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Archive for Wednesday, January 12, 2011

100 years ago: Frozen pipes for Lawrence residents; overnight prisoner brings smallpox infection into city jail

January 12, 2011

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From the Lawrence Daily World for Jan. 12, 1911:

  • “’Twas cuddle up a little closer weather last night and nobody is more keenly aware of it than Lawrence. All morning the plumbers have been answering frantic calls from homes where the house holder was frenziedly trying to save himself and family from a watery grave. Although Lawrence was duly warned, many people neglected to drain their water pipes and the latter retaliated for the neglect by freezing up and running all over the floor. The weather moderated shortly after 2 o’clock this morning with the result that pipes which had previously frozen, melted enough to flood the bath rooms. The city gas supply stood the strain moderately well, there being plenty in all homes for breakfast and a little warmth in the living rooms.”
  • “Harkening to the piteous plea of a half frozen hobo last night will probably cost the city a hundred dollars. A shivering tramp was given free bed in the city jail away from the biting cold, and this morning he had developed a virulent attack of small pox. [Officials] concluded that the pest house was not a fit place in which to confine even a specimen of the genus hobo, so arrangements will be made to quarter him in a room of the old county jail building. If consternation reigned at police headquarters it was nothing as compared with the panic which prevailed among the other inmates of the city prison. There are five prisoners confined in the jail for various petty offenses. Dr. Keith herded them in the corridor and fumigated the jail thoroughly. This afternoon they are being vaccinated. The hobo gave his name as Jas. Wilson. He must be cared for by the city from three to five weeks and the five prisoners in the jail must be kept at least three weeks to see if any germs have lodged in their systems.”

Comments

Sarah St. John 3 years, 3 months ago

Kernal, I interpreted lonebunny's comment differently -- more like a regretful sigh, wondering why words like that aren't used more often. (If the bunny's identity is what I suspect, then I would say, not only Dickens but a whole lot more!)

There was more than one paper -- the World and the Journal. (Bet that wasn't too hard to guess!) I use the World as my source as it is more of a "direct ancestor" of today's J-W. I think the World was up to about 8 pages by this time (1911) but most of the local stuff is on the first couple of pages. I do like to take a look at the advertisements from time to time because they're a lot of fun. I wish you could actually see them -- someday there might be a way for me to do that.

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kernal 3 years, 3 months ago

Are you asking for a definition of latter and harkening? Latter is still frequently used although harkening is a bit dated now. I take it you haven't read any Dickens.

Not sure if there was still more than one newspaper operating in Lawrence in 1910, but I imagine there wasn't a whole lot of daily news. I've seen copies of old small town dailies from that era and many were only one page.

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lonebunny 3 years, 3 months ago

They don't write like that anymore! Does anyone know what "latter" and "harkening" mean anymore? or how to correctly spell vaccinated?

Would the editor of this column be permitted to add comments from today's perspective on yesteryear's activities? I'd like to see those. There must be a reason she chooses the stories she does.

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