Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bits & Pieces: Uncle Harry, Life-threatening Illnesses, Carrollton Social Notes, The Town's First Electric Streetlights

Bits & Pieces is a continuing series of posts containing scrapbook snippets that have great info but are too short for stand-alone posts. Some of these small items are too good to leave behind!

1. Sarah's Uncle Harry

Richard Henry Cost, Jr., a.k.a. Harry, must have been quite a character. Sarah estimated the photo's date as 1899 and wrote this caption: "Harry Cost acting as Hebrew vendor at his office."

That leaves us wondering: Why was Harry acting as a Hebrew vendor? Was he in a play? Was he just being goofy? How frustrating that we'll never know!

I'm not having much luck finding information about Harry, but I'll keep on digging.

As you may have seen in a previous post, Harry was Sarah's uncle (her mother's brother), but he was just seven years older than Sarah. Her references to him are rarely preceded by "Uncle," and I think they were probably more like cousins than uncle and niece.

2. Family Battles with Bronchitis, Pneumonia, and Typhoid Fever.

Writing in later years, Sarah recalled her family's battles with life-threatening illnesses. Her baby brother Chandler was just 19 months old when he died of pneumonia on November 10, 1889. No wonder Sarah understood her mother's tears when baby sister Leonora was so ill in January 1898. A transcription follows the image of Sarah's handwriting.
Christmas, 1897, and Leonora’s first birthday came – a rather quiet Christmas, and soon after New Year’s that brought in the momentous year of 1898 (to the U.S. as well as to us), Leonora was very sick, with bronchitis. I remember seeing Mama stitching cotton batting into a little shirt, to keep her warm in her cradle, and the tears dripping as she did, for she remembered Chandler’s sickness and death at almost that age, with pneumonia. Mama was almost 37 when Leonora was born, and 38, of course, Christmas of ’97 (she was born Dec. 24, 1859) – and Papa had his 43rd birthday Jan. 18 of ’98. His hair was already completely gray, indeed I can’t remember him (and I do remember him from the time he was 31 and I was 3) with his hair anything but gray! Perhaps the very terrible spell of typhoid fever he had the year I first remember him left it that way. Typhoid was something in those days – Papa in bed 13 weeks and in 1890 Harry was in bed with it for four or five months.

3. An 'A' Grade on the Subject of Books

On April 2, 1897, Sarah Eva Howe did a school assignment, writing a response to the question "What Are Books Good For?" As usual, she got the top grade, an A. Here are excerpts from that theme, which was written on stationery of Carrollton Woolen Mills, a Howe family business.
If anyone had propounded that question to me, casually, I should have answered promptly: To read," as that is the use to which I generally put them, but in an essay one should be more lengthy. Books are the heritage of all nations. It seems wonderful that a man can write down his very thoughts, and hundreds of years afterward, have them read by multitudes of people; but such is the case. . . . Books of Theology, chief of which is the Bible, the Book of all Books, which combines poetry, story, history, prophesy, letters, proverbs, songs, facts, trite sayings, and which gives the oldest accounts of any book. . . . Books of fiction serve to entertain, amuse and ofteh instruct us, while many such books have a pure moral tone. Such books, if not misused, are very interesting and healthful and helpful to all; but the so-called French novels do very little or no good to either our minds or bodies.

4. Carrollton Social Notes 1895, 1896, 1897

A clipping from the Carrollton Democrat newspaper (publication date unknown) revisits what was happening in 1895.
  • W.T. Mosgrove sworn in as deputy sheriff. 
  • Matt Bridges admitted to Carroll county bar. 
  • Water works contract for Carrollton let for $19,755.64.
  • T.R. Bridges sailed for Europe
  • June 18, first issue of Carrollton Commercial, Republican. (Ceased publication October 8.)
  • July 28 – Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Leachman, 83 and 82 respectively, celebrated 60th marriage anniversary.
  • September 6, fire destroyed five buildings for Mrs. Gertrude Smith, C.D. Salyers' tin store, Browinski & Son's drug store, Kuhlman's shoe store and Dinkelspiel's stores; loss $60,000. (See the post dated September 15.)
  • Oct. 31, earthquake at 5:12 a.m.
  • Marriages: On January 9, 1895 G.W. Wells and Miss Cora Thompson at Worthville. June 11, Dr. B.L. Holmes and Miss Elizabeth Sanders. William Hill and Miss Dollie Latty. November 13, Barney Jeter and Miss Emma Sims. December 17, A. L. [or D?] Metcalfe and Miss Melissa Brindley. On December 26, 1895, John R. Davis and Miss Margie Cruse were married, Rev. Robert Hiner, D.D., performing the ceremony at the Southworth House in Carrollton. On the same day Dr. Hiner performed the marriage ceremony for Curtis Jackson and Miss Emma Dawson of Worthville community, a wedding trip to Glencoe following.
  • Michael Gill, 54, member of the fourth Kentucky Cavalry, C.S.A., died at Carson. His wife and several children, among them Miss Katie Gill, milliner here, surviving.
Published in the newspaper on January 1, 1896:
  • W.R. Fisher sold two cottages on High street to E.C. Smith for $1,000 cash.
  • Miss Sue Callendar, of this city, was married to Brent C. Wells, of Louisville.
  • Mrs. Harrison Corn, who has been ill, suffered a relapse last week, but is now somewhat improved.
Published in the newspaper on January 2, 1897:
  • Jett Bros. opened their new opera house, the Richland, with about 600 people present to see the historical drama, "The Man in the Iron Mask," Tuesday, December 29, 1896.
  • The new K. of P. hall was dedicated at Ghent December 30, 1896. [K. of P. stands for Knights of Pythias, an international fraternal and benevolent organization.]
  • February 2, 1896 – Elder G.M. Anderson called to Christian church. 
  • February 27, Rev. O.M. Huey called to Baptist church. 
  • April 2, Mrs. Mary Conway's 98th birthday. 
  • September 21, Rev. Wm. Shoesmith sent to M.E. church. 


 5. Street Lights in Carrollton

From an undated clipping from the Carrollton Democrat, this remembrance of Carrollton in 1898:
On Saturday night, April 16, the touch of a small lever sent a 220-volt current through 16 miles of wire in the city of Carrollton. Twenty-six arc lights, of 2,000-candle power each, on alternate street corners, illuminated the streets. The new electric light plant was said to be the best and most complete of its size to be found anywhere. The Carrollton Democrat issued four extra pages in celebration of the event.

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