100 Years Ago Today

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending May 17, 1913.

“A band of gypsies drove as far as Eastlake this morning and Under Sheriff Morris Waal immediately became busy and stalled any chance of their doing any damage. His orders to the gang were that they were to trod the straight and narrow path while in Manistee County and to move on as soon as their wagons could be repaired and made fit for travel.

“Deputy Sheriff Edward Conway of Bear Lake shooed them out of his village late yesterday afternoon and followed them to Norwalk to see that they stayed in their wagons. No reports of any robberies have been brought in except a few minor ones that may be the result of imagination.

“There are about 20 grown-ups in the party and enough children to make the bunch number 40 people. They travel in nine wagons and according to all reports are real gypsies. It is reported that they were driven out of Benzonia yesterday morning and went from there to Bear Lake.

“The Eastlake authorities will have special officers at the camp tonight to see that nothing out of the way takes place.

“Manistee will soon have a local child welfare league as a branch of the National Child Welfare league, if the plans of Mrs. Cora Lamping, president of the national league, and Mrs. Marie Holland, organizer, are carried out. Both the women are present in the city, and Mrs. Holland will speak before the Lakeside club. The campaign in Manistee marks the beginning of an effort to organize the entire state.

“One of the features of the new organization will be traveling child welfare exhibits. The following subjects will be represented: Infant mortality, pure milk, child labor, visiting nurse and housekeeper, proper housing, proper parental care, playgrounds, family desertion, needed legislation and many other important subjects.

“Something like 25 deaths are reported in Manistee county each year from consumption, and these would frequently be preventable if the anti-tuberculosis society had sufficient funds to take care of individual cases. Generally speaking, the funds of the society are used purely for educational purposes… The officers feel that a more direct aid would be desirable, and that lives and possibly whole families would be saved, if the public realized the gravity of the disease and gave more freely to its cure.

“The society has just investigated a very sad case where immediate assistance would possibly save an entire family, but no funds are available with which to work. In this case that of a family living in Manistee today, the father, 43 years of age, is in the advanced stage of consumption and has not been able to do the least amount of work for months. His first wife died three years ago. He remarried and now has six children running from 8 months of age to 13 years. An 8 year old child is sick abed at the present time. The family is therefore, destitute, and without assistance the disease is bound to spread and be fatal to possibly every member of the family. Not the least important phase of this critical case is that the children, who night and day bear with them the terrible germs of tuberculosis, are today in Manistee schools.

“Cases of this kind frequently come up, in which donated funds could work marvelous cures. The significance of the disease and the fight being waged against it by the anti-tuberculosis society should be brought to the attention of every citizen of Manistee.

“Anna Stevens and Mary Miller, two fortune tellers from the gypsy camp, were picked up by Chief of Police Grady late yesterday afternoon for telling fortunes. They paid Justice Richmond the costs, and were released upon their promise to stop working. The gypsies made camp last night on Black Bird Island and today packed up and left the city going south to Ludington. A report from the sheriff’s office today stated that no damage has been discovered.

“On Saturday afternoon and evening the junior class of the high school will present the second annual festival at Ramsdell hall. Festivities begin with a supper served from 5:30 to 7:30. Following the supper a varied entertainment consisting of a three act comedy sketch entitled ‘The Green Veil,’ a solo by Mrs. Bigelow and selections by the high school orchestra and double quartet will be offered. The entertainment will conclude with a dance.

“Invitations have been issued to the parents of high school pupils with the hope of arousing greater interest on the part of parents in school affairs and bringing about more co-operation between teachers and parents. The public generally is invited and a small admission fee will be charged.

“Beginning tonight and continuing through Friday Manager Russell of the Gem and Electric theaters will show the moving pictures of Manistee recently made by the Advance Motion Picture Company of Chicago. Yesterday morning the film was run off for the benefit of the newspaper men and it was the unanimous verdict that Mr. Russell had a splendid picture. The photography is perfect and the selection of views well chosen. The scenes include the various public buildings with the pupils enjoying the unusual break in their regular routine, the police and fire departments, the latter being especially interesting; scenes about the mills and many of the finer residence sections of the city; a good view of River street and a picture of the Champs, who look as though they had just lost a game to Ludington.

“About a thousand local people are included in the film and are easily recognized. The picture is well adapted to give a good idea of the business and manufacturing activities of the city and the character of the municipal administration in the way of school advantages and police protection.

“Bernard Snider, Herbert Crandell, and Walter Elsneau, three high school students, essayed to come down Bear creek in their canoe Saturday. All went well until the boys got into a dispute with an overhanging tree over the right of way, which resulted in the boys being spilled out and losing a rifle and part of their supplies. Except for being thoroughly chilled, the boys suffered no ill effects from their ducking and completed the trip, arriving home Sunday afternoon.

“Manistee’s school teaching staff will not easily repair the loss it has sustained in losing Miss Catherine Hansen, principal of the Union school. She has won the deepest admiration from all who have been acquainted with her, and probably no principal in the schools here has more completely kept the love of her pupils. This she accomplished despite the most admirable discipline. In face Miss Hansen proved one of the most successful principals ever employed in this city, and it is with the deepest regret that the city must watch her depart from it.

“Today is clean-up day throughout the state. In Manistee this cleaning will extend from today until Saturday, on which day the anti-tuberculosis society will hold its special ‘clean-up’ day in its fight against the flies. The fire department and the association will work in conjunction. May 17 was set aside by Mayor Joseph Kirster in a proclamation issued on May 5. The mayor stated: ‘It is strongly urged that the citizens of the city take a personal interest in this movement, and all owners of vacant lots and premises remove all rubbish therefrom and make them presentable as improved property.’

“Health Officer Harlen MacMullen will make a tour of the city to see that the town is really cleaned up, so far as danger from disease is concerned.

Compiled by Teena Kracht from the newspaper archives of the Manistee County Historical Museum.

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