Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I'm sitting on my bed tonight writing this blog article on my tiny laptop. Next to my laptop is a copy of the Kanas City Daily Journal, dated Monday, April 21, 1890. Yes, it's that old, and seriously yellow and brittle. (I would probably be yellow and brittle if I were over one hundred years old, too.) Anyway, I think it's ironic to have something that old next to this modern technology.

I love old magazines and newspapers. I have framed several old papers because I like the way they look on the wall, and it keeps them safely intact. Surprisingly, there are many available for sale, and unless they are of historical significance, they are fairly inexpensive. Owning an old newspaper gives me a sense of awe. Over a hundred years ago someone bought this paper and read it. That person has been gone a long time, yet I'm holding the paper he or she read.

I don't know a lot about the Kansas City Daily Journal except that it was printed in Kansas City, obviously. But I thought I'd share a few of the articles from the front page that I found interesting. They could even be seeds for a historical novel.

An Uncle Shoots the Top of His Nephews Head Off

Chambersburg, PA., April 20. -- John Rhodes, a well-known farmer living near Green Castle, shot and instantly killed his nephew, William Rhodes, last evening during a quarrel on the farm of the former. The uncle taunted his nephew about the latter's crippled son, and the young man threatened to shoot him.

Rhodes then stepped into the house, got his gun and fired at his nephew who was standing only six feet away. The load struck the young man fair in the forehead and blew the whole top of his head off. The uncle is now in jail here.

(I love the old timey language--fair in the forehead.)

Desperadoes Killed

Cinncinnati, April 20. -- A Commercial-Gazette special from Catlettsburg, Ky., reports the killing in West Virginia, near Pigeon creek, last Friday, of Smith Baisden, John Baisden, and William Baisden, three brothers, noted desperadoes. James Brewer, deputy sheriff, and posse attempted to arrest them and were fired upon. A battle ensued and the desperadoes were killed or mortally wounded and captured.

(Desperadoes is an old timey word, too.)

Another Female Poisoner

Pittsburg PA., April 20 -- Pretty 16-year-old Mary Stewart, of McKeesport, is under arrest on a charge of poisoning. Friday the girl cooked soup for dinner. All the family but her partook and were immediately seized with violent pains. Physicians pronounce the case as arsenical poisoning. A 4-year-old boy died yesterday and three others of the family are in a serious condition. The girl evades all questions, and stoutly declares her innocence. She says she did not eat the soup because she did not care for it.

(The title of this article is interesting. ANOTHER female poisoner--implying there are more of them. As if all sorts of females are poisoning people.)


  1. Re: the female poisoner article, I think it's interesting that she is mentioned as "pretty," why is that included? I got the impression from the title that poisoning people tend to be females. Interesting post!

  2. Lis, I got that impression, too. Good point about the word pretty in the article. I guess the fact that she's pretty makes for a better story? If she were ugly, people would just nod and say, "Yeah, it figures. She's ugly." ??? LOL.

  3. The first one is too sad. They are all so interesting, though. And it just goes to show how little things change despite how we tend to think they do.

  4. That's an interesting point and a good one. Things don't change, do they?

  5. Yes, I think the word "another" is used as in "another female", not "another poisoner." I think women tend to use poison for murder more often than men do ... (the things that writers know!).

    And I know what you mean about having such an old thing next to such a modern one ... I love that sense of irony and awe!

  6. Ashlee, I was thinking about that, too. How statistically woman commit crimes like poisoning.

  7. You might be interested in this post: "Serial Killer Girls." (easy to locate on google)

    Intro to the post: "Among the 24 cases listed here only that of Mary Bell is well-known. The Australian cases of Helen Patricia Moore is known in that country but is little-known elsewhere, Clementine Barnabet has begun to get a little attention in the past few years, but previously ignored by the experts. The others, even those over a century old have been overlooked by criminologists."


Newsletter Subscribe



Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.

Historical Romantic Suspense

Historical Romance



Popular Posts

Guest Registry