And Now You Know: BREVITIES was a local news column

Published 9:17 am Saturday, February 17, 2018

By Mike Louviere

In Orange in the early 1900s, the Orange Daily Leader dedicated nearly a quarter of a page to a column called “Brevities”. The column focused on local people, mostly social notes, and ads for local businesses. The editor wrote: “Everybody reads the city Brevities column. News for these columns can be telephoned to 192 day time and also at night.” The column was popular and many took advantage of the invitation to send in items.

Joe’s Restaurant located at 507 Front Street advised that they were the place to go to find “fine Berwick Bay oysters.”

There was a report that the Miller-Townsend Grain Company had made an agreement with B.F. Hewson for space in the new Hewson building that was under construction. Miller-Townsend was going to have a 25 X 90 foot space with a concrete floor.

The output of the Orange Sawmill Company was going to be devoted to the manufacture of cypress shingles. It was expected the shingles would be the sole product for two to three weeks.

“Your suit pressed at Orange Tailoring Company for 50 cents. Suits scoured (?) for $1.50. New phone 536.”

(Editor’s note: Scoured is a cleaning procedure for wool; a textile most likely used for suits in the time period.)

Rain had been a problem: “On account of the heavy rain which flooded the streets for a short while last evening, both moving picture shows failed to open their doors. This is the second time the benefit performance for the choir of the Methodist church has been rained out.”

McFarland’s Jewelers’ ad asked a question, “Can a gold filled watch case be told from a solid gold one? No, not until 25 years if bought at McFarland’s.”

It was reported that Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Rogers had reached Orange “after a very pleasant voyage from England. They will spend some time at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Esquevel at the Cove.”

Jimmy Jackson owned a grocery store at Cherry and 12th Streets. Jackson said, “I can furnish the best family groceries very cheap, give me a trial, new phone 378.” He also stated he had a delivery wagon.

Two local men were leaving Orange to pursue higher education: “Oscar Harrington left yesterday morning for Houston at which place he will matriculate in the Massey Business College. Frank Skeeler expects to leave in a day or two for College Station at which place he will matriculate in the A & M College.”

“Julius Miller of the Miller Furniture Company, accompanied by his daughter, Miss Hortense, spent a day in Beaumont.”

“Josh Griffith was a business visitor to Beaumont yesterday, returning to Orange last night.

“M. Beaubine, travelling representative of the Houston Chronicle was here today.”

It was reported Oliver Bland, “an old citizen of the city” was very ill.

The Orange Lumber Company was “getting out a nice schedule of timber which will be taken to Port Arthur in tow of a local boat for shipment to a foreign port.”

Nutraline was a popular feed for livestock at the time. Miller-Townsend had just unloaded a shipment and stated, “You just ought to have seen the horses, mules, and old cows smiling this morning when they smelled that Nutraline being unloaded at the Miller-Townsend Grain Company’s store. No better feed on earth.”

“When playing the society roll, your clothes are to be considered. Keep them cleaned and pressed well. Call telephone 243, the Bon Ton Tailoring Parlor, Front Street.”

Taking the opportunity to tell of the benefits of advertising in the Leader, they stated; “A short while ago Mike Wickersheimer decided to sell a beautiful vacant lot on Orange Avenue. Nothing was accomplished until he placed an ad in the want columns of the Leader. The property was sold yesterday to Trav Linscomb.”

It seems that a regular reader of the Brevities column could stay informed about the happenings in Orange, of its citizens, and the businesses of the city.

“And now you know”