100 Years Ago

The Manistee County Historical Museum

The Manistee County Historical Museum

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending January 15, 1916 and are compiled by Teena Kracht from the newspaper archives of the Manistee County Historical Museum. Read more of her 100 Years Ago column at www.manisteenews.com

“Manistee Lake yesterday claimed its first skating victim of the 1916 season, when 15-year-old Frank Franckowiak of Filer City dropped suddenly from sight through a fissure in the ice of the bay near the Filer boom.

“The lad, on skates, was hauling a younger brother on a sled and evidently failed to notice the gap in the ice that it is thought was broken up at this point by the high wind of Wednesday night. In any event, while heading for shore, he plunged straight into the water and went down like a plummet, his skates acting as anchors in holding him fast beneath the surface. The sled on which the younger lad rode was not drawn over the brink, and his terrified screams brought quick assistance.

“Charles Linke and William Kubacki, both of Filer City, after about 20 minutes of exploration with a pike pole, located the boy’s body in about 22 feet of water and soon brought it to the surface. Life was quite extinct, and all efforts at resuscitation proved unavailing.

“The fatality occurred late yesterday afternoon, and cast a pall of sorrow over the suburb, in which the little victim was a most popular member of the juvenile contingent.

“The victim of strategic maneuvers by his wife and conspiracy on the part of a number of intimate friends and associates, City Attorney Howard L. Campbell last night was treated to a complete—and presumably agreeable–surprise at his home on the Pine Street bluff.

“The occasion was Howard’s twenty-something birthday, and he had just composed himself to a quiet evening during which he’d ‘be hanged if he’s be beguiled from the comfort of his own fireside,” when the doorbell rang. Mrs. Campbell, expectant of such a happening, responded and admitted the party, while Howard was more ‘fussed up’ than he was on his wedding date.

“He finally managed, however, to stammer a welcome and the disturbers filed in. The party numbered 11 as follows: Mayor Joe Bauer, ex-Mayor Frank A. Mitchell, Commissioners H. D. Bradford, Joseph Kirster and Thomas Kieft, city manager Charles E. Ruger, City superintendent John Shields, Sheriff Morris Waal, Water Department Superintendent Frank Collins, City Clerk Harry Bickell, and Harry W. Musselwhite.

Cards furnished diversion, and Commissioner Bradford had won the undisputed championship at the rum game and Commissioner Kirster, in the act of ‘melding 400 acres,’ was in a fair way to capture the pinochle title, when the call was sounded to a ‘Dutch lunch,’ which order of business broke up the card controversies. High lunch scores were credited to all contestants.

“After a thorough fumigation by the smoke process of Mrs. Campbell’s curtains, the party dispersed, unanimously adopting a resolution permitting Mr. Campbell to have as many birthdays as he liked each year, provided they could be in on the celebration of them.

“BLESSED IS THE MAN who got handkerchiefs for Christmas presents. They’re handy nowadays.

“CITY SCHOOLS will reopen next Monday, after an oversized vacation, Health Officer Ellis having removed the ban caused by the grip epidemic.

“THE GRIP GERM appears to have an extra happy New Year.

“AS DAYS GROW LONGER electric lights are gradually being dropped from the breakfast menu.

“That the lowly lemon, which besides being used as a flavoring for cooling beverages has proved itself to be a name applicable to many fallen idols, should turn out to be a much-wanted and necessary fruit during the past week has just developed, when it was learned that the grip has sent stocks in lemon sky high, and produced a famine in the city.

“As a cure-all the lemon has come to the front as a valuable panacea. During the serious epidemic of grip that has settled in Manistee along with other cities there has been a great run on stores for the prized lemon, which it is said, is a great aid in relieving sufferers of the malady. Before long the supply of yellow-rind fruit was exhausted. Very few stores in the city were able to supply purchasers with them. They advised buying horseradish, as it was ‘just as good.’

“The situation was finally relieved yesterday, when Pere Marquette steamer NO. 4 arrived in port, a day overdue owing to the storm, with an ample supply of lemons from Milwaukee and Chicago, the fruit centers.

“Sufferers with the grip can now gulp down hot lemonade between wheezes to their heart’s content.

“DO YOUR JANUARY bargain hunting early. Just after the Christmas shopping bills come pouring in they start those January sales and the wives get the idea that it is necessary to start right in shopping all over again. Life is just one shopping expedition after another.

“While coasting down a hill yesterday afternoon near her home, two miles north of Chief lake, Lucy Brunaise, 12-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Brunaise, well-known residents in that section, was accidentally killed.

“The little girl had left home in the afternoon in bubbling spirits in anticipation of spending the afternoon coasting with her little companions. She mounted her sled on a small hill and started down the incline in high glee. Unable to turn at a bend in the road, she shot over the path and through a barbed wire fence, where her cap was caught on the lower wire. Jerked back so suddenly that she was unable to protect herself, the accident resulted in a broken neck.

“The unfortunate little girl was extricated from the entanglement and taken to her home where she died about half an hour later. The parents of the girl are greatly bereaved over the sudden death of a much-beloved daughter, and a feeling of sorrow is felt by friends in that neighborhood.

“This was the second fatal accident caused by winter sports in Manistee county this year, the first being the drowning of a boy in Manistee lake last week. Accidents of the sort are doubly sad, owing to the extreme youth of the victims.

“After being muffled for over two weeks, the immense school bell in the tower of the Central school building this morning at 7:55 was tolled again. It will continue to peal its call for a few months at least. The sonorous peals permeated the morning air as they fell on unwelcome ears.

“With laggard steps pupils, students—perhaps teachers—returned to their respective school at the call of the bell to resume their studies. Unless another epidemic of grip or another malady should break out, the schools will remain open until the spring vacation at Easter time.

“During the vacation all the school buildings in the city were fumigated and are now in a sanitary condition. Parochial schools were also fumigated.

“Although not all of the students returned to school, as some are still afflicted with the grip, there was a good percentage. Practically all the teachers returned. In the high school no teacher was absent, and there were only 20 pupils absent.

“Daring and courageous spirits were those who ventured forth last night. The mist had covered the sidewalks with a deceptive sheen of ice, and undignified gymnastics of an involuntary nature were indulged in by church and theatergoers alike. Two young women started down the hill by the post office and gained such momentum that had it not been for the assistance of two men at the foot of the hill, serious injury must have resulted to them.

“Therefore we urge our friends that under such hazardous conditions they should exercise the greatest of care, for broken bones are not a thing to jest over. And to all young women who start down the post office hill we recommend the use of adjustable pocket brakes, for chivalrous men will not always be waiting for them at the foot of the hill.

“JAMES F. DEMPSEY is confined to his home on Maple street with a serious attack of pneumonia.

“COLUMBUS, OHIO, WOMAN had a hat made of fifty new one-dollar bills. Only $50 hat we ever heard of that was worth the money.

“DR. F. L. HAYNES is harvesting his mid-winter crop of luscious, cellar-grown mushrooms. The toothsome fungi are perfect specimens, fit to crown the feast of a king.

“Manistee lake was a skater’s paradise yesterday afternoon and Sunday. Between 300 and 400 people glided over the smooth surface in the two days and reports indicate that the skating is the best that Manistee has had in years.

“There were about 15 sails out among the skaters, cutting the corners and hitting it up on the straightaway. The most expert of these performers were Harry Somerville, Felix Lindquist, Will Daniels, Frank Christiansen and Henry Mertens. Some of them at times attained a speed of 45 to 60 miles an hour, and several close shaves gave thrills to those watching the racers.

“As yet there has been no ice-boating, but within a week or so if conditions remain favorable some of the speedy craft are expected to put in an appearance.

“HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL John M. Slagh reported today that his students returned this morning in greater numbers, and added that the grip is not being noticed to any great extent in the classrooms. Vacant seats, it is expected, will soon be filled. There were only 18 absent this morning in the high school.

“MISS SELMA OLSON, who recently completed her training as an expert manicurist, has been placed in charge of the manicuring at Mrs. E. Faber’s beauty shop in the Maryland building.

“The eighth annual show of the Manistee County Poultry Association will open Wednesday, Feb. 2, on the second floor of the F. C. Larsen building, River and Greenbush streets, and will last for three days. President Andrew W. Johnson states that he expects over 300 birds to be shown, and predicts the best and most prosperous poultry show that Manistee has ever known.

“That the prediction of hard times to be manifested in Manistee in 1915 has been dispelled, was disclosed by the statement of taxes collected to Jan. 10 by city treasurer Thorwald Andresen, which showed a marked increase over the taxes collected last year. The statement also shows the manner of tax distribution into the several funds, and reflects great credit upon the system of efficiency and economy in municipal government.

“The total collection of 1915 taxes is $165,342.08 as against $164,770.73 the year previous, which is ample evidence that taxpayers are well supplied with the necessary cash.

“That the Manistee Automobile club has served a useful purpose during the single year of its existence, despite its inconspicuousness, was the gratifying reflection of the members who met last night in the library to consider the initial steps toward its dissolution as a distinct entity and its absorption by the new Board of Commerce as an active adjunct.

“NO NEED TO GO to the lake today for a slide. The sliding is good anywhere in town, especially the side-hill streets. Sleet storm this morning put a fine crust on the snow.

“Like a shy lover become suddenly bold, Mr. Old Fashioned Winter has quit his timorous flirtation and laid violent siege to the heart of Miss Manistee.

“Quitting yesterday all dissembling, stalling or four flushing in the method of his courtship, the chilly-mannered suitor of the season blustered his way in a compelling, not-to-be denied fashion, gripped the reluctant Miss in his strong, cold embrace and fastened her in fetters of ice and snow which will endure until the conquering hero, Spring, comes bounding upon the scene and unshackles her. And the best we can hope for on that score is a matter of a couple of months or more of waiting for the plot to work out.

“Winter, relentless and rugged, is definitely here. He can be expected to be found ensconced in the easiest chair in the city’s front parlor for some time to ensue.

“The arrival was in the orthodox fashion, to the accompaniment of high winds and biting snow late yesterday. This morning found the city blanketed to a considerable depth and houses with northern exposures boasted some imposing snow barricades.

“The temperature during the night subsided to a mark of 9 plus zero, with a mean temperature of about that figure for 12 hours. ‘Mean temperature’ is used advisedly. But cheer up! The forecast is—

“’Cold wave with temperatures below zero tonight. Continued cold Friday.’

“So the question, ‘shall we acknowledge Old Fashioned Winter as a suitor?’ compels the admission, ‘We’ve got to.’

“TEN YEARS AGO construction work on the Manistee Elks’ Temple was completed and the building turned over by the contractors ready for the installation of the furniture.

“HERE’S AN EXAMPLE of what we’d call playing it safe, and certain: Want ad in a Grand Rapids paper reads: ‘COOK WANTED—Male or female, no others need apply. 321 Monroe.’

“STATE DRUG INSPECTOR Bugbee was in the city yesterday investigating the weights and measures of all druggists, and testing the quality and purity of their drugs. He found everything up to the standard.

OWING TO THE severe epidemic of grip which has settled in the village of Arcadia, all the schools have been closed for an indefinite period and activities are at a standstill. It is said over half the population is suffering from the malady.

“HAD YOU THOUGHT of this? Here’s pretty nearly one-twenty-fourth of 1916 gone already, proving that, after all, life is just one day after another. Soon we’ll be hearing the early Christmas shopping admonitions again.”



Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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