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Better Call Ethel and Edith (Friday, August 5th, 1904)

Hello once again, Monroe history lovers. This week’s charming Fred Sherman photo postcard of Elm Street dates back to c.1905. Just to help you get your bearings, this scene is located between Cross Hill and Bugg Hill Roads. In the foreground to the left is the home of Solon B. Wales at 361 Elm Street. Solon and his daughter Emma can just barely be seen lounging on the side porch in the shadows of the trees, the loyal family dog stands at the front gate with a keen eye trained on our resident photographer. Atop the rise in the distance to the north stands the stately Victorian home of Merwin W. Johnson at 403 Elm Street.

Anyone viewing this lovely scene could easily drift away in their imagination to the simple serenity of life in this small Elm Street village. It’s nothing but good clean country living for miles in every direction, not a single care in the world to be had. That would certainly be a fair assessment, but that peaceful solitude was all but shattered on Friday, August 5th, 1904. As you’ll learn in the details of the attached newspaper article, a robbery in progress was reported at the Johnson home, and neighbors misses Ethel and Edith Wales were summoned to the scene. Never ones to shy from a challenge, the Wales sisters hastily armed themselves with shotguns and shells and wasted no time in heading up the hill in hot pursuit of the reported burglars. Be sure to read the article. This is a good one! You just can’t put a price on good neighbors, can you?

I hope you enjoy this week’s Fred Sherman photo postcard and the exciting details of the article celebrating the unquestionable bravery of the shotgun wielding Wales sisters. It’s not very often that a newspaper article and a random photograph come together to tell a story so perfectly from our town’s past. I’m very pleased to combine them and share the details with our readership. Speaking of sharing. Please share this neighborly Monroe history with your family, friends, and of course your neighbors. Thank you for your continued interest and support and be sure to look in on your neighbors now and again. That’s how we do it here in Monroe. It’s in our history. Until next time.


Kevin Daly
Historian, Monroe Historical Society
Our Past is Always Present

1 - Wales Johnson.jpg
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