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.