Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Justice - 1917 Style!

Tonight, while researching the old newspaper files from the Clearfield Progress, I came across this piece that I found interesting. Apparently, back in 1917, the law took complaints of domestic abuse and violence quite seriously after all.

Here then, from page 1 of the November 6, 1917 issue is the story of the arrest of one such individual.

Lands in the Arm of the Law and Now a Guest of the Sheriff

Ed Raymond, a Cooper township citizen, got so strenuous and full of the devil, that his wife could no longer stand it to live with him and being in fear of her life made information against Raymond before Squire Divinney at Winburne. THe warrant was placed in the hands of Constable Tom Barr of Winburne and he soon haled the offender before the Justice.

In default of a proper surety of the peace bond, Raymond was ordered committed to jail and there the fun began. He objected every foot of the way from the Cooper Township capital to the county "Stone pile." The constable was forced to employ two deputies to assist him in getting his prisoner to jail.

It was an amusing sight to see them negotiate the long high steps at the jail entrance. The doughty constable got in front and the two deputies came behind as "pushers" and between them after much grunting, sweating and swearing the top was reached and the doors then clanged behind the prisoner. When searched at the jail Raymond was found to posses several hundred dollars in cash.

Constable Barr is fast becoming a terror to evildoers and is one of the most efficient peace officers in the lower end of the county. He recently landed Joe Kulla, the Curwensville man who deserted when called for Camp Lee. Constable Barr by a clever piece of detective work located his man in the wilds in the region surrounding Gorton Heights and placed him under arrest.

The descriptions the writer/reporter uses in these pieces are so different from the writing -and reporting -styles used today and sometimes, that's what really appeals to me when I read and transcribe these pieces.

The newspaper today rarely prints the names of people picked up for various offenses -unless it is something of really horrendous doings. Makes me wonder if, 50 or 75 years or more from now, someone like myself decides to do research by using old newspaper archives will find the newspapers of much value then.

Sure as heck won't be of any help to people trying to do family tree research, will it? Maybe, if newspapers reverted back a bit to publishing ALL the news with an eye on the fact that they are recording history not just for history's sake but for people with an interest in learning about their ancestry, it might just increase their readership a bit.

And, if they were to write the news and actually make it come alive -add a bit of color to their descriptions, as well as a twinge of humor too, it sure couldn't hurt anything. (Other than I suppose bring some folks out of the woodwork to sue over breach of privacy of some such thing like that.)


Maggie May said...

Some of those old papers are really interesting.
I guess people are not that much different from today. Human nature being what it is.
Obviously the way they are written is very different today and I agree that there won't be much information in a few hundred years for anyone to recognise anyone.
All in the name of progress...... or is it?
Maggie X

Nuts in May

fermicat said...

Glad to see you are having fun with your research. The articles you posted are good reads. I think some small town papers are still sort of like the examples you post, but most of the national papers are pretty dry.

Sandee said...

I wish I could have seen that for real. Sounds downright entertaining them taking him to jail.

Have a terrific day. :)

Debbie said...

Very interesting. It is always eye-opening to compare where we came from to where we are today.

TechnoBabe said...

It was fun to read the older article in the paper, it was written without the biting slant that is used by media people today. I used to like to read the news in the paper and on TV when it was still just facts.

Palm Springs Savant said...

Yikes. now that says something doesn't it! People are people, regardless of the era I suppose.