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Way Back When

July 5, 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 newspaper. These reprinted stories include their original headlines and spelling.)
Local Intelligence
March 18, 1896

A Smart Parrot
Senator Mitchell has a parrot of which he is very proud. It is a great talker, and something of a singer, and the Senator tells of its smartness with as much enthusiasm as a fond father relates the cute things said by his two-year-old offspring. The parrot calls the Senator "Jim," and his wife "Cal."
"When I enter the house or come down stairs in the morning," said Senator Mitchell in speaking of this wonderful bird, "Polly invariably says 'Hello, Jim.' If I fail to notice her she will keep on saying 'Hello, Jim,' until I say 'Hello, Polly.' Then she will say 'Where's Cal?' "
Polly is not a pious bird, either. It must be admitted that she is sometimes a little profane, a habit learned, no doubt, from bad Perrysville boys. Music delights Polly, and when she hears the piano will accompany it with the refrain — Ta-ra-ra, boom te-ay," which she repeats over and over again, evidently believing it to be the prettiest song ever composed.
The Horatio Glee Club visited the Senator the other night, and Polly occasioned great mirth, amongst its members by yelling out, "Ta-ra-ra, boom te-ay," at the close of each song, and talking in a rattle-headed way about everything, mingling the remarks with choice bits of profanity.

• • •
Jonathan Schreckengost, of Kittaning, who disappeared some days ago, leaving a note to the effect that he was a burden, was discovered on Tuesday of last week. The river had been dragged for three days, but his body was not there, and the search was given up. Several days elapsed, and then a man named Thomas Krider, who was walking through the woods near Kittaning, found the body suspended from a tree.
The tree upon which Mr. Schreckengost hanged himself was in full view of his home, and they body could have been seen by any one who happened to look that way. But nobody looked, and it hung there about two weeks before it was discovered.

• • •
March 25, 1896
We have not the least doubt but a census of McCalmont township would show not less than 5,000 people. But because they cast nearly 400 votes at the Republican party the "Democrat" insinuate that the people of that township are rogues and ballot-box stuffers and perpetrators of fraud. This is an imputation that the people of McCalmont township have no right to rest under, and the "Democrat" should either prove its implied charges, or apologize.
(Note: The "Democrat" was a Brookville-based newspaper).

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