Wednesday, May 6, 2009

History Not Taught in Public Schools By Frank E. Ralston Part 2

Part 2 of History Not Taught in Public Schools By Frank E. Ralston in the July 20 1962, Mining Review. Frank called himself the Old Historian,

During the summer months, Satur­days were always big days in Rich Hill before the turn of the century. Because that was the day when Mr. J. M. Thatcher entertained the paying public with his phonograph. Mr. Thatcher was the father of Mrs. C. j W. Pyle, an early day physician, who lived at the corner of 6th and Chestnut, in the house now belonging to Carl Hankins. When the coal miners and farmers began to come into town about the noon hour, Mr. Thatcher brought out his phonograph and set it up at the northwest corner of 6th street and Park avenue, and from noon until around 9-10 o'clock it was constantly in use. It cost the sum of 10 cents to stick the listening tubes in your ears and be entertined by the "devil machine" as one old lady called it. However an early day newspaper stated: "That the human voice can now be reproduced by the instrument and is a wonder well worth hearing.

An early day newspaper man was Mr. J. P. Wiseman, who came to Rich Hill from his home in Fayetteville,West Virginia in 1881 and together With a Mr. Magille, established the Western Enterprise. The first issue hit the press September 1, 1881. It was a weekly newspaper, and after about 4 years Magille sold his interest to Wiseman, who in turn contracted to sell the paper to a Mr. C. C. Graw of Grant City, Mo. and in early November 1885 Mr. Wiseman departed from Rich Hill for his old home in Fayetteville. For some reason the deal didn't stick. Wiseman returned to Rich Hill and in the January 22, 1886 issue of the Enterprise we find the following: "Graw thou are gone but not forgotten; may the Devil deal gently with you for we can't. ...Christ was betrayed into wicked hands, and so were we."

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