Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tuesday, December 24, 1912

This story is so bizarre that I am simply going to copy the whole thing into my book:

“James Jackson, aged nineteen, terrorized the Jympsum neighborhood, twelve miles north of Vandalia, when he shouldered his shotgun and said he was going to celebrate Christmas. He ‘shot up’ the houses in the neighborhood and set fire to his mother’s house, but the flames were subdued. A dozen men in the immediate neighborhood tried to capture Jackson, but when they attempted to close in on him Jackson opened fire, and in the melee he shot and wounded six of his pursuers. Then he went to the home of his grandmother, Mrs. Eliza Wilkie, set fire to her house and burned it completely. Constable Carroll and posse started out to capture Jackson and found him in a dazed condition with his clothes nearly burned off. Jackson was brought to Vandalia and is in a serious condition as a result of his burns.”

I took scissors to today’s paper to save this picture of a clever umbrella:


Should Trousers Become General


This cartoon appeared in the Urbana Courier-Herald on December 24, 1912. The word balloon reads, “Mother! Sis has gone to the theatre in my dress suit and I haven’t a thing to wear to the shop.”

Monday, December 23, 1912

This is so sweet! The University students who were barred from the Saintz club dance—because they brought chorus girls as dates—got together their own impromptu dance in College Hall, with the four “Mother Goose” girls as guests of honor. “It was stated today that the young women belong to excellent families and that one’s mother is chaperoning the four while on the tour. Miss Nora Busey of this city is acquainted with them and had them for her guests on an automobile ride whie [sic] the company was here.”

From Rhinebeck, New York, comes the headline “RICH MEN HEAR SUFFRAGISTS.” Vincent Astor, Frederick Vanderbilt, Mrs. Vanderbilt, and Miss Huntington came upon the five suffragettes who are hiking to Albany, as the women were addressing a crowd of 300 in front of the hotel. “The five women have now covered 98 miles of their journey. All are in good spirits.”

And goodness me, there are female highwaymen (highwaywomen?) in Boston!

Sunday, December 22, 1912

I have been very busy today! Here is a little joke from the Siren:

SENIOR (nervously): Dearest, there’s been something on my lips for weeks.

CO-ED (sympathetically): Why don’t you shave it off?

Saturday, December 21, 1912

Four University students brought show girls as dates to the Saintz dance in Elks’ hall and were asked to leave. When it became known that the girls were from the “Mother Goose” chorus, currently appearing at the Walker, there was “indignant whispering,” and the Saintz were asked to oust the offending couples. “It fell to Chancey Finfrock to extend the invitation to the octette to do the vanishing act, which he did with as much gallantry as the circumstances would permit.” Saintz club members admit that the chorus girls were well mannered and did nothing objectionable while in the hall.

Elsie Slade is missing again, a colored chiropodist wept “great scalding, briny tears” over his arrest, a housewife whipped an impudent tramp, and a Missouri girl played piano while her school burned to the ground.

The Finest Gift

no other Christmas gift so appreciated

This ad appeared in the Urbana Courier-Herald on Friday, December 20, 1912.

Friday, December 20, 1912

The first trip over the new electric line between Kankakee and Urbana was a rousing success. Congressman William B. McKinley, the president of the ITS, bought ticket No. 1 with a bid of $100, and F. K. Robeson secured No. 2 for $50. Children at schools along the track were dismissed to see the car go by, and one lucky class was invited aboard the second car for the remainder of the trip. At Thomasboro, the passengers were greeted by the village brass band at the gaily decorated new station. Everyone expected the trip to end there, as the trolley wire is only up as far as Thomasboro, but instead they were taken to the end of the new track, just south of Rantoul; this was accomplished by coupling a steam locomotive to the electric cars.

President Taft is very cross with the president of Mexico, and the United States is on the verge of occupying that country. Four warships are at the ready in Mexican waters.

Thursday, December 19, 1912

An odd story appeared on the front page today, with the headline “NEGRO WAS UP TO SOME LAWLESSNESS.” Below the headline, it says, “Mulatto Skulks Behind Trees on West Main Street and Runs When Discovered—Acts Strangely.” For the life of me, I cannot understand why this warrants a story in the newspaper. Here is the article in its entirety:

As W. E. Cook of South Busey avenue was returning home at 8 o’clock Wednesday night, a negro, who had been hiding behind a tree in the 500 block on West Main street, darted out and ran by him. Getting some distance ahead of Cook, the man began walking slowly, evidently waiting for the former to overtake him. Cook armed himself with a brick, whereupon the negro ran south on Coler avenue, but returned to Main street after waiting for Cook to get out of sight. The prowler is described as a tough looking mulatto.

In Peoria, railroad men caught three girl hobos. The girls said they had been on the road for weeks, having traveled many hundreds of miles, and were happy. They were bound for Lexington, Missouri. “The fair tramps had all the train times down in a little notebook.”

Wednesday, December 18, 1912

A polite, well-dressed highwayman held up Miss Fannie Redding last evening on West Elm street, within half a block of the Race street business district. He said, “Excuse me, lady,” and relieved her of her purse, which contained only a small sum of money but was itself valuable.

In Belleville, Illinois, a riot was caused when two young women danced the forbidden steps of the “turkey trot” and the “bunny hug” at the assembly of the Modern Woodmen. They refused to stop, a policeman was called, and both were arrested. “The riot followed and more than a dozen men were injured.”

Tuesday, December 17, 1912

Once again I am disinterested in the stories in the newspaper. Instead, I’ve clipped this advertisement from the Courier-Herald. It shows the many wonderful things that may be done about the household using electricity, although it seems that they are prone to having silly names. (“Good afternoon, ladies. Allow me to introduce you to my chafing dish, El Eggo!”) It is all still quite wondrous; why, you could even light your Christmas tree by electricity.

don't forget the useful and handsome El Stovo