9/11/1997 NOTES From The White County Historical Society Library

White County Historical Society Library
by Charlene Shields!
This article appeared in THE CARMI TIMES
September 11, 1997

Dallas McClurken

Dallas McClurken (well-known repairer of clocks) brought in a clipping from a local 1881 newspaper.
This had been reprinted from Peck's Sun and is an example of the type of humor which was enjoyed 100 years ago.
Note the lack of paragraphing; this was common in that time period.

"'An Illinois justice has decided that courting is a public necessity and must not be interrupted; therefore, if a young man wanted to kiss a girl, he might put her father out of the room first if he liked. "The publication of this item may cause some smart young man to do something he will regret. The sick-looking father of a girl may come into the parlor some night and find the warm-haired youth on the sofa with the girl, and when the old man speaks of it being time to stop such nonsense, the young man, with the above judicial decision in his mind, will tell his prospective father-in-law to wipe off his vest and go to bed. The old man will then spit on his hands and grasp the warm-haired young man by the county seat and tie him up in a double bow knot and pin a scarf pin on him and throw him on the path to the gate, and then he will turn and slap the girl where the dress is pleated, and she will go upstairs with her hands upon her heart as it were. The young men of this country have gall enough about visiting girls in the evening at their homes, without filling their heads with any such ideas in regard to their rights. There are very few fathers that would quietly submit to being told to go away by a young man with a striped necktie and pants too short at the bottom. These sparkers are looked upon by parents generally as a nuisance, and often they are right. Nine-tenths of the sparking is done by boys who haven't got their growth, and they look so green that it is laughable to the old folks to look at them. And yet, marrying is about the first thing they think of. A green boy without a dollar present or prospect, sparking a girl regularly and talking about marrying, is a spectacle for gods and men. He should be reasoned with, and if he will not quit until he is able to support a wife, and to know who he loves and the difference between love and passion, he should be quarantined, or put into a convent erected on purpose for such cases. Nine-tenths of the unhappy marriages are the result of green, unhappy calves being allowed to run at large in the society pasture without yokes on them. They marry and have children before they do mustaches; they are fathers of twins before they are proprietors of two pairs of pants, and the little girls they marry are old women before they are twenty years old. Occasionally one of the gosling marriages turns out all right, but it is a clear case of luck. If there was a law against young galoots sparking and marrying before they have all their teeth cut, we suppose that the cusses would evade it in some way but there ought to be a sentiment against it. It is time enough for the bantams to begin to think of finding a pullet when they have raised money enough by their own work to buy a bundle of laths to build a hen house. But they see a girl that looks cunning, and they are afraid there will not be girls enough to go around, and they begin to get to their work real spry, and before they are aware of the sanctity of the marriage relation, they are hitched for life. And before they own a cook stove or a bedstead they have to get up in the night and go after the doctor, so frightened that they run themselves out of breath and abuse the doctor because he does not run too, and when the doctor gets there, he finds that there is not linen in the house to wrap up a doll baby."

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