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Way Back When

March 6, 2011

(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
(February 5, 1896)

A Looking-Glass Causes Trouble
Abe Sapario, a Jewish vender of notions, of this place, had Andrew Knappik, a Hungarian from Adrian, arrested on a charge of assault, and brought before 'Squire Wilson yesterday for a hearing. The whole trouble arose from a dispute about a looking glass which Knappik alleges Sapario had broken, and came about in this manner:
The two with their friends were on the train going to Adrian recently. Knappik had a looking glass on the seat by his side and this he claimed Sapario had in some way smashed. He demanded pay for the broken mirror. Sopario plead insufficient funds to meet said demand.
Angry words followed. But friends interfered and the matter quieted down until the train arrived at Adrian, where Knappik caught Soparios's coat by the lapels and stoutly insisted on having pay for the broken glass.  During the dispute Sopario was jostled about in an unfriendly manner by his adversary and after much pleading was allowed to go. 
Another Hungarian, who could not be found in time for the trial, then took hold of Sopario and treated him more roughly still up-tripping him completely, and securing a club, threatened to do him to the finish. 
At this critical time bystanders took a hand in the affair and the fight was stopped. The defendant was discharged for want of sufficient evidence.

***

A Strange Guest
One night recently Mr. Henry Stonebreaker, of White township, entertained a stranger whose actions still puzzle the man who acted as host. Sometime during the night Mr. Stonebreaker was awakened by a rap at the door. He got up and found a well dressed man at the door and Mr. Stonebreaker invited the stranger in.
The guest seated himself and remained silent. All efforts to compel the strange man to talk were useless. Mr. Stonebreaker sat there with his odd guest for some time but owing to the rain he didn't want to turn the man out into the night. 
Showing him a lounge on which he could rest Mr. Stonebreaker went to bed and in the morning he found the eccentric man sleeping. When he awoke an effort was made to make the man talk but he met with the same success as before. 
He ate his breakfast in silence and left the house before daylight without even thanking the man who had sheltered him. The stranger was well dressed and a man of perhaps 50 years of age.---Indiana Progress  

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