Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: newspapers

Thursday, December 26, 1912

FAMILY IS WIPED OUT IN HORRIBLE CHRISTMAS TRAGEDY” is set in the largest type I have ever seen on a Courier-Herald front page. “A family of four was wiped out of existence at 11 o’clock Wednesday night in the most complete tragedy ever occurring in this vicinity.” The family’s carriage was struck by a train at Savoy. A little girl, a friend of the family, was the only one to survive, but she was badly injured and may die. They had just been to a wedding near Staley. It is supposed that the carriage was closed and that the driver was unable to hear or see the train. The carriage was reduced to splinters, the bodies of the dead were scattered over a wide area, and the horses returned home, unharmed.

A Chinaman was buncoed by a stranger at his laundry on South Market street. The bunco man showed him a display ad clipped from a newspaper and “informed the washee-washee man that he could have a similar ad in the paper (not mentioning which one) for $2.” The laundryman paid and got a receipt. and later “became suspicious when a diligent search of the local papers failed to reveal his advertisement.”

An explorer named Guy de Villepion planned an expedition into the hidden countries of South America, but nine days after the start in Brazil, his guide stole his boat and supplies, leaving him lost in the jungle. He wandered for three days, subsisting on wild herbs and small turtles, eaten raw. A group of savages made him their prisoner, feeding him their best food for nine days to fatten him before roasting him for their dinner. He managed to escape, and after several days he stumbled into a camp of Portugese rubber planters, who helped him to return to the coast.

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Friday, December 13, 1912

Perhaps it is because it is Friday the Thirteenth, but the entire newspaper bores me today. Here, for example, is an entire article I have had to contend with, bearing the headline “BIG DROP IN GROCERIES“:

“A big drop in groceries took place in Champaign, Thursday afternoon, but not the kind the thrifty housewife is on the lookout for. This drop was in the Penny grocery on South Neil street, Champaign, where all the shelves on the south side of the building, which were overloaded, fell to the floor with one crash. The store was closed all Thursday afternoon while the stock was re-adjusted.”

As soon as I read that, I knew that it was time to close up the paper and go and play with the cat.

Tuesday, November 26, 1912

People were saying that James H. Sullivan, an Urbana plumbing contractor, had been killed yesterday by falling from a bridge at Danville—either by suicide, an accidental fall, or by driving his automobile off it. This morning’s Danville papers, however, made no mention of this, and when the police called Danville on the telephone, they were informed that no such accident had occurred. Sullivan had been missing since Thursday morning, and his brother had gone to look for him last night. “Sullivan turned up this afternoon, very much alive. He gave no explanation of his absence.” So there we have it: a rather large front-page article about Sullivan not being dead.

A tiny item from Harrisburg, buried in “Illinois News by Telegraph,” tells of someone who has died, though. “Mary Stroud, negress, who was accidentally shot in the pistol duel between Policeman Bud Tavender and Andrew Johnson in which Johnson was killed, died. The coroner’s jury exonerated Tavender in the death of Johnson.” How strange. Yesterday’s report of the incident called the woman Mary Baker, and I am not sure how they engaged in a “pistol duel” when all that Johnson had was a slungshot.

Saturday, November 23, 1912

John Schrank, the man who shot Theodore Roosevelt, has been examined by a team of alienists and declared to be insane. He will be committed to an asylum at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Here in town, Arthur Ogle, the Illini editor charged with contempt of court for publishing an editorial, was fined $10 and costs. Judge Philbrick said that the penalty was slight for such an attack on the integrity of the grand jury. “If it had been published in an ordinary newspaper of general circulation I should impose a severe penalty.”

Tuesday, November 12, 1912

“Interest in the indictment of four students for riot, this morning, paled somewhat when Arthur H. Ogle, editor of the Illini, the daily University newspaper, was arrested on a writ of attachment and brought before Judge Philbrick on a charge of contempt of court. An editorial in Saturday’s Illini, entitled “A Mock Tribunal,” in which the grand jury’s method was criticized for its investigation of the recent student riot, resulted in Ogle’s indictment and arrest.”

That is no joke, but here is a joke that also appeared in today’s Courier (“puzzle factory” is a slang term for “insane asylum”):

A highbrow was visiting the puzzle factory. As he passed cell 23 the grinning inmate demanded a hearing. “I must admit that I am at a loss for a suitable reply,” said the highbrow. “Tell me, why is a crow?”

“Caws,” grinned No. 23.

Wednesday, October 9, 1912

This article is so amusing that I think I will just cut it out and paste it in here.

Chicago Tribune Ad Targets Bull Moose

This ad appeared in the September 10, 1912 edition of the Courier-Herald, and presumably in many other newspapers. Can you imagine a major US daily championing a third party in 2012?