100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week of Feb. 17, 2012:

“Herbert Kettner, 13 years, Eastlake, received a fracture of his right arm yesterday afternoon when he ran in front of a street car near the fire station at First and Hancock streets.

“The street car conductor offered to take the boy to a doctor, but Kettner refused, thinking himself unhurt. Later he was examined by an Eastlake physician, who discovered that he had sustained a simple fracture.

“Local thermometers took another drop last night, going down as low as 10 degrees below zero. At 9 o’clock the life saving station reported zero, Stacy Thompson 10 below, and the Pere Marquette ticket office 5 below.

“Dispatches from Calumet say that the temperature in the northern peninsula went way down. At Summit it was 33 below, Houghton 24 below, and Calumet 22 below.

“Fruit in some parts of Michigan is reported to be ruined by the cold.

“John Paggeott, 28 years, was overcome by gas while working alone in the gas house of the Manistee Light and Traction company shortly after 10 o’clock this morning and was pronounced dead three hours later after physicians had exhausted their resources in an attempt to resuscitate him at his home, 30 Jones Street, where he was taken after he was discovered lying unconscious in the purifying room of the plant.

“The dead man was the sole support of a widowed mother, Mrs. John Paggeott, and six of her children.

“Supt. Hill stated this afternoon that it was customary for the company to keep two men on duty at the gas plant at all times.

“‘The regular fireman, Frank Revolt, was taken ill,’ said he.’One of Paggeott’s sisters called up the office and notified them. We had a fireman on the way to the plant when we got the news that Paggeott was overcome.

“‘From all indications he had gone into the purifying room to clean the oxide boxes and had closed the door behind him. This is strictly against the rules. He was overcome while at work and had no time to reach the outer room.’

“The accident is the third of serious character that the power company has experienced in the last three days.

“This morning the big dynamo which is used for generating the electricity for the street car trolley wires blew out. Service was stopped and cannot be resumed for several days.

“Having observed the lack of any place in the city where the girls who live at such a distance that they must carry lunches can go to eat and rest at noon times, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union will Monday open the dining room and kitchen of their building, at the rear of the post office, to all girls and women who wish to avail themselves of the opportunity, free of any charge.

“Provision will be made to supply hot coffee, tea, cocoa, or milk at cost.

“Manistee got its legitimate share of a cold wave which swept the state last night. Dispatches from all over the state, received through the United Press, say that the weather was the coldest experienced in many years.

“At the Pere Marquette depot the government thermometer registered 28 below in the night. The lowest record taken at the life saving station, however, was 12 below.

“The cold did not last long. At noon today, Capt. Hanson reported the temperature as 5 above.

“Fruit men do not believe that any damage was done to trees, owing to the shortness of the wave’s duration.

“The weather bureau office promises relief tonight and tomorrow morning.

“Through the efforts of the library board and others, the ancient El Paso bell which is now in the Co. I armory is to be removed to the new public library museum some day next week.

“It will be hung on the main floor of the building.

“The bell was captured by Company B of the Thirty-fourth Michigan Volunteers at El Paso, Cuba, during the campaign against Santiago in July, 1898, and was brought back to Manistee after the local soldiers had surmounted many difficulties.

“During the morning service at the First Methodist Episcopal church yesterday, a fire in the basement necessitated the dismissal of the congregation. The Rev. H. F. Clapp calmed the fears of the people and sent them out of the church by sections.

“While the congregation was leaving he completed the service of taking Harry Dorel, 174 Lincoln Street, in as a member of the church and then went into the basement to make sure that all danger had been overcome.

“Anton Severson, the janitor, discovered the blaze. Before leaving the church for dinner he went to the basement to see if the furnace was working properly. He found the furnace room filled with smoke.

“Fire was lapping two large beams that support the floor above the furnace. Severson, fearing that any demonstration might start a panic upstairs, where more than 200 people were, ran for a bucket. This was half full of ice.

“It took several seconds to knock this out of the pail, and every moment the tongues of flame gleamed brighter through the smoke-filled room.

“Finally the janitor got the ice out, got water from a nearby faucet, and dashed pailful after pailful on the burning beams.

“When the fire had been put out he hurried upstairs where he interrupted the service long enough to tell the Rev. Clapp of the fire. Smoke was coming up through the register at that time.

“’There is a little confusion downstairs,’ announced the minister, ‘and I should like to have the congregation file out by sections.’ He designated the order in which the sections should leave and then went on with the service. By the time it was completed and the choir had rendered a song, the people were all out safely.

“Then the minister went downstairs and made a thorough inspection. Not a spark was found.

“Sunday school was held at the usual hour, 20 minutes later.

“The loss amounts to only a few dollars.

“Contractors began work this morning remodeling the Baur block on River Street. The building is now occupied by August Gullander, the People’s Hardware and Knuth and Koller. The corner store is vacant at present. The plans call for lowering the floor to the sidewalk grade, new plate glass fronts in all the stores and steel ceilings in the parts occupied by the People’s Hardware and Knuth and Koller. In addition to these improvements the rear of the company’s store will be carried back 27 feet and the second story extended over the new part. This will increase the floor space fully one-third.

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