Arrow-right Camera


Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Wed., June 11, 2014, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

Breach of promise lawsuits were common in 1914, but here’s one that was unusual: A man was suing a woman for stringing him along for 17 years and then jilting him.

R.L. Ashcroft proposed to Miss Daley of Five Mile Prairie in 1897. She accepted, but there was one problem: Her father adamantly objected. So she said she would marry Ashcroft as soon as her father died.

In 1907, Miss Daley’s father died and Ashcroft came to claim his bride. But she said her mother objected, so they had to wait until she died.

Ashcroft reluctantly agreed. He left the city to pursue jobs, yet he remained faithful to Miss Daley, he said.

Finally, the mother died. An eager Ashcroft came back to Five Mile Prairie only to discover Miss Daley was now Mrs. William Cashman. She had married another man.

So Daley filed suit for breach of promise, asking for his engagement ring back and for $10,000 for humiliation.

From the medical beat: The city health officer listed the causes of death of all who died in May. The tally: organic disease of the heart, 12; cancer, 11; pneumonia, nine; Bright’s (kidney) disease, nine; tuberculosis, three; diseases of the ear, two; bronchitis, two; tetanus, one; and measles, one. 

There also were three suicides – two by laudanum poisoning and one by firearm. Six accidental deaths were recorded, one from a kick by a horse.

Click here to comment on this story »