Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Naughty Hattie 1885


Rural Republican August 21, 1885  Naughty Hattie


(From the Cincinnati Enquirer)  Some four or five years ago the good people of the quiet little village of Lawrenceville, Illinois, nine miles west of Vincennes, were startled out of their customary repose by the arrival in their midst of an apparently high-toned couple  who, with airs truly metropolitan, announced themselves as Prof. Henderson and lady, the former a teacher of the advance idea and the latter a director of the fair sex, exclusively in that most desirable of all accomplishments, music. The dudish-looking professor and his dashing companion, set about to make themselves agreeable and ‘twas but a short time till the woman had succeeded in bringing to their shrine all the susceptible of the male population, not only of Lawrenceville but of surrounding villages.  The lady’s field of operations was extended from village to village with Lawrenceville the point from which attacks were made, and to which she retired when oppressed with the arduous labors in which she was engaged. 

Of the guileless professor it does not appear that so much is known as he tarried not so long within the range of this vision.  He plied his vocation a short time and it then becoming apparent that the dashing Mrs. Henderson was too promiscuous and reckless in her attention to the beaus of the village, he set himself up as an injured husband and rumor hath it that various were the contributions to him.  ‘Tis might have continued indefinitely had it not dawned upon the moths who fluttered around the light of Hattie’s charms that they were being played for suckers by this very adroit pair.  About this time his professorship withdrew and sought other fields for the exercise of his varied talents probably being led to take this step owning to the close proximity to Lawrenceville of a deep flowing river.  Not so, however, the dashing Hattie.  Her hold on the affections of the giddy youth were too secure to necessitate hunting for a more profitable field for her operations.  As her fame became more widespread the charming music teacher became more daring, and having pitched her tent permanently in Sumner, a large town further west, but in the same county, she gathered about her a few choice but weak spirits and from that time forth the highly moral atmosphere of Sumner was wretchedly wrought up. 

A warfare was begun against fair Hattie, which resulted in the finding of an indictment against her for keeping a house of easy virtue. This she fought with an energy worthy of a better cause, and a jury was required to settle the question as to the legitimacy of Mrs. Henderson’s transactions with the public and when a verdict was reached in the Lawrence Circuit court fining her $25 on the above charge,  the “I- told- you- sos” fell back with a sigh of relief, with their judgment fully vindicated.
The woman attracted considerable attention here, where her visits were frequent, and where she met certain wealthy citizens of Sumner in gentle dalliance. The professor has filled the position of principal of the public schools in Carmi, Illinois and they are known in several of the large towns throughout Illinois and Indiana, where their latest exploits will create the greatest of interest.  The court costs in the suit which Mrs. Henderson fought with such desperation amounted to about $200.