Five Old and Weird News Stories

It’s In The Newspaper So I Guess It’s True

NY Tribune BannerheadHere are five brief, old and weird news stories that appeared in the New York newspapers over a hundred years ago. In many cases I wish there was a follow-up on the story. In most cases there was not. Truth is almost always stranger than fiction.

Kiss May Cause Her Death

Pittsburg, June 27 – In her anxiety to kiss her husband farewell at the Charleroi station, Mrs. Marie Antonio, of California, neglected to take the car window into account to-day and thrust her head through the glass. She is not expected to survive her injuries. –  New York Tribune – June 28, 1909 page 3

David’s Whistle Never Dry
Boy Only Stops When He Sleeps, And Then He Sings, So Now He is In the Insane Pavilion.

David Dunn’s whistle has landed him in the Pavilion for the Insane at Bellevue at last. Now the neighbors at 550 West Forty-forth Street, where the boy lives, and 610 Ninth Avenue, two blocks to the eastward where his sister lives, sleep once more in peace.

David is fourteen years old and small for his age. According to William C. McGirr, the sister’s husband, his whistle has been going almost without a break, day and night for a week. Arguments and persuasion were met only with selections from popular airs, and while David whistled he looked viciously at McGirr;s four little children. On Wednesday night McGirr took him to the West Forty-seventh Street Police Station, where they locked him up , but only for a little while, for he still whistled. The police sent him then to the rooms of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, where he whistled all night. Yesterday morning they took him to the Children’s Court and he whistled as he stood in line with the rest of the juvenile prisoners. Justice Wyatt upset the order of the cases to send him away just as quickly as McGirr could tell his story.

At the hospital he answered the routine queries with short shrill blats between his puckered lips. He whistled through his bath and once broke form the attendants and ran around the room, still whistling. The folks there wonder how they are going to stand during the week that they will have to keep him for observation. Sometimes his puckered lips relax while he is sleeping, Mr. McGirr said, but during these intervals he generally sings. – New York Times – January 23, 1903

Aged Couple Go Together.
Husband Tells His Children Not To Hasten Their Mother’s Burial and Dies in a Few Hours

John Minter and his aged wife, Elizabeth, who died within a few hours of each other at their home, 139 Walton Street, Brooklyn, were laid side by side yesterday in Evergreen Cemetery. The funeral services were conducted by the Rev. D.G. Ditmars, pastor of the Ainslie Street Baptist Church.

Mrs. Minter had been blind for three years and her husband was her constant companion until his eyesight also began to fail him. Mrs. Minter died early Sunday morning. A few hours before her death she made a remark that she could not live much longer, to which her husband replied that he would soon follow her. He died the next day. The coffin containing the body of Minter and another that of his wife stood side by side in the cozy little parlor, which was filled with mourners and friends, while the street in front of the house was filled with people.

When Minter heard of his wife’s death he told his children not to be in a hurry to bury their mother, as he was soon to follow her. he was eighty-seven years old and Mrs. Minter was eighty-two years old. They had been husband and wife for sixty-four years. – New York Times – July 20, 1900

Refused Gift of Rosary

Because he refused to accept the proffered gift of a rosary, Daniel Durning was dangerously stabbed. Durning had befriended an old man named Peter Daley who called on him at Harrison’s leather factory in Newark, N.J. and offered him the rosary to show his appreciation of Durning’s kindness. –  New York Evening World – August 5, 1902

A Queer Drink That A Man Found In Providence

There are more things in our food and drink than we have realized, but new points are coming to light every day. The gasoline cocktail is the latest thing in the line of beverages, according to the statement of a Providence man who stopped at one of the clubhouses on the bay shore while on an automobile ride a few days ago. Feeling the need of refreshment, he ordered a cocktail which was promptly set before him. He took one sip of the concoction and decided that it was queer. It was bad: it tasted so very bad, in fact, that he was curious and he went to the buffet to seek a personal explanation from the mixer. “What’s the matter with it?” he demanded. The barkeeper took a taste and made a wry face.

“Yes that’s pretty bad, ” he admitted rather shamefacedly. “It must be the gasoline. You see, we mix the cocktails early in the day and they’re apt to lose their freshness after a few hours. A drop or two of gasoline tones them up first rate. Guess I got a little too much of the juice in this time. I’m sorry. Let me mix you a fresh one.” – Brooklyn Eagle (via Providence Journal) –  July 28, 1906

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