What Was Happening In Sedalia 141 Years Ago Today? Sick Burns, That’s What
Apparently a lot of unimportant stuff was news worthy back in the day. I was thinking about what to write about again and my mind started wandering. As usual when that does, I find myself looking at old copies of the Sedalia Bazoo. So I decided to see if there was an issue that came out today online, and wouldn't you know it, I got lucky.
If you thought people were all up in each other's business on Facebook* these days, man, you would not want to have lived in Sedalia in 1878. I've shown you some of these before, where the paper actually would report on who entered and exited down on that particular day. Here's a particularly interesting one:
Jim Warren, a prominent farmer south of the city, was in town yesterday. Don't ask him why he rides his horse sideways.
THAT'S ALL I WOULD WANT TO ASK HIM. Seriously, that almost made me Google "Why do you ride your horse sideways" in case it was like, some old timey joke that I just didn't get. Seems to me the paper or the author either had a friendly/jokey relationship with him, or the opposite and wanted to roast him a little. But dang, right there on the front page of the paper?!! Is that really everyone's business?
J.W. Finley and C.E. Hancock parted their hair in the middle, blacked their boots, and each purchased a new umbrella, and started for Quincy last night. Lunch stands along the route should call out the militia for protection.
DAAAAAANG, you calling out these boys for being fat?! And what the heck, why would parting their hair in the middle be like, some kind of insult? Did they normally have dirty boots or something?
William Bond arrived in the city last night, and is registered at Sicher's.
See, you thought people were nosy online. This whole dang paper not only reported this dude was in town, but told you which hotel he was staying at. Why not just tell us which room he's in? What did he have for dinner? Is this newspaper just camping out at the edge of town, stopping everyone that comes or goes and asks what they're doing?
And honestly, this... just doesn't make sense. And it's not even Sedalia, it's Marshall.
A long legged druggist, split all the way up to the shoulders, a brazen faced insurance agent and a spindle shanked ** printer man were the first importation from this section over the new railroad into Chicago. The cargo had no sooner arrived than the people turned out en masse and with the assistance of the entire police force the trio were finally cornered. They were kept on exhibition for three days.... and they were allowed to to depart. A number of scientific gentlemen visited them in their captivity and although agreeing in the fact that they were species of the genus homo, no definite conclusion could be arrived at as to their proper classification.
So this whole story, it's just calling out these three dudes for going to Chicago? Or were they going to Marshall from Chicago? The whole police force took them in? They don't even seem human? That seems like quite a freggin' burn if you ask me. What is the point of putting a random diss in the newspaper? Were people really that savage back then? Not only do they know what hotel you're staying in and how you part your hair, but they're calling you fat and making fun of you for being tall.
It occurred to me that they must not have had anything else to talk about back then. I mean, I see very little reporting of something that was close to crime. It was just that a dude was being transported to town who had stolen a horse, and another dude was extradited for "swindling" a bank. Not that crazy shocking, really. Now we report on crime and accidents and stuff, but back then all they had was that a dude fell off a horse, but he got better. Seriously, that's in the reports, too. Can you imagine if our local news was about stuff like that?
I don't know if I would've been able to make it back then. I mean, dang, people are literally calling out each other in the newspaper, for little to no reason. I probably would have been an old spinster hiding in my parlor or something from all this savagery.
*And by Facebook, you know I mean Sedalia's Voices.
**I caved in and Googled what "spindle shanked" means. It means the dude is tall.