Benton 'Gossip Column' from 1892

Everybody loves gossip, well . . nearly everybody. But for those of us who do, here are juicy tidbits from the 1892 Polk County News. Who visited whom, the weather, the crops, politics, juvenile delinquents, who was born, married and died - it's all here! So . . what else is new?

April 25, 1892:
It is reported that Cookston Creek has several mad-dogs, so you had better keep a sharp lookout.

Dr. Gregory has purchased and moved into the new house built near the Methodist Church by Harve Rymer

Sam Dunn, son of Mrs. Sue Dunn, died about one o'clock Sunday morning of consumption. The remains were interred at the town graveyard this morning.

The town graveyard is in better condition than it has been for years, but a new fence around it is badly needed as the old one has rotted and partly fallen down in several places.

Chip Owens and his bride, Cohutta Summerour passed through town a few days ago.

A horse belonging to J. L. McClary ran away last Saturday evening with a buggy and smashed it up considerably Fayette Stephenson was in the buggy at the time, but jumped out and was but slightly injured

The "College Court" has sent 5 or 6 men to the penitentiary ands sentenced one to be hanged. Let the good work go on.

The new steamboat, the Kendrick makes regular trips every week to the mouth of the Ocoee where there is now a store and warehouse. There is also a warehouse at the old "Gamble Landing."

Our cattlemen are in the dumps now as they can scarcely get dust for their cattle in Chattanooga, let alone enough to pay shipping expenses and for wintering. The farmers around here are going to raise less cotton and more corn this year and better times will be the result.

Benton has half dozen boys who think they are too big for their boots, they are a disgrace to their parents. For disturbing any kind of public meeting they will do to bet on against the boys of any other town in the state. .

Eight or ten men - the Parksville Boss and others of the 'Royal Family" who absolutely and completely control the Republican Party in Polk County who met in secret caucus in this place last Wednesday and decided to call a county convention for May 14th. They also decided who the ticket should be and will now call on the representatives of the party to nominate them. You men that these same leaders have here-to-fore set down on, what are you going to do about it? These elders will now go to their respective districts and select as delegates to the convention men that they can control. .

On the 14th of May they will come to Benton, give several complimentary votes, and then spread the dried fruit on the table and have a love feast to all outward appearances and go home laughing up their sleeves at their trickery. We understand that H. Clay is to again be the Republican candidate for congress form this district and we suppose he will try, by the help of the Parksville Boss to again buy enough votes to carry Polk County, but whether he will succeed or not is a question for every Democrat to answer.

May 3, 1892:

W. T. McClure returned home from Madisonville where he has been hunting a job of work. He is a first class tanner and a hard worker.

Gilbert Blankenship died April 26th and was buried in the town graveyard the following day. He was about 74 years old and has worked in the graveyard digging graves and cleaning up the grounds for nearly 25 years.

Mrs. Sue Donaldson and family moved to Cleveland last Thursday.

Tom Hagler and Andrew Green were in town last week and had a difficulty. They used their knives freely but succeeded only in cutting each other's clothes to some extent. They were brought before Squire Morelock and fined $3.50 and costs. We hope nothing of the kind will happen again as they both are highly respected citizens.

May 23, 1892:
The steamboat was up again last week. It brought a half dozen wagon loads of goods for the merchants at this place.

Dan Lillard has been seriously ill recently but is now able to knock about.

W. F. Wimberly is all smiles tonight, love, it's a girl!

J. F. Clemmer has returned form Texas and he reports that crops are dried up by the drouth.

May 31, 1892:
May, three-year-old child of A. B. and Nellie Nicholson died yesterday morning May 30th.

The remains of Mrs. Wallace Cook were brought here from Cleveland and interred in the town graveyard last Thursday.