100 Years Ago

The prisoners at the Federal jail enjoyed an excellent Thanksgiving dinner.

In addition to the regular bill of fare, M.T. Brisco, who has charge of the feeding of the prisoners, had provided a barrel of fine apples and 66 pounds of dressed turkeys.

To a News Record representative Mr. Brisco, Friday morning, said:
"The prisoners all seemd to be very happy yesterday. The apples and turkeys were a great treat for them and everyone seemed to enjoy it greatly."

As Mr. Brisco was passing along one of the corridor Friday morning, one of the prisoners came up to the bars and said:
"Mr. Brisco, we all want to thank you for that dinner yesterday. It was the best meal we have ever had in this place."

Another said:
"There's a whole lot of difference in that dinner yesterday and the way they fed the prisoners thirteen years ago. At that time, I had been sent here by the state for safe keeping and they wouldn't even give us sugar for our coffee."

Thanksgiving services conducted by Rev. Sitton, were held in the jail Thursday evening.

At the county all prisoners were given and old-fashioned Thanksgiving dinner.

"I wanted to give them pumpkin pie to go with the turkey," said Jailer Barry, "but as I was unable to get the pumpkins, we had to be satisfied with sweet potato pie."

Dinner at the private residences was, as usual, a bounteous feast and many dinner parties were given. At the Belle Point Hospital, the Children's Home, the County Farm and all charitable institutions, the inmates were provided with turkey dinners with all the accompanying delicacies.

Work was practically suspended all over the city, few stores being open after dinner, and the banks, county and Federal offices, and factories were closed all day. There were some few though that on account of the rush of business were compelled to work their men all day.

Taken as a holiday, the day was an exceedingly quiet one, there being few disturbances to mar the sanctity of the day.

The preceding was excerpted from a news article, "Thanksgiving Day As Kept In Fort Smith," Fort Smith News Record, Nov. 27, 1903, p. 1.