The Good Old Days
Ah, the Good Old Days! Back before the hurly-burly of modern life, people sat on their front porches sipping lemonade and socializing with their neighbors. Things were much better! Here are a few news items illustrating how good things were back then, all from a single column of the Chicago Tribune of August 13, 1880 (adjacent to the baseball report: Providence beat Chicago the day before, 6-4).
Cincinnati, O., Aug. 12.–Democratic threats of driving the negroes out of Indiana are being put into execution in at least three counties. Early yesterday morning a band of masked Ku-Klux attacked the house of an inoffensive negro named Joshua Mack, one mile from Columbus, Ind., broke open the door and windows, and dragged him from his bed, declaring with vile oaths that they would hang him, and that they intended to “clean out all the G-d d–d niggers in the county before the election.” They ransacked the house for arms, and found none, and finally agreed to let Mack go, on condition that he would immediately leave. After they had gone some distance, he followed them to the road, where others of the party were in waiting, when all mounted their horses and rode away. Soon after the house of Mr. Walker, who has the farm rented on which the negro lives, was stoned, the party yelling, cursing, and threatening for a considerable time. Near Bluffton and Shelbyville similar attempts at intimidation have been made.
AN ELOPEMENT TRAGEDY
Raleigh, N.C., Aug. 12.–Information has been received here of an elopement which ended in a terrible tragedy. For some time past Mr. Havelock Styles, a well-known young farmer, has been in love with Miss Ophelia Upchurch, daughter of Benjamin Upchurch, a well-to-do farmer of the same county. Mr. Upchurch refused to give his consent to their marriage. The young people, with the aid of Mr. Styles’ friend, Ethan Webster, eloped to Franklin County, where the marriage ceremony was performed. The father of the young lady was in close pursuit, although they did not know it, and just as the marriage ceremony had been finished, he rode up, armed with a double-barreled shot-gun. Taking in the situation at a glance, he fired the two barrels loaded with buckshot into Webster’s breast, and the unfortunate young man fell to the ground. The new-made husband fled to the woods, leaving the horrified bride to the care of the father, who at once took her home.
SHOT HIS SON-IN-LAW
New Albany Ind., Aug. 12.–In Lafayette Township, four miles northwest of this city, Roger Russell this evening shot his son-in-law, John Norma, with both barrels of a double-barreled shotgun. The load took effect in the face, tearing out both of Norman’s eyes and inflicting fatal wounds. A family difficulty led to the shooting. Russell is over 70 years old, and well respected. After the shooting he walked away, and has not yet been arrested. To-night Russell took morphine and strychnine with suicidal intent, and it is said by his physician that he will die. He bought the poison before doing the shooting.