Friday, December 14, 2012
Civil War Photo Friday: A $275,000 sack of flour
He did this in a rather odd way. He had run for mayor of Austin, Nevada, and lost. He and his rival had made a bet that whoever lost would carry a sack of flour through town. Gridley made good his bet, to the accompaniment of the local band and a throng of curious onlookers. Then he offered up the sack for auction, with the proceeds going to the U.S. Sanitary Commission. A generous buyer paid $250 but refused to take it, saying Gridley should auction it again.
And so Gridley did, again and again, traveling from around the territory visiting dusty mining towns and remote ranches and selling the same sack of flour over and over again. By the end of the war he he had raised $275,000 for the boys in blue.