Born in Winona, Minnesota on October 2, 1864, my great-grandmother Kate Pettis was six years old in the photo above. Two months before her seventh birthday, she made the news:
A little girl named Katie Pettis, about six or seven years old, daughter of Mr. D.J. Pettis, was bitten by a dog this forenoon under the following circumstances: The little girl, in company with one or two others, was returning home from the post office, and on the way passed the Eppert House, on Washington street. A large dog belonging to the house lay on the walk, and as the little girls passed, a boy of about fourteen, who drives the omnibus for the house, hissed at the dog, probably more with the intention of scaring the girls than of doing any harm, but the dog, obeying the signal, bounced forward and seized the little Pettis girl in the face. Some men, who were near by, immediately jumped forward and took the dog off, but he had inflicted a fearful wound in the cheek and chin of the little girl. She was taken home and received prompt medical attendance, under which she is doing as well as could be expected. Mr. Ewald, the proprietor of the house, feels very badly over the affair, and offered to have the dog killed if Mr. Pettis desired it, but the dog has never shown any ugliness before, and would not in this case, doubtless, if he had not been set on by the boy, who is deserving of severe censure and punishment for the act. He is old enough to know better.Katie would probably have featured her wounds for show-and-tell, but hey, if you ask me, the newspaper story is pretty cool. What a kick it was to find this bit of drama from my great-grandmother's childhood! And I owe it to fellow geneablogger Denise at Moultrie Creek. She's been poking around the internet this week looking for online newspaper archives, found several, and shared them with the Genealogy Research Resources group at Diigo. On days when new links are shared, I receive them in an email from Diigo. When Denise's link to the Winona Newspaper Project landed in my inbox, I couldn't resist dropping everything to search it for pettis. The effort netted more than forty nuggets of Pettis family history. I'll be sharing more of them here soon, but this one is my favorite. Thanks, Denise!
Bitten by a Dog, Winona Daily Republican, 2 August 1871, page 3.
By now, geneabloggers, you've probably heard about Cheryl's crisis, the disappearance of her original Two Sides of the Ocean blog. Click to visit her new blog, and while you're there, don't forget to subscribe to her new RSS feed. And please update your blogrolls with her new address:
Her misfortune hit a little too close to home for me, and I was finally motivated to figure out how to back up my blogs at WordPress. Many thanks to those who suggested this method of back-up. It wasn't too hard, but I find Blogger more user-friendly... well, um, except for the disappearing blog problem...