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Way Back When

August 6, 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
(August 19, 1896)

ASSAULTED WITH A COKE FORK
Yesterday evening Andrew Nichol, coal and iron police at Adrian, was called to a Hungarian boarding house to suppress a row.

It appears that Andrew Waskvaish was making things lively about the premises by brandishing a coke fork, and when Nichol approached he attacked him with that implement, jabbing him in the finger.

They grappled, and Waskavish sunk his teeth into Nichol's arm. Nichol then pounded his assailant in the face with his fist until he let go, and then brought him to town. Woskavish's nose and lips were badly swolen and he was covered with blood.

Nichol had his finger bandaged, and the blood was seeping trough his coat-sleeve, where he had been bitten. Nichol made information against Waskavish for assault and battery, and in default of $200 bail he was committed to the lock-up to await a hearing to-day.

The Fatal Oil Can
An attempt to start a fire quickly resulted in the same old way over in West Wheatfield township on Sunday.

The victim this time was a young girl named Mary Lute, daughter of David Lute, and the accident cost her life.

The family lived near the little village of India and on Sunday at noon no one was at home except the girl and her little brother Tom, aged 11 years. At noon the girl started the fire preparatory to getting dinner.

The fire burned slowly and in order to hurry it up the girl foolishly held a gallon can of oil over the flames and poured the fluid on the fire.

An explosion quickly followed and the burning oil was scattered over the girl and through the room.

The girl was enveloped in flames and her clothing burned from her body. Her cries brought some of the neighbors to the house where they found the injured girl standing at the pump and her brother throwing water on her body which had been burned to a crisp in places.

Every vestage of clothing was burned from the poor girl's body except the collar of the dress.

She lived only a few minutes when death ended her sufferings.

Her little brother, who had bravely fought the flames which brought death to his sister, was badly burned about the hands and face, but he will recover. — Indiana Progress

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