Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • Two Brothers

    From The Topeka State Journal, February 16, 1914. By Roy K. Moulton.

    Ezry Haskins was a feller
    With a disposition meller;
    Never graspin’, never greedy,
    Always helped the poor and needy.
    Ezry made an honest million
    And he might have made a billion
    If he hadn’t always parted
    In a manner open-hearted
    With such liberal wads of boodle.
    Never got it in his noodle
    That Dame Fortune’s always fickle,
    And he should save every nickel.
    When ’twas too late to repent it,
    Ezry found that he had spent it—
    All that he’d accumulated.
    Carriage to the poorhouse waited,
    Ezry passed to life eternal
    And the home town’s weekly journal
    Hardly gave him any mention,
    He attracted no attention.
    It was just a “Village Jottin,”
    Poor old Ezry was forgotten.

    Hiram Haskins, Ezry’s brother,
    Seemed like he was of another
    Breed of cattle—and he looked it,
    If there was a cent, he hooked it.
    He was miserly and graspin’,
    And his voice was hard and raspin’.
    He was always with the bidders
    On the mortgages of widders.
    He grew most amazin’ wealthy,
    In a manner sharp and stealthy,
    Even when so rich he couldn’t
    Count his piles of gold he wouldn’t
    Give a nickel to the needy,
    He was that tarnation greedy.
    But the folks all catered to him,
    And gave him all honors due him,
    And his funeral was glorious,
    Like an emperor victorious,
    And the paper had a column
    Of a notice sad and solemn,
    And the whole town joined in grieving
    O’er the old man who was leaving.

    We don’t know what happened to ‘em
    When they both got what was due ‘em,
    But we bet old Hi is wishin’
    Fer a change in his condition—
    Wishin’ the eternal graces
    Would let him and Ez trade places.