Friday, October 21, 2011

“Geauga in Print: Part Four”

c. 2011 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

The recorded history of newspaper journalism in America is impressive. Archives exist nearly everywhere, across the country. And today, this considerable collection of resources is accessible to average folk as never before.

Most impressive, in a local sense, are stories of Geauga in the near and distant past. One might think that our little neck of the woods would be overwhelmed by news from communities around the nation. But once again, research has proved that our county will forever be an important point of reference for historians, everywhere:

The Bryan Times, December 21, 1976

“Winter heralded its official arrival today with bitter cold and heavy, wind-whipped snows in the Northeast and Midwest, closing schools and roads in Ohio and causing problems for motorists in many other states. According to the calendar, winter officially started at 12:36 p.m. EST today, ending one of the coldest falls on record. ‘Absolutely disgusting,’ said Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Quinn of Geauga County, Ohio. ‘We’ve got all the schools closed today with 14 or 15 inches of snow on the ground and it’s drifting over two feet in spots.’”

Times Daily, September 5, 1961

“BURTON, Ohio – a white Leghorn bantam rooster crowed 38 times in 30 minutes – five more than his nearest rival – to win the crowing championship of Ohio at the Geauga County Fair Sunday. What the champ didn’t know, however, is that he was tricked into crowing. For half an hour before the contest, which began at 4 p.m., the entrants’ cages were covered. When the covers were removed, the birds thought it was day break.”

The Lewiston Daily Sun, February 24, 1948

“BURLINGTON, Vt. – The relative merits of Vermont and Ohio maple syrup are going to be tested to decide which is better. Gov. Ernest W. Gibson said today he and Ohio Governor Thomas J. Herbert will meet ‘over maple cups’ April 3. The contest, said Gibson, is intended to end ‘once and for all, Ohio’s claim that its maple syrup is better than Vermont’s.’ The taste testing will be held in Geauga County, Ohio. The first maple syrup of the season has been reported by 80-year-old William Goss in South Burlington. Goss said he had two quarts of syrup boiled out of sap drawn from trees Feb. 18. Goss said maple syrup production usually starts two or three weeks from now.”

Paterson Daily Press, November 21, 1877

“Cincinnati – A special dispatch states that the man who was taken from the constable of Middlefield, Geauga County, Ohio, on Tuesday night and lynched was taken down and resuscitated. His name is Luther Scott. It is supposed that the object of the lynchers was to prevent Scott from revealing to the authorities the doings of a gang of desperados, of which he was a member.”

The New York Times, March 5, 1858

“The trial of HIRAM COLE, indicted for poisoning his wife in September last, was commenced at Chardon, Geauga County, Ohio, on the 1st inst. The trial is held in the Court of Common Pleas; Judge Wilder presiding. Cole is defended by Messrs. Thrasher and Blakesley. He looks well, and has gained in flesh during his five months’ imprisonment. A Jury was sworn in the course of the day; several jurors having been set aside as disqualified. The history of this case is briefly told. Cole was in business in the town of Bainbridge, Ohio, up to the month of September last. He had formed an attachment for a woman whom he addressed by the name of Emma, in a correspondence which passed between them. These letters, by accident, fell under the observation of Cole’s wife. Her jealousy was aroused, and Cole and his mistress appear to have conspired together to produce the death of the wife, Adelia Cole. The mistress went to Hamilton, Canada, and corresponded with Cole from that place. On the 9th of September last, Mrs. Cole died under circumstances which fixed suspicion on the husband. He was arrested and an investigation was begun. The body of Mrs. Cole was exhumed, and a chemical examination proved the presence of arsenic in the stomach. Corroborative circumstances pointed still more strongly to Cole as the murderer, and on the 14th of October, he was indicted for the murder. On this indictment, he is now standing trial. The trial is in progress.”

The New York Times, July 12, 1854

“Gathering of spiritualists. - The Cleveland Plain Dealer says there was a great meeting of Spiritualists at Bainbridge, Geauga County, Ohio on Sunday last. Whole townships turned out, and the woods and fields were full of them. It is estimated that there were eight thousand present. They expected to meet Gov. Tallmadge and Judge Edmonds, who were not there. This assembly was gathered without effort, with little or no public notice.”

Resolved here: the process of professional journalism endures. We write, read, and remember.

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