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 newspapers. These reproduced stories include their original headlines and spelling.)

Local Intelligence
(January 22, 1896)
Fractured His Skull

A.L. McQuilkin, a prominent West Mahoning farmer, was badly injured at Dayton, Armstrong County, last Thursday, and is still lying there in a precarious condition.

Mr. McQuilkin had taken a load of hay to Dayton. While standing on top of the hay loosening the spring pole the latter suddenly sprung from its fastening. McQuilkin was struck fairly on the head and hurled from the wagon.

When picked up he was unconscious. He was carried to a nearby house and the physician who was summoned found that his skull had been fractured. His family lives in West Mahoning and he is a brother-in-law of John T. Stuchul, Esq., of Indiana. While his condition is critical it is believed he will recover. — Indiana Gazette

(January 29, 1896)
Stole a Pair of Ninety Cent Shoes

Charles Couch, a middle-aged man from Adrian, came to town last Saturday evening, met a couple of friends, and imbibed a little too freely. While in this condition of upliftedness he went by Frank Livingston’s store, and seeing a pair of 90 cent miner’s shoes on his advertising bench, quietly stole them away, but they were not mates.

Mr. Livingston had suffered considerably recently at the hands of shoplifters and he made up his mind to make an example of this man.

Accordingly he caused the man to be arrested and taken to the lockup where he remained until Monday morning when he was brought before ‘Squire Lowry, who held him in bail for the sum of $150 for his appearance on Tuesday at ll a.m., when he was bound over to court in the sum of $150. This he was unable to procure and Constable Graffius took him to Brookville jail in the afternoon. Couch has a wife and large family of children in Adrian.


There will be given away with The Sunday Inquirer of February 2 a toy theatre complete with stage, proscenium arch and a full cast of characters necessary for a reproduction of that most popular melodrama, “The Still Alarm.”

Included in the scenes depicted is that of a great building in flames, while all around a complete fire department with fire engine, patrol, serial ladder, and a large corps of firemen are at work.

This is only one of the many thrilling scenes in this tiny presentation of this famous play. The theatre will be found a useful method of entertainment to every member of every household. To prevent disappointment it will be necessary to send in all orders early in the week.