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Los Angeles herald. (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1900-1911, July 30, 1905, Image 31

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042462/1905-07-30/ed-1/seq-31/

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JULY 3 0
'( yiLL the .world is talking of the,
•'/\ heroism and the reward «>f the
little mountain maid In North
] Carolina who flagged the . train with
her red petticoat and saved many from
;8; 8 horrible death, when a part of '-he
.mountain burled the track and would
have sent the express down tli4 pi-eci
j-Ye, hundreds of feet below.
V ;,TLls is the story: Nannie G'lbsoi, the
' heroine, fourteen years old, live! in a.
> rough -mountain hut with her father
<In I care of her younger brothers and
«' sisters. -It is a wild, stupendous re
iglon, with the Black mountain • range
[ rising high on every side. . A river
rushing like a torrent through the
; gorge below spreads away in soft silver
I loveliness as it reaches a plateau in
■I the wilderness. .
I;. 1 Nannie's mother had died but a few
'.weeks before, and being the ■ eldest,
she became the "Litle Woman" o£ the
i household. She was at work about the
house cooking and caring . for the chil
dren when suddenly the mountain trem
bled, and with the roar and, crash of
; a cyclone an 'Immense slab of ' the
mountain fell upon the main track of
the Southern railway. Jj f,
It was a situation to appall any oj;«
but .' the ' little .- heroine with good cool
blood In her veins. She recovered her
wits ; Instantly and Ibecame masi er of
the situation. ' Seizing a red table cloth
Remarkable Power of Advertising
t,TTHBN BUSINESS men get to-
VV gether it is impossible for
4 them to avoid for long the
subject of advertising and on this an-
Borblng topic many odd stories are told.
I Some New York' business men were
fishing at Anglesea. r
"t once advertised," said a contractor,
"for/a-donkey engine. I got the very
thing I wanted at a low price, and
when I opened the boiler ' I found it
filled to the brim with smuggled Ha
vana cigars and Jamaica rum. I sold
the odd cargo for $125."
"I," said John Mark, a man in white
linen, "own, as you know, Mark's Medi
cine mill, the only factory of its kind
in the world. Our dally output is 2,600,
000 pills. 136,000 plasters and 60,000 bot
tles of painkiller. How did this mam
moth business start? It started with a
dollar 'ad." I was 28 at the time, and I
was keeping the books of a retail furni
ture {emporium at $7 a week, home
from 8 till 6. Pretty near sick I was; I
had thoughts of suicide; slaving, mind
you, ten hours a day, and only $7 tc
Los Angeles Herald.
she told her sister Patty, a llt'ie tot 9
years old, to run for her life d</t/a the
track and flag trains coming from be
Then turning household affaira.over
to lltle Julia, a 6-year-old mountain
kid, she ran like a deer, up the track,
where she knew a train would toon
be coming down the mountain. She had
no red table cloth, but she' switoho-1
off her red petticoat as the roar of tho
train was heard approaching, and
waved it frantically as the big loco
motive thundered down the mountain.
. The engine driver "reversed" and the
grinding machine came along in a
cloud of steam and with flre stream
ing from every wheel. The heavy train
flnally ; came to a stop not ten feet from
the big . rocks of the mountain . aval
anche. It was in that , part of tits
canyon where the road runs through
a notch in the mountain, a thousand
feet above the valley. .
When the . passengers swarmed out
of the train and men, women and chil
dren looked into the dizzy aby»i they
realized whajt they had escaped. In.
an instant they brushed the trairtmon
away from the girl and hugged and
kissed her. as if she were the one hero
ine on earth. "Bob" Weaver, the f-n
glne driver, had already picked her up
in his arms, calling her an angel whom
heaven had sent to save the train and
Its passengers. A dozen men, with I
take home to the wife and children or
Saturday night. .
"I had the recipe for a painkiller, a
good medicine made out of herbs that
my great-grandfather had gotten from
an Indian. To try and make up a back
month's rent my wife put up two dozer
bottles of the painkiller— it cost her, all
told, 60 cents— and I put a dollar 'ad
In the paper about what the medicine
would do. What happened? A drug
gist took the two dozen bottles at 20
cents apiece and ordered six dozen •
week till further orders. Further or
ders, a month later, were for the doub
ling of the weekly supply, I soon had
to leave the retail furniture emporium.
I soon had to hire six girls to help me
put up painkiller. And that was my
start." , . ■
"I," said the third fisherman, haul-
Ing in a flounder, "made and sold
tinned soup for twelve years at an
annual profit of $1(00 without advertis
ing. I now advertise my tinned soup—
I have been j doing so alnce 1901— and
ulrtady'my annual pront It $16,000."
tears 'in their. eyes, came forward and
wanted to -adopt ''little Nannie on the
spot,: while others, -swearing or crying,
were taking up i a , collection. Enough
money to fill, a Baptist preacher's
stovepipe hat was realized In two min
utes. . jl . : ',<,■ '•!■..-
Nannie thanked everybody in a sweet,
bewildered way, but told them that
her mother 'was dead and that there
was no one to "care for the children
and run the house lrr«the absence of her
father but herself. .'
With i the modesty of the vio.ets by
her side, the girl talked shyly of her
family affairs, and explained why It
would be Impossible for her to accept
the many kind offers showered upon
her' for a home In a big' house, -with
servants to wait- upon her and a piano
to play after she had learned in u?lo
and other things. ■■ -
She accepted the money, however,
because it was pressed upon hsr, and
they told her that she could do what
she pleased with it. 'It was all h'?rs,
they said.
Like a dutiful daughter, she gave ';•
every penny of it to her father, who Is
an industrious and honest man. In
stead of going- oh a North Carolina,
spree to drink moonshine whisky and
have a big time with the boys at ihe ;.
crossroads, he went further down the 4
mountain and bought the sweeti-st lit- *
tie home^you ever saw. There Is a J
patch of grass ; around the housp, a *
fine area of farm .land under cultlva- »;
tlon, with the clearest of trout, bi-oous *
flashing .down from the glens nWivo to ♦;•
lirlgate the crops during dry sounons. £
It is an ideal place, where blu<>beUa «
and violets bloom all the season, where f
the skies are as blue as In Italy and !!
the air Is crisp and tingling with ' '
health. 1 1
It was In this new home that Naniilo [j'
and her father settled down with the •?
children the other day, and were six *s
times happier than! a.' Texas rnnciiinan ?
with a hundred square' miles' of land ' }
and cattle. In this particular cans it j '{
seemed as If virtue were. really Its own ',
reward. There was only on* pogt.'bti J ;
thing that the girl hoped for ar.d that <>
was an education. Like v all resolute!;;
minds who read, she was ambitious for , • >
knowledge of books and the world she jj '
dreamed of.
Such was the situation in that quiet
mountain home hear the wonderful re
gion of Ashevllle, where the Vuuder
bllts and other millionaires have :h<-lr
palaces, when the , unexpected hap
pened. A representative of the South
ern Railway company appeared u;id
said the corporation was anxious to
offer the girl a substantial and . per
manent wvard for her courag«oui
foresight In saving the train In- that
awful emergency. . -„; ,
The girl said that she wanted noth
ing, now that she had a home, except an
education; but she little thought that
anything short of a miracle orVcloufl
of angels from heaven could bring that
wonderful thing about. Then the rail
road man told her that she should igo
to college at the company* expenie and
receive 'a first class up-to-date educa
tion.' In' the bewilderment of this'as
tounding'lnformation, when everything
in the world seemed dancing to fairy
music, she began talking of her broth
ers and sisters and asking herself what
would become of them. It was explain*
ed to her that with education she could
easily look after them.
So It cam* about that tht matter was
speedily arranged and In that longest
and most ■ beautiful /of all the sunny
days of the girl's life the learned that
she was to begin her education at the
Asheviile Normal Collegiate institute. .
It would take a diamond" pointed pen
wTnTanrink pot full of rainbows to be
gin* to describe the joy of 'the"- girl and
her j household over their . wonderful
good luck In saving a train full of peo
ple and in getting a pretty little moun
tain farm, with a, first class college edu
cation thrown in.' But Ihat /seems to
be the way they do things on great oc
casions down among j those' mountain*
near Asheville, N. C
"I was listening. to hear the train go
by when the landslide came." said Nan
nit, as she afterward described Ih* la
I «7 VI HM»*J
cldents in what was to prove to be tho '>■■
great and' memorable day, of her Ufa.
"I knew, by the. sun that It.. was pretty." :
near train time. I was listening for
the train to go along so as. to put "the V "
potatoes on. If you put them on. when
the train goes by they are cooked'Ju?t
right when daddy comes home to'din
ner. -.So when I heard the noise" of tho
landslide I knew that it must be al
most train time. That's what made me
hurry so and run down the track to
stop the train. • I didn't feel very. surf
that I could stop it because the trains • . \
never do stop here. I was afraid that
the engine driver wouldn't pay any at
tention to me even If I did get there I?.
time. He might not know what I
meant and I didn't know how to signal ■
to have it mean stop."
In sparsely settled mountain com
munities, like that where Nannie's
home was, clocks and watches are
scarce things. .The sun Is the most fre- ; •
quently consulted timepieces, and.'n V;
many cabins the only one.
However, cabins located near the rail- !
road are considered to be especially fa
vored, as the trains go by at certain '„
hours and their passing answers the -
purpose of a town clock. When ■ the '■;
i up express goes along the mountaineer
knows that it Is half-past eleven and
that in half an hour dinner will ' be ;_ i
I ready.
j ; The passing of the trains are the \ i|
chlef incidents of the day.' Everybody
stops work to watch them and watches
are regulated accordingly. ; •;•.£;,
Enough to fill a dozen books has been I
written:. about the charm "'.and;', the;
beauty of that wonderful- health' resort:,
of the south.' But nothing can com
pare with • the clear, romance , of •' this £ !
little story, which ends like a fairy tain
of childhood and which many a big six
footer has read in preference to poring
over musty volumes on law b«\th« ways
of stocks and high finance. At the end
of Nannie's college course , a prince
should appear , to round out the fairy '
tale, and all the neighbors in the Ash«t- f
vllle region say a* will com* for littlt
N»nnU , , , ' i /"■

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