More Notes, 1886 Newspaper

I Can’t Believe They Published That!


Joe Ganger


From 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. The subject matter often left me shaking my head. Front page: “Mrs. Rommel lives out in the country, and when she went to bed last Wednesday night she threw her bustle on top of the wood in the wood box. It was an awful cold night and Mr. Rommel got up about midnight to see if his vegetables were safe in the cellar, and his eyes fell on the bustle. Mr. Rommel was badly startled and picking up his axe shouted to his wife in the loudest tones, “Mine Gott in Himmel, dere vas eine Voodchucken in dere vooodbox,” and let fly with all his might  completely killing the varmint at first blow. It is unnecessary to add that Mrs. Rommel was glad it was just what it was when he hit it, instead of being in active service. The bustles do look somewhat like woodchucks, but I never thought of it until Mr. Rommel did.”

Sturgis Mall  Also Front Page: “The friends and acquaintances of Miss Rose Burrit will no doubt be pleased to learn that she has returned from Ann Arbor where about four weeks ago she heroically submitted to the formidable operation of having an ovarian tumor removed. The tumor had been forming for upwards of two years and at the time of its removal had attained the proportions of a medium sized pumpkin and weighed about 30 pounds. During the growth of the tumor Miss Burritt’s health became all but a complete wreck, and up to the moment of operation she had given up all hope of ever being any better or of enjoying anything in this world save the release that death would bring, but thanks to the progress of modern surgery and that overruling providence that is guarding and using it for the alleviation of human suffering, Miss Burrit’s present prospects of recovery and restoration to health and happiness are about as fair as the painful experience of the past two years had only been a trouble dream.”

Coldwater Republican “Mrs. H, H, Neisler, living near Delta, Ga., in Macon County, had a Plymouth Rock rooster to die last week from overeating. After the death it was cut open and found to have swallowed one hundred and ten grains of corn, fifty-two Spanish ground peas, and a large quantity of meal dough, from the effects of which death resulted in twenty-four hours.”  Long gone clothing items advertised by F. S. Clement & Co. of Colon include cloaks, white hoods, corsets, and self-lacing gloves.