One of The Rolling Stone's most popular features was a weekly page purportedly reprinted from The Plunkville Patriot, a contemporary small-town Texas newspaper. Colonel Aristotle Jordan, the Patriot's editor, was an unrelenting enemy of his enemies. When Adams & Co., grocers, ordered their $2.25 advertisement cancelled, the Patriot reported that
No less than three children have been poisoned by eating their canned vegetables, and J. O. Adams, the senior member of the firm, was run out of Kansas City for adulterating codfish balls. It pays to advertise.
Colonel Jordan announced his candidacy for mayor of Plunkville with the following editorial:
Our worthy mayor, Colonel Henry Stutty, died this morning after an illness of about five minutes, brought on by carrying a bouquet to Mrs. Eli Watts just as Eli got in from a fishing trip. Ten minutes later we had dodgers out announcing our candidacy for the office. We have lived in Plunkville going on five years and have never been elected anything yet. We understand the mayor business thoroughly and if elected some people will wish wolves had stolen them from their cradles ...
In one issue, The Plunkville Patriot was dedicated to "Plunkville's Progress," proudly proclaiming Plunkville as "A Literary Center, and the Biggest Hide and Bone Market in the County," with "Every Advantage Offered to Persons Coming to Stay Over Night." Among Plunkville's leading business establishments was Jones and Potts:
The largest and most enterprising firm of grocers in our city is the firm of JONES and POTTS. They had quite a stock of goods when we cume here four years ago, and we believe have them yet. The only advertising they have ever been guilty of was free, an don the occasion when Mr. Pot s was sued for divorce by his wife on grounds of cruelty and garlic, and when Jones got drunk and broke the window lights out of the Babtist church to let more air into the graveyard where he slept all night under the impression that he was in the Palmer House, Chicago. We have never seen the color of their money since we have lived in Plunkville.
The Crawley House was Plunkville's leading hotel, offering
Looms with doors in them! Hot and Colp Gass! * Not reSponcible for guests Left over Thirty (30) dayS * No water on premises * Malleable steaks * Rates ... $2.00 per day. for commercial men $2.00. for Clergymen $2.00
The Colonel seldom turned an advertiser away, no matter how questionable the credentials, to wit:
FREE: a clergyman who cured himself of fits will send one book containing 100 popular songs, one repeating rifle, two decks easywinner cards and 1 liverpad free of charge for $8. Address Sucker & Chump, Augusta, Me." But the Patriot also ran important public service announcements, such as the following: "There is a dangerous hole in the front steps of the Elite Saloon.
Plunkville had a lively social life, as the Patriot reported one week:
The oyster supper given by the ladies of the Dorking Society la't night over Sharp and Bledsoe's bucketshop was an immense success.
The total recipes was $37.28.
Everybody enjoyed the proceedings to the uttermost.
The grab-bag was a source of much amusement. Lige Peterson paid ten cts. and got out a horned frog and an old liver pad. the yuong folks played games to their heart's content.---"thimqle;" ',Copenhagin." ane "Steam oat Arrived last Night." were the order of the day. $ome one porposed to play drop the handkercheif, but after much inquiry and merriment it was fuond that averybody had forgot to bring one, so the played Pillow instead. Dr. Skaggs. the venerabl:
Pastor, seemed to enter into the fun as heartily as the youngest, & when $am Brockman suggested that he had xissed $ally Yates some 17 or eighteen times more than the rules of the game allowed, he playfully knocked out 3 of $am,s front and jammed him on top of the stove, laughing merrily all while.
Mrs Deacon Hughes reported astrong smell of whisky while the Deacon & parson $kaggs were teaching the girls of the senior Bible class to play Puss in the corner, bet the Reporter of the PATRIOT saw nothiog of the kind.
Elder $amson' whow as blindfolded during one of the games, stuck his hand in the hot steam from a teakittle and said something that the Reporter could not catch, but immediately afterwards 9 of the ladies went home.
Deacon Hughes secured a red table cloth about this time and did a skirt dance while Tom Elderkin beat time on the stove with Parson $kaggs'cane
Then the rest of the ladys left, and the boys broke up some blue and white china plates ond had quite a lively time with the gate reciepts.
Next Tuesday the Dorking $ociety will give a shadow Dance & Lunch over Peter's Livery $table for the benefit of the $kating Rink.
One hundred years ago, newspaper pages were set by hand, line by line, letter by letter. Typographical errors were easy to make, especially when the newspaper's typesetter was drunk, which typesetters had a reputation for being. When you ran out of a letter that you needed, you improvised: a dollar sign for an S, two V's for a W, an upside down 7 for an L, and so on. It was also very easy to mix up lines of type, all of which the Patriot did, in spades.
This Estray Notice went a little astray itself, mixing in with the society news.
Mrs. Col. Ratherford, who has been
visiting her brother, Dr. Buntington
for a few months, writes that she has
black mane and tall, black legs, ab-
out 15 hands high, one ear gotched ;
was last seen about 12 o'clock at ni-
ght near Herbst's Bend ; thought to
arrived at her home $t. Louis.
be in that neighborhood.
Estrayed from my place a bay colt,
Equally fascinating were the Patriot's
Go to the 4th methodist Church sup-
per to night at firemans hall. The
ladies of the church promise to give you
Bicklen's arnica Salve for cuts, bruises
a fine time. Oysterst urkey, cake,
and skin eruptions and corns or money
and ice cream will be served.
Miss Mattie Lungweiler a charming
brunette of Hog brairie is on a visit to
The Elite SaLOON, open
day & Night
her friend, Miss Gussie Shaw.
For any case of Insomnia, sleeplessness or inability to slumber that We cannot cure. Price 5 cents. Addre4s Austin Daily Skatesman. Send for clubbing Rates with Cocaine depur tment, Popular drugStore.
The Patriot's office moved almost every week. The April 02Th 1895 issue noted that after February 1st, the office would be located "Back of Grimes' slaughter pen, two doors north of Caney Creek." Another week: "O&ce next door to the colored Babtist graveyarp, over Smith!s Tin shop."
When the feds in Washington failed to award Plunkville's postmastership to Col. Jordan, the Patriot blasted away at President Grover Cleveland and his appointee:
The insufierable egotism and blunders to the bast interests of the country is rapidly leading Mr. Cleveland :nto the a multitude of most: damnable errors of Judgement. Last week he appointed Tobe Rogers P.M. of Plunkville; Everybopy knows Tobe has three wives in Georgia and cant read the addrees on a letter to save his life. VVe had over 3 hundred names signed to our petition for said Office.Are the people of this country to going submit to such high handed Dictatorship?
The Patriot also weighed in on international affairs, including the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895:
The war between China and japan continues to wage. The sooner such barbarious and uncivilized Nations wipe each other from off of the face of the earth the better. Our sympathies are decidedly with the japanese however. Their manufacturies of Japanese plums Japaned tin, and Japonicas show them to be the superior nation. besides, that we have been forced to wear our coat buttoned up at the throat for more than a week on account of having lost a small piece of piece of paper, with a hieroglyphic on it supposed to represent the fact that we had deposited our shirt with a ceinese laundryman for it's customary cleansing. This Chinaman positively and idiotically refused to deliver us said garment with the hieroglyphics. We have written to the Secretarys of war and State, but they ignored our appeal. VVe intend to lay the matter before the Japanese charge de'affairs at VVashington; and if no results ensues we shall take the Matter in our own hands and raid laundry. The Chinese must GO!
If Col. Jordan's hyperbole sounds exaggerated, it paled next to what a real Austin newspaper (that shall remain unnamed) said about Chinese people at about the same time, in an editorial called "Don't Eat at a Chinaman's"
When the rival Plunkville Herald began publication, no blows were too low for either side to strike, as characterized by Col. Jordan's reply to a report in the Herald:
The minerable ;subsidyid, cowerkly' lying sycophantic parasite who disgraces the editorial chair of the Plunkville Heralp, has spread the report that we tried to commit suicide last Friday night. It is true that we drank about four ounces of embalming fluid at the Palace Drug Store, but we did so in goop faith supposing same o be rye whiskey. We are not ready to commit suicide yet' but woulb think very seriously of it if we wereas worthless, degraded and depraved as Col. (L) Montmorency(?] of the Herald. We suffered no inconvenience from the mistake we mape beyond a slight pain in the gastric region, and a somewhat awkward thirst which we found trouble in satisfying. we hereby warn the editor(?) of the Herald that if we see proper to daink nitric acid or melted lead in the future we want no coment from anp will promptly resent same.
But the Colonel could be gracious when it was convenient, as when he paid tribute to the Widow Pogram in the special Plunkville's Progress edition.
The residence of Mrs. Pogram is between Belle Meade Avenue and the Fresh Air Fund Soap Factory. The widow is a daisy Major Pogram died in 1890 of heart failure while trying to play the joker as a side card with four aces against five jacks. Mrs. Pogram takes a few boarders as a relief from ennui. Her home is a model of neatness and luxury. We have boarded there three years and know where we speak. We owe the widow 97 cts. which we have never been pressed for. Stop at the Pogram House.
Ye Editor returnst hanks to Jim VValsh anp Teddy Potts for a fine mess of fish and to Ant $allie Grimes for a Mess of Light Bread.