Talk of the Town

Historical newspapers often read like social media. Today I looked at the Chester Times Media Town Talk column, around this time of year. Many of the items are like these from Aug 23, 1895,

C. Harry Anderson, of Chester, was in town yesterday seeing his friends and talking base ball.

Harry W. Rhodes of the Trust Company, who has been ill returned to work yesterday.

A lot of the stories are these – people traveling and people ill or getting better – not too different from Facebook. Another from that 1895 front page column,

Hon. Thomas H. Garvin of Sharon Hill, was in town yesterday incidentally remarking to his friends that he would like to occupy a seat in the House of Representatives for a third time.

Totally incidental, I’m sure. Apparently getting together with friends was newsworthy though, from Aug 23, 1902,

Mrs. Linn Rarer of West Chester, and Mrs. Atwood B. Hoskins of Rockdale, spent yesterday with Media friends.

Miss Fannie Rhoades, who has been the guest of Media friends, has returned to her home in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia was a trek in 1902. In 1895, the column was front page, but by 1902 it was on page 3. In 1912, there was more social news

Edward (unreadable) of Chester has returned from a few days fishing trip.

The Media colored band rendered music on the streets last evening previous in going into Pierson’s Hall.

Some fine corn is raised on the farms in the vicinity of Media.

A good reliable boy, who is desirous of learning the hardware business, can secure a situation by answering an advertisement which has been running in the Times.

Fishing, music and corn – the area was not the suburb it is today. That last one seems peculiarly English. In 1912 there are numerous mentions of people going to Atlantic City and visiting from locations as exotic as Marple. The Media Town Talk column took a break during the years of WW 1 to return in 1923 now on page 5. From Aug 22, 1923

Quite a number of church folks from Media spent the day at Atlantic City. They reported perfect weather.

Last evening Frank Hamilton, son of Mrs. Frank Hamilton of Third and Plum streets invited his aunts and cousins in for refreshments. He was eleven years old.

M. O. Fife, one of the county constabulary, who are guarding the liquor in Media, had the misfortune to slip and bruise his knee while at work yesterday.

Many visitors in coming to the borough remark about the well kept lawns around the Media public school.

A bruised knee and well kept lawns, Media was an exciting place in 1923. Its a good thing they had Frank Hamilton to throw a party. The column took the month of August off in 1932, so here’s parts from July 15, 1932.

Some very beautiful gladioli adjoining the front windows in the Media office of the Times are being admired.

A gentleman said those flowers must have been grown in a hot house as they are unusually large.

He was informed that they grew in Mrs. Valenti’s garden.

Curth Behrens, son of Mrs. Flora Behrens, of the Providence road, near Media, is 14 years old today.

An appeal was made in yesterday’s Times for a refrigerator to be placed in a needy home. Last evening three calls came to the Media office, one from Media, one from Essington and one from Norwood, offering one.

In several columns, there is mention of people visiting their office, so apparently it was an event of note (or maybe an easy way to fill a column). In Sep. 18, 1942, the column is down to just four items including,

Warren P. Lowe of West State street has some fine marigolds blooming in his garden and he enjoys sharing them with his neighbors. He also has large cannas, yellow and red.

Linda Hough Hammatt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. (unreadable) Barker Hammatt of Gayley terrace and Jefferson street is five years old today. The little girl will entertain at a family dinner.

Seems a bit grand for a five year old. By Sept 8, 1952 the column was in decline (with many grammatical errors) and now on page 32, and mostly concerns travel, but there was military news as well.

Frank Brown of Bridgeville, Del. who came to Chester to work in one of the plants and who joined the Media Fire Co., is now in the army. He is at Corpus Christi, Tex. He remembers his county sent friends by mailing them cards.

Capt. H. A. MacIntire, is in Korea where he was assigned to the Republic of Korea Army advisory board.

Samuel C. Spencer of Rockdale, last evening took Nan L. Dutton a delightful ride out through the country, the first time she had been out since Dec. 26.

After that, the column disappears. The Media Town Talk weekly started in 1963, which perhaps took its place.

Categories: History