Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: interurban

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.

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.

Tuesday, October 22, 1912

The Urbana progressives have this to say today: “Fellow voters, in the coming election let us forget our old party traditions that made us vote for Satan himself if he bore the right party label. Let us be men for once and all and show our manhood and good common sense by casting our ballot for Theodore [Roosevelt], the greatest man now living.” Col. Roosevelt indeed seems like a great man, but is that the quality that makes a good president? If I were able to cast a vote, I would still be making up my mind about it all. I suppose I would vote based on the issue that seemed to me most important, which now is woman suffrage … and of course that wouldn’t be an issue if I were allowed to vote!

An aged Urbana man named Charles Judd went to Danville on Sunday. He attempted to board an I.T.S. car to return home, but the conductor would not let him on, owing to his intoxicated condition. Mr. Judd angrily hurled a whiskey bottle at the conductor. “Then he ran, and, although an old man, gave two policemen a good race around the public square.” He is now being held on a charge of assault.

Thursday, September 12, 1912

A passenger aboard a local interurban car was carrying three sticks of dynamite. The conductor wired for instructions and was told to put the man off the car. The passenger at first refused to leave but finally did so without trouble. (He was a coal miner.)

“One hears the terrible twang indigenous to this country issuing from kissable coral lips, hears maids in the finest raiment speaking with the hoarseness of ravens or with voices as badly managed as those of monkeys,” says the writer of a column on health and beauty hints. She goes on to explain how one may improve the voice.

Women Republicans of Idaho will hold a woman-only convention this week, presenting a full state ticket with women as the candidates. “They are disgusted at the wrangling within party ranks.”