‘Twas a Dull Week: March 2, 1888 Argus

Above all else, I value people who are down to earth and honest. The Argus did not fail me as it tells you right there on the first page: ’twas a dull week. Rather than do what news outlets do today–make trivial stuff into “big news”–they just flat out said, Hey guys, sorry but not a lot happened this week. If you don’t expect too much, you might not be let down.

I admire that. But despite their protestations to the contrary, some stuff did happen:

  • A dozen or so “lucky teachers” were licensed. I’m not sure why they were lucky…was the licensing exam a game of chance like horseshoes? When I took my Michigan Teacher exams I didn’t rely on luck and when I passed them I felt grateful, but not lucky. Interesting choice of words.
  • Jacob Weidelich stabbed his friend John Weidemon in Pittsfield. Jacob wanted to spend the night there, John wasn’t having it, Jacob was drunk and had a jack-knife and…you can figure out the rest. Reports of John’s death were apparently exaggerated several times that week but the latest report said he would recover.
  • The vote on prohibition failed. The Argus reported that people drove miles over rough roads and in cold, harsh winds to cast their vote. So why can’t we walk across the street to do so? And it just dawned on me that when they said “people” they meant “men”.
  • The jail wasn’t full, with only 155 souls inside–six of whom were women. Two charged with being drunk and disorderly and four on vagrancy. Of the male inmates, the whopping majority (95) were in jail for being drunk and disorderly. One was in there for wife beating. (I wonder how bad you had to beat your old lady to get put in jail for it back in those days). All male prisoners over the age of 16 were locked in one room during the day and one room at night. (!!!!!) The basement was wet and needed to be drained.
  • If you had dyspepsia, you could buy a tonic at your local druggists! Made by (ahem) Phillip Best Brewing Company in Wisconsin, it was a “concentrated liquid extract of malt and hops”. It was the “most wholesome Table Beverage” and “priceless to nursing mothers”.

Those were the days, friends! And clearly not so dull at all.

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