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Some reading jewels from 1922

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We all occasionally experience those little lucky breaks, like finding a $20 bill in the pocket of a coat we haven’t worn in more than a year, or, in my case, running across a 15-year-old news item, like I did recently, that was not only entertaining then but I think still is now.

The following items appeared in a single issue of the Wilson Daily Times in 1922. Some come from the news sections, others from classified ads, but all are legitimate.

Some can be a little confusing because of poor grammar, verb conjugation or sentence structure, but they appear below exactly as they were printed, which, I think, adds to their appeal.

Most are interesting, many are hilarious, and since they occurred almost 100 years ago, I didn’t feel anyone whose name appears below would have a problem with the reprinting.

Please enjoy.

“No more gasoline odor — We have improved our dry-cleaning plant with large and better machinery. You won’t be worried with gasoline odor anymore. We would like for you to try us with your next suit. Then we will prove what we say. Powell’s Cleaning Works, Phone 594.”

“Your plumbing is the thing you should think of in the spring — Well, have you begun to think of your spring plumbing yet? You know there’s a lot of necessary plumbing to be done in and around your house. Your wife can tell you of a few things that need fixing in the kitchen and the bathroom. Telephone 859 and tell us about it. J.P. Hunter - Plumbing, steam heating and gas fitting. South Tarboro Street.”

“Mayor’s court: Cases before Mayor Killette this morning — Walter Woods, larceny of a pair of pants, six months on the road. Richard Barnes, assault on Mack Pender with a knife. Officer Beland stated that Saturday afternoon he observed Barnes and Mack Pender rolling around on the sidewalk at the corner of Barnes and Tarboro Street. He thought they were playing. However, when Barnes arose Pender declared Barnes had cut him.”

“Wilson to play Rocky Mount in Warehouse tonight — Owing to the wreck on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Thursday afternoon the Rocky Mount High School basketball team failed to keep their engagement with the Golden Blue tossers last night. Rocky Mount will play here at Watson Warehouse tonight — the local boys will travel to Rocky Mount Monday evening for the second game.”

“Theater Comfortable — The management of the Wilson Theater has issued a statement that the theater will be comfortably heated for the performance this evening despite rumors that the building’s heating system was out of order.”

“Marriage Last Night — Last evening at 7 o’clock Magistrate W.R. Wood officiated at the marriage of Miss Ophelia Hamm and Mr. Charles Turner, the marriage taking place at Mr. Wood’s home at Five Points. Mr. and Mrs. Turner are popular young people of Black Creek township.”

“Miss Kitchin Very Ill — We haver just been informed through a personal friend of Hon. Claude Kitchin that his daughter, Miss Ione, who has been seriously ill at the home of her parents in Washington, continues to show but little, if any, improvement. The physicians in attendance have practically given up hope and her death has been momentarily expected for the last week or ten days. We certainly hope that a change for the better will take place.”

“Auction Sale of High-Class Pigs — Thursday Feb. 16th at Waldo’s lot in the alleyway back of D.C. Braswell’s Restaurant I will sell at auction to the highest bidder one carload of selected pigs, ranging in weight from 40 to 90 pounds. Come prepared to take care of your pig as our responsibility ceases when the pig is bid off. N.R Waldo, Wilson N.C.”

“Arrested for having whiskey in car — Late yesterday Sheriff Howard arrested three white men, John Lafferty, K. Batts and Ernest Boswell, all of Wilson, in an automobile near Barefoot’s Mill. The men had in their possession 3 1/2 gallons of whiskey and were evidently on their way to Wilson.”

“Correction — Our attention has been called to an error in the Times in the publication of last week’s court records. It was James Ward that broke into Willam Pitts place on Vance Street and stole meat valued at $25.00 instead of Pitts breaking into Ward’s place as published. Ward was given six months on the road.”

“His sins had found him out — An investigation revealed that Wm. Fenwick swallowed poison in the street rather than face the two women he had angered, his wife and Miss Frances Luebke.

“His last words were “I loved her in life, in dreams and into death” but the police were unable to say to which woman he referred.”

Keith Barnes is a reporter for the Johnstonian News. Email him at