Life in the USA, 1912

I’m deep in genealogical research for the non-fiction book project I’m working on. I stumbled across this tidbit in a family history:

Cicero Alexander (1836 – 1912) had a strong mind and a marvelous memory. Although he had little education in school, in his mature manhood he had all the polish and information on general subjects of a college graduate. When a young man he engaged in the dry goods business and later in the grocery business. He was sixty-three years behind the counter in Paris, Missouri. At his death all the stores in Paris closed and, as the funeral procession passed down Main Street, men lined up on both sides with head uncovered.

This stuff fascinates me.


William Courtland Kinnon was born November 18, 1904. All his life he was interested in mines and mining equipment. I think he and his wife, Irene, were on their honeymoon in Long Beach, California, when they walked from their lodging to the beach. Billy wore a regular bathing suit for those times; it buttoned on one shoulder, the other side being a continuous seam. A policeman stopped and gave him a ticket for having the button unbuttoned!

I love that I can’t tell whether the writer is shocked at the unfastened button or the thought that one could get a ticket for that kind of thing.