Posts Tagged ‘1890’

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


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


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.


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.



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.


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

A Song of the Sea

June 12, 2011


The mermaids and mermen below the sea
A wonderful organ made;
With the tenderest care and loving art
Its every part was laid.
Wood they brought from the wrecks below,
And gold where the ships went down;
They used no nails, but fastened it well
With threads from a baby’s gown.

One pipe gave the sound of a song so sweet
That was sung by a beautiful girl;
A mermaid caught it, and kept it safe,
Wrapped round with a golden curl.
The next pipe’s note was the sound of a kiss
That a mother gave her son,
As he stood on the deck of a noble ship
That went down ere the day was done.

This pipe gave forth the sound of a prayer
That was heard when the storm was high;
And next was the laugh from some children dear,
Who saw no danger nigh.
A strong man’s voice was heard in the next,
And it was firm and clear,
He said, “God bless you, dear,” to his wife,
When he saw that death was near.

So the mermaids and mermen gathered all
Of the voices his in the deep;
They placed them in the pipes and reeds,
To be roused once more from sleep.
But the beautiful organ displeased the one
Who rules the winds and waves,
For the sounds that were placed in the organ’s pipes
Belonged to the ocean’s caves.

So he placed them back in the silent depths,
In the caves of the south and north,
For the voices lost in the sea must stay
Until he calls them forth.
But if you listen, you hear them all
Come up from the sounding sea —
The prayer, the song, the kiss, the laugh,
That some time shall be free.

— Boston True Flag.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Sep 17, 1890

How Hayseed Bought a Watch

March 25, 2011

Image from the Living Archives (Canada)


When Farmer Hayseed struck the oil
He sold his farm, and with its soil
Still clinging to his gaiters brown,
He gayly took a trip to town.

Inside a jeweler’s shop he strayed,
And there one hundred dollars paid
For a gold watch, which he next day
Took back to get one twice as gay.

“Good mornin’,” grinned old Hayseed to
The jeweler; “how du yeou du?
I guess I’ll change this turnip for
Thet one that costs a hundred more.”

The salesman, with a smiling face,
Took back the watch and gave in place
The one of double cost. “Hello!”
He cried, as Hayseed turned to go.

“I want a hundred dollars more
Before I let you leave my store.”
Old Hayseed tipped a knowing wink’
“Wa-al, neow, young man, I’m green, you think.

“B’gosh! I hain’t; I’ll let you see
Yeou can’t play bunko onto me.
Didn’t I give yeou yesterday
One hundred dollars cash in pay?
“And hain’t this watch thet I brought back
A hundred more? Jehosaphat!
Don’t one and one make two? Some fools
Hain’t much on figgerin’ out of schools.”

The jeweler scratched his puzzled head;
“That’s so — you’re right,” he slowly said;
And beggin’ pardon for his doubt,
He let the mad old farmer out.

— H.C. Dodge in Chicago Sun.

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Apr 16, 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,

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:


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!


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

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

Santa Claus Soap – What Wonders it Will Do

December 29, 2010

Friends, Washerwomen and Housekeepers, lend me your ears!

Here are some examples of the Santa Claus Soap advertisements that ran in many newspapers over a period of  several years. This first one, from 1888 is the earliest one I saved, but I think I saw some that were published prior to this. Click to enlarge images.

Little Miss Muffet used Santa Claus Soap in 1889.

As did Mistress Mary!

Even the Old Woman, who used it to sweep the cobwebs from the sky?

In 1890, it was the Three Little Maidens skipping rope…

and then in November of the same year, a pretty, sensible woman with no rhyme and no rope.

The 1891 World’s Fair  prompted the advertisers to rearrange My Country Tis of Thee (National Hymn?) to include Santa Claus Soap.

In April of 1891, it is back to the Sensible Women with big heads.

June of 1891, the rhyme returns, and brings  with it, an Ugly Couple. These two don’t even look human. I hope the executives at Santa Claus Soap fired the artist.

Also in June of 1891 – Santa Claus himself makes an appearance, bringing joy to the hearts of all housekeepers.

September, 1891, Banks, Banks, Banks…and Fairbank with a jester looking character.

Summer of 1892, and Santa is a Traveling Man. Did Santa Claus Soap inspire Ricky Nelson?

Come September, it’s riding the Cockhorse to get some Santa Claus Soap.

Like in the Mother Goose rhyme.

My deah boy! It’s all about the Collars and Cuffs in December of 1892.


Sapolio – Where Dirt Gathers – Waste Rules

Pearline – Don’t Wear Yourself Out Over the Washtub

The Cause of Education

December 12, 2010

Image from Corbis

An Essay.

Read before the Teachers’ Association at Spirit Lake, April 24, 1878.  [or 1873 – hard to read]

The honored trust conferred on me,
By this Association,
I now essay — my theme will be,
The Cause of Education;
For we should ever keep in view
Our mission, aim, high calling,
E’en though our words are but as dew,
On thirsty herbage falling.

‘Tis this that forms the common mind,
That makes it strong or tender;
Just as we find the tree inclined
The twig was bent when slender.
What care we then should exercise,
Pursuing our vocation,
That those who may be great and wise,
Attain their destination.

Who knows but some beneath our care,
Acquiring education,
May have a weighty trust to bear,
As statesman of our nation?
Our teachings, then, should ever be,
By word, by deed or manner,
That they should die before they’d see
A star plucked from our banner.

Our liberties so dearly bought,
Matured on fields as gory,
Must be maintained; these youths, untaught,
Must learn our nation’s story;
And let it run from sire to son,
Throughout each generation,
Till, star by star, the world is won,
To deck our constellation.

That star of stars, the center, see!
Our infant thirty seven —
An emblem of our liberty —
The whole dome of Heaven.
Oh, Liberty, thou dearest boon
That ever blest a nation! —
To thee our hearts and harps we tune,
Imparting education.

But not with patriotic lore
Must end our trust, our duty,
We may explore, far, far from shore,
That sea of matchless beauty —
The Sea of Knowledge — placid son,
Spread out around before us,
Whose breeze of thought, inhaling, we
Enjoy, while wafting o’er us.

How much to learn! — From youth to age,
No time to waste in leisure;
But gaining knowledge, page by page,
Should be our dearest pleasure.
Let us aspire to raise still higher
This art of navigation,
That all progress and never tire,
Embarked in education.

How great the trust devolved on us! —
The weal or woe of nations; —
To bring a blessing or a curse,
On future generations;
We scarcely dare a part to share,
As thus its weight we ponder,
God grant to guide us; ‘neath him care
From virtue ne’er we’ll wander.

These budding minds will soon unfold,
As do the summer roses —
Will they mature as gems of gold,
Or dross that decomposes?
So much depends on how they start,
In youth’s fair, vernal morning
All, all should nobly bear a part,
In guiding, giving warning.

The worth of gems we ne’er detect
Without the artist’s dressing;
The godlike glit of intellect —
Mankind alone possessing —
To brighten, polish and mature,
It is our sacred duty,
Till, like the diamond, bright and pure,
It radiates its beauty.

So let us ever keep in view
Our mission, aim, high calling;
E’en though our words are but as dew,
On thirsty herbage falling —
Strive to inspire the minds of youth,
As they detail the story,
To teach the way of light and truth,
And give God all the glory.

Teach all to know all blessing flow
From Him that all are sharing,
And to prepare, while here below,
For mansions He’s preparing,
That when the thread of life is spun,
Which Time’s keen so they will sever,
We’ll meet The Teacher, God’s own Son,
And learn of him forever.

*Read in Good Templars’ Lodge, in Milford, Tuesday evening July 1, 1800.

Milford Mail (Milford, Iowa) Jul 3, 1890

NOTE: Do they mean 1890? There were a few other typos that I fixed so as not to interrupt the flow.

Pearline – Don’t Wear Yourself Out Over the Washtub

December 2, 2010

Sandusky Daily Register –  Jan 30, 1891

As stated in this 1891 Pearline advertisement, the produce came into being about 1877. They seemed to have kept their illustrator pretty busy producing a wide variety of advertisements.

Since I ran across some “Hints for Housekeepers,” while looking for the Pearline ads, I am including them. Some are entertaining, some might be useful, and some are rather dangerous, and come with a cautionary warning:

Galveston Daily News – Jul 13, 1888


Can you tell it was election season when this next one ran?

Daily Northwestern – Nov 27, 1888


These hints don’t appear to be serious:

Handy Hints for the Housekeeper.

A perplexed housekeeper wants to know what she shall do with the tin cans that from day to day accumulate about the house — fruit cans, meat cans — of all kinds cans, cans, and a thousand cans. Well, if you keep a boarding house, you might throw them into the street, right in front of the house as a bait for the homeless man seeking a boarding house, If you have a home, however, you might utilize the cans in many ways.

You might take the tomato cans, fill them with soft, rich earth, and plant them, and by and by a whole handful of all sorts of weeks would come up. Then you could take the can to the pottery and have the potter twist a nice terra cotta vase about it so as to completely hid the can, and thus at a trifling expense, not over a few dollars, you could utilize your old tomato can as a garden vase.

Or you could take a lobster can, and bore three holes at equal distances in the sides, close to the open end. Then cover the can as thickly as you need with fine plastic material used in the manufacture of cheap statuettes, and employ some good artist to fashion ?? in graceful shape and beautiful designs. Then fasten bright brass chains in the three holes and hang it in a hook in the porch roof, and you will have a handsome hanging basket that need not cost you more than $5.

If you should break a kerosene lamp, save the foot of it, and with a bit of red flannel and merino and some white crochet make a pin cushion of it, stuffing the flannel and merino out in a large, irregular shaped sphere and with the crochet cotton work “lOve thE giVEr” on it. Then set it in the spare room on the dresser, care being taken to have the cushion fastened on so loosely that it will cant a little to one side. Then, when the guest wakes up in the night and sees that awful apparition in the moonlight, he will confess all his sins, put on his clothes hindside foremost, and dropping himself out of the window will flee in terror into the wilderness and never come back to spoil your best pillow shams with his bear’s oily head again.

“It isn’t what you get,” they say down in West Virginia, “that makes you rich, it’s what you save.” A few cents here and there in household expenses are not noticed at the time, but at the end of a year they aggregate enough to pay the for a steam thresher.

Fort Wayne Daily Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana) May 7, 1881

Sandusky Daily Register – Aug 8, 1889

Sandusky Daily Register – Mar 3, 1890


This one even mentions Pearline in its hints:

Hints for the Housekeeper.

If you think the kitchen is a hot place be easy on the cook.

Lard applied at once will remove the discoloration after a bruise.

A rug under one’s feet is restful when long standing is necessary, as in ironing or washing dishes.

Whites of eggs may be beaten to a stiff froth by an open window when it would be impossible in a steamy kitchen.

Mrs. Emma Ewing avers that not book knowledge alone but cook knowledge is needed in this broad nation of dyspeptics.

Cistern water that has become foul may be purified with powdered borax or alum. A quarter of a pound of each will cleanse twenty-five or more barrels.

Put a little pearline in the greasy pots and roasting pans and it will greatly facilitate cleaning them, especially if you stand them on the range to heat the water.

Most vegetables are better cooked fast, excepting potatoes, beans, peas, cauliflower and others which contain starch. Cabbage should be boiled rapidly in plenty of water; so should onions, young beets and turnips.

William Galvani learned from experiments that by cooking most fruits and vegetables lose their natural flavor, which he says in “Food, Home and Garden,” is after all, more delicious than any that can be artificially supplied.

You can prevent your pretty new ginghams from fading if you let them lie for several hours in water in which has been dissolved a goodly quantity of salt. Put the dress in it while it is hot, and after several hours wring it out dry and wash and usual.

The pretty woman fades with the roses on her cheeks and the girlhood that lasts and hour; the beautiful woman finds her fullness of bloom only when a past has written itself on her, and her power is then most irresistible when it seems going.

When a warm bath is taken, if the whole body from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet is instantly sponged with cold water there will not be danger of taking cold. The cold water closed the pores naturally. They are left open unnaturally after a warm bath.

Commonplace but important is the suggestion, “Be careful of fire.” Never take risk of lighting fire in stove or furnace not known to be ready and safe. In building or repairing see that the pipe holes in the chimney are tight and well protected from lath and siding by use of clay pots made for the purpose.

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) Jan 2, 1892

Sandusky Daily Register – Jul 21, 1890

Sandusky Daily Register – Dec 12, 1890



Every Day Hints for the Practical Housekeeper.

The oil of white birch bark, which gives to Russia leather its peculiar aromatic and lasting qualities, when dissolved in alcohol is said to be excellent for preserving and waterproofing various fabrics. It renders them both acid and insect proof, and in no way destroys their pliability.

Tea and coffee stains will usually come out of linen if put into water at once or if soon washed. IF the yare of long standing rub pure glycerine on them, and then after washing this out, wash the linen in the usual way.

Prick potatoes before baking so that the air can escape. This will prevent their bursting in the oven.

Bad breath or offensive breath may be removed by taking a teaspoonful of the following mixture after each meal. One ounce liquor of potash, one ounce chloride of soda, one and one-half ounces phosphate of soda, and three ounces of water.

A good formula for layer cakes is as follows: One cupful of sugar, one-half cup of butter, one-half cup of sweet milk, the beaten whites of four eggs, two cupfuls of flour and a heaping teaspoonful of baking powder.

The Housekeeper gives the following hints: To take ink out of linen, dip the spotted parts immediately in pure melted tallow, the wash out the tallow and the ink will have disappeared.

Lima Daily Times (Lima, Ohio) Aug 16, 1892

Sandusky Daily Register – Jul 15, 1892


This next one is kind of creepy:

Sandusky Daily Register – Oct 11, 1892


Let the men wash!

Fort Wayne Gazette – Apr 30, 1895


Here are the household hints that come with the warning. The dangerous hints are mostly at the end of the list:


The following directions for removing stains, spots, etc., must be used with exceeding caution, Chloroform, benzine, turpentine, kerosene and gasoline are all dangerous substances unless handled with extreme care.

Sponge a grease spot with four tablespoonsful of alcohol to one of salt.

Sprinkle salt over the spot on a carpet and sweep all up together.

Rub finger marks from furniture with a little sweet oil.

Put a lump of camphor in an air-tight case with silverware to keep it from discoloration.

Remove paint spots from a window by rubbing a copper cent over them.

Sprinkle salt over fresh claret stains.

Wash ink stains in strong brine and then sponge with lemon juice.

Hold a fruit stained article over a bowl and pour boiling water through the cloth.

Rub egg stains on silver with salt on a damp cloth.

Use wood ashes on discolored tableware.

Clean steel knives with raw potato dipped in fine brick dust.

Rub brass with hot vinegar and salt and scour with fine ashes.

Clean a carpet with a broom dipped in a very weak solution of turpentine in hot water.

Cleanse grained woodwork with cold tea.

Scour ironware with finely sifted coal ashes.

Soak mildewed clothes in buttermilk and spread on the grass in the sun.

Wash rusty gilt frames in spirits of wine.

Wash oilcloth with a flannel and warm water; dry thoroughly and rub with a little skimmed milk.

Purify jars by soaking hem in strong sodawater.

Wash blackened ceilings with sodawater.

Rub white spots on furniture with camphor.

Rub a stove zinc with kerosene.

Cleanse bottles with hot water and fine ????s.

Remove fruit stains from hands with weak oxalic acid.

Clean jewelry with prepared chalk.

Wash hair brushes in weak ammonia water.

Rub stained hands with salt and lemon juice.

Remove ink from wood with muriatic acid, after rinsing with water.

Wash japanned ware with a little warm soda.

Rub mirrors with spirits of wine.

Apply spirits of salt to ink stained mahogany.

Use sulphuric acid, wash off with suds, for medicine stains on silver.

Remove all stains from wall paper by powdered pipe clay moistened.

Use gasoline for removing paint.

Use jewelers’ rouge and lard for rubbing nickel plating.

Wash willow ware with salt water.

Clean hard finished walls with ammonia water.

Rub whitewash spots with strong vinegar.

Rub soft grease over tar and then wash in warm soda water.

Dip a soft cloth in vinegar and rub on smoky mica.

Sponge faded plush with chloroform.

Take paint out of clothing by equal parts of ammonia and turpentine.

To remove machine oil from satin use benzine. Be careful about having a light in the room as it is very explosive.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) May 27, 1894

Fort Wayne Gazette – Dec 30, 1895


Pearline gets violent:

Fort Wayne Gazette – Jun 12, 1896



A PAN of borax and sugar, kept under the sink, will discourage roaches.

Plenty of hot water and washing soda put down the sink pipes will keep them clear, and lessen the plumber’s bill.

A piece of lime or charcoal in the new refrigerator will prevent the “new” odor and taste from clinging to eatables.

To successfully bake a piecrust without its filling, line it with paraffin paper and fill it with uncooked rice.

Enameled ware that has become burned or discolored may be cleaned by rubbing with coarse salt and vinegar.

A teaspoonful of lemon juice to a quart of water will make rice very white and keep the grains separate when boiled.

A tablespoonful of borax is an agreeable addition to the dishwasher, and helps to keep the hands soft instead of irritating them, as soda does.

The Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) Dec 1, 1907


Curse Monday, Wash Day:

Nebraska State Journal – Oct 25, 1897


The late 1890s must have been desperate times; this  woman is slashing with a dagger:

Eau Claire Leader – Jul 6, 1898


Hints for the Housekeeper.

A soft clean cloth dipped in melted paraffin will give the stove a smooth, attractive surface. Kerosene-oil on a soft lintless cloth may be used on the nickel afterward to effect a polish.

Put two worn blankets together, cover with silkolene and stitch with worsted. Thsi makes an attractive comforter, if you choose the silkolene and worsted to harmonize with the color scheme of the bedroom.

Brushes should be hung up. They should never be allowed to stand on their bristles as this mats them and tends to make the bristles fall out. In using a broom, sometimes use one side and sometimes the other; this will make it wear evenly and so last longer. An oil mop will wear longer if it is not hung too near the heat after washing it. The bristles of a carpet sweeper or a vacuum cleaner can be well cleaned of hairs with a buttonhook or a pair of scissors.

Fine china nicks particularly easily when it is warm. A towel in the bottom of the dish pan will save much danger of chipping. Use a mild soap in washing painted or gilt-edged china and wash one piece at a time. Avoid using water that is too hot, in washing dishes and put plates into it edgewise so that both sides will expand with the heat alike. Much fine china, especially that which is made in China, is rough on the bottom. When the dishes are stacked in the closet, soft paper, or flannel pads should be kept between them to prevent the decoration on the front from being scratched, worn or chipped.

— Delineator.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) May 27, 1922

Nebraska State Journal – Aug 16, 1897


Hints For The Housekeeper

A Model Floor Waxer

I haven’t a floor waxer, so will tell how I wax my floors. I lay down a piece of cloth, put on the middle of it the amount of wax it will take, then place a warm flatiron on the wax, gather the cloth all up on the handle of the iron and proceed to iron the floor. As the iron cools change for a warmer iron. The wax goes go much faster this way and soaks in better, because it is warm. I wait about half an hour, then put a large piece of old woolen goods in the mop and then polish the floor. Try it on your Congoleum rugs and see how much brighter they are.

Save On Cleaning Candlesticks

Instead of scraping the wax from brass or silver candlesticks, plunge the metal part in hot water and thus melt the wax. Candlesticks are often scratched when the wax is scraped off. By melting off the wax much time is saved and you will not run the risk of marring the candlesticks.

Sheboygan Press (Shepoygan, Wisconsin) Jan 7, 1927

Where Dirt Gathers, Waste Rules

November 16, 2010


House cleaning is a great horror to nine men out of every ten. When that time comes the “men folks,” as a rule, give the domestic hearth a wide birth. Oceans of suds — the product of tons of soap — fairly flood every part of the house. The women, from the mistress down, labor as they never worked before, and what with the discomfort, the smell of suds and the dampness, and not unfrequently sickness, the product of colds and overwork, matters are generally disagreeable. The simple use of Sapolio instead of soap does away with all this discomfort. It lightens the labor a hundred per cent, because it removes dirt, grease, stains and spots, with hardly any labor, with but little water, and in one-tenth the usual time.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Sep 1, 1873

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Mar 14, 1890

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Feb 5, 1894

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Jan 24, 1890



Chapped hands and face are the most serious annoyances that farmers, and persons who labor much outdoors, experience from exposure. Exposed persons, especially children, repeatedly suffer intensely from great cracks upon the hands that often bleed. It is cruel to allow one’s self or others to suffer in this way, when the means of positive prevention are so easy to be had, and so cheap as to pay ten cents for a cake of Hand Sapolio. Hand Sapolio is not only better than the costliest soap for removing dirt, but it prevents chapping, and renders the skin soft and pliable. Sold everywhere.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Sep 10, 1873

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Mar 16, 1894

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Feb 21, 1890



Every housewife of neat and tidy habits takes especial delight in keeping all the tin, copper and iron ware of her kitchen as clean and bright as painstaking labor can make them. A pride in this direction is commendable, and always meets the smiling approval of the “tyrant man” who pays the household bills. Remember that SAPOLIO is the only thing on earth that will make an old tarnished tin pan or rusty kettle shine as bright as new. And by the use of Sapolio it is the quickest and easiest thing in the world to keep every utensil in a high state of polish.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Sep 12, 1873

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Aug 1, 1894

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Apr 1, 1890



Mechanics, artisans, factory hands and people who labor for a living, find it very difficult if not impossible to keep the hands free from stain. Hand Sapolio will not only remove every particle of stain, ans what is called “grained in dirt,” but it will also keep the skin soft and pliable, rendering the muscular action as quick and easy as is the case with those who do not perform hard labor. It is only 10 and 15 cents a cake, according to size. Every mechanic should use it constantly in place of all other soaps.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Sep 22, 1873

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Feb 25, 1896

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Apr 8, 1890



The only stain which Sapolio will not remove is a “stain upon the character.” But from marble mantels, tables, china, table-ware, carpets, furniture of every description, or any article of household ornament or use, the deepest dyed stain can be instantly washed out forever by the use of Sapolio. It is as cheap as ordinary bar soap, and will always do exactly what is claimed for it, if the simple directions are followed.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Nov 13, 1873

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Sep 6, 1897

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) May 2, 1890



The problem of how to economize in living is one that engages the serious attention of a great many people. “Many a little makes a mickle,” was one of Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard” truisms that summarizes the whole system of popular extravagance. If you wish to save money economize in little as well as in large items of expenditure. For all the household purposes for which polishing powders, bath brick and soap are usually used, excepting the one thing of washing clothes. Sapolio is by many times the cheapest article that can be employed. To say nothing about its great superiority to all other substances, it is, on the score of money alone, by far the cheapest. Remember this fact and save many dollars every year.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Nov 24, 1873

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Dec 27, 1897

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Mar 28, 1898

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Jun 1, 1899

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Apr 14, 1890


Allays — mornin’, noon an’ night,
Rose o’dawn or candlelight,
She was toilin’ in the house,
Creepin’ round’, jes like a mouse;
Washin’ kittles, pots an’ pans,
Runnin’ erran’s in the rain,
Lots o’ work fer her small han’s —
sissy Jane.

Had to work er’ she’d get spiled,
Bein’ jes a char’ty child;
Them’s the kind that folks despise —
Kind o scary like brown eyes,
Hair that  fell without a comb,
Like a yearlin’ colt’s rough mane,
‘Cause she hadn’t any home —
Sissy Jane.

Finerly she sort o’ failed,
Cheeks got sunken like an’ paled,
Eyes kep gettin’ bigger, too,
Elbow jints come crowdin’ through.
So she up and died about
Time the men was cuttin’ grain.
Reckon she got tired out —
Sissy Jane.

— Chicago Herald.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Apr 14, 1890

The Brave “Old Bucktails”

November 11, 2010

Image from the National Music Museum

Some Recollections of the Late War.

[Late of the Forty-Fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers.]



Those who saw General Burnside on the morning of December 13, 1862, say that his countenance wore a look of anxiety and depression quite unusual. It was perhaps the most momentous day of his life. No one appreciated better than he the difficulty and hazards of the task before him, and his mind must have been burdened with misgivings. The prospect for winning a victory was not encouraging. His well-laid plans, so far, had failed. The unexpected delay in crossing the river had dissipated all his hopes of taking Lee by surprise. No strategy or rapid maneuver would avail now. If he beat his adversary at all, he must seek him in his own chosen position or fight at fearful disadvantage. The Confederate position was one of great strength naturally, and when elaborately fortified and defended by at least eighty thousand determined, disciplined veterans the Rebels might with good reason feel tolerably secure.

Briefly stated, the position of Burnside’s army before the battle was something like this: Sumner’s grand division, composed of the Second Corps, under couch, and the Ninth, (Burnside’s own,) commanded by Wilcox, occupied the right of our line, being in and about the town and extending some ways below to a considerable stream called Deep Run. Then came Franklin, with the Sixth Corps under W.F. Smith and the First commanded by Reynolds. The cavalry, under Bayard, were also with Franklin, whose lines reached some three or four miles below Fredericksburg. Hooker, with the Third Corps under Stoneman and the Fifth then commanded by Dan. Butterfield, was to support Franklin or Sumner, as the exigencies of the battle might demand. Below Deep Run, along Franklin’s front, there was a plain, from one to two miles wide, between the river and the wooded hills on which were planted the enemy’s batteries. The Richmond and Fredericksburg railroad and the road to Port Royal, which cross this valley, were fringed with fences and thick hedges which, with some deep ditches that had evidently answered the purpose of fencing, afforded shelter to the Rebels and would impeded the progress of our troops. General Lee expected that the main attack would be made on this part of his line, and had placed his most trusted lieutenant in command there. Stonewall Jackson would hold it if anybody could. Stuart with his cavalry and light infantry protected the flank, his line, which extended to the river, being formed at right angles with Jackson’s infantry. He would have an enfilading fire on our lines when they advanced.
Burnside proposed that Franklin, who, with the addition of Stoneman’s two divisions, (Birney’s and Sickle’s,) which were to support him, had about sixty thousand men at his disposal, should make a vigorous attempt to beat Jackson and get possession of the railroad, by which the Rebels received their supplies from Richmond, and at the same time send in Sumner to storm the heights opposite the town. If these movements succeeded, or even if the railroad could be taken and held, Lee would have to retreat. The principal attack on the left was to be made by Gen. Reynolds with the First Corps, consisting of three divisions — Gibbon’s, Meade’s and Doubleday’s. Gibbon joined the Sixth Corps on the right. Meade, with the Pennsylvania Reserves, came next, being directly in front of the railroad crossing which it was intended to seize. Doubleday’s division was drawn up nearly at right angles with Meade, facing Stuart.

A dense fog hung over the valley of the Rappahannock on the morning of December 13, delaying active operations several hours during the earlier part of the day. The artillery kept pounding away; however, and there was considerable skirmishing in the forenoon. Meanwhile Meade, supported by Gibbon, had advanced fully a half-mile and taken position beyond what was called the Bowling Green road, and was forming his line to assault the intrenchments in his front, his division having been selected to lead the attack. Meade had three brigades. The First, under Col. Sinclair, was composed of the First Rifles (Bucktails), the First, Second and Sixth Regiments of the Pennsylvania Reserves. The Second Brigade was commanded by Colonel Magilton, and consisted of the Third, Fourth, Seventh and Eight Regiments of he Reserves and the 142d Pa. Vols. The Third Brigade, commanded by Gen. C.F. Jackson, consisted of the Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Reserves. Sixteen pieces of artillery were attached to his division. Stuart was pitching solid shot and shells into Meade’s lines. Doubleday answered vigorously, keeping the Rebels at a respectful distance.

Shortly after noon, everything being ready, Meade advanced, with the Sixth Reserves thrown out as skirmishers. Our batteries opened on the enemy’s position. Jackson’s guns thundered back. More than two hundred pieced were in full play. “The direction of Meade’s advance brought him against Lane’s and Archer’s (Rebel) brigades,” writes the correspondent of the Boston Journal, whose graphic description of the battle is the best ever printed. “They were on the railroad and in the woods. There was a gap between the brigades, and there Meade drove the entering wedge. It was a fierce and bloody contest along the railroad, in the woods, upon the hillside, in the ravine, on the open plains and on the crest of the ridge. The fourteen guns on the hill poured a murderous fire into Meade’s left flank. The guns by Deep Run enfiladed the line from the right, while in reserve were two full brigades — Thomas’s and Gregg’s — to fill the gap. But notwithstanding this Meade, unsupported, charged down the slope, through the hollow, up to the railroad and over it, routing the Fourteenth Tennessee and Nineteenth Georgia of Archer’s and the whole of Lane’s brigade. With a cheer the Pennsylvanians went up the hill, crawling through the thick underbrush to the crest, doubling up Archer and knocking Lane completely out of line. It was as if a Herculean destroyer had crumbled with a sledge-hammer stroke the keystone of an arch, leaving the whole structure in danger of immediate and irretrievable ruin. Gibbon ought to have been following Meade, driving up the hill through the gap, but he halted at the railroad.” Gibbon’s division were hotly engaged, made a gallant charge, the General himself being wounded, but were unable to force the enemy’s position and keep up with Meade.

Doubleday had his hands full attending to Stuart. Several divisions which were to support Meade had not even been ordered to advance. The Pennsylvania Reserves were struggling alone. Stonewall Jackson was quick to take in the situation. His line was broken. Meade had cut it in two. The Pennsylvanians must be driven back, or the day was lost to his chief. Massing all his available forces, he hurled them with terrible energy and effect upon Meade’s front and his exposed flanks.

A member of Company E of the  Bucktails, Sergeant J.V. Morgan, who participated in the fight, says in substance: “Our brigade — the First — occupied the right of Meade’s line. We moved forward about 12 o’clock. The enemy defended his first line along the railroad with great determination, but the steady advance and accurate fire of our brigade were irresistible, and the moment the rebels seemed to waver orders were given for us to charge. Rushing forward upon the run, we leaped a deep ditch, drove the enemy from a cut of the railroad and pressed them back to their second line before they could re-form their broken ranks. The Rebels threw down their arms and fled in confusion. Following them up, we came to a third line, where we found several stacks of guns which the enemy in his haste to get away had abandoned. The First and Third Brigades had broken clear through the enemy’s line, taking about 300 prisoners. So far our success was complete. The victory was won. Unfortunately, however, we had no support, and pretty soon long lines of Rebels came down upon us in front and on both flanks. Yet believing that help would surely come, we fought on until our last cartridge was expended, and then fell back to avoid being captured. Our Company had four killed and twenty-one wounded. Henry Jackson had both legs torn off by a shell, yet he insisted on sitting up while being carried to the rear on a stretcher, and even begged a chew of tobacco from his comrades. He died that night. William M. Morgan was shot through both lungs and left upon the field. In his pocket diary, which I have before me, I find recorded in his own hand that he laid upon the battle-field from Saturday afternoon until the following Tuesday, without care of any kind, and with no food save a few crackers which he happened to have in his haversack; and that upon his arrival at Libby prison, in Richmond, to which place he was conveyed in a freight car, he received no treatment whatever except the bathing of his wound by his fellow-prisoners. He died — of course. The death of Henry Rote, another comrade, was tragical and extraordinary. Henry was a man of great piety, and frequently engaged in prayer. In the uproar and confusion of the battle he got down upon his knees to pray, and while in this attitude was shot dead.”

“A battery which had an oblique fire upon our position raised the mischief with us,” adds Lieutenant-Colonel (then Captain) Niles, “”One shot knocked over seven of my men. We were badly cut up. Our ranks were much broken, and there were not men enough left to close them up. Each man stood up — a brigade in himself — and blazed away. Wallace Moore, of my company, having used up all his ammunition, took some thirty rounds from his fallen comrades, and standing up with no-one near him, fired them at the advancing Rebels. The order to fall back was repeated several times before the men could be persuaded to start, and even then, as long as they had a cartridge left, the boys insisted upon facing about occasionally to make a stand and let drive with their rifles. The Bucktails were not worth a copper to retreat.”

Captain Charles F. Taylor (brother of the renowned traveler, Bayard Taylor,) commanded the Bucktails at Fredericksburg, and was wounded. The Captain was only about twenty-two years of age. He was shortly after promoted to Colonel, but enjoyed his well-earned laurels only a short time, being killed at Gettysburg in July following.

Gen. C.F. Jackson, commanding Meade’s Third brigade, was killed, and Col. Sinclair, another brigade commander, was severely wounded. But perhaps the greatest individual loss on that part of the field was the death of Major-General Geo. D. Bayard, in command of the cavalry, who was killed by a shell. Gen. Bayard was but twenty-eight years of age. He was expecting to be married very soon to an estimable young lady, upon whose heart the death of her hero must have fallen with crushing weight. But, dear reader, hers was only one among a thousand or more tender hearts that ached and were desolate on learning the result of that fatal day.

The attack on the left was not renewed. Of the sixty thousand men whom Franklin had at his disposal that day less than twenty thousand were engaged at all, and not more than ten thousand were in action at any one time. That fifty thousand soldiers should be allowed to lean passively on their muskets while a mere division or so of their comrades were being overwhelmed and crushed by thrice their number must ever remain one of those mysteries which genius and generalship may be able to understand; but common-sense and patriotism will always look upon such “strategy” with suspicion and regret.

Of the troops who participated in the battle a large proportion were Pennsylvanians. Tioga county was well represented; and having no achievements of the Forty-fifth to relate this time — our division was in reserve during the fight — it becomes a pleasure not unmixed with sadness to notice, so far as I know, the fruitless valor displayed by other men from this county on the luckless and bloody field of Fredericksburg. In Meade’s First brigade were two regiments whose movements were watched with a deal of interest by many anxious readers of the AGITATOR during the war. I allude, of course, to the Bucktails and the Sixth Regiment of the Reserves.

Company E of the Bucktails, many of your readers will remember, was composed mostly of young men from Wellsboro and the adjacent townships; and on making inquiry one is astonished to discover how very few of the original members came back. Dranesville, the battles n the Peninsula, the second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and many other minor engagements in which the Regiment bore a prominent part — beig often deployed as skirmishers and always filling a place of danger and trust — together with long marches and three years and a half of exposure, had thinned their ranks until barely a corporal’s guard of the old boys remained. The Company, it is hardly necessary to mention, was commanded most of the time by Captain A.E. Niles, who, though twice grievously wounded and for several months a prisoner in the hands of the enemy, managed to pull through. He came out as Lieutenant-Colonel, and is with us to-day, reclining on his laurels, well preserved, and modest as ever; and, with his trusty rifle — which he has not forgotten how to use, as many fine bucks have found to their sorrow — on his shoulder, the Colonel is just as eager now to guide a squad of his cronies in search of bear-meat and venison as he was to lead a skirmish line of Bucktails twenty years ago.

Of the members of Company A of the same Regiment, recruited in the northern part of the county, who of course shared the same fate and are entitled to as much credit, I knew but little during the war, but have met many of them since — some maimed and with empty sleeves.

What has been said of the Bucktails will apply in most part to the Sixth Regiment of the Reserves. The tow regiments were much of the time together, in the same brigade. They fought side by side. Their dead are buried beneath the sod of the same battle fields — from Dranesville, 1861, to Bethesda Church, 1864. They marched together, tented on the same grounds and were disbanded about the same time. There was however, but one company from this county in the Sixth. Some of the finest young men of Wellsboro and the vicinity buckled on their armor and went out with Julius Sherwood in the spring of ’61; and alas! how easy it is to count the number of those who came back. Captain Jas. Carle commanded the Company at Fredericksburg, as he did most of the time during the war.

Among those who fell that day perhaps the memory of none is greener in the hearts of the people of Wellsboro than that of Lieutenant R.M. Pratt, of the Sixth Reserves. I knew him well. Reuben was not only a faithful soldier, but a gentleman of culture and refinement as well. Yes, and more than that; for he was a devout Christian. I remember very well that a few years before the war Mr. Pratt, with another young men from the borough, came up here on the hill to establish a Sunday school. They succeeded; and I will undertake to say that the good seed which was sown that summer did not fall on stony ground. A prize was offered to the scholar who should recite the longest lessons, and I have now before me a neat pocket Bible which I have kept more than a quarter of a century. On its fly-leaf is written, “Presented by R.M. Pratt;” and whenever I take up the book, which is less often that it should be, I am reminded of one who, in common with thousands of other young men, sacrificed a life full of hope and promise — offering it freely as an atonement, so to speak, for the shortcomings of his race and his country.

And while writing of soldiers from Tioga county who fought at Fredericksburg let us not forget the 136th Pennsylvania Volunteers. In this regiment, which was commanded by Colonel Bayne, now member of Congress, were at least two companies from this county. “We (the 136th) went into the fight some two miles below Fredericksburg,” says Sergeant C.W. Barlow, who participated in the engagement and was wounded, “and drove the enemy from his breastworks along the railroad. Our Color-Sergeant being shot down, Corporal Petty, of the color-guard, seized the flag, and planting the staff firmly in the ground, the brave little fellow fired thirty rounds before our Regiment was rolled back by the enemy. We were on the right of the Reserves, [evidently in Gibbon’s division]. Theodore Bacon, of our Company [A], was killed, and William Gridley and Moses Locey died of wounds soon after. The overcoat of Harlan Prutsman, our First Sergeant, was riddled with bullets, yet he escaped without a scratch.”

The writer was acquainted with only some of the members in Company A — Company D, I think, was also from this county, and was commanded by Captain Phillips — which was recruited and commanded most of the time by Captain John J. Hammond, with John I. Mitchell and R.C. Bailey as Lieutenants. Michell wore a Captain’s bars on leaving the service; and it seems to me that we have heard that name occasionally — if not oftener — during the last dozen years. It is a name which the people of this county have honored very many time with pleasure, and honor to themselves. But now Senator Mitchell does not belong to us in the sense in which he once did. We have lost him. He has gone up higher — a good deal higher. So rapid, indeed, has been his promotion that, although scarcely turned the corner of middle-age, only one step intervenes between the position he now occupies and the topmost round of the ladder which leans against the suffrages of a free people. What if this great big Nation of ours should have to come up here among the hills and hemlocks of Tioga county for a President? Well, more surprising events than that have happened.

But whither am I drifting? Our next will tell something of the assault on Marye’s Hill.

The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennyslvania) Mar 20, 1883

The Brave “Old Bucktails.”


Last Thursday and Friday the survivors of he famous “Bucktails,” or the first Rifles Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, was held at Williamsport. It was the first time since the war that many of the brave men who shared the privations of the field and the thrilling scenes of the war had looked into the eyes of their comrades. Twenty-two years have furrowed their faces and whitened their beards, but their hearts are still warm with fraternal love as when they marched shoulder to shoulder in the ranks of the grand volunteer army of the Union.

The famous Bucktails was the Forty-second regiment from the State and it was organized May 31, 1861. It was also called the First Pennsylvania Rifles, and Kane’s Rifles, being commanded at first by Col. Thomas L. Kane. The regiment took a very active part in the war, and the excellent marksmanship of the sturdy mountaineers and the bucktails worn in their hats soon made them well known and feared by the Rebel soldiers. The regiment took a gallant part at Gettysburg and there lost its brave Colonel Taylor, and many of its men. It was subsequently led by Colonel Hartshorne through that battle and until it was mustered out in June, 1864. Many of the men re-enlisted and were transferred to the One Hundred and Ninetieth regiment. By the death of Colonel Taylor Lieutenant Colonel A.E. Niles, of this borough, became commanding officer, the regiment not being large enough at that time for a Colonel. But Niles was wounded at Gettysburg, and thereafter Hartshorne was the active commanding officer until the following fall, when Niles was forced to leave the regiment because of his wounds.

In every important battle during the war the Bucktails faced the enemy. They were usually ordered to perform light infantry duty in skirmishing, and they never failed to drive out the Rebel sharpshooters. After this work was accomplished the Bucktails were formed in a solid column to share the heavy work of the battle-field. They never flinched. Their faces were always to the foe. The “bucktails” on their hates became the symbol of all that is brave and true in soldierly character.

In the spring of 1861, when Northern hearts were burning with indignation because of the insults offered to our flag by the traitors at the South, there appeared in the AGITATOR of the 17th of April the following notice:


In consequence of the existing deplorable crisis of affairs in the Southern part of this Confederacy the Governor of Pennsylvania has recommended and the Legislature has passed a law for the better arming of the State. The latest dispatches assert that the President has called upon this State for sixteen regiments for the purpose of preserving the Union as our fathers made it and enforcing its laws. In obedience to the calls of true patriotism the undersigned would respectfully call upon the young men of Tioga county to meet them on Saturday, April 20th, 1861, at two o’clock p.m., at the Wellsboro House, in Wellsboro, where we will receive the names of such volunteers as wish to form an independent uniformed rifle company. The Wellsboro Brass Band will be present.


Short as this notice was it was enough to arouse the patriotism of this borough and the whole county. The ladies began making flags, and soon the Stars and Stripes were floating from all the principal buildings in town. In that hour, when our flag was being trampled in the dust by Southern traitors, it was thrice dear to Tioga county’s sons, and they stepped forward and offered their lives in defense of the Republic.

The first company organized consisted of eighty-seven men under Captain A.E. Niles. Almond Wetmore was First Lieutenant and Samuel A. Mack was Second Lieutenant. This company, together with Captain Sherwood’s company, started for the front by way of Troy in 78 wagons on Wednesday, April 24, 1861.

On the 3d of May the three companies from this county, under Captain A.E. Niles, of this borough, Philip Holland, of Lawrenceville, and Hugh McDonald, of Tioga, together with the companies raised in Potter, Elk, Clearfield, McKean and Cameron counties, were formed into a regiment at Camp Curtin near Harrisburg, and the following officers were elected: Colonel, Thomas L. Kane; Lieutenant-Colonel, T.B. Eldred; Major, Julius Sherwood. a correspondent of he New York Tribune, who was writing from Harrisburg, said: “One of hte most notable instances of persevering patriotism and determination is that of the mustering of the ‘Wild-cats’ of this State by Col. Thomas L. Kane, of McKean county, the very heart of the ‘wild-ca district.’ He traveled over 500 miles on his horse, enlisting three hundred and seven men in thirteen days. Over one-half of these men are ‘crack’ shots who are armed with their own rifles. They came into this city bearing a huge pair of buck horns in front and each man having the tail of a deer ornamenting his soft felt hat. They have been mustered in and form a regiment with the companies from Tioga county, who have the same characteristics. These men are in earnest, and when they draw the trigger of their rifles they do not intend to waste powder.”

One remarkable characteristic of this regiment was that when it was organized almost every trade and profession known in this country had a representative in his ranks.

On the 26th of June, 1861, the AGITATOR learned from a private letter that the “Wild-cat” regiment left Harrisburg on the 22d for the South, to begin its active and memorable career at Cumberland.

In another private letter dated Jul 18th the first engagement of the “Wild-cats” is chronicled. The boys went up the Potomac from Cumberland and met a detachment of rebels whom they quickly whipped. The “rebs” couldn’t stand the superior marksmanship of these “wild-cats” from the wooded districts of Pennsylvania. By this time the regiment had come to be generally known as the “Bucktails” and under this honored name it became famous throughout the North and the South. A special order from the War Department allowed this regiment alone to wear the bucktails in addition to the regulation uniform.

The surviving veterans of the gallant Bucktails made their headquarters during the reunion at the City Hotel in Williamsport last week. On the balcony of the house a fine stuffed buck was mounted. This was contributed by the boys from Clearfield county, who also produced the tattered battleflag that belonged to the regiment. That flag was presented to the boys when they started out in 1861. It is now stained with the blood of a gallant Bucktail and is riddled with rebel bullets.

On Thursday afternoon an election of officers was held at the Reno Post rooms, with the following result: President, General W.R. Hartshorne, of Academia; Vice-Presidents, Colonel A.E. Niles, of Wellsboro, and Colonel E.A. Irwin, of Curwensville; Secretary and Treasurer, W.H. Rauch, of Philadelphia; Chairman of Executive Committee, Captain John P. Bard. In the evening a public meeting was held in the Court-house, Mayor Jone presiding. Addresses of welcome were delivered by Congressman H.C. McCormick and H.C. Parsons in behalf of the city and the Grand Army of the Republic, and they were responded to by ex-Congressman W.W. Brown, who was a Corporal in the regiment. Other addresses were delivered as follows: On Colonel Hugh McNeil, killed at Antietam, by Colonel E.A. Irwin; on Colonel Fred Taylor, killed at Gettysburg, by General W.R. Hartshorne; on line officers killed in battle, by Captain L.W. Gifford, of St. Mary’s; on enlisted men killed in action, by Captain John P. Bard, of Curwensville. Impromptu addresses were made by Dr. W.C. Doane, of Williamsport, and Sergeant W.H. Rauch, of Philadelphia.

Image of 1914 Buckails Reunion from Rootsweb.

Dr. W.C. Doane read the following poem, written by Mr. M.H. Cobb, who was editor of the AGITATOR during the stirring scenes of the war:

Six and twenty years ago —
When the tide of war’s alarms
Made the fires of Freedom’s altar brightly glow,

From these hills the sturdy yeomen
Answered to the patriot call,
Moved by sternest purposes all,
Sworn to fight the fight as treason’s foemen.

Resolved they gathered then —
Form workshop and from field,
Our liberties to shield —
The best defense of all — a wall of living men;

Nor shrank they from the trial —
The mothers and the wives;
The treasures of their lives
They laid upon the altar with noble self-denial.

They questioned not, they gave,
Those hero wives and mothers,
Sones, husbands, lovers, brothers,
To find returning welcome or perish with the brave.

And thus they marched away —
That band of hardy yeomen,
And worthier foes than they
Never were matched with foemen;
In many a bloody fray,
Wherever MEN were wanted,
The Bucktails led the way
And bore the brunt undaunted.

As face to face we stand
We raise familiar faces,
A shattered, grizzled band;
And many vacant places.
Yet, brothers, not in vain
Did these our comrades perish,
They rise, they live again
In memories we cherish.
They fought the fight — they bought
A purer, higher freedom,
Their sacrifices wrought
The death of what was fraught
With all that blighted Edom.


Ho, Bucktails! listen while I sing
Of a most wondrous transformation
Which happed anent that grewsome thing
Which killed a crime and made a Nation.
Some of you know, and maybe all
That every buck’s a double-ender,
And some perhaps have had a call
To make a choice or else surrender.
I never hunted much, but yet
If left a choice I’d choose the latter,
Because the horns are bad, you bet,
When an old buck goes on a batter.
And yet the buck’s tail came to mean
A mighty dangerous thing to Johnny,
He ducked his head when that was seen
Borne by the Bucktail lads so bonnie.

On Friday morning a business meeting was held and a Monument Committee was appointed. A motion prevailed declaring it to be the desire of the “Bucktails” that their Monument Committee be instructed to urge upon the Commission appointed by the Governor the consolidation of the appropriations to each regiment and battery of Pennsylvania, the same to be applied to the erection of a memorial building on the battle-field of Gettysburg.

It was also decided that the next reunion should be held at Bradford, McKean county.

At three o’clock on Friday afternoon there was a parade in the following order: Platoon of policemen under Captain John Stryker; Chief Marshal D.R. Foresman and aides, Colonel A.H. Stead and Chaplain Woodruff; Fisk Military Band; Companies D, G and B, National Guard, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas W. Lloyd; the Bucktail veterans; carriages in which were Mayor Jones, General Harshorne, Colonels Niles, Irwin and other officers of the Bucktail regiment; Twelfth Regiment Drum Corps; Reno Post and Barrows Post.

In the evening a camp-fire was held at the Court-house, which was largely attended. Captain John P. Bard presided. Addresses were made by Comrades Brown, Smith, Allen, Truxem, Corcoran, Hartshorne, Irwin, Freeman, Dr. Doane and others. The “little orderly,” Comrade Rauch, furnished amusement by several German dialect recitations. Excellent music was furnished by the Fisk Military Band. The camp-fire proved a very happy and interesting affair, and at its conclusion all were loath to depart.

After the close of the camp-fire the “Bucktails,” escorted by the members of Reno Post, and headed by the Fisk Military Band, proceeded to the Reno Post rooms, where an elegant lunch was served.

There are about three hundred survivors of this historic regiment, and something over one-half that number were present at the first reunion. Many of the men wore the same bucktails that graced their hats when they went down to the front in ’61, and which gained for them a national reputation for endurance and bravery.

Over twenty veterans from this county were present.

Including the original number and the recruits to the Bucktails during the war, about two thousand men belonged to that regiment. Think of it, — seventeen hundred brave men waiting on the other side for the great reunion when the scattered three hundred grizzled veterans shall join them!

The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Oct 25, 1887


When President Lincoln called for troops to serve for three months, the War Department directed the State of Pennsylvania to furnish seventeen regiments. The Keyston State responded with twice that number, and thousands of men were sent back to their homes after reaching Harrisburg. Among those who reached Camp Curtin too late was a battalion from the “wild-cat” district. They were commanded by Thomas L. Kane, a brother of the Arctic explorer. They came floating down the Susquehanna river on rafts, and they were 300 strong, each armed with his hunting rifle and wearing in his hat the tail of a deer. When they found that they were too late, they decided not to return home but to await further developments.

Then came the meeting of the Legislature, and the act was passed authorizing the enlistment of the fifteen regiments of Pennsylvania Reserves to serve for three years or the war.

On June 12, 1861, the Bucktail regiment was organized as follows: Colonel, Charles J. Biddle; Lieutenant-Colonel, Thomas L. Kane; Major, Roy Stone; Captain Co. A, Phil. Hollands; Captain Co. B, Langhorn Wistar; Captain Co. C, J.A. Eldrid; Captain Co. D, Hugh McNeil; Captain Co. E, Alanson E. Niles; Captain Co. F, Dennis McGee; Captain Co. G, Hugh McDonald; Captain Co. H, Charles F. Taylor; Captain Co. I, W.T. Blanchard; Captain Co. K, Edward A. Irwin. Thomas L. Kane had been elected Colonel, but he believed that the regiment should be commanded by an officer of experience, and so he resigned and recommended the election of Captain Biddle, a veteran of the Mexican war and a thorough disciplinarian, in his stead.

The regiment was designated as the Thirteenth Reserves, the First Rifles, the Kane Rifles, and the 421 of the line; but the name by which it is known to all “Yanks” and “Rebs” is the “Bucktails.”

Upon going to the front the Bucktails were attached to the Second Brigade of the Reserves, commanded by the then Brig. Gen. George B. Meade. That fall Colonel Biddle was elected to Congress and resigned the command. At Dranesville, December 20, 1861, the Bucktails won the first victory for the army of the Potomac. At that battle Lieut. Col. Kane was seriously wounded and Captain McNeil was soon after made Colonel.

Six companies of the regiment were in the Peninsula campaign. At Mechanicsville Companies E and D were left to guard a detached position and were captured. At Charles City Cross-roads Captain Phil. Hollands was killed and Generals McCall and Reynolds were captured.

Shortly after, Major Stone resigned to recruit a “Bucktail” brigade under special orders from the War Department. He was made Colonel of the 149th, and Captain Wistar became Colonel of the 150th.

The remaining four companies commanded by Kane were sent to aid Fremont in the Shenandoah valley. At Harrisonburg Kane was wounded, and as Captain Taylor refused to leave his chief, both were captured.

The regiment was at Second Bull Run, after which, in recognition of his own gallantry at that battle and at Callett Station, Kane was made a Brigadier-General. Captain Irvin, of Company K, was made Lieutenant-Colonel, and Captain Niles, of Company E, was promoted Major.

The Bucktails participated in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam. At the latter engagement McNeil was killed. Captain Taylor of Company H, a brother of Bayard Taylor, then became Colonel. Lieut.-Col. Irvin resigned on account of wounds and Major Niles succeeded him, and Adjutant, now General, W.Ross Hartshorne, was promoted to Major.

At Gettysburg the regiment suffered severely. Colonel Taylor was killed and Lieut.-Col. Niles and three Captains were wounded.

The brave men were at the front during that terrible campaign from the Wilderness to Petersburg, and this famous regiment filled the cup of its glory to over-flowing by fighting the battle of Bethesda Church after its term of service had expired.

Many of the men re-enlisted, and these, with the other re-enlisted men of the Reserve Corps, were formed into the 190th regiment, of which Major Hartshorne was made Colonel.

Including the original number and the recruits to the Bucktails during the war, about 2,000 men belongs to the regiment. There are not less than 300 of these brave men left, and they are scattered in 28 States of the Union to day. Last year 11 joined the 1,700 and more on the other shore, and it will not be many years until there will be a grand reunions of them all on the other side of the dark river.


Col. S.D. Freeman, of Smethport, who was the first Surgeon of the Bucktails, says that several erroneous statements have been published regarding the origin of hte use of the buck’s tail as a symbol for the regiment. He says that after the enlistment of the regiment in 1861, Capt. W.T. Blanchard, of Co. I, and Col. Kane, were discussing the question on the streets in Smethport, McKean county. A large deer was hanging cut in front of a market opposite the public square. Blanchard noticed it and said, “Why not take a buck tail?” Kane replied, “That’s just  the thing!” They went over and cut the tial off that deer and the hide was cut up into small pieces and put on the soldiers’ hats. The first man to wear the bucktail was James Landragan, of Kane. He attended the reunion last week.

The Executive Committee of the Bucktails desire to thank the citizens of Wellsboro for their assistance and generosity and the ladies of Co. E for their activity in arranging for the entertainment of the visitors.

The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Oct 21, 1890

The Seven-Days Fight.

Forty-nine years ago this week the famous “Bucktails” were under fire in the seven days’ battle in front of Richmond, beginning at Mechanicsville and ending at Melvern Hill. Two companies of this regiment were recruited in Tioga county. It was in this battle that Capt. Phil Hollands and Orrin Stebbins, who was the Agitator’s correspondent known as “Colonel Crocket,” were killed and many of the Bucktails wounded or captured.

So far as is known, the only survivors of the two companies under Capt. Phil Hollands and Capt. Alanson E. Niles are as follows: A.K. Sayles, Westfield; Eli B. Seamons, Westfield; Luther Wiles, Nelson; J.V. Morgan, Wellsboro; Wallace M. Moore, Iowa; E.A. Allen, Washington, D.C.; Lorenzo Catlin, Charleston; William W. English, Delmar; John English, Morris; James Olmstead, Tiadaghton; B.B. Potter, Michigan; William Pitts, Mansfield; Eugene Stone, Delmar; O.B. Stone, Corning; A.F. Spicer, Washington state; Henry Varner, Corning; Peter B. Walbridge, Wellboro; Geo. A. Ludlow, Aberdeen, South Dakota; George O. Derby, Wellsboro; Jacob Cole, Wellsboro.

Wellboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Jun 28, 1911

Battle of Dranesville image from Wikipedia


Veterans in Wellsboro Celebrate the First Union Victory.

Last Wednesday evening the veterans of Wellsboro who are survivors of the fight at Dranesville, December 20, 1861, with other comrades and their wives and a few invited guests, commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the first Union victory. They arranged for a banquet at the Hotel Wilcox and some after-dinner speaking. The event was enjoyed by all who were fortunate enough to be present.

At the tables were seated about seventy-five persons among the number being the following members of the regiments in the Sixth Pennsylvania Reserves which participated in the victory which caused the North to take heart in ’61: Company H of the Sixth — Major George W. Merrick, Ransford B. Webb, D.D. Holiday, Job Wetmore, James Hazlett, Almon Wetmore, Asa Warriner; Company E of the First Rifles, or “Bucktails” — Geo. O. Derby, William W. English, J.V. Morgan, Peter D. Walbridge and Henry Varner, of the 12th regiment — Nelson H. Robbins and James N. Herbert.

The banquet was all that could be desired. Messrs. R.L. Tomb & Sons, the new proprietors of the Hotel Wilcox, made a fine first impression, the menu being excellent in every detail and the service of the best. The patriotic decorations of the dining-room were excellent in arrangement. Everybody was in good spirits and the hour passed quickly.

Comrade George O. Derby was the toastmaster. He read letters of regret from Hon. Henry M. Foote, of Washington, D.C., who enlivened the occasion with reminiscences and anecdotes of his comrades, also letters from Capt. George A. Ludlow, of St.Cloud, Florida; Benj. B. Potter, now in Michigan, and Harry C. Bailey, who recently went from Mansfield to Oregon, an a number of other  comrades.The toastmaster then called on his comrades and the guests about the board for entertainment. Brief addresses in reminiscent vein, with anecdotes, humor and congratulation were made by the following persons: R.B. Webb, W.W. English, Major Geor. W. Merrick, J.V. Morgan, Dr. J.M. Gentry, Hon. F.H. Rockwell, Rev. C.G. Langford, Rev. A.C. Shaw, D.D., Rev. John O’Toole, Rev. P.H. Hershey, Rev. F.P. Simmons, Prof. W.H. Longstreet, Supt. E.E. Hubble of the Corning M.E. district, Prothonotary E.J. Channell, Arthur M. Roy and N.H. Robbins. It was near midnight when the company dispersed, the universal opinion being that it had been a well-spent evening.

The engagement at Dranesville was a bloody skirmish between Federal and Confederate foraging parties. It was the first time that a Union victory could be claimed in any considerable action in which any Tioga boys were engaged and it caused great rejoicing in the North. It was particularly of moment to the people of this region because the Tioga county boys there got their baptism of fire. George Cook, the first man from Tioga county to fall in battle, was killed at Dranesville. His memory lives in the name of the George Cook Post, G.A.R., of Wellsboro. Capt. Alanson E. Niles, of the Bucktails, was wounded there, and a number of other Tioga county boys. The people at home, as well as the men at the front began to realize fully after Dranesville what war really meant.

The Confederate left 43 dead and dying on the field. Their wounded numbered 143, and eight men were missing, a total of 194 casualties. The Union loss was seven killed, 61 wounded, and three missing; total, 71. Lieutenant Colonel T.L. Kane, of the Bucktails, was wounded in the mouth. Four captains also were wounded.


From the Agitator files of 1861 we extract the following notes, some of which were contained in the letters of “Col. Crocket,” who is remembered as Orrin Stebbins, of Company A of the Bucktails. He was a regular correspondent of the Agitator, among others from the front, till he was killed in the battle of the Peninsula, in 1862.

The members of the Bucktail regiment were feeling quite despondent about the first of December, 1861, because of the resignation of their Colonel Charles J. Biddle, who had been elected to Congress.

“Last Thursday,” said Crockett, under date of Dec. 8, 1861, “a large foraging party from Gen. McCall’s division went out to the vicinity of Dranesville. They brought back 24 loads of wheat, 19 of corn, five of potatoes, two of brick, 27 hogs, 40 hams, seven horses, five negro slaves, five prisoners, and turkeys, geese, duck, chickens, etc., by the wagon-load. Another party from Smith’s division had still better success.” This shows what war meant to the inhabitants between hostile armies. The Rebels cleaned up everything that the Federals left.

In its issue of Dec. 25th the Agitator contained a full report of the battle of Dranesville. This is an extract: “For some days previous to the battle about a hundred of the enemy’s cavalry had been in the habit of coming down to Dranesville and foraging between there and the Potomac. Gen. McCall determined to attempt their capture. He ordered the Third Brigade, consisting of four regiments commanded by Gen. Ord, to Dranesville for that purpose and to forage. Forty or fifty wagons were taken along.

“The skirmishers of the Sixth regiment were fired upon by the Rebels in ambush. The Bucktails returned the fire. After a few rounds a Rebel battery opened up on our men, but with little effect as the falls passed over their heads. The Rebels it seems had knowledge of the attack and were prepared to meet our boys. The Rebels were concealed in a thicket and did not leave it during the fight.

“When our forces charged the enemy was completely routed, their retreat hastened by a galling fire from the Pennsylvania Reserves, leaving the {field?} strewn with their dead and wounded. Our men loaded their wagons with the forage the Rebels had abandoned. 17 loads of hay, 22 loads of  corn in the ear, the  arms, accoutrements and clothing the Confederates had thrown away in the panic.”

Mr. M.H. Cobb, who was in Washington, wrote home that “the Tioga county boys gave a glorious account of themselves.” He spoke of Capt. A. E. Niles as a fearless leader, who received a bullet through his lung. George Cook was shot through the heart; Benj. Seely got a bullet through his cheek; Tom Conway a slight wound over the eye; Charles Yahn a wound in the cheek. The Bucktails lost three killed, one in Co. E, and thirty wounded. Mr. Cobb adds, “Tioga county sent no cowards to the front.”

Lewis Margraff, of Wellsboro, was taken prisoner at Dranesville.

Soon after New Years, 1862 in the Virginia camp, the regiments which participated in the Dranesville fight were presented with their battleflag by Hon. Galusha A. Grow. Inscribed in letters of gold on the white stripes was “Dranesville, Dec. 20, 1861.”

The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania Dec 27, 1911


Looking Back Half a Century or More to Incidents of Those Days.

The report of the fiftieth anniversary of Dranesville printed in the Agitator last week reminds some of us a couple of our most interesting war relics — reminders of the great conflict that are sure to attract the attention of the observing visitor in Grand Army Hall. One of these is the original muster roll of Company H of the 6th Pa. Reserves. Naturally, the paper, written fifty years ago, is somewhat faded, but remarkably well preserved, as though some one had taken good care of it. The document was presented to the Post by Captain R.B. Webb, a year or two ago, and is now in a substantial frame and will be cared for as one of our most valued mementoes of the civil war.

What makes the paper peculiarly interesting to me is that it is in the beautiful handwriting of Erwin R. Atherton, one of my boyhood companions, and whose name appears on the list with the pathetic remarks written later on by another hand — “Died, June 12, 1862.”

Many old-timers who read this will remember Erwin Atherton. He was a Charleston boy and taught school several terms before the war. Members of his company say he was a good soldier, it is nothing against him that he died of disease instead of being killed in battle. Twice as many soldiers died of disease as were killed or died of wounds during the war. And it often required more courage to meet death uncomplainingly — to die by inches in hospitals, as many poor fellows did — than to be killed in a great battle where the inspiration and excitement of the conflict made it comparatively easy to face the music and to die if necessary.

Look over the names on the muster roll of Co. H when you are in G.A.R. hall and see what happened to the boys during the war and then look around and see how many of them are left.


Alanson E. Niles

The other relic referred to is the vest that Captain Niles, of the Bucktails, had on when he was shot through the right lung at Dranesville. The vest, with a ragged hole in front showing where the bullet went in may be seen behind the glass in our “show case” in the Hall. We all remember Captain Niles. The mere mention of his name carries me back sixty years instead of fifty. Along in the late forties or early fifties “Lant.” or “Shiner,” Niles, as we affectionately called him, taught school at the old Young (if that isn’t too much of an Irish bull) schoolhouse that stood near where the little church on “Mount Zion” now stands, a couple miles east of Wellsboro.

Niles was a good teacher all right. If he was as strict a disciplinarian in the army as he was when teaching young ideas how to shoot ten years before the war, Company E of the Bucktails had to walk the chalk line and do it scientifically.

Image from roster of Co. G, 45th Pennsylvania Infantry

I know he scared me out of a year’s growth (more or less) one day when I was a kid, telling me what he would do if I didn’t quit walking across the floor between the boys’ and girls’ sides of the house, which I thought I had a perfect right to do without asking permission of his “Royal Nibs.” Of course he had told us what we could do and what we mustn’t do in good plain English; but much of the English language was like Greek to me in those days. And I have thought since that the big boys used to grab my hat and run off with it just to hear me take on in French and yell after them, “Sacre cochon donne moi mon chapeau!” (D__n pig, give me my hat) I was big enough to know that “sacre” was a bad word because my father had promised to skin me alive, or something of that kind, if he ever caught me using it. Anyway, I never said “sacre” or its equivalent unless I thought the occasion required it. All of which carries us back to the old days — the care-free school days of the long ago! The days of the spelling schools, when the big boys and girls met occasionally of an evening when the days were short, on Shumway Hill at the Round Top, in Dartt Settlement, or at the Young schoolhouse, to choose sides and “stand up and spell down,” and then (if we had spunk enough to ask them and they didn’t give us the mitten) go home with the girls.

The days of the husking bees, apple cuts and sociables, where the boys and girls played “wink and catch ’em,” “ring round the rosy” and other delightfully silly games which with the trimmings and incidentals that go with that sort of thing, were dear to the heart of every healthy boy and girl, and always will be as long as boys are boys and girls are girls! The good old days of Auld Lang Syne! How much of the fag end of life do you suppose some of us would give — if we had it to give — to be back there a year, or a month even?

But there it is again — always wanting something we haven’t go. When we are kids we want to be grown ups. When old and gray nothing looks quite so good as the happy-go-lucky days fifty, sixty, maybe seventy years ago. Why not take our “medicine” as it comes and quit finding fault? Take it as we used to take our castor oil and our quinine, fifty years ago. Nasty and bitter was it? Sure. But the blamed stuff was good for what ailed us then, and whatever the Great Physician prescribes for us now must be all right!


The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Jan 3, 1912

Sol Star – A Picturesque Pioneer

August 7, 2010

Sol Star (Image from Wikepedia)

Sol Star was a friend and business partner of Seth Bullock’s. These two men had a lot in common.  Both were foreign born. Both lived in Montana during the 1870s, and both caught the Black Hills fever and headed for Deadwood. And both men had a hand in civilizing and bringing about the statehood of South Dakota.

The Deadwood S.D. Revealed website has a Sol Star biography written in 1901. NOTE: They give his place of burial as Mt. Moriah Cemetery, Lawrence Co., South Dakota, but he was actually buried in the New Mount Sinai Cemetery in St Louis, Missouri.

The Daily Independent - May 30, 1874


The Daily Independent - Jun 21, 1874

It is fashionable to angle for trout in the Little Blackfoot, and Sol Star, who was out with Gen. Smith and party reports the fish as hungry as Crow Indians — they will bite at anything except a crowbar.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Aug 11, 1874

The Daily Independent - Jan 16, 1875


Auditor Sol Star arrived last evening at the Capital of Montana with bag and baggage, also the archives of the Auditor’s office. See his notice in to-day’s INDEPENDENT.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Mar 2, 1875

The Daily Independent - Mar 5, 1875

Receiver’s Office.

The business of the Helena Land Office has been retarded for some time, owing to the resignation of Mr. Sol Star, and the non-appearance of his successor, Mr. Sheridan. But the office runs smoothly again. Commissioner Burdett has modified the acceptance of Mr. Star’s resignation, and Mr. Star, as ordered, will resume the duties of the office until the arrival and qualification of his successor. We understand it will not interfere with his duties as Auditor. The following is the dispatch:

WASHINGTON, March 25, 1875.

To Sol Star, Esq., Helena, M.T.:

“The acceptance of your resignation has been modified so far as to take effect upon the appointment and qualification of your successor. You will, therefore, continue to act as Receiver until that event.”

S.S. BURDETT, Commissioner

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Mar 27, 1875

Short Stops.

Mr. Sol Star has ordered from the East a large stock of queensware, glassware, wire and willoware, lamps and chandeliers, which he expects to open to the trade about the 1st of June.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Apr 4, 1876

Sol Star and Seth Bullock, on their way to Benton, narrowly escaped drowning in the Little Prickly Pear.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Jun 24, 1876

Sol Star & Seth Bullock (Image from


Mr. Sol. Star, who had shipped a large invoice of queensware to Helena and designed opening a store, has taken the Black Hills fever, shipped his goods back from Benton to Bismarck, and designed starting to-day for Deadwood City. Sorry you are going, Sol., but good luck to you.

Butte Miner (Butte, Montana) Jul 8, 1876


Sol Star has gone East by way of the river.

Seth Bullock left yesterday for Dakota Territory. He will be absent several weeks.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Jul 8, 1876

You can read about Sol and Seth’s arrival at Deadwood (Google book link)  in the 1899  book,  The Black Hills, by Annie D. Tallent.

Lincoln Territory.

Delegates representing all the interests and localities in the Black Hills, assembled in convention at Deadwood on the 21st ult. and adopted a memorial to Congress setting forth the wants and necessities of the people. We notice that our former townsman, Sol Star, was appointed one of the Committee on Organization, and W.H. Claggett, late of Deer Lodge, one of the Committee on Resolution.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) May 8, 1877

Implicated in Star Route Frauds.

WASHINGTON, September 28. — President Arthur to-day directed the removal of Sol Star, postmaster at Deadwood, D.T., for confessed complicity with the Star route contractors in defrauding the Postoffice Department.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Sep 30, 1881

Sol. Star.

Sol. Star denounces through the columns of the Black Hills Pioneer, the statement emanating, as he supposed, from one Pursy, to the effect that he had confessed complicity in the Star route frauds. He says that such statements are unqualifiedly false in every particulas and are malicious slanders and fabrications; that no such confessions were ever made, and that no facts existed on which the alleged confession could be made. Mr. Star was for many years a resident of Helena, and has many friends here who would be glad to learn of his complete vindication.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Oct 11, 1881

Sol Star and the Star Routes.

Mr. Sol Star has been removed from the postmastership at Deadwood on the charge of being complicated in some of the Star Route frauds in Dakota. As Mr. Star is well-known in this territory, being at one time Territorial Auditor, the following, which we clip from the Black Hills Times, concerning his removal, and his letter of explanation, may be fo some interest to our readers. We therefore produce them:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1. — Star, postmaster at Deadwood, removed yesterday, has confessed that for several years past he has made false certificates of star route service between Sidney and Deadwood. His confession exposes the rascality of the star route ring in the northwest.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1. — The action of the president in removing Postmaster Star, of Deadwood, was caused by his revelations concerning the star route in the northwest. For some months past one of the most efficient inspectors of the postoffice department has been secretly investigating the management of the Deadwood postoffice, and when he confronted the postmaster with his proofs the latter confessed.

The telegraph lines have been weighted with reports concerning star-route frauds, in which postmaster Sol Star of this city is proclaimed as being implicated, and as having made a confession to that effect. To those who know the facts it is scarcely necessary to state the report is an unmitigated lie from first to last. He has made no confession of fraud for the best of all reasons — there is no fraud to confess on his part. The confession, so called, we here publish. As will be seen, nothing short of entire malice could constitute this report of facts as a confession of crooked dealing. It is about as much of a confession as an almanac is a confession of the state of the weather:

DEADWOOD, D.T. Sept. 1, 1881.

John B. Furay, Special Agent Postoffice Department:

In reply to your verbal request in relation to the arrival of mails on route 34,156, I beg to state that the record of arrivals as reported by my mail bills was based upon the schedule time given by the contractor, and not the actual time of arrival. The report thus made was not made with any expectation or promise to receive a reward from the contractor, but was done and reported, first, because I believed that if the public was satisfied the government would also be with the arrival of the mails; and second, having so reported for two years last past without hearing any complaint from the department I took it for granted that my view of it was correct. I am now informed that such a report was detrimental to the interest of the government, and that the actual time of arrival, and not the schedule time or near the schedule time, is what was wanted. I desire to state that in my belief arrivals of mails will vary from two to four hours later than as reported, as follows: From July, 1879, to September, 1881, for ten months in the time mentioned, the time of actual arrival will vary from two to four hours per day, and for two months in each year named, say for March and April, 1880, and March and April, 1881, the time from that reported will vary from one to three days too early.

Yours truly,

SOL STAR, Postmaster.

The Daily Miner (Butte, Montana) Oct 11, 1881

The elation of the star route people over a verdict of acquittal from Judge Dundy’s court in Omaha will, it is stated, not avail them in other cases. These cases originated in the confession of the postmaster at Deadwood that he had been giving false certificates of the arrival and departure of mails in order to enable the contractors to draw their full pay, though they had not fulfilled their contract. This confession was obtained by Postoffice Inspector Furay, in an investigation set on foot by himself. There were strong local influences of mail contractors in that region. Monroe Saulsbury, one of the largest mail contractors who lives at Deadwood, prevented an indictment of guilty persons once, but it was finally had. On the trial, however, the Deadwood postmaster refused to testify on the ground that he would criminate himself. The confession in these cases was made last summer by Sol Star, a former resident of this Territory, and led to his removal from the position of postmaster of Deadwood.

The Daily Minor (Butte, Montana) Feb 25, 1882


The Inter Mountain professes to be indignant because the Black Hills Plains says some kind words about Mr. Sol. Star, one of the newly elected aldermen of Deadwood City, and thinks that “such perversity in press and people cannot help the application of Dakota for Statehood.” It is quite likely the thought never entered the head of the Times writer that he was jeopardizing the interests of his Territory when he penned the favorable notice of his townsman, the genial, clever Sol. He may take it all back after seeing the Inter Mountain of the 16th inst., but we don’t believe he will. Now we propose to say a few kind words about Mr. Star even if by so doing we imperil Montana’s prospects of Statehood. But we will state in the outset our firm belief that Mr. Sol. Star is no more a star route thief than the Inter Mountain editor is an angel.

Mr. Star lived many years in Montana and while here he occupied responsible positions both public and private and earned a reputation for intelligence, capability and integrity of character which we are yet to learn he has lost. He served a term as auditor of this Territory and faithfully performed its duties and when he retired from the office he carried with him the confidence and respect of a host of friends. It will be news to those friends and to Mr. Star, himself to learn that he confessed “to the commission of a felony.”

Mr. Star did nothing of the kind. He simply certified as postmaster to the arrival and departure of the mails. Sometimes the mail did not arrive or leave exactly on schedule time, but as is generally usual among nearly all postmasters, where there was not too long a continuance of diversion from schedule time, he made no exceptions in his certification. These, as we understand them, are the simple facts of the case, but the officious, and as the sequel has proved, not over scrupulous Furay preferred charges against him in the interest, it is said, of one of his (Furay) friends. Mr. Star resigned, stood his trial and was acquitted.

If Mr. Star is as guilty as the Inter Mountain would have its readers believe the citizens of Deadwood are certainly a bad lot, for in the face of all this Star route business they have elected him as an Alderman of the city. Our word for it he will make a good one. If he is not the Sol Star of old it is because he has too closely followed the precepts and practices of the Republican party of which, while here, he was an honored and leading member.

The Daily Miner (Butte, Montana) May 18, 1882

If the Inter Mountain has not completely exhausted itself in its endeavor to injure the reputation of an old, well-known and much-esteemed ex-resident of Montana and now a respected citizen of Deadwood, could it not dispose of a portion of its time and space in noticing the Dorseys, Bradys, Howgates and a score of other worthies of the party to which it seems to owe allegiance? It appears to ignore the fact that two of these distinguished Republican luminaries are on trial for swindling the government and that the other is a fugitive from justice. Just for a change from diatribes against Governor Potts, slanderous accusations against Mr. Sol Star and stale editorials from the New York Herald, give us a live article about something else its knows nothing about — for instance the effect which a “dishonest coinage law” and “fraudlent dollars” have upon the business of the country.

The Daily Minor (Butte, Montana) May 19, 1882


Republicans and Democrats Hold Powwows In Their Respective Burgs.

HUDSON, S.D., August 29. — The republican state convention reassembled at 10 o’clock this morning and heard reports of the committee on credentials and organization. Permanent organization was effected by the election of Sol Star as permanent chairman and E.W. Caldwell as secretary with two assistants. Mr. Star made a brief address, and Judge Moody took the platform amid deafening cheers. On behalf of the delegation of Lawrence county he presented the chairman with a tin gavel made from tin taken from the Etta mine in that county. Judge Moody’s speech was very eloquent and was frequently applauded. The convention then adjourned till 2 o’clock this afternoon.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Aug 30, 1889

The Convention Meets.

MITCHELL, Aug. 27. — Convention called to order by C.T. McCoy, chairman, at 2:15….

Sage of Faulk nominated Sol. Star of Deadwood for temporary chairman. He was unanimously elected.

Mr. Star was introduced by the committee and addressed the convention as follows:

Gentlemen of the Convention: On behalf of the Black Hills country, and particularly those residents of Deadwood here, I can but return to you my thanks personally for your grateful acknowledgment of services I have rendered you at a convention of a similar nature and character at the city of Huron a year ago, and to the pledges I have made and services I have rendered. I can only add in addition, that I will endeavor to discharge these duties which devolve upon me as temporary chairman of this orginization without fear or favor…

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Aug 28, 1890

A bill has been introduced at Pierre by Sol Star of the Black Hills, providing for the resubmission of the question of prohibition. It is safe to say it will not pass.

Mitchell Daily Republican (Mitchell, South Dakota) Jan 17, 1890

Mitchell Daily Republican - Jan 28, 1890

The Black Hills Journal website has some interesting tidbits in regards to the history of prohibition in South Dakota,  and mentions Deadwood, specifically.


Sol Star is elected mayor of Deadwood for the eight time.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) May 6, 1891

Gossip among the Republican delegates in town this afternoon en route to the Aberdeen convention was to the effect that Sol Star of Deadwood was to be pushed to the front on the anti-prohibition issue, and that Judge Moody would be at the head of the Lawrence county delegation. Minnehaha county was claimed for Star, while French of Yankton was thought to be the second choice of the Star men.

Mitchell Daily Republican (Mitchell, South Dakota) Sep 28, 1891

The Hills on Jolley.

Sol Star in the Sioux City Journal: We saw that there was no show, ans so we went for the best man, and that man is Col. Jolley, of Vermillion. He is the very best man that the party could have nominated. He is a worker, thoroughly posted in the needs of the state, an able man and one who will do the state credit at Washington. I think, too, that he will be broad enough to look out for our interests as well as those of his own part of the state. We are satisfied with the nomination and Jolley will get the support of the Hills Republicans.

Mitchell Daily Republican ( Mitchell, South Dakota) Oct 4, 1891

Sol Star was re-elected for the ninth time mayor of Deadwood, by 37 majority. Another republican victory.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) May 9, 1892

Dec 16, 1892


Mar 6, 1896


Gravestone image posted by afraydknot,  on Find-A-Grave, along with a biography.


Deadwood, S.D., Oct. 19 — Sol Star, picturesque pioneer of the Black Hills, and who, with his partner, Seth Bullock, was among the first to take the Old Black Hills trail from Bismarck to Deadwood, has left on his last, lone, prospecting tour. “If the streets up there are paved with gold, Sol will be right at home,” said one of his old pals.

Sol Star, several times mayor of Deadwood, and one of the best liked of all the old timers, was born in Bavaria in 1840, coming to America at the age of 10, and to Helena, Mont., in 1865. He remained at Helena and Virginia City until 1876, serving as register of the United States land office from 1872 to 1874, and for one year as territorial auditor of Montana. He arrived in Deadwood on Aug. 1, 1876, with Capt. Seth Bullock, who years ago gained fame as a personal friend of Theodore Roosevelt. The Partners picked Deadwood as a good camp. They had a large consignment of goods en route to Helena for them, and upon Bullock’s suggestion this shipment was headed off at Bismarck and brought to Deadwood over the old Black Hills trail.

The trail from Bismarck to the Black Hills was beset with hostile Sioux, angry with the whites because of ignored treaties, and when Bullock and Star reached old Crook City they were compelled to fight a pitched battle with the redskins. Again they encountered the enemy on Big Bottom, but they finally reached Deadwood with their skins and their goods intact. Upon their arrival here they opened a general store, and their partnership in this business continued until 1894. Star was mayor of Deadwood from 1884 to 1893 and from 1895 to 1899. For 19 years he served as clerk of court, and in 1889 he attended the first state convention at Huron, where the enabling act was ratified, and he nominated the first set of officers for the new state of South Dakota. Later he served in both branches of the state legislature.

The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) Oct 19, 1917