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 NORTH MANCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY
 North Manchester, Indiana

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Source: NMHS Newsletter Feb 1999

News Journal, 1893

More than a hundred years ago in 1893 the NORTH MANCHESTER JOURNAL was under the publication of S.V.Hopkins. It came out every Thursday. There were no photographs, the paper consisted of four pages, and the headlines were no larger than the rest of the type on the page.

The big news for Thursday, March 30, 1893, consisted of plans for a complete water works for the town, as well as the local Republican "convention", chaired by R.A.Schoolcraft, to nominate candidates to town positions. The water work plans called for the sale of bonds, the installation of 64 fire hydrants, and the construction of the stand pipe, 110 feet tall, to stand at Market and Fourth.

"The plans and specifications are very complete in the minutest detail and provide for a first-class system of water works of the very best material and construction throughout and which will certainly be a credit to the town and an improvement of lasting benefit and pleasure," states the writer.

"The Board has very wisely incorporated in the specifications that the party getting the contract for the pipe laying shall employ home labor," the article also states.

This anecdote is also recorded:

"The night operator of the Big Four depot tells of a somewhat amusing experience a few mights ago. Late in the night a tramp came along and demanded admittance and on being refused used some language more forcible than elegant. The operator started out after the fellow and he disappeared. Sometime afterward a rat made its appearance in the office and started for his lunch basket. The operator got his revolver and after watching for the rat a while got a shot at it. Just as he shot he got a sight of a face peering in at the window and heard a blood-curdling scream that would do credit to an Apache Indian. The tramp had apparently returned and thought the operator was shooting at him. He left that time in a hurry and did not bother the depot again."

   
   
   

   

The Journal for that week also had some news about Manchester College which was asking for some help to pay off an indebtedness of $l,900. The Journal quotes a circular distributed around town asking for support noting that the circular gives "the following not surprising information: The attendance is about 100 each term and the average cost is about $40 a term or about $20,000 a year (the total for the entire enrollment) which amount is distributed among our merchants and business men."

Advertisers in this issue included Owens and Hardman, agents for Star Windmills; W.H. Webers, Propritors of fruit, nuts and oysters; Laketon Nurseries; Dr. W. H. Shaffer, a dentist advertising gold and porcelain crowns. For $2.50 you could get a combined subscription for both the New York Weekly Tribune And the North Manchester Journal.

Forty years later "The News-Journal" was being published in North Manchester by W. F. Billings. It came out on Mondays and Thursdays, and consisted of eight pages. There were still no photographs, but the headlines were slightly larger than the type, in bold face, and still one column wide.

The big news on March 30, 1933 was the demise of Sunday train service via the Big Four. This had the effect of cutting off all Sunday mail service to and from the town, as well as Sunday passenger service to Chicago.

Harting Furniture company carried a full page ad announcing its opening. "Let's get acquainted... You'll like us, we'll like you," the ad stated. A living room suite, made in Markle, could be had for between $46.50 and $99. Oppenheims was advertising men's dress shirts for 49 cents.

The News-Journal also reported that issue on the number of "Hoboes" in the local jail. The headline for the article, on the back page, read "853 Hoboes So Far This Season." The article stated that March was the busiest month for hoboes, with 189 locked up that month and 853 jailed since October, costing the town $26 to feed them breakfast before sending them on their way. "That is a cost of about 3 1/3 cents a feed and is much cheaper than to allow these transients to wander about town begging food and money." declared the paper.

 
   
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