Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hunting for Bail

"George Crum, from Ypsilanti, who had defrauded the Ann Arbor grocers out of provision to feed the hungry fair-goers, was allowed to hunt for bail. In order to make a systematic search he and his family left Ypsilanti last Friday, and they are now probably grubbing for a pot of gold about the roots of the twining woodbine.--[Ypsilanti] Commercial.

--October 15, 1879 Ann Arbor Register

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tidbits from the October 12, 1878 Ypsilanti Commercial

The Indians of Wyoming are killing settlers and stealing stock. The troops are in hot pursuit.

From now until January 1st it is lawful to shoot wild turkeys and partridges. $60 fine for snaring and trapping.

The Indians are busy in Texas, and Sunday three boys and a girl were killed near Junction City on Guadaloupe River, and reports from the vicinity show that the Indians are stealing stock and murdering settlers.

Warren Maguire, of Vermontville, went into a well on the morning of October 1 and was overcome by the foul air. Although the well was but 18 or 20 feet deep, his body has not yet been recovered at latest advices.

Sunday forenoon a gravel train on the Toledo and Ann Arbor Railroad, when one mile south of Milan, ran over a steer. The train was thrown from the track and seven cars twisted and mashed to pieces. The brakeman, Adams, of Deerfield, Mich., was killed, and a number were badly injured. The coroner's inquest acquitted the railroad company of all blame.

A convict at the Jackson State Prison, named Jeremiah Donovan, committed suicide Tuesday afternoon, October 1, by seating himself on the belt of the large fly-wheel in the eastern end of the trip-hammer shop, and being srawn under the wheel, when he was instantly crushed. he was sent from Detroit in February, 1876, and was a desperate and incorrigible character.

The report of the State Salt Inspector for September shows that 228,029 barrels of salt were manufactured and inspected last month, the largest amount ever inspected in one month and 36,649 more than were inspected in September last year. The total amount inspected this season to October 1 was 1,462,568 barrels, against 1,260,123 barrels last year, being an increase of 202,445 barrels.

THE C. CORNWELL--On Wednesday afternoon last, a message was received by our engine company that the M. C. R. R. wood at Wayne was on fire. In seventeen minutes from the time the message was received the engine was on the cars ready for a start. The special train left here at 5:12 and reached Wayne at 5:30. Getting at work as quickly as possible, the engine did not cease working until 1 A.M. The firemen succeeded in cutting the pile in two so that out of a pile of between 2,000 and 3,000 cords, only 700 were burned. The firemen returned about 2:15 A.M.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tidbits from the October 9, 1894 Ann Arbor Argus

The Ann Arbor Argus costs its readers less than one cents a copy.

The time for stump speeches has arrived. We saw a load of stumps going through the town yesterday. --Political paragraph in Manchester Enterprise.

Charles Ryan, of Ypsilanti, has entered the homeopathic college at Cleveland. What is the matter with U. of M. homeopathy--aren't the pills small enough?

Dr. K. Greiner, of Dexter, has packed up his pill case, and will attack the inhabitants of Lisbon, Kent County. He leaves many friends and few headstones.

Sneak thieves are now in possession of a winter supply of vegetables and canned fruit, "cooned" from the cellar of A. C. Fingerle, of Ypsilanti. Fingerle would like to get his fingers on them.

A steam laundry is to be opened in Chelsea. Just in time for the "dirty linen" of the campaign.

Some of the forest of the Normal campus has been cut down and "logged off," the big willow and several elms being among the victims. The campus is [not?] injured by the change, but it is doubtful if the co-eds like it.

At a "Pumpkin Pie" social to be held by the Ladies' Aid Society of the Free church of Superior, Oct. 12, an etched quilt will be the reward to the person guessing the nearest at the number of seeds in a specified pumpkin. Every "pumpkin seed" who wishes may guess and get a supper for 20 cents and be ashamed of himself that all this costs him so little.

Postmaster Kishpaugh, of Clinton, has washed the fly specks of the Harrison era off the glass of the letter boxes and made many substantial improvements in the building. The man who dares fore a charge of tobacco juice on the elegant new floor will be squirted in the eye with pepper sauce.

Lewis Feldkamp, of Manchester, was thrown from his conveyance last week, and received a fracture of the clavicle. We could just as well have said that Lew. Feldcamp was flipped out of his wagon and busted his collar bone; but "conveyance" is more recherche than "wagon," "clavicle" sounds more scientific than "collar bone," "fracture" more euphonious than "busted"; and to say "Lew" for Lewis would be treating a man pretty roughly, smashed up as he was.

A young man from Lyndon, with a stomach like an anaconda, went over to Chelsea last week and sucked a dozen eggs as rapidly as he could break the shells. This form of idiocy is less harmful than that other style of pointing an empty revolver at a friend and blowing his brains out, while the point that the fellow is a fool is just as well brought out. It is the better style.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tidbits from the October 5, 1878 Ypsilanti Commercial

Jas. Haddon, of Dowagiac, is the heaviest bee-keeper in Michigan, owning over 400 swarms.

Thomas Mason, an employe in T. Nestin's lumber camp, at Sugar Creek, drank a pint of salt and water for biliousness and died very suddenly.

Benj. Collins has been arrested, near Vermontville, for sowing foul seed, chess, cockle, dock, etc., in the night, on the wheat field of his stepson.

Annie Cook, of Memphis, who turned her elegant demi-monde establishment into a yellow fever hospital and devoted herself to the nursing of the patients, has fallen a victim to the fatal scourge.

The only daughter of a widow, Mrs. Seneca Hicks, of Kalamazoo, became a mother before she became a wife, and the body of the babe was found in the cellar, murdered. Mrs. Hicks has been arrested [and] charged with the murder. She refuses to make any statement in regard to the matter as yet.

Some time ago one Herman Sims was suspected of burning a barn at or near Bay City. Since that he disappeared and on Saturday his body was found hanging by the neck to a tree near Kawkawlin, where it had evidently hung for many days. It is not clear whether it is a case of suicide or lynching.

Sitting Bull has sent emissaries to inquire upon what terms his people will be permitted to return to the United States territory. Gen. Sheridan has telegraphed that we are not especially anxious about the Indians who went North to come back, but if ithey do come back it must be on terms of unconditional surrender.

IN HASTE---The steeple painter departed without saying good-bye to Mr. A. P. Bucklin, with whom he boarded, or Mr. Frank Smith, from whom he obtained his paints; and so those gentlemen, accompanied by a sheriff, went to Detroit to pay their adieus to the decorator of our city spires. They returned without finding him. Total loss, $50.

Considerable excitement was created at Cincinnati by the discovery of an aged lady who had died in the hospital, and was supposed to have been buried in the potter's field, had not been buried there. Friends desiring to remove the remains to Spring Grove found the empty coffin only, which had contained no body, the latter having been removed before burial.

Among those who have entered the Dental Department of the University is Mrs. Alma Fuellgraf, of Elmshorn, Prussia. She came to this country a few weeks since and had intended to go to Philadelphia and continue her studies. She however met some Americans on the boat, and was so pleased with the information she received from them as to Michigan University that she decided to come here. One of the matriculants in the Medical Department is Myatt Kyan, of Rangoon, Burmah. --Ann Arbor Register

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tidbits from the September 28, 1878 Ypsilanti Commercial

The Ypsilanti City Band won the second prize at the contest in Jackson, Thursday.

Amor Lazier, who recently escaped from detective Baker, of Lansing, at Jackson, is in Windsor.

The Victor canning works of Benton Harbor are now putting up 20,000 cans of tomatoes every 24 hours.

The Bay City Tribune says, we understand, that the potatoes are rotting quite badly. All who have Early Rose undug will do well to dig them as soon as possible.

Fred. Sutton, of Whiteford Center, Monroe County, has been compelled to have one leg amputated, owing to erysipelas in his ankle and knee, which, it is claimed, was badly managed by an incompetent physician.

A settlement has been effected between Daniel Hiscock and the Toledo & Ann Arbor railroad company, the company paying him a consideration of $1,000 for the right to go through his land. The company also pay[s] the expenses of his suit against it.

The many Ypsilanti members of the 20th Michigan Infantry will be glad of their approaching Thirteenth Annual Reunion, which is to take place at Lansing, Oct. 9. The oration will be delivered by Col. C. B. Grant. The Michigan Central will carry members of the regiment for two cents per mile each way.

Statistics show that Washington is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the United States. According to the census of 1870 the population of the District of Columbia was 131,7000, the population of Washington being 109,199. The census of the District as just completed by the assessors shows the aggregate population of the District to be 160,947, and the population of Washington city to be 131,947. This is a gain of 22,748 in eight years. At this rate of increase the population of Washington in 1880 will be in the neighborhood of 165,000.

A large tame bear formerly shown in the saloon of Chris Eisele, of Adrian, is kept by one Upton upon the premises of a brother-in-law named Mahzman. At the place named Edna went out with a playmate and commenced to tease the brute. It became savage, seized and threw her down and began chewing her thigh. Upton and ayoung girl named Ethel Hodges living in the house ran out. Upton tried to drive the bear off, but instead of relinquishing his hold, the bear ran into his kennel with the little one. The girl picked up a large stone, rushed into the kennel and succeeded in extricating the child from the animal's jaws. Huge pieces of the child's thigh had already sloughed off. An amputation will be attempted but the surgeon gives little hope of saving her life.

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Rev. R. K. Wharton, tired of the distinction of being the only pastor in Ypsilanti who did not ride a bicycle, is rapidly becoming master of the wheel." --September 23, 1897 Ypsilantian

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tidbits from the September 21, 1878 Ypsilanti Commercial

It is said to be a fact that the majority of insane persons in the Washtenaw Asylum are farmer's wives.

Before the war prints sold in this city for ten cents a yard. Now they are selling for six. The dollar of the laboring man is becoming every day more valuable.

Even the convicts at the State prison are contributing to the funds for the relief of yellow fever sufferers. Chaplain Hickox has sent $10, and is gathering some more.

James Callahan returned from a ten months' sojourn in State Prison to Elba, Gratiot County, to find his wife married to another man. He was sent for stealing $50, and it now transpires that his wife stole the money and he went rather than expose her.

Four men in Clam Lake Township, Wexford County, have been served with a summons by the sheriff to show cause why they do not comply with the school law and send their children to school. The complaint was made by the director of the school district.

Another atrocious case of body-snatching occurred at Willoughby, near Cleveland, Ohio. The body of Edwin French, a prominent citizen of Cleveland, was exhumed. The body was found in the tank underneath the floor of the Cleveland Homeopathic College, and the Dean and a dozen others have been arrested.

Officer Baker, of Lansing, who lost the prisoner (George Stafford) he had taken charge of at Adrian, went to bed with the gent handcuffed to him, but awoke at 5 o'clock in the morning to find the bird had flown, he having "shook the bracelets" by some unaccountable method and left them in the bed behind him. He had about three-quarters of an hour the start of the officer, and no clue has been obtained of him yet.

THE INDIAN WEED---John J. Bagley & Co. have celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of their entrance into business by sending to the press of the State large boxes of the "May-Flower" chewing tobacco and the "Old Hickory" smoking tobacco. The persons who have been engaged to chew the tobacco for this office report that they never had easier work, and the reports of the smokers are none the less satisfactory. We return many thanks for the gift.

THE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL---Notice has been given that the Hospital connected with the medical department of the University, is now open for the reception of patients. A resident physician and competent nurses are in attendance; and daily visits will be made by the faculty, whose services are absolutely free of charge. Patients are charged $5.00 per week for board during their stay at the hospital. Full information may be obtained by addressing Dr. Maclean, Resident Physician, Ann Arbor.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Techie Geek Kid of 1922

from the Daily Ypsilantian-Press, fall, 1922

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Novel Proposal for Feeble-Minded Children

"A novel suggestion is made to educators, but it seems to be full of sterling good sense. We find it in the New Orleans Picayune:
'If all the dunces of all the schools of a large city were gathered into a single school organized with special reference to feeble minds and weak wills, the pains and labor of patient teachers would would no longer be wasted upon them. The tasks of the unlucky pupils would be adapted to their capacity. They would no longer be perplexed in trying to understand what their brighter classmates had been saying and doing. They would not be annoyed and shamed by seeing smaller children above them in their classes. They would no longer be scolded by teachers whom their stupidity had provoked.

'Their new teachers would know their want of capacity and limit their tasks accordingly. It is the misfortune of all large schools that each must have one or more dunces on whom the care of conscientious teachers is merely wasted. The parents of such cannot with reason complain if their children should be sent where they could get better tuition furnished at public cost. Difficulties might be met in organizing the suggested college for dunces and in obtaining teachers capable of its unwelcome and difficult requirements. The suggestion is here noted for its novelty rather than for its promise of successful trial.'"

--September 14, 1878 Ypsilanti Commercial

This is an interesting moment in the history of mental retardation in the United States and the changing attitudes towards it. Homes for "idiots" or the "feeble-minded" were nothing new, and by 1878 had been around for a good quarter century. But such homes were small and offered individualized care, often with good results that impressed the children's parents. There weren't too many of these schools, however.

By the mid-1880s, the era of vast institutions such as training schools for the deaf and blind, orphanages, schools for the feeble-minded, and similar large enterprises was well under way. This meant that feeble-minded children were in many cases brought to an institution where the individualized training of the smaller schools was by and large impossible. But here, in the late 1870s, the idea of a large school for feeble-minded children still appears "novel," as the New Orleans writer said; Ypsi Commercial editor Charles Moore apparently agreed, in reprinting this article as an item of interest.

Additional reading: the excellent Inventing the Feeble Mind: A History of Mental Retardation in the United States

Friday, September 16, 2011

Another Threshing Accident

Dusty D has been reading fall issues of some 19th-century papers, and one thing that leaps out is the ever-present danger of threshing machines. The illustration at left is an article from a Pennsylvania farm journal warning of the machine's dangers. There were many local thresher accidents, to the point that you could say that it's common. These were huge machines designed to clean grain, containing various crushers, spiked cylinders, and rollers, often with several exposed belts whirring around. You can see some cool pics of threshers and binders here. Threshing machines were all too often subject to foul-ups, as documented in the article below from the September 14, 1878 issue of the Ypsilanti Commercial.

Charles Cohen, a young man 21 years of age, met with a horrible and fatal accident on the 3rd, while engaged in threshing on the farm of Anthony Krantz, five miles from Marine City [just north of Lake St. Clair]. The machine had slacked down with its speed for the purpose of repairs, when young Cohen jumped upon the feed board to ascertain what was the matter. He missed his footing and slipped into the cylinder. His left leg was ground to mince nearly up to the knee and also half of his right foot. Doctors Senghas and Beard were called and amputated both limbs. Cohen, however, grew very faint and suffered a great deal, as it was about an hour and a half after the accident before the physicians reached him. He died the next morning at 6 o'clock.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Civil War Joke in Ann Arbor Journal

"At a training down east, after an order was given to 'return ramrods,' one of the soldiers broke from the line and was off at full speed. 'Halloo,' bawled the commanding officer, 'where are you going?' 'Gown to Squire Muggins, to return the ramrod borrowed of him. You said return ramrods."

--Ann Arbor Journal, Sept.3, 1862

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Apostle Paul Says.....

From the Ann Arbor Register, October 24, 1877

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Racy Little Poem

When lovely woman veils her bosom
With muslin fashionably thin,
What man with eyes, could e'er refuse 'em
From casually peeping in?
And when his ardent gaze returning,
The dry goods heav'd to deep drawn sighs
Would not his finger ends be burning
To press--his hat down o'er his eyes?

--Ann Arbor Journal, Sept. 5, 1860

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dueling Combines Empty the Town

"The deserted streets of Ypsilanti Saturday afternoon may have suggested that the whole town had gone to the picnic at Whitmore Lake, but it would have been a mistake. The center of attention was Ainsworth's cornfield, where the corn harvesters of two fields were being tested. The McCormick and the Deering were showing up their good qualities in corn that overtopped the machine by several feet. Something less than 200 men constituted the jury, and witnessed this contest.

"Their vision was cleared by cigars at the expense of the agents of the two firms and their throats moistened by lemonade from the same generous source, and after the contest was all over, it was the general opinion that either machine would be satisfactory were the other away. The fact is there seemed very little differrence in the character of the work done by the machines, or in the draft necessary to work them. It is understood that Mr. Ainsworth expects to purchase one or both of the machines; at least, at this writing he is undecided which one to take." --September 3, 1896 Ypsilantian

Deering reaper image source.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tidbits from the August 31, 1888 Commercial

"Rev. T. H. Hector, the well known colored orator, will speak at the Opera House here to-morrow night, from a Prohibition standpoint."

"The Cornwell Fire Company celebrated its fifteenth anniversary by a banquet at their hall last Wednesday evening. A very excellent time is reported, notwithstanding the fact that an alarm of fire called the 'Laddies' out in the midst of the festivities. It was 'only a barn,' however, and the boys soon returned, and continued the fun."

[from the 'Neighborhood Notes' section for the little settlement of Superior]: "Peter Furlong and Frank Newton had quite a lively controversy at Cherry Hill hall the other night over the merits of their steam threshers, each of course claiming superior points of his own, and when language failed to make the desired impression, they assumed a pugilistic attitude, and only for the timely interference of friends, they would have smashed each other's shirt collars into a thousand pieces."

[from the 'Neighborhood Notes' section for Whittaker]"As little Jessie Greenman, five years old, was running through a corn field last Monday she passed within a foot of a large rattlesnake but did not see it. Will Breining who was digging potatoes close by heard the warning rattle and went into the corn field and killed it. It makes one shudder to think what the consequence might have been if she had started down the row where the reptile laid coiled up."

[from the 'Neighborhood Notes' section for a place called 'Nora', location unknown to me]: the Literary at Chas. Wheeler's Friday evening was a success, closing with a 'Molly Brooks' party."*

Ad: Barnum's jewelry store stood on Michigan Avenue.

*A 'Molly Brooks" party would today be known as a play-party, a party at which people sang old folk tunes and danced, with no instruments. Starting in the 1830s, the tradition stemmed from a onetime religious prohibition on musical instruments. The page below, from a book about play-parties, shows the music and movements for the song "Molly Brown."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ad for Ypsilanti Indian Shoe Co.

Another ad for the Ypsilanti Indian Shoe Co., this one from the January, 1912 issue of the Cleary College newsletter, the Cleary College Journal.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cleary College Told you to be in Bed by 10 P.M.: Or Face Expulsion

If you studied at Cleary, your time off campus was subject to the school's jurisdiction. Students had to be in their rooms at 7:30 p.m. for study. On the weekends the curfew was extended to 10 p.m.--BUT--gentlemen couldn't enter a lady student's room in her boarding house, AND ladies were NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE CITY LIMITS. The Normal School also had a 10 p.m. curfew for many years. I believe the document below is from circa 1920.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tidbits from the August 27 1891 Ypsilantian

"Mr Draper is making marked improvements in the opera house scenery, adding a second drop curtain and several new scenes. The work is being done by Frank T. King, scenic artist from Buffalo, and it will add much to the interest and pleasure of the patrons of the house, when the season opens."

"The soil removed from the Methodist church excavation is spread all over the whole surface of the Presbyterian parsonage lot, raising the grade considerably. It may be interesting to observe what sort of a crop will germinate from such a mixture. Quite possibly, this grafting of 'free grace' upon the sturdy Calvinistic stock may produce something that we shall all want."

"That's right, neighbor [Ann Arbor] Courier, boom your city, but don't forget when you name all the nicest things in the world to add that Ypsilanti always keeps them in stock."

"It is said of Prof. Agassiz that from a single bone, he could construct a whole fish, but that is nothing compared to the exploits of O. E. Thompson who is now sniffing the breezes of old Ocean and taking a whirl on the beach. His greatest feat is to take a fish and in less than ten minutes exhibit its entire skeleton: and yet, he says he is hungry all the time."

"Ann Arbor is to have a new corset factory. Respectfully referred to Mrs. Jenness Miller"*

*a leading "apostle of dress reform" who was strongly against the corset and for more sensible undies

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"The water board have decided to let us use the garden hose an hour later in the morning and an hour earlier at night--6 to 9 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m." --August 25, 1892 Ypsilantian

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tidbits from the August 24, 1888 Commercial

"The city marshal has posted signs about town notifying people that they must muzzle their dogs or they will be shot."

"An immense number of people attended the Farmer's Picnic at Whitmore Lake last Saturday. Ypsilanti was well represented."

"The Ypsilanti Dress Stay Factory has purchased the brick building, corner of Huron and Pearl Sts., which they have occupied for some time, and are enlarging and remodeling it, fitting it the better for their use."

"A grand racing matinee is advertised to take place at the Fair Ground [Recreation Park] here next Friday afternoon. There will be two races, 2:35 trotting and 2:30 pacing. The premiums offered for the first are as follows: first, Single Harness, $25; second, Wool Suit, $15; third, Side Saddle, $10; fourth, California Boot, $6. The premiums for pacing are, first, Road Cart, $25; second, Single Harness, $20; third, Riding Bridle, $6. Some horses between which there is considerable rivalry have entered these races, and they will trot and place "for blood;" no holding on the back stretch. Good music will be provided, and all lovers of a close and exciting horse-race should attend."

"Bloody Affair: Last Sunday forenoon one of the most disgraceful and bloody affrays which it has ever been our duty to chronicle took place in Ypsilanti. We will state the facts as near as we have been able to learn them, without any attempt to point a moral or adorn the tale. He who cannot do that for himself must be dull indeed, and we shall be surprised and greatly disappointed if the lesson which this affair teaches does not lead to a better enforcement of the Sunday-closing law here [account of a street fight follows]."

Ads: Cleary's business college was 5 years old in 1888, and its ad alludes to the school's having recently successfully placed four graduates in jobs. The Tycoon Tea House stood at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Washington and sold gasoline, crockery, veggies, produce and groceries.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"I w'd strongly advise any girl to avoid Detroit..."

More Cleary goodness. Here is a 1920 letter from P. R. Cleary to the superintendent of the Detroit railroad stockyards, recommending a girl as a stenographer and bookkeeper. Mr. Smith's response is not encouraging:

"P. R. C.
My secretary is on vacation, so please excuse this--Am not inwant of any one at this time--but am much obliged for your letter. Have not been very fortunate with girls from out of the City--+ find it better to get girls who have a home here. Living conditions are such here just now that I w'd strongly advise any girl to avoid Detroit unless she has friends here--If this one is determined to try--she can no doubt be placed at one of our other Offices. W. E. Smith

Monday, August 22, 2011

Panoramic View of EMU Campus, c. 1903 or a bit later

A panoramic view of campus (click for larger image) as it existed around the turn of the century. The building complex at left is the Old Main Building. The building at center is, I believe, the Training School, where students did their student teaching. Starkweather of course, and on the right is the Science Building, now called Sherzer Hall.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Starling Bust

"Only three of the ten city aldermen and the mayor responded for the big shoot Tuesday evening. The police department assisted, so the the official party included Mayor Ray Burrell, Chief of Police Ralph Southard, and Alderman Charles Hartman, Merle Renton, and Effiner J. Kramer.

"The evening had been officially set aside for eliminatoin of birds declared a nuisance on Pearl, Perrin, Congress, and Ballard Sts. In council meeting Monday evening the aldermen responded to protests from residents with the announcement that they would personally aid in a relief campaign. The mayor gave his consent and it looked like a big night but the catch proved small.

"After the first few shots the birds disappeared, leading the aldermen to conclude that other methods will be more practical. From the standpoint of the city sanitary officer, Ernest Maddux, the shoot was a success. His job of cleaning up after the attack was light." --August 21, 1935 Ypsilanti Daily Press

Saturday, August 20, 2011

“The Bazarette people have taken their stock of thermometers out of the ice box and placed them on sale. They (the thermometers) came through the hot weather in good condition, and are liable to weather the heat during the rest of the season.” --August 20, 1896 Ypsilantian

Shotgun-Wielding Councilmen

"Aldermen were in a light and sportive mood Monday night when they agreed to dog out shot guns and sling shots for a mass attack on starlings in the Pearl St. neighborhood.

"The huntsmen are to meet this evening at 7 o'clock at the corner of Pearl and Ballard St. and are warning onlookers to watch the performance at their own risk.

"So vociferous have been complaints against the nuisance of the birds in that section that the council has been driven to direct action to preserve peace.

"Several plans were discussed. One alderman suggested importing screechowls to drive away the noisy starlings; others said traps should be devised for the birds; one suggestion was a proposal to hang bells on the limbs of the trees.

"When it was reported that one resident, after a few minutes' work with a shot gun had downed 28 birds, councilmen decided the gun was the thing, so tonight, the birds bite the dust." --The Ypsilanti Daily Press, August 20, 1935.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Crow Recipe from Ypsi Hunting/Conservation Group

"Members of the local Izaak Walton League of America are going to "Eat Crow" for a time at least and are inviting residents of Ypsilanti to do the same. A letter received by William Raglin, local secretary of the League, requested members to organize Crow hunts and to do everything possible to rid the country of this dread to the farmer.

"After careful experimenting by seasoned hunters, it was discovered that crow is good to eat. A recipe for the successful cooking of the bird was supplied by Mr. Raglin.

"After the birds are dressed they should be rubbed with lard and placed in a braiser or iron skillet with an iron lid. Then a pint of water and celery trimmings should be poured over the skillet full of birds and cooked until three-quarters done. Then a light brown gravy of chicken or beef stock should be poured over the birds and they should be cooked until tender. Serve with any kind of dressing.

"It is emphasized vy those who have had experience in cooking Crows that they must be cooked until they are tender. It is said that when they are done they taste like smothered quail." --August 18, 1936 Ypsilanti Daily Press

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tidbits from the August 17, 1888 Commercial

"The Colored Evangelistic Association propose to hold a Camp meeting in Hemphill's Grove from Aug. 17 to 26."

"Rooming and Boarding: All who wish to take Normal students to room or board, during the coming term, are requested to furnish information on the following points: 1) Name, street, and number 2) Rooms or board or both 3) Number of rooms, furnished or not 4) Are rooms on 1st or 2nd floor? 5) Ladies or gentlemen and how many. The ruls forbidding ladies and gentlemen to occupy rooms in the same house will be observed. Direct through the P. O. to J. M. B. Sill, Ypsilanti."

"Rev. R. Jeffries, paastor of the A. M. E. Church, presiding elder of the first district of Michigan, wishes to day that he is in no way connected with the Camp Meeting advertised to begin in R. W. Hemphills grove to-day, and he warns all his people against attending or patronizing it, in any way, as in his opinion its leaders are first-class frauds."

""The three-story brick building at the west end of Congress street bridge, which Mr. DeMosh purchased last week will, with little trouble, be converted into one of the finest livery stable barns in the city. The horses will be kept on the lower floor, buggies and office on the second, and grain on the third. Mr. DeMosh expects to have it all arranged and be occupying it by the last of next week, or the first of the week after."

Ad: E. M. Comstock, purveyor of carpets, curtains, blinds, and dry goods at 128 Michigan Ave.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Students Doing Business: Interior View of Cleary Main Hall

This pic is from a publicity pamphlet for Cleary titled "Ten Reasons Why [to study at Cleary]." I guesstimate that it's from roughly 1890 or so. Here is a view of the main hall where students are engaged in realistic business transactions. Students were given a mock $2,000 with which to start their business. As you can see by the caption, the school prided itself on using such real-life methods as opposed to textbook work. Click for larger image.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Memorial Cards for George and Lomira Cady

Victorian-era memorial cards were often distributed at funerals or mailed to relatives as keepsakes. George Washington Cady died September 2, 1911 aged 81 years (born Dec. 14, 1829). He is buried in Highland Cemetery. Lomira Cady (wife of David B. Cady, 1818-1913) was born March 3, 1818 and died November 27, 1887. David and Lomira are buried together in Canton''s Kinyon Cemetery. I did see David's family tree but did not see a George with the correct dates, or even close, so I don't know the relationship between David and George, if any.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kroger, On the Air!

Now this is interesting, from the June 3, 1930 Ypsilanti Daily-Press. It's an ad for "Kroger Time: a new and enchanting radio program." Broadcast on longtime Detroit AM station WJR, among other local radio stations.

"You will be thrilled by exquisite music. Strange and interesting stories of intrigue and romance in many lands will delight you. Hear the stories told by Uncle Joe each Wednesday evening at Kroger Time: 9 p.m."

Also, you could get a "Jap Rose Health Ball" ['Jap Rose' was the name of a brand of soap] if you purchased a passel of soap products.

Anyone else nostalgic for the days when a grocery store sponsored a radio program, and promised us thrilling stories and beautiful music?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Occupations of Black Ypsilantians in 1910

From a list compiled from the city directory by Robert Miller for the A. P. Marshall Ypsilanti Black History Project.

1 barber
1 boardinghouse keeper
1 butcher
1 driver
1 engineer
1 miller
1 news carrier
1 manager
1 saloon owner
1 stoker
1 stove repairer
1 student
1 teacher
1 laundress
1 farm hand
1 coremaker (I believe for casting metal in a factory)
1 cupola tender
1 cement worker
1 coachman
1 grocer
1 watchman
1 yardman
1 umbrella repairman
1 house mover
1 ice cream maker
2 painters
2 pastors
2 firemen
3 porters
4 machinist hands
5 carpenters
5 teamsters
6 cooks
7 janitors
8 masons
19 domestic
74 undefined (likely day laborers)
98 laborers

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tall Tales of the Bicycle Boys

There were some remarkable claims made for the time it took to bike from AA to Ypsi. Records were made, according to the record-makers, minutes were shaved, and gauntlets were thrown. One bit of new technology ended all the foolishness. Story!

Occupations of Black Ypsilantians in 1888-1889

From an Archives list compiled from the city directory by an unknown author, likely Robert J. Miller, for the A. P. Marshall Ypsilanti Black History Project.

1 coachman
1 cook
1 driver
1 gravedigger
1 washerwoman (not sure how this is diff. from 'laundresses,' below)
1 watchman
1 housekeeper (not sure how this is diff. from 'domestic,' below)
1 news agent
1 grocery owner
1 janitor
2 carpenters
2 restaurant owners
2 hair dressers
3 laundresses
3 well diggers
3 masons
3 gardeners
4 barbers
4 porters
5 hostlers
6 teamsters
25 domestics
32 undefined (likely day laborers)
78 laborers

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tidbits from the August 10, 1888 Commercial

"Any imperfections which may be noticed in this paper can be accounted for by fact that, owing to the ague, the editor has given his business 'the shake,' and us boys are running things to suit ourselves."*

"The old tannery building near Congress street bridge has been sold to Joseph DeMosh, who will turn it into a livery stable."

"Dick Cady is a great dog fancier. His dog Don has been so trained by his owner that he will lie down and tamely submit to be curried with a 'cow card.'** He seems to like the fun. He sat for his photograph the other day; but up to date he hasn't expressed his opinion as regards whether it is a good picture or not. "

"Alfred E. Thomas, one of the most esteemed colored men of this county, died at his residence in Ann Arbor last Saturday morning, aged 52. Mr. THomas was born a slave, but gained his freedom and came to this city upwards of 35 years ago. He was an old soldier, being a member of Co. I 102 Colored Infantry, which was Michigan's colored regiment. He was wounded at Deveaux Neck, N. C. Mr. Thomas was a prominent member of the A.M.E. Church of this city with which he was united 11 years since. He was also an active member of St. Mary's lodge F. & A. M., under whose auspices he was buried, Monday afternoon, there being about 30 of his brothers in line, including some from Ypsilanti. Rev. Mr. Jeffries, of Ypsilanti, preached the sermon, and the funeral was probably the largest colored funeral ever held in the county. He leaves a wife and two children."

Ad: Longtime Commercial editor C. R. Pattison sells his home prior to moving to Florida.

*Ague = malaria, of which trembling was one side effect.
**A brushlike tool apparently used for currying a cow.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rare Interior Views of Cleary College

I'm on a Cleary College kick lately it seems, so here are two rare views of the interior of the onetime college where now stands EMU's School of Business. The first pic is of the registration desk, and the second is of the Cleary library. From the August, 1933 edition of the Cleary newspaper, Cleary College Fellowship News.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Runaway Slave Reenactors at Ypsilanti Centennial Celebration

The legend for this photograph reads: "Carl Lindegren, Mrs. Frederick Gorton." The two plus the boy were reenacting the arrival of runaway slaves in Ypsilanti.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Little Eloise Crittenden (Random Ypsilantians Series)

Eloise Crittenden was the daughter of New York-born Newton Crittenden and English-born Emily Elizabeth Tripp. Born in 1862, Eloise was the oldest child in her family, with younger sisters Amy (1873) and Mary Alice, or Allie (1874). There is an 11-year gap between the birthdays of Eloise and the middle child Amy. Emily had had 4 children, but had lost one: Mabel, born in 1868, who only survived for 10 months. Mabel died of dysentery.

In 1888, Eloise married Charles Lowe, who died in 1895. IN 1900, the widowed Eloise was living in Jackson. In 1910, Eloise's 72-year-old mother Emily was also widowed (Newton died in 1904) and living with her married daughter Amy. In 1916, Emily died. In 1920, 57-year-old Eloise was still living in Jackson, with her 45-year-old sister Mary Alice. Eloise worked as a stenographer and Mary Alice as a bookkeeper. Eloise died in Jackson in January of 1924 and is buried in Highland.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ypsi's Cleary College had a Correspondence Course

Ypsilanti's Cleary College, founded by onetime itinerant handwriting teacher P. R. Cleary, had a correspondence course if you couldn't attend in Ypsi. I was rather excited to find this out as I don't recall this aspect of Cleary being discussed before. Below is the application to apply at the school.

This is the application filled out in the summer of 1907 by 21-year-old Romulus girl Estelle Armstrong. She had finished 10th grade and lived at home. On this application she said she would have 2 to 3 hours to devote to Cleary correspondence work each day. The course she chose was no. 2.

In 1900, Estelle was a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Romulus. She lived with her 61-year-old carpenter father William, who owned his home, and her 45-year-old mother Julia. In 1907, Estelle applied for her correspondence course. In the December of next year, William died. In 1910, Estelle lived in Romulus, 24 years old and single, with her widowed 65-year-old mother Julia.Julia had her own private income and Julia worked as an independent dressmaker.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Remnants of the Peckville School

This Daily Ypsilantian-Press article from February 6, 1926 reveals that in the 20s, remnants of the old northside Peckville school were still standing, near Forest and River. The city's second-oldest school, it was then being used as part of a garage by the Swaine family.

The 1856 plat map clearly shows the school on Forest near River. Other interesting details: Maple was called Mill St., and Prospect was called Cemetery St. One wonders when the last bits of the old Peckville School were razed. Also, this map shows the school abutting Forest, but the school is said to have been later turned into the Swaine malt house, which is set back some distance from Forest. Were there two iterations of the school building? Another note is that plat maps are not infallible and were drawn by non-resident plat map companies. You can certainly find errors on old Ypsilanti plat maps.

Here is a Reward of Merit given to one Florence Small(e)y in 1857 and recently published in Gleanings. At first I thought that the school illustrated on the form was the Peckville school, and thought, "that''s a pretty imposing structure for a then-semi-rural schoolhouse!" On closer examination I see that one has to fill in the school name on this form, so I speculate that it was just a standard purchased form someone ordered from a school supply-house.

Modern-day Peckville resident Janice A. has written a delightful account of her onetime neighborhood, published in the Summer 2010 Gleanings. It's worth a read to learn about this onetime northside community.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Scenes from Ypsilanti Centennial Barbecue, 1923

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wheelmen's Fish Stories

After increasingly incredible reports of ever-shorter times on the AA-Ypsi run, the local bike club determined to winnow away the tall tales with a fall bicycle race.

At the time three main conduits ran from AA to Ypsi, all of which were dirt roads. I also believe that bicycles at this time were all one-speeds. (Googles Wikipedia): yes, apparently so; even the Tour de France did not use derailleurs until the late 1930s. "In 1937, the derailleur system was introduced to the Tour de France, allowing riders to change gears without having to remove wheels. Previously, riders would have to dismount in order to change their wheel from downhill to uphill mode."

So these cyclists attempting to one-up each other were riding coaster bikes on rough dirt roads...and racing to beat each other's times. Pretty rough-and-tumble! Presumably the cyclists eagerly looked forward to the September 1st bike race.--August 3, 1888 Ypsilanti Commercial

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mystery Artifact: Snow Plow

For any of the Mystery Artifact guessers in my last Ann Arbor Chronicle column who would like to see the entire picture, here 'tis:

August Emancipation Day

Thanks to the Chronicle for publishing my latest story, this time about a little-remembered onetime holiday that united black over a century ago.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mystery of the Blood Vials Solved

I tell you, I was so frustrated to not find the elusive identity of the actual person who sent the blood vials to Normal (most recent Courier story) but deadlines are deadlines so I had to grudgingly write it as an unsolved mystery.

But, reader, now I've found it. Dangit! After the Courier deadline! I think I'll amend the story and shoot it over to Gleanings, the YHS newsletter.

The soldier in question, according to this April 6, 1894 Ypsilanti Commercial article, is one David A. Wise, "the first man to enlist in this county," says this article. "He was a Lieutenant in Capt. Spencer's company, and while there the Captain edited a paper, and they printed a bill of fare for the Marshall House where Lieut. Wise was installed landlord in command..."

"He says he scraped up the blood from the floor, after the bodies had been removed, enclosed it in the vials, and sent them to Prof. Welch, the Principal of the Normal."

Likely I'm the only person who is relieved to know the answer, but here it is just for the record. Phew.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mystery of the Missing Blood Vials

Two tiny vials containing what was said to be the first blood spilled in the Civil War once occupied a spot in the onetime science museum in what is now EMU's Sherzer Hall. The pic below is a never-before-published shot of what is thought to be part of the museum. It only came to light when one Archives member recently scanned a large number of old glass-plate negatives. Thanks to the Courier for publishing my story about the vials!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mrs. Emoretta Garlick caused the arrest of Daniel O'Brien for assault and battery, and the examination took place Wednesday morning before Justice Childs. The plaintiff failed to furnish security for the payment of costs, and Prosecuting Attorney Randall refused to proceed.

It has been rumored for some time that Lee Harrison, who is dying of consumption, would make some startling revelations in regard to the Pulver murder before he died. In order to put these at rest he has made a sworn statement before Attorney Brown that he knows nothing whatever about the case.

--July 25, 1895 Ypsilantian

Friday, July 22, 2011

Breining Farm in Augusta Township, Whittaker Road, c. 1895

German immigrant Martin Breining was an Augusta Township farmer. In 1880, he was 43. His English immigrant wife Mary was 39 and had had the first eight of her 13 children: Lizzie, Austin, William, Melvin, Charles, John, Mary, and Verny. By 1900, at age 59, she had also given birth to Clarence, Mertie, Fread, Walter and the youngest, 6-year-old Wesley.

The Breiner farm was just south of Ypsilanti off Whittaker Road.

An aerial view from Google Maps shows that the Breining land outlines are still visible over a century later. Here is it visible as a lush green square just south of Bemis.

A photo from around 1900 shows the family members:

Some closeups:

This person is a bit of a mystery. I don't see any non-relative farm hands listed on the old censuses, but this man's old overalls and work boots suggest that that was his role on the farm.

At least two of Martin's sons left the farm and moved into Ypsilanti for urban jobs. William worked as a baggageman and Charles as a clerk. Martin died in 1906 and his wife Mary a year later. He is buried in Stony Creek Cemetery. Several of his children are buried there, and later others were buried in Highland Park Cemetery.