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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Historian Takes A Look At The Local News Of 1909

Dallas Bogan on 23 July 2004
Dallas Bogan, Warren County, Ohio and Beyond (Bowie Maryland:Heritage Press, 1979) page 47
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

What's in a newspaper? While we scour the local headlines and world news sources, possibly the most "human interest" stories are buried deep in the classified ads or in a miscellany section of the paper. This week we shall review the small news happenings of 1909 as published in The Western Star, primarily reported in Lebanon.
On New Year's Day an owl made a noise like a fire alarm, and saved the home of Mrs. Elizabeth Kell in Lebanon from destruction by fire.
Soot had gathered in a closed grate and was smoldering when accidentally the owl toppled in.
An investigation was held as to the cause of the noise, the consequences being that a disastrous fire was averted. One week later Joe Herron smashed all records of eating when he devoured in one-meal 17 egg sandwiches, a large crock of oyster soup and drank sixteen cream pitchers of water without stopping. A short time later, with the "hungries" still gnawing at him, he devoured ten dishes of ice cream with the average of 51 seconds per dish.
The same week Ike Lerner, a junk dealer, mistook a gasoline can for a coal oil container and an explosion followed which blew every stitch of clothing from his body. Shrieking with pain he dashed home by a route through back yards. A short time later a large fox terrier belonging to Frank Maple, formerly of the Genntown area, wandered all the way back from Nebraska where he had been taken by his master removing to that State.
Late in February an earthquake of large magnitude was felt in the Lebanon area. An artesian well, which had been bubbling forth crystal water for half a century, suddenly ceased to produce. In contrast, a spring located on the Albert Brant farm, near Lebanon, which had been dry for twenty years, again began to flow more freely than ever.
On March 10, Will Fraser was peeling a banana when a large tarantula fell onto his plate. After a desperate confrontation the spider- like being was killed.
The following week the French Brothers Dairy Company reported a valuable cow on their Valley farm was missing. It was found dead and an autopsy was held. It was found that the cow had eaten nails and wire and that these objects had worked through the animal's system, penetrating the heart.
The month of March brought forth a beautiful Sunday in which the residents of Lebanon were treated to the rare sight of a man riding an old-fashioned cushioned tired "High Water Bicycle." It was the property of Raymond Decker and was purchased for $1 from R. Wilds Gilchrist, who paid $150 for the machine when new, not so many years before.
The middle of April finds O.A. Hutchinson telling of his alarm clock cat at his home. Should the family members oversleep the feline lightly trips lightly across the keys of the family piano and the alarm is given.
On May 10, John Mann, a traveling salesman appears in Lebanon on a regular trip and it is found that he has a broken back, but that the vertebrae had been spliced by tiny gold wires and the man was enjoying the best of wealth, excuse me, health.
With the close of the public schools, Miss Roberta Hart made a record of attending school for a period of ten years and never being tardy.
On July 1st, lights similar to those of the aurora borealis, reflecting from the northern skies, attracted much attention in Lebanon. An investigation followed which showed the illumination to come from a searchlight on the Algonquin Hotel in Dayton.
The middle of July found that a hen belonging to Thomas Keever, of East Main Street, completed the remarkable feat of laying 107 eggs in 107 days. One week later the town clock took a tantrum and struck thirteen times instead of one o'clock following the noon hour. At two o'clock the clock failed to strike at all, but an hour later the correct stroke was given.
Early in August fish were found living in a deep well on the property of Mary Ruch, having thrived there over a year from the time they were washed there by a flood in Turtlecreek.
Late in the same month The Western Star staged a contest and invited all the farmers in Warren County to bring in their stalks of corn. The largest stalk measured 17 feet and 7 3/4 inches with the first ear 11 feet from the ground. Following this occasion James Colbert presented a stalk growing in the public school yard, which had ten perfectly developed ears of corn.
September was marked with freaks of nature. Cherry blossoms burst forth on a tree in the yard of John A. Thompson. A leech of eight inches in length was caught by Miss Josie Williams north of Lebanon and presented to Lebanon University.
Miss Gertrude found nine fully developed papaws in a cluster grown in a woods near. Lebanon.
A volunteer hill of potatoes developed until at the digging 22 fully developed potatoes issued forth.
On October 10, a large python snake owned by Charles Hauser, of Franklin, was sold to a traveling show. It had been a pet for nine years living in the house with the family.
The following week found Dudley E. Foss, residing near Maineville, walked eight miles to dine with his daughter in Morrow. He was 92 years of age. A few days later a horse belonging to Harry Mosteller, a resident of Mason, dropped dead in its harness so frightened did it become at the passing of an automobile.
October found that a valuable horse belonging to Samuel C. Kersey killed itself by jumping astride the manger, thus breaking the ribs, which pierced the heart.
Warren County was graced in October with the distinguished presence of Mrs. Elizabeth Martin of Paris, Ky. She was originally Elizabeth Bird and in turn married men by the name of Martin, Crow, Robin, Buzzard and Martin again.
Toward the end of November a horse belonging to Eli Downey, frightened on Main Street and ran away striking an electric light pole and knocking out the lights in the Main Street church during the evening preaching service.
The beginning of December was like a second spring with violets blooming and buds bursting as in the springtime. Hunters from Dayton had shot the same week found a large white eagle at Cedar Bluffs, on Caesar's Creek. The wing measured six feet from tip to tip.
Within the next few days, Mrs. Al Keever, living near Lebanon, while dressing a hen, found three fully developed eggs with hard shells.

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