Reflections: Not so ordinary news from the past


I’ve commented before about my fascination with not only the way news was printed in the newspapers in the early 1900’s but also the topics covered.

For instance in a 1915 Morrow County Independent there is a front page story titled “Girls the Cause” with a sub title “Cardington boys chase neighbors out of town.”

Sound riveting? The story goes into detail describing the call to the Morrow County Sheriff, who was called to quell a “riot”which broke out in Cardington between Cardington and Mount Gilead boys.

“It seems that some of the younger set from the former place have been sparking around town in Cardington and have won the affection of some of fairer sex there much to the annoyance of the boys who believed they should be first choice. It is also said that “purple and white” Mount Gilead High School colors have a particularly distasteful appearance to Cardington boys who don’t think the colors are a bit pretty.

The story goes on in detail about Mount Gilead boys coming to Cardington Saturday night where their shining light attracted a bevy of girls and then threw such things as over ripe melons and stones causing the Mount Gilead boys to retreat, and the sheriff called.

The sheriff determined there was no riot and the boys returned to Mount Gilead, but the car that had come to Cardington carrying the boys got stuck in the mud and had to be towed out of it. He also determined there were no melons thrown but some things thrown which were just as bad. “The purple and white colors, fool’s colors, made a nice target for the missiles,” said the sheriff, who added, “It isn’t the boys the fairer sex (if any) care for but it is the rides they got in the Mount Gilead boys’ machines. We should worry.”

The story was much longer and of course in tiny print. That was front page news in 1915.

Another item in 1915: Lyle Willey last week sold his news stand to Harry Curl, who will carry on the business at the same old stand. Lyle returned to Perdue University where he is a sophomore.” (Yes that is the way it was spelled.)

I will have more of these unusual stories in the future.

Looking back

December, 1939: Zeb Russell, Cardington businessman, advertised fur prices. He was paying 50 cents to a dollar for skunk; $2.75 to 75 cents for raccoon and 25 cents to a nickel for opossum.

HPM in Mount Gilead released 50,000 shares of new stock on the market to finance the company’s $500,000 expansion program in 1940. Preferred stock cost $15 per share and a share of common stock cost the purchaser $10.25.

December, 1949: Harold Russell of Cardington, shot a six-point buck deer while hunting in Canada. Robert Gompf of Curl Funeral Home was granted certification as a licensed embalmer.

December, 1969: Liz Morris of Cardington, a native of Stuttgart, Germany placed 30 candles on the family Christmas tree on the 24th and 25th of December and burned them for half an hour. It was an old German tradition that she brought to the United States when she married her husband, James, in 1965.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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