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News From 139 Years Ago

Washoe Valley News from 131 years ago:

From the Weekly Nevada State Journal
August 7, 1875

(from the Enterprise)

Washoe Valley Items
Hay, Grain, etc.- Wood, Lumber, etc.
-A “Ragged Edge” Affair in Franktown, and a
Man Who Could Not Spell “Tansy”

The haying season in Washoe Valley is about half over. The hay crop is more than an average one. There will also be an unusually large yield of wheat, oats and other cereals.
Frank Ardery, chief telegraph operator at Carson, went down to Huffaker’s day before yesterday for the purpose of establishing a telegraph station at that place.
American boys and Washoe Indians are making a lively raid on blackbirds with bows and arrows.
Six freight trains, averaging about twenty cars each, are run daily between Carson and Reno.
William Price has erected a sawmill in the vicinity of the great landslide, of the Sierra Nevada, west of Franktown. The mill has already started up and is engaged in sawing lumber for Mr. Price’s flume, in the same locality. The work of surveying the route for the same had already been completed by Mr. Fillebrown. Thirty two hundred cords of wood were shipped to Carson and Virginia from Franktown station last month. About twenty thousand cords more will be shipped from the same point during the present season. Two hundred wood choppers are at work in the mountains between Price’s and Marlette’s.
All of the dwelling houses in Washoe City are deserted, with the exception of twelve. The only excitement which disturbs the repose of the slumbering inhabitants is the fast-going passenger and express train of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad Company as it nightly thunders along the valley.

An Episode

Somewhat of the Beecher and Tilton color has lately created great excitement in Franktown. On Friday last the brother-in-law of the lady (who is shortly to become a mother though unmarried) met her alleged seducer in front of John Duvall’s hotel, and made a demonstration as if about to chastise him with a blacksnake. No. 2 retaliated by drawing a revolver, which proceeding caused the spectators to scatter in all directions. As often as the party of the first part advanced on his adversary with the blacksnake, the latter would raise his revolver and waive him back. Just as the prospect of bloodshed became imminent, Maurice May, Constable and Deputy Sheriff of Washoe County, rushed forward at the peril of his own life snatched the pistol from the hands of No. 2, causing an cessation of hostilities. the young lady who is the cause of the quarrel is a Scandinavian, and is about thirty years of age. It is thought that the difficulty will be settled by litigation.

Spelling Match in Franktown

The only remaining item of interest to record is a spirited orthographical contest, indulged in by the citizens of Franktown on Saturday evening last. The spelling match was held at the Mormon Church, and was attended by a motley gathering of woodchoppers, railroad men, ranchers, schoolmasters, together with a plentiful sprinkling of the fair sex. A fierce onset was made upon Webster, which lasted for an hour or more. Prof. Frank Fry, a representative Virginian, who took an active part in the contest, expressed himself equal to the task of collaring and throwing any word in the English language, but had to take a seat on “tansy”. Two “spelldowns” were indulged in, Mrs. Nat Holmes proving victorious in one and her daughter, Miss Lizzie Holmes, in the other.

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