18 July 2007

Reads the Record # 1.2: 1906 APR-JUN

[In this recurring feature, the Rabbit reads and writes about past issues of Chatham County's longest-running newspaper. For further explanation, see Chatham Rabbit Reads the Record.]


Local Doctor, Awaiting Trial, Cured of Morphine Habit

Four-legged Chicken Born in Chatham

Issues Surveyed
1906 APR 5, 12, 19, 26; MAY 3, 10, 17, 24; JUN 7, 14, 21, 28.

National and Foreign Affairs
Immigration. APR 5, editorial. "It is said that Italian anarchists are arriving in the United States in great numbers, and that Baltimore is rapidly becoming an anarchist center. It is a pity that they could not all be detected on their arrival and sent right back."

The San Francisco Earthquake. APR 26, editorial: "San Francisco was visited last week with the most destructive earthquake and conflagrations ever known in the United States." ... "The sufferings of the homeless people can scarcely be imagined. Think for a moment of over 300,000 people (men, women and children) suddenly driven from home with no provisions and many in their night clothing. Decrepit old men and women, delicate and refined ladies, invalids and sick persons, helpless children, all driven from their homes with scarcely a moment's warning, an affrighted crowd rushing for safety they knew not where. Families and loved ones separated in the struggling mass of humanity, and all panic-stricken. Wealthy persons suffered with poorer people with hunger and thirst, and knew not how or where to satisfy the pangs of either. Refined ladies slept on the bare ground with no shelter or even covering."

Oklahoma admitted. JUN 21, editorial: "Another star in the galaxy of States was added to the Union Saturday when President Roosevelt signed the bill admitting Oklahoma and Indian Territy under the name of the former as one State."

Local Stories Reported
Confederate memorial fund. APR 5: $1089.79. "Make it $1100 by next week!" APR 12: $1145.79 following "one contribution of $50 from Dr. Isaac Emerson, of Baltimore, who is a native of this county ...." APR 26: $1149.79. MAY 3: 1214.29, with $50 from W.W. Fuller, New York, who "moved from Durham to New York several years ago", and is "one of the most successful lawyers in the United States." MAY 10: $1219.29. MAY 17: $1221.29. MAY 24: $1232.29. "Do not wait until all the old soldiers are dead!" MAY 31: $1244.29. JUN 7, "Confederate Monument Fund": $1251.29. Follows a $1 contribution from J.G. Smith of Fayetteville, "the first that has been received from a colored person. He was born and reared in this county, near Haywood, and is now a teacher in the graded school for the colored race at Fayetteville, and is highly thought of by all who know him. In his letter sending his contribution (which was unsolicited) he wrote these words: 'Gratitude demands that I give my mite to any cause that will perpetuate the glory of the old soldiers.' This surely should stimulate our white countymen to contribute!". JUN 14: $1263.39.

The J.B. Matthews Affair. APR 12, "Local Records": "Dr. J.B. Matthews has been entirely cured of the morphine habit since his confinement in the jail at Greensboro. His physician says that he is now perfectly rational and his mind clear as anybody's. He has steadily gained in flesh. He is in jail awaiting the result of his appeal to the Supreme Court." APR 19, "Local Records": "Dr. J.B. Matthews has been released on a five thousand dollar bail bond, while awaiting the result of his appeal, which will not be heard until next fall. He has been taken to a Baltimore sanitarium for treatment for the morphine habit." MAY 24, "Local Records": "Dr. J.B. Matthews, who is now recuperating at the Mount Hope Santiarium, near Baltimore, Md., will in all probability remain at that institution until the motion for a new trial is arranged in his behalf before the Supreme Court in Raleigh next October." JUN 21, "Local Records": "Dr. J.B. Matthews returned to Greensboro on last Monday and renewed his bail bond, in the sum of $5,000, for his appearance pending his appeal to the Supreme Court. He is said to be much better mentally."

The press. MAY 3, "New Press": "We hope to print next week's issue on a cylinder press bought over a month ago, but could not be used because a part of it had been lost by the negligence of some railroad employee. This lost part has at last been found at Portsmouth and ought to be here in time for next week's issue. // "Ever since THE RECORD was established in 1878 it has been printed on an old Washington hand-press. In its place we have bought a cylinder press, which will of course print the paper much better and greatly improve its appearance." JUN 14, "Local Records": "On account of a breakage in our cylinder press we have to print this issue on the old Washington hand press. So if the print of your RECORD is not good you know the reason why. We expect to have the press in shape to print the next issue."

Samples from "Local Records". APR 12: "Chatham comes to the front once more with another curiosity. It is a chicken with four legs and all the same length, and belongs to Mr. Jasper Foushee, who lives five miles west of here." MAY 3: "Pittsboro's tonsorial artist, John Council, is no longer a gay widower, having marries last Sunday a daughter of Weldon Perry, a very respectable colored man who lives near here." MAY 17: "There will be a grand celebration at Durham some time in July in honor of the completion of the Durham & Southern and the Durham & South Carolina railroads. The first is from Apex and the latter is from Bonsal. Many citizens of Chatham will attend." JUN 7: "Mr. A.R. Norwood, of Baldwin township, had a rat-killing at his barn a few days ago. In less than an hour and a half he and his sons killed 98 of the pesky rodents, making a total of 197 rats that were killed by them by one device and another within the last month." JUN 21: "A number of our townsmen had an enjoyable fish-fry and picnic on the banks of Roberson creek, near the Haw river, yesterday." JUN 28: "The first cotton bloom sent to THE RECORD this season was plucked on last Sunday (the 24th) by Mr. James A. Parham, of Lockville."

Roads -- Policy, Reports, Opinion
APR 5, "Commissioners' Meeting": "ORDERED, that the sheriff be authorized to repair bridge in Matthews township on branch near Willis Brooks at cost not over $20."

Landmarks Referenced
Depot at Bonsal. APR 5: "The new railroad station at Bonsal is a busy place now. A large number of laborers is now at work there laying side-tracks and erecting a depot."

Bridge at Haywood. MAY 17: "The iron bridge over the Haw river at Haywood is having a fresh coat of paint put on. Messrs. L.R. Exline and F.S. Hill have the contract to paint it."

Bridge at Harland's Creek. MAY 24, "Local Records": "The county commissioners on last Tuesday let to Mr. Will E. Hearne the contract for building an open wooden bridge over Harlan's creek near the DeGraffenreidt place, four miles west of Pittsboro. The contract price was $248."

Bridge at Johnson' ford. JUN 7, "Local Records": "At a joint meeting of the boards of road and county commissioners Tuesday R.W. Bland was authorized to make an examination of the bridge site at Johnson's ford on Rocky river and make an estimate of the cost of building a bridge there and report to the boards the first Monday in July, when the propriety of building the bridge will be considered."

Bridge Repairs. JUN 7, "Commissioners' Meeting": $20.40, "Bynum & Burns, lumber for Green's bridge". $35.96, "R.E. Harris, balance on lumber for Fearrington's bridge". $3.10, "R.E. Harris, lumber for Bear Creek bridge".

Old stage road. MAY 17, "Local Records": "Mr. J.W. Moore has been appointed carrier on the new rural free delivery route from this place westward. Service on this route goes beyond Emmaus church, thence southwest to the old stage road and thence back to this place." JUN 21, "Visit to Siler": "For the first time in a year we made a hurried visit, on last Monday, to Siler City and were agreeably surprised to find so many improvements had been made and others in progress. No one could now recognize it as the same place that it was twenty-five years ago, when it was known as Mattews' [sic] Cross Roads and the only dwelling there was the residence of old Capt. Matthews, which is still standing. // "Nearly all the stores there now are handsome brick buildings, blocks of brick buildings and handsome residences now standing where, only a few years ago, were cornfields. Two large blocks of brick buildings are now being erected, having pressed brick fronts, the lower floors of which will be used as stores and the upper floors as offices and a town hall. The bricks are now made in the suburbs of the town, and from this brickyard quantities of brick are shipped to other towns. The population of the town has almost doubled since the last census and is increasing more rapidly now than ever before. // "We are pleased also to note the many evidences of prosperity along the road -- the 'old stage road' -- between here and Siler. The farms seem to be better cultivated than ever before, there being many labor saving machines now used, such as wheat binders and reapers, cutaway harrows, etc. Along the road were many nice new residences and some of the old ones repaired and painted."

JUN 14, "Local Records": "The railroad authorities have ordered a crossing to be made just south of the depot, where there used to be the old road leading to the present residence of Mr. J.A. Perley."

Metereological Exceptionalism
APR 19: "A more delightful day for Easter is rarely seen than was last Sunday."

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