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I created this site to share stories from the past. I select stories that I think reflect the ideas, customs and social behavior of that time. I know that history often differs based on who tells the story and how the story is told but that consideration is yours to deal with and hopefully might trigger some discussion.
Initially, I feature short stories published in the early 20th century from the pen of my Great Grandfather Frank Nelson Stratton. Frank was a successful lawyer and Indiana State Prosecutor in the late 19th and early 20th century. His short stories were published in leading pulp magazines of the time and were popular nationwide.
A news article of that period describes his story telling:
"Attorney Frank N. Stratton of Kokomo is writing some of the best short stories published in the leading Eastern magazines. There is a remarkable difference between Frank N. Stratton and most of the popular writers of short stories. Frank is one of those careful, sympathetic observers who sees the best and the truest side, as well as the more humorous. He gets all that there is in a situation, and he knows how to write about it in a way that attracts the people. He is as good a story teller as he is a story writer and the listener frequently misses other things while he listens to what Stratton says."
—The Kokomo Morning News.
In his 1996 book, Selling Culture Magazines, Markets, and Class at the Turn of the Century, Robert Ohmann cited two of Frank’s stories, "The Call of the Quail" and "The Sheriff’s Dream," as works of fiction that ‘…fed and flattered the cultural change and upheaval arising out of the magazine revolution at the turn of the century.’
His writing career was cut short when he died at the age of 42.
Two other stories from the past: "The Confession of Davy 'Robber' Lewis" and "The Pomeroy Robbery" are featured for their general historical interest and in the case of the Pomeroy Robbery as a Stratton family anecdote.
I welcome your comments and look forward to any discussions they may elicit.
Links to other stories from the past.
The first of these is a thorough look at two New England Highwaymen who remind me very much of Davy "Robber" Lewis. Note the similarities as you read their stories on Jerry Kuntz's blog:
Exploring an American Folk Legend
The second story looks at the Doan Boys, brothers who acted as spys for the British during the American Revolution and who specialized in stealing horses and robbing the tax coffers of the Colonials.
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