Sunday, April 5, 2009

Deja Vu All Over Again

I have a LOT of land records to transcribe before going to a workshop on Maryland land records in a couple of weeks....but I really don't feel like it. SO, I decided to check out a site that was recommended, . It is a subscription site that features historical newpapers, books and documents, and the always available Social Security Death Index.

The good thing about a name like DeHority is that most of the time, when you get a hit on a search, it is somebody connected to the family. In browsing the hits on this site, I read an article that referenced William DeHority (who would be a great uncle), the first mayor of Elwood, Indiana. The report seemed to be right out of today's headlines, but the reference is a newspaper called the Inter Ocean, dated 20 July 1893:

Dull Times in Elwood

...A deplorable condition of affairs exists among the poorer class of Elwood. Over two thousand workmen are out of employment and many are in suffering circumstances with starvation staring them in the face. The stagnation in business circles prevents them from obtaining any work, and, with no prospect of immediate relief in this direction, they are in a very pitiable condition. With rent to pay and food to procure they are helpless, and in order to furnish them relief Mayor Dehority called a meeting of citizens this evening to devise means for their support.
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, 1892, there were no unemployed men in Elwood. The mills and factories were running on full time and the wages paid were high. But on that day, though a Republican majority was cast in Elwood, many working men in the country at large were led to believe that the Homestead strike was a result of Republican rule, though really it was an event uninfluenced by political causes; and, acting on this belief, they aided in the election of a Congress and a President pledged to repeal that protection to American industries which alone had given birth and maintenance to the Elwood enterprises. The Sherman law, so-called, was then in force, but its operation did not prevent the prosperity of Elwood. It does not now prevent it. The cause of depression there is uncertainty as to the intentions of Congress and the President toward the tariff. If assurance be given that protection will be continued to the glass and tin-plate industries the business of Elwood will revive. If such assurance be withheld it is probable that yet darker days are in store for this lately prosperous little city."


  1. Hi,
    It sounds like today around here. For me and my husband Terry it's like deja vu. We ended up moving to North Carolina in 1986 because of the economy. He had been laid off at Caterpillar in 1983 and I worked 2 jobs and him a minimum wage job for 3 years to make ends meet. Now Caterpillar has laid off thousands and one person has been laid off at Terry's plant. We just take it day by day.

  2. We'll keep the prayers and good thoughts going for everyone who's been affected by this "downturn"...I hope we see the end of it soon!