History: Unity Visit (1881)

Contact: Stan
Email: stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org


Surnames: Stevens, Ransom, Barker, Oleson, Ingalls, Christie, Salter, Cook


----Source: Spencer Advance, 10 Feb 1881, pg. 1, Federal Census Records


Spencer Advance, Spencer, Wisconsin (20 Jan. 1881 - 10 Feb1881), Elias W. Stevens, publisher; Elbert E. Stevens, Local Editor.




Last Friday the Editor boarded the noon train, going north and dropped off, or stepped off, at Unity, and spent the afternoon and evening in looking over that enterprising burg.  Unity reminds one of the saying about Washington: "A city of magnificent distances."  If there was only enough of it, it would extend for several miles up and down the line. Our intercourse with its inhabitants led to the conclusion that Unity has a good class of business men, who would be a credit to any place.


One evidence of the intelligence of the people, is the fact that they sustain a flourishing Literary Society, and support a good library in connection with the society.  As good fortune directed, the public meeting of the society was held on the evening of our visit and as the boys say, "we took it in."  The exercises were opened with instrumental music, skillfully executed by Miss Edith Ransom.


The roll was then called, and the members responded with humorous quotations, which created no little amusement and gave the meeting a lively "send off."


Prayer was then offered by the Chaplain, Rev. C. Barker, which was followed with appropriate singing by the choir.


Then followed a toast: "Old Bachelors," which was responded to by Miss Maggie Christie.  If there were any of the bachelor fraternity present, they must have felt themselves an isolated link in the chain of humanity.


A declamation by Stephen Ingalls, the billed man, was then announced.  The declamation appeared to be mainly an impromptu effort in rhyme in which was interwoven some of the pranks that Cupid has been trying to play with the young peole, which was keenly appreciated by those who could interpret the allegorical hints.


An essay on "Friendship," by Miss Edith Ransom, was well read, and exhibited a good degree of mental culture.  The value of friendship, and the differences between true and false friendship was clearly defined.


Another piece of instrumental music was beautifully rendered by Miss Lillie Oleson.  Then another song, after which there came a Charade, which was creditably executed by all connected; but no getting the names, we are unable to give the personnel of the performance.


Miss Jennie Cook recited a poem which in the manner of execution, was as good as the best.  The enunciation was distinct and the voice full and clear, so that it required no effort to hear what was said.


After an intermission for a little social intercourse, there was another song followed with an essay by J. W. Salter, on Trade's Unions and Strikes; the exercises closing with a dialogue by J. H. Cook and N. C. Ransom, illustrating the famous scene between a lawyer and a green Yankee in which the Yankee was not as green as the lawyer took him to be.


It was a very good entertainment, and serves to break the monotony in a place where there is but little going on; and in addition to that it is a benefit to those who participate in such things, for while they are preparing to entertain others, they are developing their own intellectual powers.  It is as true in mentality as in morals, that one cannot labor for the good of others without reaping benefits for themselves.






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