(Jean-John Soldani story, continued)
It was 1861 and he was a well-known businessman in a booming town.
His wife and two sons were healthy and happy and they apparently owned at least two brick buildings and several properties.
Yes, he bought some of the properties with short mortgages (ex: $1000 for 9 months), but from what I can tell in the deeds and mortgages I've been piecing together, John was pretty good at splitting properties and selling parcels to pay off the mortgage on the entire lot.
I'm quite sure John Soldani (and I'm sure he was NOT using Jean or Giovanni because the 1850s saw the rise of nativism and the xenophobic Know-Nothing party) was the kind of guy who had a few bucks on him at all times, and an eye to turn $5 into $50.
You can't blame him for jumping in on an auction being lead by Thomas Kevill in Kansas City in 1861.
Kevill was offering an iron safe (and key) to the highest bidder.
A crowd gathered.
Several men bid.
John Soldani won with the bid of $7.
At the exact moment he opened the safe, John unleashed his personal downfall.
I want to go back in time and stop him, but if I did then he wouldn't leave Missouri in 1863 and -- how can I put this delicately? -- sire my father's great-grandfather, Achilles Jean Soldani who was born in New Orleans in late 1863.
(to be continued)