The hottest toy of the season was found at N. Berry’s and Co. It was an autoperipatetikos, an automaton doll. In other words, the doll walked. Several stores touted the best prices on toys. Frank Wilkes on Main St. posted discount prices, 1$ toys were .75 cents and down to 10 cent toys for 5 cents. Bemiss and Brother advertised their store as Santa’s headquarters. Of course, Hamlin’s’ confectionary, food and toy store also claimed to be Santa’s headquarters.
The city council purchased Petersons spring and discussed piping the spring water for the purposes of firefighting.
Fund raising was in full swing as fairs were held to support: the catholic orphan boys, the African Methodist church and other charities. Students at St. Ignatius’ Academy gave a musical concert. Studybaker and Langhans set aside some turkeys and chickens for distribution to the poor. Shannon’s restaurant distributed oyster soup and turkey late on Christmas Eve, free to all.
The post office announced that postal currency was going to be replaced by revenue stamps after the first of the year.
Instead of a white Christmas, Lafayette had a wet Christmas. The Wabash was in flood mode with concerns of water rising higher than the 1858 massive flood. (In fact, it proved to be no more than a normal flood.) Ferries were engaged as the bridge road on the west side was underwater. Wood, brush and household goods were floating by, locals fishing out salvageable items. The rain also delayed a number of trains.
The holiday festivities would not be complete without a ball. The new Commercial Hall on the south side of the Courthouse Square was the site of a grand ball featuring McLaren’s band.