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Way Back When

December 12, 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 22, 1896)
Killed a Bird of Freedom

Saturday last Reynolds Fullerton, son of Miles Fullerton, of Lawrence, Clearfield county, shot and killed a large grey eagle near his father’s farm. The king of birds had been seen in that vicinity for several weeks and many had tried to capture or kill it. On Saturday the bird alighted in the Fullerton barnyard, and Reynolds, aged 13, quickly secured the old smoothbore and loaded it with shot.

By this time the eagle flew to the hillside and alighted on a tree. Here the boy got a shot and brought the bird to the grund. The “proud bird of liberty” measured 7 feet 6 inches from tip to tip and weighed over ten pounds. It is a magnificent specimen and will be mounted. — Clearfield Public Spirit.

The boy ought not to have shot the bird. This feathered emblem of liberty is getting scarce, and will soon become extinct unless he is treated with more distinguished consideration. What is the use in being a great American eagle if it only leads to your being picked off with a smooth-bore?

•••
In Ye Olden Time

Fifty years ago the women folks were not nearly as difficult to please in the matter of dress as in the present day. They have “nothing to wear” now, but they were worse off then.

In Doctor McKnight’s forthcoming history of Jefferson county, he says that homemade woolen cloth, tow, linen, and linsey-woolsey was the principal material for dresses.

“I have seen,” he says, “barefoot girls ‘with cheeks of tan’ walk three or four miles to church, when, on nearing the church, they would stop in the woods and put on the shoes which they carried with them. I could name some of these who are living to-day. A woman in those days who could buy eight or ten yards of calico, at a dollar a yard, put on queenly airs.”

•••
The Municipal Primaries

Next Saturday from 2 until 7 o’clock p.m. The borough primaries will be held. Among the officials to be chosen at the spring election are seven town councilman and two school directors. These are very important offices, and care should be taken to get the best material possible.

A large number of excellent men were suggested at the meeting held for that purpose, and their names will be on the ticket. Every voter should, with consciencious care select from the list the seven men whom he thinks would make the best councilmen. He should do this without regard to whether they have asked him to vote for them or not, or whether he likes them personally or not. Your duty is to do what you think is best for the town.

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