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Looking Back Feb. 6

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

In yet another search through dozens and dozens of bound issues of the newspaper, the February 1892 editions were discovered. Here is a look back at tidbits from The Albany Herald when the publication was a mere four months old.

* An ordinance was adopted by the City Council stating that all licensed drays, hacks and omnibuses be in good repair and that all horses and mules used by the vehicles be fit for such service and the penalty for transgression thereof, being not less than $100 or work on the streets or imprisonment not exceeding 200 days, or both.

* The city physician reported that he had attended 16 patients during the month of January just ending and but one death.

* The city ran an announcement to remind citizens that it was illegal for hogs, goats and sheep to run at large within the city limits. Such animals would be impounded and the owner responsible for a $1 impounding fee before the animal would be returned.

* Each week a list of unclaimed letters ran in the paper. Those listed had 15 days to claim their mail before it was sent to the dead letters office.

* Residents in Albany were informed that the street sprinklers would be utilized soon and as needed in dry weather conditions.

* Masked, shrouded and mysterious figures by the dozens attended the event of the season -- a masquerade ball held under the auspices of Miss Murrow's dancing class. Included in the crowd were Cupid, Little Bo Peep, red and white stick candy, sailors, a Herald newsboy, Uncle Sam and the Queen of Hearts. Giving no additional description, one couple came as the "Day After Tomorrow" and the "Night Before Last."

* Albany's Crain & Sons store had U.S. history 10-cent lock boxes for storing pencils, pens and such.

* A persistent hole in Broad Avenue drew the attention of the city's street overseer. The search was on for a firm material with which to fill the hole permanently.

* A local man was in jail for pleading poverty in the face of an honest debt, then spending hundreds of dollars to open a new business. The Herald stated that it had "not one bit of sympathy for him."

* Wanted: a young canary bird ... must be good singer.

* The regular extension passenger train never made it to Albany on Feb. 9 "on account of" a wreck two miles below Leary.

* A plan for Albany's waterworks and sewerage scheme was presented to the mayor. It was estimated that the new system could be completed in six months.

* The Commercial Bank of Albany reported a paid up capital of $100,000.

* Until the state stopped the practice, dead animals in the area were simply thrown in the Flint River and allowed to be carried downstream. After that time, the bodies were buried just outside the city limits. The practice then became to carry dead animals to the fairgrounds north of the city and allow them to decay in the open air, even though there was a cost of $2.50 to remove large animals. This practice brought numerous complaints from residents of the area.

* The city of Albany purchased Capt. Wight's artesian well and the Commerce Street well. The cost of the two wells and the mains and piping belonging to them was about $11,000.

* A new 10-year contract was signed with the Edison Electric Light Company was signed by the city.

* Confederate veterans and all old soldiers were invited to a noon meeting at the courthouse to make plans for a Reunion Day.

* Owing to the remodeling of the Baptist Church, services were held at the courthouse.

* A power outage in Albany was the result of the 5 1/2-foot flywheel slipping out of place on the "big engine," a discovery that was made just in the nick of time. The wheel, which revolved at 275 times per minute, was stopped short of coming completely off its shaft-something that would have caused destruction of everything in its path. Power was restored to the city in less than an hour.

* The two tennis courts in the northern part of the city were seeing increased use.

* A Worth County farmer came to Albany on business. Arriving in the early hours of the night, he stabled his animals and parked his wagon at Cook's wagon yard. The man went to sleep sometime after midnight while several men remained awake around the fire. When he awoke, the leather purse in his pants pocket had been emptied of a large sum of money. Gone was a $20 bill, a $5 bill and several silver dollars.

If there had been a Squawkbox in 1892, these quips would likely have appeared:

* A stranger within our gates yesterday remarked that Albany was the sorriest place for public buildings that he knew. Put out the man!

* The city fathers ought to make people keep their gates shut, and thus, save many a collision on dark nights.

* Warehouse wagons seem to be the favorite place for thieves to get in their work.

* Albany will need to hustle if she wants to keep up with her sister city, Dawson. A thousand-dollar pipe organ has been ordered for the Methodist Church and delivery men are on their way.

* At one of the churches Sunday evening, some of young men behaved in such a manner as to call forth rebuke.

* The stores on Broad Street that have received a fresh coat of paint are much improved. Let the others do the same.

* Artesian Well No. 1 still makes a "babbling brook" down Broad Street.

* If the newspapers did all the growling and kicking that they are asked to do, they would soon develop chronic sore-head.