New Old News: April Fools Scoundrel

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by Kelsey Boldt

One of the services we provide at the library is support for patrons near and far in their research efforts. While scrolling through our microfilm reels I've found myself on more than one occasion getting distracted by the interesting, and downright funny, articles and ads. They provide a snapshot of our little town through its history, and I for one can't get enough.

Above is an article published in the Weekly Agitator, before the paper became the Iron Agitator and then finally the Mining Journal. This eyebrow-raising article reports on a relatively uneventful April Fools Day in their April 3rd, 1880 issue - with one exception. Read the clipping to find out for yourself exactly what happens but suffice it to say, John Jones is a real scoundrel.

I've found that the early iterations of the paper often report little anecdotes and stories that perhaps would not be considered newsworthy by today's standards. The often gossipy nature of some of these stories is what makes the work of scrolling through these old reels so engrossing.

We will be posting articles like these once a week. A huge thank you to the tireless work of the incomparable Robert Dobson. We use his condensed notes on the Weekly Agitator as a starting point for finding these fun articles.

April 8, 2020

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