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JIM: 110 Years ago. Editor hoodwinked

110 years ago: Miss Elizabeth Frances makes an entrance, and the Editor gets hoodwinked (From the December 12, 1900 Adair County News)

By "Jim"

"Born, to the wife of C.S. Harris, [Thursday] December 6, 1900, a daughter--Elizabeth Frances."

The above-mentioned arrival precipitated the following article (the "headlines" for each section were added by ye CM contributor, not from the News):

The trap is laid

Last Friday morning [Dec. 7th] the editor of this paper met with a great surprise on his arrival in town. As announced elsewhere in this issue, a daughter had been born to his wife on the evening before and therefore being in a happy mood, a few friends decided to play a practical joke which was carried out without a bobble.

The trap is sprung -- no way out!

Mr. M.H. Marcum [manager of the Marcum Hotel] called at the News office and stated that a gentleman desired to see the editor. Going with him to his Hotel and on to Room No. 2 where he gently knocked on the door, which immediately opened and the intended victim was ushered into the presence of Dr. J.H. Grady, L.B. Hurt, Wm. F. Jeffries, Samuel Lewis, J.W. Hurt, T.R. Stults, W.B. Patteson, Gordon Montgomery and Ernest Willis, and the door was closed and stoutly manned. Seeing such an assembly and barred from exit, he was perfectly resigned to his fate.

A Chairman elected; the rumor ascertained; the custom stated; and a Stetson up in smoke

Mr. L.B. Hurt was elected chairman and business was rushed through at a 2:20 gait. The Chair stated the object of the meeting was to ascertain whether the "Rumor" that a girl had been born to the wife of the aforesaid editor was true and if true to take such action as they deemed proper. Dr. Gray was placed on the stand and testified to the correctness of the "rumor" and he further stated that it was the custom in his practice to burn the father's hat when the birth of the girl had been preceded by five sons. Upon this testimony and statement it was decided to burn the hat and a black Stetson was consigned to the flames.

Escorted by committee; crowned with a white hat

A committee to buy a new hat, Messrs. Stults and Willis, escorted him to Russell & Murrell's store, bare-headed, followed by the entire crowd who placed upon his head a new white Stetson, and then bade him go in peace.

Reflections, and a "call to remembrance"

Well, it was a time that will linger in the memories of all who took part, an event well worth the cost and trouble. The entire crowd was overflowing with good humor; all friends, and happy and thus the News man was blessed indeed. A sweet little girl baby and a new Stetson hat. Indeed, it's not a common occurrence for the aforesaid party to be duped, but this time he was caught, caught by friends, submitted like a child and hereby tenders his good will to those who participated in making the event of more than ordinary, but at the same time, not breathing threats, would kindly call to remembrance that "there'll come a time some day." -"Jim"

This story was posted on 2010-12-12 06:34:22
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