Posts Tagged ‘1902’

Horse Thief Was a Thief-ette

July 22, 2010





“Burt” Martin Convicted as a Man Turns Out to Be Lean Martin — Had a Male Cellmate.

For eleven months a woman has been imprisoned in the Nebraska penitentiary garbed as a man. She was tried, convicted and sentenced in Keya Paha county on a charge of horse stealing all the time dressed in man’s garb, and she passed the scrutiny of the guards at the entrance to the prison eleven months ago with the secret of her sex preserved. Now she is once more garbed in woman’s clothing and in this dress, she will spend the remainder of her three year sentence.

Discovery Made.

That such an unusual occurrence could happen considering the gauntlet every person admitted to the penitentiary must run seems incredible. Yet the discovery of the sex was not made till two days ago, by the prison authorities. The woman’s real name is Lena Martin but she has been known as Burt Martin and under this name she has gone for many years. Her father is dead but her mother resides not far from Springview. she was sentenced for rustling horses and when she came down to Lincoln, she had the reputation of being good at “borrowing” animals. The convict Martin was always regarded as of rather delicate constitution. He had small feet and small hands. His face was like that of a young boy as he was only nineteen years old when admitted. He was five feet, eight inches in height and weighed 140 pounds. He was employed in the broom factory and performed his duties well as the ordinary prisoner.

Were the Guards Napping.

When a prisoner is admitted to the penitentiary, he is thoroughly examined for identifying marks and one of the first duties of the guards is to give a bath in a large open bath room where any peculiarity or deformity would be noticed and made note of as a means of identification in case of escape. Nothing is now known of the incidents surrounding the admission of the young woman as this occurred eleven months ago under the previous administration. The guards might have been napping when she entered or the girl may have been more than usually clever at concealment. She was passed through and given a suit of stripes and since that time has not given the authorities any cause for suspicion until recently.

Whispers of a Mystery.

It was whispered about the prison among the convicts that a mystery surrounded the personality of young Martin. Some of the prisoners talked much of Martin’s cell mate and gave a gentle hint to the guards that an investigation would result in a revelation. At this time the prison physician was called upon to tend the cell mate and the secret was revealed by degrees.

As soon as discovered, the young woman wanted to be garbed in woman’s dress but the penitentiary authorities did not have a stock on hand and the steward was compelled to come to Lincoln and get a complete lady’s outfit. So not till yesterday was the lady horsethief once more dressed in woman’s clothes. She took the discovery of her sex without much chagrin and appeared to regard the matter as a rather comical incident.

The prison authorities know little about the history of the case before it came to them. The young woman lived in a county where the stock interests are large and where there are many cases of cattle rustling. When she gave her name to be entered on the records, she told the officers that she was a married man.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 4, 1901

Convict a Woman.

Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 1 — For 11 months the officials at the Nebraska state penitentiary have supposed that a prisoner known as Burt Martin was a man. The discovery that the convict is a woman and that her real name is Lena Martin was made two days ago by the prison physician. She was arrested, tried and convicted at Spring View, Keya Paha county, as a man, a year ago, for horse stealing. She seemed to take it as a joke when the discovery was made. Her mother lives near Springview. She is 20 years of age, large and coarsely built.

Lima Times Democrat ( Lima, Ohio) Oct 4, 1901


Her Sex Discovered Only After She Had Remained in the Penitentiary Eleven Months.

For For 11 months the officials at the Nebraska state penitentiary have supposed that a prisoner known as Burt Martin was a man. The discovery that the convict is a woman and that her real name is Lena Martin was made two days ago by the prison physician. She was arrested, tried and convicted at Spring View, Keya Paha county, as a man, a year ago, for horse stealing. Recently her cell mate intimated to the guards that an investigation would not be barren of developments. This was made when the prison physician was called to attend her.

She has donned woman’s clothes and will serve out the remainder of her three-year sentence. She seemed to take it as a joke when the discovery was made. Her mother lives near Springview. She is 20 years of age, large, and coarsely built for a woman. She comes from a ranch country, and was not known by her nearest neighbors, 20 miles away.

Daily Iowa State Press (Iowa City, Iowa) Nov 1, 1901

Governor Savage


OMAHA, Neb., June 23. — Governor Savage has released from the state penitentiary the convict who was sentenced under the name of Bert Martin, but who after a year was found to be a woman named Lena Martin. The woman had masqueraded for years as a man and was convicted of cattle-stealing. Recently her sex was discovered and on the promise that she would return to the home of her mother in Springview, Neb., and live an honest life she was pardoned yesterday.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Jun 23, 1902


LINCOLN, Neb., June 24. — Lena Martin, a woman convict in the Nebraska penitentiary, recovered while disguised as a man, was released from prison by Governor Savage on her pledge to reform. Lena carried on a deception for several years in northern Nebraska, but finally was arrested for cattle stealing and was sentenced to the penitentiary for three years. The prosecution was against “Bert” Martin, a man, and to the eye of the laws  he was still a man for a full year after entering the penitentiary for the prison authorities did not until that time discover her sex.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jun 25, 1902

Ruskin Colony: Socialism Fails Everytime it’s Tried

June 24, 2010


Which Will Be Controlled by the People Is the End

To Which Our Business Interests Must Come, Says Herbert N. Casson — An Interesting Lecture.

The few people who gathered at the Odd Fellow’s hall last evening to listen to the social problems discussed from socialistic point of view by Herbert N. Casson were well paid for their time and trouble. Mr. Casson comes from the “Ruskin Colony” in Tennessee, a colony which is run upon the co-operative plan and in which every man earns his own living. His theories are there put into practice and he believes it to be the model way of living.

As a lecturer he is a success. Logical, terse and epigramatic, his words carry force with them. He kept his audience almost spellbound for nearly two hours, while he expounded his teachings. He prefaced his remarks by saying that thought along was mighty. The man who thinks is a power; he who does not is a machine. He said in part:

“America is at one the wonder and disappointment of the world; the wonder, in that in the short space of 120 years it has achieved a richness of civilization whose enjoyments are limitless; a disappointment, in that these same enjoyments are already captured by a few.

“The influences of Europe are already being felt and the abuses which our forefathers left behind when they started in the Mayflower have followed in a Cunarder. America was once the laborer’s paradise; it is now a Paradise Lost, but let us hope, under a different system, it shall be Paradise Regained.

Greenland, with its frozen, almost untillable land, is without a pauper and almost without a criminal. The lazy, indolent inhabitant of the South Sea islands never works and is never hungry. But we, who occupy the grand middle position, with labor-saving machinery and all the civilization, cannot feed our poor and have hundreds who are suffering for want of protection against the cold blasts of winter tonight. In the preparations for civilization labor and capital were on a proper basis; now capital is in the ascendancy and labor suffers.

“It was labor who said ‘let there be cities; let there be railroads; let there be telegraphs;’ and these comforts sprang into existence. But in their enjoyment labor has no share. The relation between production and distribution is inequitable. What ails us is that we have no proper conception as to what should be owned in private and what should be owned by the public. Everything that belongs to the individual comfort should be owned by the individual. What is of public use and for the enjoyment of all, such as railroads, telegraphs and lighting plants, should be owned by the public.

“It is not a fight between the rich and the poor, for the capitalists are as dissatisfied as the laborer. It is a contest to do away with classes altogether and to get into the natural conditions of life. What appears to be our greatest sign of danger is in reality our greatest sign of hope. The trust is the only professional way of doing business; all else is amateur. And the trusts will continue until there is a trust of trusts, when the public will step in and take possession, legally and without force.”

He claimed as a maxim that whatever people got together they owned together. His remarks were illustrated by events of every-day life, which made his remarks exceedingly interesting.

After the lecture, Mr. Casson gave the following information concerning the Ruskin colony, which is located in Tennessee, 57 miles west of Nashville, six miles from any railroad. There are 300 members of the colony and they have 1,800 acres of land. They have no officers, no public officials, have no use for law, issue their own money, have no church, have farms, some factories, and raise all they have to eat and only pay money for clothing and utensils needed. In conclusion Mr. Casson said they published a paper called the Coming Nation, for which he solicited subscriptions.

Sandusky Star, The (Sandusky, Ohio) Feb 14, 1899

Wedded By Compact.

What is spoken of as one of the most remarkable weddings that has ever taken place within the United States was “compacted by mutual agreement” in the little town of Ruskin, Tenn., on a recent Sunday afternoon. Its announcement is of local interest, inasmuch as the groom has spoken here several times. He is Rev. Herbert N. Casson, formerly of Boston, and the founder and pastor of the Lynn labor church. He is now a member of the Ruskin colony, and is editor of its paper, the Coming Nation.

There was no church or religious formula used for the marriage, but in the presence of witnesses bride and groom entered into a mutual compact, each agreeing to the marriage. The mode of “wedding by compact” is in accord with the principles of the socialist co-operative town of Ruskin, and in this case is referred to as probably unprecedented in singularity.

North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) Mar 15, 1899


Sale Takes Place in Tennessee Cave — Many of the Women Shed Tears Over the Failure.

Tennessee City, Tenn., July 28.

The Ruskin Co-operative Colony property was sold yesterday in a big cave near here.

Several hundred people were seated in the cave, including the colonists and their wives and children and farmers from the surrounding country. W. Blake Leech represented the Receiver.

Four tracts of land, containing a total of 784 acres, were first sold to Leech for $11,000. Another tract of a thousand acres, mostly worthless land, went to George Wright for $1,450. He also bought the storehouse and lot for $15, making the whole amount received for land and about thirty houses thereon $12,465.

The land originally cost several thousands more. Growing crops go with the land.

The minority stockholders, who had the property thrown into the hands of a Receiver, were the purchasers. Horses, mules, fine hogs, etc., went for a song, mostly to neighboring farmers.

It is said that the purchasers, will reorganize the colony on a somewhat different basis. Fifty-five majority stockholders already have an agent out looking for a new location. They may go to Virginia.

Today the colony paper, the Coming Nation, will be sold. Its circulation of 60,000 has dwindled to 11,000.

Many of the women shed tears at the sale, and there is much feeling over the breaking up of the new Utopia.

History of the Experiment.

The Ruskin Co-operative Association in Yellow Creek Valley, about fifty miles northwest of Nashville, Tenn., was founded for the purpose of working to a practical conclusion the theories of absolute Socialism — the theories of Fournier and Bellamy.

The concern owned at first 1,509 acres of excellent land, and conducted a number of manufacturing and  commercial enterprises.

It was said at the beginning of the colony’s work that if, with everything in its favor, this enterprise failed, then it might be set down as demonstrated that Socialism by sections — independent of national Socialism — is a failure.

With the exception of the metals the Ruskin Colonists had in abundance the raw material for the manufacture of almost everything necessary to the physical comfort of man, together with the skill, the industry, and intelligence to put it to use.

In the community were men skilled in agriculture and horticulture, machinists, engineers, brick-workers, shoemakers, tanners, printers, bookbinders and authors.

The Bee (Earlington, Ky.) Aug 3, 1899

and the Ruskin Co-Operative Company is Now a Memory.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 29.

The property of the Ruskin Co Operative colony, situated at Ruskin, Tenn., 50 miles northwest of here, has been sold by a receiver. The land, 1,700 acres, and buildings brought $12,000.

This means the failure and end of the Ruskin colony, founded by J.A. Wayland in 1895, and which has been looked on both in this country and Europe as the most successful experiment in socialism ever inaugurated. The colony was prosperous, revenues far exceeding expenses, but became disorganized by a faction favoring free love, contending it was sound socialism.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Jul 29, 1899

J.K. Calkins, editor of The Coming Nation, a socialist paper published by the Ruskin Commonwealth, at Ruskin, Ga., is in the city. The Coming Nation is doubtless the only family socialist paper published in the world. Although Ruskin is a very small community, having only 217 members, the paper has the remarkable circulation of 17,000 copies and its subscribers are in all parts of the world.

“Our success has been something remarkable: said Editor Calkins yesterday. “We have one of the best equipped publishing concerns in the country. Our press is a perfecting machine of late pattern that cost $5,500, and we get out a sheet that is, we think, very creditable from a typographical and literary standpoint.

“The Ruskin colony is now about six years old. Since moving to Georgia, our career has been most successful. We experienced some trouble in Tennessee on account of some members who wanted to ‘rule or ruin’ and who came near accomplishing the latter. This troublesome element has been weeded out and we are now in a very prosperous condition.”

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 11, 1900


Vice President of the Ruskin Community


In Sandusky and Talks Entertainingly of the Socialist Colony in Southern Georgia

Thomas Hickling, who moved his family to the Ruskin Commonwealth in Southern Georgia a few months ago is visiting in the city and expects to remain until the latter part of next week. He hopes to dispose of his property on Prospect street and will make his home permanently in the South which he says has a great future.

In Sandusky, Mr. Hickling was grown as a Socialist leader and the community in which his family now make their home is conducted on the co operative plan. A charge of $500 is made for each family that enters and the profits of the various enterprises engaged in by the members are shared in common, although each family is assigned its own house and the members may take their meals in private or in a great common dining room as they may choose.

The Ruskin colonists own 800 acres of valuable land, much of it being covered with timber. They engage in the manufacture of shingles, brooms, suspenders, cereal substitutes for coffee and other articles, although many of the men are necessarily employed in agricultural pursuits. Mr. Hickling says that when he went to Ruskin there were 200 or more members of the colony. Now there are not quite 100. The colonists have been able to make good livings but their number has been decimated because history has repeated itself and the members of this co operative colony have been unable to agree as to the details of the management. Upon some things however they are thoroughly agreed and one of the rules is that nine hour shall constitute a days work for a man.

Mr. Hickling has become one of the leaders in the colony and has been made vice president of the organization. He admits that the management of the Ruskin colony has not been exactly ideal but says that a re-organization will doubtless be effected in the near future. Mr. Hickling stoutly maintains that the communal idea is a good thing but thinks that the people are not far enough advanced in thought and education to live in that way at present. There is some talk of dividing up the colony so that the members will individually own certain portions of the real estate but maintaining a sort of an organization whereby they will still work together for mutual benefit instead of in competition with one another.

The Ruskin colony has three schools in one of which Miss Grace Hickling a Sandusky High school graduate of 98 has been one of the teachers. A.D. Hickling a young man who went to Ruskin with his parents is no longer in the colony but is learning the machinists trade in the Air Line railroad shops at Waycross, Ga.

The Ruskin colonists have no churches of their own but there lain surrounds a Baptist and Methodist church so that they have ample opportunity to attend divine worship regularly.

Sandusky Daily Star (Sandusky, Ohio) Apr 17, 1901


Property of Ruskin Commonwealth To Be Sold by Sheriff.


They Settled Near Waycross About Two Years Ago — Their Dreams of Happiness Unfulfilled

Waycross, Ga., August 18. — (Special)

The Ruskin commonwealth of socialists, 7 miles west of Waycross, has about gone by the board. Only three or four families now remain, the others having departed for different points north and west. The printing outfit is advertised to be sold by the sheriff on August 31, while the land will go the same way on September 3. This will wipe out the last vestige of the colony which came here from Tennessee two years ago next month. Several families have located near Valdosta, where they have hopes of making a permanent settlement. The printing outfit will be sold to satisfy labor and other claims, while the land goes to satisfy a mortgage.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Aug 19, 1901

Ruskin Cooperative - Strawberry Pickers (Image from Wiki)


Property of Socialists Disposed of by the Sheriff.

Valdosta, Ga., September 1 — (Special)

The printing outfit of The Coming Nation, the defunct socialistic paper, recently printed at Ruskin colony, in Ware county, was sold at sheriff sale yesterday and was bought in by the creditors of the concern. There were mortgages aggregating $1,600 or $1,800 against the plant, among the heaviest creditors being the A.S. Pendleton Company, of this city, and M. Ferst & Co., of Savannah. The Coming Nation was a leading organ of the socialists and at one time had nearly 40,000 subscribers, scattered in every quarter of the globe. The outfit which the paper owned is a large and modern one, embracing a Campbell perfecting press, stereotyping outfit, etc.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Sep 2, 1901

John Ruskin

You can read a biography of John Ruskin at LINK


Most of the images in this post are from this  insightful book (linked below) written by a member of the failed Ruskin Cooperative.  The publisher, an avowed socialist, wrote the preface, which includes the typical “Yes, socialism failed here, but only because it wasn’t implemented correctly,” blather. The failure is never caused by “socialism,” itself,  but by the “incompetent” people trying to prove its awesomeness. Unfortunately , it is still being pushed on us today, and worse, it is being forced on the whole country, not just a little commune in a cave.

Title: The Last Days of the Ruskin Co-operative Association
Standard socialist series
Author: Isaac Broome
Publisher:   C. H. Kerr & company, 1902

Spelling is the Pitts!

June 23, 2010

Pittsburgh -- Pittsburg

A Question in Etymology.

An old dispute has been revived in the city of Pittsburg, or Pittsburgh, as the case may be. In old times they used to spell it with an “h,” after the English fashion of putting that letter where it is least needed. The dictionaries incline that way in this case. Worcester, who is called Wooster at the North, has “burgh — a corporate town or borough,” and Webster gives the choice of burg, burgh, burough and burh without the “g.” This ought to be enough to satisfy all parties; but it only widens the breach, and obliging people, who wish to satisfy all parties, have their hands full.






Half of the papers have “Pittsburg” in their head-lines; the other half have nailed “Pittsburgh.”

These images are from the same map. For the railway, they used the Pittsburg spelling, but for the city, they used Pittsburgh.

The railroads, to secure traffic, have to paint their cars on one side “Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago,” and on the other “Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago;” on the locomotives they put “P., F. W. and C.,” and allow each man to spell it with an “h” or not, as he pleases. Harper’s Gazetteer drops the “h.”

In the meantime there is a lull in the question whether the first syllable in the name of the city should have one or two “t’s.”

The site used to be called Fort Pitt, in honor of the great English statesman; but people now generally think it is named after the coal pits which abound in the neighborhood.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Jun 16, 1874


More newspaper examples:

An 1867 paper


1833 Paper - "Pittsburgh"


Now, just for fun, two that use BOTH spellings!

1854 -- Gold Rush Era - California Paper


1845 - Norwalk, Ohio Paper

Brutal Blute Kicks His Wife to Death

June 7, 2010

Portsmouth, N.H. (Image from


The Brutal Act of a Brewer in New Hampshire.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Dec. 27 — The police were notified that a murder had been committed in this city yesterday in a residence. When the officers entered the kitchen on the floor a most horrible sight met their eyes. Lying dead on the floor was Margaret Blute, the wife of John Blute. The body was perfectly naked. The head, throat and body were terribly bruised and discolored, and from all appearances the woman had been kicked and beaten to death. The woman’s husband was sitting unconcernedly beside the body, fully dressed, and his four little children were in the corner crying.

The man looked up at the officers and saying: “This is a bad piece of business,” struck a match and lighted his pipe.

When he went to leave the room a few minutes later he was arrested.

He said that after he had beaten and kicked his wife in their bedroom he had thrown her down into the cellar and then went to sleep. When he woke up, about midnight, he found her dead on the floor, and had called in some neighbors. He thought it was about 5:30 p.m. when he had beaten his wife, but wasn’t sure.

He said he was 45 years of age, and had been married seven years. His wife was 33.

The authorities took charge of the house, and neighbors cared for the children. The prisoner will be arraigned on the charge of murder in the first degree. He was employed in a brewery, and is said to be of a peaceful disposition.

Trenton Times, The (Trenton, New Jersey) Dec 27, 1886


Brutality of Blute the Wife Murderer

PLYMOUTH, Dec. 28 — New and important facts in relation to the Blute murder were elicited at the coroner’s inquest today. Persons who saw a part of the tragedy tell a terrible story and say that Blute, while murdering the woman, told her that he meant to kill her. The coroner’s jury will return a verdict of murder in the first degree tomorrow.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Dec 29, 1886

Patrick Blute, the Brute.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Dec. 8 — The coroner’s jury rendered a verdict that Mrs. Blute was murdered by her husband, Patrick.

Saturday Herald (Decatur, Illinois) Jan 1, 1887


Matters in the Legislature

CONCORD, Jan. 21. The Governor and Council this forenoon gave a hearing upon the petition for the pardon of Patrick Blute, who was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in April, 1877, (typo) for manslaughter in killing his wife in Portsmouth on Christmas day, 1886. The ground upon which the application is based is that Blute is incurably ill of consumption. Hon. Calvin Page, of Portsmouth, appeared for the petitioners and Attorney General Bainard and County Solicitor Emery in opposition.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Jan 22, 1891

Patrick Blute, the Portsmouth wife murderer, died in prison at Concord, N.H.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jan 31, 1891

Title: Reports, Volume 1
Author: New Hampshire
Published: 1892
(Google book, pg 175 – LINK)

One of Patrick Blute’s daughters:

The marriage of Artis F. Schurman and Miss Margaret E. Blute, two well known young people, is announced to take place on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jan 31, 1899

Mrs. Margaret E. Bray

Mrs. Margaret E. Bray of 589 Dennett street, wife of Mark W. Bray, died early this morning after a long illness. She was born in Portsmouth, the daughter of the late John and Margaret (Quinn) Blute.

Mrs. Bray is survived by her husband, one son, Charles A. Schurman of Warwick, R.I.; two daughters, Mrs. Helen M. Cooper and Hazel F. Schurman, both of Philadelphia, Pa., and two sisters, Mrs. Mary O’Gilvie and Mrs. Julia Remick, both of Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Dec 12, 1944

Patrick Blute’s father:

John Blute.

John Blute, one of the oldest Irish residents in the city, died at the home of his granddaughter on Dennett street, on Wednesday evening, the 20th inst., aged eighty-six years. He had been a citizen of Portsmouth for over fifty years.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Nov 21, 1901

Wills proved. — John Blute. Portsmouth, Margaret E. Schurman, executrix;…

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jan 3, 1902

Image from

Another daughter:

Wedding of Miss Blute And Mr. Remick


A pretty wedding of two popular young people took place at six o’clock on Thursday evening at the rectory of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, when Miss Julia G. Blute of this city and Austin Remick of Rye were married.

The ceremony was performed by Rev. Fr. William J. Cavanaugh.

The bride was tastefully gowned in a dress of Alice blue with a pink hat. She was attended by her sister, Miss Mary Blute, who wore a handsome dress of pale lavender.

Walter Varrell of Dover, a life-long friend of the groom, acted as best man.

After the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Remick repaired to the home of the bride, 10 Langdon street, where the immediate friends and relatives enjoyed a collation and a reception was held.

Mr. and Mrs. Remick received many costly and useful gifts and the congratulations of a legion of acquaintances, who wish them much joy in their new life.

The bride has for the past six years been an employe of the Morley Button Company and a young lady held in high esteem by her shopmates. The groom is one of the best known young men of his native town and has many warm friends at home and in this city.

Mr. and Mrs. Remick will resdie at 10 Langdon street.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) May 25, 1906

Mrs. Julia G. Remick

RYE — Mrs. Julia Genevieve Remmick, 69, of Brackett Road, widow of Austin F. Remick, died this morning.

Born in Portsmouth Jan. 31, 1883, the daughter of the late Patrick and Margaret (Quinn) Blute, she had resided in Rey for the past 47 years.

Survivors include four sons, Sgt. Stanton G. Remick of the Portsmouth police department, Melvin S., Artis F. and Sherman A. Remick, all of Rey; two daughters, Mrs. Lawrence Harmon of Machias, Me., and Mrs. Lawrence Seavey of Rye; one sister, Mrs. Mary Ogilvie of Portsmouth; 15 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jan 12, 1953

Blute family - 1880 Census


The elder John Blute and granddaughters - 1900 Census

Murdered by a Moonshiner

May 10, 2010


Frank Moon Pays Penalty for Acting as Guide on Chestnut Ridge.


By Strange Man While Drinking in A Scottdale Bar — Died This Morning at the Cottage State Hospital — Deputy Collector Dixon’s Statement.

Frank Moon, who was shot by an unknown man in the bar room of the Scottdale House at Scottdale last Thursday evening, died at the Cottage State Hospital this morning at 3:30 o’clock. Septic peritonitis caused his death. This afternoon a post mortem examination and inquest will be held by Coroner A.S. Hagan of Fairchance. The remains will be buried by friends.

With the death of Moon comes light on the mysterious circumstances which surround his murder. It is believed in police circles that he was killed by a moonshiner sent down from the mountains. This morning United States Deputy Collector W.J. Dixon of Uniontown was here, and said: “I believe it probable that Moon was shot by a man specially sent down from the mountain for the purpose. We revenue men do not tell the names of our guides, but I will say that three years ago, when Frank Campbell was United States Marshal, we had a guide who lived at Broad Ford. He had a long standing feud with the moonshiners and several times when excursions into the district were planned, he backed out at the last moment, fearful of his life. He has worked for us, off and on, for the past three years. He realized that his life was in danger. That’s all I’ll say about it.”

On Thursday night, Moon, with some companions, was drinking in the bar of the Scottdale House. At the hospital Sunday he told the following story: “I had been drinking and chatting with my friends in the bar when a young looking stranger came in and walked the length of the room, evidently looking for some one. After a time he asked me to take a drink. He said all bar room whisky was impure; that the mountain dew, made on Laurel Hill, was the only pure stuff. Talk rambled on, the subject of moonshine and moonshiners keeping prominent. I mentioned the name of a well known moonshiner several times, perhaps not in a complimentary way, and the stranger seemed to resent this. Then the talk lagged and my companion seemed to be thinking of something else. He suddenly pulled a revolver from his pocket and twirled it around his hand as if familiar with the weapon. ‘That’s a dangerous thing for a young fellow,’ I remarked, and staring at me he answered ‘I’m a moonshiner and we need protection.’ Then he suddenly dropped the weapon to the level of my breast, and without a word, he fired.”

The stranger said “Someone from the outside shot him through the window.” The smoke of the shot was still wreathing in the room, but none contradicted his statement as they crowded around the wounded man. Then the stranger walked the length of the bar, out into the street and was gone.

Moon was hurried to the office of Dr. Rogers of Scottdale, who pronounced his wound fatal. Then he was brought to the Cottage hospital to die.

Frank Moon was a coke worker, 38 years old, a widower, who for some months past has lived near Broad Ford. He was born not far from Confluence.

The man who shot Moon is described as small in stature, perhaps 23 years of age; wearing a light suit and a rough, slouch hat.

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) Nov 10, 1902

Confluence, PA (postcard image from ebay)


Post Mortem Held on Frank Moon.

Inquest Later.

Acting Surgeon Dr. L.P. McCormick and Coroner A.S. Hagan on Monday held a post mortem examination on the body of Frank Moon, the story of whose tragic death has already appeared in these columns. A very complete dissection of the affected parts was made, but the surgeons were unable to locate the bullet that claimed Moon’s life. It penetrated the upper portion of the abdomen, passing through one lobe of the liver and the kidney, and then, taking a slightly downward course, lodged in the intricate muscles of the back. The inquest will be held by Coroner Hagan as soon as the necessary witnesses can be secured.

Undertaker J.E. Sims this morning shipped the remains of Moon to his former home, Draketown, back of Confluence and near the Somerset county line. The remains will be interred at the Jersey Church Cemetery. Several Connellsville people relatives of the dead man, attended the funeral.

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) Nov 11, 1902


The only new development in the case of Frank Moon, who was shot at Scottdale, comes from a friend of Moon, who says that the name of the man who did the shooting is Rankin. He said that some time ago Moon caused the arrest of Rankin and another man for “moonshining,” and that Rankin threatened to get even with him.

The Indiana Democrat (Indiana, Pennsylvania) Nov 19, 1902


In Murder Cases of Frank Moon at Scottdale and James Leonard.


Verdicts Rendered on Thursday That Both Victims Came to Their Deaths by Hands of Unknown Persons — Testimony Before Coroner Hagan

Coroner Arthur S. Hagan of Fairchance held two inquests yesterday in City Hall. One was on the death of William Frank Moon who was shot down in the bar room of the New Scottdale House in Scottdale on the evening of November 7th and the other long delayed was on the death of James Leonard a young man of town who was assaulted by three strangers on the North Side on the night of July 21st and who died eight days later as a result of the injuries he received.

In the Moon inquest a number of witnesses from Scottdale were present. Among these were Jorn O’Neil, the bartender on duty when the shooting occurred, Joseph Ghrist a mill worker who knows more about the case than all the others combined, John Sellers, A.C. Bell and others who were in the bar at the time, but who know little or nothing of the circumstance of the shooting. Constable Everhart of Scottdale testified that he had investigated the case in Scottdale and had taken a statement from Moon while he lingered at the Cottage State Hospital but had utterly failed to find an explanation of the mystery.

Joseph Ghrist was the star witness and furnished a tip which if it is followed out may locate the slayer of Moon. Ghrist was passing through the bar when the shot was fired and was sober. He helped raise Moon from the floor and later asked him who shot him. Was it the man who was with you? asked Ghrist, and Moon groaned Yes, yes. Then William Keffer of Summit mines commonly known as Rats said “Why I know that man. He is ________ and I used to work with him. He was with Moon all afternoon. Ghrist does not remember the name Keffer said but thinks it sounded like Rankin or Larkin. If Ghrist’s story is true, then the secret of the killing rests with Rats of Summit mines.

Other testimony brought out the fact that Moon and his murderer were standing in the rear of the saloon behind a big refrigerator when the shot was fired and that no one save Moon and his slayer actually witnessed the tragedy.

Bartender O’Neil explained how in the excitement that followed the shooting, the murderer escaped through the front door saying the shot was fired from the outside.

After the evidence was in Coroner Hagan said that no more witnesses would be called, that if the Westmoreland county officers wanted to interview Keffer they could do so.

Then a verdict to the effect that Moon was shot by a party unknown was signed by the jurymen: J.H. Risbeck, C.W. Patterson, L.W. Port, David Blackburn, A.W. Hood and S.K. Ree.

The Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) Nov 21, 1902


Scottdale Witness Retracts What He Said at Coroner’s Inquest

Another feature of the mysterious murder of Frank Moon in the bar room of the New Scottdale House a month ago came to light Friday in a communication sent to The Daily Courier by J.B. Ghrist of Scottdale, who was a witness before Coroner Hagan at the inquest held here after the killing. On the stand Ghrist said that a man named William Keffer of Summit Mines knew Moon’s assailant and mentioned his name. The following letter was received from Ghrist by The Courier today.

‘Having been quoted in the Connellsville papers as saying that William Keffer of Summit Mines knew the man who shot Frank Moon in the Scottdale House on November 7, I wish to make a correction. I said that Keffer mentioned the name of the man who was with Moon on the afternoon of the shooting. Mr. Keffer informs me that he did not say the words attributed to him but that they were said by some one near him. I make this correction in justice to Mr. Keffer for I made the mistake in the excitement of the moment. I want to set Mr. Keffer right in the eyes of the public. I have apologized to him personally. I hope the community will forgive me for the mistake I made.’

The Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) Dec 19, 1902

"Old Jersey Church, Turkeyfoot Baptist Cemetery," located on the south side of the Jersey Baptist Church, commonly called the "Old Cemetery." (Photo, Nov 2006, by Glen Swartz)

Cemetery image from Find-A-Grave.

An Ill-Fated Family.

William Moon is dead at Confluence. He is the last of three brothers to died within a year. Two others met violent deaths. Elmer Moon was killed in a railroad accident last September. About two months ago Frank Moon was mysteriously murdered in the Scottdale House. Hemorrhage of the lungs was the cause of William Moon’s death.

The Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) Dec 30, 1902


I don’t know if they ever found Frank Moon’s killer; I couldn’t locate any news articles stating they did, so maybe he got off Scott Free.

As an aside, while looking for a picture of the Scottdale House (which I never found) I ran across three articles about it catching fire. Here they are:



Felix Tracy, Jr. – 1855 Travel Diary – Los Angeles to Salt Lake

April 19, 2010

Felix Tracy, Jr.

Image from the Wells Fargo Guided By History blog. (Two Felix Tracy posts on the blog are linked below.)

From Los Angels to Salt Lake.

We have been permitted by Messrs. Adams & Co. to publish the following diary of Mr. Felix Tracy, Jr., during his late journey through from Los Angeles to Salt Lake.

This diary, though brief, will be of value to those who may wish to travel through to Salt Lake by the same route, and it will also give a very correct idea of the country to the general reader. —

The indefatigable and ubiquitous Adams & Co. will soon dispatch messengers through all the principle routes to Salt Lake, for the purpose of ascertaining by direct observation the best route for an Expresr. The enterprise of this firm bids fair to establish the best route for the Pacific Railroad, while Congress is quarrelling about appropriations for engineers to do the same work.

City of the Great Salt Lake.}
To I.O. Woods, Esq., Resident Partner of Adams & Co., of California.

DEAR SIR: — In compliance with your request, I hand you enclosed so much of the Journal of my late trip from Los Angeles to this place as is of public interest, and calculated I think to be of value to the Pacific Emigrant Society, in which, if I remember rightly, you hold a prominent position. I have omitted all of my own speculations on the route, which I will give in a subsequent letter, and confine myself to noting the essentials for emigrants, namely: grass water and wood.

Nov. 25th. — Leaving San Francisco. as you remember, this day per steamer Goliah, at half-past 5 P.M., we reached San Pedro Nov. 28th 8 A.M., which small place of a few houses, and proportionally smaller number of people, is the port of Los Angeles, twenty-five miles inland, to which place I proceeded in Alexander & Banning’s line of coaches, on which our Express matter is carried, and reached Los Angeles the same night, 28th.

Los Angeles - 1850 (Image from

This place is too well known to you to demand description from me, and I content myself with stating a few facts to which I would specially call your attention in the future. One is that corn is said to grow here splendidly and the ears to fill and ripen equal to anything in the older States, a fact, if a fact, which is not known on the bay of San Francisco, or in the mining regions where corn is grown with difficulty. — The raising here of a sufficient supply of maize for the California demand, would enrich the country by keeping thus much of our gold at home.

The culture of grapes and manufacture of wine is destined to become a feature of this part of California, and I confidently predict that, if fostered properly by those having as deep an interest as yourself in the welfare of California, the wine of this section will cause importations to nearly cease, and we shall become large exporters, besides doing a wonderful work in the way of temperance. Drinkers of Sherry and Madeira in San Francisco are probably aware that their best English imported wines are nearly all manufactured in London, from the cheap wines of the Cape of Good Hope. Los Angeles can supply the basis in place of Cape Town, and our ingenious merchants can do the manufacturing, including stamping the boxes and copying the labels.

Dec. 1st. — Left Los Angeles this morning, 10 A.M. Eight miles this side, passed San Gabriel, an old mission, in the vicinity of which is said to be some of the best land in California. The Padres here fenced many of their fields with the cactus.

At noon, we stopped at a placed called Monte, which has about five hundred inhabitants.

Water abundant; land very fertile, one squash vine producing three squashes which weighed four hundred and thirty-nine pounds; and I also saw a corn stalk seventeen and a half feet high.

Saturday, 2d — Staid last night at an old Spaniard’s by the name of Palemeros, who has a fine, large ranch well stocked. A few years since, the Utah tribe of Indians, led by their Chief. Walker, were in the habit of driving off several hundred head of cattle, the Spaniards in this vicinity not being about to resist them.

Distance to-day, thirty-two miles.

Sunday, 3d — For twenty miles it is nearly a desert, without water. Arrived at San Bernardino, this evening. Distance to-day, thirty-two miles.

Monday, 4th — San Bernardino is the Mormon settlement, containing about one thousand inhabitants.

The Mormons have possession of some eight square leagues of land, well watered, which produces well. Timber is scarce, consequently the houses are built of adobes. Within five miles of this place are hot springs, from lukewarm to hot enough to cook an egg.

Tuesday, 5th — Left San Bernardino to-day, at 2 p.m., in company with J.B. Leach, Jas. Williams, Jacob Mozier, and Mr. Pinney. We have four mules. Camped at 6 p.m. Good road and plenty of water. Distance to-day, 12 miles.

Wednesday, 6th — Left camp at half past seven this morning. Crossed the Sierra Nevada at Hunt’s Pass, which is ten miles nearer than by Cajon, and to the south of it, although the latter is much the best for wagons, and, in fact, one thousand dollars would make it a first-rate road. Camped at 6 p.m. — Distance to-day, 28 miles; the last 20 without water, and poor land.

Thursday, 7th — Left camp at half past 7. Distance to-day, 35 miles; water half way, good wagon road, land poor.

Camped at Sugar Loaf, on the Mohave River.

Friday, Dec 8 — Started at 8 o’clock traveled 25 miles northerly, along the Mohave. The soil could be made to produce well by irrigation. Road level and sandy.

Camped at 8 p.m., near a small lake; good grass. Distance to-day, 35 miles. We have seen some alkili.

Saturday, 9 — Left camp at half past 8 a.m. To-day we have traveled 25 miles without water; road good, through a desert. Camped at 4 p.m. Water bad, grass scarce. We passed through a canon [canyon?] three miles long, through a range of low mountains; the ascent was gradual.

Sunday, 10th — Left camp last night at 8 o’clock it being thought best to travel after night on the desert. From Bitter Springs, where we camped last night, to Kingston Springs, where we camped this morning at 11 o’clock, is 40 miles, over a desert; water to be had at a small lake, about half way; road fair. We fed our mules with barley last night and this morning. Started this afternoon, at half past 3 o’clock.

Monday, 11th — Camped this morning at half past 8. all tired and very sleepy. Distance last night, 40 miles; road good, — over a desert. This place is called Mountain Springs; grass is poor, and we here fed the last of our barley. About twenty miles from Bitter Springs, we left the regular emigrant road, and came on to it within four miles of Mountain Springs, saving about forty miles, and avoiding Salt Springs, the Highlander, Resting and Stump Springs. — Left Mountain Springs at half past 11 a.m., and traveled 12 miles to Cottonwood. Road good.

Tuesday, 12th — Left Cottonwood at half past 7 a.m., and camped at 3 p.m., on the Las Vegas. This is a small stream but very rapid, and waters several hundred acres of good land.

Here there is a spring in which a person cannot sink.

It is twenty-five miles over to the Colorado River. Road somewhat uneven but not bad. Distance to-day, twenty miles without water.

Wednesday, 13th — Left Vegas River at half past 1 a.m., and camped at 7 a.m.; good bunch grass but no water, so far, to-day, and we have traveled twenty-three miles. Started again at half past 10 a.m., and camped on Muddy River, at half past 8 p.m. Distance to-day, 27 miles, without water; road uneven, grass good.

Thursday. 14 — This morning five Indians came into camp, and wished to trade for blankets &c; we gave them some tobacco. There is some good land here. The Indians raise corn, wheat, pumpkins &c.

Left camp at 8 a.m., and camped on the Rio Virgin, at 5 p.m. The road to-day has been bad, passing over some very steep hills. An empty wagon would be load enough for four mules. Distance to-day twenty-five miles, without water.

Friday, 15th — Started this morning at 4 o’clock. We have followed the Rio Virgin up to its source. Camped at 6 p.m.; road fair. Distance to-day, 33 miles. The Muddy River empties into the Rio Virgin, and the latter into the Colorado.

Saturday, 16th — The road for the first fifteen miles has been a gradual ascent, and the last ten uneven and bad. No water to-day.

Camped on the Santa Clara River. — Twelve miles below us the Mormons are building a house. The Indians have three corn-fields on this river; twelve acres in all, one of which we are encamped in. There are a few cottonwood trees along the river, which is the first timber we have seen.

Sunday, 17th — Camped at the Mountain Springs, which is also called the Rim of the Basin. The road, to-day, has been bad, being quite rough. Distance, to-day, 35 miles, without water. The land in this vicinity would produce will if there were water to irrigate with.

Monday, 18th — Camped at Iron Springs. Distance to-day, 43 miles. No water, but plenty of ice.

Tuesday, 19th — Arrived at Cedar City, on Coal Creek, this morning; this is the first of the Mormon settlements. Here iron ore is found, and the Mormons expect to manufacture iron in the course of a month. Coal is also found here. This place is surrounded by an adobe wall, ten feet high and from two to three feet thick. There are about one hundred families here, whose farms are three or four miles distant, and are said to produce corn, wheat, oats, barley, &c., the land being irrigated. All the timber found here is a few small cedar trees.

Cedar City, Utah (Image from

From San Bernardino to Cedar City, there is probably not 1000 acres of good land, all in one body; all there is is situated on the Vegas, Muddy and Santa Clara rivers; and there is no timber except a few Cottonwood trees on the Santa Clara. There are no streams that require bridging. The road from the Rim of the Basin to this place is splendid — from the Vegas to the Rim of the Basin, it is quite rough, that is, it is up and down.

We came through with nine mules. Mr. Leach is of the opinion that a wagon and six mules would have come through easier.

You will see by what I have already written, that there are stretches of thirty to fifty miles without water. Four or five artesian wells would probably be all that would be required. We crossed small mountains almost every day, thro’ canons.

If this route should ever become much traveled, it would be difficult to find grass for animals, for the whole country is nearly all a desert, producing nothing but a little sage brush or grease wood.

By next express I will finish copying my diary, but in the meantime would remark, that the road from Cedar City to this place is a very good one about three streams requiring bridges.

Yours truly,


Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Feb 17,  1855

Mountain Democrat Advertisement 1854

*  *  *  *  *

Image from the Wells Fargo Guided By History blog, where they have two blog posts about Felix Tracy HERE and HERE.

Felix Tracy.
Sacramento & Shasta Cos.

The agent for Wells, Fargo & Co., at Sacramento, was born at Moscow, Livingston County, New York, March 19, 1829. Left New York for California March, 1849, arriving at San Francisco, September 18th of the same year, where he engaged in merchandising until 1850. He then went to the mines, working for a time on the North Fork of the American River; afterwards in the vicinity of Downieville.

In the Summer of 1850 when he entered the employee of Sam. W. Longton’s Express, as Messenger, between Marysville and Downieville, a position full of incident and adventure, a portion of the route being at times only passable by means of snow-shoes, employing and traveling in company with Indians. In June, 1852, he entered the service of Adams & Co. as Messenger between Shasta and Marysville; made one or more trips as Messenger to Portland, Oregon, and also a trip in the same capacity between San Francisco and New York City; upon his return from this trip he entered the San Francisco office as clerk, and shortly after was sent by the company to Salt Lake City to establish an express and stage line between Los Angeles and St. Louis. This was the first express ever carried into Utah Territory.

But in consequence of the failure of Adams & Co., in February, 1855, the enterprise was necessarily abandoned. Mr. Tracy, being left entirely without means by the failure of the company, was so fortunate as to secure the position of Clerk of Quartermaster’s Department under General Steptoe, then in command of the troops then stationed at Salt Lake, and so worked his passage back to California. Arriving in Shasta in July, 1855, he was appointed by the Pacific Express Company their agent at that place, then one of the most flourishing mining towns in this State. Upon the failure of this company, in the Summer of 1857, he entered the service of Wells, Fargo & Co., at Shasta, with which company he has remained until the present time, a period of nearly twenty-one years. Mr. Tracy took charge of the Sacramento office in March, 1868, and is probably the oldest expressman in California, having been engaged in this business, with less than three months’ interim, a period of nearly twenty-seven years.

While living in Shasta, Mr. Tracy served that county two terms as its Treasurer. In Sacramento he occupied the position of School Director for the city two terms, and for three years was President of the Board. Mr. Tracy is respected and trusted by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance. He has long been a prominent leader in the Presbyterian Church, and last year went as delegated from this State to the General Assembly held at Chicago. Though modest and retiring, Mr. T. is a first-class businessman, and so recognize not only by the firm he has so long and faithfully served, but by all with whom he has done business during his long residence in California.


From the Sacramento Historical Society: (PDF LINK)

Evening Bee
Sacramento, June 12, 1902
TRACY – In this city, June 12, Felix Tracy, a native of New York, aged 72 years, 2 months ans 13 days.

Friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral Saturday at 10 a.m. from the Fourteenth-Street Presbyterian Church, Fourteenth Street, between O and P. Interment private. Omit flowers.

Sacramento Evening Bee (Sacramento, CA)  Jun 12, 1902


Felix Tracy passed away at his home in this city to-day after a period of failing health of many months duration. Mr. Tracy was one of Sacramento’s most highly respected citizens.

Deceased was one of the oldest express agents in California, his service dating back to the 50s, when he was Wells, Fargo & Co.’s representative in Shasta. He was placed in several important positions by Wells, Fargo & Co, and finally sent to Sacramento, when this was the most important office in the State, it being the distributing point for all the best mining counties.

In those days, Wells, Fargo & Co. carried all the gold dust from the mines and returned the gold coin from the Mint to the miner. In this way they caught a percentage going and coming, and the Company grew to be a wealthy corporation.

It always, however, took good care of its faithful servants. Several years ago, Felix Tracy was tendered retirement on a handsome pension, and could have done so had he listened to the importunities of his employers. However he had quite a snug fortune of his own, and he remained “in the harness” until his physical condition compelled his retirement.

He was strictly temperate in his habits, and an active advocate of temperance in others. More than one young man was reclaimed through his influence. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and a faithful attendant to its services. He was born in New York State seventy-three years ago. The funeral will take place from the Fourteenth-Street Presbyterian Church Saturday next at 10 a.m.



Well Known in Sacramento, She Was Typical Californian, Known for Deeds Mrs. Martha GARTER TRACY, wife of the late Felix Tracy and mother of Henry W. and Mary F. Tracy, died at the family home at 1706 P Street on Saturday evening.

Mrs. Tracy was an old-time resident of Sacramento, respected and honored wherever known. She was one of the typical women of the early days of California – splendid wives and mothers, to whom California owes as much as she does to the men pioneers. She was a woman of deep religious convictions, full of genuine kindness and charity, sympathetic at heart and keen in intellect. She was author of several excellent short stories, but found her greatest pleasure and devoted almost all of her time to her home.

A leader in the Presbyterian Church on this Coast for many years, she was widely known among the followers of that faith and held in the highest esteem.

With her brother, the late Judge Charles A. GARTER of Red Bluff, Mrs. Tracy came as Miss Garter to California in 1856, joining her father and mother, the late Judge GARTER and wife in Shasta, where Miss Garter was married to Felix Tracy, then connected with Wells, Fargo & Company. Later they came to Sacramento, where Mr. Tracy was the local Manager of Wells, Fargo & Company until his death in 1902.

Sacramento Bee  (Sacramento, CA) Feb 16, 1914


In the summer of 1857, Col. J. B. Crandall established a tri-weekly line of stages between Placerville and Genoa, and carried the “Carson Valley express,” which was managed by Theodore F. Tracy. E. W. Tracy was agent at Placerville, and Smith and Major Ormsby were agents at Genoa. In June of that year, T. F. Tracy, accompanied by J. B. Crandall, Mark Hopkins, J. H. Nevitt, Wm. M. Cary, John M. Dorsey, Theron Foster, C. A. Sumner, and K D. Keiser, passed over the route, and established the following stations between Placerville and Genoa, viz.: Sportman’s Hall, Brockliss Bridge, Silver Creek, and Cary’s Mill. This was called the “Pioneer Stage Line,” and connected at Genoa with the Chorpening wagons to Salt Lake.

Nevada Observer (LINK)

Death of Theodore F. Tracy

Felix Tracy, agent for Wells, Fargo & Co., in this city, received news this morning of the sudden death of his brother, Theodore F. Tracy, of San Francisco, a prominent Republican candidate for State Treasurer. In speaking of his candidacy the Oakland Tribune of a late date gave this brief sketch of him:

He was for nine years a Postoffice Inspector on this coast, and in that capacity acquitted himself with distinguished ability. In the course of his inspection tours throughout the State he made friends wherever he went, and, as a natural consequence, he will add strength to any ticket on which he may be nominated. In addition to his experience in the Postoffice Department he has had a thorough business training, and he held an important position under Wells, Fargo & Co. for many years. Mr. Tracy has resided in San Francisco for the past ten years, and before that was a resident of El Dorado county.

Sacramento Daily Bee (Sacramento, CA) Aug 18, 1886

Frank L. Haralson: Georgia’s State Librarian

October 22, 2009


And Mr. Fry Don’t Wish to be Held Accountable for It.

Mr. Frank L. Haralson the state librarian, was arrested yesterday morning by Patrolmen Thompson and Nolan, and carried to the station house.

The charge entered up the state docket is larceny.

The whole thing seems to have been a blunder, and one of those blunders for which nobody is particularly anxious to be held accountable.

The following statement explains the affair:

The first is that of Mr. Wil Roberts, a son of Mr. W.J. Roberts, the Peachtree street grocer. He says:

“Saturday afternoon last Colonel Frank L. Haralson called at my father’s store, on Peach tree street for some goods. While he was standing in the door with his back to the street, talking to me and laughing, Mr. Abe Fry slapped him on the back and said:

“Frank, I want that colt you won, and I will give you a sixty five dollar watch — gold watch — for him, and you can select it from my show cases.”

“Colonel Haralson said:

“Well, this is a trade is it?

“Mr. Fry said it was and for him to call Monday morning and select his watch.

“Colonel Haralson said:

“I will call Monday morning.

“Mr. Fry went down Peachtree street and Colonel Haralson took his articles and went towards his home.’

Mr. Haralson read this statement last night and says it is a fair statement. He said further:

‘Fry just wanted to back out of the trade I believe I beat him on his own proposition and he just intended to jew out of it. I thought the best way to make him keep his word was to take the watch. But this thing is an outrage. I was arrested in my office for larceny — just think of that. Its a disgrace that such a thing should happen in Atlanta.’

The following is Mr. Abe Fry’s statement:

‘I met Mr. Frank Haralson last Saturday afternoon and he told me that he had a fine colt which he wished to sell. I said, ‘Come around to my store some time and perhaps I’ll trade you a watch for him.’ Yesterday about three o’clock Mr. Haralson called at my store. I was engaged in talking to a friend in a buggy in front of the store. Mr. Haralson went in the store and after looking at the watches in the show case, asked Fritz Allbright, my clerk, to let him look at one. Fritz handed him the watch, when he said, “This suits me I’ll take it –‘ and with the watch he walked out of the store. Fritz tried in vain to get the watch away from him, but he refused to give it up, Fritz told me what had happened, when I said to him “I will hold you responsible if you don’t get that watch.’

Fritz then went before Justice Tanner and swore out a possessory warrant for the watch. I am at a loss to see what right Mr. Haralson had to come in my store and take my property in that manner. We certainly had made no trade. How could I trade with him when I was talking to my friend in the buggy while he was getting the watch from my clerk?”

Judge Tanner said yesterday afternoon:

“This clerk of Abe Fry’s came to my office and said that Mr. Frank Haralson had taken a watch from the store. I made him explain what he meant, and after he did so refused to issue the warrant. The clerk went off and came back presently, insisting upon his request for a warrant. I didn’t want to make myself ridiculous and flatly refused to give him the warrant, explaining to him that his only course was to take out a possessory warrant. He did so.”

The possessory warrant will probably be tried today before Judge Tanner. Mr. Tom Corrigan, acting as the clerk’s attorney, advised this course, and the property was given up at the station house, though against the urgent remonstrances of Mr. Haralson.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 3, 1888


Will be Produced in Police Court This Morning.

Colonel Frank Haralson Assaults Mr. Abe Fry With a Cowhide — Mr. Fry Says “Never Touched Me.”

The Hon. Frank Haralson, state librarian, and Abe Fry, pawn shop man and jeweler in the National hotel building on Peachtree street, will appear in police court this morning. The one charged with disorderly conduct and quarreling and the other with using profane language in the station house.

A small cowhide will put in an appearance too.

Early yesterday morning Colonel Haralson was seen walking restlessly up and down Peachtree street between the railroad and Decatur street. Two or three times he passed through the block apparently buried in study so deep that he took no notice of friends who passed him. None of the colonel’s friends, however, who saw him imagined that he was brooding over his arrest Monday, and was contemplating a revenge.

But such was the case.

About 9 o’clock the colonel entered a store on the block, and in a few minutes came out, carrying in his hand a bright silver-mounted pistol. The gentleman was cool, and attracted no particular attention as he passed along to Fry’s pawn shop and jewelry store, in front of which he stopped. For a second he gazed into the store, and then with a firm, slow step walked into the door. Mr. Fry was standing behind the counter, talking to a young gentleman on the outside, and approaching them, the colonel said:

“Abe Fry, you have told a d–n dirty lie on me, and I have come for my revenge.”

As he spoke Colonel Haralson shoved his left hand under the waist band of his breeches and jerking out an ordinary red cowhide raised it above his head. The raw hide cut through the air with a whistling sound and came down toward Mr. Fry, but whether it struck the jeweler or not only Judge Anderson will be able to decide after he has heard the testimony this morning. However, the cowhide went up a second time and a second time it came down, but its second descent is just as uncertain as the first, likewise the third.

The scene was not accompanied by any boisterous or disorderly conduct and was over with before any one knew it. Colonel Haralson walked out of Mr. Fry’s and re-entering the store where he secured the pistol left it. He then appeared upon the street again and seeing Patrolman Anderson on Alabama street walked across the railroad and up to him, saying:

“I have cow hided Abe Fry and want to give myself up.”

The patrolman then heard Colonel Haralson’s story through, and deciding to make a case against him, asked him to go to police head quarters. The colonel readily consented to do so. At the city prison Colonel Haralson reported to Chief Connolly what he had said to Patrolman Anderson. The chief instructed the station house keeper, Mr. Joyner, to make a case against Colonel Haralson, charging him with disorderly conduct and quarreling, and at the same time requested Mr. Fry, who came in just then, to appear as a witness against him. During the conversation Colonel Haralson was standing on one side of the big counter in the office and Mr. Fry on the other side. Both men were anxious to talk and both talked at the same time, but Mr. Fry’s hardest talk came immediately after Colonel Haralson informed the chief that he had cowhided Mr. Fry.

“That is a lie,” yelled Mr. Fry.

Chief Connolly requested the jeweler to remain quiet, but his blood was up to a boiling pitch and in the severest and profanest language he abused the state librarian. The language used was a violation of a city ordinance, and Chief Connolly turned to the stationhouse keeper, saying:

“Mr. Joyner, make a case against Mr. Fry for using profane language in the station-house.”

The case was booked and Mr. Fry made a bond for his appearance in police court — just like the bond Colonel Haralson made. After the bonds were made the two gentlemen walked away, and all along the street they were asked about he affair.

But their answer was very unlike.

To all who asked him about it, Mr. Haralson said:

“Yes, I cowhided him, and I cowhided him well. I hit him three times, and here is the cowhide.”

The cowhide was concealed down the librarian’s left breeches leg, and only the butt end was drawn out.

To all who asked Mr. Fry about it, he answered:

“No, he did not cowhide me. The coward came into my store and putting a cocked pistol in my face struck over the counter at me with a cowhide but he didn’t strike me.”

The two stories, so unlike, soon became general talk, and everybody wanted to know which one to believe. Mr. Fry was at his store when called upon. He was standing in the door looking quietly up and down the street. He was in his shirt sleeves, and a half smoked cigar was between his lips. As he spied a reporter approaching he removed the cigar, saying:

“I know what you are going to ask me. You are going to ask me if Frank Haralson hit me with a cowhide.”

“You have just saved me the trouble.”

“Well he didn’t. He says he did, but he’s a d–m liar.”

“He says he struck you three times.”

“Well, he is a liar, and here is a young man who saw it all.”

Just then a young gentleman attired in a light-colored spring suit came up. The young gentleman was D.M. Davidson, a grocer at 110 Peachtree, and as he was near Mr. Fry that gentleman said:

“Here, Mr. Davidson, wasn’t you in here when Frank Haralson came in?”

“Yes,” answered the gentleman calmly.

“Now, he says he hit me with that cowhide. Did he do it? Didn’t he just strike at me over the counter?”


“You see, he came in here with a pistol in one hand, and a cowhide in the other, and struck at me across the counter, and he didn’t hit me. Why the cowhide wasn’t long enough. When he struck he had a pistol in my face and I wheeled around and picked up an ink bottle to throw at him. See, here is the ink on my hand. Ain’t that so?” he concluded, turning to Mr. Davidson.

“It all transpired so quick,” answered Mr. Davidson, “that I can hardly tell what did take place.”

“Well, you know he did not hit me, don’t you?”

“I don’t think he did,” answered the gentleman.

“Then when I’d move he would push the pistol in my face. He is a dirty coward and I can whip him, and told him so down at the stationhouse. Why he just wants to bulldoze me like he did, out of that watch yesterday, but the coward can’t do that. He never touched me.”

Colonel Haralson was standing near the New Era saloon talking to Captain Ed Cox.

The raw hide was pulled from its hiding place, as the gentleman remarked:

“Yes I did cowhide the d–n Jew and here is the cowhide and I’ll have it in court in the morning.”

“But he says you never touched him.”

“He’s a liar and I’ll go back and do it over.”

“No, you won’t,” said Captain Cox, “leave him alone.”

“You see,” said the colonel “I said yesterday that I would avenge the insult he heaped upon me in less than twenty-four hours and I have done it.”

“And you are satisfied?”

“Thoroughly. I gave him three good blows.”

“But the young man who was in there says you didn’t.”

“That young man ran out. You see I got a pistol and walked with it in my hand into the store and struck him once with the cowhide. He turned to get a pistol and I raised mine, saying:

“Just stop where you are.”

“Then I put the pistol close to him and struck him twice more and walked out.”

“And you think you hit him?”

“If Fry will look at his back he will find where I put three of them on him, and I will show him the cowhide in court in the morning and dare him to show his back.”

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 4, 1888

John B. Gordon - 1865 (Image from

John B. Gordon - 1865 (Image from


The News in the Various Departments Yesterday.

GOVERNOR GORDON’S ORDER suspending Mr. Frank Haralson, state librarian, was the sensation at the capitol yesterday. It will be found written up in detail in this issue.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 7, 1888



Governor Gordon Issues an Order Suspending Mr. Haralson.

The Library Placed in Charge of Captain John Milledge — The Law Authorizing the Order.

Yesterday Governor Gordon issued an order suspending Mr. Frank L. Haralson from the office of state librarian.

This action on the part of the governor was not a surprise to the public.
Thursday afternoon, a lively rumor was current on the streets, that Governor Gordon had requested the resignation of Mr. Haralson and that that gentleman had declined to accede to the request. A reporter of THE CONSTITUTION interviewed Governor Gordon on the subject Thursday afternoon, when he merely stated that Mr. Haralson had not declined to resign, but was considering the subject.

The following correspondence, which explains itself, was made public yesterday:

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, April 5th, 1888 — Mr. Frank Haralson, State Librarian — Dear Sir: I regret that a sense of public duty compels me to request your resignation of the off of state librarian. I shall hope to receive it by 12 m. tomorrow (Friday).

Very respectfully, J.B. GORDON.

Thursday night Mr. Haralson held a consultation with a number of his friends at the Kimball house which was strictly private, and on yesterday morning sent the following reply to the governor’s request:

STATE LIBRARY, April 6. — Dear Governor: Your letter of the 5th instant, has been received and after careful consideration I would ask that you state in writing the reason for your action; and in the meantime withdraw your request, that I may be heard in reply.

Yours very respectfully,

Then Governor Gordon made immediate response:

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, April 6th, 1888 — Mr. Frank Haralson, Librarian — Dear Sir: My sense of duty will not permit a withdrawal of my request for your resignation, nor do I consider that a statement of my reasons for such request would be of service to you, or is demanded by the circumstances. I repeat my request for your resignation, and if I do not receive it by 1 p.m. today, I shall place someone in charge of the library.


To this last communication, Mr. Haralson did not reply.

Shortly after one o’clock the following executive order was recorded:

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, April 6, 1888 — Frequent complaints having been received at this department that Frank L. Haralson, state librarian, has been neglecting the duties of his office for months past, and the complaints having been recently renewed and enlarged, and having satisfied myself that there is ample cause for them, it is therefore, in the discharge of my duty under the statue, ordered.

That John Milledge and W.R. Rankin, Jr., both of the county of Fulton, he or they, are hereby appointed as agents of the state to examine into and report the condition of the state library to the executive department.

It is further ordered that the said Frank L. Haralson be, and he is hereby suspended from the said office until further order from this department, and that in the meantime the official duties of librarian be discharged by the said John Milledge.

J.B. GORDON, Governor.
By order of the Governor
J.W. WARREN, Secretary Executive Department.

The sections of the code upon which the above order is based are 74 and 122.

Section 74 says, in relation to the powers of the governor:

“He has power to engage the services of any competent person for the discharge of any duty required by the laws, and essential to the interests of the state, or necessary, in an emergency, to preserve the property or funds of the state.”

Section 122 says:

The office of the state librarian is under the general supervision of the governor who may at any time appoint a competent person to examine into and report its condition to him.

As section 114 of the code confers upon the governor power to suspend the state treasurer or comptroller general, for neglect of duty, upon trustworthy information, it is tolerably clear that he has power to suspend the state librarian, a much smaller functionary.

Captain Milledge took charge of the state library yesterday afternoon. What further order Governor Gordon will issue remains to be seen.

Mr. Haralson was approached by a CONSTITUTION man yesterday afternoon, but declined to be interviewed. What Mr. Haralson will do remains to be seen. He received a dispatch from a prominent Georgia lawyer yesterday afternoon to this effect: “Stand firm, act rightly.”

The indications are that Mr. Haralson contemplates making a fight for re-installment — but upon what particular time has not yet developed. The probability is that Mr. Haralson will contend that under the act of 1881 the governor has not the power to remove him. Section 72 of the code of 1882 authorizes the governor to remove the state librarian at his pleasure.

An astute legal gentleman, said yesterday:

“What do I think about it? Well, the governor has not removed Mr. Haralson. He has simply suspended him. Captain Milledge is in, Mr. Haralson is out. To a man up a tree, in the light of that executive order, it looks very much as if a suspension, in this case, amounts to a removal.”

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 7, 1888


Says That He is in the Hands of His Friends.

An Interesting Interview Showing How He Turned Over the Office to Captain Milledge – The Act of 1881.

Yesterday afternoon just before dusk a reporter of THE CONSTITUTION caught Colonel Frank Haralson on the wing at the corner of Marietta and Broad streets. When first seen Mr. Haralson was in the act of picking up a crutch, which had been dropped by an old gentleman — a cripple — who happened to be passing at the moment. He gracefully handed the crutch to the old gentleman, who thank him most warmly for the kindly act.

Colonel Haralson was all smiles, in the best possible humor, and greeted the reporter with his old-time cordiality.

“Hello, old boy; glad to see you!”

“Howdye, colonel; happy to meet you; very man I want to see. Want to get a little talk with you for THE CONSTITUTION.”

“All right; wait one minute,” said Mr. Haralson, as he turned to shake hands with Mr. J.S. Clarke, the lawyer, who said:

“Well, Frank, Milledge is an old schoolmate of mine and a mighty nice man; but I want to say to you that I am sorry you are out. You were always kind, accommodating and attentive to me when I called at the library, and I am really sorry that you have stepped down and out.”

“I appreciate that,” said Mr. Haralson, as returned the warm pressure of his friend’s hand.

“What are you going to do, Frank — practice law?” asked Mr. Clark.

“Yes, I shall open an office without delay, and I think that I will do well. I was retained today in a case which will give me a $200 fee — pretty good start, ain’t it?”

“It certainly is,” replied Mr. Clark. “I hope that you will get many such fees, and larger ones, too. I wish you all prosperity in your profession,” and the lawyer passed on.

“You may say,” said Colonel Haralson, addressing himself pleasantly to the news man, “You may say that I am under obligations to await the action of my friends in this matter. A number of them will come to Atlanta on Monday and talk it over. I have nothing to say until after they meet. But, by the way, I wish that you would print the act of ’81, authorizing my appointment as librarian. It may be of some interest to the public just at this time. You can say, too, that I bear no hard feelings toward anybody connected with my removal.”

“Tell me about turning over the office to Captain Milledge.”

“Oh, yes. Well, after the order suspending me had been issued yesterday, I walked into the library and said: ‘Captain Milledge, old boy, you are a full-fledged state librarian now (I said this laughingly). I want you to understand, captain, that I do not deliver to you these keys as the librarian of the state, but as a man who wishes to do nothing to stain his honor. Governor Gordon is a gentleman. I like him — but I am willing to leave it all to Hopkins and Glenn. I have some private papers and books in the basement. But Willie Rankin and Jim, the porter, know them as well as I do, and they can deliver them to me.’ I then showed Captain Milledge some valuable books, which I told him would bear watching. I said, ‘Good-bye, Willie; look after everything; stay if you please I have nothing to do with that.’ Just before I walked out Willie Rankin, who is one of the best boys in the world, said: ‘Goodbye, Frank old fellow. I want to say before you go that during all the time we have been together in the library you have never spoken one harsh word to me.”

Here is the act of 1881, and to which Mr. Haralson referred:

Section 1. It shall be the duty of the governor of this state to select and present for confirmation by the senate some fit and competent person (who shall be a citizen of this state) to serve as state librarian, whose term of office shall be four years and until his successor shall have been chosen and confirmed in like manner as herein provided and declared.

Section 2. And be it further enacted that so much of section 72 of the code of 1873 as relates to the appointment and removal from office of the state librarian be, and the same is hereby repealed.

Section 72 of the code of ’73, before the passage of the above law, empowered the governor to remove the state librarian at pleasure.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 8, 1888

That Possessory Warrant.

An interesting case will be heard in Justice Tanner’s court this morning at 8:30 o’clock. It will be remembered that Mr. Fred Allbright, the clerk at Mr. Abe Fry’s, swore out a possessory warrant for a watch which it is alleged that Mr. Frank Haralson took out of the store. That watch is in possession of Justice Tanner, and he will decide this morning whether it belongs to Mr. Fry or Mr. Haralson.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 16, 1888



Yesterday morning Judge Tanner delivered to Mr. Abe Fry that watch. Mr Frank Haralson concluded not to resist the possessory warrant which was sworn out by Fred Albright, Mr. Fry’s clerk.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 22, 1888

Abe Fry Advertisement 1884

Abe Fry Advertisement 1884


Frank Harralson Tried in the City Court for Pointing a Pistol at Abe Fry.

A good deal of interest was shown in the case of hte state against Frank Harralson, indicted for pointing a pistol at Abe Fry, which was tried yesterday morning in the city court.

The defendant was in the court with his attorneys, Messrs Sibley and Newman, and Abe Fry was present as prosecutor.

It was proved that the defendant, with a cowhide in one hand and a pistol in the other, went into Abe Fry’s establishment and that he pointed the weapon at Mr. Fry’s head. The prosecutor did not charge the defendant with striking him with the whip, in fact, he stated distinctly that Harralson did not strike him.

Several witnesses explained how the difficulty happened, and they gave the details which were published in THE CONSTITUTION the morning after the row.

Mr. Haralson was permitted to make his statement. He admitted having sought Fry for the purpose of chastising him with a rawhide, and confessed having carried a pistol in one hand and a cowhide in the other. He also admitted that it was his purpose to lash Fry and if he resisted to kill him.

After all the evidence was in it seemed doubtful whether Haralson had actually pointed the pistol at Fry, and this was the rock upon which the jury split.

The jury stayed out two hours, and decided that it was impossible to agree upon a verdict. Thereupon Judge Van Epps ordered that a mistrial be marked on the docket.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 23, 1888

Ulster Overcoat (Image from

Ulster Overcoat (Image from


Frank Harralson, lawyer and ex-state librarian, wears a heavy, long ulster. One night about a week ago he lost that overcoat, and the next day began hunting for it.

For three or four days he kept up the search, but without any success.

All of his friends knew that he had lost the ulster, and every one had an eye open for it.

Yesterday morning the colonel turned up with the big, warm ulster on his back.

Of course his friends were surprised.

“Where did you find it?” he was asked.

“Well, last night,” he replied, “I dreamed I had left it at Snook’s furniture store and early this morning I went there. Sure enough, I found my coat. Mr. Snook had picked it up the day I left it there and put it in one of the magnificent wardrobes of his.”

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jan 9, 1889



Frank L. Haralson, at one time a prominent attorney in the city, and a man who let the tempter wreck what would have been a good and useful life, was taken from a saloon at the corner of Decatur and Ive streets last night in an unconscious condition and carried to the Grady hospital in the ambulance.

He was suddenly stricken down and now lies at the hospital afflicted with the strange disease known to some physicians as “word blindness.” Some nerve tissue of the brain has given away and when he talks he uses the wrong words to express himself, the same mental disease which it was said had attacked Admiral Sampson. He seems to know what he wishes to say, but when he tried to talk his tongue refuses to articulate the words he wishes to use.

Some fifteen years ago Frank Haralson was state librarian and a man with an education and in intellect bright enough to have made himself a leader in the legal profession. He was warm-hearted and numbered his friends by the hundreds. His convivial nature led him to indulge in drink to excess. He fought for a while against the habit, but it slowly worked his ruin. During his gradual downfall and even now he has never lost his innate goodness of heart, and however he may have harmed himself, he was never known to harm a fellow man. Those who knew him in his better days and those who know him now never express aught save a sincere pity that his life should have been what it is, that his life should be as it has been.

At times he would throw off the habit which had been his ruin, but old associations, and perhaps, a memory of the life he had sacrificed, drove him back into dissipation.

Last night he was standing in a saloon, but was not drinking. He was seen to reel and fall heavily to the floor. There he lay in violent convulsions until the ambulance bore him to the hospital.

The physicians say he is seriously ill and may die. His brain is affected, the mind having given away under the long strain which had been placed upon it. He seems to realize his condition, but when he tries to speak to those about him he utters words entirely, foreign to what his mind would have him say. It is a peculiar malady and one that is rarely ever known. He may recover and he may regain his mental power, but the physician think the chances are against him.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jan 14, 1902

It seems Mr. Haralson did survive, and evidently recovered from his episode of “word blindness.” He continued to work as a lawyer, and it seems, over time, regained the respect (maybe he quit drinking?) of the people. I found several references to him as a divorce lawyer and other “domestic” type cases.


Attorney Haralson Imprisoned One Hour for Contempt of Court.
Gunn and Negro Fined.

Frank Haralson, an attorney, called Policeman Dobbins a liar in the recorder’s court yesterday morning and he was imprisoned an hour in a cell for contempt of court. He was given the alternative of either serving the sentence or paying $5.

H. Percy Gunn, of Petersburg, was on trial for writing an insulting note to a young woman, and Dave Dorsey, a negro who delivered the note, was also on trial.
Attorney Haralson was defending Gunn.

“I would like to know how you came to be retained in this case?” remarked Policeman Dobbins, who had made the arrests. He was speaking to Attorney Haralson.

“That’s none of your business,” replied the lawyer.

“I understand that you have been hanging about he police barracks,” continued the officer, “trying to pick up just such cases as this.”

“You are a liar,” snapped out the attorney.

Before the policeman could reply, the recorder interfered and find Lawyer Haralson $5 for contempt of court. Later he said he would either collect the fine or imprison the lawyer for one hour. Attorney Haralson decided to stay in a cell one hour and make $5.

The cases against Gunn and the negro were again called in the afternoon. Gunn claimed he was a stranger and the negro got him to write the note. The negro said he only obeyed the white man’s order. The recorder fined each of them $10.75.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Nov 23, 1902

Oscar W. Underwood (Image from

Oscar W. Underwood (Image from


An enthusiastic Underwood [Oscar Wilder Underwood] rally was held at Chastain hall, at Tenth street and Hemuphill avenue, last night.

Frank Haralson, a well-known Atlanta lawyer, with offices in the Kiser building, was the principal speaker at the meeting. The crowd was a most enthusiastic one.
The meeting was presided over by Hon. James L. Hollowell, who introduced the speaker.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 1, 1912

Hugh M. Dorsey (Image from wikimedia)

Hugh M. Dorsey (Image from wikimedia)


A mass meeting was held last night in Norman’s hall, at Lakewood Heights, in the interest of the candidacy of Hugh M. Dorsey for solicitor general of the Atlanta circuit. About 100 citizens of this section were present.

Judge P.B. Hopkins presided and addresses were made by Colonel Frank L. Haralson, Captain Thomas B. Brown, W.C. Mundy, E.G. Nable, president of the Machinist’s union, and H.L. Watts and Mr. Dorsey.

The meeting was most enthusiastic.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Aug 8, 1912




FRANK L. HARALSON, the present efficient State Librarian, a son of Hon. T. J. HARALSON, of Union county, his mother having been before marriage Miss MARY A. LOGAN, of White county, was born in Union county, Georgia, January 8,1853.

He received the rudiments of an education in the common schools of the county, and subsequently attended the North Georgia Agricultural College, at Dahlonega, being the first student enrolled when that institution was established. He subsequently graduated at the University, Athens, Georgia, in 1875.

Mr. HARALSON, after completing his education, entered upon the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1875, and entered upon the practice at Cleveland, White county.

In January, 1877, when Gov. COLQUITT came into office, Mr. HARALSON was appointed by him to the office of State Librarian, and has held the position continuously since that time, having been reappointed by Gov. COLQUITT, again by Gov. McDANIEL, and lastly by Gov. GORDON.

On March 26,1883, Mr. HARALSON was married to Miss LULA SMALL, sister of Rev. SAM W. SMALL, the evangelist, a most lovely and accomplished lady. No man who has ever held the position has given more general satisfaction to those having business with the department over which he presides.

Girding Their Loins for William Jennings Bryan

January 28, 2009
Bryan's Cross of Gold Speech

Bryan's Cross of Gold Speech

The Democratic Candidate for President Is Only 36.

CHICAGO, July 11. — Mr. Bryan was born March 19, 1860, in Salem, Ills. He attended Union College of Law in Chicago and while in attendance there was in the office of Lyman Trumbull. He left the law school June 18, 1883, and went to Jacksonville, Ills., to practice law, remaining at Jacksonville until October, 1887, when he removed to Lincoln, Neb. He took part in the campaign of 1888 in Nebraska and was nominated to represent the First district in congress in 1890. He was elected by the majority of 6,713. He was re-elected in 1892. In 1894 he became a candidate for the United States senate and announced that he would not be a candidate for the lower house of congress. The ensuing state legislature being Republican, John M. Thurston was sent to the senate. In September, 1894, he became the editor-in-chief of the Omaha World-Herald and had control of its editorial policy on state and national questions.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Jul 12, 1896

William J. Bryan

William J. Bryan


CHICAGO, July 10 — William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, the young, classic featured orator from the plains of the Platte, swept the convention off its feet today and was nominated for president on the fifth ballot.

Political history furnishes no precedent to today’s scenes in the Coliseum either as a great spectacular show or as the result of the deliberations of the convention of a great political party.

Bryan is but 36 years old, younger by 10 years than any man ever nominated for the chief magistracy of the American republic. He came like a young Lochinvar out of the West, which has never before nominated a presidential candidate to woo the bride for whose hand the country’s greatest chieftains have been suitors. His name was barely mentioned in the preliminary skirmishing. Four days ago, when the convention met, he was not entered in the lists. But yesterday he made an impassioned speech and stirred the convention to frenzy by his eloquence. That speech overthrew the diligently organized work of weeks and months for other aspirants for the honor.

The cause of silver was uppermost in the minds of the delegates when they assembled here. Yesterday, when Bryan made his speech, the delegates suddenly saw in him the great advocate of their cause, and they turned to him with an impetuosity that nothing could balk. They wanted a tribune of the people. They felt that they had him in the eloquent young Nebraskan. If he had been placed in nomination then, the convention would have been stampeded as it was today. Some of the gray haired leaders saw and feared it.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Jul 14, 1896

The “Cross of Gold” speech (text and audio) can be found here.


An Open Letter
An exchange contains the following:

To William Jennings Bryan — I have read thy New York speech carefully. I agree with thee — money should neither increase or decrease in value. Value comes from labor; things like air and water, which cost little or no labor, have little or no value. Christian civilization, with its inventions, machinery and competition, produces most things with less and less labor, consequently prices justly come down when paid for in either labor or “honest money.”

Money, which, as time goes on, will buy less and less labor, is not “honest money.” A pound of silver will buy only about half the labor it would twenty years ago. I cannot see how the free coinage of silver, 16 to 1, can give us “honest money.” An ounce of gold will buy about the same amount of labor it would for the last twenty years. Surely gold is the better standard for “honest money.”

Please consider these facts in thy search for “honest money.”

Thy frend,

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Sep 25, 1896

Chicago Platform 1896

Chicago Platform 1896

In William Jennings Bryan’s lexicon no man can be a Democrat who is not for the Chicago platform, and the one candidate who fits it.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Apr 19, 1899


Considerable of the space of The News is devoted today to the speech of William Jennings Bryan. As a speciman of flamboyant wind-jamming it has but few equals in politics. That it is a “grand-stand” effort, to use a baseball term, is evident in every line. It is so theatrical from beginning to end that it suggests a great loss to the stage in Mr. Bryan turning to politics. The colonel revels in rhetoric, and relegates sense to the background to force metaphor to the fore. As a specimen of linguistic high and lofty tumbling it discounts the acrobats of the circus ring, but it is as weak and bogus a concoction as the red lemonade which goes with the performance in the saw-dust arena. Contrast it with  the real, satisfying meat to be found in McKinley’s speeches, and it is like sponge cake to a starving man.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Aug 8, 1900

William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan

The Democrats re-elected Cleveland in 1892 who completed the job of ruin he left unfinished in 8? and in 1896 William McKinley was chosen to bring order out of chaos. How well he succeeded is well known to everyone.

The Democrats in the meantime studied up another catchy campaign dodger and girded up their loins for victory with William Jennings Bryan as their Moses. The Democrats trotted Bryan two heats on a free silver plank but the danger flag was thrown into his face at the distance pole both times and the Colonel went to publishing his Commoner, on the plains of Nebraska while the Republicans went on with the god work of repairing the damage done by the Cleveland-Democratic administration and today the United States is the foremost power on earth and enjoying prosperity never before heard of.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Feb 3, 1902

Bryan’s “Imperialism” speech (text and audio) can be found here.

William Jennings Bryan House - Lincoln NE

William Jennings Bryan House - Lincoln NE

William Jennings Bryan is buying a lot of cattle to inhabit that new $10,000 barn which stands in the rear of that new $20,000 house recently erected on his $40,000 farm. In 1896 Mr. Bryan told us that if Mr. McKinley was elected the rich would become richer and the poor would become poorer. Mr. Bryan was poor then and his present prosperity is the best answer to his specious argument.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Mar 26, 1902

William E. Mason: Fashion Forward Senator, Author and Joker

January 7, 2009
William E. Mason

William E. Mason

Billy Mason as a Boy Joker.
Senator William E. Mason always has been a joker. Even when a school boy he never let a chance pass without having his fun at the expense of some one else.
When he was a public school pupil, the boys knew as much about ‘cribbing” as they do now, and it was nothing new for them to conceal needed information on their cuffs or inside their watches.

One day when Willie Mason was taking an examination the keen eyed teacher observed him take out his watch every minute or two. The pedagogue grew suspicious. Finally he strode slowly down the aisle and stopped in front of Willie’s desk.

“Let me see your watch,” he commanded.
“All right, sir,” was the meek reply.
The teacher opened the front lid. He looked somewhat sheepish when he read the single word, “Fooled.”
But he was a shrewd man. He was not to be thrown off the scent so easily.
He opened the back lid. Then he was satisfied. There he read:
“Fooled again.” — New York Journal.

Lima News (Lima, Ohio)  May 21,  1898


Down with Them, Says Mason
Chicago, September 15, 1901 [excerpt]
“Some excuse may be found in hatred or partisan excitement for the assasinations of Lincoln and Garfield; but no such excuse exists for this foul deed. The president was killed by a sane man, who had learned his lesson at the school of anarchy, who had been taught in public places that rulers should be slain, who had been influenced and incited to his deed by the nest of anarchy in Chicago.”

Atlanta Constitution, Sep 16, 1901


Senator William E. Mason as a Glass of Fashion.

The belt vest or vest belt of which Senator William E. Mason is the originator is the new style in waistcoats peculiarly adapted to stout people and to very warm weather, says the Washington correspondent of the New York Evening Post. Like so many of those nice things that we are told about, it is “within the reach of all.”

These directions might suffice: Take an old vest — any closet will furnish one — and with a pair of sharp shears bisect it just above the second button from the bottom. In wearing draw it tightly in front and either button or buckle it in the back. The result is a waistcoat which is at the same time a belt. It conceals the suspender buttons and the upper seam of the trousers and really fills a long felt want. Washington seldom leads in fashions, but it may do so this time.

The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio)  June 27,  1902


Former Senator Mason an Author.
“We have not heard much lately of William E. Mason, once senator from Illinois,” remarked Stanley Higginbothan, of Chicago, at the Raleigh last night. “Mason is not very old, and has always been too active for retirement from political and other paths. Now comes the information that he has writtne a book — but, mind you, a semireligious book — and that seems odd for a politician. Mason did not use his name with the volume when it first came out a year ago. The title of the book was ‘John, the Unafraid,’ and it deals with modern problems in a straightforward way.

“The book has attracted attention, I am told, among clergymen, and, no doubt, some of Mason’s old congressional friends who are not clergymen will be curious to see what their old friend can bring forth in the way of a semireligious literary production. No one who ever knew jolly ‘Billy’ Mason, story teller and raconteur, during his Washington days, would suspect him of writing a book dealing with religious teachings, and with frequent reference to the words of Holy Writ, it is evident that there is hope for the final regeneration of many other statesmen now in the whirl who may enter the literary world once they have finished with political office.”

Washington Post, The (Washington, D.C.)  May 15,  1911