Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: alcohol

Monday, December 30, 1912

Here is the entirety of a front-page article about a man who is not dead:

“A rumor circulated on the streets Saturday evening was that Neil (Army) Armstrong, who until recently lived at 910 West Illinois street, this ciyt [sic], had been killed. There were different reports as to the manner in which he met death, but all agreed on the main issue—that ‘Army’ was no more. On Sunday the story was proven to be a canard. Its origin was traced to a North Market street habitue who was having alcoholic hallucinations.”

In Kankakee, a Miss Mary Crocker is suing the highway commissioner of that county for $2,000. “She alleges that he attempted to kiss her and placed one arm around her, greatly to her embarrassment.”

The “Suffragette Pilgrims” have reached Albany ahead of schedule, having walked 174 miles from New York in twelve days. They will present a message to Governor-elect Sulzer advocating votes for women.

Friday, December 27, 1912

At the Thursday meeting of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, the fact was brought out, quoted from unnamed eminent scientists, that 94 per cent of the criminal class are drunkards.

Governor Clark of Alaska is gloomy because there is a marked decrease in population in his territory, which he attributes to the falling off of mining, inadequate land laws, the prohibition against the killing of seals, and “the remarkable public calumnies about Alaska.” He is asking Congress to enact legislation permitting the working of the Alaskan coal lands.

The Kellogg Toasted Corn Flake company is charged with fixing prices in violation of the Sherman law. For some reason, seeing the headline “U.S. WARS ON CORN FLAKE MONOPOLY” made me giggle.

Wednesday, December 4, 1912

A man with a hatchet attacked another man opposite the Birely-Conaway grocery store last evening. “Angered because Roughton had threatened to complain against him for starving his aged mother, Castle imbibed freely of bootleg courage and started after his enemy.” Chief Lindstrum saw the man making wild swings with the hatchet and disarmed him before he could do any harm.

“The happiest ‘woman’ in all New York today is standing out in the middle of the river, with one arm raised over her millions of fretful sisters to show that a goddess still can be a goddess even if she does have to wear made over clothes winter and summer.” The government has spent $20,000 to repair the Statue of Liberty.

Monday, December 2, 1912

Champaign police raided two more bootlegging joints. The first, at 407 North Neil street, just north of the Beardsley hotel, belonged to Sam Lowry, a former drummer at the Walker opera house. Ten men were taken, including a prominent Champaign lawyer. The other raid was conducted at the home of Mattie Johnson, a negress, at 32 North Oak street, and five white men were arrested there.

“Owing to the fact that a large number of negroes employed on the construction work, have thrown up their jobs with the approach of cold weather, the Urbana & Kankakee Traction Company will employ white men exclusively from now on.”

In Minneapolis, two chorus girls from a burlesque house danced rag time dances on the platform of the pulpit of a church, illustrating the preacher’s sermon on “Praise Him With the Dance,” and the audience “fairly gasped at this. No matter how brazen, the dance was performed, the ‘turkey trot,’ the ‘crab crawl,’ the ‘tortoise tango,’ the ‘Jelly Wobble,’ ‘tangleworm wriggle,’ the ‘grizzly’ and all others known to these two girls of the stage.”

Three suffragettes were arrested in Aberdeen, Scotland, for attempting to kill David Lloyd-George, chancellor of the exchequer. One of the women had what she believed to be an infernal machine, which she intended to hurl at the man when he appeared to make a speech; but she had been duped, as the box contained only firecrackers, rather than the powerful explosive she expected. In any case she was found before she had a chance to throw it.

Saturday, November 30, 1912

The Illinois Central railroad will establish a town near its new shops, a mile and three quarters directly north of Urbana, out Lincoln avenue. “Connection with Urbana by an extension of the Lake Shore line of the street railway system will be a matter of but a short time and it does not require much foresight to realize what the new town will eventually become a suburb of Urbana.” Villa Grove was started the same way a few years ago, by the Frisco Railroad Co., and it has grown into a city of about 3,000 inhabitants.

“When Bass Shriver was led forth from the city prison this morning to answer to a charge of intoxication, he was greeted by many friends, all ready to pay his fine should he be broke. The popular Bass pleaded guilty and paid out.”

Thursday, November 14, 1912

James Cain, a farmer, appeared at the Lewis store where Margaret Lowry works as a bookkeeper and asked to escort her home. Months earlier she had rejected him, and so she refused, but he persisted until she agreed. On South Randolph street near her home, he exclaimed, “This is a good place,” and hit her twice on the back of the head with a hammer. Her condition is critical. The mangled body of her attacker, which could only be identified by his ring and hat, was found scattered along the Illinois Central track; it is believed to be a suicide.

James Eaton, the man who went mad with drink on election day and tried to kill a man at the polling place, was arrested yesterday. He was at the side of his dying baby and pleaded to be allowed to stay, but he was taken to the jail.

A Chicago woman was placing lighted blessed candles on the graves of relatives, when her clothing caught fire. A man ran to her and wrapped her in his overcoat, quenching the flames, but she was fatally injured.

After those stories of horror, I don’t know what to make of this next one. At first I thought it might be a made-up story because of the names. In Philadelphia, Magistrate Coward decided that it is no crime to call a policeman a “gink.” Policeman Pill of the vice squad had arrested Jack Hanlon, a former pugilist, whom he accused of calling him a gink while Pill was on duty. Said the judge, “I’m called worse things than that a dozen times a day. I don’t care how you take it. If that is all that the man said you had no right to arrest him.” During cross-examination by Hanlon’s lawyer, Pill admitted that he did not even know what the word meant.

Thursday, November 7, 1912

An unknown negro shot “Red Ben” Barnett in the arm at Woody Mathews’ pool room on Market street in Champaign. “Red Ben” is a notorious bootlegger who was recently ordered to leave the Twin Cities and never return.

The Progressive party intends to put up candidates in every district for the 1914 election, when a new house of representatives will be elected. Said Colonel Roosevelt, “The Progressive party has superseded the Republican party. All we need to do is to keep steadily on with the fight and we will win.” Fight, fight, fight. Reading all of this news just makes it clear to me that politics is too important to be left in the hands of the men.

Wednesday, November 6, 1912

Woodrow Wilson will be our next president, and it looks as though the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives will go from 64 to 100; the Senate will probably go from a Republican majority of seven to a Democratic majority of one. Theodore Roosevelt said, “The American people by a great plurality have decided in favor of Mr. Wilson and the Democratic party. Like all other good citizens I accept the result with entire good humor and contentment.” The progressives did far better than the republicans overall. Governor Wilson said a great many things, but the odd bit that struck me was this: “I got up on a chair so that you could not see the patch upon my head.”

The democratic landslide was felt here as well. Congressman McKinley’s re-election bid was defeated by 800. “Boyd Blain, republican candidate for circuit clerk, alone survives the slaughter.” The unofficial chart of local district votes shows the progressives to be very strong. Roosevelt won in Illinois by over 85,000 votes. A straw vote at my school and and Leal School likewise went badly for Taft, although McKinley did far better.

An intoxicated man fired a shotgun at another man at the polling booth at the Collins store on Hill street. His first shot missed, but his sister managed to disarm him before he could get off another shot.

And to wrap up today’s election journal entry, I feel I must paste in this clothing shop advertisement:

Friday, September 13, 1912

Lewis Stone and family returned to their home west of Tolono last night and found a maniac there. “The man, a huge fellow, about sixty-five years old, repelled their attempts to enter, screaming that he owned the place, that he had built it up in the wilderness and that no one could take it from him.” The family ran to a neighbor’s and telephoned for help, and a posse subdued the “wild man.”

Milton Bass, “the negro who stole Dr. J. D. Mandeville’s horse and buggy some time ago,” says he plans to plead guilty in circuit court on Saturday. The prisoner is suffering from a “loathsome constitutional disease,” and his jailors are anxious to be rid of him before he dies in jail.

People here are talking about cremation, because a Champaign physician directed that his remains should be cremated after his death. It is sanitary, and there is no need to purchase and maintain a cemetery plot. Although cremation is growing in favor in larger cities, many people regard it as barbarous.

And finally, the Monte Carlo girls burlesque company was said to have behaved admirably last night at the Illinois, “even foregoing the Salome dance, which is calculated to climax the show and send everybody home in a dizzy state.” A fellow named Izzy was part of the show, and apparently he was not so naughty as in times past. “Izzy used to be a tough duck but has improved in more genteel company.”