Wednesday, October 15, 2014

1882 - Clever Woman

Mrs. Stewart was alone and unarmed when two tramps took forcible possession of her house, at New Vineyard, Me.  While they were eating and drinking in the kitchen, she whittled a stick into the shape of a pistol, blackened it with soot, then made a fierce onslaught on the rascals, who fled precipitately.

The Lafayette Adviser
Lafayette, Louisiana
February 25, 1882

1890 - Stationary Traveling

Thoreau believed, or sometimes talked as if he believed, that everything was to be found in  Concord. There was no great occasion for traveling, he thought. If you really needed to see anything, you had only to stay at home, and in due time it would come to you.

This was somewhat whimsical, and no one was better aware of the fact than Thoreau himself, who loved a paradox as other men love a dinner. But one of our exchanges knows of a man who seems to have been a pretty wide traveler without ever having been away from home.

He has lived in two states, in three counties and in three towns, and yet he has always lived where he was born. The facts of the case are these:

Charles Graham was born in the state of Massachusetts, town of New Vineyard, and county of Kennebec, the 28th day of May, 1819. In 1820 that part of Massachusetts was incorporated or set off as Maine. He still lived in New Vineyard, Kennebec county, but in Maine instead of Massachusetts.

The his part of New Vineyard was set off into the town of Industry, Somerset county. When Franklin county was incorporated, Industry was set off as a part of it. In 1850 the part of Industry where he lived was again set off into the town of  Farmington. So Mr. Graham, who is 70 years old, has lived successively in Massachusetts and in Maine, in Kennebec, Somerset and Franklin counties, and in the towns of New Vineyard, Industry and Farmington, and all the time on the same farm. - Youth's Companion.

The News-Herald
Hillsboro, Ohio
August 7, 1890

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

1891 - CURSED THE CHURCH. - A Canadian Priest Calls Down God's Wrath on a Catholic Chapel. WITH HIS UPLIFTED CRUCIFIX. The Edifice Was Erected Against the Orders of the Bishop. FEELING OF TERROR AMONG THE PEOPLE.

MONTREAL, July 3. - A most extraordinary scene took place in a little chapel in the parish of Maskinonge, about 40 miles from Montreal, on Monday last, which with Roman Catholics is the day of St. Peter and St. Paul. It was the cursing of a church by order of Bishop Lafleche, of Three Rivers, and has caused indescribable excitement in Roman Catholic circles. In the country districts the inhabitants are talking of nothing else, and those immediately concerned are simply terror-stricken at what they consider a fearful manifestation of the power of the Church.

The cursing of the church was done by a Redemptorist Father, acting evidently under orders of Rev. Mr. Lafleche, cure of Maskinonge, and nephew of Mgr. Lafleche, Bishop of Three Rivers. The action of the ecclesiastics is the result of a schism in the parish, brought about by dissensions as to the location of the new parish church at Maskinonge.

A Division in the Church.
Some months since it was decided to erect a new and larger church two miles away from the old building, so as to give greater accommodation to the population. Mgr. Lafleche visited the parish and selected a site on the east side of the Maskinonge river. The spot was indicated by the erection of a cross. A short time after the inhabitants on the west side of the river, who are said to from the majority, succeeded in inducing the Bishop to alter his previous decision, and two months ago the erection of the Church was commenced on the west side of the river. This gave such offense to the larger portion of the east side that they declared they would not attend church on the west side, alleging that they were the victims of an injustice and that the change had been made for motives which they did not approve.

While the erection of the church was proceeding they met and decided to erect a wooden chapel. At the time strong clerical influence was brought to bear upon the rebellious parishioners in order to induce them to give up the project, and the punishment of the church was then threatened, but they were stubborn and the work commenced.

Struck by a Bolt From Heaven.
The erection of the opposition chapel was proceeding rapidly, when, one night, a thunderbolt struck the new church, and it was burned to the ground. In the country round the ignorant inhabitants thought this to be a visitation of God, and those who were building the church were looked upon with horror, as having been placed outside the pale of religion for their blasphemous opposition to the will of the clergy. Such an effect had the event that several of the dissentors went to the confessional, acknowledged their sin and were received back into the Church. The clergy around, too, used the incident as showing the punishment that would be meted out to those who disobeyed the commands of the Church.

Others of the malcontents, however, still persisted in their stubborn determination to erect the chapel on their own side of the river, and eventually it was finished, although the priest in the district refused to consecrate it.

Met There for Worship.
Since that time some 200 men, women and children, having at their head some of the leading citizens of the place, have been in the habit of meeting there for worship. The schoolmaster of the locality read the prayers and recited the beads and a choir sang hymns, a favorite one being "Chretiens qui Combattons."

Monday, the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, the dissentients had met in the chapel at the same time as the rest of the parish were at the old church, when they were greatly surprised to see Rev. Father Savard, of the Redemptorist order, enter the place in his robes of office and holding in his hand a crucifix. His arrival produced a great sensation. It was known that he had been called by Rev. Mr. Lafleche to preach a retreat in the parish church, and when he first entered many thought he was coming to bless the chapel. The priest walked down the aisle, and, standing in front of the altar, solemnly addressed the people, warning them to renounce their schism and return to the church.

One of the congregation said, "Father, bless our chapel and we will be happy to listen to you."

God's Wrath Called Down.
"What, I bless your chapel," replied the Redemptorist. "I should rather curse it," and with his crucifix uplifted to heaven he called down the awful wrath of God upon the sacred edifice. When the father had concluded his anathema he abruptly pulled his hood over his head, so that the congregation could not see his face, and left the chapel.

Before he could reach the door the congregation called out "Father, father, do not curse us and our families."

"I curse the place in which you have met," replied Father Savard. The scene that followed is said to have been frightful. Next to excommunication the cursing of their house of worship was deemed the most awful punishment the Church could inflict. Many of the women fainted, others shrieked and ran around wringing their hands, while others stood rooted to the spot with terror. Some of the little children, who could not understand what was going on, ran crying to their mothers, who were in many cases too helpless with terror to notice them.

Even the men were stricken with the effects of the priest's curse and stood for a time stupefied. Others of the men, however, were almost wild with rage and could with difficulty be restrained from pursuing Father Savard and mobbing him. In a short time, however, the congregation had dispersed, all going silently to their homes.

People Struck With Terror.
The news of the action of Father Savard spread through the country, and the inhabitants are awe stricken at the punishment accorded the rebellious parishoners. The latter are looked upon as being under the ban of the Church, and while they remain so are ostracised by all their neighbors. No one will have any business transactions with them, and the people are afraid to be seen speaking to those whom they consider the Church has condemned to doom.

The action of Father Savard will have the effect of breaking up the congregation. In ecclesiastical circles here Father Savard's action has come in for a good deal of discussion, as there are many who hold that there is no rule in the Roman Catholic Church permitting a priest to anathemize a church, although it is admitted that a priest has a right to warn his flock not to attend any particular church. There can be found in the history of the Catholic Church, at least in Canada, no precedent for Father Savard's action.

Some think that Father Savard has exceeded Bishop Lafleche's instruction, but those who know the latter say he will go to any length rather than have his wishes defied. In lay circles the affair has created a bad impression, and it is unfortunate that it comes at a time when His Grace, Archbishop Fabre, has issued a pastoral calling upon the Catholic community to raise $100,000 for the completion of a magnificent cathedral in Dominion square, the work being placed under the protection of the Virgin.

Pittsburg Dispatch
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Monday, July 28, 2014

1896 - Dead Cinch for Men.

Decatur, Michigan, presents a combination. Its population is 1500. The president of the council is a woman. The leading doctor is a woman. Mrs. Rev. Gregg preaches at the Advent church and Mrs. Barnett is janitress. The restaurant is owned by a woman. A Mrs. Owns the biggest store in the place and Mrs. Nicholson is postmistress. The town also boasts of female shoe, furniture and harness makers, a female florist and a feminine carriage painter. This town is a dead easy cinch for men who do not like work.

The Daily Hearld
Delphos, Ohio
March 7, 1896


A New Hope, Bucks county, dispatch says: The discovery that a German carp drinks milk, has averted what threatened to be wholesale suits for theft. Michael Tiernan for several months, or ever since the weather grew warm, has noticed that his blooded cows return from their luxuriant pastures with full stomachs and empty udders. There was a suspicion that the cows had been milked by families who reside in the neighborhood. This thing continued, and Mr. Tiernan's dairy product reached zero. He watched his cows, but could not discover the milk robbers.

Last Wednesday ha had a startling revelation. He was standing by the mill race which run through his far, and saw his favorite cow enjoying herself in the water which touched her body. After a prolonged bath, the bovine emerged from the stream. Clinging to the animal's udder was a carp that weighed about 15 pounds. It had drunk every ounce of the cow's milk. Mr. Tiernan says that the cows have regularly gone to the mill race to keep cool, and the fish have as diligently extracted their milk.

The Allentown Democrat
Allentown, Pennsylvania
June 28, 1893


Lysander Morse and Phoebe Macomber, of Decatur, Michigan, were married sixty-five years ago. It was a love match that won the envy of all their neighbors by its promise of happiness. The couple lived together for only a year, when, in a violent quarrel over some trivial incident, they separated and were finally divorce. Morse promptly married again from a spirit of pique, and his erstwhile bride was not far behind him in resuming the wedded state. Neither found any peace or happiness, and it soon seemed to be a race between them as to who could make the most unfortunate alliance. Morse succeeded in contracting four marriages, but his rival won the hearts of six different men, whose names she bore in turn. These facts did not come out until they met for the first time since their separation recently in Allegan county, in the same State. As they rehearsed their various experiences it appeared that each was single again, and they decided to try a second marriage. A few days after this marriage they disagreed, and came to blows, which produced a final separation.

The Allentown Democrat
Allentown, Pennsylvania
June 28, 1893

Friday, June 27, 2014

1886 - LIBERTY'S LIGHT. The Great Torch of the Goddess We Love. Imposing Ceremonies Attending the Unveiling of the Bartholdi Statue on Liberty Island.

The Colossal Gift of a Sister Republic Gracefully Accepted by an Appreciative People.

The Metropolis of the Nation Overwhelmed by Throngs of Visitors.

A Mammoth Parade Reviewed by the President and His Cabinet and Our French Guests.

The Grand Naval Procession - Ceremonies at the Statue - Liberty Unveiled - Grand Pyrotechnic Display

NEW YORK, Oct. 28., - The rain, which fell almost continuously for thirty-six hours, did not cease until about daylight this morning. The sky did not clear, however, and the thousands of anxious sightseers who began to pour into the streets at an early hour met a damp, foggy atmosphere, which threatened a renewal of rain at any moment. Between eight and nine o'clock all thoroughfares showed signs of unusual activity. All trains were crowded to their utmost capacity with people trying to view the grand procession.

French and American flags are flying from house tops and windows in every direction and a general holiday appearance is presented by moving bodies of soldiers, militia, civic organizations, and by the collection on the sidewalks of great crowds of people. Business during the day will be almost entirely suspended, the public schools will be closed and all New York will join in the celebration. Visitors from all sections of the country have been coming into the city for two days past, and this morning thousands more were added to the great throng, the prospects of unpleasant weather in no way deterring them.

After passing through Madison Square the column moved on down Fifth Avenue to Washington Square, where it turned into Broadway, thence down Broadway to the open space behind the post-office, called Mall street, into Park Row under the triumphal arch in front of the WORLD office, and back into Broadway. This detour was more in order to pay a compliment to the enterprise of the WORLD, in raising the sum necessary for raising Barhtoldi's great work.

From Park Row the route was again down Broadway to Courtlandt street and Maiden Lane, where most of the military, turning to right or left, made their way to the river.

The storm greatly interfered with the work on Bedloe's Island yesterday, but as little was left to do, it did not matter very much whether it rained or not. The workmen tore down the old, narrow steps that led up the embankment and replaced them with a wider and mores substantial stairway. They also laid a broad wooden walk leading to the ground entrance to the front of the fort. The platform that has stood in one of the northwestern angles of the inclosure was removed and the platform for the speakers made ready for their reception. A handsome silk French flag will be placed of the face of the statue. At a word from President Cleveland it will be drawn, unveiling the head of the goddess.

In the vicinity of Fifth avenue and Fifty-seventh street, the point at which the procession was to form, all was bustls and commotion as early as eight o'clock. Civic and military companies arrived faster than they could be assigned to their proper places.

A few minutes past ten o'clock the head of the column began to move down Fifth avenue, led by the Fifth United States Artillery and Military Band. Then followed the United States Naval brigade, United States Army brigade, Second regiment New Jersey National Guard and a detachment of Massachusetts volunteer militia. These composed the first division.

The second division was led by Gilmore's famous band. Then followed the First Brigade, N.G.S. N.Y., acting as escort to the French column. The French column contained the Societe Colmarienne; Union Alsacienne; Societe Alsace-Loraine; Mardi Gras Association; Societe De Philanthropic; Union Chorale De Newarks; Union Francaise, of Elizabeth; Le Prevyame, of Boston; L'Anutie, of New York; Le Societe Culinaire Cosmopolite; L'Helvetienne; L'Alliance and L'Union Fraternelle.

Then came another fine band of music, which was followed by nearly a dozen more French societies. Behind the Frenchmen came United States Judges and other high officials of the United States in carriages, and Governors of States and Territories and other high dignitaries, also in carriages, who brought up the rear of the second division.

The third division was headed by Sheriff Grant as marshal, and was comprise of mayors of cities; a battalion of Philadelphia police; Brooklyn police; veterans of the war of 1812; veterans of the Mexican war, and the military order of the Loyal Legion.

The fourth, fifth and sixth divisions were composed of military organizations. Then came the educational division; then more military;  Washington's carriage, drawn by nine horses, escorted by the Continental Guard of Washington, and the old Washington Continental Guard, mounted. Firemen, Knights of Pythias and other organizations helped to make up the other four divisions.

As this brilliant column passed down Fifth avenue it was received by the enormous crowds, which flanked it on either side with mighty cheers.

As the procession approached the reviewing stand at Madison Square, where President Cleveland and members of his Cabinet were waiting, a slight drizzle of rain began falling, not enough, however, to disturb the crowd or spoil the spectacle.

The head of the procession reached the City Hall at noon. At the same time, whenever the music of bands ceased, the chimes of Trinity Church could be heard playing National airs of France and America.

President Cleveland, accompanied by Secretary Bayard, drove to the reviewing stand at Madison square. He was fellowed by Secretaries Whitene, Vilas and Lamar and Colonel Lamont.

Considering the festive nature of the day, the decorations upon houses along the line of march were very meager. This lack of display, however, can be accounted for by the inclemency of the weather for the past two days. The only really handsomely decorated building is the City Hall.

After leaving Broadway at Cortlandt street and Maiden Lane, nearly all the military and civic companies made their way homeward.

At this hour (1:16 p.m.), the procession is still wending its way past  the United Press office, 187 Broadway, having been over an hour in progress.

All the vessels in North river are gaily decorated with flags, the Great Atlantic liners being particularly noticeable as they lay at their docks, one mass of color aloft.

The naval parade, which forms another marked feature of the day, was set for one o'clock. The sound of the preparatory gun, which should have been fired at 12:45 p.m., was not heard until one o'clock as there was considerable delay in getting the vessels which were to take part into line. Twenty minutes later the signal for the start was given, and the vessels moved slowly in double line from Forty-fifth street down North river, past a fleet of war vessels, toward Liberty Island. This procession was in charge of Lieutenant-Commander Rich, and consisted of two divisions. The first division was headed by the United States coast survey steamer Gedney, and consisted of all the larger vessels. The second divisions consisted of tugs and miscellaneous craft of all descriptions. The vessels presented a beautiful sight as they steamed down the Hudson. On reaching Liberty Island, they passed astern of the man-of-war anchored below the island then up between them and the island, till they came abreast of the statue head on tide, where they remained at anchor until the end of the ceremonies at that point.

The crowd in Madison Square when the President reached the reviewing stand was vast; the streets were choked up and Broadway was clogged with vehicles and cars above and below the intersection of the line of march. When Governor Hill mounted the platform he was cheered, but when Bartholdi, the sculptor, appeared and was easily recognized by the mass, who had seen his portrait on programmes and in the illustrated papers, a shout went up from those nearest the stand. The cry of "Bartholdi" was then caught up by both the reviewing an grand stands. The crowds on the avenue curbings up and won heard the name and passed it to the people in the park and side streets until the heavy air was shaken with a roar of cheering that must have gladdened the heart of the Alsatian, who bowed his acknowledgements. And then, in carriages driven to the rear of the stand, came Mr. Cleveland and his party. Instantly he was recognized, and again the crowds shook the welkin with their shouts, and from the housetops and windows of hotels came shouts and sounds of clapping hands to swell the sound that like a wave broke over the park and flowed down the streets and along the avenue, where, in the misty distance, the trappings and pomp of the head of the column was seen moving. The Signal Service operator at the Twenty-eighth Street station made known the fact to the throngs by waving a flag, and the pressure increased toward the avenue and the people became packed more closely if it were possible.

On the reviewing stand President Cleveland was presented with three handsome baskets of flowers, the gifts of young ladies in the city. As the various military and civic organizations passed they saluted by presenting their colors, and the President responded by lifting his hat. Nearly every band in passing played the "Marseillaise," the French national hymn. As soon as the procession had passed President Cleveland and party were driven to the North river, and were taken on board of the United States steamer Dispatch.

A grand stand was erected in front of the pedestal of the statue, which with the surrounding ramparts, was crowded with invited guests. The speakers stood on a raised platform facing the statue. The oration was delivered by Mr. Chauncey, M. Depew, and the address of the presentation of the statue on behalf of the American committee was made by Wm. M. Evarts, president of the committee. President Cleveland then responded, officially receiving the completed statue, after which speeches were made by M. Bartholdi and delegates from the French Republic. As Mr. Evarts concluded his address the flag enshrouding the great statue was drawn aside; a salute was fired from the fleet of war vessels. The entire statue, the pedestal and the fortifications of the island were elaborately decorated and draped with French and American flags.

At the conclusion of the ceremonies of unveiling at the base of the statue, a National salute was fired from the men-of-war and from all the forts in the harbor. A battery of six guns was fired from the ramparts in front of the pedestal, and the whole harbor resounded with reports of cannon. During the firing the guests embarked and the flotilla again formed in line and returned in double column to the city, headed by the United States steamer Dispatch.

The closing ceremonies in the evening were a magnificent display of fireworks by James Payn, given on Liberty and Governor's islands, together with a grand illumination of French and American men-of-war. The pyrotechnic displays were the most wonderful and elaborate that have ever been witnessed in this country. The funds for the fireworks had been generously provided through the patriotic efforts of Mr. Henry Clews and E. B. Harper, Roswell P. Flower, Cooper & Hewitt, D. Willis, James Cash, Levi P. Morton, W. E. Conner & Co., S. V. White, Cyrus W. Field, Tiffany & Co., Joseph W. Drexel, C.N. Bliss, Wm. Rockefeller, Wm. H. Webb and Thurber, Whyland & Co. The failure of Congress to provide money for a fitting display of fireworks on the occasion of the unveiling of the great statue led Mr. Clews and the other gentlemen named to agree to furnish the necessary money provided the displays be given by James Pain, of Manhattan Beach, under the direction of the New York World. When Mr. Pain was spoken to in regard to the matter he generously offered to double whatever sum was raised by the patriotic friends of the statue and give a programme that would fully realize their expectations. The ground had been gone over by an agent of Mr. Pain and no trouble or expense was spared to make the displays the grandest ever witnessed in this country. The vast materials for the fireworks had been specially prepared for this occasion by Mr. Pain, and several new effects in pyrotechnics were introduced. The displays were begun with the lighting of the great torch for the first time, and were given simultaneously on Liberty and Governor's islands, including some sixty separate pyrotechnic pieces. With slight variations the fireworks were the same on Liberty island and in front of old Castle William, on Governor's island, and were set off by maroon signals from the statue. The displays were largely aerial and were visible from all parts of the harbor, although the best positions were the Battery and Brooklyn Bridge, or from the decks of excursion steamers midway between the two islands. The war ships were anchored about Liberty Island, the French men-of-war on the north and the American squadron on the south side, toward Staten Island. The yards and rigging were manned by sailors, and the marines were drawn up on the decks along the bulwarks. Brilliant calcium lights burned from the extremities of the yards and fore and aft on deck, while the men stationed in the rigging and along the decks were supplied with colored [illegible]. The displays on the men-of-war took place at intervals.

General Schofield had given orders for a file of one hundred soldiers to be drawn up at intervals of a few yards along the water front facing the Battery. They were supplied with torches filled with colored lights, and at a signal from the statue on Liberty Island they were all lighted. The torches were so arranged that the French colors were given first, followed by the red, white and blue of the American ensign. This charged of national colors was repeated several times and ended up a variegated display of colored fires.

After this the salute given by the Board of Aldermen was fired at the Battery.

The famous statue, by Bartholdi, of "Liberty Enlightening the World" was received at New York, June 29, 1885.

The French vessel Isere, with the statue on board, was escorted up the bay to Bedloe's Island by a number of United States men-of-war and other vessels. The statue stands on Bedloe's Island - hereafter to be known as Liberty Island. At the entrance to New York harbor. Bartholdi, it is said, conceived the idea of creating a colossal statue to symbolize American's message of liberty to the world while sailing up New York bay on his visit to this country in 1871, with heart depressed at the ruin and wretchedness in his native land after her defeat by Germany. On his return to France he suggested to his friends his idea of such a statue to be presented by the French nation to the United States. The idea was received with great favor, and so rapidly did subscriptions come in that in 1876, the sculptor began work on his great statue. M. Bartholdi supervised every step of the work which was not only a labor of many years, but one full of difficulty and detail. The first steps toward its construction were made in 1874, when the French-American union was established, a banquet given and an appeal made to the people of France. In 1876 the sculptor began actual work. First the artist made his model in clay, and when this was approved a plaster statue was made; in dimensions it was one-sixteenth the size of the intended statue. Another plaster statue four times as large as the first, and a third one, of the full dimensions of the finished work were made. The last model had to be made in sections, and a wooden frame-work was constructed on which the plaster was spread. When these sections were completed, wooden models were used, exact copies of the plaster in size and modeling. These were carefully cut out by hand, and in them were shaped the hammered brass work which forms the outside of the statue. Eighty-eight tons of brass were used in the statues, and the entire weight of the statues is 450,000 pounds.

In 1876 M. Bartholdi, with the extended right arm of the statue - the first part that was completed - came to America and placed the arm and torch in the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia, whence it was subsequently removed to Madison Square, New York. In February, 1877, Congress set apart Liberty Island for the statue, and a committee was chosen with William M. Evarts at its head. The face and head of the statue was completed in 1878, when it was placed in the French Exposition, and on July 7, 1880, the great figure was completed in Paris where it was temporarily put together the following year in the presence of the United States Minister and a gathering of prominent French people. This statue is a free gift of respect and good will from the people of France to those of America. On the tablet is the inscription, "4th of July, 1776." It may well rand with the wonders of the world, for in design and achievement it is a model of sublime conception notably wrought out. The pedestal on which the statue stands was built with funds raised in this country by private subscription...

The statue weights 450,060 pounds or 225 tons.

The bronze alone weighs 200,000 pounds.

Forty persons can stand comfortably in the head, and the torch will hold twelve people.

The total number of steps in the temporary staircase, which leads from the base of the foundation to the top of the torch is 402. From the ground to the top of the pedestal 195 steps. The number of steps in the statue from the pedestal to the head is 154, and the ladder leading up though the extended right arm has 51 rounds.

The Herald-Dispatch
Decatur, Illinois

1893 - The United States Supreme Court legally declares the tomato to be a vegetable.

The question whether a tomato is a fruit or vegetable has finally been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. Several years ago some imported tomatoes came through New York City, when the Collector classified them as vegetables and collected duty accordingly. The importers disputed this point and claimed tomatoes to be a fruit and entitled to come in free. The matter was taken into court, which decided in favor of the Collector's claim that the tomato is a vegetable.

The Charlotte Democrat
Charlotte, North Carolina

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

1913 - CHILD RISES FROM COFFIN. Shock of Temporary Resuscitation Kills Aged Grandmother.

Butte, Ca.,  April 25. - While members of the family and relatives were grouped about the open coffin of Mrs. J. R. Burney's 3-year-old son yesterday listening to the funeral service, the body moved and presently the child, clad in its shroud, sat up and gazed about the room. His eyes caught those of his grandmother, Mrs. L. P. Smith, 81 years old. The aged woman stared at the child as if hypnotized. Then she sank into a chair dead.

As she fell the child dropped back into its coffin, from which it was quickly snatched by the mother.

A physician said there was no hope for the little boy, and death came a few hours later.

Today there were two coffins in the Burney home. Double services were held, and the child and its grandmother were buried side by side.

The Washington Post
Washington, District of Columbia

1860 - Hanging of Horse Thieves in Arkansas

FORT SMITH, Ark., Oct. 4.
This afternoon a man named Martin H. Gilliam, alias Wm. Owen, formerly of Johnstown, Bates county, Missouri, was hung for horse stealing in the presence of a large concourse of citizens. - He was arrested some weeks since, and an effort made to hang him, during which he broke away from the rope, and was shot down while in the act of escaping. He escaped from jail, last night, and to facilitate his flight, stole another horse but was retaken this morning at Van Buren and returned to this place.

Shortly after his execution, another prisoner was brought into town, charged with the same offense. He was examined on the street, confessed the crime, and was soon swung up alongside of his brother in crime. The second victim was a Choctaw half-breed, named Shoat. The citizens have become greatly incensed against horse thieves, as their offenses of late have been bold and numerous.

The Tiffin Tribune
Tiffin, Ohio


Fayetteville, Ark., Feb. 5 - Mrs. Mary E. Wellman and her daughter have accomplished, a ride on horseback which makes the 90 mile ride required of the army officers look small in comparison. They rode alone from El Paso, Texas, to Fayetteville, Ark., a distance of 1,500 miles and undertook the hard journey for the sake of education. The daughter is now in college and doing well. Mrs. Wellman tells the experiences of her trip in the following graphic words:

"Necessity, and a desire to keep our horses, which to us are members of the family, compelled us to undertake the ride. Our collie dog Flossie, came with us. Climate and educational advantages attracted us to Fayetteville, Ark. My daughter Marguerite has been a rider for six years and is just 16. Almost daily, in New Mexico, her rides were from eight to ten miles, but I was no rider and avoided learning, so I had reason to dread the undertaking, especially at 53 years of age.

"Our first day's ride was 30 miles and from that on, except in deep sand and when our horses got sick in North Texas, we rode from 20 to 30 miles a day.

"When we left El Paso, Tex., on horse back, we had $12.50. At Pecos, Tex., we received money from my son, and after horseshoeing and other expenses were paid, left there with $20 in pocket. Ten cents was all we had when we reached McAlester, in Oklahoma, and were disappointed in not finding money awaiting us, so we left there without a cent, and were forced to beg our way to Fort Smith, Ark. There again was money from my son. So much for the financial side of the trip and that we got through safely and with so little is due to the big-hearted Christian spirit of the western people.

"We were 73 days on our journey. Yes, we were armed, and twice had need of them, but contrary to report it was the white toughs who gave us trouble and we went to Indians for protection.

"We traveled some scarey country alone, not seeing a human being from half to a whole day at a time, and I tell you we felt safer on horseback than in a wagon. We could run.

"In crossing the dangerous San Bois creek in Oklahoma, both horses got off the levee which was covered deep with swiftly running water, and old Daisy had to swim out of water up to her back. Even the dog found it difficult to swim. There is much in our experience of interest, but  it would take too much space to tell. We drew our courage from a consciousness of Divine Protection."

The Chanute Daily Tribune
Chanute, Kansas

Monday, June 16, 2014



PROVIDENCE, R. I., Dec. 4. - The worst wreck ever experienced by the New-York and New-England Railroad occurred at East Thompson, Conn., at 6:30 o'clock this morning. Four trains collided with each other, killing three men and injuring four others.

The trains in collision were the Long Island and Eastern States Line limited express from Brooklyn to Boston; the boat train from Norwich, bound for Boston; the regular freight going east from Putnam to Boston, and the Southbridge freight from East Thompson, bound west. The scene of the accident is about ten miles from the Rhode Island line, and the nearest station of importance in Woonsocket, sixteen miles away.

The two freight trains were on the north track and the two passenger trains on the south track when the accident occurred. There were in reality two collisions, the first occurring on a spur track to the north of the two main lines which run through East Putnam.

At the hour named on the spur track, having the right of way on the west-bound track, it was a foggy morning, and without warning the east-bound freight from Putnam suddenly rushed down upon the Southbridge freight. Both engines were demolished and the freight cars on the spur track were forced back with terrific force.

A flat car and two long freight cars were pushed over the bank running along the track. Cars were also thrown over on the main line, and before any one could think, down dashed the Long Island and Eastern States Line Limited Express from Brooklyn. A second later the engine of this train had turned completely around, and lay on the bank below the tracks, a wreck. Near by lay the headless body of the engineer, Harry W. Taber, and the mangled remains of the fireman, Gerald Fitzgerald.

The express consisted of two passengers cars, Nos. 171 and 172, and the two Pullman vestibule sleeping cars Cato and Midland. There were twelve passengers, nine of them in the sleepers. One passenger was killed. he was in the Pullman car Midland.

The fourth train struck this particular car. This was the boat train from Norwich, bound east. There had not been sufficient time for any person to go up the track to warn this train before it turned the curve leading into East Thompson. The curve hid the scene from the engineer of the boat train. The result was that it crashed into the rear end of the Long Island train.

Immediately the cars took fire, and the Midland burned. A young man in the rear end of it lost his life. The only remains found were a watch and a few charred bones.

The conductors on this train, on which all the loss of life occurred, escaped uninjured. They were George H. Cross of Boston and Frank E. Jennison of 212 East Thirtieth Street, New York. Michael J. Flynn was the regular fireman on the limited, but he was taking a day off and was on the train bound for Boston. He was uninjured, but his substitute was killed. Two years ago a similar accident occurred, and Flynn's substitute was killed in a wreck.

Of the passengers in the "Midland," W. T. Colburn of 120 West Forty-seventh Street, New York, was bruised, and Frank Barber and John Chandler of Boston had flesh cuts in the leg. Their car, it is stated, was lighted by kerosene.

The second Pullman, "Cato," was a solid vestibuled car lighted by gas, which the conductor turned out as he escaped.

The other passengers on the train were: Mrs. G. Christine, 584 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn; B. L. Kilgour, Boston; J. G. Piodela, Hempstead, L. I.; J. N. Flanders, Boston; George W. Dalton, Brooklyn. They were not injured.

Of the cars of the limited train nearest the engine one was but little damaged The others had the windows and frames torn out on one side for half its length. The tender of the Long Island engine was knocked to pieces.

The boat train was in charge of Conductor C. H. Ingalls of Dorchester, who had only his thumb hurt. Edward Hurley of South Boston, engineer, and William M. Londe of Dedham, fireman, were thrown down the embankment and rendered insensible for a time. They were not seriously hurt, but their engine caught fire from the blazing Pullman car. The express car was burned. The smoker and a regular coach were pulled out of danger. There were over thirty persons on the train and they were thrown violently forward by the shock of the collision, many of them sustaining severe bruises.

No one was reported as seriously injured on the two freight trains.

It was late to-night before the work of clearing this part of the wreck was half done. The station is in an out-of-the way place, the telegraphic facilities amount to almost nothing, and information of the affair was not received until the morning was well advanced.

One of the station officials gave as the cause of the accident the statement that East Thompson was not notified that the freight was coming down from Putnam. The Southbridge freight he considers was in its proper place. The reason that the two trains which follow each other going to Boston were wrecked was because there was no one in a position to warn them in time, The fog and the curve in the road prevented the engineers of the fated trains from seeing the obstruction until it was too late.

The Fire Department from Webster, Mass., was summoned to extinguish the fire, but the "Midland" was completely destroyed. The bodies of Fitzgerald and Taber were removed to Webster, and after being prepared for burial were forwarded to Boston, where the men reside.

The damage to the railroad company will exceed $300,000.

Superintendent Lovering of the Adams Express says that his company is a sufferer by the smash-up, but to what extent he is unable to state.

Superintendent Grant of the New-York and New-England Railroad attributed the accident to the dense fog, which he said obscured the vision of the engineers and prevented them from seeing each other's trains. At midnight the main tracks were cleared and the work was still in progress at the spur track.

The New York Times
New York, New York
December 5, 1891

Friday, June 13, 2014

1871 - Mary's Little Lamb

The Worcester Gazette has become nauseated by the many recent effusions concerning "Mary's Little Lamb," and disposes of the animal in this way:

"Mary had a little lamb,"
We've heard it o'er and o'er,
Until that little lamb's become
A perfect little bore!

So I propose there shall be dug
A grave both deep and wide,
In which that lamb and all its bards
Be buried side by side.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
March 4, 1871

1871 - Express Delivery

At Denver, Col., a few days ago, a man tried to have himself sent by express to Newtown Corners, Mass.,  by securing himself in a box expressly manufactured by himself for that purpose. The box was five feet long, three feet high, and furnished with provisions and all necessary articles pertaining to a bed chamber. The express company refused to receive the box, which was valued at $300, on account of its insecurity. The box was left standing on an end, with the man in it, at the express office, for two hours, the man standing on his head all that time, as was afterward discovered. As the box was being removed, the man stirred while endeavoring to remain perpendicular, which led to his detection. The box was addressed to himself, and was so artfully arranged that he could have escaped at pleasure before reaching his destination.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
March 4, 1871

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

1918 - One bolt of Lightning, 504 Sheep Dead!

July 22, 1918 - A single bolt of lightning struck 504 sheep dead in their tracks at the Wasatch National Forest in Utah. Sheep often herd together in storms, and as a result the shock from the lightning bolt was passed from one animal to another.

Monday, June 2, 2014

1899 - Tornado Ride

April 24, 1899 - Two women and one son lived to tell the story of being picked up by a tornado and carried more than a fourth of a mile, flying far above the church steeples, before being gently set down again. The young boy and one of the ladies said they had the pleasure of flying alongside a horse. The horse "kicked and struggled" as it flew high above, and was set down unharmed about a mile away.

The Weather Channel

Thursday, May 22, 2014

1868 - Wheeled Back to Health

Mention was made some time since of the resident of Watertown, N. Y., who wheeled his wife on a wheelbarrow from that place to Saratoga. The trip was undertaken, on the advice of a physician, for the benefit of the wife's health. Recently the couple passed through Utica on their way home, the woman restored to health, and walking beside her husband, who wheeled the empty barrow.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
August 22, 1868

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1869 - A Fishing Story

Two citizens of Jackson, Miss., went out fishing, got fifty miles away from home, and out of money, and finally, as a last resort, went to the Sheriff of the county,  told him they were escaped convicts from the Jackson Penitentiary, gave themselves up, and were taken home without the expenditure of a cent. The Sheriff's feelings, on realizing the joke, may be imagined.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
July 3, 1869

1886 - "Egg Sociables"

"Egg Sociables" are now prevalent in Kingston, N.Y. Every young lady brings an egg along, writing her name on it. Each young man draws one of these eggs out of a bag, and must act as an escort for the young lady whose name is inscribed on the egg he draws.

St. Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
April 10, 1886

1884 - New Eyelid

Mr. P. Sexton, of Elmira, N. Y., will soon have a new eyelid. Mr. Sexton, as will be remembered, was the engineer of the train that rain through a sea of burning oil near Bradford, Pa., last January. He was severely burned. Parts of his nose and ears are gone, while both lower eye-lids are burned away, leaving no protection to the eyes. A prominent physician of Elmira volunteered to repair the engineer's mutilated face, and recently preformed a plastic operation for the restoration of one of the lids, literally making a new eyelid. When it heals, the same operation will be made on the opposite side. - Buffalo Express.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
October 25, 1884

Monday, May 12, 2014

1886 - Seventy-four Years Married

WESTPORT, Ct., April 18. - Captain Alfred Taylor, of the Poplar Plains District, some two miles north of the town of  Westport, is now in his 95th year. He is the oldest voter in Fairfield county, and one of the oldest in the State. He owns a farm of several hundred acres, and has worked upon it during a period of more than two generations. His wife, Mrs. Chloe Taylor, is 92. Should they live till Good Friday, April 23, they will have completed seventy four years of married life. A diamond wedding will be held in their honor, to which hosts of friends will be bidden, and in which every descendant and relative will take part.

Captain Taylor, when asked about his great age and the rapid flight of time, says he is unable to realize where the years have gone. To him the events of remote periods which he has witnessed seem to have occurred but yesterday. He is a Democrat of the Jeffersonian school, and cherishes the memory of "Old Hickory." When Mr. and Mrs. Taylor began in life, there was not a railroad or telegraph in existence, and few of the inventions and appliances which make the close of the nineteenth century memorable. Captain Taylor, though troubled with deafness and a slight dimness of sight, physically is well preserved, though during the winter he has passed most of the time in the kitchen, listening as some of his grandchildren read, or exchanging sentiments with Mrs. Taylor, who differs with him in politics and has the faculty of maintaining the sentiments of her arguments. This aged couple have resided sixty-one years in the house which is to be the scene of the diamond wedding.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
April 24, 1886

1870 - A Puzzling Letter

The postmaster at San Antonio, Texas, was not long since puzzled by the receipt of a letter from New Orleans, directed to "My Mammy, living in the City of San Antonio." One day, however, a small, fierce looking old woman appeared at the post office window, saying, "Mister, have you got any letters there from my Johnny?" The letter addressed to "My Mammy" was at once given her at a venture, and the suspicion that it was intended for her proved correct.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
June 25, 1870

1878 - How a Hat Saved a Life

MAJ. RUBE ALLEN, Com. Vanderbilt's favorite veteran engineer of the Central Road, a man of giant stature, with a brave heart, which is as tender as a woman's, had a new hat for one of the freight brakeman of the road when he can find the right man. One day last week he was coming to Utica, drawing an express train. Just as he approached one of the small stations he saw the foreman of a section gang standing sideways in the middle of the passenger track, apparently watching a passing freight train. Rube quickly tooted his whistle, but the noise made by the freight must have drowned it, for the foreman never stirred. He continued the signal, whistled for brakes and reversed, but the man stood still as if in a reverie. The locomotive had approached so near that Rube could hear the brakeman who stood on the top of his train call out to the trackman and see him move his hands despairingly, as if he feared that he could not save the man. The express was running at a high rate of speed, and could not be stopped in time.

The old engineer was about to shut his eyes to avoid a sight of this mangled victim, when he saw the brakeman pull off his hat, roll it into a ball and throw it at the man. Fortunately, it hit him squarely on the head, and giving a quick backward motion, the trackman just cleared the rails as the locomotive went thundering by. Old Reuben says his heart seemed to come up in his mouth for a minute, and he could not help crying out for joy. He knew that the quick-witted brakeman's old hat was cut to pieces, and he says that he should have a new one "if he never lays up a cent." -- Utica (N. Y.) Herald.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
September 21, 1878

1878 - A Little Traveler

The passengers by the through Intercolonial train from St. John, N. B. to Montreal, which arrived at Bonaventure Station this morning, was very much interested in a little girl about seven years of age, who was traveling alone, friends having placed her aboard the train at St. John on Tuesday night, and left her to the tender mercies of passengers. She was very neatly dressed, and had a white pasteboard card tightly sewed to the left shoulder of her jacket, upon which was written in a neat, lady-like hand, the following: "Nellie Carr - Please forward to Detroit thence to Lawton by Michigan Central Railway." Carefully pinned in her pocket she carried an envelope inclosing a half-fare ticket "St. John to Detroit." A basket (nearly as large as herself) containing an ample supply of cookies, doughnuts, buns, etc., and a "little dollie" which she very tenderly nursed, completed her outfit. She told your correspondent quite confidentially that she had money enough in the toe of her boot to pay her fare from Detroit to Lawton. She added, however, that her auntie had very strictly cautioned her against telling anyone that she had any money, as there were a lot of bad men traveling who would take it away from her. Her father is to meet her at Lawton, where she will arrive (if she makes her numerous connections all right) next Friday night. All who saw here on the car wished "little Nellie" a comfortable trip, and a safe and speedy arrival at the end of her long and tedious trip of 1,700 miles, and trusted she would continue to the end of her journey to be the "pet" of the train and the "special charge" of its passengers, as she has thus far. - Montreal (Can.) Witness.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
September 21, 1878

1880 - "An Ingenious Insurance Fraud"

Not long ago a cattle dealer named Grunbaum living at Zsolna, in  Austria, disappeared. As he was known to be in fair circumstances and good health, it was naturally apprehended that he had fallen victim to foul play, and a diligent search was instituted. The result was that in a wood not far from the town a mutilated corpse was found, in the pockets of the clothes of which were letters addressed to Grunbaum, and which was at once recognized by Grunbaum's wife as the body of her husband. Not very long before his disappearance Grunbaum had insured his life for $5,000 in one office and for $2,500 in another; after the funeral these sums were claimed by his widow, to whom everything was left by the will of the deceased. Before the policies were paid, however, the suspicions of one of the offices were excited by some chance; inquiries were made, and finally it was discovered that Grunbaum was still alive. He was at once arrested; and it has been now established that he himself murdered a stranger he met in the woods where the body was found; dressed the corpse in his clothes, putting on himself those of the dead man, and place his letters in the pockets of his victim. His wife was to draw the policies payable on the death of her husband, and the two then intended to emigrate under another name to America.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
July 10, 1880

1888 - Marriage by the Glove

A marriage by proxy, or as it is called, "marriage by the glove," is prevalent in Holland, and is brought about by the fact that many of the eligible young men, after having finished their education, depart for Dutch India. A friend selects a willing young lady, generally one with a substantial dot and otherwise conforming closely to specifications of the letter. A photograph of the favored one is inclosed [sic] in the return epistle. After the lapse of a few months, a soiled left-hand glove, with a power of attorney, is received from the far-away bachelor. The friend in Holland marries the selected bride in exactly the same manner as if he were the actual groom, and the young wife departs in the next India mail steamer to bring happiness to the lonely one in the far East. A marriage of this description is as binding as if the bridegroom were present, and is never repudiated. If either party to the glove marriage should die before meeting in India the survivor would share the property of the deceased in accordance with the law. - Boston Traveler.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
September 29, 1888

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

1871 - Assassination Attempt

An attempt was made to shoot King Christian, of Denmark, the other day, and the shooter was arrested and brought before the King. Christian told him he could not praise his skill as a marksman, and advised him to practice before he repeated the shot, and then released him.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
March 18, 1871

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

1885 - Skating Rinks Are Okay...

Rev. T. L. Drury, of Rutland, Vt.,  a few weeks since preached a sermon on skating rinks and masquerades. He said the skating rinks met with his approval as long as they did not interfere with the church and duties of Christians to attend divine worship. As long as skating rinks remain pure and moral, so long he should stand up for them. - Mirror of American Sports.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
February 21, 1885

1878 - Magic Spring?

A phenomenal spring is said to exist at Kittery, Me. Whenever a drought becomes so severe that other springs go dry, this one bubbles up until rain enough falls to replenish the others, when it immediately subsides.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
June 1, 1878

Friday, March 28, 2014

1876 - Shower of Flies

Canada is not to be outdone by Kentucky's meat shower, and hence has had a shower of flies millions of which accompanied a recent snowstorm on Monday week, at Riviere du Loup . Jules Verne, in his "Mysterious Island," anticipated both of these wonders by a flock of white sea birds which covered the land and filled the air so thoroughly that they were mistaken for a snow-storm. The baking of a dog scared them, however, and they rose the true nature of the phenomenon was perceived. There is room for several new marvels before the summer and snake story season.

Date: April 06, 1876
Location: Ohio
Paper: Cincinnati Daily Gazett

Saturday, March 15, 2014

1874 - Curious Clock

A Thompson, Connecticut, clock company has shipped a curious clock to San Francisco, to be placed in the tower of the greatest hotel on the continent, where it will furnish the time for 500 dials, which are to be operated by compressed air carried in pipes all over the building. The building has 500 rooms and there is to be a dial in every room.

The Galveston Daily News
Galveston, Texas
February 24, 1874

1860 - Throwing Brickbats in Sleep

A young man residing in West Thompson, Connecticut, rose in his sleep, Sunday night crawled through the attic scuttle to the roof of the house, commenced loosening the bricks from the chimney, and throwing them upon the roof. His father, alarmed by the noise, called him sharply by name, when the son awoke, lost his balance and fell to the ground. He escaped serious injury.

St Cloud Democrat
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
May 24, 1860

1861 - Canadian "Matres-Familias."

A venerable French-Canadian lady, Mrs. Genevieve Lemoine, died lately at Sorel, Lower Canada, at the good old ages of 92 years. She left, to mourn her loss, a rather numerous family; for she was the mother of 16 children, the grand-mother of 146, the great-grand-mother of 163, and the great-great-grand-mother of 4, thus standing at the head of a legion of 330 persons, belonging to five successive generations.

Examples of that kind are not uncommon in Lower Canada, and travelers agree that it would be difficult to find a more prolific race than the French stock of that country. Families of a score of children are not at all extraordinary on the happy banks of the St. Lawrence, and one may meet every day, in the hilly streets of Quebec, with very good looking ladies - let us call them fair, fat, and forty - in company with pretty young ladies, quite grown up, who are not their daughters, as one might easily suppose, but their grand-daughters!...

The Times-Picayune
New Orleans, Louisiana
April 7, 1861

1874 - 3 Votes Not Enough

An enterprising voter of Cleveland, Ohio, voted three times for a sheriff of Cuyahoga county in the late election. Of course, a candidate so ably voted fro was elected, and the voter, having been convicted of voting, was sent to the penitentiary for three years. One good turn deserves another, and the sheriff for whom the voter voted saw him safely to the prison.

Date: December 25, 1874
Location: Louisiana
Paper: New Orleans Times

1908 - Luxury Tax on Bachelors

The Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, has issued an "irade" declaring that bachelors should be taxed. Evidently His Honor believes that single-blessedness is a luxury that should be paid for. However that may be in Providence, Rhode Island, it certainly does not hold good in Scranton.

The Scranton Truth
Scranton, Pennsylvania
August 24, 1908

1873 - 91 year-old elected President

Joseph Sweet, ninety-one years of age, has been elected President of the Eagle National Bank at Providence, Rhode Island. Whether Joseph will make it sweeter for himself or the bank is not definitely known.

The Indianapolis News
Indianapolis, Indiana
April 24, 1873

1901 - C. H. CHICKERING'S WIDOWS - Four Women Claim the Estate of a Plainfield (Conn.) Man.

Special to the New York Times.
NEW HAVEN, Dec. 31. - The question as to how many widows C. H. Chickering, the former proprietor of the Plainfield (Conn.) Hotel leaves is one that is likely to keep the courts busy for some time to come. Chickering was found dead in Albion yesterday, and there are thus far four claimants for his estate from women who show certificates of their marriage to him.

Chickering appeared in Plainfield last Summer and bought the hotel, and, on account of his address an popularity, soon became a leading light in the village. There was a woman with him who he said was his housekeeper. He disappeared on election day just as the Sheriff arrived to attach his person.

His housekeeper claimed to be his wife, and three days later a woman from Springfield, Mass., arrived with the same claim. It was then stated that Chickering was engaged to marry the daughter of a well-known farmer in the district.

Since then two other women have appeared in search of their missing spouse, and there was a general reunion to-day over the body in Albion.

Chickering was killed by a freight train while walking on the railroad track.

The New York Times
New York, New York
January 1, 1901

1872 - Didn't Feel A Thing

A case illustrative of the power of drink to deaden the sensitiveness to pain occurred at Windsor, Conn.,  October 5th. An Englishman employed in one of the mills, while drunk and lying on the track, was run over by the train and lost a leg. The accident was not discovered until the next morning, when a man who was walking on the track found the leg encased in a boot, and soon traced the man a short distance from the spot, finding him still alive. The surgeon subsequently amputated the limb, and the man was very much surprised when he regained his consciousness at discovering what had happened.

Date: October 16, 1872
Location: California
Paper: San Francisco Bulletin

1873 - For the Love of "Rob"

A widow in Dorchester, Mass., has been three times married. Her first husband was Robb, the second Robbins and the third Robinson. The same door plate has served for the whole three, and the question now is, what extended name can be procured to fill out the remaining space on it.

Harrisburg Telegraph
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
March 1, 1873

1877 - Avid Reader

Publishers of newspapers seldom meet with such conscientious subscribers as one Mrs. Butts, of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Although seventy-five years old, she is reported to have recently walked from her home to New Bedford - a distance of fourteen miles - for the sole purpose of paying her subscription to a newspaper of that town.

Delaware County Daily Times
Chester, Pennsylvania
November 27, 1877

1826 - So young...

At Concord, (Mass.) there is a female, not yet eighteen years old, who is a widow for the second time!

Date: August 10, 1826
Location: Maryland
Paper: Baltimore Patriot

Friday, March 14, 2014

1880 - Rats!

A farmer in Preston, Conn., who was troubled with rats, purchased a cat with a reputation as a mouser, and rats were soon among the things that were. But on going into the cellar, one day, he saw rats sharing the noonday meal of the cat. The cat appeared to be charmed by them. The farmer allowed the strange friendship to exist for several days.

Jackson Citizen
June 22, 1880

1874 - Get Out of Bed!

There is a man in East Lyme who has kept his bed for six years because he was once disappointed in love. He isn't sick, but simply chronically sorry that he didn't get that girl. His mother waits upon him constantly. The man had a brother who once lay abed for five years.

The New York Times
November 8, 1874

Thursday, March 13, 2014

1843 - Holy Cow!

Ira Fenton, of Belchertown, Mass.,  has raised a Durham cow, which is now eight years old, and weighs 1740 pounds. On the 29th of May she brought a calf, and the owner had the curiosity to measure her bag, it was two feet in depth, two feet in length, and eighteen inches in width! The calf was then put upon one side, and 90 pounds of milk taken from the other side at the same time. After the calf had done, 21 1-2 pounds more were taken from that side! - Twenty-four highly respectable citizens of Belchertown attest these facts in the Northampton Democrat.

Date: September 21, 1843
Location: New York
Paper: Emancipator

1873 - Championship of "Fat People" ?

Shaftsbury, Vermont, can put forward a claim for the championship of the State on fat people. Living in that town, which has a population of only 2,000, are five persons (four of them in one district) who weigh between 262 and 300 pounds. Among the five is a young lady, seventeen years of age, whose weight is 275 pounds, while one other maiden tips the scales at 300. The other three are of the male persuasion, and the lightest one of them weighs 262 pounds.

The Indianapolis News
Indianapolis, Indiana
October 4, 1873

1880 - Strange Series of Misfortunes

Daniel Cornwall, of Auburn, New York, was the victim within the twenty-four hours ending at noon yesterday, of a singular series of misfortunes. On Wednesday evening he was severely injured by the upsetting of a load of hay. At midnight of Wednesday, his house and barn, with all his furniture, hay, grain, horses and cattle, were destroyed by an incendiary fire. Yesterday morning his ice wagon was demolished by a runaway accident.

Delaware County Daily Times
Chester, Pennsylvania
May 14, 1880

1877 - Printers are upstanding citizens?

There are only three printers confined in Auburn, New York, prison. Among the convicts can be found twenty-seven clergymen, forty-two lawyers and thirteen doctors.

The Independent Record
Helena, Montana
September 9, 1877

1854 - Convicts and Religion

Examinations made at Auburn, New York, showed that out of nine hundred convicts, only forty-seven had ever been in a Sabbath School, and that of these only seventeen had been regular scholars.

Daily Free Democrat
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
November 11, 1854

1880 - "Evil" Water

Some time ago a mysterious epidemic broke out at North Adams, Massachusetts, and for several weeks everybody was wondering what it could be caused by. The pious were a good deal disposed to hold that it was some sort of a judgment. The Kearneyites thought that it was the natural retribution for employing Chinese in the shoe shops. But after all it turns out that the water of the town is responsible for the sickness, and that no supernatural causes were concerned in it. An engineer made a map of the town and having carefully ascertained the direction of the epidemic, found that it followed the lines of the water pipes with a regularity far too stead to be ascribed to accident. He then traced the course of the water up to an old mill dam, which proved to be full of impurities, yet which nobody had ever suspected. Doubtless North Adams is not the first town that has been poisoned by bad water, or that has attributed the evil to everything but the right cause.

The Record-Union
Sacramento, California
July 23, 1880

1880 - Dangerous Work

The Mosbray nitro-glycerine works at North Adams, Massachusetts, have been blown up three times. They have had ten superintendents, eight of whom were killed by explosion, one blinded, and the last is in charge and waiting his turn.

The Indianapolis News
Indianapolis, Indiana
October 13, 1880

1871 - Missed Opportunity?

An aged woman in North Adams, Massachusetts, relates that many years ago, while attending a social dance, a young mechanic asked for her hand for one of the dances. She indignantly refused, feeling very much mortified that he should make such an offer. Years have passed, and she has filled an honorable but humble position in life, while the young man whom she then scorned has been Governor of Massachusetts.

Tri-Weekly Era
Raleigh, North Carolina
August 31, 1871

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

1875 - A Useful Sort of Pastor

The Boston Traveller tells a story on Mr. Williams, the ancient pastor of Dudley, Massachusetts, who was a practical christian. One sultry summer Sunday, says the legend, the sound of distant thunder heralded the approach of a shower. Suddenly the preacher stopped, and peering from side to side through the church windows, as if observing the tokens of a change in the weather, he quietly said: "Brethren I observed that our brother Crosby is not prepared for the rain. I think it our duty to help our brother Crosby to get in his hay before the shower." With that he descended from the pulpit, and with several of his bearers, proceeded to Mr. Crosby's hay field where they worked half an hour, or until the hay was housed. The staunch old clergyman then returned to the church and resumed his discourses. 

Williamsport Sun-Gazette 
Williamsport, Pennsylvania 
June 15, 1875



Pittsfield, Mass., Sept. 3. - The President of the United States escaped a tragic death by only a few feet in a collision between his carriage and an electric streetcar in this city today, while one of his most trusted guards, Secret Service Agent WILLIAM CRAIG, was instantly killed and DAVID J. PRATT of Dalton, who was guiding the horses attached to the vehicle, was seriously injured. President ROOSEVELT himself was badly shaken up, but received only a slight facial bruise.

Secretary CORTELYOU, who occupied a seat directly opposite the President in the carriage, sustained a minor wound on the back of his head and Governor CRANE, who sat beside the President, escaped without a scratch.

The carriage was demolished by the impact of the rapidly moving car and the wheel horse on the side nearest the car was killed. The crew and passengers of the car escaped injury.

The President and party were driving from this city to Lenox, through South Street, one of the principal thoroughfares of Pittsfield, which was lined with cheering people, and the catastrophe happened in plain view of hundreds whose happiness at the advent of the nation's chief was suddenly turned to grief.

Thousands had poured into the city in the early morning from the country to see and hear the President, and his address at the City Park had been loudly cheered. At the conclusion of the exercise he wished to make a brief call on former Senator Dawes, whose house in Elm Street is but a short distance from the park. The President's carriage, on which he had ridden in from Governor Crane's home at Dalton, was accordingly driven to the Dawes residence and carriages containing a number of other gentlemen in the party followed. President Roosevelt's call was a short one and then the carriage returned to the City Square.

After a few minutes delay the journey to Lenox was begun. Meanwhile the mounted escort of police officers and the carriages containing the newspaper correspondents, who have accompanied the President on his tour, had started off ahead on the road to Lenox and were some distance in advance of the President's equipage. Three or four other open carriages fell in line immediately behind the landau, in which the President rode with Secretary CORTELYOU and Governor CRANE. Secret Service Agent CRAIG, who, through the New England trip, has been almost constantly at the President's elbow, was on the driver's box beside Coachman PRATT.

Out through South Street is a broad highway. The tracks of the Pittsfield electric street railway are laid in the center of the road, with ample room for the teams on each side, and scores of vehicles of every description followed along this road behind the President's party. Shortly after he left the park an electric car which had been filled with passengers at that point started toward Lenox well behind the procession. It passed all of the teams and was about a mile and a half out from the city at the beginning of Howard Hill and was nearly up to the President's carriage, which was traveling on the west side of the highway.

Just at the foot of Howard Hill the road bends a little and teams are compelled to cross the street railway tracks to the east side. The railroad then continues alongside of the street instead of in the center. Just at this point the upgrade of the hill begins, and but a short distance beyond the crossing there is a narrow bridge spanning a small brook.

The trolley car approached the road crossing under a good head of speed, with gong clanging, just as the driver of the President's carriage turned his leaders to cross the tracks.

On each side of the executive's carriage rode two mounted troopers of the local cavalry company, and the horseman on the left for the landau had turned on to the track with the trolley car immediately behind him. Alarmed by the clanging gong, they both turned in their saddles and waved vigorously to the motorman to stop his car. Almost at the same instant Governor CRANE who quickly perceived the danger, rose to his feet and likewise motioned to the motorman.

The latter in great excitement desperately tried to stop his car, but it was too late. It crashed into the carriage as a loud moan went up from the frenzied on-lookers who thronged the roadside and who but a moment before were cheering the President.

The horsemen managed to get the frightened animals out of the way just in time, and the car struck the rear wheel of the carriage on the left side and plowed through to the front wheel of the vehicle, which received the full force of the blow. The carriage was upset and one horse fell dead on the tracks. The other three powerful grays attached to the vehicle started to run, and, dragged by them and pushed by the force of the car, the wrecked carriage was moved thirty or forty feet.

CRAIG fell from his seat immediately in front of the car and it passed completely over his body. Driver PRATT in falling struck the dead horse immediately in front of him and rolled off clear of the car, thus escaping a similar fate.

President ROOSEVELT, Governor CRANE and Secretary CORTELYOU were thrown together in the bottom of their carriage. Almost instantly a score of men jumped to the heads of the frightened horses and stopped their further progress. Governor CRANE was the first to get on his feet, escaping entirely unhurt. He turned immediately to the President, helped the latter to arise and together they assisted Secretary CORTELYOU.

The President's lip was cut and blood was flowing from the wound. His clothing was much disarranged and he was severely shaken up. Secretary CORTELYOU had a severe wound in the back of his head, from which blood was flowing freely. The President quickly regained his composure and the three soon after repaired to the residence of Charles R. Stevens, near the scene of the accident. CRAIG'S body was found just behind the car. His shoulders and chest were crushed and the body frightfully mangled.

Driver PRATT was found unconscious in the road. His shoulder was dislocated, his ankle sprained and his face badly cut and bruised. He was immediately placed in a carriage and taken to the House of Mercy, where he was attended by Doctors Flynn and Paddock who tonight say that he will recover.

CRAIG'S body was taken to the residence of Mrs. B. Stevens, adjoining the house which the President had occupied with Governor Crane and Secretary Cortelyou, and later was removed to undertaking rooms in this city. But a few moments after the collision, Drs. Colt, Thomas and Woodruff arrived and attended the President and his secretary.

San Francisco Call
San Francisco, California

1865 - 19 Marriageable Ladies

In one short street in Pittsfield, Mass., there are nineteen marriageable young ladies, and not an offer. Chicago will supply the nineteen offers on demand - so says a Chicago paper.

Pittsfield Sun
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
February 09, 1865

1900 - Suicide was 105 Years Old

Last Survivor of Nipunk Tribe Sets Her House on Fire and Dies Rather then Go to the Poorhouse.

WEBSTER, Mass., Jan. 7. Investigation of the causes which led to the burning to death last night of Lucy Boston Johnson, aged 105, the last of the Nipunk Indians, makes it evident that she committed suicide to escape being taken to the Town Farm. It was first thought that she was the victim of an incendiary fire.

It is now said the woman threw a lighted candle into a bundle of rags which lay in a corner of her dwelling. She was to be taken to the Town Farm to-day. She had repeatedly told the Overseer of the Poor that she would never consent to be an object of charity, but would destroy herself first.

The condition of William Fogarty, who was seriously burned in a heroic effort to save Mrs. Johnson's life, is precarious. Fogarty rushed into the burning house and dragged the woman out of doors.

January 8, 1900
The New York Times
New York, New York