Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: transportation

Saturday, November 9, 1912

The entire Champaign police force raided Hattie Gara’s notorious maison de joie at 201 North Water street in Champaign last night. Mrs. Gara, nine male patrons, and five female inmates were taken to the station. The patrons, whose names are listed in the paper, settled this morning for $7.50 each; Mrs. Gara and her girls await a hearing, but the usual fine is $27.50 for the proprietor and $17.50 for each girl.

A hardware store and a grocery were burglarized last night, although not much loot was taken: six razors, several knives, and a shaving brush from the hardware store, and nothing at all from the grocery, although a window had been pried open. The police have sent to Danville for bloodhounds.

A woman brought two boys who had been shooting pigeons into the Urbana police station. “Chief of Police Lindstrum disarmed them, taking an air rifle from one and a ‘nigger-shooter‘ from the other.”

The University of Illinois has opened a new archaeological museum in Lincoln Hall. Many interesting things are there, including the head of an Egyptian mummy!

A Chicago woman, the wife of a Democratic committeeman, sat in her home all night, reading election returns. She remarked, “I am glad Wilson won, because he is a good man.” A moment later, she fell dead, probably from strain caused by the election.

And finally, a hydroaeroplane beat an automobile in a race from Omaha to New Orleans. “The flying machine showed its ability to go about three miles to the automobile’s one, except when the automobile was using the best of roads.”

Friday, November 8, 1912

Today is a day for terse, single-sentence reports.

A street car was derailed at the sharp turn at Lincoln and Oregon streets, knocking down a telephone pole and giving the passengers a bad fright.

President Taft has issued a proclamation declaring the last Thursday of November to be an annual holiday of Thanksgiving.

The famous tragedienne Sarah Bernhardt was attacked by a bear in a London museum.

Monday, November 4, 1912

The Twin City Ministerial association has decided to set apart December 8 as a “white plague day” in the churches of Champaign and Urbana. At least 129 people in the county are afflicted with tuberculosis. The Champaign County Anti-Tuberculosis Health league is seeking more funds in order to open a free dispensary to the poor in the Twin Cities.

A woman telephoned police headquarters and said, “A man at 803 East California street is beating his wife something awful,” but the police declined to interfere without a warrant.

The Twin City Equal Suffrage league will bring the noted author and lecturer Charlotte Perkins Gilman to speak in town on December 5. It is likely that the Illinois theater will be the location.

A motorman was severely injured and two horses killed when a street car struck a dairy wagon on West Oregon street yesterday. The wagon driver, by a miracle, escaped injury. Witnesses say that he drove onto the track in front of the car while the gong was ringing.

Finally, James S. McCullough, a candidate for state auditor and an Urbana man, is “the only soldier of the Civil War on the Republican State Ticket. He lost an arm in battle for his country,” says his rather large campaign advertisement.

The Silent Grey Fellows

This ad appeared in the Daily Illini on October 20, 1912.

Production rose to eight units in 1904, then to 16 the following year, reaching 50 in 1906, when the original black finish was joined by Renault Grey. In years to come, the company’s quiet motors and grey paint would prompt riders to nickname Harleys the “silent grey fellows.”

Harley-Davidson 1923–1928

For me, the phrase recalls the Gentlemen in that creepy Buffy episode, “Hush.”

Tuesday, October 29, 1912

Vice-President Sherman lies at the point of death. He has Bright’s disease and a weakened heart. His doctor did not disclose his critical condition until last night. “The secretiveness of the physicians was undoubtedly inspired by a desire to hide the true situation regarding Mr. Sherman’s illness in the closing hours of the campaign, in which he is a candidate for re-election to the second highest office in the land.”

A couple from Fort Wayne, Indiana, eloped by flying 71 miles to Hillsdale, Michigan, and wrecking their aeroplane during the landing. They were married in their hospital beds.

Surgeons in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, removed 102 nails, two keys, a button hook, and a partly digested three-inch iron spike from the stomach and intestines of a man they are calling “the human ostrich.” The man has craved metal since accidentally swallowing some shingle nails ten years ago.

Finally, there is a short article mocking Johns Hopkins university for studying “the blues” as a mental disorder. Whoever wrote the piece (for it is not attributed) says that “the blues” has its origin in the stomach or liver and recommends “a dose of calomel followed by a sane system of eating and living.”

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.

Auto Bargain

This ad appeared in the Urbana Courier-Herald on October 18, 1912.

Friday, October 11, 1912

On Wednesday, T. F. McCaferty ran his automobile through the plate glass window of the Kelley shoe store at Main and Neil streets in Champaign, but he “evidently was not content with so mild a form of excitement” and last evening drove his machine in front of a street car at State and Church streets. “The auto was smashed up, but McCaferty escaped with a severe shaking up.” Perhaps Mr. McCaferty should abandon the idea of motorcars altogether and get himself a nice horse and carriage.

The University senate may very well forbid the giving of the agricultural dance this year. “The chief objection against the dance is the large number that attend. The members of the senate committee are convinced that on this account the control of the dancers is well nigh impossible.” If you lose control of dancers, what happens? Do they careen into walls?

Thursday, October 10, 1912

Two locomotive injuries are in the paper today. A man attempted to mount a moving Wabash engine, which had just started after a stop at the gas house crossing in Champaign, and fell beneath it, his leg being crushed off below the knee. He is in the Julia F. Burnham hospital, where he is reported to be in satisfactory condition.

A colored Pullman porter was alarmed by a crowd shouting what he took to be threats, when in actuality they were warning him of an approaching engine. “I heerd folks hollerin’ at me and it seemed dey wuz sayin’, ‘Ketch dat coon!—ketch ‘im! Dar he goes!’ Now it appears dat what dey sho’ nuff said was, ‘Look out for de keers, you blame fool niggah.” He was examined by a company surgeon, found to have a badly bruised hip, and taken to the poor farm.

There are rumors that a prize fight has been held, or may be held, in a barn near Mayview. Sheriff Davis is on the alert.

Garry Nordo, of Fifth and Vine streets in Champaign, has been “persecuted through some mysterious agency” for some time now. Last night a set of harness was stolen from his barn, and that was the last straw for Mr. Nordo. He sent to Paxton for a bloodhound, and this afternoon the hound (the charge of Deputy Sheriff Sid Cool) and a large crowd are on the trail of the “Black Hand,” which so far has led to north Race street in Urbana, near the city limits.

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.”