100 Years Ago in Warren: Terpsichorean inebriations


Taken from the pages of the Warren and Barrington Gazette this week in May 1913:

"Feeble old people"

A message to feeble old people: As one grows old the waste of the system becomes more rapid than repair, the organs act more slowly and less effectually than in youth, the circulation is poor, the blood thin and digestion weak. Vinol, our delicious cod liver and iron tonic without oil, is the ideal strengthener and body-builder for old folks, for it contains the very elements needed to rebuild wasting tissues and replace weakness with strength. Vinol also fortifies the system against colds and thus prevents pneumonia. If Vinol fails to build up the feeble old people, and create strength, we will return your money. Wm. S. Bennet & Co., Druggists, Warren, R.I.

Terpsichorean inebriations

Have they come to stay? This is the question that a great many sober minded, and we might add sober footed, people are asking concerning the freak dances that are agitating the public just now. How in the world can they gain any foothold and fasten themselves on a society that apparently is more than a half divided against the, it is hard to see. With the pulpit, much of the press, the vast majority of dancing teachers, a large class of seriously determined men and women, leaders of society, to say nothing of many, many people, who occupy no especial position of privilege or authority but go to make up the mass of the social order  — just everyday people — with all these forces inveighed against them, it is a wonder how they have gained any place whatsoever in any dance hall or with any set of people. But they have. Father Vaughn, the great English preacher of the Catholic church, has recently said, very truthfully, if rather plainly that these dances which are of recent date were imported from the Zoological gardens into London drawing rooms. Their very animal names, imply their animal nature. We supposed if the Reverend Father had been preaching on this side of the water, he would have described these terpsichorean inebriations as emanating from Central Park. Our personal opinion is that they come forth from the jungles of African and that he who imported them was a close companion, and fellow student of that scientist who had a cage made for himself which he set down in the jungle midst and around which he sought to draw the orangutan, the chimpanzee, the ape, the plain monkey, with the hope that by so doing he might learn the language of the species. These dances cannot be defended on any ground whatsoever.

No loafing

The police were called Saturday night to remove Burton Wall from the depot where he had persisted in hanging around. He was advised to move on but didn't take the hint. The police gave him a chance to loiter in the cell, in the cellar of the town hall. Sunday Judge Hammill held a special session of the court. Wall was very penitent and as this was his first offense, he was allowed his freedom on payment of costs, and with some sound advice. It should be another warning. If you must hang, hang up at home, that's the place for everybody unless on business bent.

Sneak thieves

Last Thursday afternoon two young chaps put in an appearance in the south part of the town, ostensibly peddlers. They were well dressed, the older one in a brown suit and carrying a straw bag. Not so much attention was given the other, save that he had on short pants, a mere boy. In fact one was 16 years, the other 14. They went to several houses the older going in to do the work always, the younger remaining on the outside. But the chap was adept at the business. Going into a doorway or outer hallways where no one outside could see, his plan was to knock. If anyone answered, he offered a patent egg-beater for sale. The article was a good one. It is known that he went to one or two places and sold them. He was mild mannered, pleasantly voiced. At another residence, where his knock was not awarded readily, he was detected just about to rummage an ice chest. At another place, he started to gain entrance when the occupant of the house raised the window upstairs and bade him be off. Several persons saw them about 1 o'clock on South Main street about in the neighborhood of the crossing. The pair sauntered down Bridge street. Into the front entry or storm entry of Charles Child's house he went. A lady sitting at the window of a nearby house saw the two and was attracted, so much so that she watched them, and here the first good and reliable description was obtained. Upon Mrs. Child's return she walked into rooms that gave evidence of unbidden visitants. Things were somewhat topsy turvy and moreover a sum of money, said to amount to $20 was gone. Chief Walsh was notified and began his work. He had an excellent description to work on. But if those two fellows had been caught up in the clouds, they could not have vanished more quickly or any sooner.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.