Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Jack" is Dead

Fulton Journal, Fulton, Illinois
September 19, 1899

John Stuart's Famous Mule Dies at the Age of Thirty-one Years.
 For twenty-eight years John Stuart, of this city, owned a brown colored mule that he called "Jack." Every resident of Fulton during that period must have known the patient and intelligent animal, as all the members of Mr. Stuart's family were in the habit of driving "Jack" single to a buggy.  A good single carriage animal he made, too.  Mr. Stuart became the owner of "Jack" in 1871, when he was three years old, and has had him ever since.  This makes the age of this mule to be thirty-one years at the time of his death, which was last Sunday in Cottle's pasture.  At one time when "Jack" was young Mr. Stuart was offered $150 in gold for him, but refused to part with him.
Many years ago when the streets of Fulton were lighted by kerosene street lamps on posts at numerous street corners, Simon Stuart, a mere lad at the time, acted as lamplighter for the city, and every evening he would mount"Jack" and ride the rounds of the street lamps.  When "Jack" came to where there was a lamp post he would go straight up to it, and stand quietly while Simon would stand on the animal's back and light the lamp. "Jack"  got so after a while that he knew the location of every lamp post and would go from one to the other almost without being guided.  Although he was only a mule, he was honest, patient, gentle, obedient and faithful and had more horse sense than lots of men that inhabit this mundane sphere.