Tuesday, March 24, 2020


Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

Mustache Cups and Mustache curler - Otero County Museum
photo property of the author
In doing online research in newspapers from the 19th century, I occasionally come across pieces of humor. With all that is happening, I thought I'd share a couple of them. Some of the humor is a bit morbid, some silly and some I'm not so sure of. I will leave you to decide.

Colorado Miner (Weekly), (Georgetown, CO.) Volume IX, Number 16, August 28, 1875

A successful practical joke

The most insufferable of all idiots, the practical joker, does not always escape on earth the wrath that is laid up for him. There lived and taught school in St. James Parish, Louisiana, recently, a man by the name of Bowden, a well – meaning person, but afflicted with that peculiar sense of humor which is sure to get somebody or other into trouble sooner or later. One of his most successful jokes was that of displaying advertising bills printed in imitation of greenbacks, and offering to bet hundreds and thousands of dollars with people who didn't know that he was fooling. The other day an offensive smell coming from an out-house led to a search for the cause, and the corpse of Bowden was found beneath the floor and under a covering of corn – husk, where it was rapidly decaying. A Swedish plantation hand, who had seen him displaying his imitation bills, had mistaken him for a person of large and available means, and had murdered him for his money. The Swede is now a fugitive, and he feels doubly the weight of the joke, for he got no money, and the governor has offered $1000 for his arrest.

Replica School House - Otero County Museum
Photo property of the author

Colorado Daily Chieftain, (Pueblo, CO) Volume 10, number 2599, October 21, 1880


Why not call hanging a necksecution?

If the Turkish government doesn't look out, their country may be called a place of ex-porte.

Might not the act of extinguishing a fire in a bookstore, although no joke, be called a play upon words?

The dealer in salt must have a precarious time of it. The salt cellar, you know, is always getting overturned.

When a Cincinnati man takes up the production of his pen, you never know whether he is a literary feller or a hog raiser.

A Norristown youth, who was trying to master a bicycle, when asked his age, said he had seen fifteen summers and about 155 falls.

For the benefit of other colleges we will state that ever since the resignation of Prof. Coe, Yale has not had co-education. – Yale record

"I am surprised," said a politician to a heavy property owner, "that you do not run for some office." "Well, you see, somebody has to do the taxpaying."

A gentleman in this – town has a curl taken from his grandfather's head, which is 5 1/2 inches long. His grandfather's curl lock stopped when the old man died. – Whitehall Times.

View from the top of Pikes Peak
photo property of the author

North American (Philadelphia, PA) Tuesday, June 15, 1897


A touch of nature.
Mendicant – I aint' had nuttin' ter eat fer a week, sir
The Approached – Why, I gave you the price of a meal yesterday.
Mendicant –Yes sir; but me dog had ter be fed.

Orator – "I tell you, gentlemen, there is something radically wrong with this nation."
Man on the edge of the crowd – "Heavens! Another office – seeker has left Washington in disgust.

Out of humor
Editor – Mr. Cose, your jokes have lost all their humor here of late. What's the trouble?
Joe Cose – I guess I'm not well. I felt rather funny for a week past.

Self love – There is no use talking to stubborn. He won't listen to reason.
Crabtree – What's the trouble?
Self-love – I've talked to him for five hours now, and he still believes he's right.

All agreed.
The court – Gentlemen of the jury, have you agreed upon a verdict.
Foreman (in the far West) – The gents has; but that stubborn cuss and No. 7 seat won't agree with us.

Sadi – Now, Poppa, I know dear Jack is just like you.
Poppa –Humph! Why do you say that?
Sadi – I heard you say the other night that when you married Mama you hadn't a penny. Jack wants to marry me, and he's in the same condition.

Until next month, happy writing, stay safe and well.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet

Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

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