The local items in early issues of the paper seem amusing to us today. It seems odd to read that someone “traveled from Caney” to visit in Caddo, and unimportant that “William Jones went to Durant”. However, for the researcher or genealogist the local items are a gold mine of information, especially when read over time. A year or two of reading shows many patterns and also helps fill in bits and pieces of information that might be missing from other news.
One of the things you will notice, too, is that the locals are filled with little advertisements. These are the equivalent of our commercials. A reader might scan the paper and overlook bigger ads, but if they were looking for the scoop on their friends and neighbors they were bound to read at least one of the advertisements squeezed in between the bits of news. The advertisements tell a lot about the lifestyle of the period since most retail merchants advertised what they thought their customers needed.
One of the patterns seen here and elsewhere during 1903 is the frequent trips to St. Louis. Many local businessmen, and women, went to St. Louis to get the latest merchandise for their customers. Most of the women who sold hats and other finery went to St. Louis to see the new styles for each season. A business trip to the big city might take up to three weeks.
The locals are not only filled with the comings and goings of residents, but often include birth, death, and marriage announcements. I have found countless one-line obituaries in the paper or mentions of people coming in from out of town for a funeral.
Often the locals give clues to the whereabouts of people who don’t show up on the census. The census was taken every ten years, and if a person moved very often it is sometimes difficult for genealogists to follow their trail. Today’s mention of Harry Moothart is the first time I’ve noticed this man’s name. A simple travel item like, “Mrs. J. H. Cossart has returned from her visit to relatives at Denison.” tells a family historian where to look for clues to Mrs. Cossart’s lineage. Other times an item might give a name and relationship, such as “visiting her Aunt Ruby Jones”. Those kinds of items can literally be a breakthrough for a genealogist.
So…those are some of the reasons why I love the locals. Today’s post is just one column from this issue of the paper. I’ll post more tomorrow and we’ll look at the significance of some particular items.
The Caddo Herald
July 17, 1903
“Items about Caddo and Caddo people. The week’s news. “
Phone Russell Bros.
Plant hogs any time.
Call No. 40 for printing.
June corn at Russell Bros.
Russell Bros. free delivery.
Oat Sacks. Hogan Bros.
H. M. Dunlap spent Sunday in Sherman.
Latest ladies Belts. M. G. Boxley and Son.
A.C. Joyce was a Denison visitor Sunday.
R. L. Williams was up from Durant Tuesday.
Clinkscales Studio. Caddo is the place for finest photo work.
Miss Nellie Folsom was a Durant visitor Sunday.
Deering Ideal Mowers both 4 1/2 and 5 foot cut. Edward Bates & Son.
W. J. Dobson was here form Caney last Thursday.
Watch for the yellow wheel wagon. It delivers groceries for Russell.
Leslie Craghead was down form Caney Sunday.
Everything new and up to date at Boxley’s.
Ira L. Smith was down from Atoka Tuesday night.
The Caddo Herald. Professional Printers.
S. J. Homer was a Durant visitor the first of the week.
Finest photo work at Clinkscales.
W. F. Dodd attended to business in Dallas this week.
New line of swell ties. M. G. Boxley & Son.
Mr. and Mrs. J. V. Hardin spent yesterday in Denison.
Smith, Cob & Pace for lubricating oil and McCormick binders.
J. H. Hogan made a business trip to Denison last week.
Prompt attention given your order at Russell Bros.
Harry Moothart left last Friday for St. Louis with cattle.
Deering all steel hand dump rakes. 9 and 10 foot. Edward Bates & Son.
Bert Ray returned Saturday from a business trip to St. Louis.
New fall style hats. M. G. Boxley & Son.
D. O. Nail returned Monday from a trip to St. Louis with cattle.
Straw hats at your own price. M. G. Boxley & Son.
Miss Ida Folsom was visiting relatives here this week from Durant.
Summer dress goods at Boxley’s. They are good and cheap.
Hay ties. Any quantity. Edward Bates & Son.
Mrs. J. H. Cossart has returned from her visit to relatives at Denison.
Russell Bros. have a new delivery wagon.
R. L. Pace returned Tuesday from a month’s visit to Mineral Wells.
Best felt hat in town, 85 cents. Boxley’s.
Amos K. Bass, the HAY and oat man who DOES. No time for HOT AIR.
Mrs. W. O’Conner of Denver, Colorado is visiting Mrs. Margaret Johnson.
Oat sacks. Hogan Bros.
Mrs. Anna Simpson left yesterday for Durant where she will visit for a short time.