Archive for June, 2009

Murdered For His Harley

June 29, 2009


Murder Victim Buried

JACKSON, July 12 — The funeral of Roy Nye Shay, 19, who was found murdered in Dayton Wednesday afternoon, was held Saturday from the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Nye. The lad was a motorcycle messenger for the Western Union Telegraph Company, and was found lying along the bank of the Miami river; the body, it is thought, having been rolled toward the river by his assailant, and caught in a wire fence near the water’s edge.

The lad is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Shay, of Dayton, and is survived by his parents, one brother, Herbert Shay, and a number of more distant relatives.

Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 12, 1920


Believe Murderer Of Youth Passed Through This City

Detective Howell of the Dayton police department was in the city the first of the week investigating a report that Frank Mills, charged with the murder of Roy Shay, Dayton messenger boy, who was shot and killed along the river front in Dayton on the night of July 6th, had passed through Portsmouth on July 11th, and that he had separated from his “buddy” at one of the ferry landings here.

It has been discovered that Mills, riding the motorcycle which he took from the murdered lad, passed through the city, and that he did part with his comrade here on the night of July 11th. Further trace of him has not been found.

The murdered boy, Shay, was buried in Jackson, where his people at one time made their home and where relatives live. This murder startled Dayton and surrounding territory because of the apparent lack of motive and the brutality of the crime, Shay’s body being found along the Miami river bank, and his murderer gone with the motorcycle. The machine, a Harley Davidson, was much battered and worn out, and it was believed that Mills might have stopped here for repairs.

Chief Distel and the local police are still on the lookout for Mills, but believe that he has gone south.

Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 22, 1920


Held For Murder

DAYTON, Nov. 29. — Denying that he killed Roy N. Shay, Western Union messenger boy on the night of July 6, last, Frank Mills, gave himself up to Deputy Sheriff Harry Thompson this morning. Two days ago the police recovered a motorcycle, covered with blood and belonging to Shay in Greenup co, Kentucky.

Mills says he has been in that section for several weeks.

Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) Nov 29, 1920


Frank Mills, who is accused of killing his boy chum, Roy Shay, a messenger boy in Dayton, is on trial in that city. Mills was arrested here and the police say he had Shay’s motorcycle when apprehended.

Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Mar 23, 1921



DAYTON, March 29. — The weight of a bit of lead taken from the brain of Roy N. Shay, messenger boy murdered here July 6, may be the means of Frank Mills, 20, who’s defense started Monday, freeing himself from a first degree murder charge. The defense claims the weight of the lead is of a 22 calibre bullet and not of a 32 calibre, the size of the gun alleged by the state. The defense claims there was a 22 rifle at the Shay home and that on one occasion Joseph Able, a roomer, said “I did it and am going to the police and tell them all about it.”

Chronicle Telegram, The (Elyria, Ohio) Mar 29, 1921

scales of justice

Youth Found Guilty of Murder; Given Mercy

DAYTON, O., April 1. — After being out since 9 o’clock Thursday night, the jury in the case of Frank Mills 20, who has been on trial for the past two weeks in common pleas court on a charge of first degree murder for the killing last July of Roy N. Shay, 19, Western Union messenger boy, today at 6:20 a.m. returned a verdict of guilty in the first degree. Mercy was recommended.

Mills was jointly indicted for the murder with Fred Panstingle, now in the Mansfield reformatory. It was charged by the state, the two boys killed Shay in order to obtain his motorcycle to go to Lancaster, Ohio, boys’ industrial school to free Martin Wacher, a prisoner there, and a cousin of Panstingle.

Mills surrendered himself last December. His attorneys claimed that Panstingle alone killed Shay and then induced Mills to accompany him on the motorcycle, which was found in Mills’ possession when he surrendered.

Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Apr 1, 1921

Lieut. Slaughter, Slaughtered

June 22, 2009
Lieut. Slaughter and Wife (Image from

Lieut. Slaughter and Wife (Image from


From a copy of The Puget Sound Courier we learn that Lieut. WM. A. SLAUGHTER, of the 4th Regiment of Infantry of the U.S. Army, )son of Judge A.B. SLAUGHTER of this place,) was killed near the junction of White and Green rivers, Washington Territory, on the evening of the 4th of December, last.

Capt. Keys, commandant of the Puget Sound district, reports that at a place when Lieut. S. had halted “there was a small log house in which Lieut. Slaughter, Capt. Hewitt, Lieut. Harrison, and Dr. Taylor of the Navy, were conversing together. At about 7 o’clock P.M. of the 4th inst., the Indians fired a volley at the house and through the door. One ball passed between the logs, and through the breast of Lieut. Slaughter. He fell dead without a groan, and without speaking a word. The Indians kept up their fire until about 10 o’clock, killing Corporal Barry, of Company C, 4th Infantry, and Corporal Clarendon of the Steilacoom volunteers, and wounding six other men.”

The Courier says:

Lieut. Slaughter was born in the state of Kentucky, in the year 1827. Early in life he removed with his family to the town of Lafayette, Indiana. In 1844 he entered the Military Academy, and graduated with distinction in 1848.

*     *     *     *     *     *
Soon after graduating, Mr. Slaughter joined the 2d Infantry in California, as Brevet 2d Lieutenant. For a while he served with the escort to the commission for establishing the boundary between the United States and Mexico, and in the spring of 1850, having been promoted to the 4th Infantry, he returned to the United States. He again embarked for the Pacific with the 4th Infantry in 1852, and after being stationed a short time at Fort Vancouver, he was ordered to Fort Steilacoom in February, 1853. From that time till the date of his untimely death, he was constantly on duty in this portion of Washington territory.

In the difficulties which have heretofore disturbed our Indian relations in the neighborhood of Puget Sound, Lieut. Slaughter’s services were often required. His activity and energy, and the alacrity with which he performed his duties, caused him, as a general rule, to be selected as the leader of the expeditions which from time to time were sent to suppress the threatened and actual hostilities of the savages.

Upon the breaking out of the war with the Yakimas, Lieut. Slaughter was ordered, in September last, to cross the mountains with a command of only 40 men. He was shortly recalled, and after joining his 40 men with the force under Captain Maloney, again set out for the Yakima country late in October; before proceeding far, Capt. Maloney was induced to retrace his steps. In the combats with the Indians, on the 3d and 4th of November, on White and Green rivers, Lieut. Slaughter’s conduct and gallantry were such as to win the admiration of all parties, both of regulars and volunteers.

After the conflict on Green river, Lieut. Slaughter was detailed with a separate command. In crossing the Pualylup [Puyallup], over a fallen tree, the two loading men were shot down by Indians ambushed on the other side. As the men fell, Lieut. Slaughter called out to them separately by name, but receiving no answer, he ordered his soldiers to charge across. Two sprang forward, he, himself, following next, and then all rushed over and drove the red skins from their covert.

*     *     *     *     *     *
Lieut. Slaughter was uncommonly successful in his encounters with Indians, and if his life had been spared no estimate too high could be placed on his capacity to chastise these monsters. His appearance was not robust, but he would start out, on foot, in the dress and equipment of a common soldier, with his blanket and provisions on his back, and march all day through rain, mud and frost, and bivouac at night without any complaint of fatigue. Such hardships and deprivations, ordinarily so discouraging to the strongest men, seemed only to enliven his spirits, and inflame his ambition.*

It is supposed he was shot by an Indian boy, once his servant at Fort Steilacoom, towards whom he had always been kind and indulgent. Such is the character of the savage!

*     *     *     *     *     *
The remains of Lieut. Slaughter were consigned to the grave at Fort Steilacoom with Masonic and Military honors.

*     *     *     *     *     *
On the receipt of the intelligence at Olympia, of the death of Lieut. Slaughter, both branches of the legislative assembly adjourned after passing resolutions expressive of their regard for the memory of the deceased.

Richland County Observer (Richland Co., WI) Apr 13, 1856

*     *     *     *     *     *

The White River Valley Museum website had more about Lieut. Willam A. Slaughter and the Treaty Wars and Indian Uprisings.

*     *     *

On the website, Gary Reese has posted more information about William A. Slaughter.

“Joe Rickey” – A Man and a Drink

June 20, 2009

rickey drink

From the Kansas City Star.

The “Joe Rickey” is the name of a new summer beverage which has become fashionable and popular at Washington. It is worthy of the illustrious Missouri statesman whose title it bears. It is made by squeezing half a lime into a large tumbler half filled with crushed ice. A reasonable measure of whiskey is added to this and the glass is then filled with soda from a siphon. When a Kansas man orders a “Joe Rickey” he instructs the barkeeper to leave out the ice, the lime juice, and the soda.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Aug 8, 1890

Shoomaker's - Washington D.C. (Image from

Shoomaker's - Washington D.C. (Image from

Describing Shoomaker’s, excerpt from:

Robert Graves, Discusses with the Gravity Becoming so Important a Subject, the Relative Merits and Prices of Beverages in Washington and New York.
There is very little drunkenness in this place considering the large number of customers it has. Of course Shoemaker’s is a gold mine. It is owned by a stock company, one of its shareholders being Joe Rickey, the well known St. Louis politician. A popular summer drink, a mixture of whisky, apollinaris and lime juice, was named the “Joe Rickey,” and had a great run, not only in this house, but in others here. The profits of this famous saloon are not less than $50,000 a year….

Bismarck Daily Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) Oct 24, 1890


“Rickey” Creation Disclaimed by the Man Whose Name it Bears.

Colonel Joe Rickey, the man who is credited with inventing the drink that bears his name, sat in the cafe of the Waldorf-Astoria talking politics with Senator Squire, Colonel Thomas P. Ochiltree, and several others last night, when the subject of “rickeys” came up for discussion.

As might be expected, Colonel Joe had much information to impart:

“There is a mistaken impression that I created the drink now known all over the world as a “rickey,'” he said, “but, as a matter of fact, I don’t think I ever drank a ‘rickey’ in my life.

“The ‘rickey’ originated in Washington, and I was in a sense responsible for it. You see, it was like this: I never drank whisky neat — it’s a mighty injurious system — but whisky diluted with a little water won’t hurt anybody. Of course, a carbonated water makes it brighter and more palatable, and for that reason I always took a long drink, usually whisky and water with a lump of ice.

“This is the highball of common commerce, and has been known to thirsty humanity for many generations. To this, however, I added the juice of a lemon in my desire to get a healthful drink, for the lemon acid is highly beneficial and tones up the stomach wonderfully.

“This combination became very popular at Shoomaker’s in Washington, which I did most of my drinking, and gradually the folks began asking for those drinks that Rickey drinks. About this time the use of limes became fairly common, and one afternoon an experimenter tried the effect of lime juice instead of lemon juice in the drink, and from that time on all ‘rickey’ were made from limes.

“I never drink the lime juice combination myself, because I think the lemon acid is mellower and more beneficial.

“The drink named after me was always made by the experts in Shoomaker’s from limes thereafter, and soon became popular. Washington during a session of congress, is filled with people from all parts of the country, and soon the fame of the new drink spread north and south, east and west, until it could be found all the way from the granite cliffs of Maine to the Golden Gate of California, and from the gloomy forests of the northwest to the sandy wastes of Key West.

“Only here in New York was it perverted and made a thing of shame. Here they make it with gin, which is a liquor no gentleman could ever bring himself to drink. In fact, the gin rickey is about the only kind known in this city and the average barkeeper looks surprised if you ask him for one made with rye whisky.” — New York Telegraph.

Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio) Jul 7, 1900


Co. Rickey Is Know Chiefly as the Godfather of a Noted Drink.

Some people are born to fame; others achieve it, while celebrity is thrust upon a few. Among the latter is Col. Joe Rickey, of Missouri. But instead of feeling proud of the fact that he has given his name to a popular tipple Col. Rickey feels very much aggrieved, “only a few years ago,” he said recently, “I was Col. Rickey, of Missouri, the friend of senators, judges and statesmen and something of an authority on political matters and political movements. As time has dealt lightly with me I had no right to quarrel with the world. I am still the friend of statesmen and politicians, and I think I keep fairly well in touch with the world. But am I ever spoken of for those reasons? I fear not. No, I am known to fame as the author of the ‘Rickey,’ and I have to be satisfied with that. There is one consolation in the fact that there are fashions in drinks. The present popularity of the Scotch high ball may possibly lose me my reputation and restore me my former fame. ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished for.”

The Wellsboro Gazette (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Jul 26, 1901


An exchange commenting upon the passing of a recent individual of note says:

Colonel Joe Rickey, inventor of the gin and whisky rickey, is dead, but his memory will long be revered by his fellow countryman. He was not so great an inventor as Edison, but his inventions were much more palatable. They were not so costly as radium, but they were better to have early in the morning.

Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio) Apr 28, 1903

scales of justice

Cause For Thanks.

When Colonel “Joe” Rickey was quite a young man he had occasion to employ a lawyer to collect a bill against a business man with whom he had had a number of dealings. As he had never before retained counsel he went to the lawyer his father had always employed and placed the claim in his hands. The lawyer collected the amount, $276, and notified young Rickey to call for the money. In due time he called, and after waiting for some time, was shown into the private office.

“Good morning, Joseph,” said the lawyer. “I’m glad to see you are so prompt in attending to business. I have your money for you.”

Then ensued a general conversation for a few minutes, in which the lawyer said among other things: “Joseph, I knew your father well and for many years, and I knew your grandfather well and for almost as many years. They were fine men.”

“Yes, sir,” replied Rickey, “but as I am in a hurry, sir, I would like to get my money and go.”

“All right, Joseph. I will charge you even money. I will take $200 for my fee, and give you the $76,” said the lawyer as he handed the money over.

“Very well, sir,” said Rickey, “and I am thankful you did not know my great-grandfather too.”

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Dec 8, 1903

Wall Street (Image from

Wall Street (Image from

The following paragraph from the New York Tribune shows how western stock gamblers sometimes take in the Wall street sharks: “Joe Rickey of St. Louis knows a good thing when he sees it. Nearly everybody knows “Joe” Rickey. He arrived in New York last Wednesday. He drifted through Wall street during the morning and sold a few stocks short. Thursday he was there again. Friday morning he was on the ground early. Friday night he had $16,000 to his credit as the profits on three days’ operations.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 2, 1887


What Takes in Missouri.

Chicago Inter Ocean: “Joe” Rickey, who committed suicide in New York yesterday, was for many years a noted character in Missouri, where, as a lobbyist and “gentleman gambler,” he was among the most popular of men.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 27, 1903


George Williamson died suddenly in Washington, D.C., just before noon yesterday. Williamson mixed the first “gin rickey” ever served over a bar in the United States, according to his friends. The “rickey” was named after the man who directed Williamson to mix it, and it was served to Colonel “Joe” Rickey of Missouri, a well-known politician and bon vivant of Washington a quarter of a century ago.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Aug 9, 1915


The Quondam Washington D.C. blog has an interesting post about Colonel Rickey.

Finally, at the Wall Street Journal, I found an article entitled, A Lobbyist of Special Interestthat  that include some interesting tidbits about Col.s Rickey and Joyce,  the Whiskey Ring scandal of 1875 and the Gin Rickey.

Fanny Crosby – Blind Hymn Writer

June 19, 2009
Fanny Crosby

Fanny Crosby

Noted Hymn Writer, Blind Since Youth, Lives To Age of Ninety-Five.

Was the Author Of More Religious Songs Than Any Other One Person.

Bridgeport, Conn., Feb 12. — Fanny Crosby, well known hymn writer, died today at her home in her ninety-fifth year.

Eight thousand hymns of Christian worship sung in Protestant churches throughout the world are the work of Fanny Crosby. No one since the days of Charles Wesley or Isaac Watts has made anywhere near as large a contribution to the gospel song book as did the blind writer.

Miss Crosby’s health had been failing for some time. Shortly before the end she became unconscious and remained so until death. At her bedside were her niece, Mrs. Henry Booth, and other members of the family, with whom she long had made her home.

In spite of feeble health Miss Crosby continued writing hymns up to a short time before her death.

Fanny Crosby’s name was signed so regularly as author of one hymn after another that the hymn book makers of a quarter century ago were forced to give her some 200 different pen names to make it appear that someone besides the famous writer had contributed. Thousands — perhaps hundreds of thousands who sang her songs, which were translated into every language, did not know that it was a blind woman’s inspiration which they employed to express their Christian faith and hope in song.

“Saved by Grace,” “Blessed Assurance,” “Rescue the Perishing,” and “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” are typical of Fanny Crosby’s most popular religious verses. Of the latter Miss Crosby has related an incident showing the remarkable rapidity with which she employed her inspiration and her talents of versification.

Incident In Life.

W.H. Doane, who wrote the music for many of her verses, had called one morning at Miss Crosby’s home in New York.

“I must take a train to Cincinnati in forty minutes,” he said, “and I have some music for which I want you to write a hymn.”

“He sat down at the piano and played his music.

“I think I can write it, Mr. Doane,” I said.

“I hurried upstairs and sat down to write. For some time I was entirely oblivious of surroundings. When I came back to my full senses the hymn was written and was on paper before me. I learned that I had only taken fifteen minutes. Triumphantly I carried it down to Mr. Doane. The music he played then and the words that I had hurriedly written, are the same used today in singing “Safe in the Arms of Jesus.”

“It was my most successful hymn, and I believe it was dictated by the spirit of the Lord, and that it was born for a mission.”

Wrote Popular Melodies.

But Fanny Crosby did not begin hymn-writing until she was over 40 years of age. Fifty years ago she was best known for her popular melodies which were whistled all over the country, such as “Proud World Good-by, I’m Going Home,” “Hazel Dell,” “The Honeysuckle Glen,” and “Never Forget the Dear Ones.”

Born in Putnam county, New York state, March 24, 1820, christened Frances Jane Crosby, and married to Alexander Van Alstyne, a blind music teacher, who died many years ago, the blind writer lived to be almost 95 years old. Her mother had lived to be 102, and her grandmother to be 106. She retained to the last all her faculties — excepting eyesight. She lost this during a fever in infancy when a hot poultice was applied to her eyes, destroying the optic nerve.

At eight years the little girl displayed her first talent in versification by this philosophy of contentment:

Oh, what a happy soul am I!
Although I cannot see;
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.

How many blessings I enjoy,
That other people don’t;
To weep and sigh because I’m blind,
I cannot and I won’t.

For twelve years she studied at the New York Institution for the Blind. She never learned to read by the raised letters. Playing the guitar while a child she so calloused her fingers that they were not sensitive enough to read the raised characters. All she learned she memorized from hearing. During her connection with the institution, which included an additional twelve years as a teacher, she traveled all over the country declaiming her own verses. Before both houses of congress she once recited these special lines:

“O ye, who here from every state convene,
Illustrious band! may we not hope the scene
You now behold will prove to every mind
Instruction hath a ray to cheer the blind.

The Lincoln Daily Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) Feb 12, 1915

A Young Fanny Crosby (Image from

A Young Fanny Crosby (Image from

Fanny Crosby, the blind Methodist hymn writer, is now 70 years of age. She has written about 3000 Sunday school hymns, many of which are widely known. She was born at South East, N.Y., in 1823?, and lost her sight when six weeks old through the ignorant application of a warm poultice to he eyes. She has been an inmate of and teacher in the institution for the blind in New York since 1835. In 1858 she was married to Alexander Van Alstyne, a musician, who was also blind. Her first poem was published in 1831 and her first volume of verse, “A Blind Girl and Other Poems,” in 1834.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jul 27, 1894

More pictures and links to her hymns, go HERE.

Smoking Monkeys and the Bard’s Gaudeamus

June 17, 2009

Lines on Man.

Way back in those archaic days when time for man got ripe,
A tailless ape set on a tree and smoked a penny pipe,
And as he smoked, lo, thought began.
He knew that he enjoyed,
(Be not surprised at this — you see, that ape was anthropoid.)
Thus thought began, and thought is all that makes a man;
So be it known that thus in smoke the human race begain.
But mark how in a circle move all sublunary things;
Events, like smoke, resolve themselves into expanding rings;
And as the monkey’s pipe made thought, and thought created man,
The cigarette shall take him back to just where he began.

The News (Frederick, Maryland)  Jun 20,  1891

Don’t believe the naysayers, these people have irrefutable proof that smoking is good for your health!

From the Augusta Medical Journal.

It may be interesting to our readers to learn that the London Lancet, probably the greatest medical authority in the world, strongly advocated smoking tobacco in rooms, especially damp ones, in order to kill the bacilli, microbes and disease germs  therein abounding. Very few rooms are free from these unwelcome visitors, but their virulence can be destroyed or lessened by tobacco smoke. It is especially deadly to the microbes of catarrh and diphtheria, which are so frequently found in damp rooms. We take occasion to recommend this to professors and students in colleges, and to all who are engaged in any indoor sedentary occupation. Statistics have irrefutably proved, time and time again, that smokers enjoy a longer and healthier life than non-smokers; a fact which our own observation of life around us leads us to believe. We warmly advocate, then, indoor smoking.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jun 22, 1891

The Bard’s Gaudiamus.
And now that Summer soft and sweet
Has in its gentle zephyr wound us,
And by its tender charms complete
So dearly to itself has bound us.
I sit me at the foot of day
All merged into the twilight’s witching.
And watch the fire-fly at its play,
With brilliant sparks the dusk enriching;
And with the smoke of my cigar
I fashion forth a thousand fancies,
That bear me near or bear me far —
Now upward with ambition’s glances,
Now to the quiet wooded nooks,
Now by the ocean’s foaming surges,
Now to the memory of my books,
Now here, now there, where humor urges;
Now to a dream of one fair face —
Ah, eyes of blue so strangely luring’
And then — Well, then, dear God of Grace,
Why mayn’t this last be all enduring’
But far beyond the smoke’s faint ends,
Whose mists do not my vision mar,
I see a group of my good friends
And thank them much for this cigar.

— The Bentztown Bard.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jul 9, 1891


I guess the Bentztown Bard was not happy with the above impersonator.

Now, isn’t it truly awful
That somebody, anxious for fame,
Should in a manner unlawful
Write masculine verse in my name!
And with it, O, shades of the South!
Should boldly and to a degree
Put a cigar into the mouth
Of a delicate lady like me!

–The Bentztown Bard.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jul 13, 1891

Link to the English translation of the Gaudeamus Igitur with a music clip.

Chickens Come Home to Roost

June 15, 2009

image from

Image from

I ran across this poem in the newspaper archives, while searching for something else:


You may take the world as it comes and goes
And you will be sue to find
That fate will square the accounts she owes
Whoever comes out behind.
And all things bad that a man has done,
By whosoever induced,
Return at last to him one by one
As chickens come home to roost.

Sow as you will, there’s a time to reap
For the good and the bad as well;
And conscience, whether we wake or sleep
Is either a heaven or hell.
And every wrong will find its place
And every passion loosed;
Drifts back and meets you face to face
When the chickens come home to roost.

Whether your’re over or under the sod,
The result will be the same —
You cannot escape the hand of God,
You must bear your sin and shame.
No matter what’s carved on a marble slab
When the items are all produced,
You’ll find that God was “keeping tab,”
And that chickens come home to roost.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Nov 23, 1910

Thanks to our current President’s infamous preacher,  Rev. Wright, the old adage is enjoying a renewal in popularity, so I decided to do a search and see how it was used in the past. Here is just a small sample of what I found:

Chickens Come Home To Roost
Claim That Stolen Fowls Were Liberated When Auto Was Wrecked.

(Special to The News) MERCER, Pa., June 28.

“Chickens will come home to roost.” The truth of this old saw was proven here today in a criminal proceedings in which J.W. Cameron of Youngstown, O., was tried on a larceny charge. The testimony of the commonwealth witnesses proved that Cameron, who was transporting the chickens to Youngstown in an auto after committing an alleged theft at the home of P.S. Cozadd near Charleston on the Mercer-Sharon road, had an auto smashup at the McCullough bridge on this road and as a result of the wreck the chickens, which were in the tonneau of the car, were released. They went up the road to the Cozadd home which was only a short distance and went to roost at once. This point was argued by the commonwealth as being conclusive evidence that they were the property of Mr. Cozadd.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jun 28, 1919



What is the meaning of the old saying: “Chickens come home to roost?” Well, it means all the night clubs are closed.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Feb 3, 1928



A stranger came to me to ask about a local citizen. The stranger wished to buy a piece of property and was afraid of being cheated. He had to depend on the local man’s word. And he wished to know whether the man’s word is good. What could I say? I hated to spoil a neighbor’s trade — knock him out of profit. But I had to be square with the stranger too. So I said to him:

“Well, this fellow once owed me some money. Many many times he promised to pay it. But he never did.”

That was all the stranger wished to know. And it goes to show that chickens come home to roost.

You make a dollar by cheating one man and lose two dollars because your reputation is damaged.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jul 16, 1929


Negro Exclusion in Party Primary Illegal

Texans are interested in a decision by the United States circuit court of appeals at Asheville, North Carolina. Ruling of the court was that the democratic party of Virginia had no right to bar “negroes and other races” from its primary. Texas has a statute which bars negroes from the democratic party primary. It was enacted by democratic lawmakers and singed by a democratic governor.

If it is illegal in Virginia then it is illegal in Texas. It is said political chickens come home to roost. They do. Just the other day the state democratic executive committee adopted a rule barring democratic negroes from the party primary. Well, these democratic leaders should read the ruling of the United States circuit court of appeals….

It goes without saying that what is good (law) for the Virginia gander should be excellent fodder for the Texas goose….

Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) Jun 18, 1930


Rosikaa Schwimmer

Rosika Schwimmer


Mrs. Rosika Schwimmer, as newspaper readers readily recall, is a noted pacifist. She first gained fame in connection with the Ford Peace Ship and a few years ago again broke into the news when she was denied citizenship in the United States because she refused to subscribe to that part of the oath of allegiance which states that the person taking the oath will take up arms and fight for the country if the need for such cooperation arises.

The matter was treated somewhat as a joke because of the sex of the protestant. We do not expect to require women to take up arms, but this was not the reason for Mrs. Schwimmer’s refusal to take the oath we require. She refused because for years she has taught and argued pacifism and because she did not think any man or woman should pledge themselves to fight for their country. Mrs. Schwimmer, be it understood, is not a communist or anything like that. She is an intelligent and moral woman, interested for years in pacifism.

Now comes this esteemed lady into the news of the day again. She has addressed the following appeal to fellow residents of America:

“Hilterism is destroying all the achievements of the women’s movement in Germany. Women are driven out of employment and the professions and kicked back into the realm of Kirche, Kinder, and Keuche — with the emphasis on Kinder. They are to be bearers of future soldiers, nothing else.

“What are America’s feminist doing against this outrage?

“The German pacifists are among the most vehemently persecuted and tortured victims of Hitlerism. Their houses are raided, their papers destroyed; they are imprisoned, tortured, kept in concentration camps and some of them face execution as indubitable information reveals.

“What are the American pacifists doing to save their unfortunate German colleagues?”

Whether we are pacifists, feminists or mere Americans of normal human sympathies we can agree that much of what she says appears to be right.

Hitler’s methods do arouse some justified indignation, but what can we do about it? Mrs. Schwimmer stands in the front line of those who have worked to keep us from having a navy of the first rank, from having an army or an air defense impressive enough to make our written protests weightily considered. How can we use effective force to compel Germany to do what Mrs. Schwimmer wants Germany to do, and at the same time destroy every factor which may lend force to our words and Mrs. Schwimmer and her kind have sought to destroy these factors.

There are times when chickens come home to roost and this is one of them. Mrs. Schwimmer would have us 100 per cent unarmed and defenseless and then when our hands are tied she would have us try to show some authority. Even if we wanted to do something our protests could not be carried far in the face of pacifistic opposition at home and nazi tenacity in Germany. Actually there is little reason for us to get heated up over what Hitler has been doing, but those who have opposed ultra-pacifism must get some pleasure from the Schwimmer dilemma.

Billings Gazette (Billings, Montana) Jul 16, 1933


soviet chickensImage from

Stalin Must Come Here To Collect Royalties
NEA Staff Correspondent

A check was ready today for Joe Stalin, representing royalties on his new book he hasn’t heard about. Joe probably won’t like it but he must come to the United States to get his money.

The book is “Stalin’s Kampf,” edited by M.R. Werner and just published by Howell, Soskin and Company, New York. It was a collection of just about everything important the Russian dictator has ever written or said publicly. wherefore the publishers are willing to pay Stalin — the Soviet way.

They’ve so written the dictator. “We will pay you those royalties,” said the publishers in a letter to the Kremlin, “on exactly the same basis as the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics pays royalties to American authors; in other words, your royalties will be held here, and you are at liberty to come to the United States at any time and collect those royalties in dollars and spend those royalties in this country.”

So the Soviet chickens come home to roost. For years the Russians have been translating and publishing foreign books, often without so much as permission or notification of the authors or publishers.

If any author wanted his money he would have to go to Russia, where he would be paid in rubles which could not be taken out of the country.

Authors, moreover, could spend their money only in a few shops — the commision shops, run on a non-gold basis.

American authors in Russia are usually published in editions of 25,000 copies. Most popular are Upton Sinclair, Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Eugene O’Neill and Jack London.

Dreiser has collected “only a minute part of his royalties.” The same is true of Sinclair. O’Neill, has collected nothing. John DosPassos, Mary Heaton Vorse and E.E. Cummins went over to collect part of their royalties in rubles.

Joe Won’t Be Pleased

Now it’s a Russian’s turn to collect. Frankly, the publishers don’t expect Joe to like it. As a matter of fact they point out in their letter that payment is not legally required, as the content of the book is public property and therefore not protected by American copyright.

Joe won’t like some of the quotations either. For instance, this choice bit he is supposed to have dropped one summer night in 1923, opening his heart to Dzerzhinsky and Kameney:

“To choose one’s victim, to prepare one’s plans minutely, to slake an implacable vengeance, and then to go to bed . . . There is nothing sweeter in the world.”

Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) May 7, 1940

And finally, here is soviet “chicken” picture, just because. I have no idea what it says, but the chickens look like they are going home to roost.

Flag Day

June 14, 2009


Flag Day.

The fourteenth of June of every year has been set apart by Congress as a National holiday in honor of the adoption on that date 118 years ago of the stars and strips as the flag of our country.

This year Flag Day will be made memorable in all parts of the country by celebrations at which collections will be taken up for a fund for the erection of a monument in Frederick to Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

The Key Monument Association as announced in yesterday’s News, will hold a celebration of the day tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the grave of Key in Mt. Olivet cemetery, which the people are cordially invited to attend.

An interesting program will be rendered and a handsome new flag will be flung to the breeze from the thirty-five foot staff recently erected at the grave side. It is to be hoped that from every business house, every dwelling, aye, from every humble home in Frederick a flag of some kind will float tomorrow.

Our flag is the sacred symbol of our liberties.

Let us do it full honor on its natal day.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jun 13, 1895



Today is the Anniversary of the Birth of U.S. Flag.

Today, June 14, is the anniversary of the birth of our glorious emblem of freedom, the Stars and Stripes. For it was on the 14th of June, 1777, that congress enacted “That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Then today, everywhere, Old Glory floats in honor throughout the land, and, wherever possible, exercises are appropriately held to commemorate the first coming into existence of the American Flag. Throughout the city, on school and public buildings and from private dwellings, the flag and national colors salute the eye. Never before has the country been so thoroughly united as today, when north and south have joined in one just cause as brothers. For this reason the observance of flag day is especially appropriate.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jun 14, 1898

TODAY is flag day.

On June 14, 1777, congress adopted the present form of hte American flag. The first flag had 13 stars representing 13 struggling colonies, now it has 45, representing 45 states the most resourseful, powerful and majestic in the world.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Jun 14, 1898



THIS nation is observing flag day today. It is an occasion for raising to the loftiest pedestal the symbol of our national greatness.

And glorious symbol it is. Behind the stars and stripes, one sees the righteous wars that have been fought and the victorious conclusion in each case. One sees the struggle of the colonists, most of them moved by a passion for religious liberty and willing to face privation and hunger for an ideal. One sees the march westward of the pioneers who gave us our Abraham Lincoln. One sees the steamship developed and one sees the early-day wood-burning locomotives pushing their way into the almost unexplored frontier regions. One sees the beginning of the era of science and its vast strides, hand in hand with labor-saving machinery. One sees the march of education from crude beginnings to the present temples of learning more costly than the palaces of olden kings.

All of these pictures are in that old flag. It’s a living thing, a never-ending inspiration. May the day never come when the sight of Old Glory fails to stimulate a thrill  of pride in those who look upon its beauteous folds.

Mason City Globe Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) Jun 14, 1929



It is related that when the Chinese first saw the American colors, they said, “A ship has arrived, with a flag as beautiful as a flower,” and they called, in their poetical phraseology, ours the “flower flag country.” A writer in the Litchfield (Conn.) Enquirer, has seized upon this idea as the basis of the following beautiful little poem, which we cannot but admire, although hardly assenting to the substantial truthfulness of the refrain —
The banner of a — slaveless shore.”

Where proud the ships spread their snowy wings
Over the world-wide sea,
Floats beautiful upon the breeze
The Flag of Liberty.
Oh, stainless be it evermore,
The banner of a slaveless shore!

Its shade is on the northern hills,
And on the southern plains —
It waives above the prairie flower,
And boundless empire gains —
Oh, stainless be it evermore,
The banner of a slaveless shore.

When first its folds were flung abroad,
Then freely bled the brave —
They fought beneath its stripes and stars,
For freedom or the grave.
Oh, stainless be it evermore,
The banner of a slaveless shore!

Say freemen! what shall be its fate,
In the dim future time?
Cleanse ye the land it represents,
From every taint of crime.
Oh, stainless be it evermore,
The banner of a slaveless shore.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Jan 1, 1850

Master, I Do Not Want to Die by the Axe.

June 12, 2009
"The Apple Tree" by Susan Hunt-Wulkowicz

"The Apple Tree" by Susan Hunt-Wulkowicz

What do an old apple tree and Samuel Woodworth have in common? Read this story, then click on the link that follows it to see if there might be a connection.

This story was actually printed with a news article about the descendants of an Ohio pioneer who chopped down the old apple orchards on the family homestead. I will be posting that article separately at a later date.


“What meanest thou, oh ax man?” said the old appletree to its master one beautiful morning as he raised his newly ground ax to strike down the hoary monarch in the door yard.

“Would you slay me as you have all of my relatives? What meanest thou? Would you lay low the head of an old friend? Have not I grown modestly here, done the best I could to make everyone happy?”

“Yes,” said the husbandman, “that is all true. You are old and feeble  and the little fruit you bear is sour and knotty; your limbs are week and crippled and you are no longer a joy to yourself or your friends, and the place you occupy could be better filled with a young poplar or elm.”

“You are very kind, master, but did it ever occur to you that new advantages can compensate for the abuse of old friendship. Are you sure I am so decrepit and worthless. I do not feel so. If I did my old age would not be less happy to myself and the sacred memory of other days. I have stood in this place more than seventy years.

Your great grandmother set me out when she was a sunny maiden of sixteen summers with her own tiny hands. I was little and tender then. She watched over me, and when the hot days dried my roots she always came with a pail of water and refreshed me and I was happy. When winter came she wrapped my body with long straw so I should not freeze. She used to dig about me and train my boughs, and how I grew. I used to wave my branches in the summer breeze and sing as loud as I could for I was happy.

When I had grown big enough, early one spring the tips of my twigs began to swell, and before I knew it I was covered with beautiful fragrant blossoms and I was the proudest tree in the world, and when mid summer came I had a full bushel of apples hanging on me, and whenever my little mistress came near I tried to drop one of the best in her lap. I was a full grown tree when your grandfather used to come courting her eldest daughter.

Your dear good grandfather, many a time did he tie the reins of his horse to one of my limbs and sit talking till midnight while the impatient beast surged and chaffed my boughs and tore the tender bark from my body as high as he could reach. Many a time did the young couple keep moonlight watch under my quiet shade. I loved tose young people for the sake of the maiden that planted me. If you will look on my left side you will see there initials cut with one of your grand fathers’ pocket knives one bright afternoon in June where the edge struck through to the quick. I am sure I must have shed tears, but I spoke not a word; I knew the wound would soon heal and I should bear the honorable scar to future generations.

Your father and mother when children used to play under my branches, and I remember when you was born. The neighbors all came to bring their greeting to the first and only son they had under my branches that evening, it was in May when I was in full bloom and moved myself softly in the gentle breeze so that the company might be made as happy as possible with my fragrance. I was always glad to make others happy.

I have rocked the birds many years in my arms; the robins have built their nests every spring in the forks of my limbs, until I find my bark is decaying and my heart is much affected, but I have done this for the good of others, and I never was much happier than when the butterflies lit on my blossoms and a thousand bees hummed the song of honey getting about my head. I never was a jealous tree.

My neighbor cherry in the garden is not as old as I. Neighbor cherry used to be pruned, trained and cultivated, and I was always glad of her good luck. I used to wave my hands to her over the roof when the summer gale was blowing and her red fruit hung in clusters, and I used to think happy cherry tree, and when your harvest is gone mine will be ripe.

I know I am not so tall and graceful as the poplar that grew back of the house, nor so sturdy as the oak, nor so stately as the pine. I am only a humble old fashioned apple tree. I have been more useful than ornamental, and if my fellow poplar and oak, and my old fellow pine look better than I it must be remembered that they have had less to do. They lived a life of idleness. Neighbor oak has borne a few handfuls of acorns every year, but what is that for such a sturdy fellow? Friend poplar and friend pine have only produced a few burs and cones, but no food, while I have turned out bushels and bushels of apples every year.

I acknowledge that my fruit is not so good as formerly, but, master, please think that I have always been a small eater and have furnished my own clothes. I have not been pruned for fifty years nor had a morsel of manure nor a spade about my roots. The caterpillars have built their nests in my branches and eaten my leaves; the children have hung their swings on my arms and seesawed until I was thrown into a rack of pain, but now I do not want to be slain with a stroke on the plea of uselessness without an honest attempt at self vindication.

Master, I do not want to die by the axe. Spare me yet a few years and see if I do not bless you and yours. Feed me with a little new earth, plow about my roots, trim out my old branches, clean out my old wounds and bind them up with wax and I shall feel young again and be a good tree for many years.”

The old tree’s appeal touched the axman’s heart and he withheld his hand and turned away towards the old well at the back of the house from which your father and grandfather had drank many a cooling draught from

“The old oaken bucket,
The iron bound bucket,
The moss covered bucket
That hung in the well.”


Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Dec 29, 1890

Now read about the remains of Samuel Woodworth, the author of “The Old Oaken Bucket.” I have also linked to the story behind the poem, which includes the actual poem as well.

Since this story about the apple tree was printed in 1890, and Woodworth’s remains were removed from his tomb around 1900, I wouldn’t think W.D. Gurley was intending any connection, but it seems an ironic coincidence.

I have long enjoyed “The Old Oaken Bucket,” perhaps because it reminds me of the silly song,  “There’s a Hole in the Bucket,” that we used to sing in Girl Scouts. I know, really not much similarity, other than the “bucket” and some repetition.

Romance Passed Her By…until she ended “B.O.”

June 10, 2009

1929 LifeBuoy Soap Advertisement

1929 LifeBuoy Soap Advertisement

THIRTY-FOUR — and still single!

She had had admirers — many of them. But they had all drifted away from her.

The Murder of E. Junius Foster, Editor of the Sherman Patriot: 22 Years Later; Still No Justice

June 8, 2009
Great Hanging at Gainesville

Great Hanging at Gainesville

Image from

For background information on the incident that motivated E. Junius Foster to celebrate the death of Col. William C. Young, scroll down and read The Great  Hanging at Gainesville.

In 1863 the Rev. Newton Chance of Texas killed an editor in Sherman, and moved to Mississippi. At that time he was a lawyer, but afterwards he entered the ministry. Recently he returned to Texas, and while on a visit to Sherman was arrested for the murder committed 22 years ago.

Daily Kennebec Journal (Augusta, Maine) Oct 10, 1885


A Murder Trial at Sherman.

SHERMAN, December 1. — THe case of the State of Texas vs. Newton Chance, charged with the murder of E. Junius Foster, in this city, twenty-three years ago, was taken up in the District Court this afternoon and after some considerable time a jury was inpaneled.

S.F. Young, of San Antonio, was the first witness placed on the stand, and the substance of his testimony, was that on the night of the 10th of October, 1863, Newton Chance and James Young went with E. Junius Foster to the residence of Jas. Chiles on North Travis street, and that in a short time he heard Foster call out that he believed they intended to murder him. In a few minutes he heard the report of a gun and then saw three men ride off. He identified the defendant as the man who fired the shot that killed.

J.H. Cummins, of Pottsboro, in this county was next placed on the stand, and testified that about dusk, on the 10th day of October, 1863, he was walking up North Travis street, when he heard what he thought to be gunshots in quick succession. He hurried to the scene, and found E. Junius Foster in a dying condition from gunshot wounds in his side. He told him (Cummins) that Newton Chance was the man who did it.

Judge C.C. Binkley was next placed on the stand. He testified to having helped carry Foster to the office of the Sherman Patriot, which he (Foster) was at that time editing. He was district judge at the time. Cox and Young were tried for implication and found not guilty.

Several other witnesses were examined, and the case is still slowly dragging along, and the evidence will not be completed before tomorrow.

A strange coincidence in this trial is that the indictment was filed on December 1, 1865 — just twenty years ago.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Dec 2, 1885


The Sherman Murder Trial

SHERMAN, December 3 — In the case of the State of Texas vs. Newton Chance, charged with the murder of E. Junius Foster, the testimony for the defense culminated in the introduction of Jim Young on the stand. It will be remembered that Young is one of the three indicted on the 1st day of December, 1865. He was the first of the three tried, and in this case Young was a witness for the defense. The entire audience were thrown into a state of excitement when the witness Young to-day testified that he himself did the killing, and that Cox and Chance had nothing to do with it.

The self acknowledged slayer gave as his reasons for so doing that E. Junius Foster, who was editing a Republican paper in this city in 1863, said that the killing of his (Young’s) father was the best thing that ever happened for northern Texas.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Dec 3, 1885


Newton Chance Acquitted.

SHERMAN, December 3. — The principal theme of conversation, on the streets this afternoon, has been the verdict in the case of the commonwealth vs. Newton Chance, charged with the murder of E. Junius Foster, on North Davis street, in this city, on October 10, 1863.

The following verdict was handed in about noon:

“We, the jury, find the defendant, Newton Chance, not guilty, as charged in the indictment. W.E. STAPLES, Foreman.

There was quite a dense throng in the courtroom when the verdict was rendered, and quite an affecting scene took place, as the aged prisoner shook hands with everybody he came to, while tears rolled down his cheeks.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Dec 4, 1885


Murder Will Out.
SHERMAN, Texas, Dec. 4.

Yesterday Newton Chance, an aged intenerate preacher, was on trial for the murder of E. Junius Foster, editor of a newspaper in 1863, when a man named James Young came forward voluntarily and confessed that he was the murderer. Chance was acquitted amid great rejoicing.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Dec 4, 1885