WISCONSIN – Week of October 1
Stories from the States

WISCONSIN – Week of October 1


Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Week of October 1, 1896

Population 1890: 17,415
Population 2016: 68,339

October 1, 1896

The “53-Cent Dollar”

The phrase “53-cent dollar” must be revised if, as indicated by commercial statistics, the bullion value of the dollar has dropped five cents since Mr. Bryan began his stumping tour.

October 1, 1896

Not Baggage

General Passenger Agent Heafford, of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway, does not believe that bicycles should be carried free as baggage by the railroads. Mr. Heafford notes that from May to September the railway carried the enormous number of 51,720 bicycles, the number at times being so great as to require extra baggage cars and once or twice necessitating the splitting of a train and running it in two sections. He does not consider that bicycles can any more properly be termed baggage than can buggies or carriages.

October 2, 1896

Accident at Burlington

While the great semi-centennial parade was passing the reviewing stand this afternoon, the stand containing the governor and staff and fifty others collapsed, throwing them all to the ground and injuring many of them. Vice President Stevenson and Gov. Drake escaped with slight bruises. A score was severely injured. Two may die.

The accident had a frightful appearance to the spectators. Vice President Stevenson and Gov. Drake went down clasped in each other’s arms and it was several minutes before they could be extricated from the struggling mass of people. The greatest excitement prevailed for a time and it was wonder no-one was trampled to death. Ex Gov. Sherman was found lying under the debris with a large plank across his neck but was rescued without serious injury. Miss Drake, the governor’s daughter, was not injured.

October 4, 1896

A Terrible Accident

A terrible accident occurred yesterday on the farm of Wm. Henning, near Brackett, this county. Mr. Henning had set fire to a pile of straw in a field. His five-year-old daughter was with him. The child went too close to the blaze, her clothes caught fire, and in spite of all that her father could do, she was so terribly burned that she died in an hour. Physicians were summoned from the city but nothing could be done for the little one. The father became violently insane with grief, and it is feared his reason may not be restored. It is said the little girl was the last of eight children in the family, seven having died in infancy.

October 6, 1896

The funeral of Mr. Henning’s daughter took place on Sunday. The father, who it was feared had lost his reason, has recovered.

October 7, 1896

Ingenious Exercise of Cruelty to Teachers

Milwaukee is the only city in the country which runs its schools on a penny basis. Probably no commissioners in the land of the starry banner are more ingenious in inventing ways by which the salaries of the teachers of the public schools can be pared down. The latest exploit in this direction is a rule whereby any teacher who is tardy a single minute loses once cent of her salary and another cent for each minute lost.

By an ingenious exercise of cruelty, the teacher herself is made to report the tardiness to the principal of the school board and the secretary docks the unfortunate victim of an open bridge or a broken trolley wire a cent for each minute she has been delayed. No excuse is accepted. It is a cent a minute without mercy. The time is taken by the school clock, with which the teacher’s watch must agree. There is no allowance for difference of watches as on the railroads.

In case the unfortunate has been a minute and a half late there is a great how-de-do. The committee has to meet and debate solemnly whether the teacher shall suffer a 2-cent deduction and there are few recommendations for mercy. It is to the credit of the teachers that in spite of the ridiculousness of the matter and the implied insult every time they have to play the spy on themselves, that every one had promptly reported any absence. Most of the commissioners are ashamed of the rule but through some occult influence, it is allowed to remain.

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The featured photo is of the Eau Claire paper mill circa 1890-1940. Both the dam and paper mill are still functional.

Population information and featured photo from Wikipedia.

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