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

1884 - Walked to Massachusetts from California

Warren B. Johnson, aged sixty-five years, who left California on foot June 1, 1882, with a horse, cow and dog, arrived at his home in Webster, Massachusetts, Friday night, all the animals accompanying him.

Arizona Weekly Citizen
Tucson, Arizona
May 24, 1884

1866 - Snake Prank

In Webster, Mass., recently, some young man placed two small brown snakes in a kind of fancy paper basket, filled the opening with flowers so that the reptiles could not crawl out, and hung the device up on the door know of a house were some young ladies were boarding. The basket and contents chanced to be found first by the most timid of the young ladies, who upon withdrawing the flowers and seeing the serpents crawl out upon the table, was so much alarmed that she fell in spasms, and is still in a very weak and nervous condition.

Flake's Bulletin
Galveston, Texas
June 15, 1866

1945 - Maker of Bomb Very Depressed

Southbridge, Mass. August 17 (UP) - A scientist who helped develop the atomic bomb said today, with permission of the War Department, that he became so depressed over the possibilities of the projectile, that he hoped its eventual use "would fail".

Dr. E. D. Tillyer and Dr. Alexis G. Pincus, research scientists at the American Optical Company, disclosed today that they kept their work secret even from their wives for the past two and a half years.

"Every few months", Dr. Tillyer said, "I would be overcome by depression. My wife couldn't imagine what was wrong but as a realization of what the atomic bomb would mean became clearer with time, I would become depressed and wish that nobody had ever thought of it and that efforts to develop it would fail.""

The Citizen Advertiser
Auburn, New York
Friday, August 17, 1945