Posts Tagged ‘1872’

Grandma’s Stocking

December 2, 2011

FINISHED.

The supper is over, the hearth is swept,
And, in the wood-fire’s glow,
The children cluster to hear a tale
Of that time so long ago —

When grandmama’s hair was golden brown
And the warm blood came and went
O’er the face that could scarce have been sweeter then,
Than now in its rich content.

The face is wrinkled and care-worn now,
And the golden hair is gray;
But the light that shone in the young girl’s eyes
Has never gone away.

And her needles catch the fire’s light,
As in and out they go,
With the clicking music that grandma loves,
Shaping the stocking toe.

And the waking children love it, too,
For they know the stocking song
Brings many a tale to grandma’s mind,
Which they shall hear ere long.

But it brings no story of olden time
To grandma’s heart to-night —
Only a ditty, quaint and short,
Is sung by the needles bright.

“Life is a stocking,” grandma says,
“And yours is just begun;
But I am knitting the toe of mine,
And my work is almost done.

“With merry hearts we begin to knit,
And the ribbing is almost play;
Some are gay colored, and some are white,
And some are ashen gray.

“But most are made of many a hue,
With many a stitch set wrong,
And many a row to be sadly ripped
Ere the whole is fair and strong.

“There are long plain spaces without a break
That in your youth are hard to bear;
And many a weary tear is dropped
As we fashion the heel with care.

“But the saddest, happiest time is that
We court and yet would shun;
When our Heavenly Father breaks the thread,
And says our work is done.”

The children come to say good night,
With tears in their bright young eyes;
While in grandma’s lap, with a broken thread,
The finished stocking lies.

Cambridge City Tribune (Cambridge City, Indiana) Dec 5, 1872

Corsets for Everyone

June 22, 2011

This poetic advertisement ran in the newspaper back in 1885:

How dear to my heart is the “Comfort Hip” Corset,
A well moulded figure ‘twas made to adorn,
I’m sure, as an elegant, close fitting corset,
It lays over all makes I ever have worn.
Oh, my! with delight it is driving me crazy,
The feelings that thrill me no language can tell;
Just look at its shape, — oh, ain’t it a daisy!
The “Comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.
The close fitting corset – the “Lock Clasp” corset –
The “Comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.

It clings to my waist so tightly and neatly,
Its fair rounded shape shows no wrinkle or fold;
It fits this plump figure of mine as completely
As if I’d been melted and poured in its mould.
How fertile the mind that was moved to design it,
Such comfort pervades each depression and swell,
The waist would entice a strong arm to entwine it, —
The waist of this corset that fits me so will.
The close fitting corset, — the “Lock Clasp” corset –
The “Comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.

Of course I will wear it to parties and dances,
And gentlemen there will my figure admire!
The ladies will throw me envious glances,
And that’s just the state of affairs I desire;
For feminine envy and male admiration
Proclaim that their object’s considered a belle.
Oh, thou art of beauty – the fair consummation –
My “comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.
The Five-Hook corset – the “Lock Clasp” corset –
The “Comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 19, 1885

Saved By a Corset Steel.

Missouri Republican Last Saturday Mrs. Lucy Moore, aged twenty-one years, and a Mrs. Miller were among the passengers on the Santa Fe train coming to El Paso. About seventy miles north of El Paso, the train stopped in the open prairie on account of a hot journal. Mrs. Miller has a revolver that she had loaded for some time, and as she had tried in vain to pick out the cartridges, she thought it a good time to fire them off to empty the chambers. She fired several shots just at random, and then snapped the pistol three times. After the last shot she thought it was empty and went to picking out the shells when the weapon went off, the bullet striking Mrs. Moore in the pit of the stomach. The wounded woman was brought to El Paso. A medical examination showed that the corset had acted as a chain armor. The bullet struck a corset steel and was turned to the right, apparently causing only a flesh wound.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jan 6, 1888

Mrs. Robert Hintze, of 3606 Vincence avenue, Chicago, formerly Miss Jennie Gillet, of Fond du Lac, was badly injured by the bursting of one of the pipes of her kitchen range. The explosion resulted in badly lacerating her face, and she is in great danger of losing one of her eyes. A piece of iron struck her over the stomach, and would have probably caused fatal injury but for the resistance of a corset steel.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jan 5, 1888

Saved by Her Corset.

CHICAGO, Aug. 14 — Lillie Vale, who was shot by her lover, George Slosson in a Washington street saloon Sunday night, will not die. The ball struck a whalebone in her corset and glanced off, inflicting a serious but not fatal wound.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Aug 14, 1888

Her Corset Saved Her.

New York, Jul 6 00 John Billses, out of pure patriotic devilment fired a loaded revolver into a crowd on James street yesterday. A bullet struck Mrs. Oliver Fairly in the waist but glanced off without doing her any injury. Her steel corset saved her life. John is held for trial.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 6, 1888

Bright Bits

Motto for a corset factory — “We have come to stay.”

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Dec 20 1886

FRIVOLITIES.

No woman ever went to a corset shop for a stay of proceedings.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jun  4, 1886

A New York lady has invented a corset which will squeeze a woman to death in five minutes if she feels like suicide.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Ftichburg, Massachusetts) Oct 11, 1873

Why does a widow feel her bereavement less when she wears corsets? Because then she’s solaced.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) May 4, 1872

COMICAL CUTS.

The corset cannot be abolished; it is woman’s main-stay.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 15, 1888

How to Put on a Corset.

The San Francisco Chronicle is responsible for the following amusing description of an examination by a coroner’s jury, where the coroner desired to show the course taken by the ball, and for this purpose produced the corsets worn by Mrs. Burkhart, at the time of the tragedy:

“You see,” said he — and here he drew the corsets around his waist lacings in front — “the ball must have gone here from behind. No, that can’t be either, for the doctor says the ball went in front. Confound it, I’ve got in on wrong. Ah! this way.” (Here the coroner put them on upside down.) “Now you see,” pointing to the hole in the garment, which rested directly over his hip, “the ball must have gone in here. No, that can’t be either, for” —

Here Mr. Mather, the handsomest man on the jury broke in —

“Dr. Stillman,” said he, “you’ve got the corset on wrong.”

Here Dr. Stillman blushed like a puppy.

“Well,” said he, “I’ve been married twice, and ought to know how to rig a corset.”

“Yes,” said Mr. Mather, “but you don’t. You had it right in the first place. The strings go in front, and the ladies clasp them together in the back. Don’t I know, I think I ought to; I’ve been married. If you doubt it, look here, (pointing to the fullness at the top.) How do you suppose that’s going to be filled up unless you put it on as I suggest?”

“That,” said Dr. Stillman; “why, that goes over the hops.”

“No, it don’t,” said Mr. Mather; “that fullness goes somewhere else — this way;” and here Mr. Mather indicated where he thought the fullness ought to go.

At this a pale faced young man with a voice like a robin, and a note book under his arm, said he thought the ladies always clasped their corsets on the side. The pale faced young man said this very innocently, as if he wished to convey the impression that he knew nothing whatever of the matter. The jury laughed the pale faced young man to scorn, and one of them intimated that he thought the young man was not half so green about women’s dress as he tried to appear. The young man was a reporter, and it is, therefore, exceedingly probable that this knowledge was fully as limited as was apparent from his suggestion, the jury to the contrary notwithstanding.

Here another juryman discovered that Dr. Stillman had the corset on bottom side up.

“Doctor,” said he, “put it on the other way.”
Then the doctor put it on in reverse order, with the lacings in front. This brought the bullet holes directly over the tails of his coat.

“I don’t think,” said Mr. Mather, “that the bullet went in there, doctor.”

“No, I don’t think it did,” was the reply. “Confound it. It’s mighty funny — six married men in this room and not one that knows how to put on a woman’s corset.”

Here the Chronicles reporter, who has several sisters and always keeps his eyes open, advanced and convinced Dr. Stillman and Mr. Mather, after much argument, that the lacings of the corsage go behind, and that the garment is clasped in front. After this explanation the course of the bullet was readily traced, and found to bear out the explanation afforded by the two physicians.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachuetts) Jun 12, 1874

Corsets for Men.

The corset is becoming more and more a necessity of the ultra-fashionable man’s toilet, says a New York paper. The latest style of corsets for men look more than anything else like a large-sized belt curved for the hips, and are about ten inches wide. They are made of the same material as a woman’s corset, but whalebones are used instead of steel for the purpose of giving shape to them. They are usually laced at the back and are faced in front by means of eleven small elastic bands. The elastic is used so as to give perfect freedom of motion.

“How much do these corsets cost?” was asked of a manufacturer.

“The corset-wearers pay all the way from $2.50 to $20 a pair, and they are very particular not to say cranky, about the fit of them.”

“What class of men wear them?”

“The men who wear them are, in the first place, the fashionable young fellows around town, who are intent on being known for their handsome figures, and who do everything they can to increase the size of their shoulders and diminish the size of their waist. Outside of these the wearers of them are military men and stout men who find themselves growing too corpulent for gracefulness. Actors often wear them, and among the actors who are addicted to this sort of thing Kyrle Bellow and Herbert Kelsey are most frequently quoted. These men, it’s said, “secure corsets from a theatrical costumer instead of the fashionable furnishing-goods men on Broadway.”

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 10, 1890

Now they are talking of corsets for men. Some people will go any length to get tight.

Modesto Evening News (Modesto, California) Feb 13, 1923

Not content with one external revolt, there are those devotees to style who are advocating (no fooling) corsets for men.

“What’s this country coming to, anyway?” the writer heard one man asking another in conversation. “There’s no dispute on the point that ‘co-worked’ form would be the corset wearer’s, but the real mission of the corset would be to shape the wearer’s career.”

And all this climaxes an announcement at the Mercantile Exposition (in the broadest sense) that corsets practically are going to be taboo with “madame who wishes to be right in style,” figuratively speaking.

And, in the words of the gentleman quoted above, there is cause to wonder “if man really is to become the unwitting victim of the law of compensation, because somebody [has] to wear the darn things.”

Modesto Evening News (Modesto, California) Aug 10, 1923

An Electric Corset.

Paris is laughing over a joke about an American inventor who is said to have patented an electric corset that is to bring about the reign of morality at once. If one of these articles is pressed by a lover’s arm it at once emits a shriek like the whistle of a railway engine; and the inventor claims that he has already married three of his daughters, owing to the publicity thus thrust upon a backward lover.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jul 16, 1891

A Few Words About Electric Appliances.

ALBERT LEA, May 28th, 1886 — W.S. Jackson — DEAR SIR: Previous to wearing Dr. Scott’s Electric corset I was troubled with severe pains in my back and shoulders, and after using one for only two weeks the pain has entirely disappeared. I would not part with it for four times its cost.

MISS BERTHA REIMER

Freeborn County Standard (Albert Lea, Minnesota) Jun 16, 1886

Every Mail brings us Testimonials like the following:

Memphis, Tenn., November 28.
Dr. Scott’s Electric Corsets have given me much relief, I suffered four years with breast trouble, without finding any benefit from other remedies. They are invaluable.

MRS. JAS. CAMPBELL.

*****

De Witt, N.Y., June 11.
I have an invalid sister who has not been dressed for a year. She has worn Dr. Scott’s Electric Corsets for two weeks, and is now able to be dressed and sit up most of the time.

MELVA J. DOE.

Daily Democratic Times (Lima, Ohio) Sep 29, 1886

Even children should wear corsets! Be a sensible mother — get your child a corset so she can be beautiful.

The Salem Daily News (Salem, Ohio) Aug 26, 1890

Where No Irish Need Apply

March 17, 2011

Image from the Food @ Hunters Hill website.

Hurray for the Irish!

The other day we tossed a scallion to an Irish-owned Employment Agency on 6th Avenue because it posted a sign reading: “No Irish Need Apply.”

Now comes a reminder from William Kenny of East Haven, Conn., who says that this is taken from an old Dean Swift quotation. Swift saw the same sign on a factory — No Irish Need Apply!

So he took out his pencil and under that sign be swiftied: “Who ever wrote this wrote it well, For the same is written on the Gates of Hell!”

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Mar 23, 1932

Image from the Lehman College website.

The New York Sun supplies the following ingenious explanation of the origin of the expression, “No Irish need apply.” “The words for a time were common in advertisements of servants wanted. The story is that Dean Swift and his Irish servant were travelling near Cork and reached that city, then governed by some Englishman. He had fastened a sign on the gates to the effect that Irishmen would not be admitted. The dean passed in, Patrick was left outside. He saw this sign, and presently added this couplet:

“”‘Whoever wrote this, wrote it well,
For the same is written on the gates of hell.'”

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Feb 23, 1896

A girl, presenting herself for a situations, at a house “where no Irish need apply,” in answer to the question where she came from, said: “Shure, couldn’t you persave by me accint that it’s Frinch I am?”

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Feb 25, 1869

DURING a recent engagement of Mr. and Mrs. Barney Williams in Philadelphia, a woman, with an infant, attended one of the performances. The baby kept up an incessant cry. At the end of the play, Mr. Williams was called before the curtain. The baby was bawling lustily. Mr. Williams looked around for a moment then said:

“Shure there’s a nurse wanted.”

A roar of laughter followed. When the mirth had subsided, the woman with the infant arose and replied:

“No Irish need apply.”

There was a tremendous burst of applause, amid which the woman, with the musical baby, triumphantly retired.

Decatur Review (Decatur, Illinois) May 25, 1871

New York Daily Times – Mar 25, 1854

The New York Times – May 10, 1859

The Daily Republican -(Illinois) – May 7, 1873

The Ohio Democrat – May 10, 1883

“No Irish Need Apply.”

Editors Morning Herald.

In running my eye over your list of local news items April 1st, my attention was particularly attracted by an advertisement for the respectable and responsible position of “maid of all work” with the qualifying (but not obsolete) phrase “no Irish need apply.” The advertiser did well to add this last phrase, lest all the Irish in the city might apply together, as the position was too good to miss it there would be a rush sure of the “wild Irish.”

I fear the advertisers have outlived their time, as Irish-phobia and Knownothingism are dead and buried so deep as to be past resurrection. I am told the same phrase, “no Irish need apply,” is posted on the doors and gates of the nether world, as well as on some of their facsimiles on terra firma. The occupants of the house referred to must be sleeping, or out of the country, for the last ten or eleven years, as during that time their fell of bigotry toward the Irish was crushed out and Irish have held positions of trust and danger from the time the first gun was fired on Fort Sumpter down to the present date. In conclusion my Irish friends are better off without such anglicised bigots for employers.

Yours, &c,
“IRISH”

Titusville Morning Herald (Titusville, Pennsylvania) Apr 2, 1872

“Dennis, my boy,” said a schoolmaster to his Hibernian pupil, “I fear I shall make nothing of you — you’ve no application.”

“An’ sure enough, sir,” said the quick-witted lad, “Isn’t myself that’s always been tould there is no occasion for it? Don’t I seen every day in the newspapers that ‘No Irish need apply,’ at all at all?”

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Aug 18, 1883

IT will be noticed that our city government is a regular knownothing concern. The first year of the present administration the Irish and Germans were recognized, in a small way, and even Johnny Bull got a small slice, but the second year every foreign born citizen was bounced. Not only has the promise to “take care” of the men who like a glass of beer been violated, but the men who were largely instrumental in the election of the republican city ticket aer not now recognized in the appointments. No Dutch or Irish need apply, except to shovel on the streets.

Decatur Morning Review (Decatur, Illinois) Jul 15, 1884

“No Irish Need Apply.”

TO THE EXPRESS: — An unknown poetic friend sends me the following stirring poem. It deserves circulation, and will be read with pride by all lovers of distressed Erin — the laurel-twined isle, so ignobly oppressed that station comes not till at treason’s behest:

J.N. GALLAGHER.

Shame on the lips that utter it, shame on the hands that write;
Shame on the page that publishes such slander to the light.
I feel my blood with lightning speed through all my being fly
At the old taunt, forever new —
No Irish need apply!

Are not our hands as stout and strong, our hearts as warm and true
As theirs who fling this mock at us to cheat us of our due?
While ‘neath our feet God’s earth stands firm and ‘bove us hangs his sky,
Where there is honor to be won —
The Irish need apply!

Oh! have not glorious things been done by Irish hearts and hands?
Are not her deeds emplazoned over many seas and lands?
There may be tears on Ireland’s cheek, but still her heart beats high,
And where there’s valor to be shown —
The Irish need apply!

Wherever noble thoughts are nurs’d and noble words are said,
Wherever patient faith endures, where hope itself seems dead,
Wherever wit and genius reign, and heroes tower high,
Wherever manly toil prevails —
The Irish will apply!

Wherever woman’s love is pure as soft, unsullied snow,
Wherever woman’s cheek at tales of injury will glow,
Wherever pitying tears are shed, and breathed is feeling’s sigh,
Wherever kindliness is sought —
The Irish need apply!

If there is aught of tenderness, If there is aught of worth,
If there’s a trace of heaven left upon our sinful earth;
If there are noble, steadfast hearts that uncomplaining die
To tread like them life’s thorny road —
The Irish will apply!

Till on Killarney’s waters blue the soft stars cease to shine,
Till round the parent oak no more the ivy loves to twine.
Till Nephin topples from his place and Shannon’s stream runs dry,
For all that’s great and good and pure —
The Irish will apply!

F.R.H.

San Antonio Daily Express (San Antonio, Texas) Aug 26, 1886

The defeat of John W. Corcoran for lieutenant governor, and the putting aside of Owen A. Galvin as a mayoralty candidate, may be regarded by the Irish-American voters as a notification from the mugwumps that when it comes to offices “no Irish need apply.” — {Boston Traveller.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Nov 14, 1890

Mrs. Noshape — There, you careless creature, you have dropped that beautiful statue of Venus and Broken it all to pieces.

Bridget — Well, mum, you ought to be glad av it. Sized up alongside of Vaynus your figure was at considerable disadvantage.

And no Mrs. Noshape has advertised for a new servant that is respectful and well-behaved. No Irish need apply.

— Texas Siftings.

The Stevens Point Gazette (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) Jun 12, 1895

Image from the Parlor Songs website, and includes an interesting article about the Irish Immigrants and the song.

FAIR ENOUGH By Westbrook Pegler

[excerpt]
Hated Like Present Jew Refugees

The Irish refugees of those days, men and women of the same faith and stock from which Father Coughlin himself has sprung, were hated like the Jewish refugees of the present. Election frauds and immigration frauds were bitterly resented by the native Americans as politicians exploited the greenhorns to thwart native proposals and defeat their tickets at the polls.

The immigrants were untidy, disorderly and troublesome, speaking in general terms. So, even as late as the turn of the century, a music hall song, possibly one of Harrigan and Hart’s, sounded the refrain, “And they were Irish, and they were Irish, and yet they say ‘no Irish need apply’.”

This referred to the virtues of Irish heroes and to the open prejudice against the Irish expressed in the employment ads in American cities.

The bill against the Irish and, of course, the Catholics — for they were almost all Catholic — also accused them of carrying into their new life here their active hatred of a foreign nation with which this country was on friendly terms. It was argued that immigrants who took citizenship here had no right to imperil the life of their new country by activities which might involve the United States in a war with Great Britain.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Feb 25, 1939

Left My Bed and Board

March 9, 2011

Perplexing Case.

Hon. James H. Knowlton, one of our most eminent Western advocates, met with the following perplexing adventure in his early practice in Wisconsin:

A stranger came into his office and abruptly informed his that his wife had deserted him, and wished to have her replevined at once. Knowlton told him that that remedy would not meet his case exactly, and went on to inform him that if he would be patient until the desertion had continued one year, he could obtain a divorce. —

The stranger said he did not know that he wanted a divorce. What he mostly feared was that his wife would run him in debt all over the country.

“In that case,” said Knowlton, “you had better post her.”

What his client understood him to mean by posting, remains a mystery to this day. He said, in a meditative way the he didn’t know where she had gone, and beside, that she was fully as strong as he was, and he didn’t believe he could post her, even if he knew where to find her.

Knowlton hastened to inform him that by posting his wife he meant puting a notice in a newspaper, saying:

“Whereas my wife Helen has left my bed and board without any just -”

“But that ain’t true,” interrupted the client — “that ain’t true. she didn’t leave my bed — she took it away with her.”

The Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Sep 25, 1861

CAUTION.

WHEREAS my wife Anne, late widow of David Risher, had left my bed and board without just cause, on the 26th inst. — This is therefore to caution all persons, from trusting or harboring her on my account, as I am determined to pay no debts of her contracting after this date.

BALTZER KOONTZ, Son.
Bethlehem tp. July 27.

The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio) Aug 19, 1824

NOTICE. — WHEREAS MY WIFE, Anna Rolland, has left my bed and board I shall pay no more bills of her contracting from this date.

LEVI (his X mark) ROLLAND,
Fitchburg, Jan. 23, 1874.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jan 29, 1874

Caution.

NOTICE is hereby given to all persons, that my wife Hannah Fosdick has left my bed and board, and has taken one of my children with her, John H. Fosdick. I hereby forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on my account, or in behalf of the child, as I will pay no debts of her contracting after this date; as I will support the child when returned to me at Norwalk.

JOHN M. FOSDICK.
Norwalk, Sept. 4, 1844

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Sep 24, 1844

NOTICE.

I, the undersigned, caution the Public against trusting my Wife LYDIA M’WHIRTER — she having left my bed and board last October, without any provocation and against my consent. I will not pay any debts of her contracting from this date.

JOHN M’WHIRTER
Baltimore July 17, 1841.

The Adams Sentinel (Gettsyburg, Pennsylvania) Aug 2, 1841

CAUTION AND NOTICE.

WHEREAS my wife Elvira Bridges, without any good cause or reasonable excuse there for, has left my bed and board and absconded with my two children this is to caution all persons from harboring her or them and to give notice that I shall pay no debts of her contracting or pay any expense for their or either of their support having suitably provided for them at my house in Bucksport.

EPHRAIM BRIDGES, Jr.
Bucksport Oct 12 1841

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Oct 26, 1841


NOTICE.

MY wife, REBECCA, left my bed and board, and refuses to live with me under any consideration whatever, after intercessions and propositions of every kind, that an affectionate husband could make. I, therefore, hereby warn all persons not to harbor or trust her on my account, as I have arrangements made for her board, and by calling on me, or on Messrs. Wareing & Benson, or C. & J. Culp, she can have information, and be conducted to the house.

MATHEW M’KELVEY.
Plymouth, Huron County, Nov. 16, 1842.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Nov 29, 1842

Pass Him Round. — Mrs. Elizabeth Peterman, of Rochester, Fulton county, Indiana, thus notices her absconding husband: “Left my bed and board, last August, thereby making my expenses lighter, my dearly beloved companion, David Peterman, without any just cause or provocation. All the old maids and young girls are hereby forewarned against harboring or trusting him on my account, as I am determined not to be accountable for his debts, or, more especially, for his conduct. Papers will please copy, and oblige a female who is rejoicing at her happy riddance.” — Indiana Blade.

The Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Apr 13, 1846

Dennis O’Shanessy advertises as follows in the Columbus Republican: “I hereby give notice that my wife Bridget has left my bed and board and that I will not pay her debts, as we are not married.”

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) Apr 12, 1872

Poetry Against Prose.

The following notices appear as advertisements in the Ticonderoga Sentinal of recent date:

NOTICE.

Whereas my wife Josephine has left my bed and board without just cause or provocation, all persons are hereby forbidden to trust or harbor her on my account, as I shall pay no debts of her contracting hereafter.

W.O. MEASECK.
_________
NOTICE.

No bed or board as yet we’ve had
From William O. or William’s dad.
Since last September, when we were wed,
Have furnished him both board and bed;
And for just cause and provocation
Have sent him home to his relation.

MRS. JOSIE MEASECK.

Josie has the best of it in wit if nothing else.

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) Oct 5, 1893

NOTICE.

To whom it may concern: All persons are hereby notified that Joseph Leipert has left my bed and board without any cause or reason therefor, and that hereafter I will not be responsible for any board, lodging, clothing, food, expenses, or other article furnished him.

Dated at Corning, Iowa, February 26, 1898.

ANNA LEIPERT

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Mar 10, 1898

NOTICE.

My husband, John S. Sanders, having left my bed and board, notice is hereby given the public not to sell him anything in my name as I will not be responsible for debts or bills contracted by him.

MRS. ANNA M. SANDERS,
New Oxford, Pa.

New Oxford Item (New Oxford, Pennsylvania) Sep 5, 1918

To all Whom it may Concern.

My wife, Francis Catching, having separated from me, and having left my bed and board without any just cause or provocation, I hereby notify all persons not to trust or give her credit on my account, as I will pay no bills, debts, or obligations contracted by her from and after this date, of any nature or kind whatever.

JOEL P. CATCHING.
Missoula, M.T., Feb. 23, 1883.

The Daily Miner (Butte, Montana) Mar 4, 1883

MY WIFE, Mrs. I.H. Tupen, having left my bed and board, I will not be responsible for any debts contracted by her after this date, December 11, 1919. Irving H. Tupen.

P.S. — Her name formerly was Miss Avy Alice Cutlip.

Woodland Daily Democrat (Woodland, California) Dec 19, 1919

Abe Lincoln, Remembered

February 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln!

An Abe Lincoln Story.

Senator Mills has a new story about Lincoln. It was told to him by a son of John L. Helm of Kentucky, who lives in Corsicana.

“Old John L. Helm,” said the senator, “was a famous character in Kentucky. He was, if I remember rightly, a governor of the state, but at any rate his position was a most prominent one. When the civil war came on, Helm was a rabid secessionist. He could not praise the south too highly, and could not heap enough abuse upon the north. He was too old to go into the war with is sons, and remained at home, doing all he could to help the confederate cause and harass the Yankees who invaded the state. Finally he became so obstreperous that the federal general who was in command near Helm’s home put him in prison. The old man’s age, the high position which he occupied in the state, his wide connection, and, especially his inability to do any actual harm, were all pleaded in his extenuation and he was released.

Instead of profiting by the warning, the old man became more persistent than ever in his course. Once more he was clapped into jail. This happened two or three times, and finally, while he was still locked up, the matter was brought to the attention of the federal authorities. Even President Lincoln was appealed to, and asked to commit the ardent southerner to an indefinite confinement in order that he might be curbed.

“Lincoln listened to the statement of the case with more than usual interest. Then he leaned back and began to speak with a smile upon his face. “You are talking about old man John Helm? Well, did you know that I used to live, when I was a boy, in Helm’s town. He was kind to me. He seemed to like me as a boy, and he never lost an opportunity to help me. He seemed to think,” said Lincoln, with another of his almost pathetic smiles, “that I would probably make something of a man. Why, when I went out to Illinois, poor and unknown, that man gave me the money to pay my way and keep me until I got a start. John Helm? O, yes, I know him And I know what I owe to him. I think I can fix his case.”

“And then,” said Senator Mills, “Lincoln went to a desk and wrote a few words. The bit of writing is treasured in the Helm household to this day. This is what the president wrote:

“I hereby pardon John L. Helm of Kentucky for all that he has ever done against the United States, and all that he ever will do.

“‘ABRAHAM LINCOLN.'”

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Dec 20, 1897

LINCOLN.

This man, whose homely face you look upon,
Was one of Nature’s masterful great men;
Born with strong arms, that unfought battles won;
Direct of speech and cunning with pen.

Chosen for large designs, he had the art
Of winning with his humor, and he went
Straight to his mark, which was the human heart.
Wise, too, for what he could not break he bent.

Upon his back a more than Atlas load,
The burden of the commonwealth was laid;
He stooped and rose up to it, though the road
Shot suddenly downward, not a whit dismayed.

Hold, warriors, counselors, kings! — All now give place
To this dear benefactor of the race.

R.H. STODDARD.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Apr 10, 1886

Image from the Haunted Hudson Valley website.

LINCOLN’S PHANTOM FUNERAL TRAIN.

A writer in the Albany [Evening Times] relates a conversation with a superstitious night watchman on the New York Central Railroad. Said the watchman: “I believe in spirits and ghosts. I know such things exist. If you will come up in April I will convince you.” He then told of the phantom train that every year comes up the road with the body of Abraham Lincoln. Regularly in the month of April, about midnight, the air on the track becomes very keen and cutting. On either side it is warm and still. Every watchman when he feels this air steps off the track and sits down to watch.

Soon after the pilot engine, with long black streamers, and a band with black instruments, playing dirges, grinning skeletons sitting all about, will pass up noiselessly, and the very air grows black. If it is moonlight, clouds always come over the moon, and the music seems to linger, as if frozen with horror. A few moments after and the phantom train glides by. Flags and streamers hang about. The track ahead seems covered with a black carpet, and the wheels are draped with the same. The coffin of the murdered Lincoln is seen lying on the center car, and all about it in the air and the train behind are vast numbers of blue-coated men, others leaning on them. It seems then, that all the vast armies of men who died during the war are escorting the phantom train of the President.

The wind, if blowing, dies away at once, and over all the solemn air a solemn hush, almost stifling prevails. It a train were passing, its noise would be drowned in the silence, and the phantom train would ride over it. Clocks and watches always stop, and when looked at are found to be from five to eight minutes behind. Everywhere on the road, about the 27th of April, the time of the watches and trains is found suddenly behind. This, said the leading watchman, was from the passage of the phantom train.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Dec 21, 1872

Autumn Poetry

November 1, 2009

In November.

The ruddy sunset lies
Banked along the west,
In flocks with sweep and rise
The birds are going to rest.

The air clings and cools,
And the reeds look cold
Standing above the pools
Like rods of beaten gold.

The flaunting golden-rod
Has lost her wordly mood,
She’s given herself to God
And taken a nun’s hood.

The wild and wanton horde
That kept the summer revel
Have taken the serge and cord
And given the slip to the Devil.

The winter’s loose somewhere,
Gathering snow for a fight;
From the feel of the air
I think it will freeze tonight.

— DUNCAN CAMPBELL SCOTT.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Oct 24, 1891

 

AUTUMN.

No sound but the beechnuts falling
Through the green and the yellow leaves,
And the rainy west wind calling
The swallows from the eves,
No fading trees are shedding
Their golden splendor yet;
But a sunset gleam is spreading,
That seems like a regret.

And the crimson-breasted birdie
Sings his sweet funeral hymn
On the oak-tree grim and sturdy,
In the twilight gathering dim,
Death comes to pomp and glory;
They fade the sunny hours;
And races old in story
Pass like the summer flowers.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Oct 19, 1872

 

Fall Time in Georgia.

Through summer, we’ve been toastin’,
But now we’re on the way
Where the sweet potato’s roastin’
An’ the cabin fiddles play.

The cane will soon be gindin’,
An’ the boys’ll have their fun;
The hunter’s horn is windin’
An’ the rabbit’s on the run!

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Aug 12, 1895

Obviously, the fiddler in the picture is not from Georgia, but I thought it was a great picture anyway. While searching for it, I came across a picture of a fiddler from Georgia by the name of Robert Allen Sisson. You can read about him in The Old Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame. To the left of his biographical sketch is an audio link of him playing Rocky Road to Dublin.

 

THE DESERTED BARN.

AGAINST the gray November sky
Beside the weedy lane it stands,
To newer fields they all pass by
The farmers and their harvest hands.

There is no lack within the mow;
The racks and mangers fall to dust;
The roof is crumbling in, but thou,
My soul, inspect it and be just.

Once from the green and winding vale
The sheaves were born to deck its floor;
The blue-eyed milkmaid filled her pail,
Then gently closed the stable door.

Once on the frosty wintry air
The sound of flail afar was borne,
And from his natural pulpit there
The preacher cock called up the morn.

But all are gone; the harvest men
Work elsewhere now for higher pay;
The blue-eyed milkmaid married Ben,
The hand, and went to Ioway.

The flails are banished by machines,
Which thresh the grain with equine power,
The senile cock no longer weans
The folks from sleep at dawning hour.

They slumber late beyond the hill,
In that new house which spurns the old;
In gorgeous stalls the kine are still,
The horse is blanketed from the cold.

But I from ostentatious pride
And hollow pomp of riches turn,
To must that ancient barn beside;
Pause, pilgrim, and its lessons learn,

So live that thou shalt never  make
A millpond of the mountain farm,
Nor for a gaudy stable take
The timbers of the ruined barn!

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Aug 10, 1872

The Beloved Fannie Dugan

October 17, 2009
The Fannie Dugan (Image from Portsmouth Public Library)

The Fannie Dugan (Image from Portsmouth Public Library)

The inspiration for this post was the 1874 article entitled An Appeal, written by the widow of Capt. John McAllister, pleading with the public to not allow the Fannie Dugan‘s new competition to run her out of business, as this steamboat was her sole source of income since the death of her husband. It turns out the Fannie Dugan was one of the most popular steamboats running in the Portsmouth area during the 1870’s.

**********

RIVER NEWS.
The Mountain Belle leaves for Catlettsburg, every day at 2 o’clock. She was purchased a few days since, by John McAllister, from the Big Sandy Packet Company — price $15,000.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Aug 6, 1870

**********

Frank Morgan and Capt. McAllister of the Mountain Belle, have gone to Cincinnati to get an outfit for their new boat, the Fannie Dugan. They will return Wednesday.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 6,  1872

**********

The Fannie Dugan was presented with a new bell by Thomas Dugan.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 27, 1872

Thomas Dugan (Image from Portsmouth Public Library)

Thomas Dugan (Image from Portsmouth Public Library)

Some background on where the Fannie Dugan got her name:

(I) Thomas Dugan. grandfather of Dr. Thomas (2) Dugan, of Huntington, was born, according to one tradition, in Ireland, and according to another in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When a young man he removed to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he engaged in mercantile business, later becoming a leading banker of that city. He was president of the Farmers’ National Bank of Portsmouth, and loaned the money with which the site of the city of Huntington was purchased. He married Levenia Mackoy, born in Kentucky, and they were the parents of two children: i. James S., of whom further. 2. Fannie, became the wife of J. C. Adams, a prominent citizen of Portsmouth, and died in 1885, at the age of thirty-two years, leaving two children : Earl and William, now engaged in the manufacture of fire-arms and fire-works in Portsmouth.

Fannie Dugan (Image from Portsmouth Public Library)

Fannie Dugan (Image from Portsmouth Public Library)

The steamer “Fannie Dugan” was named in compliment to Mrs. Adams, and her father, Thomas (i) Dugan, gave two hundred and fifty dollars for the silver to be used in casting its bell, and also presented the piano to form part of its equipment. At the time of his death, a sudden one occurring in 1873, ‘”IS ^^’^s in the prime of life. The old Dugan residence still stands in Portsmouth, on the corner of Chillicothe and Eighth streets, and is one of the finest specimens of colonial architecture extant. Mrs. Dugan died in 1894, in Huntington.

West Virginia and its People (1913)
Author: Miller, Thomas Condit; Maxwell, Hu, joint author
Volume: 2
Publisher: New York, Lewis Historical Pub. Co.

**********

The Fannie Dugan, on her second trip out, broke a camrod and returned to this place on one wheel, where she is to remain until the ice thins out.

The new and elegant steamer Fannie Dugan has purchased a beautiful Valley Gem piano of D.S. Johnston.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Feb 17, 1872

**********

Capt. John McAllister, and not Jack as we erroneously stated, is sick, but recovering slowly.

Capt. Jack McAllister has sold out his interest in the Fannie Dugan at the rate of $24,000 for the boat, and has purchased the Mountain Belle for $10,000. Capt. McAllister has refitted and refurnished the Belle, and will leave here with her for Pittsburg next Monday, the 22d. We wish Capt. Jack abundant success.

The Fannie Dugan brought 400 barrels of malt from Pomeroy last Monday.

NOTICE TO SHIPPERS AND THE TRAVELING PUBLIC.

The Mountain Belle refurnished and refitted, will leave the city, at the foot of Market street, on Monday next, for Pittsburg and return. Parties having goods to ship to any way landings, or through to Pittsburg, are requested to ship by the Belle.

First class accommodations for passengers.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 20, 1872

**********

Captain John McAllister is prostrated at his residence in Springville, Ky., but hopes are entertained of his recovery.

Captain Jack McAllister has sold his interest in the Mountain Belle To Robert Cook, and purchased an eighth interest in the Fannie Dugan from his brother. The Dugan has been repainted, and with Captain Jack on the roof, is running in the Portsmouth and Cincinnati trade.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Oct 19, 1872

**********

Capt. John McAllister is still confined to his bed.

The Fannie Dugan has returned to her Portsmouth and Guyandotte trade.

The Mountain Belle is doing a thriving business just now, and Capt. Ripley is looking up freight industriously. Capt. Jack McAllister is on the roof, and the Belle is a good boat to travel on or ship by.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Oct 26, 1872

gravecross

Death of Captain John McAllister.

CAPTAIN JOHN McALLISTER, of Springville, Ky., and well and favorably known as a steamboat captain, died last Monday morning at 8:40 A.M. Captain McAllister had a host of friends on the river and shore, and his loss is one that will be felt by a large circle of friends and relatives.

He was a native of Lewis county, Ky., and was forty-eight years of age at the time of his death. About the year 1864 he purchased the Portsmouth and Springville ferry and removed to the latter place. He afterwards owned the steamers Jonas Powell and Mountain Belle, and last fall built the sidewheel steamer Fannie Dugan, which he commanded at the time he was taken ill.

Although a resident of Greenup county, he took a deep interest in the growth and business prosperity of our city, and by his liberality and enterprise he provided Portsmouth with excellent up-river packets, and did much to increase the trade of the city in that direction. The deceased always bore an irreproachable character, and was a man of generous impulses. The remains were taken to his old home, in Lewis county, on Tuesday for interment.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Nov 9, 1872

**********

THE Fannie Dugan has taken the fancy collar off her pipes and looks as large as the Great Republic. She blew out a cylinder head last Wednesday on her up trip, and returned here for repairs.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Apr 5, 1873

**********

Ten couple of Guyan lads and lasses came down on a pleasure trip on the Fannie Dugan last Wednesday. They danced all night, and enjoyed themselves hugely. Clerks, Simon Balmert and Robert McAllister, joined in the Terpsichorean excitement.

Quite a change has been made in the steamer Fannie Dugan. Mr. James Bagby, for many years connected with the commercial interests of Portsmouth, and at present in the mercantile business just across the river, has purchased of Mrs. McAllister, widow of the late Captain John McAllister, one half of the boat, at the rate of $24,000. He has placed Captain Jack McAllister on the roof, and under his command the merchants and traveling public will find the Fannie Dugan the steamer to patronize. These gentlemen have done much to keep up the wholesale trade of Portsmouth and Ironton, the boat having been built under the immediate superintendancy of Captain McAllister to meet the demand for a strictly local freight and passenger packet. So long as they give satisfaction, they are entitled to the entire patronage of shippers at this place and points on the river between here and Guyau.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 12, 1873

Charleston WV Capitol 1870 (Image from www.legis.state.wv.us)

Charleston WV Capitol 1870 (Image from http://www.legis.state.wv.us)

TO CHARLESTON AND RETURN:

A Cheerful Lunatic Writes us a Letter — He finds out how far it is to Gallipolis.

OFF GREENUP,
Monday, in the evening,
May 26, 1873.

EDITOR TIMES — Thinking it would interest your readers, I have concluded to write you a few lines  about (we keep the type standing of all letters up to this place. It don’t fail once in ten thousand times — EDITOR,) a pleasure trip on the Fannie Dugan to Charleston and return. I seat myself to the task. (A large reward offered for a correspondent who will stand up and write us a letter. — ED.)

Through the kindness of Capt. Wm. Ripley, several young folks were invited to take passage last Saturday evening, and at 6 o’clock we rounded out and were soon steaming up the beautiful river. At Haverbill, Ironton, and elsewhere, others came aboard. The distance from Portsmouth to Gallipolis is ninety miles, and from thence to Charleston, sixty-four miles.

MUSIC AND DANCING.

After supper the table was cleared and music, with its voluptuous swell, set many happy lads and lassies tripping the animated toe, which same continued to trip until midnight, when, to avoid mutilating the fourth paragraph on the Mosaical tablet of stone, fond pillows were pressed, and placid sleep, nature’s uncopyrighted and unpatented panacea, was poured upon the weary sons and daughters of Terpsichore.

HOW MEMORY FAILS.

I had forgotten to observe that at Ironton the gentlemanly and accommodating wharfmaster, W.G. Bradford, and lady got aboard, spoke kindly of you, and complimented the TIMES very highly.

We reached Gallipolis Sunday morning at 9 A.M., and taking a Kanawba pilot, departed at 10 A.M. The Kanawba is a meandering stream, interspersed with beautiful islands and Sunday fishermen. Very few towns on the river from Point Pleasant to Charleston. Landed at Charleston at 4:30 P.M.

CHARLESTON SLANDERED.

Charleston is the capital of West Virginia, and if a man don’t care what he says, it is a beautiful city. The population is liberal, and about one-third of it is negroes. The streets are thirty feet wide and two feet deep. Gorgeous mud holes adorn the principal streets, and the delicious musical concatenations of whippoorwill and frog produce an endless chain of discord at all hours.

The artistic crossings are sawed logs raised a foot above the streets, and the dull monotony of smooth carriage riding is broken by the logs and the mud holes. Only one Charlestonian was out riding last Sunday with his dulcines. His buggy was upset, and when his hat was fished out of a mud hole he gave two negroes three dollars to take it home in a wheelbarrow. They have their sidewalks in their cellars. The State House is a magnificent old-fashioned mammoth building, a cross between a hospital and a penitentiary, and is romantically situated in a clover pasture, with no pavements or sidewalks, and in wet weather the Reps go over on stilts or in dugouts. The pious Charlestonians don’t drink wine, ale, beer, or even whisky, on Sunday, but Boggs, (everybody has heard of Boggs,) keeps a soda fountain on Front street, and “flies” are great things to get in a glass of soda water, especially when the soda man hears you wink.

LOVE AND A FREE ADVERTISEMENT.

We left Charleston at 4:30 P.M., nothing of importance occurring between that place and Gallipolis, except the assiduous love-making of two Portsmouth gentlemen to a brace of Gallipolis damsels. It is hinted that certain young ladies of this city should not trust their fickle lovers away from home, especially when the Gallipolitian senoritas are in their company.

Captain Ripley and Simon Balmert, Clerk, were attentive and obliging, and it was hereby resolved that as long as the Fannie Dugan is officered by them, passengers will be pleased, freight will be cared for properly, and the bird of the period, the goose, will be dizzily elevated. The steward set tempting tables, and after midnight Sunday night dancing was renewed, and everybody reached Portsmouth happy.

The Fannie Dugan is the first sidewheel steamer that has been to Charleston for many years, and made the run from Gallipolis to Charleston and return in less time than ever made before by any boat.
SOLBAC.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) May 31, 1873

**********

MRS. McALLISTER, widow of the late John McAllister, has purchased the one-eight interest in the Fannie Dugan, owned by Mr. Robert Bagby. Capt. McAllister will continue on the roof, and no more accommodating boatman ever walked the roof of an Ohio river steamboat than Captain Jack. The Fannie Dugan will be off the docks and resume her trade the early part of next week.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Aug 9, 1873

**********

THE Fannie Dugan has temporarily quit the trade. The logs, rocks and bars of low water were too thick for so good a little boat. She leave this evening on a special trip to Cincinnati. Passengers will take in the Exposition Monday and return the same evening.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Sep 20, 1873

**********

MRS. McALLISTER has repurchased J. Bagby’s interest in the Fannie Dugan, and the gallant Capt. Ripley is on the roof and will look after the interests of the steamer. Capt. Bagby will superintend the new wharfboat and attend to his store on Second street.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Nov 29, 1873

**********

Capt. A.J. McAllister will go on the roof of the Fannie Dugan next Monday, and Mate Gray and the old Steward will ship with him. This gives the Fannie her old crew again.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Dec 27, 1873

**********

An Appeal

To the Merchants and Manufacturers of Portsmouth, Ohio, and elsewhere in the Portsmouth and Guyandotte trade, and the traveling public:

PAINFUL as is the necessity of making an appeal of this kind to you, under the circumstances I am compelled to do so, for reasons which appear herein. My late husband, Capt. John McAllister did more in his day to build up a trade between Portsmouth and the cities and towns along the river from this place to Guyandotte then any other man on the Ohio river. That his action tended largely to increase the wholesale trade of the city of Portsmouth, I think none will deny. He built the Fannie Dugan as a first class packet, which has worked in the interests of the Portsmouth and Guyandotte trade when no other boat has done so. Upon the death of Capt. John McAllister he left me the Fannie Dugan and the trade he had built up, my only means of support for myself and children.

Since his death a new boat has come in, making an effort to drive me out of the trade, or in the event of my staying to run me in debt and take away my only means for supporting my family. The action of her owners is hardly fair, when the clerk of the new boat when he sold his interest in the Fannie Dugan sold his good will in this trade. While his ingratitude to my late husband could be passed by, his effort to deprive me of my only income does not certainly recommend him to the people of Portsmouth, who knew my late husband so well, and remember him as only a clerk who has obtained the greater part of his money by the kind-heartedness and generosity of the dead man whose widow he is wronging.

While the name of the opposition boat should make citizens feel proud of her, the action of her officers and owners is too expressive of the motive that led them to adopt the name, and hence such as to lead the shippers of the city to give the matter some consideration. They are men able to make their living, and with a new boat it would be more creditable in them to build them a trade from Portsmouth to elsewhere than to attempt to wrest it from a woman.

I have aimed to deserve your support, and the means necessary to spend in an effort to save my boat from being crowded out, have been invested in a large and commodious wharf-boat, for the better preservation of freight shipped to and from the city. This I have only cited to show the merchants and business men of the city that nothing has been left undone to further their interests and the interests of shippers along the river.

As it is used against me by the opposition that I have only to blame myself because I would not put my boat in the Portsmouth and Pomeroy trade, I would say that the proposition was carefully considered, and at the advice of experienced business men and river men, it was made plain that a boat in that trade would lose money to begin with.

I have been thus plain in presenting these facts to you because I have felt the effects of the late panic, and have lost several hundred dollars by the partial failure of one who had all my earnings in his possession. I hope, then, those to whom I appeal will pardon me for so doing when my reason for it are so well taken, and that they will continue the liberal patronage heretofore extended to me, which I shall aim to deserve.

I have secured Capt. A.J. McAllister to command. He has done much to extend the trade of Portsmouth in the past, and will do all he can in the future, having served in the Portsmouth and Guyandotte trade for many years. The clerk, Simon P. Balmert, is a resident of Portsmouth, is accommodating and reliable, and known to you all, and needs no recommendation at my hands.

In conclusion, if the opposition, with their new boat, want to gain laurels, I put it to the gallant gentlemen of Portsmouth if they had not better try it in another field, and if they are successful the hand of scorn wouldn’t be pointed at them, and it couldn’t then be said, “Oh! they only succeeded in defeating a woman.” In the days of chivalry men fought men, have they degenerated so far that women will be called upon to defend themselves from those who should be their protectors?

MRS. CATHERINE McALLISTER.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 10, 1874

**********

RIVER NEWS. The Rankin has taken the place of the Fannie Dugan, and the latter is now running in the Cincinnati and Manchester trade.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Sep 19, 1874

**********

MRS. CATHERINE McALLISTER, Mrs. Nannie Thomson, and Miss Lennie McAllister, went up to Huntington on the Fannie Dugan last Saturday, had a very pleasant trip, and returned Monday morning.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 22, 1876

**********

AN excursion party went up on the Fannie Dugan last Friday. Mr. and Mrs. John Thompson, Mrs. Nan Thomson, Mrs. Catherine McAllister who chaperoned Miss Lennie McAllister, and Miss Helen and Kate Morton were the guests immediately from Springville. Miss Nannie and Sallie, daughters of Capt. A.J. McAllister, accompanied by Miss Pet Thomson, got on the boat at their home, above Springville.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Feb 19,  1876

**********

The steamer Fannie Dugan will extend her trip to Pomeroy to-day, with the genial Balmert and Bob McAllister in the office, and Capt. Jack on the roof. It is hinted that a grand excursion to Parkersburg is contemplated next Saturday, but of this we are not certain.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) May 13, 1876

**********

The colored population of the city will give a picnic at the grove opposite Ironton, next Tuesday. The Scioto and Fannie Dugan will convey passengers. There will be a vast crowd present.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 29, 1876

City of Ironton (steamer) (Image from www.riverboatdaves.com)

City of Ironton (steamer) (Image from http://www.riverboatdaves.com)

Important changes have taken place in the Portsmouth and Pomeroy Packet Co.’s  line, since last report, the new steamer City of Ironton taking the place of the Fannie Dugan, the Dugan in place of the Scioto, and the Scioto daily from Huntington to Pomeroy. There is no change in the crews. Capt. Jack McAllister commands the Dugan, with Will Waters clerk, Capt. Geo. Bay commands the City of Ironton, with Mr. Fuller in charge of the office.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Feb 28, 1880

**********

Marine Midgets.

The Fannie Dugan is out now, and ready for her run. The boat has been overhauled, repainted, and presents a fine appearance.

The Scioto, which has been running in the place of the Fannie Dugan, will resume her former trade, from Huntington to Pomeroy.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Nov 20, 1880

**********

THE Bay Brothers are making regular time with their Portsmouth & Pomeroy packets, the B.T. Enos and Fannie Dugan.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Feb 4, 1882

St. Johns River Map - 1876 (Image from Wikipedia)

St. Johns River Map - 1876 (Image from Wikipedia)

Departure of the Fannie Dugan for Florida.

The staunch and reliable Ohio river packet, Fannie Dugan, has been sold by her owners to Capt. C.B. Smith, who will take her to Florida, in a short time, to run in the St. John’s river trade. The Dugan made her last trip from Pomeroy Saturday evening, starting Sunday morning for Cincinnati where she was delivered to her new owner, and put upon Capt. Coffin’s ways, to be repaired before taking her long trip to the South. The price received is understood to be $7,500, which is considered an extra good sale.

The Fannie Dugan was eminently a Portsmouth boat, having made this city the lower terminus of her tri-weekly trips ever since she was built in 1871. In that year her hull was constructed at Ironton, the machinery and cabin being added at our wharf. Her original owners were Capt. John McAllister, Frank Morgan, S.P. Balmert and Capt. “Jack” McAllister, the latter gentleman acting as her Captain from that time until the sale last week. The cost of putting her upon the river was about $20,000 and for more than ten years she made profitable trips from Portsmouth to Huntington, or Guyandotte, and return. The Dugan always made money for her owners — the net earnings during many busy seasons of her career being $1,000 a week. She was a fast boat, well furnished and manned, and was very popular along the route. Numerous changes were made in her owners ?p during the time she was in the trade, Messrs. George and William Bay, S.P. Balmert, William Jones, Wash Honshell and H.W. Bates, of Riverton owning her at the time of the transfer — the two last name gentle men having the controlling interest.

It is understood that no boat will be put in the place of the Fannie Dugan until the completion of the Bay Brothers’ Louise, now being finished at Ironton.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jun 17, 1882

Railroad Wharf on St. Johns River - Florida (Image from www.taplines.net)

Railroad Wharf on St. Johns River - Florida (Image from http://www.taplines.net)

CHARLES W. ZELL has returned from his trip to Florida, greatly pleased with what he saw and experienced. He was at Sanford, and saw the Portsmouth men who are working there, and says they are greatly pleased with the country and have made up their minds to remove their families and make it their home. He was on the Chesapeake, and saw Captain and Mrs. Maddy. The Fannie Dugan was run into by an ocean vessel and sunk, and is a total loss. An attempt will be made to get our her machinery and put it into a sternwheel boat.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Feb 27, 1886

**********

Read an account of:

FANNIE DUGAN’S 1882 VOYAGE TO FLORIDA (pdf) HERE

**********

A good article with pictures:

PADDLEWHEELERS ON THE ST JOHNS
c.2005 by Virginia M. Cowart  LINK HERE

(note: if the above link doesn’t work, try THIS ONE and just scroll down)

**********

A great collection of steamboat photographs can be found here:

UW La Crosse Historic Steamboat Photographs LINK

Specifics about the Fannie Dugan (including picture) HERE (same site)

Portsmouth, Ohio Happenings – 1871 – What Goes Up, Must Come Down

October 14, 2009
Market Street - 1865 - Portsmouth, Ohio

Market Street - 1865 - Portsmouth, Ohio

Image from the Portsmouth Library photograph collection.

Chronology for the City of Portsmouth for 1871 by Weeks.

1st week. Mariner stole a pig.
2d week. A landlord was married and serenaded.
3d week. The Tribune don’t believe in spirits.
4th week. The town clock froze up.
5th week. The ground hog came and went.
6th week. Several want to be postmasters.
7th week. Some more fellows want to be P.M.’s.
8th week. Only one got to be P.M.
9th week. Wharf-boat moved further down town.
10th week. Big fire in town; mush and milk supper.
11th week. The TIMES got burned out last week by that big fire.
12th week. It rained Monday.
13th week. Sheriff outruns a jail-bird and catches him.
14th week. Cards are written freely, and the weather is delightful.
15th week. People get saw-dust for the queer. Sheriff takes that chap to Columbus. He won’t run much.
16th week. Irontonians drink about all the beer in this place.
17th week. Had an earthquake along about this time somewhere.
18th week. It is May-day this week.
19th week. The schools are going ahead now.
20th week. Several fellows had been taking it straight. In swapping off with the Mayor he got boot, also. Green cucumbers are ripe now.
21st week. The Ironton Journal man blew the end out of a six inch water pipe serenading these office.
22d week. A boy tried to crawl through that pipe this week.
23d week. Getting ready for the Fourth of July.
24th week. Some more getting ready, and five dog fights.
25th week. Two potato bugs captured.
26th week. More Fourth of July coming.
27th week. A colored deck hand wouldn’t own the baby.
28th week. Looking out for circuses.
29th week. Another circus coming.
30th week. A fellow went up in a balloon. He come down again.
31st week. Another circus coming.
32d week. Going to have a ni**er show.
33d week. Another circus coming.
34th week. Look out for water melons.
35th week. The Germans didn’t deify Horton.
36th week. Bad on mosquitoes.
37th week. Its New Year’s by brevet* this time.
38th week. Mail train comes in some times.
39th week. We’ve got a live peanut roaster.
40th week. Sol Smith Russell is coming.
41st week. If ever I cease to love.
42d week. Look out for water works.
43d week. Straw pile burned.
44th week. MAIL TRAIN ON TIME.
45th week. Col. Kurney has a buffaloss.
46th week. How are you musquito?
47th week. The martins have lit out.
48th week. An old delinquent, having recovered from a sick spell, paid his subscription.
49th week. The man will have good health now.
50th week. Christmas is coming.
51st week. The compiler of this chronology begins his labors.
52d week. He completes it, and the old year lights out.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 13, 1872

*****

* From the legal dictionary at The Free Dictionary by FARLEX:

BREVET. In France, a brevet is a warrant granted by the government to authorize an individual to do something for his own benefit, as a brevet d’invention, is a patent to secure a man a right as inventor.

This definition seemed to make the most sense, given the context above.

portsmouth circus advert 1871c

The following news articles isn’t funny, but I ran across it looking for an advertisement for the Robinson Circus, and since it was mentioned in the year’s recap above, I thought I would include it here:

Balloon Ascension — The Balloon Goes Up and the Aeronaut Comes Down — A Spectator Injured.

THE balloon ascension which was announced to take place on Wednesday, in connection with Robinson’s circus, terminated in a serious accident. A large crowd was present to witness the ascension. Everything was pronounced ready and the aeronaut called out to “let go.” The balloon started with a rapid whirl, and the basket striking one of the poles used in supporting the balloon while filling, was torn from the balloon, and the aeronaut, Geo. Augenstall, was precipitated forty feet to the ground. A thrill of horror ran through the crowd, and alarm was depicted on every countenance.

He was immediately picked up and conveyed within the tent. Dr. Bing being called in, it was found that no bones were broken, though he was badly bruised.The extent of his injuries could not be ascertained, as the shock to his system was frightful, and no doubt resulted in internal injuries. He was removed to the Legler House and yesterday was taken down on the steamer Andes to Cincinnati, where he resides.

The balloon alighted near Mr. Bell’s residence, in the northeast limits of the city.

At the same time the above occurred on of the poles fell among the crowd. Several were more or less hurt, and one, a young man named George Brown, known as “Dad” Brown, was dangerously injured, the pole striking him upon the shoulder and back. He has been improving, however, and it is thought he will recover. It is a wonder several were not killed outright.

Aeronauts have an unpleasant experience at Portsmouth. Last year the one with De Haven’s circus, who made the ascension, alighted in the middle of the Ohio river and barely escaped drowning.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) July 29, 1871

One-Legged Steamer Pilot Takes a Fatal Tumble … And So Does a Riverboat Captain

October 13, 2009

Fatal Accident Last Night!

CAPT. JNO. PARSONS

Falls Down the Stairway of the Little Grand Theatre, and Receives Fatal Injuries

A DISTRESSING accident occurred last night, between the hours of ten and eleven o’clock, at the Little Grand, which will doubtless result fatally. Capt. John Parsons, pilot on the steamer Logan, who had been attending the variety theater, over the Little Grand saloon, during the acts, started to go down stairs, and having but one leg, and somewhat in his cups, stumbled and fell to the bottom, receiving spinal injuries from which his physicians, Drs. Mussey and Davidson, think he cannot recover.

A TIMES reporter found him at one o’clock this morning, in the rear of the saloon, laid out on two tables, breathing heavily and unconscious. A sympathizing crowd stood around, and every moment it looked as if he would die in a saloon before a place could be found for him at that hour of night. Dr. Davidson was still in attendance.

Parsons lives in Huntington, and has a wife and three children. He is an old steamboat pilot in the Portsmouth and Huntington trade, running on the Dugan and Scioto, but for the last two weeks on the Logan.  He built the Viola. He lost his right leg by amputation some fifteen years ago, from an injury received by a line.

River Scene - Portsmouth, Ohio

River Scene - Portsmouth, Ohio

LATER.

At twenty minutes to two, Parsons was removed to the Europa House, where he lies unconscious at this writing, with no hope of his recovery.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Nov 1, 1879

West End View - Portsmouth, Ohio

West End View - Portsmouth, Ohio

Portsmouth Public Library (postcard collection can be found here)

1879
LOCAL CHRONOLOGY
FOR THE YEAR.

OCTOBER [excerpt]

31st. Capt. John Parsons, pilot on the steamer Logan, a one-legged man, while in an intoxicated condition, falls down the stairway of the Little Grand theatre, fracturing his skull, and causing his death the following day.

NOVEMBER.

14th. Condemnation of the Little Grand Theatre Hall.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Dec 27, 1879

Portsmouth Times Advertisement 1870

Portsmouth Times Advertisement 1870

CAPT. LAFE SICKLES‘ new packet, James Fisk, Jr., came up Sunday, fully furnished and equipped, and took her place in her trade Monday morning. She is a beauty, being the finest finished boat of the class ever equipped at Cincinnati. She is light of draught, swift, and elegant — just the boat for the trade. Her hull was built at Concord, Ky., by Taylor & Shearer, and is 130 feet in length, 26 feet beam, 31 feet over all, and 5 feet hold. The cabin is the work of M. Wise & Co., Ironton; painting by O. Hardin, Portsmouth; landscaping by John Leslie. She has three chandeliers, brought from the East, at a cost of $130 each. Her cabin contains thirty staterooms, and on the door of each is a handsome landscape. Her skylights are made to serve a new feature in advertising, as each one contains the advertisement of some business firm along the line, and at each end of her route. The office is at the front of the cabin, and is of black walnut, and will be graced by a life-sized portrait of her commander. She was built expressly for the trade, at a cost of near $15,000, and is owned by W.P. Ripley, W.A. McFarlin, and W.L. Sickles, all of Portsmouth.

1870 Census Record - Portsmouth, Ohio

1870 Census Record - Portsmouth, Ohio

She will carry the mail between Portsmouth and Pomeroy, making three trips a week, and will be officered as follows: Captain W.L. Sickles; Clerks, W.A. McFarlin and Doc. Hurd; Pilots, John Parsons and Ed. Williamson; Engineers, Jacob Henler and Frank Neil; Mate, William Kennet.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 9, 1870

Portsmouth Times - Feb 1872

Portsmouth Times - Feb 1872

Sad Accident.

CAPTAIN W.L. SICKLES died last Saturday night under very peculiar circumstances. His wife was visiting her father, and he died alone, with nothing but the silent evidence of appearances to interpret the manner in which he died.

The bed chamber was a small one, and in one part of it was the bed, a bureau near it, and between the bureau and bed Captain Sickles had placed a chair, on which he had put a dipper of water. It appears that he had gone to bed naturally enough. His vest had been hung on a nail, the key of the door laid on the bureau, his coat hung on the back of a chair, and his pants lay on the floor.

Sunday forenoon when he was found, he lay with his face in a pool of blood, between the chair and the bureau, one leg and part of his body on the chair, and the other leg under the bed and partly on the chair, wedged between the two, the collar of his shirt sunk in his throat, producing strangulation and hemorrhage. The print of the dipper was on his leg where he had fallen on it, and the water was still in it when he was found, showing that he died in the exact position in which he fell. The following is the

VERDICT OF THE JURY.

We the undersigned jurors impanneled and sworn on the ?th day of January 1872, at the Township of Wayne in the County of Scioto ???? of ????, ?? George S. Pur?ell, Coroner……[too hard too read]….of Portsmouth, Ohio, on the 7th day of January A.D. 1872 came to his death, — after having heard the evidence and examined the body, we do find that the deceased came to his death by accidental strangulation.

THOS S. HAIL?
RALPH W. FA?DEN
J.W. ROCK?OLD
FRANKLIN ????
CHARLES C. SALSBURY,
C C ROW ??

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 13, 1872

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Feb 21, 1872

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Feb 21, 1872

THERE is a remarkable coincidence in the death of Col. Fisk and Captain Sickles. Captain Sickles had a high regard for Col. Fisk, and named his steamer after him. Col. Fisk appreciating the compliment, forwarded a handsome set of colors for the boat. Captain Sickles was found dead at about the hour Sunday forenoon that Fisk expired.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 13, 1872

*****

On Google Books:

The Robber Barons: The Great American Capitalists, 1861-1901
By Matthew Josephson

Page 134: Reference to James Fisk, Jr. being called the “Prince of Erie.”

*****

NOTE: Capt. Sickles full name was William Lafayette Sickles, based on the name variations from different sources.

Poisoned Flannel

August 3, 2009

POISONED FLANNEL.

Murderous Mysteries of Manufacturing.

(Correspondence New York World.)
Harrisburg, PA, March 23.

A SUIT is pending in one of the civil courts of this State, growing out of the following facts: During 1869, 1870 and 1871 many paragraphs appeared in the papers in different parts of the country, chronicling cases of poisoning from wearing flannel, usually red flannel. It is since claimed to have been discovered that the diseases so produced were essentially of one type, and never ensued except to person who had been wearing flannel of the manufacture of Messrs. Rhees & Howell, Howlet Creek, Pa. The suit is brought by some of the stockholders of Rhees & Howel’s flannel works against the estate of young Mr. Rhees for damages done to their interests by new processes of manufacture introduced by him, which processes are said to have led to the disastrous effects above referred to, and in consequence of which their fabrics were rejected from the market and their dividends reduced to nothing.

The establishment of Rhees & Howel was one of the most respectable and wealthy manufactories in the country, and its dividends during at least a generation had been regular and handsome. The business had been managed in chief by the men of the firm, and when, in 1868, old Mr. Rhess died, Howel telegraphed to Europe for his son to come and fill his place. When young Rhees returned — early in 1869 — Howel had also died, and the entire management of the concern devolved upon him and Mr. David Morgans, the intelligent foreman, who had been connected with the business for more than twenty-five years.

Mr. Griffith Rhees was about thirty years old when he returned. He had been five years in Europe, most of the time in the University of Berlin, where he had been pursuing a course of technical science and applied chemistry, with the express object of fitting himself for his prospective duties as a manfacturer.

Mr. Rhees was not a dreamer, but a man of extremely practical views. He never let conjecture override fact in his mind, and when he returned to the superintendency of the Howlet Creek factory his first step in the administration of affairs showed him to be a business man of no ordinary qualities. He called them together and showed them by irresistible figures that the Rhees & Howel mills were losing money. He convinced them that the protective duty of 120 1/2 per cent on flannels, high as it was, did not compensate them for the offset duty of 69 1/2 per cent on fine wool, and the other taxes that burdened their manufacture. The stockholders proposed to suspend operations. This, however, Mr. Rhees opposed, convincing them that by this course they would lose their skilled labor and their old and well-established custom.

“Besides, gentleman,” said he, “I mean to show you that American brains, American machinery and American capital can do more than the same things in any other part of the world.”

One day, returning from a walk, Mr. Rhees called Morgans into his study and unrolled before him a strip of something that was like cloth, nigh the third of an inch thick, gray on one side, greenish on the other, with the texture and something of the touch of felt.

“What’s that?” said Mr. Rhees.

Morgans shook his head. “It might be thick-milled flannel, but it isn’t. I never handled any cloth like that.”

“It’s a vegetable,” said Mr. Rhees.

“It’s a codfervoit plant known as ‘water-flannel,’ and grows in our mill-dams.”

Morgans started. “Cott!” said he, “if we could only get a good crop of that sort of thing on the ponds, we could let the tariff and the taxes go to the devil!”

Mr. Rhees did not reply, but placing a bit of the cloth under a microscope, showed Morgans that it was really a vegetable fungus, made up of myriads of jointed threads woven together symmetrically and firmly, so as to have the texture and simulate to the actual fabric of a cloth made by machinery.

This was still in the early part of 1869, Morgans’ affidavit tells us; and it was only a few days later that Mr. Rhees summoned him again, and submitted to his inspection a piece of red flannel, which Morgans avers was in every respect not less than 25 per cent above the standard quality produced at the mill.

“That’s English,” said Morgans; “I know the feel of it.”

“That’s Howlet Creek and Rhees & Howel’s mill pond!” retorted Mr. Rhees. “That’s made out of the piece of vegetable fibre I showed you the other day,” added he.

“Impossible!” said Morgans.

“I knew that I could make cloth out of it,” added Mr. Rhees, “and I have done it.”

Morgans’ affidavit goes on to recount very circumstantially the processes resorted to by Mr. Rhees to convert the vegetable fabric into a durable cloth, to keep up the strength and continuity of its fibre, and prevent the fungus from undergoing decomposition.

“Now, Morgans,” added Mr. Rhees, “you must keep this matter a secret, for I am going to perform miracles, and we shall have the hands burning us up if it gets out. I mean to dispense, with factory, machinery, and all, I mean to make our mill ponds manufacture this thing for us as fast as we need it, and so cheap that we can sell it, pound for pound and drive even unwashed wool out of the market!”

Morgans looked at his employer, as if he expected to find him turned lunatic. He saw instead a handsome, intelligent face, glowing with fine enthusiasm.

“See here,” said Mr. Rhees, using his microscope, “do you see this? This cloth is simply vegetable fibre and starch. Starch is the most readily organizable of all materials, and if chemical synthesis cannot establish the conditions precedent to the unlimited production of these globules of feculae and their enwrapping fibre, it ought to surrender claims to usefulness. I say this: I already know how to make cheap cloth, and good cloth, out of this fungus, and I will find means to induce these mill ponds of ours to produce the fungus, just when, how, and as much as we want.”

Mr. Rhees was now occupied for more than two years in perfecting and reducing to practice his various and complicated processes. After he had found out how to consummate and regulate the production of the fungus, there was machinery to invent and to be made that would enable them to gather it cheaply, and there were besides a great number of subsidiary experiments to be conducted, so that the inventor’s time was fully occupied. Meanwhile the mill had been steadily working on, doing its three quarter time with satisfaction to all concerned.

Meanwhile, also, there had been put upon the market from the Rhees & Howel mill, slowly, in small lots, and with a careful avoidance of everything like asking attention to it, a new grade of flannel, mostly red in color, thick milled, rather hard to the touch, and with very short nap, but otherwise not peculiar, except that it seemed to be a very fine goods. This flannel had a particular trade mark of its own, and was called the “Rhees fibre.” It was only “for trial,” and at prices averaging 25 per cent below the market standard for similar qualities, but always in small lots and to different purchasers. This good, thus distinctly separated from the common product of the mills the parties who bring the suit claim will be specifically identified as the article whose introduction caused them the damages they allege, and indeed brought on the catastrophe of the Rhees & Howel mills.

Morgans’ says that it was only in October, 1871, that Mr. Rhees had finally completed all his preparations. Even then he was only able to make the final experiment upon a small surface at the upper end of the mill dam, on account of the deficiency of help. It would not yet do to take the hands into the secret. Rhees in fact wanted to get possession of all the stock first, and then turning his factory into a co-operative union, take all hands into business partnership with him at the same time that he shared with them the new secret. The operatives had already suspicions of something, and were only kept from murmurs of dissatisfaction by hints which Rhees threw out of his intentions toward them. In one night, therefore, Rhees and Morgans, using a model of the landing machinery, brought to the shore enough of the fabric to make 200 yards of flannel. This was loaded into country wagons hired for the purpose, delivered at the mill, and stored in an unused room, all under cover of darkness. By the 20th of December Rhees and Morgans, working at odd times, had submitted this to the chemical and dressing processes necessary, had prepared it for market, and on that date, says Morgans, for the first time, a large consignment of the “Rhees fibre” was made to  their New York agents, along with other goods shipped them as usual.

Rhees, following up his plan, had been actively negotiating with the several holders for the purchase of their shares of stock in his mill. On the 17th of April, 1872, at 10 in the morning, Rhees came into the mill office, looking considerably disturbed.

Morgans asked him what was the matter. He replied that his child, an infant less than a year old, was very much complaining. It had seemed to be threatened with croup; but in the night it had had a sudden attack of fever, with a decided crimson eruption, and he had sent for the doctor, fearing it was scarlatina.

“But that is not the chief trouble,” said Rhees; “see this.”

And he opened a medical journal published in Louisville, and pointed Morgans to an article in it on a new disease just diagnosed there. It was styled in the article “Mycolloidal Dermestitus,” was said to be a peculiar eruption, attended with great irritation of the skin, running an uncertain course, complicated with cerebral symptoms, more or less marked, and terminating variously. Cases were mentioned in which the eruptions lasted weeks, and then disappeared as suddenly as it came, others in which the attack was violent and the result as immediately fatal as in malignant erysipelas. The disease was said to be caused by wearing red flannel.

“I don’t believe it, Morgans,” said Mr. Rhees. “But even if it is not so, and such a thing gets abroad, it will ruin our business. If people suspect that there is such a thing as poisonous red flannel in the market, they will decline to buy any flannel.”

Morgans said not a word, but going to a drawer in his desk, procured a scrap book, opened it, and pointed his employer to a long column of newspaper clippings, enumerating cases of sickness and death from wearing red flannel.

“You see, there’s none of ’em older than ’69,” said Morgans.

“Good God, Morgans!” cried Mr. Rhees, “what do you mean?”

“Didn’t we sell a piece of that flannel to Jones & Rhenhardt, in Louisville? I tell you that it’s our flannel — the Rhees fibre — that’s poisoning all these folks.”

“It is not — it cannot be!” cried Mr. Rhees, in great agitation. “Every part of the process, all the articles used in it, are perfectly innocuous.”

“Then it’s the fungus that does it,” persisted Morgans. “I’ve watched these things some time, and I know it’s our flannel.”

Morgans says Mr. Rhees stood like a man thunderstruck. He faltered, staggered, and could not speak. At this instant a servant came running to him from his house, and told him the doctor had come and wanted to see him at once — the baby was very ill.

“Morgans,” said Mr. Rhees, as he went out of the door, making a painful effort ot control his agitation, “telegraph at once to our factors to stop these goods peremptorily, and no matter at what cost.”

Morgans did as he was bidden; and in the course of half an hour Mr. Rhees returned to the office, looking — so the foreman said — like a man sentenced to death.

“Morgans,” said he, “where di the piece of flannel come from I sent for yesterday?”

“It was the Rhees fibre; I thought you wanted it for some of your experiments. Good God, Mr. Rhees! You didn’t put that around your child’s neck, did you?”

“What else!” said the unhappy man, forcing himself to be calm; “and the child is dying, and the doctor pronounces the disease to be — O God! I am punished! I am punished!”

And to Morgan’s great distress Mr. Rhees broke into a great weeping.

At this moment a telegraph boy arrived with a dispatch, which Mr. Rhees read and then handed to Morgans, controlling himself and becoming suddenly calm once more, by an effort which the faithful foreman said was more frightful to witness than his sobs and tears. The message said that the orders arresting the sale of the consignment of the Rhees fibre had come too late. The goods had been sold on very satisfactory terms to another house, which had already reported that they were to be made up into uniforms for General Herrera’s army.

“You see, Morgans,” said Mr. Rhees, “the fire I kindled has gone beyond my own house.”

As he spoke, the doctor came to the door and laid his hand on Mr. Rhees’ shoulder.

“Your child is dead,” said he; “go comfort your wife.”

“I am going — to make reparation to her, and to all,” answered Mr. Rhees, walking out of the office.

After much search his body was found, two days later, in the deepest part of the mill dam. The stockholders suspended operations at the mill at once, attached the property of Rhees, and brought suit as above mentioned. The case will come to trial soon as the messengers who have been despatched for witnesses from General Herrera’a army shall have returned.

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) Apr 5, 1872

squiggle

Read more online about water-flannel in the following 1844 magazine (Google Books, page 282) at the link:

Title    The eclectic magazine of foreign literature, science, and art
Publisher    Leavitt, Trow, & Co., 1844

Item notes    v. 1
Original from Indiana University
Digitized Feb 3, 2009

squiggle

The “Poisoned Flannel” story, which we published last week, is styled by the Holmes County Farmer a “skillfully concocted scientific sensation, but people are not required to believe it on our account.” Just so.

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) Apr 12, 1872

*****

I posted this story in the Tragic Tuesday category because  I totally fell for it when I read it in the old newspaper! I then spent about an hour searching the archives for more articles about this “tragedy” and came up completely empty, until I finally found the snippet above which was published in the same paper the following week. I bet the editors had a real good laugh.

Anyway, I do think it’s a good story, even if it isn’t true.