Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Campaign Wagers - 1880

The Marietta Times, November 11, 1880:

One of the many queer bets of the campaign was paid on Friday night by Enos Harding wheeling Will Morse in a wheelbarrow from the City Hall in Harmar to the Court House in this city and return.  The Hon. John Irvine, who was a party to the wager, fanned Mr. Morse with three large palm leaf fans, during his fatiguing ride.  The Turner Band escorted them over the bridge, while quite a crowd followed them to their journey's end on this side, where Sheriff Stedman met them and furnished something substantial for the inner man.

Wheeling Register, November 9, 1880:

News from Notes from Parkersburg, W. Va., Nov. 6, 1880

Our city to-day witnessed the closing scenes of a novel procession from Marietta, Ohio, the result of a political wager on the late election.

In the event of the election of Garfield, J. Hill of Marietta, Ohio, agreed to trundle a wheelbarrow filled with shavings, from the Court House at Marietta to the Court House in Parkersburg, W. Va., a distance of 12 miles and according to the terms of the wager, was to make the distance in 3 hours and 29 minutes (329 you know).  

A light wheelbarrow was constructed for the occasion, and accompanied by the other party to the wager, Mr. J. Phlug in a buggy, and with a few friends on foot, they left the starting point, crossing the Ohio river at Williamstown, and down the West Virginia side to Parkersburg.  The hero of the occasion is a small man, rather below medium size, but is certainly possessed of good nerve and indomitable courage to undertake such a trip through the mud and rain.

The Standard brass band of Marietta came down to Parkersburg on a boat, and with quite a number of our citizens, met the hero at the northern end of the city and escorted him to the court house, where they arrived in a drenching rain storm, a few minutes ahead of the specified time, and was received with a rousing cheer.

At this time Col. Jere Hill appeared on the balcony of the Hill House, and in a few well chosen words, bade them welcome to our city and closed with an invitation to the hero of the march and all accompanying friends, to walk over to the Hill House and refresh the inner man, which was accepted, and a vote of thanks tendered their hospitable host.  

The wheelbarrow was on exhibition in the clerk's office for an hour, where it was examined by your correspondent.  It was something after the style of an ordinary wheelbarrow, but very light, and nicely painted, and ornamented with small flags.  Each side bore that single word which struck dismay to the thousands of Democrats on the 3d of November - "defeated."  In the centre stood a small flag staff with the following:  Time 3.29.  After all had partaken of a good dinner at the Hill House and some music by the band, our visitors left for their homes.

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