Colon Lake Breeze; 1886

Noticed Anything Strange About Bill Tomlinson?


Joe Ganger


I was admiring a copy of the third edition of the local newspaper named at that time, “Colon Lake Breeze.” The date is December 24, 1886 (subscription was $1 a year). It contains an insight into the editorial liberties of the time. Other publications were freely quoted. “A little domestic trouble within one of the pleasant dwellings at Leonidas has been the topic of conversation of that quiet town for the past few days, but, also for a love affair, everything is serene and blissful again.”

“Raffles are all the craze in Three Rivers this winter.”

“Nearly all of the towns in the county are agitating the subject of a toboggan slide.”

“A new orchestra has been organized in Mendon under the management of Doc. Hunt, late of the well known Whitney family.”

“A gentleman from Leonidas remarked the other day that Colon was doing considerable building this winter, as he had noticed nine new structures that had recently gone up … on the ice.”

“Enos Barrel was stricken with apoplexy while in his saloon on Tuesday afternoon and was at once removed to his room where he remained in an unconscious condition until his death the following day. He was of 61 years old, of temperable habits through life, and enjoyed the reputation in business circles of strict integrity. Three Rivers News Reporter

“D. Manse, of Colon, St. Joseph County, recently came into possession of $25,000 by the death of a California relative, and a cousin received a like amount. Then the two started in business together, but while making their arrangements the cousin was taken sick and died. By a will he left his share also to Mr. Manse. Vicksburg Commercial

“Sleighing is very good around town and parties possessing a horse and cutter have been enjoying the pleasures of a sleigh ride.”

“William Tomlinson, for several years Justice of the Peace of this place and very prominent in business circles, was arrested last Wednesday on complaint of Ann Rogers to keep the peace, on account of certain threats made by Mr. Tomlinson against Mr. Rogers, which if carried out would prove very injurious to Mr. Rogers.  Mr. Tomlinson is about 67 years old and for the past two weeks has developed symptoms of insanity of a mild form, but is hoped by his many friends that he will soon recover from this malady.”