Archive for the ‘Oddities’ Category

Stupid Cop Tricks

September 26, 2012

Image from Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930 (not the officer in the story)

SHOOTS SELF INSTEAD OF DOG.

CHICAGO, Nov 20. — Policeman Mike Quigley, attempting to accommodate a customer who desired a slippery dog killed, shot himself in the leg. The dog tried to run thru Mike’s legs as the cop fired.

The Lincoln State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Nov 20, 1922

Not the “Johnny Appleseed” You Were Looking For

September 25, 2012

Image from Cask

Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Aug 10, 1894

FRIDAY.

William Coughlin, familiarly known as “Johnny Appleseed,” was sentenced to two years in the penitentiary. A few weeks ago, he stole $50 from Frank Pulver, of Huntertown, and it was on this charge that he was convicted.

Fort Wayne Weekly Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Nov 12, 1896

William Coughlin, alias, “Johnny Appleseed,” was arrested for drunkenness. He was in a belligerent mood last evening and smashed Officer Romy in the face. Squire France sent him to jail for nineteen days.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Jul 14, 1899

Judge Louttit had easy picking at police court this morning, having only two victims of the night force to spose. “Johnny Appleseed” protested vigorously against being called nicknames in court and insisted that his name is William Coughlin. When asked under that name to enter a plea to a charge of drunkenness, he pleaded guilty.

He says he is no appleseed, nor hayseed either, but is a retired gentleman who drinks at leisure and drinks as often as opportunity affords. The judge told him to take a leisure spell of eleven days and think the matter over.

Jack Case was the other easy mark. Jack was sent over two weeks ago to serve a term for drunkenness. There was another affidavit against him at the time of his first trial for assault and battery on his sister-in-law. On the latter charge he was brought from the jail to police court, and on his plea of guilty was given another eleven days.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Aug 21, 1901

There was a large grist at police court this morning. The venerable Johnny Appleseed, the survivor of more hard fought battles with the booze king than any man in Fort Wayne, made his semi-occasional appearance. Johnny’s return engagement this time was after a shorter interval than usual and he rather hesitatingly admitted to the judge that it had been only ten days since he had faced his honor before.

“But,” said Johnny, in his most persuasive tone, “ef you’ll let me off this time I’ll git right out of town and I’ll niver come back.”

“What do you mean by never?” asked the court. “Niver so long as you’re in office an’ a sittin’ up there.”

Johnny evidently does not know that the judge will be a candidate for re-election in four years, but his story and his promise went with the court.

“I’ll just fine you ten dollars,” said the judge, “and have a mittimus made out for you and the next time the officers catch you in town they’ll take you right over for twenty days, without going to the trouble of bringing you up here. Meantime I will suspend sentence; now do you understand what I mean?”

“I doos, I doos, tank you, tank you!” and Johnny slid out.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Sep 10, 1901

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Police News.

Officer Elliott last night found Johnny Appleseed lying in front of the fire engine house on East Main street. Johnny was in a badly intoxicated condition and the officer took him to headquarters.

The Fort Wayne Journal and Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Nov 21, 1903

A sure sign of spring showed up yesterday when Johnny Coughlin, familiarly known as “Johnny Appleseed,” blew into the city. It is his wont to remain in the country during the winter and to migrate to the city in the spring. He was given shelter at the police station and, if he follows his usual custom, he will be the occupant of a cell before many days. Johnny is a queer character, of the Sunny Jim type, but his love for drink usually lands him in jail at stated intervals.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (Fort, Wayne, Indiana) Apr 6, 1906

Police headquarters last night got a call that an old soldier was lying drunk in a yard on East Lewis street. Patrolman Elliott responded to the call and found that the supposed soldier was Johnny Coughlin, a police character, who is known as “Johnny Appleseed.”

The officer started Johnny towards his home at the county infirmary and returned to headquarters just in time to investigate a call from Clinton street that an old soldier was lying drunk in a yard.

Going to the place, the officer again found Johnny and decided to take him to the station in order to preserve  the reputation of the veterans.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana) May 22, 1907

A Thought – Overcome Evil

September 23, 2012

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Nov 12, 1926

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The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood slogan:

“Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”

Quote from Weasel Zippers

Arab Uprising: “Fee Fo Fi Fum”

September 18, 2012

But what about those 60,000,000 Mohammedans that are saying “Fee Fo Fi Fum” to the Christian and Jewish world?

Until they are disposed of, it would be foolish to adopt suggestions about reducing airplane production.

One thousand airplanes would do more than 500,00 men on foot or horseback to discourage Arabs on the rampage.

Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Sep 5, 1929

Straw Hat Passes

September 15, 2012

STRAW HAT PASSES

Fashion Decrees Entrance of Other Headgear.

Thursday evening the careful male wrapped his straw kelly in a newspaper and stored it away for the winter. If he challenged fate by wearing it in public the chances are that it looks like a portion of breakfast food this morning, for an arbitrary law of fashion decrees that on September 15 the felt headpiece must be cleared of moth balls and take the place of discarded straw or panama.

Skylarking youths delight in enforcing this edict of fashion and the strong-minded protagonist of personal liberty who proclaims his right to wear a hay hat with a sunrise band until the frosts of autumn turn the rose tints of an alcoholic nose to blue, is apt to have his feeling outraged and his headpiece trampled in the dust of the street.

The passing of the straw lid is a signal for the end of summer flirtations and the retirement of the bathing girl from magazine covers; it pressages football, pumpkin pie, apple butter and the approach of the season of hunting and hunting stories.

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Sep 16, 1921

Among the other trials laid up for us during the coming summer is an advance in the price of straw hats. The war in China is causing a shortage in the importations of straw braid, which comes from Santung, where millions of rolls of the material have been burned and destroyed by the rebels.

Alton Democrat (Alton, Iowa) Jan 13, 1912

They say this is a free country but it is surprising how the straw hats disappear at a certain time each year.

Alton Democrat (Alton, Iowa) Sep 27, 1913

Straw hats are cheaper this year than in 1924, possibly for the reason that the supply of material is greater with no straw votes being taken.

Albuquerque Morning Journal (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Apr 21, 1925

Some time ago we felt the urge to buy a straw hat, but had to use the money to purchase a half a ton of coal. It was a wise purchase, as those who bought straw hats and are now shivering will tell you.

Albuquerque Morning Journal (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Apr 30, 1925

Edmund Norman Leslie: Genealogical Maniac

August 24, 2012

Image from Skaneateles: History of its Earliest Settlement and Reminiscences of Later Times –  by Edmund Norman Leslie (HATHI TRUST Digital Library)

COMMITTEE FOR LESLIE

HAD A MANIA FOR LOOKING UP ANCESTRY OF HIS NEIGHBORS.

Skaneateles Man is 92 Years Old and Has an Estate Valued at $100,000 — Petition Filed to Have Him Declared Incompetent.

Edmund Norman Leslie, a well know Skaneateles nonagenarian, is said to have a mania for looking up the genealogical history of his acquaintances. Skaneateles people, as a rule, are proud of their ancestry, therefore, there is nothing significant in proceedings which have been started to have the aged man declared incompetent and a committee appointed to care for his property or person.

Of course, there are some people who send their family skeleton back into its hole the moment any effort is made to bring the bony creature from its closet. Not that it would make any difference, perhaps. A black sheep or two among a long line of ancestors is more the rule than the exception, but there are some who favor not some outsider delving into the family secrets.

Nothing like that in Skaneateles. No objection was made to Mr. Leslie’s publishing a book, which was a historical review of Skaneateles with a sketch of some length of some of the more prominent families. The book was well received and Mr. Leslie was encouraged to continue his research into family histories.

Whatever Mr. Leslie discovered will not reach the public, however, because proceedings have been started to have the aged Skaneateles historian declared incompetent and a petition for the appointment of a committee has been made to County Judge W M. Rose by Attorney Martin F. Dillon of Skaneateles.

Mr. Leslie is 92 years old and has an estate valued at $100,00. He is part owner of the Mansion House at Buffalo. The committee for him has not been named.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Jul 4, 1908

Skaneateles, May 17. — The last chapter of the old Mansion House in the city of Buffalo was closed last Monday when Martin F. Dillon as executor and trustee under the last will [and testament of Edmund Norman Leslie] conveyed the same to the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad company. For nearly sixty years one half of the same was owned by Edmund Norman Leslie of the village of Skaneateles.

Edmund Norman Leslie was the son of Captain and Mrs. David Leslie. Captain Leslie was born in Scotland in September, 1780, in the parish of Monimail, Fishire. He became a noted ship captain and upon his retirement took up his residence at New Bedford, Mass. He had two children. Henry and Edmund Norman Leslie. Captain Leslie died in New York in 1835.

Edmund Norman Leslie also became a ship master and many time sailed around the  Horn. He retired from business and came to Skaneateles in 1851. He married Millicent A. Coe, who died March 15th, 1890. Mr. Leslie was a sturdy Scotchman and believed in doing right to all his fellowmen. He took a great deal of interest in village affairs and political battles were waged by him. He was president of the village of Skaneateles in 1895 and 1896. He prevented the Skaneateles Water Works company from forcing the sale of its property on the village and in the face of its opposition guided the village while it constructed a new system. During his term of office, he also granted the franchise to the Syracuse & Auburn Electric Railroad company, preparing the franchise himself. He was also identified with the establishing of the Lake View cemetery, the Skateateles Library association and other enterprises identified with the village. He was good to the poor and each year would call upon the coal dealers to ascertain whether or not there were any poor people on their list in need of fuel.

After the death of his wife, Millicent A. Leslie, he acquired an additional interest in the Mansion house in the city of Buffalo. Mr. Leslie died at his home in Genesee street in the village of Skaneateles November 30th, 1908, at the age of 94 years. His only relatives were distant cousins, one of whom married Lieutenant Edward F. Qualtrough; another married Lieutenant Harrison, U.S.A., who at the time of his death had charge of Forrtress Monroe, and another married Lieutenant Mann who was killed in the Indian war.

The history of the same is quite romantic.

Image from The History of Buffalo

History of Mansion House.

In the early “forties” Belah D. Coe owned and operated many mail and stage routes, which terminated in Buffalo. To accommodate his passengers, he built the Mansion house, which contained 285 rooms. It was a brick building and substantially fireproof, the partitions also brick, extending from the cellar to the garret. For many years, it was operated by W.E. Stafford, who became famous as a hotel man, and who went to the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

Belah D. Coe was a bachelor, and at his death in 1854, by his will, this property went to two nieces and a nephew, being Millicent A. Marshall of Buffalo, Millicent A. Leslie and Edward B. Coe of Skaneateles, and to the heirs of their body. In the event of the death of any of these people with out issue, the share was to be divided between the Buffalo Orphan asylum and the Auburn Theological seminary.

Edward B. Coe left home in 1840. He was declared judicially dead in 1857, and the share of his portion in the Mansion house went to the Buffalo Orphan asylum and to his sister, Millicent A. Leslie, as the Auburn Theological seminary could not, by its charter, take and hold real estate. After the disappearance of Edward B. Coe in 1849, he became a sailor and drifted into South Africa, where he was sold as a slave. His brother-in-law, Edmund Norman Leslie, never believed him dead. He obtained from the Department of State of Washington, the name and location of all the United States consuls and commercial agents in all parts of the world. He had a circular printed in red and black letters offering a reward of $200 for any information of Edward B. Coe, at the same time giving a minute description of his person, particularly that he had his name tatoed on his left arm. These circulars were mailed to every United States consul in all parts of the world.

Edward B. Coe Returns.

In 1891 Edward B. Coe returned and then began the fight to recover the property left him by his uncle’s will. During the argument in court, the presiding judge intimated that, having been declared judicially dead, he had no standing in court, to which his counsel, the late William H. Seward, replied: “If such a decision is to be law in this case, Edward B. Coe, who is sitting here in the presence of this court, can go into the street and commit murder and you cannot punish him, because he has been declared judicially dead.” This argument restored the property to Edward B. Coe. He lived here for several years, but meeting business reverses, he mortgaged his property to the late Charles Pardee, who afterward acquired the same by mortgage foreclosure. IN 1875 Charles Pardee committed suicide, and this property went by his will to his daughter, Mary E. Moses.

Edward B. Coe left Skaneateles for Philadelphia at which time the steamer “Queen of the Pacific” was about to leave for San Fransisco by the way of Cape Horn. After a voyage of about six weeks he reached San Francisco. The “Queen” then commenced regular trips from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon, carrying freight and passengers. He remained on this vessel until September 5th, 1883, at which time he became despondent and fastening a large heavy lantern to his arm jumped overboard and wen to the bottom of the Pacific ocean.

About that time the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad company acquired a portion of the property by condemnation, and the award was paid in court, upon the application to withdraw the same, by Millie Coe, the daughter of Edward B. Coe, then a girl 17 years of age. This indeed was a battle royal. The question raised was that she had an estate tail in this property, and her father, not having the title in fee simple, could not deprive her of it. The opposition contended that the statue of 1786 eliminated the estate tail in this country.

The legal giants of that time were employed on either side, Benoni Lee of Skaneateles, L.R. Morgan of Syracuse, P.R. Cox of Auburn, Spencer Clinton and Charles D. Marshall of Buffalo.

The court finally held that Miss Coe had no interest in the property. A short time after this decision, Edmund Norman Leslie acquired that interest and held the same at the time of his death in his ninety-fourth year. By his will, he devised the same in trust to Martin F. Dillon of Skaneateles, who has for two months been engaged in perfecting the title, and the deed was finally delivered last Monday.

The New York Central & Hudson River Railroad company will tear down the old structure and use the land for a new $10,000,000 terminal. This will be the end of an old landmark, which had stood for nearly three-quarters of a century, during which time guests from all nations of the world have been entertained.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) May 18, 1913

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Jun 18, 1913

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York)  Dec 28, 1914

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Apr 14, 1916

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An excerpt from a bio of the “genealogical maniac” posted on an Ancestry.com message board:

Upon his removal to Skaneateles the want of active employment induced him to take up the subject of the early history of the town and village. He obtained two ledgers which had been kept by early merchants of 1805 and 1815 respectively, and from them secured the names of nearly all the earliest settlers, especially those who made their purchases here. He collected and preserved some very valuable historical matter concerning the locality, which was first published in a series of papers in the Democrat, afterward copied in the Free Press, and later printed in book form by Charles P. Cornell, of Auburn, N. Y.

Mr. Leslie furnished entirely from his own collections the only complete list of the names of 364 union volunteers who enlisted from the town of Skaneateles, or enlisted elsewhere, but belonged to this town, giving rank, company, and regiment, in alphabetical order, which list was published in the Free Press. He has also collected some of the most valuable files of original local newspapers, had them bound in volumes, and presented them to the Skaneateles Library Association for preservation. He has erected a beautiful memorial tablet in St. Jame’s church in memory of the sons of that church who lost their lives in defense of the Union. He has also published several series of the lives of early prominent residents of the town, notably of Lydia P. Mott, a prominent promoter of female education, who established ‘The Friend’s Female Boarding School,” which was known as “The Hive.” Many of the ladies of Auburn and surrounding country were educated at this school, which was discontinued about seventy years ago. Mr. Leslie’s labor is of a character that will survive and perpetuate his memory to coming generations. All of his valuable historical work has been done gratuitously.

Where Shall The Line Be Drawn?

August 13, 2012

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

By HOWARD VINCENT O’BRIEN.

PRACTICALLY all the hubbub over the course of events comes down to dispute over where the line shall be drawn between collectivism and individualism.

Men are uncomfortably aware that they are dependent upon the good will and energy of other men for the food they eat and the clothes they wear, but an unquenchable egoism makes them assert stoutly that no one is going to tell them how to run their affairs, that they will not be regimented, that no army of tax-eating bureaucrats is going to lay their fortunes waste.

But no matter how rugged the individual may be, he has no desire to carry his own letters, put out his own fires, or sit up all night with a shotgun, guarding his own strongbox.

Is there any solution for this dilemma?

HATHI TRUST – Digital Library – Prohibiting Poverty

Prohibiting Poverty

Certainly there is a solution, says Prestonia Mann Martin. In her pamplet, “Prohibiting Poverty,” she cuts the knot with the sword of compromise. “The problem has been how to attain safety without losing freedom. The solution,” she says, “lies in a simple compromise between socialism and individualism by applying one to necessaries and the other to luxuries.”

Admitting that as a “plain woman” she understands nothing about money except that it is obviously at the bottom of a system which creates surplus of wealth and prevents its distribution, she proposes a system which will function without money. Meat and potatoes are things, she days; money is only a formula.

Nothing could be simpler than her plan. By it every able-bodied young person would be drafted for economic service at the age of 18, and for eight years would serve without pay in an army of production called the “commons.” These soldiers of peace, attacking what William James called “the moral equivalent of war,” would hew wood, draw water and in general produce the necessities of life for themselves and the rest of the population.

They would not be paid, they could not marry, they would have no vote and — suggests Mrs. Martin — they would not be allowed to drink.

Reward of Toil

This sounds like peonage. But wait! At the age of 26 the toilers would be free, with a livelihood guaranteed for the rest of their days. Having served their term as collectivists, they would become “capitals,” free to engage in any activity that profited or amused them. Life in the “capitals would be just as it is today, except that the necessity of earning one’s daily bread would be removed. A “capital” could go into business (luxury goods or services only), amass a fortune, wear diamonds and own yachts. Or, if he chose, he could lie on his back, playing the mouth organ. No woman would have to marry for a home, because she, too, would be independent.

“The ‘commons’ would constitute, in effect, a colossal insurance company, nation-wide, embracing every citizen without exception, which would issue a guaranteed policy of economic security in favor of every one, its premiums to be paid, not in cash but in work, and its benefits distributed, not in unstable currency but in what is more useful and stable, namely, necessary goods and services.”

Obligatory Labor

To one who objects that this is slavery, the author points out that education is compulsory — with no objections. And she suggests that some day necessary labor will be equally obligatory and accepted as a matter of course.

Beyond doubt the scheme is attractive. Who wouldn’t consent to eight years of labor in exchange for a lifetime free from care? Furthermore, there is no reason to suppose that the plan would not work. Twelve million young people, working together and using the latest machinery, could undoubtedly produce the necessities for 10 times their number. Furthermore, they would probably enjoy the work, as, from all accounts, the young people of Russia enjoy their contribution to Communism. Certainly the youth of 18 would prefer eight years with pick and shovel, with the guarantee of a free future, to four years with books and the assurance of perpetual insecurity.

Will It Be Tried?

The plan is so neat, so absurdly simple, offhand, that nothing like it will be tried in a world that always prefers complexity for the solution of its difficulties. And yet, what is the CCC but a step in this direction? And the CCC seems, on the whole, the most successful of the Roosevelt ventures along new roads.

The plan can hardly be called “practical.” But neither were the plans of Walter the Penniless or — to take a more modern instance — were the plans of John Brown.

Some day Mrs. Martin may have a monument, too.

(Copyright, 1934)

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Jul 21, 1934

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) Apr 17, 1935

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From the Free Republic:  Regarding the friendly relationship and influences between progressives and fabians:

*Read more at the link.

Mentioned in the Free Republic article above: the Ruskin Colony, an unsuccessful utopian community. – See previous post.

Strawberry Insanity

August 3, 2012

INSANITY FROM STRAWBERRIES.

Fruit Causes Irritating Rash, Which Has Resulted in Mental Derangement.

Waterbury (Conn) Dispatch New York Herald

Thousands of persons in this city, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Torrington and Thomaston are suffering from a rash or from rheumatism, which, physicians say, is caused by eating strawberries.

The rash resembles eczema in some cases and psoriasis in others. It causes intense itching, and some persons, unable to sleep or to obtain relief, have become temporarily insane.

Those afflicted with rheumatism say that a few hours after eating the berries they began to have sharp pains in the muscles of the back and limbs. Several persons thought they had suffered a paralytic stroke.

Dr. Frank J. Tuttle, medical examiner of Naugatuck, is one of the victims, and a dozen other physicians are afflicted. They attribute the epidemic to the eating of strawberries from the South that were green when shipped and ripened after arrival here. They say that such berries contain an uncommonly large quantity of acid, which causes rheumatism in persons susceptible thereto and a rash in others.

The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) Jun 8, 1915

THE BALEFUL STRAWBERRY.

Sulkiness, Rash and Headache Caused by It — Safety Limit Twelve.

Hygenists who delight in raising alarms against popular foods are now tilting against strawberries, says a London special cable dispatch to the New York Sun. These are accused of having a bad effect upon the tempers of their eaters, who, it is alleged, become sulky and irritable after eating them.

A hygenist is quoted as saying that ladies are particularly susceptible in this respect. Some of them will eat a pound or more of strawberries at a time and then become so morose that people are glad to avoid them.

The fact is, they are physically ill without knowing it. They are suffering from the strawberry disease, the symptoms of which are slight dizziness, a desire to be alone and intolerance of being questioned.

The strawberries which have the worst effect are large mashy ones. The small kinds, with seeds on the surface, are usually harmless. The trouble is ascribed to the strawberry acids, which cream does not mollify. Indeed, the fruit is more wholesome without cream or sugar, and nobody should eat more than a dozen at a time.

Eustace Miles, the tennis player, as a vegetarian dietist confirms the danger to some persons from strawberries. He says they contain three acids, phosphoric, sulphuric and silicic. He believes that the last named causes the trouble. In addition to irritability, sufferers have strawberry rash and strawberry headache.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jun 11, 1907

Ladies in Shorts

August 1, 2012

Images from Motor Life Blog

FAIRLY SPOKEN:

Ladies in Shorts

By MARGARET LATROBE

Don’t know about your town, but in our town the shorts-measuring brigade has begun its pleasant duties. (This is as much a part of summer as sunstroke and poison oak.)

For those of you with weightier preoccupations than the length of ladies’ shorts, let me recap summer’s folly: Come the heat and stupidity of the dog days, certain members of the pretty sex climb into garments calculated to expose their lower extremities to a high degree. That is, girls wear shorts.

Shorts shock that portion of the populace that doesn’t look good in same. And they pelt the police department with shrill cries of pique.

So the constabulary looks forward to the annual heat waves as more fun and less work than a bank robbery.

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WOMEN ARE SAID to be vain. That’s not so. One look at a few shorts-garbed dumplings trotting about the supermarket on varicosed, knobby and quite unleg-like legs is sufficient to convince us otherwise. Vanity, my eye!

These dames are bereft of all pride, caution — even hope. They have looked in that triple mirror, shuddered, and decided the weather is too hot to contemplate such a formidable problem. With a skill born of years at wriggling into a 10-way stretch girdles, they make size 14 shorts do the work of size 20.

Then they buy some more groceries. (Studying up for size 44.)

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ON THE SHORTS QUESTION, doubtless the etiquette authorities bemuse themselves with such refinements as appropriateness, taste, and condition of servitude. But the cops and I are more direct in our approach to the basic issues involved. They measure garment; I maintain they should measure the wearer.

If milady toddles abroad exhibiting legs more suitable to the circus than to Main street, I say clap her in irons. Let the judge sentence her to  30 days on a 600-calorie diet. And when she measures up to less than 120 pounds, permit the wearing of the shorts.

What about the varicose department? Black lace hosiery as on chorus girls. Leg make-up as in bottles. Or maybe a dress — as a last resort.

Hammond Times (Hammond, Indiana) Jul 17, 1956

Midsummer Folly and a Wheelbarrow

July 30, 2012

Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) Aug 2, 1949

Midsummer Folly

This being the socalled silly season, we are moved to interest in Larry Hightower, cowboy poet, who has started to push a wheelbarrow around the world. He expects to consume the nest 12 years in this useless task. Of course everyone should have a purpose in life and if one’s purpose is to trundle a wheelbarrow 25,000 miles or more, we wish him success. To those of us who hate to push a lawnmower around a yard once a week, this man’s self-imposed stunt seems the acme of foolishness if foolishness has any acme. Yet we wonder if a lot of us aren’t just as foolish without realizing it.

Many of us are pushing wheelbarrows, figuratively speaking. We are trundling a load of unnecessary worries up hill and occasionally butting our heads against stone walls. We are loading ourselves down with self-imposed burdens and hoping someone else will lighten the load. Many of us are pursuing the wrong path, keeping the wheelbarrow wheel in a rut, so to speak, when we ought to go ahead and reconnoiter along the road and see if we shouldn’t make a turn somewhere. Oh, well, if Larry wants to push a wheelbarrow around the world for a dozen years back to where he started that’s his business. On a rough road with plenty of cream he could churn some butter while he’s a-wheeling. Maybe he isn’t much more foolish than some others. The broad highway is filled with all kinds of wheels within wheels.

Syracuse Herald Journal (Syracuse, New York) July 15, 1946

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Mar 16, 1950

Wheelbarrow Express Starts Up Pike’s Peak Despite Falling Snow

Colorado Springs, Colo., March 11 — (AP) — Larry Hightower an his “Wheelbarrow Express” began the 62 mile round trip to the summit of Pikes Peak at 8 a.m. today despite falling snow and scorning grim legends of death and disaster to winter travelers atop the peak.

Hightower is the Ellensburg, Wash., man who started pushing a wheelbarrow on July 4, 1846 and has since pushed it a total of 18,212 miles through 48 states, five Canadian provinces, Mexico and Guatemala.

“I’ve seen worse weather than this,” he commented drily abut the snow which had started falling during the night. “I’ll make it if it takes all winter.”

He carries a supply of food which includes crackers, sardines, some GI emergency rations and a thermus jug of coffee.

He has only one blanket, but wears four shirts, two pairs of trousers and four pairs of gloves.

He said he will release a red flare if he gets into danger. On reaching the summit he will set off four flares to announce his arrival.

If he gets stuck for the night in the higher altitude where there are no houses, he said, he will dig a burrow in the snow and hole up. For warmth, he said, he will depend on a flask of partly filled with sand, into which he will pour wood alcohol, making a tiny stove.

He estimated it would take him from six to eight days to make the trip.

Greeley Daily Tribune (Greeley, Colorado) Mar 11, 1950

PIKE’S PEAK SUMMIT, Colo. (UP) — Larry Hightower, the only man to push a wheelbarrow to the top of Pike’s peak, left the deserted summer house and started back to Colorado Springs Thursday.

It took him five days to reach the top of the 14,110-foot mountain. Going down, he figured it would take about two days to cover the 26 miles.

Idaho State Journal (Pocatello, Idaho) Mar 16, 1950

BOISE, (UP) — Wheelbarrow Trundler Larry Hightower headed west again Saturday after obtaining Gov. C.A. Robins’ signature on a treasured Washington state flag.

The wiry Ellensburg, Wash., World War I veteran said he would try to make Pendleton, Ore., within the next 20 days. But he won’t hurry.
After all, he said, he’s been on the road more than four years — walking every foot of the way. So a few more days, or weeks, are of little importance.

Hightower caught Gov. Robins in his office late Friday after making an unsuccessful first try at getting hte chief executive’s signature on a flag which already has the names of 13 governors on it.

Hightower and his “Irish baby buggy” arrived here Thursday night after a tough trip across the Southern Idaho desert. The wheelbarrow survived the heat well, but Hightower had several blisters atop blisters before he reached the sanctuary here.

IN HIS carefully kept log book, the deeply suntanned wheelbarrow pusher chalked up his 19,448th mile. He explained that his tour since he left Ellensburg has taken him through most states of the nation and several countries of Central America.

Hightower, who lives on a government veteran’s pension, wore out 19 pairs of shoes and 1217 pairs of socks on his trip. He wears levis and a cotton suntan shirt most of the time. A pair of gloves helps absorb some of the punishment of pushing the 120-pound ‘barrow, into which are neatly piled all of his belongings.

HE SAID the idea of setting a world record for wheelbarrow travel struck him about five years ago.

“Men have accomplished many things, but no one picked a wheelbarrow for something like this,” Hightower said. “I picked the most primitive type of travel — a one-wheeled vehicle.”

HE CALLS HIMSELF a “messenger of good will,” and has delivered 332 lectures in schools, colleges and other institutions on Americanism.

“I’ve been trying to get across the idea that the American way of life is the best in the world,” Hightower said.

When asked how he managed to live on just a pension, he replied:

“You can’t throw a whingding, but you get by  somehow.”

Hightower hasn’t made up his mind whether he’ll go back to Ellensburg and settle down or not. He thought for a while of traveling to Hawaii or perhaps the Phillippines, but the Korean was situation has soured him on making a trip across the Pacific.

“Guess I’ll just mosey along and see how things turn out,” he said.

Idaho State Journal (Pocatello, Idaho) Aug 20 1950

Long Beach Independent (Long Beach, California) Aug 27, 1947

Walla Walla Union Bulletin (Walla Walla, Washington) Sep 28, 1950

Wheelbarrow Valued Highly

MOSES LAKE (AP) — Someone else is pushing Larry Hightower’s wheelbarrow and the former Ellensburg cowboy doesn’t like it.

It’s the one he pushed up Pike’s Peak on the jaunt that took him through the western United States and into Mexico and Canada. The one-wheeler turned up missing Thursday night, he complained to police.

Police should have no trouble identifying it. It has two headlights powered by a generator, a radio aerial topped by an American flag and the base is painted red, the interior white and the outside blue.

It’s worth a lot to Hightower, too: $40,000 was the estimate he gave police.

The cowboy said he suspects two juveniles.

Tri City Herald (Pasco, Washington) Jul 23, 1954

*****

Idaho Family Girl is (at least was – searching for her great-grandfather’s log books) to put in a museum. Read more HERE.

Recent post by Idaho Family Girl with more pictures.

Footage of Larry Hightower pushing his wheelbarrow on youtube:

Larry the Wheelbarrow Pusher