Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: fire

Saturday, December 28, 1912

Local antiquities are now on display in the rotunda of the Champaign postoffice, including an old envelope bearing the postmark of West Urbana, the original name of Champaign. It is dated April 8, 1856.

A silver dollar was found in the brain of the father who was killed, along with his family, in the horrible Christmas train accident. The portion of the skull in which resided the dollar was overlooked at first, having been flung to a different location. “The coin will be kept by relatives as a sad, as well as curious, memento of the fatality.” The little girl who survived has regained consciousness and is improving; her first words upon awakening were, “Hurrah for Santa Claus!” The family was buried today in a single grave at Mount Hope cemetery.

A sixteen-year-old girl has confessed to having set fire to the same Brooklyn building seven times. “I don’t know why I did it, only I just love to watch the flames. The blaze is so pretty,” she said. “But I do not mean any harm by it.”

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:
incredible

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.

Saturday, December 14, 1912

In Lincoln, Illinois, a fire started in the Moose lodge while a candidate for membership was “riding the goat,” ending the initiation and causing a lot of damage. “During the stampede the Moose saved all their furnishings except two pool tables. The goat butted his way out safely.”

This evening hat is very striking, but who would have the courage to wear such a thing? It is made of black tulle, trimmed with rows of black pearls, and covered with a great number of bird of paradise feathers. Are they really wearing this in Paris now?

kind of a Robert Smith vibe, actually

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.

Monday, October 28, 1912

“A telephone lineman known to the authorities by no other name than ‘Turk,’ is being held by the Champaign police for suspected implication in a burglary at the Co-op. store on Wright street, early this morning, but because of the bungling of Ed. Lee, negro constable, it is very doubtful where a charge can be made to stick.” Constable Lee saw ‘Turk’ walking back in forth in front of the building at 3 o’clock and suspected he was acting as “look-out” during a burglary. He arrested the man and took him to the city prison, leaving several students on guard at the Co-op. The students let the burglars get away.

The worst fire in Champaign in years destroyed the textile factory at the corner of Green and Neil streets early yesterday morning. About one hundred workers are now out of employment. No one knows how the blaze started.

Finally, a local Methodist preacher believes that he is the target of a Mormon conspiracy, and he has taken out a large advertisement in the paper in order to state his concerns.