Way Back When

(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 25, 1896)

An Old German Tailor
in a Moment of Confidence
Gives Up a Secret

John Sedler, an old German tailor, who resided for many years in Reynoldsville, came into the Spirit office the other day looking very much the worse for wear. He said his wife had died several years ago and he had recently lost his property in Reynoldsville, and was old and on the rocks of poverty, and despair. He looked it. Poor old John, we knew him when he dressed like a dandy. He made our first tailor-made suit. Harry Ernst and Clint Reikard had one made about the same time — long Prince Alberts.

And maybe we didn't think we amounted to something then! Whew! We tried to suppress our egotism as much as possible, but when a youth of seventeen, who has worn yarn socks, knit galluses and home-made pants all his life gets a tailor-made suit, he is considerably exalted. He soars. His thoughts are among the gods. Great Jove, Apollo, Ulysses, Achilles, Hercules, and all those fellows were well enough in their way, but they lived in a crude and innocent age, and of course were not in it with a youth with a tailor-made suit.

But to return to John Sedler. John was on the ragged edge. He said, "Master Smeet, I haf hare a prescreeption vat will cure de vors case of rheumatism in a few minutes. I sell it all over daes country. The doctairs know noddings about it. Dase vas gotten fon a great Catholic Bishop, who got it fon von ancient doctair, and some reech man vot got bad rheumatism gif a million dollars for heem. I sell dees to von Baltimore man sax months ago an he mack nine hundred dollars out of it. Von man gif heem two hundred dollars to cure his rheumatism. It cures daes greep in a few minutes. I gif it to you, and I gif it to no vpn else. Von anybody got rheumatism or greep you tael heem you cure heem."
And Mr. Sedler wrote out the famous prescription. We paid him for it, and have the secret. Of course he has not given it to anybody else in town. So bring on your rheumatism, and if this ancient and honorable prescription will cure you, as Mr. Sedler assures us it will, in very short order, you shall be cured.

It is worth, according to Mr. Sedler, a million dollars, but we are not covetous, and don't care for a little thing like that.