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Way Back When

November 8, 2010

(The Spirit is pleased to share with our readers vignettes of life in the 19th century as originally reported in past issues of the newspapers. These reproduced stories include their original headlines and spelling.)

Local Intelligence (January 15, 1896)

Died in Church

A press dispatch from Kane under date of January 9, says: A sudden death occurred in the Kane Memorial church here this evening at 7:45 o’clock. Dr. Harriet Kane, sister of Elisha K. Kane, and daughter of the late Gen. Thomas L. Kane, founder of this place, dropped dead while singing a hymn. During the progress of a weekly prayer meeting Miss Kane was singing a solo. Just as she reached the refrain “Speed Away,” she sank to the floor unconscious. Two physicians, who were in the church, hastened to her side, but could render no aid, death being instantaneous. Heart disease is given as the cause. She was forty years of age.

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Plenty of Jack Rabbits

Ira Carrier, of this place, is taking it upon himself to stock the woods in this neighborhood with jack rabbits. He expects to turn out over two hundred large, robust jack rabbits next spring to infest and overrun the circumjacent woods and make the hearts of hunters beat quick with joy. Jack rabbits are very prolific. They multiply like grasshoppers, and they are lively game, too. They weigh as high as fourteen pounds, and can run like a deer. That makes a pretty fair sort of a prize when you capture one. Mr. Carrier also intends to turn loose a lot of quail. When this is done nobody should shoot them, even in season for a year or two, and then when sportsmen go out in quest of game there will be something to shoot.

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All Flesh is Not Grass

An honest man from White township brought a load of hay to market a day or two ago. When he drove onto the borough scales he had a man concealed on the top of the load, and he was weighed as so much hay. It is said that all flesh is grass, but this fellow didn’t pass as hay. A man on the second floor of the courthouse noticed the attempted fraud, and notified Weighmaster Lichteberger, who made the fellow acknowledge the con. A reduction of $1.75 was made on the price of the load of hay.

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(January 22, 1896)

Mary Johns, daughter of W. T. Johns, of Lindsey, has had a serious time recently. She had her teeth drawn, and cocaine was used to deaden the pain. It appears that too much of it was used, and her mouth and throat were affected so that she could not move her jaws. It was not tetanus, or genuine lockjaw, of course, but she was affected in much the same way, and for several days her condition was regarded as critical. She is not considered out of danger.

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