Only in York County

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The Lamentable Death of Polly Yost, Who Died in York County, Pa. (or maybe not)

I shared a cool ephemera find earlier this week from a northern York County estate sale – and have another to show today. At the same sale, I picked up a two-sided tract.

It’s titled “The Lamentable Death of Polly Yost, Who Died in York County, Pa.” and is noted as “By Henry Balsbaugh.”

Poor Polly, it turns out, got up to some trouble. “She’d go to frolics, dance and play,” it says, but apparently never made time for God, then bemoans her decisions on her deathbed.

I would have felt worse for Polly’s eternal soul if I believed she were a real Yorker, I guess – but at the bottom of the back, I saw a note that said, “Pilgrim Tract Society, Randleman, N.C. Tracts free, as the Lord permits. Send postage for over 100 samples of tracts. Printed in USA.”

That certainly made me re-think the legitimacy of Polly as a real person! It turns out that the Pilgrim Tract Society is still in business, so I’ve reached out to them for more on the history of this tract series, and I’ll definitely let you know what I find!

In the meantime, please enjoy – or at least ponder – the story of “Polly Yost!”

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