Newspapers in the 1890’s

Area newspapers in the gay nineties (1890s) like to print commentaries, complimentary or adverse about surrounding towns.

Bellevue “took it on the chin” as well as receiving compliments from neighboring editors. The Green Springs Times reported in August 1896 that “ld to 1” had various meanings in surrounding communities. Among them were:

Sandusky – 16 schooners of beer for 1 nickel

Clyde – 16 who know nothing to 1 who knows something

Fremont – 16 saloons open on Sunday to 1 closed

Tiffin – 16 pretty girls to 1 homely

Republic – 16 cents taken in by the business men in 1 day

Bellevue – 16 poker chips for 1 dollar

Green Springs – 16 busy men to 1 loafer

The Tiffin News offered: A movement is said to be on foot to change the name of Bellevue to Pokertown. Prominent city officials are vigorous champions of the project which appeals to all well-informed Bellevue citizens as being appropriate, and the proper caper. What a rattling of chips there will be if Gabriel ever toots his horn in Bellevue.

The Bellevue Gazette answered: “No calumny is intended Bro. Statler Tiffin Editor in reporting that the good Gabriel will never have to sound his trumpet in Tiffin to cause a rattling of chips, there being no cessation to the rattling in certain quarters of Tiffin’s borders.”

Green Springs Times: It is said that enough poker chips are manufactured in the United States to make a pile sixty miles high. We suppose from what is said that Bellevue uses thirty miles alone.”

The Gazette countered with: “Nit. From those in authority, it is asserted, there use is unknown here, but are largely in demand with denizens of Tiffin and Clyde.”

The Sandusky Telegraph paid a compliment to a local miss as well as Bellevue’s young ladies: “Miss Marguerite Phillips has returned to her home in Bellevue, after a pleasant visit with her friend, Miss Tena Klee. Bellevue is noted for its good looking young ladies.”

The Bellevue Gazette provided this newsworthy statement: “Sandusky citizens are taking steps toward getting purer water. In the meantime, they will continue to drink beer.”

A Bellevue news reporter approached Max Endle, the gentlemanly brewery agent, with a request of the amount of beer consumed in Bellevue in a year in the mid 1890s. Max examined his books and authorized the statement that 3,000 barrels of the amber fluid pass down the throats of the people in this city every year. Each barrel contains 32 gallons. Those who wish to pursue the subject further may divide the 96,000 gallons into glasses, but they must understand that this amount does not include the bottle beer, of which a large quantity of various brands is sold here.

This humorous story appeared in the Bellevue News Sept. 3, 1892: Mayor G. S. Lanterman imposed a fine of $3.88 each on W.H. Erdrich, E.V. Dangelesion and Fred Heim for maintaining a gambling room near the fair grounds last week. The gambling place was a saloon in a hickory grove just west of the fair grounds, and was reached by passing through a hole in the fair ground fence.

If a fellow wanted to wet his whistle, he got a return check at the hole, took his medicine, wiped his mustache, put a cardamon seed in his mouth, crawled back through the fence and enjoyed a boom in good health for about 20 minutes, when the operation had to be repeated. The charge is made that officers of the fair company sold the privilege of the hole for a good sized consideration, and there is a well proportioned kick against the proceeding on the part of some of the ladies who were at the fair, and didn’t like to see the patrons of the hole so extravagant in distributing their superabundance of good health among the other visitors at the fair.


Bellevue Historian Bill Oddo writes a weekly column for the Bellevue Gazette