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
March 21, 1888

School Report
Stephen Lewis, teacher of Russell school, Warsaw township, reports as follows for the month ending March 13: No. in attendance, males, 12; females, 20; total, 32. Per cent of attendance, 92.

Those present every day were, Nellie Butler, Mable, Kittie and Ida Bartlett, Sadie and Mable Johnson, Nora and Etta Stahlman, Will and Sammy Bartlett, Ray Casper, and Curtis Space.

Gas Ignited by Lightning
At precisely 4:15 o'clock this morning by Christ Miller's watch and chain, while the heavens were lit by the lurid lightning's fitful flare, there came a crash of thunder sound, (the boy, oh where was he) and a brilliant flame quickly lighted up the region round about the gasometer.

An alarm of fire was given and soon the people were rushing pell mell to the scene of the conflagration, when it was found that the escape pipe of the gasometer had been set on fire by a flash of lightning and was burning briskly.

No harm was done but everybody concluded that the escaping gas must either have ascended very high or the lighting descended very low in order to create combustion. That was all.

March 28, 1888

Fire at Clarion
About 1 o'clock last Saturday morning a frame structure in the rear of W. L. Corbett's law office, Clarion, Pa. was discovered to be on

The flames were soon communicated to Mrs. J.C. Wilson's dry goods store, and to the law office of McComb & Ivory, a one story frame building and all were consumed.

The loss of the three frame buildings would be about $3,000, and stock of dry goods probably $8,000 upon which there was an insurance of $4,000.

Smallpox in Elk County

Mr. H. French, who is lumbering at Kelt's Hollow, Horton township, about two miles from Shawmut, was taken ill a few days since and, upon consulting a physician, it was pronounced a mild type of smallpox, commonly known a varioloid.

Immediately after the announcement of this face about one hundred of the employees about the camp and the lumbering operations were vaccinated, and every precaution taken to prevent the contagion from spreading.
— Ridgway Advocate