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Woman's Scrapbook



By Kathy Perrine

The Marietta times

August 30, 1991

            NEWPORT—Patty Lauer’s collection makes her Newport’s unofficial record-keeper and solver of historical questions.

            Lauer, 73, has lived her entire life in the same house on an 84 acre farm in Newport Township.  During 60 of those years she has collected newspaper clippings and kept them in scrapbooks.

            In 1931, Lauer was awarded a scrapbook by her eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Boswell, for perfect attendance. 

            “At first I started to write in it then decided not to,” she said.

            She instead began collecting newspaper articles about people she knew or ones related to people in the Newport area.  Lauer said the original scrapbook became so worn that she transferred everything into a large binder with protective plastic coatings. 

            It is now one of the 13 big, thick binders with many pages covered with news clippings. 

            The pages are filled with marriages, divorces, obituaries, memorials, murders, suicides, robberies, fires, wrecks, military stories and other miscellaneous subjects.

            She said most of the clippings were from The Marietta Times.

            “I can’t remember a time when we didn’t take it (The Times).”  Other articles are from the St. Mary’s Oracle, and some are ones sent to Lauer from other publications.

            “There’s a lot of interesting things in them.”

            She said one of her favorites was about a tar and feathering on Mill Creek Road in October, 1938.  Some Newport residents were responsible for the incident that occurred on the recipients’ honeymoon.  She said The Times used to print gossip, which she kept also until they quit printing it. 

            Lauer said there was one thing she missed about The Times:  It quit printing the list of obituaries on the front page.

            Laughing, she said, “It takes a long time to see if mine is in there now.”

            She said she had more obituaries than anything.  She also uses them most, she said.  She said she used them as a source for genealogies—hers and others’.  So, she has gone back through her scrapbooks and indexed all the obituaries.

            “Sometimes I’d remember what book ones were in, and sometimes I couldn’t,” she said.

            The scrapbooks serve as information for a lot of people, she said.

            “I won’t loan them out, but anyone can come here and read every one of them if they want to.  It doesn’t bother me to have people call and want information.  There’s been people ask me if I had things.  That makes it interesting to me to go hunt it up, I love doing that.”

            Lauer said the scrapbooks have settled many arguments, some of them between she and her husband of 44 years, Homer Lauer.

            She said, “We’ll get into a discussion and we’ll wonder, ‘Now, who’s that?’ sometimes it’s ‘Now I know it’s so and so’ and then it’s ‘No, it’s not.’  Then I’ll go looking.”

            “Sometimes he’s wrong, sometimes I’m wrong.”

            She said her granddaughter, Cindy Hearn, has asked for the scrapbooks when she dies. 

            “Nobody else has asked for them.  I said, ‘Whoever gets them, if anybody calls and wants to know something out of them, you have to look it up.’  There is hardly a week that I don’t chop something out of the paper. This is my enjoyment.”