Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: Illinois

Monday, December 16, 1912

Henry Bussman and “Swipes” Phillips were arrested when the Champaign police raided an alleged bootlegging joint on North Walnut street. “Bussman is an ex-bank clerk who has been on the toboggan for several years.” I asked Papa what “on the toboggan” meant, and he said it referred to going downhill. I am a little cross with myself for failing to deduce that right away!

The first car on the Kankakee-Urbana “university route” electric line will leave Urbana at 2 o’clock Thursday. Souvenir tickets cost $5 and up, and whoever offers the highest price will take the first slip. The car will reach Thomasboro and return late in the afternoon.

In Chicago, the federal government has filed an anti-trust suit targeting the Elgin Board of Trade (the “butter trust”) and the American Association of Creamery Butter Manufacturers, which are charged with conspiring to fix the price of butter in the interest of big manufacturers and cold storage concerns, to the detriment of small producers and the consuming public.


Wednesday, November 13, 1912

Am I the only one who finds typographical errors amusing? I was amazed to see that in this Kaufman & Company advertisement, they managed to spell “chrysanthemums” correctly but failed utterly at “Illinoisans,” “Champaign’s,” and “loyalty.” I don’t even know what to say about “There are FREE.”

A man in Benton, Illinois, purchased a revolver and vowed to kill all the “Bull Moosers” with whom he came in contact. First he entered a grocery store, but the weapon failed to discharge, and he was arrested and later adjudged insane and taken to the asylum.

In New York, the notorious suffragist Maud Malone was found guilty of wilfully disturbing a public meeting. When Woodrow Wilson spoke in the Brooklyn academy of Music on October 20, Miss Malone insisted on knowing his views on woman suffrage. “Since Mr. Wilson has never committed himself on that subject he evaded her question. Miss Malone insisted, and was arrested.”

Election Eve Snippets from the Urbana Courier-Herald

Theodore Roosevelt can’t win the election, says this little ad, and if you vote for him, you are essentially voting for Woodrow Wilson, who is a college professor, which apparently is a bad thing. (Why, yes, the Courier-Herald was staunchly Republican.)

Here is an enormous ad outlining the shining properties of William B. McKinley in Congress. It says that he has voted with the “Progressive branch of the Republican party” and that if he is replaced with an inexperienced person (persumably of the Progressive Party), calamity will likely ensue.

And this ad for Louis A. Busch, the Democratic candidate for state’s attorney, interested me because he avers, “I have never held a public office, nor been a candidate before.” It’s like the opposite of the McKinley campaign’s assertion! In another ad, it states that he’s an “Urbana boy,” which I suppose counts for something.

Sunday, November 3, 1912

There was very little that caught my interest in the Daily Illini today. Congressman M’Kinley did take out a large advertisement there to promote his campaign, and since it does not fit my little journal, I will copy it out instead:

CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS, November 1, 1912.


My parents brought me to Champaign fifty-four years ago. My father became the Presbyterian Minister here. Champaign then was a small village. Our income was very small; I was a poor boy. When I was sixteen years old I went to work in drug stores in Champaign and Springfield. Three years later I came to Champaign and worked as a clerk for my Uncle James B. McKinley. In a few years he made me a partner in his farm loan business. When I was 25 years old I installed the water works system in Champaign. I lost most of the money I had in this venture. In 1890 I bought the Horse Car Line between Champaign and Urbana and changed it to electricity. It was one of the first electric lines in the United States. On account of the undeveloped state of electrical appartus [sic] we had much trouble in keeping our cars going. People said that the new system was not the thing and we would lose our money. I knew it would succeed.

I sold the street car line and electric light business here in 1892 and bought it back in 1899. When I bought back the property the price of gas was $1.50 per thousand cubic feet. I have reduced the price of gas to $1.00 and the price of electricity to the merchants of Champaign and Urbana from fifteen cents per Kilowatt hour to six cents per Kilowatt hour.

In 1903 I became interested in building interurban roads. I have built 600 miles of interurban roads in Illinois, and have induced my associates to put into these roads $20,000,000.00. I think that this is a good thing for Champaign County and for the State of Illinois.

In 1904 I was elected to Congress. I have tried to vote for all of the bills that have been beneficial to the people of my district. I have been in Washington long enough to know how to do things for my people. I know I can accomplish more for my people in Washington than a new man could.

In my campaign this fall I have slandered no one. I have called my opponents no hard names—said nothing against their characters. I requested the speakers who spoke in my behalf to follow this same practice.

I have been vilified and misrepresented beyond measure by the speakers of the Progressive Party, who have tried to make this a campaign of personalities rather than one of principles.

The people of Champaign County know me. I stand on my record.

I will appreciate their votes.

Sincerely yours,

Wm. B. McKinley

Monday, September 30, 1912

Two men claim to have seen a biplane fly over Urbana at ten o’clock this morning! “There is considerable speculation over the event as coming of the stranger of the air was not heralded.”

The sorority rushing season closed on Saturday “amid bedlam on John street. A burlesque band of students paraded in derision, while whirling autos driven by co-eds, carried pledges from their rooms to the sorority houses. There was plenty of excitement for two hours.”

John Philip Sousa, who will be here on Thursday, loves trap shooting. “Although he is an excellent shot, it is said he misses clay pigeons oftener than he allows a member of his band to play a false note.”

On Friday and Saturday at the state fair, Madame Somebody-or-Other from Cuba will drive her automobile down a 75-foot incline and turn a triple somersault! (I cannot make out her actual name, because there is a spot of jam over it. Strawberry, I believe.)

Illinois Socialists filed their list of presidential electors and University of Illinois trustees with the secretary of state; all of the trustee candidates are women of Chicago. And finally, the champion corn husker of Illinois sued another man for $20,000, charging “alienation of his wife’s affections.”

Saturday, September 21, 1912

A dairyman fell asleep in his wagon and was struck by an Oregon street car last night at California and Broad streets. Neighbors arriving on the scene found the wagon quite damaged and the team down, but “Bud” Smith was still snoozing on the seat. He said over and over, “Them ___ ____ fellers run too fast.” Worried that his arm was “busted,” he asked bystanders to “feel that lump.” The “lump” was his elbow. The motorman and conductor of the car stated in their official report that Smith was very much intoxicated.

Gordon Pettigrew, who is charged with implication in the death of Edna Vice as the result of an effort to produce an abortion, was brought up from Albion by Sheriff Davis last night. He only learned this morning that the girl was dead. Pettigrew, an eighteen-year-old member of a well-to-do family in Southern Illinois, would only say, “I’ve only been with that girl three times.” Before her death, Miss Vice confided to relatives that a Champaign physician, to whom Pettigrew had taken her a week ago, had performed a criminal operation on her.

The Bull Moose crowd in Urbana are very excited because Teddy Roosevelt may be here Monday. Roosevelt is to make a trip of three days on a special car through Illinois towns. An itinerary is given in the article.

Eugene V. Debs, the presidential nominee of the Socialist party, invited President Taft to enter into debate, but the president declined.