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Way Back When

July 18, 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)

From the Transvaal
You have heard so much about the rich gold and diamond producing regions of South Africa recently, and of the defeat of Dr. Jameson's mauraders by the Boers, that you would be very happy if you could go to the Transvaal country. You would gather diamonds, dig gold, hunt elephants, and be happy. But distance lends enchantment to the view.
If you were in the Transvaal you would pine for Punx'y. E.E. Shaffer received a letter yesterday about A. P Shirk, who is well known to many people in this section of the State, and who is now sojourning in Johannesburg, in the Transvaal. Mr. Shirk says among other things:
"Well, Shafe, if you have a bitter grudge against some fellow, and want to do him a dirty turn, just send him out here. Everything here, since the trouble — which I have no doubt you read about in the papers — is in a great big panic, and there is no money to be made. I can assure you that it is not America, and if I could only come to Punxsutawney for a few days I would think I was in Heaven."
And so we have it from a man who is right in the heart of the Witwaterand gold regions of the South African Republic, that Punxsutawney is a Paradise to Johannesburg.
Therefore be content.

• • •
(March 25, 1896)
Royal Arcanum Luncheon
The Mahoning Valley Council of the regular session that week received one application from a prominent citizen of this town, and after its routine of business, held an open session with a musical entertainment. Messrs. Steele, Birt, Warren, Kelly and Krebb furnishing delightful music for more than an hour. At the conclusion of the musicale a lunch consisting of fried oysters, sandwiches, hot coffee and fruit was served in fine style by caterer Walker of the Findley Street Restaurant. The affair was a very pleasant one, enlivened as it was with Prof. McAfee and his dancing bear. Those who failed to be present missed a rare treat.

• • •
Adam Barnett, of Bell township, saw a large chicken hawk loitering around his place the other day, evidently with a view to securing a dinner of fresh poultry. He distributed the contents of a shotgun in his vicinity, and the hawk was disabled, having received a shot in the fleshy part of the wing. Mr. Barnett captured the bird and brought him to town. Des Freas was just out of hawks, so he took him, and placed him in his bicycle room to frighten people.

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