Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania’

Whisky; It Burns

October 30, 2012

Image from Life in Western Pennsylvania

FIRE CAUSES A PANIC.

EIGHT PERSONS BADLY BURNED IN PITTSBURG.

Employee Unable to Escape from a Big Building — Walls Fall and Crush Adjoining Houses — Many Persons Hurt in the Crowd.

PITTSBURG, Pa., Oct. 28. — The explosion of a barrel of whisky in the big warehouse of the Chautauqua Lake Ice company yesterday afternoon caused the destruction of over $500,000 worth of property and serious injury to eight persons. Several of the injured, it is feared, will die. A score of more of others received slight cuts and bruises or were trampled on by the mob surrounding the burning buildings. Those seriously hurt were:

T.J. HEILMAN, married; dropped from the third floor to the ground; hands and face terribly burned. His injuries are considered fatal.

MARTIN GRIFFITH, married; dangerously burned.

EDWARD SEES, body and head badly burned; may not recover.

WILLIAM COX, dangerously burned about face and body.

W.M. SMITH, painfully burned; will recover.

LIEUT. FRANK McCANN of engine No. 7; struck by falling bricks and left leg broken.

WILLIAM WISMAN, struck by falling timbers and skull fractured.

JOHN REISCHE, badly hurt by falling timbers.

It was just twenty minutes after 1 o’clock when a number of employes on the third floor of the ice company’s buildings were startled by a loud report, and almost instantly the large room was ablaze. The men started for the stairs, but the flames had already cut off their retreat, and the only means of exit left them were the windows, fifty feet from the ground. By this time the heat was so intense that they were forced to creep out upon the window sills and hang by their hands until the fire department arrived. The flames bursting from the windows burned their hands and faces, but they hung their until the firemen placed their ladders in position and brought them down.

To aid to the excitement it was discovered that a large tank of ammonia was located in the cellar of the ice company’s building, and the police, fearing an explosion, quickly ordered the occupants of the houses on Twelfth street to vacate. All the houses in the neighborhood are a cheap class of tenements and crowded to suffocation with Poles and Slavs. When they were told to move out a panic indescribable started among them. House-hold goods store goods, children and everything that could be carried away were rushed to a place of safety.

The walls of the Mulberry alley side fell in with a crash and a few minutes later the eastern wall came down. The debris buried a low row of tenements in the alley and a three-story brick dwelling on Thirteenth street. The tenements were occupied by families, but fortunately they had been deserted some time before the walls fell in. Not one of the families had a chance to save any of their goods and all their furniture was destroyed. The ruins took fire immediately, and for a while the entire tenement district of Penn avenue was threatened with destruction.

When the walls of the big buildings fell the great mob of people made a rush to get out of danger. Many men tripped and fell and were trampled under foot. Several received painful but not dangerous bruises. Sheets of iron were cast from the burning buildings by the fury of the flames and hurled into the crowds. Scores of people received slight injuries, which were dressed in neighboring drug stores.

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) Oct 29, 1893

Another article about the same fire:(I think the above newspaper got the date wrong)
Davenport Daily Leader (Davenport, Iowa) Oct 27, 1893

Again with the whisky barrels? Really?

MAY REACH TWENTY-FIVE DEAD.

Pittsburg. Feb 10. — The lost of life and property by the fire last night in the great cold storage plant of the Chautauqua Lake Ice company, was the greatest in the history of Pittsburg. At least fifteen persons were killed, over a score injured and property valued at a million and one-half destroyed. The loss of life was caused by the explosion of several hundred barrels of whisky in the ware house, knocking out one of the walls.

The dead are: Lieut. of Police John A. Berry, John Dwyer, William Scott, Jr., the son of President Scott of the Chautauqua State Ice Co.; Stanley Seitz, George Loveless, Mrs. Mary Sipe and her mother; Stanley Sipe, Lieut. Josep Johnson, a fireman name unknown; William L. Wallenstein, and three unknown men.

The missing are: Nathaniel Green, accountant of the Dailmerer building, supposed to be in the ruins; Thomas Lynch, iceman in the employ of the Chautaqua company, supposed to be in the ruins; Edward Berry watchman of the storage building.

It is believed that at least ten more bodies are in the ruins, which are still too hot to be moved. The principal losses are: Union Storage company, $775,900; Hoever’s Storage Warehouse and contents, $600,000; Chautauqua Ice company, $150,000.

Three more bodies were taken from the ruins this forenoon. The dead it is now thought will reach 25. Those taken out this morning were: John Hanna, Bookkeeper and cashier of the Chautauqua Lake Ice Co.; John Scott, another son of President Scott, and an unknown fireman.

_____

Later. — But eight bodies were recovered instead of 14, as first reported. Four are missing, and the firemen believe that a number of others are still under the ruins. The correct list of the identified dead is Lieut. Police Berry; John Dwyer, William Scott, Jr., Stanley Sipe, George Loveless, William A. Wallrobenstein, Josiah Hanna, and William Smith. The missing, Nathaniel Green, Thomas Lynch, John Scott and Edwin Barry.

Davenport Daily Leader (Davenport, Iowa) Feb 10, 1898

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More about the Chautauqua Lake Ice Company:

The Olean Democrat (Olean, New York) Mar 14, 1889

The Olean Democrat (Olean, New York) Jan 15, 1891

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Oil on the Brain

October 17, 2012

Image from The Journal of American History

OIL ON THE BRAIN.
A COMIC BALLAD.

BY EASTBURN.

The Yankees that they make clocks
Which “just beat all creation.”
They never made one could keep time
With our great speculation.
Our stocks, like clocks, go with a spring:
wind up, run down again;
But all our strikes are sure to cause
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS:

Stocks par, stocks up,
then on the wane,
Everybody’s troubled with
Oil on the brain.

There’s various kinds of oil afloat: cod-liver,
Castor, sweet–
Which tend to make a sick man well, and set
him on his feet;
But ours a curious feat performs — We just a
well obtain,
And set the people crazy with
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

There’s neighbor Smith, a poor young man,
Who could not raise a dime,
Had clothes that boasted many rents,
And took his “Nip” on time;
But now he’s clad in dandy style,
Sports diamonds, kids, and cane;
And his success was owing to
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

Miss Simple drives her coach and four,
And dresses in high style;
And Mr. Shoddy courts her strong,
Because her “Dad’s struck ile.”
Her jewels, laces, velvets, silks,
Of which she is so vain,
Were bought by “Dad” the time he had
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

You meet a friend upon the street.
He greets you with a smile,
And tells you, in a hummed way,
He’s “just gone into ile.”
He button-holds you half an hour —
Of course, you can’t complain —
For, you can see the fellow has
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

The lawyers, doctors, hatters, clerks,
Industrious and lazy,
Have put their money all in stocks,
In fact, have gone “oil crazy,”
They’d better stick to briefs and pills,
Hot irons, ink and pen,
Or they will “kick the bucket” from
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

Poor Mrs. Jones was taken ill.
The doctors gave her up.
They lost the confidence they had
In lancet, leech, and cup.
“Afflictions sore long time she bore,
Physicians were in vain;”
And she, at last, expired of
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

There’s “Maple Shade,” “Monitor,”
“Bull Creek,” “Big Tank,” “Dalzell,”
And “Keystone,” “Star,” “Venango,”
“Briggs,”
“Organic” and “Farewell,”
“Petroleum,” “Saint Nicholas,”
“Cornplanter,” “New Creek Vein;”
Sure ’tis no wonder many have
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS
Stocks par, stocks up,
then on the wane,
Everybody’s troubled with
Oil on the brain.

Then Venango Spectator (Franklin, Pennsylvania) Mar 1, 1865

Sheet music can be found at Jscholarship

Tune and Lyrics (scroll down) at American Civil War Music

The Little Brown Jug – [excerpts]

….It is generally used to-day as a college drinking song. A peculiar use when it is considered that its author, “Eastburn,” which was the nom de plume signed to most of his music by Joseph Eastburn Winner, was a strictly temperate man and an advocate of temperance, rather than an encourage of the “little brown jug.”

…..Whenever he outlined a song, before he put on the finishing touches, he would call in a little bootblack from the street, and used him as a sort of audience and musical critic combined. He knew most of the boys who in those days plied their trade in and about the old Reading Terminal, of Philadelphia, at Ninth and Green streets. Mr. Winner would seat himself at the piano, first telling the “audience and critic” that he wanted to play for him a new piece he had composed. He would begin and play it through, not once, but a dozen times, watching the effect on the “audience,” and if it moved its feet, or seemed to have any special effect, or if the “shine” would go out whistling it after the recital, Mr. Winner put it down a winner, and he says the test never failed him.

….Mr. Winner does not claim absolute originality in the writing of “The Little Brown Jug,”….. Mr. Winner jotted down the poem, entirely rearranged it into verse and chorus, added several verses, and sat down at the piano and wrote the melody….

…..Mr. Joseph Eastburn Winner is still living in West Philadelphia enjoying the best of health. His life has been a most active one, and he is now enjoying the ease of a man who has accomplished much and is willing to spend his remaining years in the pleasant memories of the past. He is a brother of Septimus Winner, the composer of “The Mocking Bird,” and many other songs. When “Eastburn” was only twelve years old he was able to play the violin so well that he was frequently heard in concert in Philadelphia as a prodigy. At this time he made his home with his older brother Sep., at Franklin and Callowhill streets.

One of the first songs Winner composed and published was “The Ring My Mother Wore.” It became immensely popular. The words had been written by Lewis Dela, who was known in Philadelphia as “The Bard of Tower Hall.” A short time after this came the oil excitement, and Mr. Winner wrote one of his best comic songs, which was called, “Oil on the Brain,” and which was sung in all parts of the country. It was first sung by Mr. Dixie, of Carncross & Dixie’s, and was frequently hear on the stage at the Old Arch Street Theater, then conducted by Mrs. John Drew.

…..He was only in his teens when he wrote “The Ring My Mother Wore,” and for its composition he received then bright silver dollars, which to him in those days seemed a small fortune. For many of his songs later in life he received large sums…..

After conducting the store at Eighth and Green streets for a number of years, he sold it to his brother, Septimus Winner, and went into the publishing business with J.M. Stoddart, at 1018 Chestnut street. They published extensively the Encylopaedia Britannica, and bought out all the Gilbert & Sullivan operas, as well as a great deal of music of various classes….

…..Mr. Winner has been married twice. His children of his first wife are living in Philadelphia, and with his second wife he has one son, a bright boy of seven, who bears the name of Hawthorne Winner, Hawthorne being Mr. Winner’s mother’s name, and out of respect for her Mr. Septimus Winner used the pen name of “Alice Hawthorne” for “The Mocking Bird” and many other songs he composed….

The Washington Herald (Washington, D.C.)  Jun 19, 1910

The Bookseller and Newsman, v. 12 (google link)

Step Lively

July 25, 2012

THE STREET CAR.

The car stopped comfortably filled,
Then four men got on.
At the next corner seven edged in,
And sixteen got on after that;
Afterward two boys swung on;
Soon a red-faced woman beckoned,
And she go on.
In the midst of the glad revelry
A party of serenaders trooped on.
By and by a colored gemmen,
Redolent of old-mown hay,
He got on.
Then five giggling school girls registered.
A hard-faced mother, with a squalling kid,
Mounted the platform.
Did she? She did?
Then a pompous police officer,
With girth for several.
Ripped in.
There little maids from school
Didn’t do anything but get on.
After a while a street sweeper pushed in,
Then a bricklayer
And a hod carrier.
Three tinsmiths, four stonemasons,
Also a printer,
Two Sunday school teachers,
And a prizefighter.
They got on.
But the “con” didn’t mind — he did his stunt,
And furiously bellowed: “Move up  to the front!”

— St. Paul Dispatch.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 8, 1902

Image from The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula

Dazed a Conductor.

A Western woman who is on a visit to New York was boarding a street car in that city the other day. She had just placed her foot upon the step and was preparing to take another step to the upper platform when, with a furious “Step lively,” the conductor pulled the strap. The car jerked forward and the Western woman swayed back for a minutes, then just caught herself in time to prevent a bad fall upon the cobbles.

She confronted the conductor with angry eyes — eyes that had looked undismayed into those of mighty horned monsters of the prairies.

“What do you mean by starting the car before I was on?” she asked.

“Can’t wait all day for you, lady,” the conductor snarled. “Just step inside there.”

In a moment the Western woman, with a backward golf sweep of the arm, lunged for the conductor’s head. He dodged. The blow sent his hat spinning back into the track. The woman entered the car and sat down. She was flushed, but dignified. While the other women passengers were rather startled, they all knew just how she felt. Then the car stopped while the conductor went back for his hat. The Western woman rode free that time.

The Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) Jul 23, 1900

Mrs. Stelling has Eloped with a Streetcar Conductor.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Oct 4, 1894

A PUBLIC EVIL.

You very often notice, as you’re riding in the car,
There’s one distressing feature all our peace of mind to mar,
It’s the fellow right in front of us who holds his paper so,
We’re forced to read the headlines, but the villain seems to know
Just when we get an inkling of a thrilling bit of news,
For he turns the paper over and thereafter he’ll refuse
To let us finish out the line, and so, with soul distressed,
We feel like smiting him because we cannot read the rest.

There’s nothing suits him better than to tantalize our view
With some big headline till he’s sure we’ve caught a word or two,
But just before we’re quite aware of what it’s all about,
He flops the paper upside down or yanks it inside out
And every time we seek to get a fact within our grasp
He upsets all our purposes and leaves us with a gasp,
Until at last we swear it, in a law and rasping tone,
That if we had the price we’d buy a paper of our own.

— Nixon Waterman, in L.A.W. Bulletin.

Middletown Daily Argus (Middletown, New York) Mar 31, 1898

Street-Car Crushed by Train

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Oct 6, 1883

It’s Here! The 1940 Federal Census

April 2, 2012

Image from Forrest Stuart MacCormack Photography

The 1940 Federal census is more than 40 per cent complete in Fayette and Somerset counties, according to Ralph C. Kennedy, district census supervisor, with headquarters in the National Bank & Trust Company building at Brimstone Corner.

“From all indications, the census should be completed in Connellsville next week but the work in the rural areas will not be completed until the end of the month,” he said.

Although complete returns have not been tabulated, a hurried examination of the records reveal that approximately 125,000 persons have already been tabulated in the two counties, the supervisor declared, with Fayette county having nearly 95,000 in that total.

“It appears that the enumerators are averaging about 10,000 persons a day, which is quite a job. This figure, however, is certain to go down when the canvassers strike the less populous districts. A continuation of the fine cooperation the workers have been receiving will east the big job before them. In many cases, re-calls may be avoided if the head of the household will leave necessary information at home to pass on to the enumerator,” Mr. Kennedy said.

He added that regardless of where a person may live, he or she will be enumerated during the decennial canvass. Persons who were living as of 11:59 P.M. Sunday night, March 31, are included although they may have died since that time. Births after that hour, however, are not to be tabulated in the 1940 census.

Mr. Kennedy pointed out the enumerators expect to find quite a few persons in Fayette and Somerset counties living in coke ovens, caves, piano boxes, garages and other places but all of these are to be embraced in the tabulation.

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) Apr 13, 1940

There were 575,250 unemployed persons in Pennsylvania during the final week of March, 1940, according to U.S. census figures recently released. This represented about 14 per cent of the State’s available labor, compared to a 9.7 percentage in the Nation as a whole. Since March the total of unemployed has shown a considerable decline in Pennsylvania.

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) Feb 1, 1941

*****

The 1940 Federal Census is ONLINE (not indexed) as of today. Use a 1940 house address to help locate family members etc. (Thanks to Steve Morse for creating the ED finder.)

James A. Addis – New Castle Nonagenarian

February 17, 2012

Note: This same photo of Mr. Addis ran in the newspaper several times with various articles.

JAMES A. ADDIS IS PIONEER MERCHANT, OLDEST MASON

James A. Addis enjoys the distinction of being the oldest Mason in Lawrence county and also of being the only man in New Castle who was engaged in business on Washington street an even 60 years ago.

Mr. Addis opened a confectionery and baking establishment in New Castle in April, 1847. His stand was located where the store of Jacob Cosel now stands.

He was the first man who ever packed and sold ice in New Castle and his methods were strikingly different from the ice monopoly-trust combination methods of the present day.

He was the first to open an ice cream parlor in this city and was the first to manufacture candy. His store was not as elaborate as those of the Greeks of the present day, but he didn’t lie awake endeavoring to defeat the purpose of the laws and withal he was better satisfied with his business than are the present day money seekers.

Mr. Addis remembers when Poland was the largest town across the state line and when Youngstown was proud of the number of people who stopped every day at the watering trough on what is now Federal street.

Mr. Addis is only three years short of being in the nonagenarian ranks, having been born in December of 1820.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jul 10, 1907

With two such hale and hearty 90-year-old youngsters as Joseph S. White and James A. Addis, New Castle would appear to be a health resort of no mean reputation.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Dec 30, 1910

 

JAMES A. ADDIS PASSES AWAY IN HIS 91ST YEAR
——-
Oldest Mason in City Ends Busy Life Begun When Republic Was Young.
——-
PIONEER IN CANDY AND BAKERY TRADE
——-
He Opened First Store of Kind in New Castle and Distinctly Remembers Visit of Marquis de La Fayette to Pittsburg in 1825.
——-

James A. Addis, one of the city’s most venerable men, died at the family home, 5 Franklin avenue, very suddenly Monday evening. He was in his 91st year, and was one of the best known men in the city. He was also New Castle’s oldest merchant, as, although he had led a retired life for some years, there was not another man living who was in business in this city at the same time that Mr. Addis was a merchant.

His death was most unexpected. Despite his advanced age, Mr. Addis had been in good health until just the last few days, when he complained of feeling not so well as usual. Monday evening, about 6:30 o’clock, shortly after he had finished his evening meal, he was taken suddenly ill, and expired within a few minutes.

Born on what is now Second avenue, Pittsburg, December 23, 1820, Mr. Addis was able to tell many interesting tales of the early days of that city, and at the time of the sesqui-centennial celebration, he was interviewed by representatives of a number of Pittsburg newspapers, giving many items of interest, and telling of seeing Lafayette enter the city in 1825. When he was in a reminiscent mood, he often told of his boyhood, and retaining his faculties to the last, was a most pleasing conversationalist.

Mr. Addis was the son of Isaac Shea and Susanna Patterson Addis, and was the eldest of six children. His father moved to Pittsburg to take up his permanent residence in 1812, and resided there for many years. He had been born in Philadelphia, and first came to Pittsburg in 1809, returning to Philadelphia in 1811. He and Susanna Patterson were married in 1817. The Addis home was located on Second avenue about an eighth of a mile above Smithfield street.

James Addis’ first recollection of affairs in the early years of Pittsburg occurred when he witnessed the arrival of General Lafayette in that city in June, 1825. Mr. Addis saw the triumphal procession on Wood street, between Second and Third avenues, and stated that each feature of the event was idelibly impressed on his mind.

According to Mr. Addis there was but one iron plant, known as the Douglas mill, in active operation in Pittsburg about 1825. The locality of the plant was then called Pipetown, and was near what is now Second avenue.

Image from Wikipedia entry: Great Fire of Pittsburgh

An interesting tale of the great fire, which wiped out a portion of the business section of Pittsburg in 1846, was told by Mr. Addis. The burned territory embraced more than 50 acres and covered what is now the district bounded by Second, Ferry, Smithfiled and Diamond streets. The only building left standing in that entire territory was the one owned by George Weyman.

Mr. Addis did not retain an active impression of the government of the early days of Pittsburg, as he left the city shortly after he became of age. He remembered clearly when the famous canal was opened in 1829 between Johnstown and Pittsburg. It was an extension of the famous Juniata canal and greatly stimulated commerce in the Pittsburg district. It was in constant use until its absorption by the Pennsylvania railroad about 1855. An interesting story of a stage coach ride over the Alleghenies in 1850 as far east as Altoona was recalled. He took the stage at the old St. Charles hotel at 7 o’clock in the morning and was at Altoona at 8 the next morning, a distance of considerably more than 100 miles.

Mr. Addis was apprenticed to Robert Knox, a candymaker on Fourth street, when but a boy, and worked at that trade for some time. He attended night school in the old First ward building on the present site of the big Wabash depot. Here he obtained the rudiments of his education.

Mr. Addis stated that the coal business about 1830 was but in its infancy. Nearly all Pittsburgers burned wood. He distinctly remembered being on an Ohio river steamboat when but a child and states that there were many other passenger packets in operation at that time.

Mr. Addis came to New Castle in the year 1846, and had been a resident here much of the time since that date. He established the first confectionery store and bakery ever in the city, his place of business being located on the south side of what is now Washington street, near the Knox block. Later, he moved to the north side of the street, about the location of Mathers’ store. He was the first man in this city to open and ice cream parlor and also the first to sell oysters cooked. In those days, the supply was brought overland from Enon Valley, in the winter time, when the boats were not running.

Mr. Addis was thrice married. His first wife was Sarah Reed, a daughter of John Reed. Their children, who survive to mourn the father’s death, are Mrs. David Osborne of Buckeye, Tex.; Mrs. Sue Johnson of Covington, Ind., and Mrs. Jean A. Jones of St. Louis, Mo.

1850 census shows James A. Addis with wife, Sarah, a small child, and perhaps a sister (Reed). Occupation: Confectioner

1860 Census shows Mr. Addis, wife, Sarah, several children and his father, Isaac Addis. Occupation: Confectioner

 

During the Civil war, the family moved to Kansas, and there Mrs. Addis died. Some time later, Mr. Addis married again, his second wife’s death occurring in this city, after he had again taken up his residence here. His third wife was Mrs. Eliza McCandless, who survives him.

1870 census shows wife Jane (2nd wife?) and some children. Occupation: Clerk in Store

1880 census show wife Jane. Mr. Addis is working as a clerk in a hardware store.

1900 census. Mr. Addis is now married to 3rd wife, Eliza and working as a tax collector.

Mr. Addis voted for Abraham Lincoln, both times in this city. He had always retained an active interest in current happenings, and was able to give a valued opinion on many subjects.

For many years, he was a tax collector in the city, but was compelled to give up active work on account of his advancing years.

He was one of the oldest Masons in this part of the state, having been initiated into Mahoning lodge 243, F.&A.M., in 1859. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his initiation into the lodge, he was honored by fellow members in being presented with a handsome gift. He had always been greatly interested in Masonry, and was highly esteemed by his fellow members.

Image from Ballou’s Pictorial — More on the church at Wood St. on the City of Pittsburg website

In Pittsburg, Mr. Addis was a member of the old First Presbyterian church on Wood street. For many years, he had been a member of the First Christian church of this city. He was a man of many splendid traits of character, and his passing from the scenes of his long life brings sorrow to many.

The funeral services will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock at the residence in Franklin avenue, and will be in charge of Mahoning lodge, No. 243, F.&A.M. Interment will be made in Greenwood cemetery.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jul 12, 1911

Burning Desire to Know

December 20, 2011

WANTED TO KNOW HOW SANTA ARRIVED

Four Year Old Boy in Peering Up Chimney Had Clothes Set Afire

Philadelphia. Dec. 23. — Albert DiPhillippi was four years old — and he did not understand that old Santa Claus descends only those chimneys that do not contain fire.

For three weeks his little mind had been troubled over the problem of how the fat jolly St. Nick could come down such a small aperture as that connected with the kitchen stove in his home.

Albert thought it wouldn’t do any harm to take just one peek this afternoon. His mother on the second floor heard screams of agony and found Albert  a human torch writhing on the floor. He had stepped too close to the fire. The blazing garments she ripped off, but it was too late.

A white coated doctor at the hospital told the mother Albert would pass into a place where it is always Christmas before long.

Dunkirk Evening Observer (Dunkirk, New York) Dec 23, 1916

May Day Moving

May 1, 2011

With May Day comes the annual moving proposition. It carries with it the usual annoyance of shifting your abode, for what would the first day of May come to if we didn’t continue the practice of moving? Beautiful May, all except the inconvenience of moving – a custom that won’t live down.

Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) May 1, 1912

May Day Moving Sets New Chicago Record
(International News Service)

CHICAGO, May 24. — May Day moving here set a new record for the period of the housing shortage, according to the requests for changes to telephone and gas companies. More than 3,000 changes daily were asked of a gaslight and coke company before the yearly exodus to new homes. This is 50 per cent higher than 1921.

J.S. Waterfield, Chicago Real Estate board said the “own your own home” idea is responsible for hundreds of the movings.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) May 24, 1922

CHICAGO, May 1. — Thousands of families in Chicago went on a “rent strike” today and refused to vacate their apartments in accordance with May Day moving orders, H.S. Standish, president of the Chicago Tennants’ Protective League, asserted.

Mr. Standish predicted that 10,000 tenants would defy efforts of landlords to evict them.

Some of the disputes would be settled by arbitration, Mr. Standish said, but others would be carried into court for jury trials.

Battle Landlords
By JAMES HENLE,
N.E.A. Staff Correspondent.

NEW YORK, May 1. Two men are largely responsible for starting in this state the anti-rent profiteering crusade which, unless the laws are finally thrown out by the courts, has limited landlords to 25 per cent increases.

One of them is not even a New Yorker. His name is James F. Gannon, Jr., and he is city commissioner of Jersey City.

The other no longer hold any official post. His name is Nathan Hirsch and he was formerly chairman of the Mayor’s Committee on Rent Profiteering.

Victims Aided

It was Hirsch’s committee — and largely Hirsch himself — who first came to the aid of the victims or rent profiteers. Before this persons who objected to extortionate rent increases were called “Bolsheviki.” Hirsch had little real authority, but he used what he had with good effect.

The result was that any number of cases were compromised last year by the landlords, and tenants were enable to stay on by paying only moderate increases in rent. A strong public sentiment was built up to oppose rent hogs.

Hirsch was serving without pay and when the appropriation he asked to continue the committee’s work was refused he resigned.

Hug[e] Rent Strike

Then came Gannon. Early this year he engineered the biggest rent strike ever conducted and won it. Thousands of tenants with the city’s backing, refused to pay unreasonable rent increases and won in the courts.

This woke New York up. If Jersey City can do it, why can’t we? was the comment. The result was a wave of popular sentiment that swept everything before it and resulted in the enactment by the Legislature of a dozen laws to protect the tenant, the most important of which is the measure limiting rent increases to 25 per cent.

Ogden Standard Examiner (Ogden, Utah) May 1, 1920

NOTES AND GOSSIP

The month of May, when poets sing of roses and meadows decked with green, is, in the vicinity of New York, the flitting time for half the world — or has been. Fortunes are changing and even the May moving day, so long sacred to New Yorkers, is giving way before the iconoclastic spirit of the age. Enough, and more than enough of it, is left however. The removals of the great annual flitting time, often useless, often undertaken without clear reason than that restlessness so peculiar to American life, must cost the people of New York, Brooklyn and Jersey City, directly and indirectly, not less than $3,000,000 in actual money outlay, to say nothing of personal discomfort. Moving time entails an endless train f discomforts and disorders. It means a clear month’s comfort gone out of the year in preparing for the move and getting over it; is the direct cause of broken furniture not a little, of wrecked tempers by the thousands and of much actual suffering.

But moving day is not what it used to be. People who move in spring are beginning to discount it by removing at any time during the latter part of April, so that the first of May no longer resembles the fag end of a furniture dealer’s nightmare so much as it did. The real estate agents, too, have conspired against moving day. Not that the agents want people to stay where they are and forswear change. By no means. The more removals the more commissions for the agents. It is to increase their own profits and those of the owners that such strenuous efforts have been made, and with much success, to substitute October for May as the moving time. Many landlords now let  houses from October to October, and more are anxious to do so. The reason is that a good many people of moderate means, whose only hope of getting wives and babies into the country for the summer is to stop paying rent, and have been in the habit of giving up their houses on May 1, storing the furniture, packing off the family and seeking board until October, when the city residence could be safely resumed in another quarter. This arrangement was fine for the tenants, but it was bad for the owners and agents, consequently it had to be stopped. And it is being stopped.

Morning Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) May 1, 1887

MAN’S INHUMANITY TO MAN. —

The following unjustifiable case of landlord oppression is one of the many cases which May day moving has developed in Jersey City: — A widow named Jane Meara, with her five children, occupied a small store in Prospect street, near Morgan. The property changed hands, and as a consequence the widow was doomed; but her lease had not expired and she held a receipt for the rent of the premises, paid in advance, for the month of May. Under these circumstances the poor woman felt secure, at least for the present; but on May day, during her absence, her furniture and goods were thrown out of doors, and when she returned to her house she found the premises so locked and fastened that ingress was impossible, while every article of her household goods was drenched with rain on the sidewalk. She at once proceeded to Justice McAnally, who very humanely allowed her the use of a house for herself and her children till she can procure other quarters, as this was the only relief he could afford in the case. The woman has commenced a suit against the new proprietor, laying damages at $10,000.

New York Herald (New York, New York) May 3, 1869

NEW – YORK CITY.
First of May — Moving Day.

There was not as much moving yesterday as is common upon the last of April — pretty good evidence that landlords generally were wise enough to fall somewhat from their old rates of rent, and so far accommodate tenants that they could afford to keep their old premises another year. Whoever is abroad to day, however, will be disposed to think there never was so much moving before. It will begin early — before some of us are up, no doubt, and it will continue late. The sidewalks will be worse obstructed in every street than Wall-street is where the Brokers are in full blast. Old beds and ricketty bedstands, handsome pianos and kitchen furniture, will be chaotically huddled together. Everything will be in a muddle. Everybody in a hurry, smashing mirrors in his haste, and carefully guarding boot boxes from harm. Sofas that go out sound will go in maimed, tables that enjoyed castors will scratch along and “tip” on one less than its complement. Bed-screws will be lost in the confusion, and many a good piece of furniture badly bruised in consequence. Family pictures will be sadly marred, and the china will be a broken set before night, in many a house. All houses will be dirty — never so dirty — into which people move, and the dirt of the old will seem enviable beside the cleanliness of the new. The old people will in their hearts murmur at these moving dispensations. the younger people, though aching in every bone, and “tired to death,” will relish the change, and think the new closets more roomy and more nice, and delight themselves fancying how this piece of furniture will look here and that piece in the other corner. The still “younger ones” will still more enjoy it. Into the cellar and upon the roof, into the rat-holes and on  the yard fence, into each room and prying into every cupboard, they will make reprisals of many things “worth saving,” and mark the day white in their calendar, as little less to be longed for in the return than Fourth of July itself.

Keep your tempers, good people. Don’t growl at the carmen nor haggle over the price charged. When the scratched furniture comes in don’t believe it is utterly ruined, — a few nails, a little glue, a piece of putty, and a pint of varnish will rejuvenate many articles that will grow very old ‘twixt morning and night, and undo much of the mischief that comes of moving, and which at first sight seems irreparable.

At night, after you have kindled a fire in the grate, — don’t, because you have cleaned house, make your house a tomb for dampness, nor let the children shiver through the evening, — after the tea things have been set aside, be sure to take one peep of the moon in her eclipse. Nor stay too long to look at her, for her exhibition begins rather late, and you should be up early next day to tack down the carpets, set the furniture to rights and make a home of your new house. Moreover, if it rains or is very cloudy, take our advice and don’t look at the eclipse — it’s no great affair after all.

New York Daily Times (New York, New York) May 1, 1855

In Lighter Vein
_____

The May Queen

“You must wake and call me early,”
The prospective May Queen said.
But when called, the foxy girlie
Stayed in bed.

And her plan was far from silly
Though another served as Queen,
For the winds were raw and chilly
On the green.

To the first my hat I’m doffing,
She who dodged the breezes bleak,
For the other will be coughing
All the week.
_____
Bolting The Ticket.

“The young men have chosen her to be Queen of May.”

“And how do the other girls like that?”

“Don’t seem to like it. They’re all insurgents.”
_____
May 1 In History.

May 1, 1589 — Queen Elizabeth is Queen of May, catches cold, and has the snuffles all day.

May 1, 1755 — Moving day, Dr. Johnson evicted for non-payment of rent.
_____

“Going Maying today?”

“Nix.”

“Why not?”

“I went Maying once.”
_____
Everything Upset.

A book of verses underneath the stove,

A lump of coal upon a silver tray;

Such are the things that make a terror of

The first of May.
_____
Moving Day.

“The May migration is very ancient.”

“So?”

“Yes; Shakespeare speaks of moving accidents by flood and field.”
_____
Nothing Romantic.

“Got your wife out for a May day stroll I see. Going to hunt for arbutus?”

“Quit your kidding. We’re going to hunt for a flat.”
_____
May Moving.

“You ought to read this book. It will move you deeply.”

“Do you know any concern that will move me cheaply? That is what I’m interested in just now.”

— Washington Herald.

Evening Post (Frederick, Maryland) May 1, 1912

True Realism.

Dramatic Author — I understand that you are looking for a new play.

Manager — Yes, but I am very hard to suit. I want a play which shall combine all the elements of tragedy, comedy, farce, pantomime and spectacle.

“That’s it. That’s what I’ve got. Chock full of tragedy and human suffering, tears and smiles, joy and woe, startling surprises, unheard of mishaps, wreck and ruin, lamentations and laughter.”

“What’s the title?”

“‘A May Day Moving.'”

“What’s the plot?”

“Hasn’t any plot. Just and ordinary May day moving.”

— New York Weekly.

The Marion Star (Marion, Ohio) Nov 9, 1895

The Bradford Era (Bradford, Pennsylvania) Apr 12, 1946

I thought the May Day moving had petered out in the 1920s, but evidently it was still going strong in Pennsylvania as late as the 1940s!

Images from the Newman Library – Baruch College

Joseph Brady vs. the Cornplanter

January 31, 2011

Chief Cornplanter image is from the Salibury, PA webite.

[From the Attica Telegraph.]

A Reminiscence of Border Life.

In the dark days of our Revolutionary struggles, there lived many brave, noble and generous men, who did much toward achieving the independence of this now prosperous and happy nation, by acting singly, or with a chosen few upon whom they could place the utmost reliance. This mode of warfare, though carried on in a comparatively small way, was far more efficacious, in proportion to the numbers engaged in it, than the operations of the largest bodies of soldiers who fought in the fort and open field. It did not generally accomplish much n a single occasion, but was constantly at work either acting on the offensive, or furnishing information to the head-quarters of the American army. This, in fact, was the only way by which the hostile tribes of Indians could be effectively punished for their wanton and malicious depredations. Every reader is aware that they were instigated by the British to perpetrate deeds the most shocking and revolting to humanity. Tradition has handed down the names of numerous individuals, unrecorded in the history of our country, who were celebrated for many valorous deeds, the remembrance of which seems fast disappearing “through the dark vista of bygone years.” An incident in the eventful life of one of this class is the subject of our narrative. We will endeavor to give the substance of it, as it fell from the lips of one of the “[oldest inhabitants]” in our hearing.

Of Joseph Brady’s birth, parentage, &c., our “informant” does not enlighten us. Suffice it to say, he was a brave and magnanimous warrior, and the commande of a small band of men, of his own school who were employed against the indians in Western New York and Pennsylvania. Although destitute of an education, having grown up in the “backwoods,” our hero had learned much from the school experience, and was skilled in that knowledge which was most essential to him in the station he was called to occupy. It is said that he could converse fluently in at least twenty of the different languages or tongues spoken by the tribes of the Atlantic states. This, to him, was an invaluable acquisition, and the sequel will show the advantages which it gave him over the Indians.

Six Nations’ map is from the Access Genealogy website.

Cornplanter, whose name is celebrated as an Indian warrior, and the praise of whose greatness has been the theme of many a writer, was then the Chief of a small tribe whose village was situated on the western bank of the Allegany River, six miles below the boundary line between New York and Pennsylvania. The remnant of his tribe still remain there, possessing a fertile tract of alluvial land several miles in length, and extending from the river back to the Allegany Mountains, a distance varying from one to three miles. On the opposite side of the river, a high mountain rises abruptly from the water’s edge, and is covered with a thick growth of forest trees. The scenery about this place is wild, romantic and beautiful; although the “rapid march of civilization” is robbing nature of her former grandeur and beauty. What a contrast between that olden time and the present! The? those deep waters bore upon their broad bo?om naught but the light Indian canoe, and the white man dared not be seen, unguarded, anywhere in their vicinity.

Cornplanter and his “braves” had made an incursion into one of the nearest settlements of the whites, in which they had met with great success. Several of the unfortunate inhabitants fell beneath the murderous tomahawk, their buildings were consumed by fire, and a number carried into captivity. When the Indians arrived at their village with the prisoners it was determined that they should be burned at the stake. Accordingly, the time was appointed for this dreadful work, and the whole tribe were to be assembled to participate in it. The Indians were patiently waiting for the time when they were to glut their vengeance upon their “pale faced” prisoners, as they apprehended no fears that the whites were strong enough to attempt an immediate retaliation.

Brady heard of he sally made by Cornplanter upon the settlers, and determined to punish him severely for his cruelty. Accordingly, he and his men set out upon the expedition, and were soon in the vicinity of the Indian village, where they succeeded in capturing one of its inhabitants from whom they obtained all the information they wished, concerning the prisoners, and the time when it was intended to burn them.

Early in the evening on which was to terminate by the most dreadful death, the lives of a number of pioneers of his western region, Brady was occupying a secure position on the mountain, from whence he could perceive all that was taking place in the village below. Fires were kindled before all their dwellings until it was nearly as light as noonday. The woods to a great distance around resounded with the shouts of the savages, whose feelings were wrought up to the highest pitch of excitement. Brady waited until the captives were brought forth, and the Indians had commenced to bind them to the stakes. His heart beat high with the fear that he might be unsuccessful in his attempt to rescue them. But the long-wished for moment had arrived, and putting on the dress of the Indian he had captured, he boldly stepped forth into an open place where he could be distinctly seen from the other bank, and gave the shrill war-whoop peculiar to this tribe. He was immediately answered by the Indians, who supposed him to be one of their friends, just returning from an expedition similar to the one they were then rejoicing over. They inquired as to what success had attended him, to which he replied that he had taken a few prisoners but was unable to come over and join them that night on account of the wounds one of his men had received. He proposed that they should wait till the next day and then burn all the prisoners at one time. After some hesitation they complied with his request. The prisoners were taken back to their place of confinement, the fires extinguished, and soon a deathlike stillness succeeded the noise and confusion which had reigned during the former part of the evening.

Brady kept his position until after the “noon of night,” when he descended the mountain, and crossing the river, was soon in the heart of the village. The Indians had retired without leaving a guard, and the first intimation they had of the presence of a foe, was the bursting out of the flames from their houses, which were soon on fire in every direction. They rushed to their doors to be shot or cut down by the whites. A large number were killed or burned with the habitations, while the remainder escaped under cover of the night. Cornplanter fled and his village was entirely destroyed.

The prisoners were overjoyed to find that they were once more with friends who could protect, and without waiting even for the morning, started on their journey back to the homes of those who had rescued them. Brady lost not a single man while out on this expedition, neither were any wounded, and although he fought after the Indian custom, falling upon his enemies in an unguarded moment he achieved a great victory.

Cornplanter’s name has found a place in the history of those times, while Joseph Brady’s only reward was the consciousness of having performed a duty incumbent upon every American citizen in those days, that of defending his country, and the joy he experienced in being able to restore those whose fate was supposed to be sealed, to their homes.

Watertown Chronicle (Watertown, Wisconsin) Jul 28, 1847

NOTE: I couldn’t find anything more about Joseph Brady, but Wikipedia has an article about Samuel Brady, of “Brady’s Leap” fame, who had an Uncle Joseph Brady, who might have been him. Either way, I would imagine the two are at least related, as they were from the same area and were Indian fighters etc.


Greenville Treaty image from the Touring Ohio website.

Pennsylvanians, Past and Present

Cornplanter, Great Seneca War Chief and Friend of United States, Died February 18, 1836.

By FREDERICK A. GODCHARLES
(Copyright, 1925, by the Author)

Cornplanter, the greatest warrior of the Seneca tribe, and a principal chief of the Six Nations from the period of the Revolutionary War to the time of his death, was born at Ganawagas, on the Genesee River, in New York, in 1722; he died at Cornplanter Town. just within the limits of Pennsylvania, Fedbruary 18, 1836.

Cornplanter was a half-breed, the son of a white man named John O’Bail, a trader from the Mohawk Valley. His mother was a full-blooded Seneca.

O’Bail is said by some to have been an Englishman, although Harris, Ruttenber, and others say he was a Dutchman Named Abeel.

All that is known of the early life of Cornplanter is contained in a letter to the governor of Pennsylvania, in which he says, “When I was a child I played with the butterfly; and as I grew up I began to pay some attention and play with the Indian boys in the neighborhood, and they took notice of my skin being a different color from theirs, and spoke about it. I inquired of my mother the cause, and she told me my father was a resident of Albany. I still ate my victuals out of a bark dish. I grew up to be a young man and married a wife, and I had no kettle or gun. I then knew where my father lived and went to see him, and found he was a white man and spoke the English language. He gave me vituals while I was at his house, but when I started to return home he gave me no provisions to eat on the way. He gave me neither kettle nor gun.

Historian Drake says Cornplanter was a warrior at Braddock’s defeat, July 9, 1755, and fought bravely as a French Ally.

During the Revolution he was a war chief of high rank in the full vigor of manhood, active, brave, sagacious and participated in many of the engagements in which the British  employed their Indian allies.

Cherry Valley Massacre image from the Son of the South website.

He is supposed to have been present at the massacres of Wyoming and Cherry Valley, in which the Seneca took such prominent part. He was certainly on the warpath with Chief Joseph Brant during General John Sullivan’s expedition against the Six Nations in the autumn of 1779, and in the following year, under Brant and Sir John Johnson, he led the Seneca to their incursion through the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys in New York.

On this occasion he took his father a prisoner, but with such caution as to avoid immediate recognition. After marching the old man some ten or twelve miles, he stepped before him, faced about and addressed himself to his father. He gave him his choice of following his yellow son, in which he promised him food and raiment or return to his fields and his white children. O’Bail chose the latter and Cornplanter gave him safe conduct back to the trading post.

Cornplanter was one of the parties to the treaty made at Fort Stanwix, October 23, 1784, when the whole of the present Northwestern Pennsylvania was ceded by the Indians to the Commonwealth. He also took part in the Treaty at Fort Harmar in 1789.

His sagacious intellect comprehended the growing power of the United States, and that Great Britain had forsaken the Seneca. He threw his influence in favor of peace.

During all the Indian Wars from 1791 to 1794, which terminated with General Wayne’s treaty, Cornplanter pledged that the Seneca should remain friendly to the United States.

He was a signer of the treaties of September 15, 1797, and July 30, 1802. These acts rendered him so unpopular with his tribe that for a time his life was in danger.
On March 16, 1796, Pennsylvania granted Cornplanter a tract of 640 acres in the present Warren County, to which place the old warrior retired and devoted his energies to his own people.

It is said that in his old age he declared that the “Great Spirit” told him not to have anything more to do with the whites, nor even to preserve any mementos they had given him. Impressed with this idea, he burned the belt and broke and elegant sword that had been given to him.

A favorite son, who had been carefully educated, became a drunkard, thus adding to the troubles of Cornplanter’s last years.

He received for a time, a pension from the United States of $250 a year.

At the time of his death he was 105 years of age. A monument erected to his memory on his reservation by the State of Pennsylvania in 1866 bears the inscription “aged about 100 years.”

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Feb 18, 1925

*****

This bank advertisement ran in the newspaper for several days:

Indiana Evening Gazeete (Indiana, Pennsylvania) Oct 17, 1921

The Old Pennsylvania Farmer

January 11, 2011

Bayard Taylor home – Cedarcroft, in Chester County,  Pennsylvania

The Old Pennsylvania Farmer.

BY BAYARD TAYLOR.

I don’t half live, penned up in-doors; a stove’s not like the sun,
When I can’t see how things go on, I fear they’re badly done;
I might have farmed till now, I think — one’s family is so queer —
As if a man can’t oversee who’s in his eightieth year.

Father, I mind, was was eighty-five before he gave up his,
But he wasn’t dim of sight and crippled with the rheumatiz.
I followed in his old, steady way, so he was satisfied,
But Reuben likes new-fangled things and ways I can’t abide.

I’m glad I built this southern porch, my chair seems easier here;
I haven’t seen as fine a spring this vie and twenty year!
And how the time goes round so quick — a week I would have sworn,
Since they were husking on the flat, and now they’re hoeing corn.

When I was young, time had for me a lazy ox’s pace,
But now it’s like a blooded horse, that means to win the race,
And yet I can’t fill out my days, I tire myself with naught;
I’d rather use my legs and hands than plague my head with thought.

If father lived, I’d like to know what he would say to these
New notions of the young men, who farm with chemistries;
There’s different stock and other grass, there’s patent plow and cart —
Five hundred dollars for a bull! It would have broke his heart.

They think I have an easy time, no need to worry now,
Sit in the porch all day and watch them mow, and sow and plow;
Sleep in the summer in the shade, in winter in the sun,
I’d rather do the thing myself, and know just how it’s done.

Well — I suppose I’m old, and yet, ’tis not so long ago
When Reuben spread the swath to dry, and Jesse learned to mow,
And William raked, and Israel hoed, and Joseph pitched with me;
But such a man as I was then, my boys will never be!

I don’t mind William’s hankering for lectures and for books;
He never had a farming knack — you’d see it in his looks;
But handsome is that handsome does, and he is well to do;
‘Twould ease my mind if I could say the same of Jesse too!

There’s one black sheep in every flock, so there must be in mine,
But I was wrong the second time his bond to undersign;
It’s less than what his shares will be — but there’s the interest!
In two years more I might have had two thousand to invest.

There’s no use thinking of it now, and yet it makes me sore;
The way I’ve saved and saved, I ought to count a little more.
I never lost a foot of land, and that’s a comfort sure,
And if they do not call me rich, they cannot call me poor.

Well, well, then thousand times I’ve thought the things I’m thinking now;
I’ve thought them in the harvest-field and in the clover mow.
And sometimes I get tired of them, and wish I’d something new —
But this is all I’ve seen and known, so what’s a man to do?

‘Tis like my time is nearly out, of that I’m not afraid —
I’ve never cheated any man, and all my debts are paid.
They call it rest that we shall have, but work would do no harm;
There can’t be rivers there and fields, without some kind of farm!

Morning Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) Jul 5, 1871

A longer version of the poem can be found in the following book:

Title: Home Ballads
Author: Bayard Taylor
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin and company, 1882
[Original copyright – 1875]
Pages 55-61

What Were They Serving in Gettysburg?

November 23, 2010

What a bargain! Check out what they were serving at the Hotel Gettysburg for Thanksgiving dinner in 1909:

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Nov 24, 1909

Also from the Gettysburg Times – – but– different year:

This Thanksgiving “victim” was printed directly above the following poem in the newspaper, but there doesn’t seem to be any real connection between the two.

A Day of Days

THIS is the day of all our days
When we in crowded cities sigh
For one sweet breath of old time ways
That once we passed so heedless by.
How romance clothes the stubbled mead!
What glory crowns the bare brown hill!
How sounds afar the ancient creed,
“Oh, if we could be children still!”

A million roofs its echoes send;
The lonely street gives back its cry;
Its message stirs the city’s end;
Its vision cheers the longing eye.
We mount the charger of desire;
He wings us through November haze
And drops us by the farmhouse fire
With childhood friends of childhood days.

How rose the turkey mountain high
And how we sighed with cough and call
As plate on plate went passing by,
Lest aunts and uncles eat it all!
How blazed the logs while tales were told
And apples roasted russet brown —
How fancy filled the grate with gold
And chimney ghosts came tumbling down!

Well, well! I’d better rub my eyes.
I must have turned a hidden page
Back to the realm where memory tries
To bribe us with forgotten age.
Thanksgiving? Why, ’tis everywhere.
Youth may not claim it for its own
‘Tis just a little joy to spare
Out of the harvest we have sown.

— Percey Shaw in New York American.

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Nov 29, 1916