One of the most useful features of newspapers from the latter part of the 19th century and well up into the 20th century was the local community column. These items were sent to the editor of the paper by people who lived within the community. Many columns were signed not with the person’s actual name but with a nickname or nom de plume, if they were signed at all. Local columns reflected the comings and goings of citizens, young and old, and generally commented on any number of items important to a community’s residents.
The following is a typical community column from that era, as published in the January 20, 1899 issue of The Clayton Tribune.
Mrs. Fannie Beck has her foot seriously burned.
Miss Lillie Beck is real sick at this writing.
Mr. William Ramey, of Chechero was on Warwoman last week.
Mr. Jeff Beck had the misfortune to get his hand badly cut while butchering a hog last week.
Miss Mary Beck returned home last week.
* * * * *
Quotation excerpted from my upcoming volume Rabun County, Georgia, Newspapers, 1894 – 1899, expected to be released in 2012.