Rights and Wrongs in 1905 Rochester

Rights and Wrongs in 1905 Rochester

We’ve been enjoying the over-the-top ads of our 120 year old attic newspaper find. One of the shoe ads brags about their quality then swaggers “…we prove it with the’Window of the Sole’ and the famous Regal buzz-saw.”

But there’s also some eternal truths in the regular news as well. Let’s start with Man… at Last Night’s Fire. 

Man… at Last Night’s Fire.

During the fire in the Almstead electrical store on State Street last night, Policeman Fuller saw a spectator pick up a letter which he hurriedly opened. With a sidelong glance the fellow transferred the contents to his pocket, and before Fuller could reach him, disappeared in the crowd.

However, the bluecoat got a good look at the fellow, and this morning, when in front of the postoffice on Church Street he ran squarely into the man.

“What did you do with that letter?” asked Fuller. His question startled the man, who, in confusion, admitted the accusation.

To Superintendent of Carriers Vick (he admitted?) his name as Franklin Baker and (respectfully?) turned over the letter…

What a masterful opening lede. What a ripping mystery. It’s all the better that we don’t hear the end. And now I have two things I want to add to American slang.

  • “bluecoats”. I like this at least as much as “browncoats”, the name for the Confederacy Independent Planets in Firefly.
  • “Santa Patata” M2zs is on the first google search page for this phrase. C’mon people lets make it happen!

The second story to catch my eye is TENANTS WITH CHILDREN HAVE HARD TASK RENTING.


Mrs. Miranda Green, With Four of the Darlings, Tells Judge Murphy Sorrowful Story of House Hunting.

Mrs. Miranda Green voiced the sentiments of unnumbered throngs of mothers and fathers when she declared that she would make a test case against people who refuse to rent their houses or apartments to people with children. Mrs. Green was defendant yesterday in a summary suit brought by P. S. John-son, a real estate dealer. She had rented a flat of him at Campbell Street and Reis Park.

Other occupants of the block objected to Mrs. Green’s four children and Johnson notified her to move. There was no trouble of the rent, as she always paid promptly.

“It’s the babies,” she told Judge Murphy in Municipal Court, “and I’ll start a suit that will make landlords rent to people with growing families. Give me time to see a lawyer.”

Judge Murphy put the case over. [Editor’s note: He postponed it]

Mrs. Green laid the case before an attorney after leaving Judge Murphy and was disabused of the idea that she could make a landlord accept children. No special legislation has been past yet requiring that.

What a sad story about the Mrs Miranda Green, who thought she could change the system.

As my friend Susan noted: She “was disabused of the idea that she could make a landlord accept children”. Good heavens, Mrs. Green! The very idea is preposterous!

The buildings in question were probably destroyed in the buildout of interstate 490 in the late 60s/early 70s but the question of tenant’s rights remains.