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The mirror. (Stillwater, Minn.) 1894-1925, November 25, 1915, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90060762/1915-11-25/ed-1/seq-2/

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fflqe Mirror
Entered at the postofflee at Stillwater, Minnesota, as second-class
mail matter.
The Mirror is issued every Thursday at the following rates:
One Year H-00
Six Months - - SO
, Three Months .M
To inmates of all penal institutions per year .50
Address all communications to
The Mirror,
Stillwater, Minn.
The Mirror is a weekly paper published in the Minnesota State
Prison. It was founded in 1887 by the prisoners and is edited and
managed by them. It aims to be a home newspaper: to encourage
moral and intellectual improvement among the prisoners; to acquaint
the public with the true status of the prisoner: to disseminate peno
logical information and to aid in dispelling that prejudice which has
ever been the bar sinister to a fallen man's self-redemption.
Each inmate is accorded the privilege of sending one paper home,
or to friends free of charge. To do this you should write your own
name and register number and the name and address of the person you
wish to send the paper to, and hand same to your officer. If you desire
to send more than one paper, each additional copy will be charged for
at the rate of SO cents a year.—The paper delivered to your cell each
week must be kept clean, and should be folded in the same mnnner as
you receive it. placing it in your cell door on Friday night.
Services in the Prison Chapel at nine o'clock every Sun
day morning, Protestant and Catholic service every alternate
Sunday. Rev. C. E. Benson and Rev. Fr. Corcoran, Chap
Notice Contributions submitted to the Mir
ror for publication must be absolutely original; if not
original, proper credit must be given, if known; if
writer s name is not known, it should be so speci
fied by said contributor. Should contributor fail
to comply with this request be will henceforth be
dropped from the Mirror’s contributing staff.
Signed by Editor.
Approved by Warden.
r - '—
Thanksgiving Entertainment
Thanksgiving Day, which for the inmates of
tl iis Institution, always brings with it the custo
mary annual turkey dinner and theatrical enter
tainment, has again fulfilled its benign purpose.
The inmates were entertained for an hour and a
half in the forenoon by the *‘Cherry Blossom C 0.,”
of Burlesque and Vaudeville Artists, underthe able
House and General managers, Messrs. John Kirk
and A 1 Hays —of the Star Theater St. Paul, Minn.,
The entertainment presented to the inmates
consisted of the entire program of the “Cherry
Blossom Co.,’* as given to its St. Paul patronage.
The company, consisting of a chorus of pretty girls,
vo ’,al artists and comedians of exceptional ability
rendered their varied acts with spirit and vim con
sistent for the occasion, under the personal direc
tion of Mr. A 1 Hays, who provides only the very
best in Burlesqueand Vaudeville attractions for his
The entertainers gave their spirited and sin
ce! est endeavors to please and bring laughter to
the lips of their intra-mural audience, and the spirit
in which they put their various acts “across” the
footlights fully proved the success of their efforts,
as was evidenced by the resounding applause that
followed each “turn”. Special mention must be
given to the songs that were sung by Miss Babe
B irnet, whose voice was as clear as a silver bell,
and whose talent was of exceptional merit, the
repeated encores testifying to this. The company
gave the inmates an entertainment of laugh pro
voking sketches in comedy, songs, dances,etc.,
which will be remembered by the “boys” with
pleasure and appreciation.
The Star Theater Orchestra, under the direct
ion of Mr. Alec Honen, provided and rendered with
consumate artistry the orchestration and musical
scores that attended each act. Their program was
one filled with catchy and up-to-the-minute music,
which brot repeated applause. The Orchestra
membership consisted of Messrs. Alec Honen, pi
anist; Mr. Christenson, Ist. Violin; J. Erlitz,
Cornet; Damm, Clarinet; Walter, Trombone; and
Mr. Risberg, Drums.
The generous spirit which all members of
the company displayed in coming to Stillwater, for
the purpose of cheering the inmates of the “Silent
City” is sincerely appreciated, and they will be
kindly remembered by every individual that wit
nessed these Star performers in their freewill en
tertainment for our pleasure.
The Institution management is also to be con
gratulated and thanked for the provision of an
entertainment and dinner that has been excelled by
no previous Thanksgiving day in the history of
the Institution. The management, in behalf of the
inmates, extends its appreciation to the worthy
company of players that has helped to make the
Thanksgiving day of 1915 a success.
After the entertainment the inmates were as
sembled in the dining hall to partake of their “An
nual Thanksgiving Spread,” consisting of the fol
lowing sumptuous menu —
Roast Turkey with Dressing.
Cranberry Sauce.
Mashed Potatoes.
Cream Giblet Gravy.
Hot Home-made Mince Pie.
Apple-Tapioca Pudding.
Cheese, Celery, Cake, Bread.
Coffee with Milk and Sugar.
For the moment the Dove of Peace is request
ed to give way to our National Bird of Thanksgiv
Does the spirit of the coming Thanksgiving
Day touch your dormant sense of gratitude— to
ward lif-e, as it encompasses your present in
dividual status —to voice a few sincere thanks for
those things that are granted unto you by a wise
Providence? If so, you are fortunate and Thanks
giving Day will be a day of cheer and hope.
But to those who feel that their present status
is inconsistent to the promotion of a spirit of grati
tude, or expressions thereof, we would ask a few
opportune questions.
Do you receive letters of an optimistic tone
from mother, father, friends etc.? If so, be
thankful that they have been loyal to you and trust
in you to “buck up” and rise to their expectations.
Does the Bible which is placed in your little
chamber awaken no curiosity to peruse and enjoy
the wholesome food of truth and hope contained
between its covers? If so, be thankful that you
have at hand a golden opportunity to awaken in
terest and take to heart its holy truths. Read it,
and you will be ever thankful that you were privi
leged to get acquainted with it-
Are you physically normal and free from the
ills that beset the average mortars health? If so,
be ashamed that you neglected gratitude for this
blessing, and be thankful that you are not con
demned to invalidism.
Is your present status dispiriting and filled
with regrets? Then be thankful that you Yet
have Time to reform —to fan your dying embers
of hope to a flame of consuming desire to re-estab
lish upon the ashes of the past, the future activities
that lead to honored citizenship.
Have misfortunate environments of your for
mer life denied you schooling? Then be thankful
that you now have undenied privilege to attend a
night school.
Have past associates and environments ham
pered or caused you to neglect the path of virtue?
Then be thankful that you can in the future, choose
worthier associates and select better environments.
Has “booze” been a curse to you? Then be
sincerely thankful that you have here—because of
compulsory temperance—the opportunity to train
your whiskey-weakened will to recover its strength,
and time to teach it to constantly hate that curse
which was your undoing.
If you can’t be thankful, be as thankful as you
The best way to boost yourself, is to make of
yourself a booster.
Don’t be a crab —or you’ll be mistaken for a
Owing to a feeling that the Allie’s might be
regarded as unwelcome guests at Constantinople,
they have decided to dispense with Turkey this
year, and leave the Thanksgiving feast to the Teu
tons. A very generous attitude indeed, on the
part of the Allie’s!
Toleration is the sauce that flavors the meat of
differing opinion.
Deception never idles in gilding bricks for the
Imnnrt nf Timo Time is an im P° rtant fa c-
IllipUl I Ul I line tor in our lives, and per
haps the most important. Someone has said, “Do
not squander time, for that is the stuff that life is
made of.” But why is it important? It is because
time is a great book in which are written, not only
our deeds, great and small, but our thoughts as
well. This time-book will be the indisputable
witness at the last day to condemn or commend as
the case may be.
A year is a period of time, divided and sub
divided down to the unit, the second. These are
so small they seem unimportant, and we are apt to
throw them away as wc throw pennies to children.
Yet they are drops of gold that if welded together
would make a chain that would show us the value
of life. But there are so many missing links, so
many lost opportunities we pass them by because
they are so small. We are prone to think of suc
cess as something that calls forth the applause of
the world. If we should analyze life we would
find that it is made up of small things, but like the
moving picture films they pass so quickly that they
seem but one continuous roll. We walk one step
at a time. We speak one word at a time.
There is in every human being a possibility, a
plan of life, or perhaps to speak more definitely,
material with which we may achieve success. In
order for us to accomplish anything we must have
material. A musician must possess a sensitive ear
for the varied combinations of sound, and coupled
with that, he must have a delicate touch to execute
the ear’s dictation. The artist must have a keen
eye for blending colors. The man of letters does
with words what the musician does with sound and
the artist does with paint. Each of these three
may tell the same story but of necessity they must
use different material. So success is achieved in
many ways, for each individual must use the ma
terial at command.
—Luther Van Artdalen.
It was the chance perusal of a copy of the Gold
Hill, Nevada, Record that started me on the path of
this unusual adventure. Jn June I bad received a
commission from an eastern syndicate to investigate
and report on some mining property in western
Mexico which they were contemplating purchasing.
The mines —there were three of them I had to vis
it I found to be in one of the most inaccessible
mountainous districts, and it took me eleven days to
get my paraphernalia up from the coast. After an
exhaustive examination of the properties and sur
veys of possible routes of transportation I was forc
ed to report to my employers that the mines, w’hile
fairly rich, would not be able to pay for construc-
tion of the railroad necessary to get the ore out
profitably, in less than fr..tn ten to fifteen years, and
• were, therefore, only valuable as a long term invest
ment, which the present chaotic political condition
of the republic, hardly justified. Mexico is one of
the richest countries in the world in mineral re
sources—her mineral exports even during the rev
olution, exceed $94,800,000 a year —but no one will
ever be able to develop those riches to their full
value until some one spanks a few battallions of
Mexican Generals.
Wall, when they got my report the syndicate
wired back that they had no further use for me in
that territory and I could call on their bank for my
fee when I returned to New York, so I started back
to civilization, and arrived at San Francisco late in
So along the second day after I had landed I
started for New York, thinking maybe the old town
would wipe out such ideas; San Francisco being
only the to civilization anyway, and may
be too near the other thing. But not to make the
change too sudden I took the southern route, count
ing on the mountains and desert country of Nevada
and New Mexico to sort of break civilization in on
me gently, and they certainly did.
After one of the stops just over the Nevada
line the porter came thru the train with a bundle of
the county papers under his arm, and to pass the
time I bought one. There wasn’t much in it that I
hadn’t seen in the coast papers; mostly about Hiram
Pike’s roan heifer getting lost, and the sociable at
the school house on Wednesday night—you know
how those backwoods papers gel it all up, and a
credit to them too, considering what they have to
choose from; —well, I was just going to throw it
down and take a nap when I saw the article. Tiring
you? You like it? Thanks. I guess I’m something
of a iongwinded talker when I get started, and this
experience was so extraordinary that I have to bring
in the how of its happening to convince even my
self that it really occurred. I’ve got that article
about me somewhere—yes, this is it. The way it
starts is what caught my attention.
“Gold Hill, Nev. August 27tb. 19 —.
Professor Walter Pierce, of the State Univer
sity, who has been in Gold Hill for the past week
investigating the epidemic of insanity east of town,
is in the City Lockup. Professor Pierce started out
to visit Devil’s Gulch, where all of the cases have
occured, on Friday. He was brot into town late
last night by two of the hands of the Bar T Ranch,
who found him wandering near Sines Ford in an
exhausted condition. The boys offered him food
from their dinner pails but he refused to eat and be
gan to rave violently when one of them made a
joking remark that the professor didn’t look to be
in any condition to laugh at good food. They had
quite a time getting him to town, and he is in a crit
ical condition due to the exposure, and exhaustion
from his ravings. When conscious he talks contin
uously of some one who laughs at him, as have all of
the other victims of this strange mania. There
seems to be no cause for this epidemic of insanity,
unless the victims have eaten of seme poisonous
plant that grows only in Devil’s Gulch. Dr. Har
ris, our popular county physician, who has attended
eight of the victims while confined in the City Lock
up, states that he knows of no plant or other poison
that would produce insanity in this form. Profes
sor Pierce will be sent to the asylum at Ogden as
soon as he is able to be moved.”
Pretty strange story, isn’t it? Fake? that’s
what I thot at first, and I probably wouldn’t have
paid any more attention to it if it had been in a
city paper. But these little country papers are not
much hand at that sort of thing. They can’t afford
it in towns where everybody knows just when any
body has cabbage for dinner. Advertising stunt?
I thot of that too; but then, they couldn’t ring in a
State University Professor on a stunt to draw tour
ists, and get by with it; at least not right there in
the state. The denial would come too quickly for
the story to do any good. So I figured it must be
genuine, but probably misleading. Anyway, it
would give me an excuse for going up into the moun
tains for a day or two; I dont know whether it was
more curiosity about the insanity “epidemic,” or
just the desire to get out where I could stretch out
as I had been doing all summer that made me get
off at the next stop and take the local taqk to Gold
By Beau Esprit a.
When I tell you that Gold Hill was assembled
% on the steps of the Universal Hotel, Bar, and Em
porium, opposite the depot, when I got off the train
you will know what the town is like. There is
something about the passing of a train that inevita
bly draws the populace of a town from which life
has departed or to which life has not yet come. Per
haps it is the potent liveness of the train itself which
wakens pleasant memories, or stirs half wakened
hopes; or it may be but a sluggish curiosity on the
part of those who have grown out of the ways of
energy, and come to gaze in a sort of wonder at so
much bustle and hurry.
As I crossed the street to the hotel I caught a
curiously furtive look of apprisal on the faces of
several of the loungers; and the crowd followed me
to the desk silently, arranging themselves with elab
orate unconcern well within hearing distance of any
conversation I might enter into with the clerk. I
had no desire to make a secret of the cause of my
visit, so asked at once for Professor Pierce. At my
query the assembled company dropped the effort at
indifference and crowded close about me. “You
are from the University, too, and haven’t heard
about him.'' He is in the lockup, under the care of
the doctor, the clerk answered. This didn’t sound
as if the Record’s story was faked, nor did the
bombardment of questions from the assembled men
that followed it. I explained that I was not from
the University, and all I knew of the professor was
what I had read in the Record account; that the
letter had interested me, and I was desirous of
learning more about the case. I wont try to tell
it you as they told it to me, interrupting one an
other in their eagerness to enlighten a stranger
about the greatest sensation Gold Hill had ever
known. But it appeared that the printed story was
true, and mucli more.
Devil’s Gulch was the name of a blind ravine,
situated several miles back in a lonely section of the
mountains. It got its name from a superstition,
handed down from the native Indians, who believed
it to be the abode of Waugha—the Evil Spirit—and
had always been avoided by the superstitious min
ers and ranchmen until a few months previous,
when free gold had been discovered in small quan
tities in the locality. Hope of striking a rich find
had outweighed the superstitious dread with some of
the bolder characters, and a party was formed to ex
plore the Gulch. More free gold, indicating a rich
lode somewhere near by, had been found the first
day, but as night drew on the party decided to leave
lhe Gulch and pitch camp some distance away, re
turning to the search again the next day.
Did you ever notice that superstition is most
frequent and strongest among people who live much
outdoors, or whose work brings them in close touch
with nature? These men, rough ranch-hands and
miners, were so afraid of that Gulch, just from the
Indian stories about it, that with every evidence
that it was a very treasure-house, they hadn’t the
courage to sleep in it the first night.
All except two men. These two, with a bottle
of whiskey to bolster up their courage, decided to
stick by the gold, and the others departed. Well,
along in the night sometime —one of the party claim
ed that he looked at his watch, and it was-just mid
night—a sudden electrical storm broke over the
mountains; one of those quick, fierce storms that
are common where an arid region reaches right up
to the hills, with a heavy downpour of rain lasting
only a few minutes; lightning so close you could al
most touch it, and thunder like the pit of hell in
eruption. I’ve seen many of them in different parts
of the world; the whole thing seldom lasts more
than fifteen minutes. The men in the camp were
used to such storms nearly every day, and paid it
no attention. Next morning they started back to
the Gulch, but they never entered it. Near the
mouth of the Gulch they came upon one of the men
they had left there the night before. He lay sprawl
ed face downward, in a little patch of mesquit; the
sand about his head was stained a dark brown in the
clear morning sunlight, and when they turned him
over, sand was caked in the dry blood on his lips
and tongue. The face was drawn and livid, the
eyes rolled back till they seemed to be protruding
from their sockets, the whole countenance stamped
with a look of ineffable fear. He had died from a
hemorrhage, induced by fright.
The prospector did not stop to search for his
companion, At sight of that sand-caked, protrud
ing eyed spectre of horror their superstitious fear of
Devil’s Gulch returned upon them and they beat a
hasty retreat to Gold Hill and stimulants. Their
story was*received with varying degrees of incredul
ity by Gold Hill. Another party was formed to go
and bring in the body, and to the dead
man’s companion in the Gulch. They found him a
little distance from the corpse, a mindless hulk that
babbled incessantly of some one, something, that
laughed- He was brot into town, and before being
sent to the asylum at Ogden, Gold Hill had pieced
together from his ravings the story; that during the
thunder-storm some one had started laughing, an
awful laugh that came from the air, the rocks, the
ground at his very feet.

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