Of Giant Cabbages and Sheep Fertility

Mr. G.S. Horton presented the editor of this paper with a cabbage of excellent quality weighing twenty pounds. It is just one of the fifteen hundred heads of cabbage of similar size and quality which Mr. Horton has raised on his quarter acre of land this year.

A chicken pot pie supper was served in the Opera house last Friday by the ladies of the Methodist church. The attendance was good and the supper excellent. 

The marriage of Reuben Davidson 19 and Lucy Goodyear 45 took place a few weeks ago. We wish the couple a long and prosperous life. 

That was some of the local news featured in The Roberts County Banner in October of 1903.  I was reading through old issues of the paper in the Sisseton Public Library in South Dakota recently while doing some research. 
throughbreds a sporting novelThe front page of every edition of the paper featured a few chapters from a novel. In October of 1903 they were running excerpts from a novel called Thoroughbreds by W.A. Fraser. I looked it up online and sure enough the book was published in 1903 and first editions can be purchased online for around $65.  

One issue of the weekly paper contained a long list of everyone in the county who had been delinquent in paying their taxes in October. Another feature was a list of all students in the county who had managed not to be tardy or absent from school in the past month. 

There were agricultural articles like Make A Handy Rope Halter for Your Horse, Sheep Fertility and Timely Swine Notes.  

A section in every issue of the paper labeled Aphorisms offered quotes with advice like The only way to have a friend is to be one and Hope says to us at every moment “go on” and leads us thus to the grave. 

richard wagner statueThere was international news, including this announcement that a giant statue of Richard Wagner had been erected in Germany. There were also national news items.  One was about the execution of the three Van Wormer brothers in New York who had been found guilty of murdering their uncle on Christmas Eve in 1901.

Good Girl wanted for kitchen work at $3.00 a week was one of the featured ads in the paper along with many testimonials for various kinds of medications like Miss Alice Smith’s assurance that Pinkham’s vegetable compound would alleviate women’s monthly suffering. ad for vegetable compound
and this ad for horse blankets.horse blanket ad

Reading old newspapers was fascinating and I’d love to have had more time in Sisseton to peruse other issues.  I’ll end here with a typical news item of the day in 1903.

Judge McCoy returned home Saturday after a hunt which yielded him twelve fine mallard ducks. He shot every single one himself. 

Other posts……

A Winery Named After My Newspaper Column

Getting Up Close and Personal With a Famous Inventor

Down on the Farm

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