Auburn, Kentucky

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J. Henry Burnett was the son of Rev. J. H. Burnett (Professor & Preacher). J. Henry lived in Auburn until the 1930s when he went to Atlanta, Georgia. His love of Auburn prompted him to write to the Auburn Times about the many people he knew and admired so well. He named his writings "Auburn in the Long Ago."

Subject:     Mr. Joe Mulhatton

Auburn Times –   July 14,1939

Back in my boyhood days, traveling men sustained the reputation of being good fellows, great jokesters and “tall-story” tellers. The State, and perhaps the world champion, was Joe Mulhatton, called the “biggest liar” by all who knew him, and they were legion. On one occasion, Joe advertised that on a certain date he would be at a certain town in Southern Kentucky, and buy a carload of cats – imagine A CARLOAD OF CATS.

Of course, on the day set, he was far away, but the cats came from all directions, or rather were brought. Some were brought in bags over the shoulders of children, who walked, some were brought on horse or mule-back, others in buggies and wagons, but there never was such an array of cats of all sorts, sexes, sizes, colors, etc. The poor owners were doomed to disappointment and the freight agent had to return an empty car, instead of one loaded with cats.

Years afterward, I was telling of this unusual happening to a bunch of college boys in the college where I was business manager. After a few weeks, there appeared in the Sunday paper an advertisement, “Wanted – Cats -- Apply to Prof. -------- Science Hall, ------ College Campus.” You never saw the like of cats that were brought on Monday. The boys had pulled this one on a very much-disliked professor, and it went over big. They never learned who did it.  I learned a year or two later that innocently I had furnished the idea by telling the boys the Joe Mulhatton cat story. Two bright students had put the whole thing over.

Yours sincerely,

                        Macon, Georgia





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