100 Years Ago in Warren: Tramps and hobos


Pulled from the pages of the Warren and Barrington Gazette this week in August 1912:

America by bike

Seldom outside a theater or first class circus, and then only unless you have paid a good round price for tickets, are you permitted to witness so high a grade of trick and comedy bicycle riding as that given by the Walker brothers.

They appeared on Main street the other afternoon and again in the early evening and astonished the natives with the stunts which they pulled off. In spite of the tracks and gutters they kept their wheels going and stuck to their saddles, bringing out rounds of applause from the bystanders.

These enterprising young men Dan and Harry left San Francisco on the first day of January 1912 and have made their way across the country, touring Utah, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and York state. In New York, they went from New York city to Albany and then across Connecticut to Providence.

From Warren they go via the ferry to Newport and the Pier, then up the valleys to Worcester and on to Boston and thence to Nova Scotia.

They have paid their own way by means of the contributions that they have taken up from among the crowds that have watched them. It is surely one way to do American and see the country besides earning your living.

Mighty pleasant young fellows to meet and interesting talkers, full of their experiences and the sights that they have seen.

Have booze, will travel

One serious problem in the liquor situation is the existence of so many so-called express companies. They have, it is safe to say, no legitimate business apart from the peddling of beer from house to house. They have no other packages of any sort except racks of beer. Their agents go from house to house with the goods, and taking out a few bottles, perhaps different sorts, gives the prospective purchasers a chance to sample the goods. More often, they deliver upon order. They are the worst sort of an institution. They make the liquor too convenient. They carry it to homes that would never think of having it if the trade was not solicited.

Their business may be legal. It may be no violation of the law as it stands on the statute books today. If this is so, it certainly needs some act of the legislature of the state to either put these so-called express companies out of business or else curb their transactions. And there should be no lalay about that legislation.

Tramps and hoboes

The citizens of East Warren have been complaining for some time past about a gang of tramps and hoboes that have been infesting the neighborhood, sleeping in hay mows, sheds, by the walls, under trees and in barns. They likewise have been committing all sorts of depradations of a small nature, pilfering vegetables, robbing hen-roosts and the like.

The police have been on the watch for some time and have been determined to break up the practice. Sunday morning officers Bergeron and Hull, having at length located the camp of this gang, paid it an early visit. The result was that two men were arrested and the others got away after a bad fright.

The two men gathered into the net gave their names as John Caroll and John Eastwood. They were locked up until later in the morning when Clerk Lonergan held court. They were brought before him, pleaded guilty to a charge of vagrancy, and sentenced to six months in jail. They were taken to Cranston by Officer Bergeron.

It is hoped that this will have a salient effect on the rest of the crowd and put a stop to the annoyances that have been going on for some time.

100 years ago


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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.