We all know that Perry used to be a small town, built up around the railroad. Many towns sprang up around the tracks of the railroad, are plenty of them survived until today. However, did you know that there used to be another town quite close to Perry, and that its name was Angus?
Angus was a coal-mining town that was about four miles northwest of Perry. It served as a terminal for the M. & St. L. Railroad, which was the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway. Now Angus used to be a thriving little town in the late 1800s. From what I have heard, it grew rapidly, even to the point where it used to be a bigger town than Perry (in the 1800s). A lot of this growth centered on the coal mine, as you may have guessed which I believe was the Mc Elheney Strip Mine. Of course, the entire town was not just about the mine. For example, one part of the town was called “Whisky Row”. All of the bars were in this part of town, and there are plenty of fun stories involved with it. My favorite that I have heard is about the law enforcement around these bars. Apparently Angus was a town that sat on the line between two counties, and Whiskey Row was right were this line was located. According to the stories, if someone got into trouble with the law at the bar, there was an easy way to get out of trouble. They could simply step to the other side of the bar, since it was in a different county, and had different jurisdiction! Now I am sure this did not work exactly as it sounds, but it is a fun little story.
Unfortunately, Angus was not to last. By the early 1920s, the town had started to die out. The reason why it started to die out it is simple: the mines started to close. Without the mines, Angus could not support itself, and many of the people moved to Perry. Now there is not much left to Angus, but there is a plaque marking its location. If you have time, do not hesitate to go look at the plaque, or come by Hometown Heritage to see some of the photos. We have a lot more photos than just what I have put here!
Hello once again, readers!
Today is going to be a bit shorter of a post, because I wanted to take this time to inform you all that this weekend is Art on the Prairie. Now there are plenty of places to go this weekend to find art and other things, but I encourage you all to come down to Hometown Heritage! We will be open from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday and from 10:00am to 4pm on Sunday. During these hours, we will be hosting Pete Malmberg, the chief curator at the Forest Park Museum and the Historical and Cultural Resources Coordinator. He will be showing about 10 pieces from the Bill Wagner collection. The Bill Wagner collection is a collection of white and black drawings done by Bill Wagner about anything that he thought might have historical importance in the future. If you wish to know more about the collection, click here. In addition, this is a perfect chance for all of you to come down and see our office. So please, I encourage all of you not only to come to Art on the Prairie, but to also stop by Hometown Heritage!
Maybe some of you thought this day would never come, but here it is: The Return of the Chicken! (Dramatic music plays in the background) Do you all remember when we discussed the Shoulder Chicken? Well, it seems that taking pictures with a chicken was more than just a fluke; it may be a trend. To illustrate, I have found two more pictures from around the time of the Shoulder Chicken, which is about 1918.
First is a picture of George Dickey (Brickey), taken in 1908, with what is technically a rooster, but a rooster still counts as a chicken. As you can see, somehow they have gotten not only George, a young child, to stand still for the camera, but also the rooster! In addition, George is either a small boy or that is a big rooster, since the rooster comes up almost to his chin. Correct me if I am wrong, but I did not think that rooster and chickens could get that big. Either way, the real question of this photo is why they are putting a rooster in it in the first place. Is it a prize-winning rooster? Does George just really like this rooster? We may never know, since system has no description of the picture aside from the title.
The next picture is a picture of a Knee Chicken, or at least, that is what I’m calling it. The title of the photo, which dates to around 1915, is “E. L. Towne with Rooster”, but again a rooster counts as a chicken, and Knee Chicken sounds much more interesting. As you can see, this photo is highly similar to the Shoulder Chicken, except the rooster is obviously on his knee. However, we know a little bit more about this rooster than about the others. There are a few words on the back of the picture: “Tru Type S.C. Red Ck'l Bred and Owned by E.L. Towne Jamaica, IA”. From what I can understand, this means that E. L. Towne was from Jamaica, and his rooster is a true type red cockle bred, but I have no idea what that means. Perhaps one of you readers could enlighten me?
Still, as you can see there is more than just one picture of someone posing with his or her rooster/chicken. It seems more and more likely that this was some kind of trend. Perhaps we should all start taking pictures with our chickens!