Bellville Star: snippets from the past

Rhonda Bletner - @[email protected]

Readers of old newspapers make fun of the way news was reported long ago: little snippets run continuously with no headline, just a dash to separate each item. Yet today we can read them—some with amusement, and some providing clues to our past.

We might laugh at this cemetery event, but what if it was our loved one? Is that a reason why vaults are used today?

The Bellville Star, Aug. 21, 1884

—An animal, supposed to be a ground hog, has been burrowing into graves in the Steel cemetery, and bring in to the surface the bones of the dead. In one instance a coffin plate was brought up.

The following clips have headlines.

Bellville Star, July 17, 1884

Separated After Many Years.

Died, July 10, 1884, Anna Minerva Kincaid, aged 82 years, 2 months and 18 days.

The deceased, whose maiden name was Bond, was born at Martinsburg, VA., April 22, 1802, and was married to George Wm. Kincaid Sept. 30, 1818, and came to Bellville in 1836. They were the parents of 14 children, only six of whom are living. The husband is yet living in the 95th year of his age, and is the only surviving soldier of the War of 1812 living in this vicinity. The twain were husband and wife 65 years, 10 months and 7 days.

Mrs. Kincaid joined the Methodist Church in her youth, and was a member thereof at her decease.

The funeral took place at the M.E. church July 12 at 9:30 a.m.; services conducted by Rev. A.S. Moffit and Nathan Sites, under the auspices of the I.O.O.F. Lodge.

Drink and Death.

Thursday afternoon, the 10th, Theodore Crouse came to this place from the south, in an intoxicated condition for the purpose, no doubt, of finishing his drunken spree, and was successful.

On the train he was very abusive and troublesome, and the conductor was glad to get rid of him. After landing here he imbibed more liquor, and was seen reeling along the streets at a late hour in the night.

He applied for lodging but was refused, and after his concert in the lumber yard, nothing more was hear of him until Saturday morning, when he was found lying by the railroad track near Alexander & Zent’s warehouse, with his head crushed and life almost extinct.

The news was communicated to the landlord of the Clifton House, by a train hand on a southbound freight, about four o’clock. The generally accepted theory is that the man laid down on the track in a drunken stupor, with his head against the rail, and was not awakened by the noise of the train, until too late to escape.

His body was removed to the platform at the depot. After the railroad company refused to take charge of the body, it was taken to Laneharts’ furniture store, and prepared for burial. Telegrams were sent out inquiring for friends of the dead man, and an answer from Tiffin Saturday afternoon just before the remains were buried. A brother of the deceased came on the night train and left with the remains on Sunday afternoon.

The deceased was a stone cutter by trade, and worked here last season. On his person was found nothing but $1.25 in money. He was 30 years old and unmarried. His father is a German Lutheran Minister now residing at Tiffin. He formerly preached in the this county.

And Capt. Wilson a rather well-known historic resident, continued to do business in Bellville:


W.W. Wilson, having bought A.E Carpenter’s stock of goods, will continue business at the post office building and will sell groceries, queensware, notions, etc, at prices that will please both old and new customers. He is getting new goods right along and will endeavor to do the best that can be done to suit all his patrons. Trade with him once and you will come again. Don’t forget that place.

Rhonda Bletner

@[email protected]