Look Back: Advice from the editor

Historical newspaper excerpts from the Wood County Historical Society

Dear Editor State Journal: I have a friend in Charleston who recently made his headquarters here, who is in doubt about a matter of life-long importance to him. He told me he knew and admired a Parkersburg young lady who has an income of about $40 a month. A little while afterwards he asked me, a married man, how much it cost me to live. Would you advise him to consider a $40 per month income? It costs me about $80 a month to keep my family.

Signed, Benedict

(The only question is, whether by taking the $40 and the girl too, he would be gaining or losing. It all depends upon the girl.)


Dear Mr. Editor: I went sleigh riding with a young gentleman the other night, and I saw that his hands grew very cold while driving. Did I do anything improper when I offered to drive a little while for him?

Signed, Anxiously, One of the Girls.

(That depends entirely on the young man. Be more explicit the next time you ask for information, and a more satisfactory answer can be given. On general principles it is well not to be too rash.)


Is it proper Mr. Editor, for a young man to admire the Christmas or birthday presents of a young lady, and to ask her who gave them? Please answer, and oblige.

Signed, A Student.

(Student, you have much to learn. Common sense and gallantry teach us it is alright to admire all the gifts. But it is only proper for those to ask where they came from who do not know enough to know that it is none of their business. The best advice for you to follow is, that if by chance you should see some of “my lady’s” gifts, it does not concern you where they came from.)


Editor State Journal. — In your opinion ought a young man be exposed who will quote a poem of a distinguished but not familiar poet and claim it as his own, as was done by a young man in this city a short time ago? I am glad to say that he does not (now) live in Parkersburg.

Signed, A Young Lady.

(Yes, he ought to be exposed, along with any other kind of thief. Why did you not give his name? Has he left the country, if not Capt. Mehen might be able to catch him.)


Editor State Journal. — I heard one of our lawyers question a witness in the court room recently before a jury, and he asked her two or three times: “Where was you at when you seen this?” What excuse is there for a lawyer using such moonshine language in a court room?

Signed, Critical.

(Critical, you are too keen. You should not notice the little slips a lawyer makes. But since you have mentioned it, there is no possible excuse for such outlandish language. A careful examination of several half-dime novels and even the Sentinel does not reveal any worse blunders.)


Editor State Journal: A few months ago there was considerable talk of a city hospital. A amateur performance contributed about $200 toward it, I believe, and other monies were subscribed. What has become of the movement? Has it been dropped?

Signed. —-?—-.

(Our respected correspondent should ask something easier. Like many of the suggested public charities in this city, it is not meeting with the proper encouragement that it should from the great number of citizens who are abundantly able to give money for the support of a public hospital. In the words of the indictment recently returned against Jacky Hora for starving his horse, probably it “lacks the necessary subsistence’s.” However, it is encouraging to know that the hospital is the pet scheme of several public spirited ladies and gentlemen who are not going to let it fall through.)

The Parkersburg State Journal

Jan. 19, 1883


Bob Enoch is president of the Wood County Historical Society. Would you like to help preserve our past for future generations? The society offers informative monthly meetings and an interesting, 20-page quarterly newsletter. Dues are just $20/year. Send to: WCHPS, P.O. Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102.


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