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MARY BRASWELL: Looking Back at Albany in January 1896

HISTORY COLUMN: Area news from January 1896.

Mary Braswell

Mary Braswell

While not 24 hours a day, there has always been news to report. Here is a look at what was making headlines in January 1896.

— A man was shot and killed at the intersection of Jackson and State streets on a Tuesday evening just before 8 p.m. The shooter believed that the victim had “invaded the sanctity of his home” and therefore emptied two loads of bird shot into the man’s chest and neck.

— Mrs. Burton L. Weston opened her private school at the corner of Monroe and Residence. Monthly terms were as follows: Primary instruction - $2.50; Intermediate instruction - $3 and Collegiate instruction - $4.

— The temperatures were fine for hog-killing and “many a porker lies salted down.”

— Wanted: A boy to learn the printer’s trade. Must have a basic education and be at least 13 years old.

— D. Fleming and Co. announced the recent delivery of fresh pickles, both sweet and sour.

— The Albany Guards’ gymnasium was preparing to open. Located at the armory, the gym would be housed in the space used by the Albany Opera House, necessitating its closure. A revolutionary idea for the gym was to provide a culture of physical activity for women and children as well as men. Dues were $1 per month.

— The spring term of Albany Academy opened, free to elementary children. Higher mathematics and Latin carried an extra fee for books and instructors.

— As the new year began, four of the city’s 21 saloons chose not to renew their licenses and closed the doors. The number of establishments selling liquor by the drink was believed to simply be too many for the drinking population of Albany.

— Charlie Quong guaranteed first-class hand work at his City Chinese Laundry near the police barracks in downtown Albany.

— The Albany Brick Manufacturing Company boasted of s daily capacity of 50,000 bricks on its yard.

— A young man was tried for insanity before Judge Sam Smith and found, by a jury, to be a fit subject for the lunatic asylum in Milledgeville.

— Complaints were numerous concerning the telephone exchange service in Albany. Most of the difficulty was at night when after about 11:00 p.m. it was nearly impossible to arouse an operator at the central office. It was noted by the newspaper that one such time occurred when a fire was trying to be reported.

— The Albany Fire Department provided a list of inventory for the City Council. On hand were two hose wagons with two horses, one hook and ladder truck with one mule, one steam fire engine, 1,500 feet of hose in good condition as well as pipes, relief valves and hydrant wrenches. In the year just past, the department was called out 18 times. Including salaries, telephone, uniforms and horse feed, the department spent $3,627.98 in 1895.

— The Albany City Council voted to purchase a lot for $325 on which a school for black children would be built.

— A young bootblack (shoeshine boy) named Coxey was a familiar face around Albany. When Coxey was not shining shoes, he could be seen picking up items found dropped in the streets. A Herald reporter asked Coxey what was in his bulging pockets and here is a partial list of what was found: several cigar stumps, a harmonica, pieces of wire, two boxes of blacking, rags, a rabbit’s foot, a pipe stem, an old newspaper, buttons, nails, two socks, tan polish, a knife, a drinking cup and a screwdriver.

— For rent: A nice six-room cottage on Washington Street, opposite Central of Georgia’s freight house...$10 per month.

— A rather large ball was held at Philema and quite a number of young gentlemen drove the 16 miles through the country to attend.

— Down at the electric plant, while the machinery was making a great deal of noise, someone slipped in and helped himself to a fair-sized load of firewood.

— According to the advertisement, Brooks Early Bird Worm Syrup, pleasant as honey, never failed to “get all the worms from children.” The concoction was available at Sale-Davis Drug Company for 25 cents.

— The contract was awarded for the construction of the new Episcopal Church at the corner of Flint and Jefferson streets. Members of St. Paul’s congregation raised $8,000 for the building project. The construction bid was $7,725.

— Upon deposit at the Exchange Bank, a $10 gold coin was found to be counterfeit. Instead of being inscribed with “In God We Trust” the coin read “In God Our Trust.”

— An employee of the Georgia Cotton Seed Oil Company fell victim to a serious injury when, as he worked on a machine, the saw blades were set in motion. It was Dr. P.L. Hilsman that attended the injured worker and amputated his right hand and part of his forearm. So serious and delicate was the operation that it was neccessary to administer chloroform.

— Tip for cooks: A good use for leftover rice is to mix it with chopped meat and eggs and fry it like an omlette for lunch.

— The Sale-Davis Drug Company purchased a corner house and lot on Broad Street with plans to build an opera house.

— Albany had two store burglary reports in one week. While there was no cash to steal, merchandise was taken, including a variety of canned goods.

— As of the middle of the month, there was not a single unoccupied store within the city of Albany.

— In the woods just to the rear of Shackleford’s Store in East Albany, a small band of gypsies was reportedly camped.

— For sale: 8,000 cypress shingles, all heart. Cost: $2.50 per thousand.

Quiz

A petition from the fifth grade at the Albany Academy was presented to the Albany City Council. What were the students requesting?

a) an additional teacher

b) swings

c) a longer break between sessions

d) shade trees

Answer

d) shade trees

The chairman of the Street Committee was instructed to put out 200 shade trees where they were most-needed within the city, including an ample number on the Academy grounds.