Sunday, February 28, 2010

They don't write like that anymore

Having just returned from days of working with newspaper people at the Colorado Press Association's annual convention, you would think that I would have had my fill of newspapers for a day or so. But I just stumbled upon these old stories in some of my stuff. They are taken from the files of the Pikes Peak Journal, a paper for which I once served as publisher, unfortunately the last one, as the company I worked for then, closed the paper in 2001. When these articles were written more than 115 years ago, they exhibited a little different style. A style, and color, and texture that, I am afraid, is sometimes missing in modern newspapering.

Bitten by a Dog
Ralph Aldrich, one of the carrier boys for the Journal was attacked Monday night on Ruxton avenue by a pointer dog belonging to Henry Mueller, and badly bitten in the shoulder and side. The boy is the son Alderman Aldrich, and was delivering papers when attacked. Mr. Mueller took the boy to Dr. Oglibee, who dressed the wounds. The dog was shot.
__ January 26, 1895

Adopt him and make a man of him
Tuesday afternoon as Marshal Elerick had locked a couple of worthless tramps in one of the cells of the town jail and he turned to leave the building he noticed a pale-faced, poorly clad, bright-looking little lad, about ten or twelve years old standing in the corridor. The little fellow had gone to the jail to apply for something to eat as he had doubtless done in other towns when hungry. Mr. Elerick seeing that he was a stranger asked him who he was and where he came from. The boy said his name was Johnny Warren, that he was eleven years old and that his father and mother were both dead. He had no relatives that he knew of. He said that he was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., where his father died three years ago. After the death of his father his mother took him to Missouri, where she died a year later. His parents were poor and no estate was left him, but his mother had arranged that he should live with one of the neighbors, a widow lady who had two small children of her own. This woman left Missouri going first to Nebraska and then to Denver taking him with her. A few weeks ago he says she told him she could keep him no longer and that he must find him a home somewhere else. The day following she left the city. The boy wandered around in Denver for a week or so, then boarded a freight train and went to Colorado Springs. From there he walked to Colorado City where he remained two days and came over to Manitou. Such is his story and it touched the heart of Mr. Elerick. He took him to his home, gave him a bath and a new suit of clothes and with three square meals a day the boy is happy. Mr. Elerick has written to the addresses the lad gave him, and if his story is straight, he will adopt him, send him to school and make a man of him.
__ January 26, 1895

Highest birth on record
On Saturday last a son was born to the wife of Mr. John Taggart on Pike's Peak at an altitude of 12,000 feet. Mr. Taggart is section foreman of the Cog road and for the past six weeks has been living at the Saddle house near the summit of the Peak. This is the first recorded birth at so great an elevation in Colorado, and probably the highest on this continent. The little fellow weighs ten pounds and starts out in life high up in the world. He has been named Pike's Peak Taggart.
Mrs. Bee Cullen Brooks contributes the following lines:
To a home upon the mountain,
On the Cog road to Pike's Peak,
Came a stranger, shy and silent,
His inheritance to seek.
Upon this broad expanse of earth
-These mountains towering high,
He sought his home among them
'Neath Colorado's sky.
With faith at once so perfect,
Unquestioning and true,
He takes his home contented
"Neath skies of western blue.
No questions asked of any one,
With philosophy true he takes
Things here just as he finds them,
And the best of each he makes.
Like the pioneer who came here
In days long, long, ago,
To find the summit of the Peak,
Clad in perpetual snow.
He stopped before he reached the top-
He dreaded the steep incline,
And will be content for some years to come,
Just above the timber line.
__ May 18, 1895

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