Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thomas County Cat - August 20, 1885

Reading the early editions of the Thomas County Cat is really interesting.  Virtually all the news articles are 1 paragraph blurbs distinguished from all the other news blurbs simply by a new paragraph indentation.  For example, some page 1 news from the August 20, 1885 edition is presented as follows:

   Mrs. HELEN HUNT JACKSON, the well-
known authoress, died at San Francisco
recently of cancer of the stomach.
   The family of Daniel Ashbaugh, Jr.,
near New Philadelphia, O., were poisoned
recently by eating toadstools. One boy
died and the mother and a young child
were not expected to live. Two girls
named Richardson from the Dayton Or-
phan Home, who were visiting the fam-
ily, were also in a critical condition.
   Dr. Z. SIGMONDY, an experienced tourist
who recently published a book on the dan-
gers of Alpine climbing, has been killed by
falling over a precipice after climbing Pic
de la Ney, in the Upper Alps, which had
been considered an impossibility.
   The Social Purity Society, of London,
was agitating recently for a new trial of
Mrs. Jeffereys, for the purpose of securing
a public disclosure of the names of politicians
and nobelmen who frequented her house.

And so the articles go.  One thing about it, you got a lot of news in a 4-page, 6-column (and sometimes an 8-page) newspaper.   Of course, how much of it was relevant to your needs as a Thomas County resident was another story.  But you never know.  If I had just purchased a copy of Dr. Sigmondy's book, I'd at least know enough - thanks to the Cat - to request a refund!

Then there is this advertisement in the same edition for a means to withdraw that ever-important elixir - WATER - apparently with the god-forsaken wind that continually blows on the plains.  I wonder if the type setting job had just run out of the letter "m", or if it was actually a real Freudian slip.

There were also the usual stories of serious rain events and flooding and other mayhems, including the page one stories about an hour and a half hail and rain storm in Sherman County (next County West of Thomas) that killed birds and damaged the sod corn and filled the Sappa and Prairie Dog Creeks; and the brothers William and David Fruite (ages 20 and 26) who drowned crossing the Walnut River near Winfield; and the water-spout that struck Lone Tree Creek near Chadron, Dakota, flooding the valley and drowning 4 men, two children and a number of horses.  I guess a Plains paper couldn't resist these kinds of news events. 

Well, I'm ready to read another edition next week - and you can bet that as I continue to read, I'll be on the lookout for a continuation story on London's Social Purity Society!  I probably won't blog about it, though - I could have relations listed.

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