In 1874, Kentucky School for the Deaf began publishing a weekly in-house newspaper, The Kentucky Deaf-Mute, to give the male students an opportunity to learn the printing trade. KSD published the newspaper continuously from 1874 to 2003 with only a name change in 1896 to The Kentucky Standard.
From 1883 until 1942, George M. McClure was the editor of the paper. His relationships with students and wide connections with schools for the deaf throughout the country give a glimpse of the life of students and staff in a residential school for the deaf and show how the community touched the lives of students and staff at the school.
Jacobs Hall Museum volunteers make excerpts from the campus news found in the Deaf-Mute and Standard from 125 years ago (1887), 100 years ago (1912) and 75 years ago (1937) available to the community each month in “Looking Back at KSD’s Past.”
From The Kentucky Deaf-Mute
Sunday morning dawned bright and warm — so warm that fires were dispensed with, and people began to talk of spring. Monday morning dawned bright and clear also, but found four inches of snow on the ground, and the thermometer marking 8 degrees above zero. There is a variety of weather for you.
Three of the boys hired a horse and wagon, and started early Thursday morning for an all-day hunt. It began raining about 11 o’clock, and they were drenched; they came near to having a pitched battle with a farmer whose land they were trespassing on, and which they had not observed was posted. They lost their dinner, and the total amount of game brought back was one squirrel and a crow. The ultimate fate of the crow has not been ascertained, but the squirrel was duly dished up for their breakfast next morning.
Three girls went to the Baptist Church to join the church last Sunday night. Their names are Victoria Paschal, Lettie Wells and Mary Messhew. Also, some of the girls went to see them. We hope they will be happy and good.
Preparations are being made for giving the pupils a good time during the holidays. We will have tableaus, pantomimes, etc., and to this end we are to have a new set of stage scenery. The ladies of the household are quite an artistic set, and have promised to paint a new drop-curtain and several scenes, while the superintendent has promised to paint a special 14- by 20-foot woodland scene, for the occasion, and proposes to send it to the Academy of Fine Arts after the holidays.
Skating is now the boys’ way of amusing themselves, and several of our boys, at leisure times, go down to the creek and enjoy their falls a good deal.
With this issue, the Deaf-Mute closed its 13th year. It was a pioneer in the field of institutional papers, and we think its success is a measure that influenced several other institutions to establish printing offices. It goes to every part of the state, conveying information concerning the institution: It carries intelligence to parents, and of their children it cultivates a taste for reading among the pupils. Through it, we are enabled to secure an exchange with a large number of papers, while the work on it gives instruction in the “art preservative” to a number of boys who will be able to earn a fair livelihood by this means when they leave school.
The great deaf-mute pitcher, Edward Dundon, was offered $350 per month by the Milwaukee Base Ball Club to play ball for the coming year. Boys who want to be as great a pitcher as he is must practice long and hard.
From The Kentucky Standard
Wednesday morning of last week, the express wagon delivered at the school 27 big, fat, live turkeys. The superintendent already had purchased turkeys for the Thanksgiving dinner, and, at first, supposed some mistake had been made, but it was soon apparent that there was no mistake — some kind friend had made the pupils a present of enough turkeys for a Thanksgiving meal.
They were shipped from Hiattsville, Va., by a lady of that place, but whether she was the donor or was acting as the agent of another is yet unknown. No one here knows her, but a good many people would like to make her acquaintance.
If you want to see one of the most thrilling motion pictures ever produced in this country, go to the Danville Opera House Friday, Dec. 6, and see “Custer’s Last Fight.”
There are three reels of superb pictures, telling the story how Custer and his men died “with feet to the foe” on the Little Big Horn. The price of admission is 10 cents, but a special rate of 5 cents has been made for the students of this school.
Jake Rowe, one of the best of Danville’s colored citizens, was found dead last Wednesday in the colored Masonic hall on Walnut Street, having died suddenly of heart disease.