100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending May 12, 1917 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:Muesum pic

“Although it has been customary to close the children’s story hour meetings the last week in April, the attendance during the past year has warranted the librarian in deciding to extend the term for another month.

“The children will be entertained this month with stories of birds. Next Saturday the story will be of the robin.

“Attendance for the year has been far above the average story hour meetings of former years. From November until and including the meeting last Saturday, 1,556 children had attended.

“A meeting of the Third Ward Mothers’ club was held Friday afternoon. Recitals were given by the pupils of the various grades and Mr. Hard spoke interestingly on ‘The Proper Method of Canning Vegetables.

“An interesting meeting of the Fifth Ward Mothers’ club was held yesterday afternoon. Mr. Hard gave an interesting talk on ‘The Home Garden,’ pupils of Miss Mailhot’s room sang, and Kathlyn Henchey played a violin solo. Refreshments were served after the program.

“In celebration of his third birthday anniversary, little Edward Albert Kihnke entertained nine friends Thursday afternoon. At 5 o’clock an appetizing three-course luncheon was served the kiddies in the dining room. Te table was prettily decorated in red, lighted candles in dainty candle holders at each guest’s place giving a pretty effect. Toy balloons and birthday candle holders were the favors. Various games furnished much amusement to the young tots during the afternoon.

“It is believed that farmers of Manistee County will have no occasion to fear inability to secure sufficient help for harvesting crops when the time arrives. Several local agencies are devoting attention to this problem now and there is no doubt by their united efforts they will be able to satisfy the labor needs of all farmers.

“A number of business men have expressed their willingness to enlist in an army of city men who will give a few days service gratis, if needed.

“Dr. H. D. Robinson has suggested that local owners of automobiles arrange a club the function of which will be to carry laborers to and from the farms. It is his plan to have one owner and then another serve for a few days each, taking city labor to the farms in the morning and bringing the men back in the evening.

“No farmer need minimize his planting because of a fear that he cannot find men to care for his crops and to aid in the harvest.

“The Western Michigan Development bureau will hold a meeting in Grand Rapids next Tuesday for the purpose of organizing a bureau to attract the summer tourists to this section of the state during the resort season.

“Owing to the war situation the popular seaside recreation spots will not draw as heavily this summer as in past seasons. The traffic will naturally turn in this direction and to other inland resort places.

“Northern Michigan cities have the climate, scenery and advantages that well qualify it for attracting tourists.

“Manistee County is holding its own with others of the state in relation to its food preparedness work, according to a statement of Frank Sandhammer, county farm agent, who has just returned from a meeting of the state War Foods Preparedness committee, held in Lansing. “In regard to bean production, Manistee county is the best organized in the state. A bean club has been organized in almost every school in the county, each boy and girl members pledging to cultivate either one-half or one acre.

“Practically every agent present urged the adoption by congress of minimum prices for all foods, saying that such legislation would do more to increase farm production than any other thing. A resolution expressing the sentiment of the agents was forwarded to Washington.

“All members of the James F. McGinley Post No. 201 will meet at their headquarters tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock to perfect plans for their Memorial day exercises.

“Commander Allen McKee will have charge of the meeting and will endeavor to outline plans for a celebration that will equal any that has been held in past years.

“Dr. E. S. Ellis, city health officer, today issued the following statement:

“The Manistee Board of Health has authorized free vaccination for small pox to all residents of the city. Let me say at the outset that this is in no sense compulsory, yet it is hoped that all will avail themselves of the protection gained by this simple procedure.

“It has been many years since there has been anything like general vaccination, and as a result practically all our young people at this time have no protection against smallpox. Let parents and guardians see to it that their children secure a practical immunity against this loathsome and disfiguring disease.

“That the danger of an epidemic is not remote and fanciful is easily proven. In the last tow and one half years there has been hardly a month that smallpox has not existed in the districts to the north of Manistee. Onekama, Bear Lake, Arcadia, Kaleva, and Copemish have been visited. Traverse City had a sharp epidemic a few months ago. With the constant communication between those places and Manistee it is remarkable that we have been spared an invasion.

“To indicate the protection afforded by vaccination it is sufficient to say that the disease attacked only 3 [in the state] who had been previously vaccinated.

“ALL THE MONTH OF MAY has to do to be popular is to act natural. It hasn’t begun to yet,

“WELL, THIS HAD TO COME. Old Man Winter will soon have all the disagreeable things out of his system and then look out—we will be deluged with sweltering rays from a long misused sun.

“Be it known that the Overbrook Fishing club is officially organized, underway, and prepared to share all the select speckled beauties in Bear Creek.

“With all members present and about 15 invited guests, including several wives of the members, the club’s cabin on Bear Creek was formally opened for the season yesterday. The club members motored to the camp Saturday afternoon and evening. Their wives and guests went up yesterday.

“Just to do the thing right, an elegant trout dinner was served at noon yesterday. From all reports available here today, it ‘was some dinner.’

“All members of the club are enthusiastic about their little social circle and promise to make the trout fishing in their locality a thing to talk about.

“’A worm sure hasn’t got much personality, but the fish go crazy about them.’

“That’s what the theoretical trout fishermen of the budding 1917 season are finding out, at any rate. For squirmy worms are tempting the trout to the exclusion of all other enticements. Anyone with enough trout to grease the pan so far this year caught ‘em with worms—and nothing else.

“From the fishes’ viewpoint, apparently, there is nothing so luscious as the juicy gob of dangling angleworms.

“The passenger steamer MINNESOTA of the Northern Michigan Transportation line, glistening in the sunlight with her spic and span new coat of white paint, passed down the Manistee River at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, clearing this port for Detroit, after being laid up here for the winter.

“The boat was a thing of beauty as she slowly steamer out of port. Completely overhauled, painted and scrubbed, standing up out of the water in proud and stately fashion, the MINNESOTS whistled her parting farewells to Manistee for the season as she cautiously pushed her nose around the bend in the river and headed for the open lake.

“WELL—IT WAS SOME day at that. By the looks of the tourist traffic to the north yesterday, all resorters along the line are open for the season’s business.

“Using force to overcome the stubborn resistance of the mother, firemen carried Mrs. W. H. Kinsley and a small child from her apartments over the Kinsley Drug store, 328 First street, at 2:43 o’clock this morning, as firs was spreading through the suite of rooms. William Pomeroy rescued the other young child.

“Officers today are investigating the cause of the fire which so nearly resulted in a triple tragedy. They frankly express their beliefs that the blaze was of incendiary origin, though they hesitate to publicly place responsibility. Several oil-saturated garments and articles of furnishing are in possession of the officers.

“When firemen arrived Mrs. Kinsley was sitting in a rocking chair placed in front of double doors separating the living room and bedroom. The bedroom was aflame and smoke was filling the room in which she was sitting. Mrs. Kinsley was nude except for a short undergarment, and appeared to be in a stupor.

“Mr. Kinsley, proprietor of the drug store directly beneath the apartments declared this morning that he knew little of the circumstances. For considerable time there had existed between himself and his wife an estrangement that had resulted in the maintenance of separate apartments.

“MR. AND MRS. ANDREW JACK, 443 Second St., are quietly celebrating their sixty-first wedding anniversary today. They were married at Albany, N. Y., May 8, 1856, and are among the oldest of Manistee’s residents, Mr. Jack having been a pioneer boiler manufacturer here.

“MARCH WINDS and April showers do not seem to have brought May flowers this year. They merely brought more of themselves.

“REPORTS FROM THE EAST say the price of ‘hot dog’ at Coney Island has been raised to 10 cents and popcorn to 8 cents a sack. Pretty soon it won’t be possible to buy a nickel’s worth of anything.

“Manistee’s new council met for the first time as an administrative body last night, and without any fussy preliminary details went briskly about business in hand.

“The broad countenance of Mayor Bradford beamed benignly from above the mayor’s seat—a strongly reinforced chair having been installed for his benefit—and he presided with all the dignity due the occasion and as placidly as though he had been doing the same thing all his life.

“PARIS, May 9.—America’s first armed force for the French battle front marched through the streets of Paris today—acclaimed amid the wildest demonstration the city has witnessed in years.

“Sixty men, khaki-clad and bearing aloft the American flag, were in the contingent. They were the first detachment of the newly-created munitions transport branch of the American ambulance corps.

“Yesterday wasn’t Christmas by a considerable number of months. But it was a vastly more gratifying day than even that holiday to a dozen or so city officials and employees, who were granted salary raises by the council last night, in recognition of services and in token of acknowledgement of the high cost of everything.

“The vaccination campaign began at the St. Joseph’s school this morning when 261 children were attended by three physicians.

“Payment of $8,500 for the Seagrave truck recently purchased for the fire department was authorized last night, the machine having proved satisfactory in all the tests to which it has been subjected and in numerous cases of actual service.

“Motorists, beware!

“When you take a slant backward out of the corner of your eye and visualize a red-headed motorcyclist pursuing you, better transfer your pressure from the accelerator to the brake and let her idle down.

“Manistee’s new motor cop will get you if you don’t watch out. Determined to check the speeding evil, the council last night appointed Adolph J. Olk , an alert and aggressive motorcyclist, as the city’s official speed regulator, to enforce the mandates of the ordinance. Transgressors had now better be wary.

“Olk is admirably qualified for this work and should make an energetic and efficient official. He will furnish his own machine and the city and county are to requite him for his services to the extent of $75 per month, as well as provide the oil and ‘gas’ necessary to the lubrication and propulsion of the Nemesis of erring motorists.

“’Red, as he is disrespectfully known to some of his intimates, or ‘Otto’ as he is commonly called, ought to prove a first class motor cop. And we sincerely hope he will, even though a motor cop is supposed to have as few friends as a dog catcher. Anyway, his appointment is evidence of Manistee’s progressive spirit. No village constable with a tin star as big as a pie plate shall arrest motorists within our metropolitan confines; no bump-the-bumps to break their springs. If they’re pinched here hereafter it’ll be in a classy fashion, by a regular motor cop, which ought to take most of the sting out of it.

“LEON D. HARD, agricultural instructor at the high school, is confined to his home with an attack of tonsillitis.

“Plans for the [end-of-year high school] exhibition at the Ramsdell hall and theater are nearly completed. The English program is to be especially attractive. The freahmen are to stage a one-act play, written by a junior, Doris Payne. There will be considerable speaking at the program. The juniors are practicing steadily for a cycle of songs which they are to sing at this exhibition. The songs are the works of the authors studied in English literature so far.

“The senior play, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ is to be presented at Ramsdell theater Wednesday evening, June 20. On the evening following diplomas will be presented, after which the junior reception is to be held. On the next evening the junior hop is to be given.

“A dramatic scene was enacted in Justice Erb’s court last evening when Evelyn Sherman, 18 years old, was taken before the court on the charge of larceny preferred by her father. The young girl was arrested at 1:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon at her home by Deputy Sheriff James Lahr and taken to jail. According to the accusation, she had been accustomed to taking sums of money from members of her family. She would steal the savings of her smaller sister, taking the money from her little savings bank. Other members of the family suffered similar losses, it was said.

“On facing the judge the girl broke down and confessed that she had taken lots of money that didn’t belong to her. Her thefts had continued for some time, she said. While a student in the public schools, she stole money from her teacher, it was said.

“The case was a difficult one for the court to decide. The girl’s mother was on the verge of prostration.

“After considering what disposition of the case was best for all concerned, Justice Erb sentenced to girl to serve sixty days in the county jail. It was thought that this short term away from all temptations might do worlds of good for her.

“Conscription Is Approved After Debate of Week.

“That blend of practical patriotism and charity which finds its highest exemplification in the war work of the Red Cross organization is to be given impetus in Manistee at a rousing rally to be held next Tuesday evening, under the auspices and direction of the local Red Cross chapter, when the membership campaign will be launched and the general public invited not only to give of their means but of themselves to work in which all may and should have a part.

“Through the News-Advocate, the United States war department has asked that co-operative steps be taken to safeguard all explosives and ammunition in the hands of firms trading in that line, that they may not fall into the hands of improper persons or those with malicious intent. It is the intention of the government to keep a close guard on all explosives in the keeping of those other than government agents.

“Unless war conditions take a turn for the better, prices of materials come down and the fishing becomes better, Manistee’s little colony of trade fishermen will have to abandon its industry and turn to other fields to earn a livelihood.

“The past winter has hit the colony a severe blow. It was practically tied up in winter quarters from Jan. 15 until the middle of March. The heavy winds of early fall, snows, storms and heavy weather throughout the winter proper, served to keep the down-river colony close to their firesides. Peter Peterson, oldest fisherman in this port, stated today that this past winter has been the worst he has experienced since 1885 and 1886.

“It was predicted early last fall by marine men that the new breakwater would tie up Manistee harbor against traffic in severe winter weather. Winds from the north and northwest drove heavy ice packs in against the construction work, where it piled up week after week until the channel was solidly blockaded.

“During a mild break in weather conditions about the middle of March it was possible to run several of the small fishing tugs out into the lake. One or two were caught in the ice and had difficulty in getting back to port. No further attempt was made for two weeks. Desultory fishing has been in progress from that time until now.

“The present war conditions are affecting the fishing industry to a detrimental extent. Even as far back as eight months ago prices on some materials were almost prohibitive. Now that the United States has entered the conflict the situation has grown worse. Linen twine that formerly cost $2 a pound has advanced to $5. This is imported from Austria and Scotland and is almost impossible to secure. Other materials such as nets, lead sinkers, gasoline and smaller necessities have skyrocketed until it is difficult for the colony to operate.

“So far this year the catch has been only fair. The men are going out daily to drag up their nets, but the results are not satisfactory. Ordinarily the supply of whitefish, deep-lake trout and chubs (deep-water herring) would offer profitable work for the men. This year the catches have been light. Things must improve else Manistee will find herself without this promising industry.

“The News-Advocate interviewed Peter Peterson, veteran fisherman of this city, today. While the old fellow seemed to be optimistic about the situation, it was observed that he entertained little hope of a change for the better.

“’Prices are too high,’ said Mr. Peterson. ‘We cannot afford to pay the prices now asked for materials used in our work. The catch has been only fair so far this year and unless things rapidly improve the boys will have to quit. We cannot afford to play a losing game. Of course, fishing is our business. We have made a living out of it for many years, but if we cannot make both ends meet during this crisis we will have to turn to something else.

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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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