encased in a casket priced by the undertaker at $700 and placed in a vault pending the arrival of his family at present en route from their home to this country, none of the members of which is aware of the husband and father's death.
Pushkareff, when a comparatively young man, left his home in Russia to seek his fortune in this country, declaring at the time that he would not return nor send for his family until he had accumulated $25,000.
Arriving in America, accompanied by his eldest son, whom he had brought with him, the two launched in the caviare business in the East. Later they came to this section and several years ago located permanently in this city. Since then Pushkareff prospered and saved the money beyond the knowledge of his son.
Several weeks ago, although he had not realized his ambition in accumulating $25,000, he determined to send to the old country where his wife and children patiently waited him and ask them to come. The family immediately began preparations for the journey. Since then the husband and father died from heart failure, his body being found in his characteristic garb, rags, with a short distance of the little houseboat on the north side of the river.
Upon the coroner's investigation into the man's death considerable money was found on his clothing and in the little houseboat, the interior of which was furnished wholly in mahogany and ebony furniture, and at the bidding of friends the body was placed in one of the most expensive caskets in the city, and later stored in a vault to await the arrival of the wife with instructions as to its disposition. It is probable the body will be shipped to Russia.
Pushkareff, although few knew it, was a member of several of the more important fraternities in the city. He is said to have been an ardent Elk and spent much of his time at the Elks' Club, although there were none who knew him there as Pushkareff the Caviare man. At times he is said to have spent much money.
After his death the little houseboat, which was anchored to the river bottoms, narrowly escaped becoming swamped when the flood came, and had it not been for Dr. Elliott Smith of this city, it undoubtedly would have gone to the bottom. Dr. Smith rescued the craft and took it to the Blue river, where it is now moored.
The boat, although small, is said to be a marvel of beauty within and represents a lavish expenditure of money. Finished in mahogany and ebony, the interior is otherwise decorated in a costly yet peculiar manner. During the owner's life no one was known to have entered the boat save himself. The doors were always locked, and the man would not permit anybody approaching, much less examining it. Nothing within the little craft has been molested and neither will it be until after the arrival of the family of the deceased.
Pushkareff's son did not live on the houseboat with him, but boarded in the city, where he attended school.