THE ASHLAND PRESS - 1897-1902


| March/April 1973


R. D. 4, Ashland, Ohio 44805.

Several years ago I was lucky enough to rescue from a junk dealer several bound volumes of a once prominent weekly newspaper of our community; The Ashland Press. There were eight consecutive years, all complete, running from July 1897 to July 1905, and all in very good condition. Every once in a while it is interesting to get these out and look over the happenings at the turn of the century. Besides the latest news on the Spanish American War, there was the Alaskan gold rush, the Wm. Jennings Bryan, Wm. McKinley debates of 1900 and McKinleys subsequent assassination and Teddy Roosevelt's election in 1904. The papers contain the latest local news of such things as train wrecks, runaway horse and buggy accidents, barn fires and every now and then, items regarding traction engines and threshing. I have now and then read stories in I. M. A. of accidents and incidents regarding threshing taken from old newspaper accounts and decided to look through those that I have and see what I could come up with, as it might be of interest to the readers of this magazine. In scanning over the pages, I have noted the following:

August 26, 1897: 'After dark last Saturday the packing flew out of the cylinder of Henry Greshner's threshing engine when it was near a bridge in the middle of the road east of town. It was with great difficulty that vehicles could pass. It was also a difficult task to remove the engine.'

August 31, 1898: 'John Light came home from his work in the Aultman Taylor shops in Mansfield last Friday night with a crippled hand. His helper struck a terrific blow at a tool that he and the ex-marshal were sharpening, and the blow not striking squarely, a piece of the metal flew off and penetrated Light's hand near the base of the thumb. He came home with the iron in his hand and expects to leave it there anticipating no serious results.'

May 10, 1899: 'BIG FIRE AT MASSILLON-The largest conflagration in the history of Massillon swept Russell & Co's mammoth thresher and engine plant Monday night, destroying property valued at fully $500,000. The fire started in the large warehouse at eight o'clock and in this structure was 300 finished machines, and all were consumed. A call for assistance was wired to Canton and a steamer and truck departed immediately, arriving almost too late to be of assistance. The firemen worked heroically and succeeded in saving the machine shops. By ten o'clock the fire was under control.

The saddest feature of the fire was the killing of Albert Bamberger, a volunteer fireman, by a falling wall, and the probably fatally injuring Christian L. Baotz, foreman of a department.