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MARY BRASWELL: Looking Back, May 25, 2014

HISTORY: News from late May and early June 1895.

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.

A look through the pages of The Albany Herald in late May and early June 1895 delivers news about life at that time.

— Baker County Superior Court was not convened as planned for May. There were no criminal cases to be heard and so, no need to go to the time and expense of empaneling a jury.

— A vital statistics report stated that only six persons out of every 1,000 born would live long enough to see 75 years of age.

— For sale: 3,000 pounds of fresh, genuine home-made lard… 50-pound can lots sold for 10-cents per pound, smaller amounts were available for 11-cents per pound.

— A recommendation was made through the postal service that those purchasing postage stamps moisten them with a cloth or sponge. Licking the stamps, often handled by numerous unknown persons in unknown locations, could result in scarlet fever, diphtheria, smallpox or any number of other diseases.

— The Albany City Council asked that the city sexton be required to attend the next scheduled meeting to explain why the city cemetery was not kept in better condition.

— Albany Drug Co. issued a bill for materials purchased to paint the buildings of the fire department. The city agreed to promptly pay the $22 owed.

— The Baptist Church in Camilla had on hand the means to construct a parsonage on a beautiful lot near the church and planned to do just that.

— After introducing cotton seed hulls to their hogs as a part of their feed, several local farmers reported the death of the animals. Although safe for horses and mules, it appeared the same was lethal for swine.

— Parents were warned of a dangerous game afoot by little girls and boys alike. Children seemed to enjoy standing on the railroad tracks on Monroe Street, apparently to see who would remain there the longest as a train approached. The engineer of one such train asked the Herald to print a warning that, although thus far he had been able to apply the air brakes in time to avoid disaster, he feared one day a child would be killed through no fault of the train or its operator.

— An employee of Solomon’s Whiskey House was jailed for larceny. The man would hide a bottle (or more) in the back yard of the business to be retrieved after the store closed. Unfortunately for him, a couple of spies caught on to his trick, took the stash and went on a bender at which time they told the story of how they came in possession of the valuable liquor.

— A savage fire from a faulty wood-stove destroyed the Barton homeplace and out houses in East Albany. The home, considered a landmark, was built long before the war (Civil War). The loss was estimated at $2,000 which was partially covered by a $1,000 insurance policy.

— Albany health officials reported filthy conditions in numerous alleys behind otherwise reputable businesses. The owners of the property were ordered to immediately clean up the areas or be willing to face a judge. Any violation of cleanliness and/or sanitation could result in a fine not to exceed $100 or imprisonment at the Guard House or work on the streets or other public works not to exceed 200 days.

— The decision by the United States Supreme Court regarding income tax was received in Albany. The Court declared the whole income tax act to be unconstitutional. This ruling stood until the 16th Amendment gave Uncle Sam the power to tax incomes”from whatever source derived” in 1913

— Congress appropriated $8,000 for improvements along the Flint River from Newton to Bainbridge. The channel from Albany to Newton was considered finished with its its depth and width and straight path sufficient to allow navigation year-round.

— (As advertised) Golden Eagle Rye Whiskey has the softness of velvet and the farewell of a juicy peach. It aids digestion and is unsurpassed for medicinal purposes. Try a quart for $1.

Subscribers to the Herald were reminded that the newspaper could be mailed daily for 10-cents per week in advance to the vacation spots of choice.

— Dougherty County’s convict chain gang was short two in number after a double escape. The convicts were on the sick list and chained and locked in the stockade at the time of their disappearance. One was a notorious chicken and turkey thief while the other “had a weakness for believing everything he touched belonged to him.”

— The largest watermelon seen yet for the season was delivered to the newspaper from Mitchell County. The jumbo fruit weighed in at 18 1/2 pounds.

— Albany’s City Treasurer’s report, up to June 1st, showed a balance on hand of $1,046.67.

— Several counting machines were being tested in cities throughout Georgia, especially at banks. The figures were made by pressing keys, similar to a typewriter, printed on a roll of paper and then, with the pressure on a button and the turning of a crank “will add up the entire column with absolute accuracy.” The price for such a clever machine was a whopping $375.

— Due to much wasted water, the use of the city’s street sprinkling hoses allowed within the business district was limited to two hours each day. Those wishing to sprinkle the areas in front of their places of business had to do so between 6-7:00 am and 3-4:00 pm.

— A leak was suspected in the Broad Street artesian well as the flow continued to decrease. The cure was to clean out the well and inspect the casing, a task that was expected to be completed soon as the summer heat was rapidly approaching and it was depended upon by many residents and visitors.

— Burglars visited the kitchen of a residence of Broad Street and took every provision in sight. The homeowners had just laid in a week’s supply of items that very afternoon, possibly as much as $20 worth of groceries.

— John B. Lamar, chief of police in Americus, took a large amount of strychnine and died in what was described as “terrible agony.” The deceased was about 38 years old and considered one of the best police officers in the state. Friends and family were at a loss as to why such a highly esteemed man would decide to end his life.

Quik Quiz answer

a) four - New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas