Old News

- Selections From The New York Times, 1896-1897 -

Following are a number of articles from the New York
Times, as published just over one century ago. All articles are copyright in their respective years by the Times. Make of them what you will.

FREE SILVER DEMONSTRATED. J. R. Wilkinson Scattered Coins Among Up-Town Gamins.
From the New York Times, 15 July 1896, page two, column five.

A well-dressed young man slightly under the influence of strong drink caused a panic at Broadway and Thirty-second Street yesterday afternoon, and in a few minutes had attracted so dense a crowd that the cable cars were compelled to slow up in order to avoid injury to those who stood in the street.

The burden of the young man's cry was "Free silver!" With each whoop for the emblem of the Populists, he thrust his hand into a pocket and, drawing out a handful of silver coin, scattered it over the heads of the throng.

It was hot work, but the small army of newsboys whose rendezvous is about Greeley Square, worked like beavers in pursuit of the flying quarters and dimes, regardless of mud, dust, or the approach of cable cars.

After scattering all the available silver supply at hand, the young man leaned against the iron rail at the southwest corner of Broadway and Thirty-second Street and drawing a small check book from his pocket shouted to the crowd:

"Keep on cheering for Bryan and free silver. There's plenty more in the bank where that came from. I'll draw you a check if you don't believe me. Hurrah for free silver!"

Just then three policemen scattered the crowd right and left, and gathered in the young man, checkbook and all.

They led him circumspectly, as became the owner of a bank account, and took him before Sergt. McDermott, who sat behind the desk at the West Thirtieth Street Station.

A great crowd of people followed in the wake of the young man and his captors, and stood outside the station house and seriously discussed the story started by some wag that the prisoner was the Populistic candidate Bryan, who had been arrested for giving a practical demonstration of his free-silver theories.

To Sergt. McDermott the prisoner was, however, simply "a drunk," and to his routine of questions the young man answered that he was J. R. Wilkinson, twenty-one years of age, residing temporarily at 257 West Thirty-seventh Street.

It was learned that Wilkinson inherited $100,000 through the death of a near relative about eight months ago. He is said to have squandered all but about $20,000, which yet remains to his credit, as he declared, in the Fourteenth Street Bank.

OBJECT TO PICKLED TONGUE. The Young Women of the Chicago University in Revolt.
From the New York Times, 29 January 1897, front page, column four.

CHICAGO, Jan. 28. - The young women students at Chicago University are in revolt. Over 120 have joined the insurrection and crossed the trocha.

It is all on account of pickled tongue. None of the girls are fond of that kind of tongue, but they say they were obliged to eat it last Friday, and twenty-nine of their number were taken ill with symptoms of poisoning. It was served on the tables of the Beecher, Kelly, and Foster Halls. The students objected to the food for some time. The pickled tongue settled it, and by far the majority declared they would stand it no longer. Although there has been no definite action, the young ladies have worked themselves up to the point where they announce that there absolutely must be a change for the better. Some definite and positive demands will possibly follow.

Miss Yeoman, head housekeeper at Kelly Hall, where all the cooking is done, protests that all the accusations are groundless. "The board is all right," she says. "The trouble with the girls is that they have been eating too much molasses candy for their health."

MISHAP TO A SLEEP TALKER. Flocke Dislocated His Jaw and Dr. McDonald Took a Pugilistic Method of Replacing It.
From the New York Times, 25 February 1896, front page, column three.

OZONE PARK, L.I., Feb. 24. - While talking in his sleep Sunday night, Henry Flocke, a builder, residing here, dislocated his jaw. He could not close his mouth until Dr. McDonald came to his aid.

Mr. Flocke's habit of talking in his sleep has made him the butt of a good deal of joking. He went to bed as usual last night. He had not slept long when he began talking. This awoke his wife, who listened for about ten minutes. Suddenly, Flocke's nocturnal monologue stopped. He began gasping. Mrs. Flocke was frightened and she shook her husband into wakefulness.

"Why, what's the matter Henry?" she asked.

Her husband tried to speak, but in vain. His jaw was immovable. He motioned to his wife that he could not speak, and she endeavored to force his mouth shut. She could not move it. Fearing her husband was suffering from lockjaw, she sent for Dr. McDonald.

"Do you want me to replace your jaw in my own way?" asked the doctor.

Mr. Flocke motioned in the affirmative. Dr. McDonald stepped in front of Flocke. Without warning the doctor struck Flocke a terrific blow on the left side of the jaw. Flocke showed a disposition to strike back.

"You told me to do it in my own way," said the physician. "You observe that your ability to speak is restored."

The blow had knocked Flocke's jawbone into its proper position, and, except for a little soreness, he was none the worse. Dr. McDonald explained that Flocke's jaw was liable to dislocation at any time unless he broke himself of the habit of talking in his sleep.

HUE AND CRY FOR A BURGLAR. When Caught He Fought Two Men, Escaped, Was Chased by a Mob and Caught by a Police Captain.
From the New York Times, 25 February 1896, front page, column two.

Francis Grundy keeps a liquor store on the ground floor of 441 Third Avenue. He lives on the second floor with his wife, and they have one boarder, named Lyons. Mrs. Grundy went out shopping yesterday afternoon and did not return until 7 o'clock in the evening. She went into the parlor and there found a man engaged in packing up a bundle.

When the burglar saw Mrs. Grundy he aimed a pistol at her. The trigger snapped, but the pistol was not discharged. Mrs. Grundy's screams attracted the boarder, who ran into the parlor. The burglar turned the pistol on him, but it again snapped without discharging. Lyons attempted to wrench the pistol from the burglar's grasp, and during the scuffle had his left hand badly torn by the revolver.

Mrs. Grundy continued to scream, and her husband came to the rescue, and he and the burglar had a hand-to-hand struggle, which resulted in the burglar knocking Mr. Grundy down. The boarder and the burglar then clinched, and fought their way into the hallway, where subsequently both of them rolled down stairs.

The burglar was the first to get to his feet, and ran out into the street, where a crowd of three or four hundred people had been collected by the screams of Mrs. Grundy. The burglar broke through the crowd and ran towards Thirty-first Street, with the people yelling murder and stop thief at his heels. Police Captain Martens of the East Thirty-fifth Street Station and Policeman Jose were in the vestibule of Sanford's Theatre, when they heard the shouts, and ran out to the sidewalk, just in time to see the burglar escaping up the avenue. Both officers gave chase, and near Thirty-fourth Street caught him.

When questioned at the station house the man said his name was Frank Mason, twenty-four years old, and that he lived at the Windsor Hotel, 52 Bowery. An empty five-barreled, 32-calibre revolver, nine skeleton keys, and a gold badge belonging to the boarder, Lyons, were found on the prisoner. Capt. Martens returned to Mr. Grundy's apartments and found $1,000 worth of clothing, jewelry, and silverware packed up in a bundle lying on the parlor floor ready for removal. Lying close by the bundle was a jimmy, two feet long, which the burglar had used to pry open the parlor door. The burglar will be arraigned in Yorkville Police Court to-day.

SAY EDITOR M'BRIDE MUST GO. His Mitchell (S. D.) Neighbors Rebel Against His Methods - They Burn His Newspaper First.
From the New York Times, 25 February 1896, front page, column two.

MITCHELL, S. D., Feb. 24. - The entire Mitchell Mail outfit - presses, type, paper, and other paraphenalia - belonging to a long-established newspaper, was this morning taken into the street and burned by a body of business men. The type were melted, the woodwork went up in smoke, and the iron presses were smashed into hundreds of pieces.

This act is another link in the tragedy of the paper's editor, R. H. McBride. A story of blasted hopes, ruined lives, and the display, it is said, of malignant efforts to ruin business, is mixed up in the case.

McBride and John D. Lawler, President of the First National Bank, were a number of years ago on friendly terms, the former being editor of the only Democratic paper in this section, and the latter prominent in the councils of the Democratic Party.

Mr. Lawler married Miss Ella Sturgis, daughter of Gen. Sturgis of the United States Army, nine years ago, and came to Mitchell to live. He became President of the First National Bank, and continued in that position to the present time.

Mrs. Lawler's widowed sister, Mrs. Dousman, of Prairie du Chien visited the Lawler family, and met McBride in a social way. Mrs. Dousman became attracted to McBride, he being a man of more than ordinary ability, and married him.

McBride's private character, it is said, was not of the best. Previous to McBride's marriage to Mrs. Dousman, Mr. Lawler was requested by one of the nearest relatives of Mrs. Dousman to inform her of the private character of McBride, and he did so. This was all Mr. Lawler did in opposition to the marriage, according to relatives.

Many happy social gatherings, trips to the seashore, and winter residences in New York followed until McBride tired of domestic life. A detective made a report, upon which Mrs. McBride separated from her husband and secured a divorce.

McBride returned to Mitchell and commenced a series of systematic attacks upon Mr. Lawler, his family, and the First National Bank. Farmers who deposited in the bank known to McBride, and those who were not known, were hunted up and given a "tip" that they had better take their money out of the bank. In consequence, the bank's support among farmers has steadily decreased for the past three years.

Every week's issue of The Mail contained an allusion to the bank and its President, based on falsehood, but appearing in such a manner that no action at law could be taken against the editor.

This conduct of McBride's was idly looked upon by the people until the news came a week ago that John D. Lawler had suddenly died of apoplexy in Sioux City, whither he had gone on business. The full force of McBride's long-continued abuse then came home to the citizens and they resolved to rid the town of the editor.

This resolution crystallized into a meeting of the foremost citizens Saturday night, and as a result a committee called upon McBride, and informed him that they had come to buy his outfit, with the further proviso that he would have to leave the town.

McBride assessed the proposition, and stated that he would sell the plant Monday morning to the citizens. At the appointed time the citizens called on McBride, but in the meantime he had been bolstered up by some of his friends, and he purposely got out of reach of the committee.

The committee appointed one of their number to be McBride's agent, gave him sufficient money to pay for the plant, and then proceeded to destroy the whole outfit. The committee is now hunting for McBride, to impress upon him the fact that his stay in Mitchell must be brief.

LEMONADE WAS TOO STRONG. Miss Johnson Wanted to Throw the Sun at the Moon.
From the New York Times, 23 November 1896, front page, column two.

A handsome woman about twenty-five years old and plainly English, who said her name was Catherine Johnson, and that she was a telegraph operator, and lived at 304 West Eighty-ninth Street, was walking past a drug store at the corner of Forty-seventh Street and Ninth Avenue last night, when she espied two colored ornamental bottles in the window.

She entered the store and told the proprietor very seriously that the yellow bottle was the sun and the green one the moon, and that she would like to throw the sun at the moon to see which would break.

A hurry call was sent for an ambulance by the frightened druggist, and the young woman was taken to Bellevue Hospital. There she was asked the usual questions.

"How did it happen?"

"Well, it was this way," answered Miss Johnson, "I took a hot lemonade last night for a cold, and it must have affected my head."

Miss Johnson was entered on the record as a victim of hysteria and epilepsy, and on her way to the alcoholic ward she promised an attendant that she would never, never again drink a hot lemonade.

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