Friday, December 17, 2010

Quirky Quotes from Old Newspapers

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Vintage Quotes
Compiled by Robert A. Waters

From the Statesville (GA) Landmark, March 8, 1907

"The jury in the case of William T. Gilpin, charged with the murder of W. W. McDonald, a prominent attorney, of Douglas, Ga., tonight brought in a verdict of not guilty, after having been out several hours. Gilpin shot McDonald in his wife's room at the Rimes House in Vidalia one night last October. He had concealed himself in the closet of the room. After McDonald had entered, Gilpin sprang from his place of concealment and emptied two revolvers at McDonald, and the latter subsequently died from his wounds. (Gilpin was, of course, guilty of premeditated murder, but the unwritten law is that a man has a right to slay the despoiler of his home.)"

From the Statesville (GA) Landmark, March 8, 1907

"John Bullard was hanged Friday at Marietta, Ga., for the murder of his 17-year-old daughter last September. He was a victim of consumption and it had been a question whether he would die before the day of his execution. He was so weak from the disease that he had to be supported on the scaffold and with his dying breath he declared that the death of his daughter was due to an accident."

From the Frederick (MD) News, September 26, 1902

Nashville, Indiana, Sept. 25--"Mrs. John Browning missed her 2-year old baby. After searching for the child over an hour, she found it 100 yards from the house, sitting in some tall grass and in its lap lay a large rattlesnake. The baby was patting the snake on its head and body, and the snake lay coiled. The mother screamed and the snake moved slowly into the grass. The child was taken to the house and was found to be unhurt. Afterward, Mrs. Browning went to the spot where the child was found, and a few feet away she found the snake and killed it. It was almost three feet long, and had eight rattles and a button. What puzzles the family most is the fact that a small gold ring worn by the child was found on the ground close to the snake. The reptile had undoubtedly carried it to the place. Perhaps it fell off the child's finger, but maybe the snake took it off. The snake was charmed by the rlng, so the Brownings think."

From the Atlanta Constitution, January 26, 1910


"Hugh Cannon, who wrote Goo Goo Eyes, Ain’t That a Shame Bill Bailey and other classics of ragtime, was sent to Eloise poor house today at the age of 36. He told the story of his life in short expressive sentences. 'I quit the coke easy,' he said. 'Fifteen days in the jail cured me of that. I hit the pipe in New York for a year and stopped that. I went up against the morphine hard and quit but booze--red oily booze—that’s got me for keeps. I started when I was 16. I’m 36 now and except for seven months on the wagon I’ve been pickled most of the time. It was twenty years--twenty black, nasty, sick years--with only a little brightness now and then when I made good with some song.'"

NOTE: Hughie Cannon died two years later in a Toledo infirmary. Cause of death was cirrhosis of the liver. Cannon sold the rights to all his songs and died in abject poverty.

From the Iowa Press Citizen, December 21, 1920


MILLTOWN, N. J., Dec. 21--"Two bandits were captured by a citizens posse here shortly after midnight following an unsuccessful attempt to rob the First National bank. Two other bandits escaped. A watchman heard the noise in the bank and sounded the alarm. Thirty citizens responded. Armed with rifles, pistols, shotguns, axes , etc., they started for the bank. Two of the robbers surrendered. They said they were Clifford Jackson of New York and Frank Voorhees of New Brunswick. They refused to identify their companions."

From the Ukiah (CA) Republican Press, November 22, 1939

"NEWS DISPATCHES the other day carried a story [that the] failure of the Ham and Eggs amendment to pass at the recent election was believed responsible for the suicide of 72-year-old Henry Brutt, of Los Angeles. The unscrupulous heads of the Ham and Eggs racket have the blood of this unfortunate old man on their hands, if the story is true. Aged men and women all over California were led to believe Ham and Eggs was a panacea for all their misfortunes. Some method must be found to drive this racket, the most infamous and cruel yet devised, from California."

NOTE: The Ham and Eggs Amendment was an effort to give all unemployed Californians (about 800,000) $ 30 per month. It was to be funded, of course, with a massive set of new taxes and bonds.

From the Waterloo (IA) Courier, December 26, 1894

"DIED IN PRISON.—Charles Holchrist, who was sent to Anamosa in 1878 from Grundy county for life, for murder, has recently died. A letter from Anamosa says that Holchrist was a farmer in Grundy county and while riding through the country in a wagon with two other men (all three of them in a drunken condition) a quarrel arose and Holchrist struck one of his companions with a hammer and killed him. The murdered man was his farm hand and a mere boy. An arrest followed and a trial resulted in Holchrist's conviction and sentence to prison at hard labor for life. When the penitentiary doors closed upon him Holchrist left a wife and daughter and a little property in Grundy county. He was assigned to the stone shed and worked there faithfully for fifteen years. The prison officials speak of him as an orderly and good workman. His courage did not desert him and his cheerfulness was habitual until a year ago. Mrs. Holchrist and the daughter communicated regularly with the husband and father until last year, when the wife importuned him in a letter to give her a deed to the family property, which consisted of some town lots. He hesitated about doing so, but finally yielded. As soon as the wife obtained possession of the property she began an action for divorce, obtained a decree and is now married and living at Lake Park, Iowa, near the Minnseota line. Then his daughter, who is a school teacher, stopped writing to him, all of which tended to crush him. He lost his strength, became unable to work and was sent to ward No. 6, which is peopled by old and infirm men. Here he merely existed for the last six months."

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