Casefile Clues

25 June 2013

Newspapers Do Not Always Get it Right--But They Do Get It

This reference to a 1914 partition suit reminds us that newspapers may supplement what is in court records and may be all that exists if records have been misfiled or destroyed.
Quincy Daily Journal, 3 June 1914, page 12--digital image  on  http://www.quincylibrary.org 

Of course, newspapers also get details incorrect. The paper states that "Heipke Dirks, Lena Janssen, and Anna Goldenstein, all of Palmyra, Mo., are children of Bernard Dirks..."

Minor error there--actually two.

  • Heipke Dirks was the wife of Bernard Dirks not his child.
  • Dirks, Janssen, and Goldenstein did not live in Palmyra, Missouri. All were Adams County, Illinois, residents. Another daughter--unnamed in this newspaper account--lived in Palmyra.
Newspapers don't always get it right. But...if I had not been aware of this court case, the newspaper reference would have been a big help.