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Way Back When

April 1, 2012

(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
(May 13, 1896)

PLENTY OF POTATOES
A recent press dispatch from Bellfonte says: "Center county farmers have on their hands thousands of bushels of potatoes, which now are such a drug on the market that they cannot dispose of them at any price. They are offering them for 10 cents per bushel, but find sale slow. The acreage in this county last year was the largest ever known, and owing to the low price in the fall and winter many farmers held their crop for higher prices. The rise in the market did not come, and now they are suffering the loss of entire crops. Harrison Kline, living near here, has 500 bushels which he will give away to anyone who will go and get them, while others are feeding the tubers to their stock as the best means of getting them out of the way."

***
(May 20, 1896)
Circus Day
This is circus day. John Robinson and Franklin Bros. combined circuses and menageries are here to-day in all their gorgeousness. It is a big show, and is conducted by gentlemen who are genial and accommodating. Boys who carry water for the elephant to obtain admission will not be turned coldly away with the crushing words, "I know you not," but will be greeted with the comforting words, "Well done, good and faithful servant — enter in and see the monkeys."

***
Fooling a Gypsy
"I believe," remarked Jimmy St. Clair in a matter of fact tone, "that I will slip up to the Gypsy camp with an old plug of a horse and cheat the eyes out of them in a swap. I have a horse that looks — good an excellent horse to foola gypsy."
He went and submitted his horse.
A lank gypsy man gave the horse a searching look — a "penetrating glance," as we say in romance.
Then he told James more about his horse than he ever knew himself.
Then Mr. St. Clair, said he didn't care to trade, and came away.
"Did you make a trade?" asked a friend when he returned.
"No" he replied reflectively. "You see that fellow looks through your horse with the X rays, and a man who hasn't the new light is at a disadvantage."

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