Riots Fizzled at His Cry, "Break It Up"; Had Harvard "Greats" For His Friends

General Charles R. Apted, Superintendent of Caretakers, emeritus, died at 9:15 o'clock last night at his home following a long sickness which had confined him to his bed for several weeks.

The little man who came to know ten Harvard generations in his capacities as member and head of the Yard police force retired last year at the age of 67.

For 18 years "The Colonel" held the position in which he was best known, Chief Yard cop. His cry of "Break it up" as he headed for the focal point of any riot or disturbance became famous in the annals of the College.

The list of students with whom "Charlie" was acquainted reads like a Who's Who. Franklin Roosevelt, for instance, and "all his dam kids." Then there is Leverett Saltonstall, Felix Frankfurter, Robert Benchley, Arthur Holcombe, Joe Kennedy, Archy Davison, and "Jim" Conant.

Brevetted a General on his retirement last year, the Colonel used to love to reminisce about the "frolicking and deviltry" of past and this fall he thought some of writing a book on Harvard as seen through his eyes.


One of his favorite stories was about Bloody Monday, an event which used to take place every September when the upperclassmen gathered all the Freshmen in the Yard and administered Justice.

It was when the boys got in trouble with the outside authorities that General Apted really took on the guise of a friend in need. A word from him and the Cambridge cops would free a luckless inebriate from the Central Square jail and allow him to proceed to his dormitory. With police forces for miles around "Charlie's" word was as good as bail.

The sickness which forced him to retire was a throat ailment which rendered him barely able to speak. Even after his retirement an office was maintained for him in Lehman Hall, and he continued to walk around the Yard and to keep up his contacts with the University which he had served so long.