After discovering the wonderful article below (Athens Weekly Review (Texas), January 18, 1901), I wanted to know more about the young Texas student who wrote it. By researching the census, death records, and other records on the Internet, and finally contacting a descendant, my … [Read more...]
OLD NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
While researching my family history on the Internet, I often discover websites with transcriptions of amazing little articles that were originally published in small-town newspapers, mostly in the 19th century. Some make me laugh, some make me cry, some just make me wonder. All contain invaluable information about how our uncelebrated ancestors lived their ordinary lives - their struggles, their triumphs, their courage.
I included some of them in Gig at the Amtrak, my poetry book, because these little stories are similar to many of my poems, which are partly based on the lives of real people I have interviewed for my books about North Adams.
One of those articles, called "Dauphin School," was written in 1901, by Fon Gentry, a young student in Texas. It's posted on this site. I was so moved by Fon's unaffected, charming prose, and by her matter-of-fact accounts of the day-to-day struggles of life in a rural town, that I knew I had to find out more about Miss Gentry.
My brief, but fruitful search turned up many nuggets of information, one very sad, and culminated in finding a great-grandson of one of Fon's sisters, who has posted the Gentry family history on a genealogy website. I sent him the article, which he had never seen before, and his family was thrilled to receive it. He sent me some pictures and information about the family, and then I interviewed him over the phone. Such are the rewards awaiting those who are obsessively curious.
Please check out the old newspaper articles I have posted on these pages, especially "Dauphin School," where you will learn about Fon Gentry. I will add more articles from time to time, and perhaps a few more accounts of successful searches for the stories about the people in the articles.
When I saw this old newspaper article on the Internet, I was captivated by the author's simple eloquence and his vivid description of life on the Wisconsin frontier more than 150 years ago. I wanted to know more about him. Very quickly, I was able to identify him in the US Census … [Read more...]
Mr. Robert Curran, accompanied by Mrs. E. Higgins, the matron in charge, arrived over the Milwaukee at 8:06 yesterday morning with a flock of orphans from the Catholic foundling asylum in New York. There were seventeen of them who alighted from one of the coaches and marched in … [Read more...]
The names of emigrants who left Schuyler county in 1849 for California, as furnished by Jonathan D. Manlove, Esq., leader of the company. The company left Rushville on the first of April and reached Feather River on the 22nd of October: John Blackford, Samuel Boring, Jacob … [Read more...]
The first article below, and the additional one I found later got my curiosity up. Who was this Dr. Rae Felt? "Interesting name," I thought. And notice in the second article that the X-ray technology he demonstrated in April was apparently used to advantage, just a few months … [Read more...]
Within two years a man standing in Indianapolis will be able to put his finger on every farmhouse in Indiana - that is, on the map, says the Indianapolis News. This is one of the details of the rural mail delivery experiment that the government is working out in Indiana. If in … [Read more...]
There died at the county home a few days ago a woman remarkable in one respect, and that is that she in all probability held the world record as to successive days spent in the almshouse. Her name is Lynn Anderson and she was about 80 years old, and about 76 of those years had … [Read more...]
That pack of two-legged live stock known as the McDermotts had a field day on Thursday. The fight commenced at 1 o'clock and continued until seven in the evening. It was the greatest female "scrap" ever known in Corkedale's row, a bunch of tenements at the Five Points. Men also … [Read more...]
Miss Hattie Squires, a most beautiful and modest maiden of sixteen summers, living three miles east of Tifton, was married to Mr. Cecil E. Bower, a worthy young business man of our city, last Sunday afternoon at the Methodist Parsonage, Rev. E.M. Whiting officiating, and the … [Read more...]
Last week Mr. James Tuttle and a Mrs. Chapman, living about seven miles north of Louisville, eloped. Mr. Tuttle was a married man and Mrs. Chapman a married woman, each having a family. They were close neighbors, and rumors of improper intimacy between the two have been going the … [Read more...]
The iceless refrigerator, which is the very latest refinement of the electrical industry, threatens to dethrone the ice man so effectually that it may be but a short time before his shining morning face will no longer be seen at the back door. The iceless refrigerator has been … [Read more...]
The following articles appeared in the Westphalia Times (Kansas), in 1885 and 1886. November 12, 1885 M.F. Moore sold his drug store to Knapp & Son, and Dr. Frankenstein will conduct it. Dec 17, 1885 Dr. Franckinstein showed us Tuesday, pieces of a frog or snake … [Read more...]