Friday, January 25, 2008

Boys Compete for Title of King Cuckoo

Idaho, 1955

Something new in king titles will be bestowed on a Pocatello High school boy Wednesday at the annual Girls Coed dance.

Seven boys are competing for the coveted honor of being "King Cuckoo" at this "girl ask boy” dance under sponsorship of the Girls Council.

Candidates have been nominated also for "King Cuckoo's" court of honor.

The co-chairmen of the dance explained that the girls created the "King Cuckoo" title in keeping with the clock theme of the dance. The decorations are being planned around the song, "Rock Around the Clock."

The dance, which is semi-formal, will begin at 8:15 p.m. in the high school gymnasium. Two hundred fifty couples are expected, and the music will be furnished by Bill Liday's orchestra.

—Idaho Journal, Pocatello, ID, Nov. 20, 1955, p. 16. There's more to this article, including the names of the various candidates, the co-chairmen, etc.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hog Fasts 100 Days

Alabama, 1912

Mobile, Alabama — Pinned under the ruins of a church near Evergreen, Ala., which had blown down on February 21st, a hog was found yesterday alive, and, while weakened from the long imprisonment, was able to eat and drink. The animal was more than 100 days without food and water, perhaps a record for fasts.

—The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, June 10, 1912, p. 16.

Groom's Brother Marries Bride's Sister

New York, 1912

Following the example of their brother and sister, Miss Beatrice Loope and Harold Warner, both of Liverpool were quietly married Saturday night at the home of the Rev. S. R. Ball, pastor of the Liverpool Methodist church. The bride's sister, Miss Nina Loope, and the groom's brother, Fred Warner, were married a year ago by the Rev. Mr. Ball. There was opposition to both marriages on the part of the parents of both couples.

—The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, June 10, 1912, p. 16.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Flames Put Out by Hand Extinguishers

Syracuse, NY, 1912

In an awning fire at the Snowdon apartment house Saturday evening hand extinguishers used in the building put out the flames before the arrival of the Fire department. The blaze was started by a lighted cigarette thrown from a window. The damage was slight.

--The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, June 10, 1912, p. 7.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Story of The Train Wreck at Great Falls, Montana, 1900



Conductor Bingham Tells How His Train Was Ditched.


Switch Thrown Was the Only One Unguarded — Two Carloads of Perishable Freight Caused the Attempt.

The Great Northern passenger train wrecked at Great Falls at 10 o'clock Wednesday night arrived in Anaconda at 3:35 yesterday afternoon. Conductor Frank Bingham was in charge.

Shortly after the arrival of the train Mr. Bingham was seen by a Standard reporter. In speaking of the affair he said:

"It was a miraculous escape and the wonder of it all is that it was not attended by some loss of life. I had all along looked for trouble, but hardly thought that strike sympathizers would resort to such a dastardly trick. Before we left Havre we were threatened with trouble. There were two carloads of perishable freight to be taken through by us, a car of mineral water for Goodkind Bros., Helena, and a carload of beer for John Caplice of Butte. Before we coupled these cars onto our train we were warned. In fact, one of the strikers went up to one of my brakemen, George Alexander, and told him that if he dared to couple those two cars of freight onto the train he would be brained with a link. When I heard this I assumed the responsibility of this work myself. One of the strikers came to me and said: 'Bingham, you would not take the bread and butter out of our mouths, would you?'

"I answered that it had cost me 12 years of hard, steady work to get my present job, and that if perishable freight was attached to my train and I was ordered to take it out, I most certainly would do so. As the brakeman was afraid that some one of the strikers would carry the threat to brain him into effect, I went forward, coupled the cars onto the engine and coupled up the air myself. No one attempted to interfere and we pulled out of Havre without further incident. Our run to Great Falls was made without any trouble, and we got into that place five hours late. It was feared there that there might be some trouble, and deputy sheriffs had been stationed at every switch to prevent any attempt that might be made to ditch our train.

"We were just about clear of the yards when a man rushed out and, after the engine, the two cars of freight and the baggage car had passed over, threw the only switch that was not guarded. I was standing in the front part of the smoker, and when the switch was thrown the car I was in and the day coach went crashing into heavy ore cars standing on the track next to the main line. The sides of the two passenger cars were crushed in and several of the passengers were thrown on the floor, but luckily no one was injured. One of the brakemen saw the man who threw the switch, but I was inside. Had I been on the platform and seen the fellow when he made the attempt to murder us I should certainly have taken a shot at him.

"I see by the papers that the strikers state that they were attending a meeting when the switch was thrown. This may be true, but by a singular coincidence a number of people were seen to climb up on cars, and all were watching us as we pulled out, and appeared to know that something was going to happen just when it did. As soon as the wreck occurred three engines and a crew of wreckers were set at work and the spot cleared as soon as possible. We were five hours late when the train was ditched and about 12 hours more was consumed in clearing the wreck, but we finally pulled out and I delivered the two carloads of freight. that occasioned the trouble, to their destination."

"What will be the effect of the strike and what merit is there in the strikers' side?"

"It will he over in a short time. I have a personal acquaintance with a number of the men who went out and some of them are good fellows, but they went at this matter in the wrong way. There is no strike and none was ordered. The men simply refused to work under the new schedule, and they quit. That is all there is to it. They are no longer in the employ of the company and if they do not return to work other men will be brought in to take their places."

Locally the strike has been of no effect. Passenger trains are running as usual and freight is being received for points along the line as though nothing had happened. A great deal of freight is being congested at Woodville, the northern terminus of the Butte yard limit, but it is expected that by to-day sufficient men will have been received to man the trains abandoned by strikers, and that trains will be moved as before. All along the line scores of deputy sheriffs have been sworn in to protect company property, and for the first few days trains will he run under the protection of armed men.

—The Anaconda Standard, Anaconda, Montana, May 4, 1900, page 4.

Note: In the fourth paragraph from the bottom the original article says, "I delivered the two carloads of freight. that occasioned the trouble, to their designation." Designation, not destination. I don't know if that word works, but I changed it anyway.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Queer Joke That Eugene Field Played on a Printer


A Maddening Prank

When Eugene Field was city editor of the Kansas City Times he found great amusement in annoying one of the characters employed on the paper. Ferguson was one of the "makeups" on the paper, and in Wyandotte, where he resided, just over the line from Kansas City, he was the leader of a local temperance society. For over a year Field, on coming down to the paper to go to work, would write a personal concerning Ferguson. Generally it ran like this: "Mr. John Ferguson, the well known 'makeup' of the Times composing room, appeared for work yesterday evening in his usual beastly state of intoxication." This entertaining bit Field would send down in a bundle of copy, and the others of the composing room would set it up and say nothing.

Poor Ferguson knew that this awful personal was in their midst and every night would go carefully over every galley for the purpose of locating and killing it. It gave him vast trouble. Every now and then Field would not write his personal about Ferguson, and then the bewildered Ferguson was worse off than ever. As long as he could not find it it might still be there. It almost drove the poor man off the paper. Now and then it escaped his eagle eye and was printed. On such occasions Ferguson's burdens were beyond the power of even a Christian spirit to bear.

Death at the Supper Table (and Other Unfortunate News)


MUSKEGON, MI. — Charles Bromstra, 37 years old, while working complained of pain in the region of his heart and said he thought he would die. At the supper table he expired.

MONTROSE, MI. — A broken brakebeam tumbled 14 box cars of a Bay City to Durand train on the C., S. & M., four miles south of here. Four of the cars were reduced to kindling wood and the track torn up for a long distance. Nobody was hurt.

DETROIT, MI. — Florence W. McGill, upon looking into the bathroom, found her mother lying dead in the tub, face downward, with water covering her head. She had been taking a foot bath and it is presumed that she was overcome and fell head foremost into the water.

PORT HURON, MI. — Guests at the Windermere hotel, Gratiot beach, have complained because of the fact that the waitresses employed at the hotel bathe in the lake at the same time as the guests take their daily plunge. The lake being very large, however, no attempt has been made to put a stop to the practice.

LANSING, MI. — William Henry Harrison, a quaint character, 72 years old, who worked for years at Delta and refused to accept any employment from his employer, dropped dead on the street here from apoplexy. He had just emerged from Beck's clothing store when he toppled over against a passerby and was dead before he could be lowered to the sidewalk.

AMERICUS, GA. — Bram Goodwin, a Sumter county farmer, dropped dead in a cotton field. His brother Arnold summoned and at the sight of the body he fell on it and expired.

JOLIET, ILL. — William Myers, a young man of McKeesport, Pa., who was stealing a ride on top of a coach of a passenger train was struck by the viaduct under the Michigan Central tracks at New Lenox and beheaded. Two companions, with whom Myers boarded the car in the yards at Chicago, escaped because they were lying flat on the car roof.

NEW YORK — Mrs. Catherine Gillighan, at the age of 107 years and four months, is dead at her home in the Bronx. She had lived in New York 35 years, coming here from Ireland at the age of 79 to join her eight children. Mrs. Gillighan ascribed her longevity to her habit of eating onions at every meal and her refusal to worry about anything. She never tasted medicine.

LIGONIER, IND. — Pat Summers, one of the best known horse breeders in this section and owner of Edifice, was killed by lightning while in a barn at his stock farm near this city during an electrical storm. Summers had just returned from Kendallville where he was training a large number of horses for the fall track. Several valuable colts were saved by Summers' son from the burning barn.

— Daily Eagle, Traverse City, Michigan, Aug. 3, 1907, p. 5.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Drifted Together; Hogs Freeze Fast


Sad Plight of Porkers Near Lake City During Blizzard.

LAKE CITY, Feb. 20. — Fred Fry, who lives north of town, relates a mighty interesting incident which occurred on his farm the night of the big storm.

The following day, Mr. Fry heard some hogs squealing and he went out to investigate. The sounds seemed to come from a snow drift and he went over to the drift and, lo and behold a couple of hogs emerged from that drift. The astonishing part was the fact that they had lived through the night in that drift, but that was not the most astonishing part. When those hogs came from that drift they were frozen together, frozen so hard that when they were separated the hide came off and the hogs bled profusely.

It certainly was a peculiar experience.

—Des Moines News, Des Moines, IA, Feb. 21, 1909, p. 3.