Ida Wood – Millionaire Hidden in a Hotel for 24 Years

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Made by robots for robots. Only read if you're weird.

Unknown Speaker Hey man, what's up, dude? Have you ever heard of Idlewood? Speaker 1 All right, I would. I would. Well, if I knew it would tell you, but I don't. I don't think I know. If I knew I would tell you, Speaker 2 I would tell you. Yeah, that's weird. That's a weird like, it doesn't feel right at all. What? Whose idea would Ah, okay, so um, where to start this story speaking Speaker 1 of theft, I I was looking for my package. The other day, I bought two new job hats. Speaker 2 We literally 15 minutes ago to start recording this episode. Jared went on a long tangent about something and we used Unknown Speaker something. Criss Angel. Unknown Speaker We said cut that part. Let's put it in the after the fiddle. Let's save an Speaker 1 ad break for like, can we do an anti ad for Criss Angel, please. That's how much I hate this guy. And she goes over my dead body. I don't wish anyone's demise. Unless I have a rich relative I don't know, then I hope they perish. Hey guys, welcome to treason anonymous. Don't worry about what's going on in there. Doesn't get it don't worry about it. Things I Learned last night Speaker 1 and then we start we're like, let's restart. Let's start it up as said, here we go. And I'm glad you brought it up. Because I was looking for my hats today. And I look at my security camera footage. And this woman straight up stole my package. She sees the camera. She goes, Oh, backs away is if maybe the camera didn't get her reaches around the corner and grabs the box and then just walks through like it's her box. And you see the whole thing. She didn't walk through like it was her? Oh yeah. She's like she got up on her foot. And so she lives and she can't she can't balance without her arms. flailing you don't talk about so she's walking like, Unknown Speaker Yeah, she looks like one of the toys and Toy Story. Yeah. So Speaker 1 if you're in Kansas City, and you see a limp and Lady, take out her other leg for me. Yeah. Take her down. She's got my hats. Unknown Speaker Yeah. Wearing a hat. That's way too big for her. Speaker 1 Here's what I'm saying though, is that that lady doesn't realize that she stole from a psychopath. I don't got anything to do. All right. I got a day job. We're gonna leave here right now. Yeah, I want to be home looking through my people. Waiting honor. You know, saying? And here's the thing a lot of people don't know about me. I'm dangerous. All right. I'm not physically I'm a herder. What are you gonna do on your porch and just say, cool hat. No, here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna put $2,001 and an air tag in a box. And I'm gonna let her steal that she's gonna be a felon. All right. I'm gonna ruin this lady's life. I mean, more than she's stealing packages on porches. Why her? Life's not great. Yeah, and I'm gonna make sure it never is. You know, it's like I'm Speaker 2 I'm gonna keep it there. Yeah, yeah. Well, I'm happy you found a new passion. Well, Speaker 1 I love having an enemy. And right now I have to Yeah, who's the other one? Criss Angel Unknown Speaker I got all my stuff out of the way. Speaker 2 Sweet. On March 5 1907 or 1931. Sorry, way off on the date. March 5 1931. Speaker 2 Okay, call me crazy. That's all pilots do. Great. At the Herald Square Hotel in New York City. A door on the I think sixth or seventh floor opened up into a room that has not been opened in 24 years. And why 93 year old woman who with a hunchback and half clothed, ran down the hall yelling that her sister was dying. Speaker 1 She comes out of that room. Yeah, we were the doors napot open for 24 years. Well, it's been open, but the room hasn't been used for 24 years. Why hasn't the room been used for 24 years because their sister Speaker 2 died in there. 24 years ago. Now. Is that what happened? Well, you Speaker 1 did say 1907 which is 24 years before 1931. So you mess up. You mess up some dates here. Let's do it again. Did you do it again? Speaker 1 March 31 No March 7 March 5 March 5. At 3119 3093 year old woman comes running over door that has not been open for 24 years. Do you want to start over? Let's start over Speaker 1 what happened? So So she comes running out half naked he comes. Speaker 2 I don't know, I actually don't know if the answer that everything I just said that said I've quote. Nobody took the time to specify. Okay. See, that's the problem with journalism in America. Speaker 1 Yes. You're really trying to get away from it. That's fine. Just go on with the story. Just for cover. Unknown Speaker I've recovered. So hey, she goes, I know you're Unknown Speaker new to podcasting. Speaker 2 She goes, she goes down the hall yelling that her sister was dying. And she needs help was dying, actively actively dying can. And so the hotel employees are like, Okay, what room and then they were like, Oh, weird. I thought there was a ghost in that room. Speaker 1 She was, yeah, it's been me. For 24 years. Speaker 2 We've been trying to get out. So you get a doctor. The doctor comes and her sister does end up passing away. And then everyone was like, Hey, where'd you come from? Because you know, this room like we none of us have ever seen you before. We've been looking working in this hotel for 15 years. None of us have seen you. We don't know who you are. And she's like, Oh, I'm Ida wood. And so they got back in there. Unknown Speaker Oh, sorry. You should have said that to begin with. Speaker 2 And so they go back into our system. And I guess while they don't have a system, they go back in their binder. Yeah, they're a little. They put their white gloves on and open up the binder. Yay. And they find it what? Yes, she has. Speaker 1 She's just not paid rent for 24 years? Well, no, she has been in Speaker 2 the hotel for 24 years. paying cash, sliding it in an envelope and a slip in like a like the cash. Whatever box. No one seen her though. For 24 years, she's been paying for this room Speaker 1 or collected the cash. No, they collected the cash. Speaker 2 But everyone was just like who aren't like you would think that someone's been in this room for 24 years, the staff would probably start to get to know them. You know, like kind of like a sure like a Suite Life of Zack and Cody situation. Yeah. But not this one. And Speaker 1 has she been in and out of it, though? She leaves she gets groceries? Speaker 2 No. So there were a couple of maids who would try to change the sheets? And then they would refuse? They would say no, you can't come in here. Unknown Speaker And who would refuse Unknown Speaker either word and her now dead sister. Speaker 1 So you can't come in here? Yeah, there was a new seller was in there? Well, they Speaker 2 knew but they didn't know who she was. And they knew that room hadn't been open for 24 years, or they had they hadn't had access to Unknown Speaker 24 year old sheets. Speaker 2 I mean, there were occasions where she changed them. And she did. She would there was a there was a specific hotel manager like a night manager who was like, Yeah, sometimes. Like, I'll go up there and ask if they needed anything. And then they let Speaker 1 me in and we played poker and I drink into the night with them. But other than that, I don't think I've seen her the whole time. We would. I guess we've never exchanged names. She's always just a friendly old lady. To me. Speaker 2 She's always just been room 555. And she's like, every once a while they ask for crackers, bacon or eggs or something like that. Unknown Speaker It's a hotel. This is a hotel. He's Speaker 2 paying a nightly rate. Yeah. Yeah. For 20 years or 24 years. Yeah. And so they they go and fish. That's pretty much all it is crackers, fish, bacon and eggs. It's like all they're taking. And so they after this whole thing happens. They were like, Hey, we need to probably go check out what's going on in your room. And she's like, Oh, Speaker 1 don't worry about that. Don't worry about what's going on in there. It doesn't get fine. Don't worry about it. Speaker 2 So go up in there and and they're looking through a room just kind of chatting with her while they while they do it. She's Unknown Speaker like, Yeah, so like, what Unknown Speaker do you do for a living? Unknown Speaker She's like, Oh, I work remote. Unknown Speaker Yes. 1931 What is she doing? Speaker 2 And so they're going through a room. And they're talking to her. It's like an episode of Hoarders. There's crackerbox everywhere tell it's a two room suite. So it's how big of a hotel Oh, the hotel. Hold on. Let me look at this picture of it. I can only see half of it. But it looks like it's at least six stories. We're gonna picture size. Good size. Yeah, it's a decent it's New York City's Manhattan. Okay, but 1931 So not I mean, that's what I'm saying. It's not today Manhattan, but I would say it's not like a bed and breakfast that she's saying 1931 Manhattan is probably like today, Columbus, Ohio. Unknown Speaker Did you know what that London Unknown Speaker London took to Oh, Speaker 1 yes. No London is the same like square miles as Springfield, Missouri. Did you know that? Unknown Speaker I so much that I say that in the Springfield episode? Unknown Speaker I did you say that before that. I hate Speaker 2 that you're trying to act like I didn't already say that. What are you talking? I hate you so much. You're the worst person I've ever met in my life. Okay, well, we can move on. We don't have to do whatever this bit is Speaker 1 sorry for giving you relevant information. Okay, Unknown Speaker you know what you do? What episode was that? Was that Springfield? Unknown Speaker What are you typing? Oh Speaker 2 my god. Okay, so that's made me so irrationally mad. Speaker 2 And they're talking about and they think this lady's see now, because they're asking her questions. She's 93, right. And she's got a hunchback. She's mostly blind. They're talking to her. She's talking all about her life. And she's like, she's like, Yeah, you know, back in the day, she said, we live. I mean, we Speaker 1 here in the day, we lived here 24 years. Unknown Speaker Now she's talking like back Speaker 1 in the day like she knows. She knows all their names. Although she was Jeffrey. I was here the day you got hired. Let's just do your report. And I was here that day. You did that thing. You saw no one saw. But I did. And I was here the day you died. Ah 1984. Jeffrey Do you pray? Okay, Unknown Speaker so she's talking about her life. Unknown Speaker She's like a typical old lady. We have a picture of her. Unknown Speaker Well, I got a picture of her when she's young. Let me see if I can grab a picture or when just Unknown Speaker put it in a I make it old. Make it all. Just make it all make it all. Speaker 2 Okay, here we go. I mean, this one's still kind of young. This is the oldest I can find. I'm pretty sure this is still like probably honestly, probably before she even moved into the hotel this like she's still relatively young in this in this photo. Hold on. Okay, one. Speaker 1 Oh, man, so she moved in 1907. Yes. She lived there for 24 years. Yes. They have record of her moving in. Which day and night? Oh, yeah, that's what I was kind of picturing. I mean, like an older version of that, for sure. Yeah. Speaker 2 So is this I mean, she's still pretty young in this. Yeah. This is the oldest I can find her. So she's she starts telling them stories of her life. Okay. And so this is the life story that they pieced together this conversation from her Unknown Speaker wherever she in 1912. Speaker 2 The war? Okay, no, so she was born in New Orleans. Okay, in January 1838. She grew up from a father who owned a sugar plantation, a pretty wealthy life, childhood, but she wanted more. She didn't love her experience in New Orleans and wanted to see the world and experience different things. Sure. And so she moved to New York City, where she said, I want to find myself and influential businessmen to marry Yeah. And so she started get yourself a Unknown Speaker sugar daddy, Ida Ida. Speaker 2 So she started buying like the equivalent of like, Forbes magazines to find out who all like the male influencers were like the business influencers. Speaker 1 Okay, which is the 19 What years this? She's doing this, Unknown Speaker this is now 18. Like the early 1850s. Yeah, Speaker 1 I mean, that's like, that's like your Instagram explorer page. Yeah. Yeah. Unknown Speaker Let me see if I can find any, like, Unknown Speaker see if I can find any entrepreneur angles. Speaker 2 Yeah. And so she finds this man named Benjamin wood. Okay. Benjamin Wood was the owner of The New York Daily newspaper. Which interesting sidebar about him real quick. He bought this newspaper in 1860. And in 1861, the US federal government banned it and stopped him from doing business Unknown Speaker because he knew too much. Speaker 2 Well, because they believed that he was allowing Confederate spies just say it's to put codes in the paper and like the advice columns, and so they shut him down and And then 18 months later, they let them open business backup. And so okay. The paper after it opened back up was pretty successful. Unknown Speaker Well, yeah, I mean, it led to the war. This paper did the war codes and it was like alright guys time to start. Speaker 2 So he was running this paper and the paper was a major paper and he was very successful. Sure, because if it was floated in all the eight circles in New York, right, he was informed exactly what it was called. And so she popped them off a letter. And what, cuz she knew she knew she had no way to actually meet this guy. Yeah. What Speaker 1 do you what do you like, if you like pina coladas? Similar caught in the rain. Another Unknown Speaker concept, very similar concept. Speaker 1 I mean, wow, to be like a rich guy in the late 1800s. And just get like, fan mail. And you gotta have your like, was that picture included in it? You're like, whoa, okay. Well, it's I mean, unis. It's DMS. Speaker 2 It's the same thing as DMS. But it's you can't like you don't have a general tab. It's not as a rapper too. Yeah. Yeah. Well, here's what she said. Haven't heard of you. Often. I'd venture to address you from hearing a young lady, one of your former loves speaks of you. I don't know who she found that speaks of him. And he said, she says, she says you are fond of new faces. I fancy that as I am new in the city, and have an affairs day corps that I might contract when people read Speaker 1 our stuff. 100 years from now will sound pretty stupid. Yeah, probably. I mean, but like we sound less educated than the people who write in the early 1900s. Yeah. You know, do you think people will sound even dumber than we are? Speaker 2 I mean, if no history continues, trending the way it's trending, then yeah, probably Unknown Speaker no cap. She's risen in this letter. Speaker 2 Yeah, long story short, essentially, she's saying, I know you're married. But I'm down. And I think I look pretty good. So Florencia, are you interested in handleless Mary, like she straight up says, are you interested in having an affair? Did Unknown Speaker she say in the letter she said, How does she work? Well, she Speaker 2 said, I know that as I am new in the city and and and affairs day, cool rare that I might contract and be agreeable in intimacy with you have as long duration as you see fit to have it. Unknown Speaker She's like, Hey, Speaker 2 she says, I believe that I'm not extremely bad looking. And then she says, If you'd wish, in the interview, address a letter to number Broadway PO Box, New York stating that what time we meet. So she literally was like all of you. Oh, yeah, all of your mistress. And so he, Unknown Speaker lady, I got a line out the door. You know? Speaker 3 Hey, thanks for checking out this episode. If you like this, and you want more of our show, we've got plenty of other episodes. One of my favorites is action Park, a super sketchy theme park that was basically overrun by teenagers. And they just made the rules. It was in New Jersey, it was a wild story. But we did a whole episode about it. And I think you'd like it. So when you're done with this one, go check out that episode. But for now, back to this one. Speaker 2 So they meet in a park a couple of weeks later, and they have a 10 year long affair until his wife dies. Speaker 1 This isn't exciting anymore. He's like, Yeah, it's kind of over for me now. You know, like, it's, Speaker 2 they met, they met and she was 20 he was or no, she was 18. He was 39. And so they have a 10 year long affair. And then his wife dies and they get married. A sidebar by the time they got married, they already had a child together. That was she's, like 10 years old. And for some reason, people just did no, that was very, not okay. It was very, very taboo. And so Speaker 1 people don't mean like it was okay. But I mean, like that a lot of people do that you think have like whole second families, third families, maybe. Speaker 2 I mean, probably, but I mean, people probably did it. I don't know if I'm gonna say a lot of people. But it was it was a very taboo thing. And everybody, especially in the 30s when newspaper articles started coming out about her, said that was really weird that nobody cared that they had a child before they were married, especially before his wife died. And so that was a weird thing that happened. Yeah, but if you got enough money, I guess you could do anything. So they get married. And he his newspaper goes from good to great and starts being like The tarp paper in New York City is a huge deal. This is like the what? 1870s. Now 18, early 1880s. Yeah, he runs for Congress, Ronald Reagan era. Era, he runs for Congress and he wins. And so he becomes a congressman. Oh, and serves two terms as a congressman. And now she is dancing with princes overseas and like hanging out with Abraham Lincoln. Like legitimately, like, living like a Royal Lifestyle. Speaker 1 She's not hanging out with Abraham Lincoln. She's seven in the 70s. Yeah. In the 80s. Speaker 2 Yeah. Well, no, no, this was early on. Oh, this was earlier. Unknown Speaker I was gay. I don't know. Yeah, cool. Speaker 2 Well, important part of the story is that everybody was listening to his story was like this lady's see now. This stuff happened. This is her story that she's telling everyone. And so she's in so she said that she's living this high life. She's doing all this stuff, but her husband Benjamin, he had a gambling problem. And Speaker 1 this guy's got a lot of vices, then. Yeah, mistresses gambling. Speaker 2 Yeah. Greed. Sure. veterancy Speaker 1 Yeah. No, I just got like, yeah. Hey, guys, welcome to treason anonymous. You know, you got to admit you got a problem? Yeah. My problem is that as hate this country's Speaker 2 America. Yeah, I went to this camp. I was like a men's night. And I nailed my Confederate ideals to the cross. Speaker 1 Told right and we did that. Reagan tells me, she goes, yeah, when I used to have like a bad thought I would just visualize myself writing on a piece of paper, crumpling it up and throwing it a trash can. And I was like, that's funny. Funny. Similar. We wrote on a piece of paper and nailed it to the cross. She goes, No, not like my sins. And I said, Yeah, we didn't either. We just wrote down. Stuff that we felt bad about it. Yeah. Speaker 2 Yeah. Because you don't want to put your real sins there. Oh, yes. Someone looks Unknown Speaker faster. It's gonna look. Speaker 2 Yeah, one kid did that. Yeah. Didn't turn out. Well, Speaker 1 that was the coolest trick that Criss Angel. Piece of paper out and it was all my sins. Like, whoa. How'd you do that? Criss Angel. Yeah, and then he was murder though. I was like, I haven't done it doesn't look to me. He looked at the screens. The camera anyway. Now Yeah. Unknown Speaker And then in memoriam came up Unknown Speaker I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna walk down the wire. I hate Criss Angel. Speaker 2 So So he becomes a congressman and he he's got this gambling issue. Okay. And they have two very different relationships with money they're rolling in right now. Speaker 1 Here's his gamble, try to make more. Well, his Speaker 2 is is just who cares? I mean, we've got plenty of it. They, their wealth at this time was estimated their net value at this time was estimated to be somewhere equivalent today of around $61 million. So they had Speaker 1 a lot of money. We've proved that her husband exists, though. Like we know, he's a real he's a real guy. Speaker 2 He's a real guy. Yeah. And every person she's talking about talking about is real. And so she, but she was a saver. Like, she was very frugal. She didn't want to spend money. She didn't want to blow money. Sure. She had nice things, but she was conscious, you know, like, careful with it. And so her his gambling problem really bothered her more than all the others. Literacy, you know, Speaker 1 to other kids, or their mistresses nine other family he's like, Yeah, but I mean, like, I vetted him. Yeah, but yeah, Unknown Speaker we did interviews. We had those around. Unknown Speaker For round process background checks, approved them. Speaker 2 Yeah. What am I supposed to do? The investors wanted this. Speaker 1 I mean, one of them was a diversity hire Sure. Unknown Speaker No one's buying our paper anymore. I don't know what Speaker 1 you want me to do. We got what do you want me to do? Turn to gambling. We're the Speaker 2 business. So they make a deal. They say. He and her will split half of his winnings. Anytime he wins in gambling. She gets to take half of it and save it hide it away. Unknown Speaker And the other half he gets to float. Speaker 2 Yeah, he has to eat all of his own losses though. That's not coming out of those their savings. Okay, so she said But let's set aside $2 million of that times money off of his earnings. So he developed a problem. Speaker 1 Yeah, well, is he have people coming after him then? Probably Okay. All right. And what kind of gambling is he into? Is he into like the stuff where like, you don't you know, he's not playing slots and winning $2 million. He's doing too much. You got someone showing up at your house and being like, hey, Speaker 2 yeah, yeah. Hey, yeah, he wasn't gambling. He was fixing presidential races. Yeah. Last you got Unknown Speaker a guy showed up my grenade. You know? Speaker 2 And so, so this is this going on there or whatever, you know, certainly 1901, he dies. Good. And so she, she now takes over what's left of his fortune and the company. And so she starts running this newspaper company, and doesn't really know what she's doing makes a few bad hires, makes a few bad fires. The paper is struggling a little bit. And so in 1903, she decided to sell it sells it for $350,000, which is equivalent today about $8 million dollars. Okay, so a pretty sizable sail. And then just kind of floats for a few years doesn't really do anything, just kind of surviving off of the money. And then in 1907, there's the great financial panic. So there's a run on the banks, everyone's pulling their money out. It looked like there was going to be a major crash. And so she goes and she empties one of our bank accounts, which had a million dollars and it takes a million dollars cash, puts it in a net bag, the security guard described her as being very frantic, as probably most of the people were during the bank run. She took out a million dollars cash. And then she checked into this hotel and never left. And that's the story she gave the the people at the hotel that were examining the room and so the room was a mess. It was in squalor. How much Speaker 1 is is not rent, how much is the fee? Everything. I Speaker 2 mean, this is the early 1900s. So like, I got to think less than $10 at night. She's telling this story and they think oh, this lady is just you know, none of this is true. Sure, because because it looks like an episode of Hoarders. There's trash all over this room. The sheets are dirty. She's it doesn't look like she's bathed in weeks, except her faces weirdly immaculate. They asked her about it and they're like, You look like you haven't aged like, you're how old are you? She's like 93. They're like, what's your skin routine? And she actually said, she literally said she said, Oh, a couple of weeks a couple times a week. I'll ask for some Vaseline. And I just rub it into my face for a couple hours a day. Speaker 1 Oh, yeah, no, every week, there's this new invention called Dr. Pepper. And I just sit over the tub and I douse myself and I waterboard myself with Dr. Pepper. To the point where it almost reminds me one that life is fragile. And to my skin feels flawless. Unknown Speaker So you're going to take a bath or Unknown Speaker the doctor said baby Unknown Speaker I feel great. Unknown Speaker So the room is disgusting. Speaker 1 And her boyfriend just got dead sister in their two boxes everywhere. her dead sister was on the floor and no one's picked her up yet. Speaker 2 Yeah. Well that's that's an interesting sidebar as well. As Unknown Speaker they said Don't touch her. Speaker 2 She said she kept talking about the three of us in that room. It was only two Unknown Speaker Oh no. So her daughter, what do you think about that? Unknown Speaker Wow, really good insight, Chris. Speaker 2 So allegedly, her daughter was also staying in that room with them. She also checked in so it was her sister and her daughter that checked into this resist the stepchild. Yes. Okay. And in 1924 Her daughter passed away. And so her daughter got sick, went to the hospital died in the hospital. Okay. But as far as they know, they didn't leave the the other two were like, Yeah, you should go to the hospital. She died there. She never came back. And I'm just like, I guess she's dead. Why Unknown Speaker wouldn't they leave the room? Speaker 2 I don't know. I don't know. And so there's a lot of questions here. Everybody, everybody that's working at the hotel is like this is a strange story. Okay, don't believe it for a second. This lady's lost her mind. None of this. She crawled in the window. Yeah, sure. And so they take her downstairs, they give her one of those blankets or something and she's hanging out by the fire truck. Unknown Speaker At the end of every good movie. Yeah. Speaker 2 And they're looking through her room. And in the shoebox. They find $480,000 in cash. And they said, Unknown Speaker Hold on, wait. Hold on. Speaker 2 So they start looking a little closer, and then they start finding In the cracker boxes, $10,000 bills, $5,000 bills, a gold necklaces dollar that like 40,000 hours in that day's currency, like just so much money everywhere. The place literally overflowing with cash and expensive clothes and jewelry and things like that, but it's like hidden within trash. It's all covered in Vaseline. They've tried to count the bills within just slip it out Unknown Speaker I think there's 400 1000 Here, I don't know, Speaker 2 kick out. And so they've quickly say, hey, we need to take you down to a different room. We're gonna put you in a different room. We're gonna have some doctors take care of you. You're gonna say here, she couldn't understand it. She was frustrated. She thought, you know, steal my money. Yeah. And so but they take her down there. And Speaker 1 typical 93 year old. Is that what you're about to say? I was gonna say, typical 93 year old Speaker 2 say the typical experience of when like, someone gets put into a home to do this. Fine. And but everyone's like, No, we need to. We need to help you. And she's like, No, I'm fine. I can Unknown Speaker find like your your fried chicken is not the Speaker 2 same. Yeah. And she's like, she's like, call a job. Ask a job and like, Speaker 1 like, he's kidding. He's not answering. He's Unknown Speaker he was in the hotel with me for 10 years. Speaker 1 Oh, really? Okay. That's good to know. Yeah. Speaker 2 Um, and so, one night one of the like, while she's asleep. There's a nurse like tending to her and notice like a weird lump on the side of her dress, and reaches in there and finds a bag with a million dollars cash under her dress dress hidden under a dress. She's got a Unknown Speaker fanny pack. Yeah. Unknown Speaker She's got a supreme fanny pack. Unknown Speaker This is this is on top of all the money Speaker 2 of this is on top of all the money up there. And it should be noted that this laser drug lord, this is before the 19 and 1967. Speaker 1 Since 1931. Yeah, so this is like depression. Speaker 2 Yeah, this is the depression. This is the he has $1.4 million ours catchy stuff in this hotel room. But yeah, it should be noted that she was able to hold a lot more because in 1969 in 1969, Nixon, as part of the war on drugs, got rid of a bunch of large denomination bills. So back then they had $1,000 bills. What $5,000 bills? $10,000 bills. No, yeah. But as part of the war on drugs, because it was that guy, it was really easy. I think that's Polk. If I remember Chase, JP Morgan. Unknown Speaker That's what I'm saying. Who is that guy? Speaker 2 I don't know. I thought it was Paul who was on the talk. That's Madison. That's Madison. I swear to one of them's Paul, that's Cleveland. Customer one of those poke. Unknown Speaker Well, you're dumb. Maybe Unknown Speaker this is JP Morgan Speaker 1 Chase. Who Yeah, Google, who was who's on the on? Speaker 2 But they stopped No way. They stopped them because because they were well, because they were easier to launder money with. Unknown Speaker Well, yeah, it was huge amounts of money. Speaker 2 Okay, so Salmon P Chase is his name. He's the most accomplished politician our nation's history that never served as a president. So he was a governor from Ohio. And he was he was the second Yeah. Unknown Speaker His name is saving like Unknown Speaker the fish salmon Chase. Yes, exactly. Cool. Cool. Cool. Unknown Speaker This is my son tilapia. And he was Speaker 2 he actually served as secretary of the treasury of Abe Lincoln and became Chief Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. So he did a lot. But he was on the $10,000 bill. Speaker 1 Wow. Who's the other guys? 5000 That's what goes to show you know, at the end of the day, doesn't matter how much you do if you're not President. No one will care. It really and that's why it means so much to that guy. That's why he had to do it. You don't talk about Speaker 2 Yeah, I know you're talking about hey, thanks again for watching this episode. If you're enjoying it, and you're enjoying chillin, you've been around for a little bit, I want to invite you to be a part of our Patreon. We have a Patreon that has early access to all of our episodes ad free content, both audio and video. We have a discord with our hosts and producers. That's a ton of fun getting to hang out with all of our patrons in there. We also do once a month now we do these live streams with our patrons. We hang out we get to know each other we eat pizza. It's a blast, along with a bunch of other benefits like merch discounts message on your birthday like fun stuff. It's definitely worth it. We're having a blast with our patrons. But if that doesn't sound like something for you, like That guy here just kicked out. We love you. Thanks for checking out. Dylan podcast. How do you how do they get it though? I realized I forgot to put a CTA in mind. Oh dang, we're doing Yeah, Speaker 1 they can text Tillandsia 66866 Thanks, Jared Speaker 2 Alexander Hamilton was the 1,000th. Who which it looks like it says Cleveland in the picture, but the this says Yeah. Oh, wait. Unknown Speaker Okay. Alexander Hamilton still want to bill? Speaker 2 Oh, okay. And so later they replaced it with Grover Cleveland. On the $1,000. Okay. $5,000 had James Madison. Anyways, so they had higher denomination bills. The 5000 Unknown Speaker No, $5 bill. Unknown Speaker Abe Lincoln, right? No. George W. George. Unknown Speaker Yeah, the five is Abe Lincoln. No, it's not. Yes, it is. Who do you think? Speaker 1 I don't know. Who's on the tin? Can't I can't remember a single bill right now. Unknown Speaker Here's a $5. Bill. Speaker 1 Washington. Right. And then there's apparently Lincoln. And then there's Speaker 2 the 10 is Hamilton Hamilton. Yeah. It's also Hamilton. And then the so they moved on. They moved on from the 5000 to the 10. The tornadoes mass. Unknown Speaker I can picture him right now. Jackson. Speaker 2 I think you're right. No, it's Jefferson. Jackson is Jackson Jackson. Yeah. But anyways, this is how she was able to have this much cash liberally on her person because there were $10,000 bills. She had a million dollars with the 10th. One is Harriet Tubman on. She was Unknown Speaker Wasn't she like to save Speaker 2 money? I want to say she was. Yeah, it was a $20. Bill. Unknown Speaker Were those are those in circulation yet? Speaker 2 I don't think so. Okay. Anyway, yeah. So that's how she was able to have so much cash on her because she had $1,000 bills. Okay, and so $1,000,000.10 $1,000 bills. It's different ballgame. Unknown Speaker How many? Is it, Tim? Speaker 2 I don't know, like 24 years. Would you just say, like, 24 years? I think 97. Okay. So everyone's starting to say, oh, maybe there's something to this story. So this hits the news. Sure. And her family starts coming out of the woodwork. Everyone's like, Oh, grandma. Oh, yeah. It was 380 people laid claim like got lawyers laid claim and said, hey, yeah, we're heirs to her fortune. We should take over and yeah, be control of that. And so she goes Speaker 1 over my dead body. She was all fight all of you. She did they set it up? One on one. Okay, five 300 People Speaker 2 70 line on knockout. She Speaker 1 fought 293 of them. You know talking about? Yeah. Because I mean, 86 they watched? Yeah. 86 Slowly it was like it was like, it was like the Pharisees were Jesus. Like, why don't you throw a stone? And they one by one. They all they watched this lady? Kick 292 And they were like, yeah, Unknown Speaker how much money is it again? I don't know. Speaker 1 Doesn't seem super worth it. I don't know. So a bunch of people are trying to claim her money now. Yeah, so before she's even gone. Yeah, she's still here. And that was such a sad thing. Reagan's grandma does this Reagan's grandma's 99 years old. Every time we go to the house every for i We've been together for five and a half years. Yeah. And since the day I've met this lady, every time we're there. Every time we're on the phone is well, this is my last Christmas. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Yeah. You know, at this point, we're like, no, it's probably not. Yeah, you're gonna be hereafter. I don't know, good beat, Speaker 2 but probably not. And so this massive legal battle begins of people trying to lay claim her money. Sure. The two largest groups that actually have like a stake in that are the woods, her husband's family and her birth family, the Mayfield's, who were the sugar cane farmers. And so there's a big legal battle that lasts a couple of years. And in the court throughout the course of this legal battle, she's her house starts to really decline. Yeah, a lot of people think that it was close relative. Yeah, the stress of the situation because obviously there's the legal battle over money, but she also was removed from her home. Her sister's gone. Her sister died. She was removed from what was home to her for 24 years. And they moved her to a room the floor below directly below the room directly below her so she likes hunger when she could hear her room. Unknown Speaker She still talks to Speaker 1 her room was speaking to her. No, I meant like she could hear like footsteps in her room. Unknown Speaker The room told me you guys weren't being cut into it. Speaker 1 Yeah, that's where I feel like well, my neighbors upstairs slam a door and I was like, I never did that. Speaker 2 Door. I never did that. Yeah, cuz you used to live there. Yeah, yeah, the room still speaks to you does. And it doesn't like the new people and new people. Speaker 1 They told me does it like they told me I told him I saw him in the parking lot as a hey, man, you know, I live in the old I live upstairs for you. And I said, Yeah, I used to live there. If you get any packages, let me know also Speaker 1 the room doesn't like you. Excuse me What? The room doesn't like you? Which room? Unknown Speaker What are you talking about? Speaker 1 Also, if you see a lady with a limp, walk around, where you let me know. I'm a tackler. It's all Unknown Speaker new meaning to step on her. Unknown Speaker She's got a boot on her leg. I'm gonna I'm gonna stop themselves. I'm gonna stop on your toe. Speaker 2 So this legal battle is going on. And she ends up in the middle of the lean, legal battle dying of pneumonia a year after they found her. And so then now the legal battle has legs because now it's like, okay, well, someone's giving somebody money. Yeah. They ended up digging into her finances, they find $20 million tied to her hole. And so these were in other banks that she had not liquidated. And that's in that day's money. Yeah. So just bonkers cash. And so there's a legal battle begins. And attorneys for the state are like, okay, we're taking this over, we're gonna start to investigate and see if we figure out what's going on here. Sure. So they they start digging. And this is the story that they unravel. Idlewood was born in New Orleans in the 18. What did I say? 30s. Sure, her birthday was was correct. She wasn't lying about that. But she was not born to money. She was born into poverty. Her parents were immigrants. And they had nothing going up. And she hated it. She hated her childhood. She hated being poor, and she wanted to change it. So one day in New Orleans, she went and she saw a palm reader to find out, is it worth it? So she goes the palm Unknown Speaker of my life for what? What do you mean? Oh, I'm here to find out if it's worth if what's worth it going on? Continuing? Anything at all, Unknown Speaker the palm readers said there's a really good room and your future. Unknown Speaker No, that room likes you. Speaker 2 So the palm reader reads her palms and says, Oh, you're a very lucky girl. You're gonna meet a wealthy man. And your life's gonna change for the better. And so she waits a couple years for this Unknown Speaker crystal lady told Reagan that's how you know it's crap. Unknown Speaker And so, so she waits a couple years, she's Speaker 1 met a few rich people, but I had decided to interview. Yeah, I became her like, No, you can't date that guy. Speaker 2 You have to date me. But you're not rich. And Unknown Speaker she didn't want to for a while. Is this scenario? No, you have to date me Speaker 2 have to date me anyway. So so she waits a couple of years. And no Richmond come into her life? Yes. Why would they? She's in New Orleans living in poverty. Like, where? What circle is she just going to run into a rich guy. So she starts to realize that and she says I need to take matters into my own hands. And so she packs up and she moves to New York. And she says, I'm going to read meet a rich man. When she gets to New York and again realizes the same scenario. She's like, there's no way I'm gonna just run into a rich dude. And so she starts buying those magazines and shopping around for a guy do that. Yeah. And she finds Benjamin and gets into this affair with him and they actually do get married. And they had that child, remember? Remember, you remember? Well, they did it. That child was not their child. That child was her sister. And she convinced her to move in with them and tell everyone that that was their kid that they had out of wedlock and legally change your last name. So that way they can move it. How much younger is her sister? It was like a younger younger sister. And so but it was young enough to where it like made sense in that relationship. Okay, so this this girl probably moved up there like when she was, I don't know, five or six. But they had been in their affair for like 10 years and so Robin like believed that Oh, sure. You guys had that? Oh, you guys had that kid? Yeah. But it was it was her sister. And they literally Speaker 1 changed his name. It wasn't even her sister. Oh, sister wasn't even five or six verses was 36 years old. She's just so small. She convinced the state of New York that she was a child. She got put in the foster system. And then adopted went through a whole thing put her through the fire like we got to put her foster has to be believable. We got to be heroes. When people say what have you done? I was adopted from foster care. What have you done? Speaker 2 That's an important detail. Her name wasn't even either. What it was Elena wash Walsh. Ellen Walsh. Yeah, she changed her name to Ida live when she got to New York. Where she married Benjamin would Yeah, she made sorry. She changed her name to Ida Mayfield. Cuz she she was Alan Watts. She just picked a rich family from New Orleans and said that was my family. And so when the Mayfield's gotten the legal battle, they just found out they're like, oh, this they always have to be like, that's our inheritance. Yeah, that's us. Unknown Speaker I guess now is a Walsh's are like Oh, hold on, hold on. Speaker 2 Let's get a throw our hat in the ring. Yeah. Oh, Unknown Speaker I would love to find out I've got like a rich relative somewhere Speaker 2 and then everything else was totally true. Like they had that socialite life and they went and the attorneys tracked down a lot of the people that she talked about having relationships with everybody including a bleak it was like oh, yeah, she was great. Speaker 1 Hey, he's like, you know my memories kind of foggy. I'm trying to think about it, but there's just my memory. Unknown Speaker Matt's got a lot of holes in there right now. My memory. My memory is so foggy. Remember, he's got a lot of holes. Unknown Speaker Sometimes if I put myself in like a movie theater, I can see Unknown Speaker I can picture I can picture. Unknown Speaker It. Yeah, we spent like 10 years in that hotel room. Yeah. Speaker 2 Pretty foggy. But it's there now. But she was she was this important socialite figure in the New York subculture of the time. And everybody knew who she was. And she was very significant in the late 1800s. Yeah. Up until her husband died. And she took over the newspaper and then disappeared for 24 years. No one is exactly sure why she got the hotel room. What the leading theory is that she saw what was happening to the economy. And she was a very frugal person who was scared of losing her money. And she said, I'm going to hide. And so she took all the money she could so she could have it in her personal Speaker 1 look out. Firstly, people are, you know, people will? For no reason. I mean, yeah, they're crazy. Unknown Speaker I mean, the second everyone found out she had a lot of Unknown Speaker people trying to take the money. Yeah. So she hid Speaker 2 herself away in this hotel room, and she called up her other sister was like, hey, change your name. You're moving into this hotel room with me. And they literally they didn't leave. They stayed in that hotel room for 24 years. No one saw them. Even the hotel like didn't recognize most of the people in the hotel didn't recognize them. They outlasted most of the people in the employees. Yeah. And then she died. And, and so the attorneys were like, Okay, well, who is the rightful heir to her fortune then? And so they went to she had no living relatives in her immediate family. Okay, they concluded that they don't think the woods were rightful heirs to her. Because she married him. Yeah. And so. So what they decided was they would give it to the heirs of her grandparents of her like paternal grandparents in Ireland. Oh, and so all of them just get a letter. And they dispersed it across 20 families, so 20 Different families that were going to disability in Dallas never knew about her. Just got a million dollars in the mail. Speaker 1 Again, I don't wish anyone's demise. Unless I have a rich relative. I don't know that I hope they perish. Can you imagine? Like, oh, hey, you're I can't imagine it's all right. All I can do is imagine a dream and hope. You know, Speaker 2 like, you get a You get a letter from the US government that says we regret to inform you that your great aunt Ida has passed away after a hotel for 24 years. Anyways, here's a million of her dollars. That's what Speaker 1 I wish had is a how wealthy was this relative? You know, I would love to know on the 23andme chart where we're at. I'd love to know if we look up I would love to know which generations squandered our wealth. Unknown Speaker Yeah, which one of you? Which one of you suckers Speaker 1 we came from? Like, this was in Queens, and then there was freaking Bart and Bart Brut drove us into the ground. He had an idea for a liquid ice cream and you're like, dude, just sweet milk. You're doing your part. sweet milk. Speaker 2 Good, though. It was good. He just didn't mark it right. Should have called the sweet milk. That was That was weird. Everybody's like, I don't want I don't want part sweet milk getting parts. parts, parts sweet milk. And then he had savory flavors called Bart's broth. Come on, man. On the mind, I did the thing. I pulled my ear buds. I pulled my earbuds out. And so I couldn't hear how I couldn't hear how far away I was. Unknown Speaker Oh, I knew you chipped your tooth. Shut up. But half of your friends. Speaker 2 I'm not gonna believe you on that right now. I see through you. You're trying to pull some Mindfreak on me. It's not going to work. Unknown Speaker We're about this. Sorry. Well, Speaker 2 anyways, that's either wood. Oh, that's the end. That's the end. Yeah, that's the end of the story. She she died. A lot of people got her money. And her story was pretty true. mostly true is true. Everything that she told was true. Except for the part she lied about because she's Speaker 1 like, you find her in that last year. Life is so annoying. But like you find her right. And she tells you the whole story. And at the end of it if I'm her I go Why would I have $20 million. And like, lie to you right now? I haven't limited this look at where I live. Speaker 2 Yeah, look at it. Why would I lie? Why would I Why would I say I had all that but I mean that's that's the thing. Like people would be like I Okay, you got $20 million. Anybody would look at that and say why are you lying to me? Okay. But she's just tell the truth. And it's she she said on the world. One of the things she said on the way out of the hotel or on the way out of the bank the day she got on her way out on the way out of the bank the day she got her hotel was was I'm tired of it. That's what she said that she said a bag of a million dollars. She said I'm tired of it. I'm sick of this. And then she just stayed in a hotel room for 24 years. Wow wishes. Wow. So the lesson Speaker 1 What do you think they did up there? Because it was 90 they didn't there wasn't like TV there was no video games there's rub Vaseline Unknown Speaker and there was really nothing to Unknown Speaker do count on their money. Yeah. Speaker 2 Eat crackers. They said that they said that they set up like a little kitchenette in their bathroom that they were cooking food on. Unknown Speaker Which Why would you do this? Speaker 2 I don't understand it. I don't understand. It's crazy. Man, but survived. survived the great panic of 1907. And I mean kind of the Great Depression she died in the middle of it. That's the crazy part is that those families in Ireland in the middle the Great Depression, just crazy. Yeah. Surplus man wild stuff. So that's a story about a wood. So yeah, do your ancestry start looking for someone rich in your air ancestry and lock them in a hotel room? That's the list. From this week's episode rich person. Your rich Unknown Speaker Hilton honors points. There's free breakfasts and check out is never Unknown Speaker Yeah, you're gonna be here for the rest of your life. You're Unknown Speaker gonna die in this room. Unknown Speaker Do they do that? But Unknown Speaker hey, the room likes you Speaker 2 like it? Can you? What's the cut off? If you're not at an extended stay? Like motel like if you're just had a normal mode Hotel? Is there a point where they're like, you've been here too long? Like, I feel like there's got to be a point like if you went to a Holiday Inn, maybe not a Holiday Inn but maybe like a Lowe's you went to a Lowe's Hotel. How long could you stay before they say sir? You've been here too long. Unknown Speaker I don't know. I tried that. I tried to stay at a Lowe's for a long time. And they kept asking, they're like how are you? Today here? I was like retirement. Oh please fiddle this off fine Speaker 3 things last night is a production of space Tim media produced by Christian Taylor audio is edited by Alex Garnett video by Connor Betts social media is run by Caleb Walker and graphic design by Caleb Goldberg. Our hosts are Jaron Meyers and Tim stone please follow us on social media at tilam podcast that's ti LL IN podcast, leave a review, comment, subscribe, wherever you are. Thank you for listening to things on the last night. Transcribed by

In the annals of extraordinary stories, one that stands out is that of Ida Wood, a millionaire woman who chose to live a unique and secluded life in a hotel room for an astounding 24 years. Ida Wood, a name that has intrigued many, holds a captivating tale of independence, mystery, and pursuing a life that defied societal norms. Let’s delve into the enigmatic journey of Ida Wood, a remarkable figure whose life choices left a lasting impression on the world.

The Rise of Ida Wood

Ida Wood was a successful businesswoman known for her shrewd investments and savvy decisions. She amassed great wealth through an inheritance from her late husband, Benjamin Wood, a politician and publishing tycoon. After his death, Wood spent a few years tending to Benjamin’s publishing business before selling the company and making an odd decision.

A Secluded Sanctuary: The Hotel Room

Instead of residing in a grand mansion or luxurious penthouse, Ida Wood made the Herald Square Hotel in New York City her home. The peculiar thing is that Ida told no one of this decision to move into the hotel. Furthermore, moments before checking into the hotel, she closed her bank account and withdrew over $1 million in cash.

The Mystery Unveiled

Ida lived a life of seclusion in that hotel room. Her two sisters were the only other people to enter that room during her stay. They would not even allow the hotel’s cleaning staff in. The room became like that of an episode of Hoarders. She was only discovered when her last surviving sister passed away, and she requested help from the hotel staff. The term of her stay at that point was 24 years. Not a single hotel employee was there at the time of her check-in. Few knew she was even there.

The Legacy of Ida Wood

Ida Wood’s legacy extends beyond her life at the Herald Square Hotel. Her story serves as a reminder that true happiness can be found when one stays true to their desires, even if it means defying societal norms. Ida’s unconventional choice of dwelling resonates with those who value personal independence and individuality. Her life was a testament to the idea that wealth and happiness need not be synonymous with extravagance and extravagance.


The tale of Ida Wood, the millionaire woman who lived in a hotel room for 24 years, is an enthralling one that will continue to intrigue generations to come. Her ability to forge her path and embrace a life of simplicity while surrounded by the bustling city symbolizes the allure of individuality and personal freedom. Ida Wood’s enigmatic journey has etched an unforgettable mark in history, inspiring those who dare to follow their hearts, even when it leads them down an unconventional path.

Things I Learned Last Night is an educational comedy podcast where best friends Jaron Myers and Tim Stone talk about random topics and have fun all along the way. If you like learning and laughing a lot while you do, you’ll love TILLN. Watch or listen to this episode right now!




Ida Wood – Wikipedia

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