Time for our annual trip down Memory Lane to the Owensboro of 125 years ago.

It’s 1896 and here’s what’s happening:

Jan. 9 — The mayor orders the Green Room at the Theater Comique closed. Men were buying drinks and chatting with actresses in short skirts there.

Jan. 15 — Owensboro was now linked with New York, Chicago and Boston by telephone.

Jan. 21 — An ordinance against lewd theater performances was adopted. Marian Moore ran a house of prostitution on North Mulberry Street — about where the Owensboro Convention Center is today. The foot of Center Street was known as Chittlin’ Ranch or Smokey Row.

Jan. 29 — John L. Sullivan, former world boxing champion, was almost shot by a Kentuckian while drinking in Tell City.

Feb. 5 — The Rev. Fred Hale delivered a sermon against the Messenger.

Feb. 8 — Rev. Hale proposed to exclude from First Baptist Church anyone who sold liquor, owned stock in places that made or sold liquor or rented property to those who made or sold liquor.

Feb. 29 — Seventy-one loads of tobacco sold at McAdams & Haynes was the most ever sold in a single day here.

March 14 — The 27-year-old housekeeper at Marian Wilson’s house on Mulberry Street shot herself in the head.

April 11 — The steamboat John K. Speed was unable to stop here because of a smallpox case on board. So, it moved cargo bound for Owensboro onto a barge anchored in the river.

April 15 — Owensboro investigated piping water from the Green River to town. W.F. Rapier had 100 students signed up for Ellendale College in Curdsville when it opened. Compulsory public education would begin in the fall.

May 2 — Striking miners at Deanefield won their 2.5-cent per bushel wage demand after a 30-day lockout.

May 13 — The Pennyrile League included baseball teams in Owensboro, Hopkinsville, Madisonville and Henderson. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show was back in town.

May 30 — Strong winds leveled 13 trees in Hickman (now Legion) Park. OwensborO wagons were selling fast in Mexico City. Only 10 of the 110 men who formed the Dixie Guards, a Confederate unit, here in 1861 were still alive for the 35th anniversary.

June 3 — Joseph Gentry, 84, a schoolmate of Abraham Lincoln, died in Lincoln City, Indiana. He had attended Lincoln’s mother’s funeral.

June 13 — Police officers were stationed outside First Baptist Church to prevent disorderly conduct by Hale and Anti-Hale forces during the Wednesday business meeting. The church soon formed two baseball teams — The Haleites and the Anti-Haleites.

June 24 — Rev. Hale announced that he and his followers would leave First Baptist and form their own church (Third Baptist). The Inquirer was sold at a liquidation sale for $1,200.

Aug. 5 — The Ellendale Fair at Curdsville drew 6,000 people in one day.

Aug. 12 — Rev. Hale’s group raised $18,500 for a new church and had a membership of 540, meeting at the courthouse.

Sept. 9 — A man from Delaware in western Daviess County was shot to death by the madam of a house near Calhoun.

Oct. 7 — Gov. W.O. Bradley drew 2,700 people at a speech here.

Oct. 17 — Bransford Clarke rode a Delker bike to Uniontown and back — 122 miles — in 13 hours. Seven men in Vanover Precinct were charged with “kukluxing.”

Nov. 4 — The Inquirer reappeared after several weeks in suspension.

Nov. 11 — Work began on graveling the Livermore Road (now U.S. 431) from Owensboro to Panther Creek.

Nov. 14 — Several Republicans celebrating at Livermore were injured when their cannon exploded.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com.

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