Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Prairie Newspapers


I LOVE old newspapers. I use them constantly in my historical and genealogical research. 

Our Keith family settled in Cash City, Kansas in the early 1880s. They were there for the building of that town and are mentioned a lot in the newspaper. The town only lasted a few years and they moved to other towns and the next county.

When I was first doing genealogy, back in the late 1980s, I tried to get copies of the early newspaper and they weren't available. Then in 1990 when my daughter and I went back there we went into the the library at the county seat. When I told them who I was and what I wanted and the librarian said, "I remember you. After I got your request I asked to have the Cash City Cashier put on microfilm so we have it now." 

So we sat down and started making copies of anything that mentioned any of our family. These are some of the copies we made that day. You can see they aren't very good. Between that and my older eyes I'm having a hard time transcribing them, but here's some of the things I found today.

(Many of these people are cousins. Most of the Keiths came from Illinois at the same time.)


Cash City Cashier, Cash City, Kansas

Friday, Dec. 31, 1886
Mr. Harry Keith called to-day.

Cash City real estate changed hands lively this week. Verily, this looks like a boom.

Mr. Harry Keith has returned home from Hutchinson, where he had been teaching school. We understand that he was compelled to give up his school before the expiration of the term on account of sickness. Mr. Keith has the name of a first-class teacher.

Friday, Jan. 7, 1887
Harry Keith is endeavoring to organize a night and day school in Cash City. This is something that should interest every one, and Mr. Keith is to be encouraged in every way. Mr. Keith has the highest testimonials as a teacher. 

Jake Heape came in from his country home to see the new electric light system.

Friday, Feb. 11, 1887
Riley Keith is at work getting out an immense lot of building stone, and is prepared to furnish estimates to those wanting to put up buildings of this material. The stone is of an excellent quality, and it is sure to bring him good figures in the spring with the beginning of the building boom. J. H. Clay is also getting out stone to turn in on different contracts. (This is my great great grandfather John Riley Keith.)

Friday, Feb. 18, 1887
Windy Items: (damages from a wind storm) 
Harry Keith and his sister Dora, becoming fearful of their building, took refuge in a neighboring store.

Friday, Feb. 25, 1887
We neglected to mention in our last issue the fact of the Star Restaurant having been reopened. Mr. F. G. Keith closed the house some time ago during a depression in business. It has been reopened under the management of his son and daughter. Harry and Miss Dora, who start out with every prospect of doing a good business. The Cashier wishes the house and its new management all the success possible. 

Fine Building Stone
Probably some of the finest stone quarries in the state are to be found in Clark county, near Cash City. This is an important and necessary factor in the building of towns, and we have enough of this excellent material right here to build a city. It is a well known fact that plenty of building material, easy of access and easily procured, is one of the prime necessities, and certainly Cash City should feel proud in that she is abundantly blessed with this requisite. One mile south of town on the land of F. G. Keith is a quarry of an inexhaustable amount of stone. Mr. J. H. Clay is developing the quarry, and . . . (unreadable)

Friday, March 4, 1887
 Notices of Publication (Land sales filed at Garden City, Feb 21, 1887)
Jane Thompson, lots 1 and 2 and a half of northeast quarter, section 5, township 88 south, range 25 west (This is my great great great grandmother, Jane Malone Thompson)

Oct. 15, 1887
Following is the report of the Cash City school, for the month ending Oct. 7: 
Number of pupils enrolled: 22
Average daily attendance: 16
Those neither absent nor tardy during the month are as follows: 
Jennie Heape, Fannie Keith, Fannie Heape, George Hendricks, Perry Keith, Ben Hendricks, Louie Miller, Nora Miller
Following is the standing in scholarship and deportment of each pupil:
                                         Scholarship    Deportment
Jennie Heape                     80                  100
Dora Heape                       76                  100
Fannie Heape                    80                  100
Gussie Hendricks              85                  100
Ben Hendricks                  85                  100
Perry Keith                       92                    90
Fannie Keith                     90                  100
Nellie Keith                      88                  100
(Not all copied.) (Nellie Keith is my great grandmother.)

Nov. 11, 1887
Following is the report of the Cash City school for the month ending Nov. 4: 
Whole number pupils enrolled, 20.
Average daily attendance, 14.
Those present every day of the month are: 
Fannie Keith, Gussie Hendricks, Ben Hendricks, Fannie Heape, 
Following is the standing in scholarship and deportment of each for month:
                                        Schol.     Deport.
Jennie Heape                   65            95
Dora Heape                     60            95
Fannie Heape                  85            90
Perry Keith                      93            90
Fannie Keith                    81            95
Nellie Keith                     85            95
Gussie Hendricks            90            90
Ben Hendricks                90            90
(Not all copied.)

Jan. 20. 1888
Mr. J. R. Keith has made a survey for an irrigating canal. At but little expense he can be independent in regard to rains. Anybody who has ever seen the enormous crops of "root sass" grown on irrigated land will appreciate the advantage of such cultivation in any country.  

Friday, Feb. 3, 1888
Local Jottings:
Mr. Keith has built a ditching machine which he will use in cutting his irrigation canal.

J. R. Keith, Esq., has received his commission as Justice of the Peace, and is fitted out with a complete set of books, blanks, etc., ready for any legal business in his line.

It is sad that these newspapers are becoming less common, not to mention the fact they don't mention these little things that helps us make our ancestors come to life. 

On the flip side, many old newspapers are being digitized and made available to researchers. Some through Ancestry, Genealogy Bank, Chronicling American Newspapers or state and local historical libraries. 

Have you tried finding your ancestors in the news?