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We really live in boring times today

Check out frequent Bluffton visitors in the 1880s and 1890s



When was the last time you met a tramp, peddler or just a person of interest?


In the 1880s, 1890s and early 1900s Bluffton was blessed with a continual parade of these interesting folks. And, the Bluffton News kept readers up-to-date of their visits. We’ve selected some of the more unusual stories about these people, who once made Bluffton such an interesting place.


Each story is from the Bluffton News.


Headline: Wicked

1880 – The Advents have broken their siege on the wicked of this village, and moved over to Ada, and spread their tents. There is said to be a considerable number of sinners over there, yet.


From an 1880 issue of the Dunkirk Standard, reprinted in the Bluffton News – While Dr. Sayer of North Washington, was driving along the public highway in the neighborhood of Mt. Meriah Church one night last week, a man stepped suddenly out and grabbed the reigns of his horse.

The Doctor pulled his revolver and fired when the man fell, and the doctor struck out for home, not caring to stop to investigate as he saw others approaching. It is hoped that his shot had telling effect.


From the Forest Review, 1880, reprinted in the Bluffton News – Yesterday a covered wagon, to which hitched a jaded team, drove up in front of the post office and stopped. On one side of the canvass were the following words: “Good Bye, Old Kansas. I May Go to Hell, But to Kansas Never.” In the wagon were the last sad remains of several articles of furniture, a dilapidated and filthy bed tick, a gun and half loaf of bread. The driver of this strange vehicle, was a horney handed son of soil, and his shirt gave evidence that it had not been washed for many a day. He left here about noon, going east.


Same issue – Mr. Harvey S. Horn, the young editor of the Forest Review gave us a call last Sunday. He publishes one of the spiciest little papers in the state and deserves all his success.


1890 – Three weeks ago a gypsy band fraudulently obtained $1,000 from Sherman Stober, 71, residing south of Bluffton by pretending to be treating him for an ailment thru magical powers which they claimed to possess.


May 5, 1893 – According to a recently developed Youngstown prophet, the winding up of earthly affairs has been postponed until 1914. There is one great consolation in this. Most of us will have last all interest in the matter before that time, but then we will miss the grand spectacular display promised for the occasion.


Dec. 21, 1893 ­– A tramp breakfasted here at noon the other day, and said that he helped Mackey, Flood and O’Brien dig gold in California and found the chuck that made them $12,000,000 and was with them when O’Brien died in London.


Jan. 31, 1895 –

Ended their Tramp

From the Findlay Republican:

Fred Miller, the “dead-broke” pedestrian, who formerly worked in Sam Kautz’s saloon and restaurant in this city, and his dog, Guess, terminated their long tramp Saturday night at New York City. Guess and his master left New Orlans July 29 last, and came afoot to that city. The terms of the feat stipulate that Miller should neither beg, borrow nor work for money on the way. This stage of the journey completes a tramp of 6,200 miles. They first walked from San Francisco to New York City, and then undertook the journey to New Orleans and back. Miller is a little, wiry fellow and looks in excellent condition. Guess is a fine specimen of the pointer breed.


From 1895 – Look out for a man and woman who are peddling polish and a receipt to make it. The receipt may be all right but the polish consists of ordinary road dust, with a little polish on top.


June 20, 1895 – A couple of Italians in Columbus Grove a few days ago endeavored to dispose of a woman, whom one of the d---- claimed was his wife. They wanted $500 for her, but no buyers were found.


June 27, 1895 – Sam Shockey, the notorious Ada crank, who now claims to be making a tour around the world, came near ending his life by hanging himself in the jail at Pomeroy in other day.


July 25, 1895 – Last Friday upon returning to their home after a short absence Oscar Huber’s fond a man hid in the closet in their home. He was brought to town and arraigned before Mayor Zoll on the charge of breaking into the house with intent to steal.


He pleaded guilty of the former, but insisted that his only intent was to get something to satisfy his hunger which was probably true. The mayor sentenced him to 30 days in the work house, and fined him $10 and costs. He gave his name as William C. Bowers.


1899 – Nine Italian peddlers canvassed this vicinity the other day. They had a horse and buggy with them to carry their baggage.





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