Monday, November 19, 2012

Shades of Tabloid Journalism!

While researching my husband's family I stumbled on this September 1902 newspaper article. Here we learn about the life and times of a very distant cousin. I have blocked out names to protect the sensibilities of family researchers.

Edw. _____ inmate of the hospital of the York County Almshouse, died in that institution last Tuesday from the effects of over indulgence in strong drink, aged abut 55 years. The remains were brought to Littlestown Thursday morning and taken to the home of his sister, Mrs. ___ from where after services conducted by Rev. Smith, the remains were laid at rest in Mt. Carmel cemetery. The survivors are: A widow nee ___, Hanover, a son, ____, of McSherrytown; a mother, ____, Littlestown. The deceased twenty years ago, was one of our most prosperous business men, conducting a stove and tin store on the corner of Lumber and South Queen Sts. He was a deacon in his church, and his business methods, his habits and his character were most exemplary. He was kind and charitable and of a cheerful nature. Ten years ago he became a slave to strong drink which ultimately accomplished his financial ruin and lead him out of his former high social standing. -- Independent.

I must admit being shocked reading such personal details. This is certainly not the routine obituary listed for the community.

We assume that "tabloid journalism" is a very 21st century phenomenon. Surprisingly, this small town newspaper reveals sensational tidbits reminiscent of the National Enquirer. There goes my idea of a kinder and gentler time period.

Have any stories of ancestor's misdeeds hitting the press?

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