Ohio History Journal

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Reviews, Notes and Comments 329

Reviews, Notes and Comments             329

shown as the Josh Billings house, on August 8, 1845, from John

Tift, jr., for $1100 and resold it to John Tift on January 3,

1848, for $1050.

That Josh Billings had always dreamed of buying back the

old place in Norwalk is attested by a correspondence, covering

a long number of years, between the humorist and W. J. Alley,

of Norwalk, a lifelong friend of Billings. The daughter of

Mr. Alley who is still living in Norwalk, remembers as a little

girl when her father moved to the residence on Monroe Street

just around the corner from Whittelsey Street in November,

1857, that Shaw was in correspondence with Alley about the

possibility of buying back the old place if it should ever come

up for sale.

Reference is made to Shaw's pranks and practical

jokes. We are told that--

On one occasion he played special havoc with the Mill-

wright denomination who were preaching the doctrine of per-

sonal ascension. One Sunday morning he fired up an old boiler

which was on the opposite side of the street from the meeting

house and he arranged it so that it would blow up during the

process of the meeting. The explosion was complete at the de-

sired time and caused great commotion. The faithful believed

that their time had come and they would soon be mounting


This bit of reminiscence by an aged resident of

Norwalk may not be strictly historic. The "Millwright"

denomination, of course, was the Millerite Adventists

who in 1843 were expecting the second coming of Christ

and the end of the former terrestrial order of things.




The New Jersey Historical Society of October, 1922,

chronicles the death of Dr. Austin Scott, formerly Presi-

dent of Rutgers College, who was born near Toledo,

Ohio, August 10, 1848, and who died at Granville Cen-

ter, Massachusetts, August 15, 1922.