My father, Onion founder Herman Ulysses Zweibel, was a great man and a beloved figure throughout the Republic, until his reputation was eclipsed by time and my own greatness. That is why, for the benefit of those born in the 20th century, I have decided to publish my Pater's diaries in book form for the first time. My column to-day features several tantalizing excerpts from his days on the rugged frontier, as well as some from his waning years.
June 19, 1862: To-day I shot 654 passenger pigeons. That axe I bought from that lousy trapper has a rotten handle. I think the dog has typhoid. I like living in a sod house. Is civil war imminent?
May 11, 1866: Dn! I just found out about the Civil War! That's what you get when you print a news-paper hundreds of miles from civilization, I suppose. To-day I shot 1,297 passenger pigeons.
September 5, 1869: Young T. Herman is looking more and more like his Papa every day, and The Mercantile-Onion is thriving. Last night, I had another wet-dream about Queen Victoria. To-day, I shot 13,841 passenger pigeons.
June 21, 1887: I am a miserable old man and have to be carted from room to room in a sedan-chair. Young T. Herman is off at that d–n panty-waist book-learning academy out East and won't drop a line to his poor mother and me. I was reading about the cocaine-powder, and would very much like to try some.
April 6, 1891: Still alive. I now dictate my diary entries to my secretary, as my hands are gnarled with the rheumatism. Lately, I've had a hard time telling the presidents apart. Perhaps they are all the same man, with varying facial hair? Death could not come soon enough. I think some-one is poaching the passenger pigeons, as I haven't seen any in weeks.
February 26, 1896: Young T. Herman is back from his world tour and has introduced me to a new remedy called chloro-form, which he says will provide swift alleviation of my various infirmities. He has just dipped his hand-kerchief into a saucer of the curious liquid and is pressing it tightly against my nose and mouth. Careful, son, you're pressing too hard. Ouch. Owww...uhhnn...ohhhhhh...