Way Back When

(The Spirit is pleased to share with our readers vignettes of life in the 19th century as originally reported in past issues of the newspapers. These reproduced stories include their original headlines and spelling.)

Local Intelligence
September 15, 1897

The Big Roller
The big steam roller which cost the borough 3,000 rouleaus, lawful money of merchants, came last Friday, and was put to work.

Two men came with it to instruct the local engineers as to its habits and eccentricities.

It is rather a neat piece of machinery. It weighs twelve tons, and when it passes over a section of yielding earth, it leaves no doubt in the minds of the indigenous angle worm that something heavy has passed over its head.

The roller is modeled something after the style of the Juggernaut, used in India to flatten out the faithful who feel inclined to quit this mortal life for the realms of eternal rest.

Many and various are the opinions by local ages as to the utility of the monster and the wisdom of the council in expending sufficient revenue for its purchase.

Some are bold enough to predict that it will become an elephant on our hands, and will not yield heavy returns on the investment, while others believe that it has come to fill a long felt want, and that no town amounts to much that does not have a good roller.

Our own opinion is that it will do much towards giving us smooth, compact streets, and that neighboring towns will rent it and pay enough for its use to materially lighten its cost to this borough.

A Musical Treat
The concert given in the Baptist church, last Thursday night by the Choral Union, was by far the best yet given by that organization. The special numbers receive the unstinted applause of the audience.

Several of the members received an encore which was generally so enthusiastic as to leave no doubt of its genuineness.

Those who sang special numbers were John T. Evans, tenor sole, "Child Home;" Miss Bessie Putney, soprano solo, "By-lo-love;" Mrs. S. S. Hamilton, soprano solo, "Jerusalem;" Miss. Grace Miller, soprano solo, "Nightingale song," and Mrs. W. Wade Miller, "The Holy City." Instrumental solos by Miss Douglass, Carrol McAfee, Fred Warren and Henry I. Wilson, of Big Run, each brought an unmistakable call for another, and was responded to.

The trombone solo by Fred Warren, and the violin solo by Henry I. Wilson were new attractions. Mr. Warren's rendition of "Old Folks at Home," with variations, on the trombone, was the finest piece of work possible, and Henry I. Wilson's selection would have enraptured a Stradivari.

Will Winslow presided at the organ, and was reinforced by Messrs. Dr. Walters and Steel, baritone and coronet.

The only needed attraction for these concerts necessary to Prof. Adams success is about 200 more people.