News Clips from the Old’n Days of the “Show Me” State

Posted by Missouri Rev on Nov 5th, 2005

I was musing about the last post I did on the various unknown names for animal groups. Though our forefathers came up with wonderful ones that befitted their culture, like an exaltation of larks or skulk of vermin, why not come up with a few that befit ours? In naming the slow, but sure progress and patience of the Lord’s faithful remnant when being run roughshod by a lightning fast, pagan culture, how about a triumph of turtles? In speaking about the majority of American Christendom that does all it can to keep up with the lightning fast heathen culture around them, how about a congregation of lemmings? Since a skulk of vermin might be too antiquated to be appreciated, why not rename it a congress of rats? I look forward to your word inventions.

Below are a number of old, long forgotten news clips from the “Show Me” state, which I find quite charming. Now there’s a word that has changed much over the years. I particularly enjoy the different vocabulary, use of words, and the witticism. You can add at least one more word to your animal vocabulary – ratulency – though it is likely you’ll only find it in the dusty archives of Missouri colloquialisms. Don’t you wish the news today was as uncomplicated and subdued? Now, it seems that for something to make the news it has to be vile, bloody, corrupt, perverted, or humanistically do-gooderistic. The culture makes the news. By no means was the American culture of the 1800’s pure and without fault, but even then it was far more simple and morally aright, especially in the agrarian rural areas where faith and hard work went hand in hand. In “tipping my hat” to the Homesteader’s young son John and his first successful coon trapping, I have included a few stories about trapping. — The Missouri Rev

Where Two or Three Houses are Gathered Together, there Stands a Missouri Village

From the Troy Lincoln County Herald, February 10, 1870 — The Village of Sweet Home, in Nodaway County, was almost totally destroyed by fire recently. Only one house was left standing. Before the fire there were two.

Trapped by Love

From the Maysville Register, January 16, 1901 — A Skunk-skin opera-clock graced the dress circle of the Tootle’s Opera-house at St. Joe the other night. It was worn by a rural belle, who was accompanied by the male companion that had slain the fragrant little animals whose hides were thus sacrificed for his beloved.

Bureau, Burro, Baffled

From the Osceola Sun, September 8, 1881 — The Missouri Pacific railroad company has an agent at Warrensburg that is entitled to a chromo. Some one in New Mexico shipped a “borro” to Warrensburg. When it arrived, the agent on examining his bills took the item to mean a bureau. After making diligent search for the furniture and not finding it, he reported to headquarters as follows: One bureau short, and one jackass over.

The Missing Tale of the Audrain County Rat

From the Paris (Mo.) Herald, March 27, 1877 –Some of our Audrain County friends along the Monroe County line were badly sold out one day last week. They were engaged in catching and untailing rats for the five cent bounty offered by the Audrain County court for rat tails. After they had about exterminated the rat tribe in the immediate neighborhood where they were slaying, they espied in the dim distance a large gentleman rat making for the Monroe County line. At once about half a dozen of Audrain’s sons of toil were on the chase, and, with the speed of an Antelope, they pursued his ratulency into Monroe, overtook and slew him, when to their amazement and disgust, they found that he was minus a tail!

Soured by Texas Cherries

From the Boonville Weekly Eagle, January 1, 1875 —
A.H. C. Koontz is rather inclined to be waggish at times, and he sometimes perpetuates jokes even at the expense of old folks. The other day an old lady and her daughter from the country were in the store, when the former seeing a barrel of cranberries setting near the door, called out:
“Mr. Koontz, what are these things here in this barrel?”
“Those are Texas cherries, madam,” remarked K., as he went on attending to his customers.
The old ladies [sic] curiosity was evidently excited and she could not resist the temptation to help herself to a few of the berries. After cracking them between her teeth, her face evidently showed signs of extreme anguish, when she called to her daughter:
“Sal, come here. These are cherries from Texas—just taste them.” Sal instantly obeyed, and a terrible scowl flew over her countenance. She turned to her confiding mother, and remarked: “If that’s the kind of fruit they raise in Texas I’m not going there to live. I shall write to Sam that he needn’t come after me. That I will.”
The twain left the store evidently thoroughly disgusted with Texas and everything it produces.

One Response

  1. Scott Holtzman Says:

    How about ‘a frolic of fools’ for a ‘modern’ analogy I think there were some dancin’ in the streets of the Big Easy for a “Pride” parade that never happened……….

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