100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending May 19, 1917 and are compiled by Teena Kracht from the newspaper archives of the Muesum picManistee County Historical Museum. Read more of her 100 Years Ago column at www.manisteenews.com:

“Don’t feed high-priced human food to dogs or chickens.

“Don’t send valuable food to the incinerator or the fertilizer heap.

“Don’t pour into the sewer nourishing food in the shape of milk, skim milk, sweet or sour, soup, gravy, or melted fat, or water in which cereals or vegetables have been cooked.

“Keep good food out of your garbage pail and kitchen sink.

“’It would be difficult to exaggerate the need for additional support for the Red Cross movement,’ said Chairman Adolph J. Nessen this morning, in an interview concerning steps for the organization of a local chapter.

“’One of the first things French commissioners asked after arriving in America was that the United States take over 110 hospital units in France. The French recognize the efficiency of American surgeons and American nurses, working under the Red Cross society.

“Harry J. Aarons’ store is displaying in its front window a one-pound, high-explosive shell used by the United States government on their submarine chasers.

“The shell was sent here by Leslie Field from Ann Arbor and is one that was rejected by the government because of minor defects.

“According to the description that came along with the instrument or warfare, it is capable of piercing armor plate at a distance of three miles. The projectile when ready for use is filled with nitro-talaul which has 30 per cent more power as an explosive than nitro-glycerine.

“There will be no community pictures at the Congregational church tonight inasmuch as these entertainments have discontinued for the summer. They will be resumed again in the fall.

“During the winter some extremely interesting and instructive pictures have been shown at these entertainments and have been greatly appreciated by the crowds that have attended. The average attendance for the last few weeks has been well over 1,000, sometimes running far above that figure. The total attendance for the season reached the 20,000 mark.

“The pictures shown were all of an educational variety, travel, scenic, industrial, etc. All the expenses of the entertainments will be paid by three businessmen of Manistee for whose generosity the citizens of Manistee are grateful.

“CITY WAGONS ENGAGED in the clean-up campaign will complete their work on the south side tomorrow and will begin on the north side Monday.

“NORTH WINDS CONTINUE to make things mighty unpleasant hereabouts. Wonder if the trees will ever have the heart to try and bud and the sun to shine down warm rays, and the birds to sing—and mean it?

“MR. AND MRS. HOWARD L. Campbell left this afternoon for Marion, Ill., which is ‘way down in Egypt,’ to introduce young Howard Murray Campbell to Grandpa Campbell, who hasn’t seen him yet. They expect to be gone about 10 days.

“DOCTORS APPARENTLY are having their own troubles these days. Manistee is getting so healthful that people refuse to get sick any more. Some who have enlisted for the war send messages home telling of a sickly longing, however.

“’WHAT SO RARE as a day in May’ queries someone. This one’s so rare its raw.

“IT WOULD SERVE the groundhog right if he’d freeze to death one of these May evenings.

“THREE YEARS AGO the late cold spring would have had us worrying about the baseball season and the golf greens. This year we are wondering what effect it will have on the nation’s production of food.

“All high school students who wish to cultivate war gardens will receive full credit for the time lost, it was announced by Supt. S. W. Baker today.

“Many of the Boy Scouts have taken up the work and are now at their places of labor. Several high school students not affiliated with the scour organization have left for farms where they will co-operate with the general movement toward food preparedness.

“Those of the students who leave at this time or before the regular school year is completed will be credited with their averages of the last two months in school for such time as they are out.

“Other cities have inaugurated this plan and also have made arrangements whereby the students will receive credits on a basis of the amounts tilled and crops raised.

“Mr. Baker announced that he would co-operate with the farm agent in whatever other arrangements he might make for giving additional credits to students.

“Manistee is to be organized as a part of a statewide movement among women for the purpose of quickly and thoroughly taking care of patriotic work.

“Word was received today by the Equal Suffrage association that Mrs. Edith C. Munger, chairman of the Ninth Congressional district of the Women’s Committee for Patriotic Service, had appointed Miss Ida M. Brownrigg chairman for Manistee County.

“The general objects which the women’s committee for patriotic service hope to accomplish are: To secure registry of women for emergency service in various occupations in case of war; to co-operate with the Red Cross; to help in the Americanization of our aliens; to increase the food supply by the training of women for agricultural work and the elimination of waste; to afford means of inter-communication and cooperation among women of the state for any patriotic service it may become their duty to undertake.

“A part of the plan is to organize canning clubs, with patent canners which may be taken by groups of women from the towns and cities to the point of production where fruit and vegetables may be canned, dried and otherwise preserved on the premises.

“(The United Press) WASHINGTON, MAY 12.—By a majority of one vote, the senate today struck from the Gregory espionage bill the censorship provision that would authorize autocratic power to gag the press in criticism of the government’s conduct of war and international policies.

“Killing the censorship clause leaves the president with no specific control over the press.

“Discussion of the other features was immediately started. Even as it stands the bill gives the president power hardly exceeded by that of any ruler. A vote tonight is expected.

“The Michigan Tanning and Extract company has just announced an additional 17 percent straight salary increase to take effect at once. This increased wage will be paid to all employees of the plant in addition to the several bonuses that have been put into operation within the past year.

“Several months ago the men were given a 10 percent bonus in addition to their salary. On the first of April an additional bonus of 5 percent was granted. On May first an increase of 17 percent in the salaries of all employees was granted.

“The latest demonstration of the company’s generosity has absolutely no effect on the several bonuses which have been granted from time to time in the past.

“There are approximately 80 men employed at the plant at the present time. Present international complications have speeded up the work there to a considerable degree. With the coming of summer weather extensive building operations will be put underway. Several new additions to the present plant are contemplated.

“An investigation of a complaint of disrespect to the American flag is being conducted before Attorney C. N. Belcher, U. S. Commissioner. The complaint is made against a teacher in the German parochial school. The complaint is not a formal one and no arrest has been authorized.

“The charge is that a teacher forbade children to wear American flags inside the German school. Flags were removed from the coats of at least four students, it was stated. The complaint further states that one flag taken from the coat of a pupil was desecrated by being thrown into the waste basket by the teacher.

“Impassioned denial has been made by the teacher. He appeared before Commissioner Belcher yesterday afternoon… He declared, ‘I am an American—an American and nothing but.’

“The charge has been under secret investigation for a number of days. Until yesterday the federal process was not revealed, but the operations obtained some circulation at that time when a large number of affidavits were taken before the commissioner. Those affidavits are in the possession of the commissioner. The teacher involved also appeared and made a statement. He declared statements made against him to be false, and avowed his allegiance to America. Friends of the teacher called at the office of the commissioner in his behalf.

“Commissioner Belcher is not at liberty to state what action will follow.

“THE NEW MOTORCYCLE COP was out yesterday chasing around the routes of would-be speeders. Motorists will do well to keep their feet on the brake pedals when they see him approaching.

“Attorney C. N. Belcher has been appointed by Governor Sleeper as a member of the state committee for recruiting men for the United States Navy.

“Paying a eloquent tribute to the mothers of all times as the foremost civilizing and progressive influence, Rev. C. F. Bronson Sunday morning at Maple Street Baptist church touched the keynote of the significance of Mother’s’ Day in a forceful testimonial to their worth.

“Manistee is now up against a milk bottle famine, dealers in the lacteal fluid today declared, and unless something is quickly done to relieve the situation the dairymen will soon be compelled to serve their patrons in tin dippers, or resort to the South American expedient of driving their cows from door to door and extracting at each place the amount of milk required for family use.

“Milkmen state that the orders they have had in for bottles for the past six weeks have not been filled, nor have they been able to obtain any assurance when they will be. In view of this fact it is up to the consumers to furnish their own containers pretty soon and the milk dealers are convinced that they can help greatly toward a solution of the problem by ‘discovering’ many bottles to which the dealers still hold property rights.

“City Manager Charles Ruger has been notified that the government intends taking a census of all able bodied men throughout the United States who are physically fit to work but who are not employed.

“Steps are proposed here for taking such a census in co-operation with the government officials.

“There are thousands of idle men in the country who will not work, offer their services for the war or in any other manner show their show their willingness to become representative American citizens. It is for the purpose of rounding these able bodied fellows up and placing their names on the lists for active services that the census will be taken.

“Manistee tonight will take her place among the patriotic cities of the world when she completes organization of the Manistee County Chapter of the American Red Cross. An immense rally will be held at Ramsdell theater at 8 o’clock. Every adult in the city will be welcomed to enjoy the program arranged for the occasion.

“Reiterating the high principles for which the school stands and avowing devout allegiance to the American flag, the board of elders of the Evangelical Lutheran Trinity congregation today addressed to the News-Advocate a communication characterizing the charge of disrespect to the American flag made against a teacher of the school as ‘unthinkable.’

“In the presence of 500 workmen of the Buckley & Douglas mill No. 1, a new American flag was broken to the soft evening breeze at 5:30 o’clock last evening in an impressive ceremony.

“After long and continued blasts from the mill whistle, a squad of six Boy Scouts led by a drum and fife corps marched along the lumber tramway carrying Old Glory to its permanent post. With the crowd respectfully holding their doffed hats, the flag was raised to the top of its staff.

“Prof. S. W. Baker spoke on ‘My Flag and Your Flag’ giving a patriotic appeal to the men. Mr. Garrison followed immediately outlining the work the war Y. M. C. A. movement intends doing throughout the war period. Mr. Baker then addressed the men again speaking in behalf of the officials of the of the Buckley plant and presenting their check for their employees for $250 to be to be applied toward the war Y. M. C. A. work.

“On completion of the remarks, the men voluntarily gave three cheers for the American flag. The flag, 12 by 18 feet, was given by the men of the mill through popular subscription.
“The volunteers held their first outside drill last evening when the company marched over Maple, River, First and division streets. Sixty-four men were in line for the workout.

“Under the command of Capt. William Wenzel, the volunteers were put through a course of company drills that compelled the admiration of onlookers.

“Encouraging impetus was given Red Cross work in Manistee last night when a rally was held at Ramsdell theatre. The theatre was not filled but those who attended were workers—those who will carry the humanitarian fight throughout the county.

“Word has again been received here of Harold McDonald, son of Mr. and Mrs. John McDonald, 286 Fourth Avenue, who was wounded in action while fighting with the Canadian troops ‘somewhere in France.’

“Young McDonald, who is 25 years old, enlisted with the Canadian battalion at Windsor shortly after the war began. He was sent abroad last summer and was injured in his first day of action against the Germans at the battle of Vimy on Easter Monday.

“For some time he was in a field hospital ‘somewhere in France.’ A letter was received here about a month ago saying that he was only slightly hurt in the leg. Another message has just been received by his parents from Scotland where he is confined in the Lieth, C. Field hospital suffering from a machine gun shot wound just below the right hip.

“McDonald states in his letter that the Vimy action was undoubtedly one of the fiercest fought during the entire war. Men were dropping all around him. He was injured during the first part of the action and has not been out of the hospital since.

“With the warming up of the air the past few days and the budding of the trees comes the call to the open, and beautiful Orchard Beach is being put into a presentable appearance by a group of men skilled in landscape work.

“Many changes will be made in the amusement line and the concessions including the Lakeview Inn and refreshment pavilion.

“Many charming dance parties are planned at the assembly pavilion, the music for these occasions being furnished by Gordon Johnson’s well-known orchestra. The Manistee Railway Co. are to inaugurate a 15 minute service to and from the beach after the formal opening, this to be maintained during the entire season.

“Six members of the Boy Scouts have given up their duties in the city for work on the Orchard Beach farm.

“Beginning tomorrow morning the boys will start planting of the war crops. They will remain on the grounds from then until the acreage is harvested.

“More boys are expected to take up the work later and carry the full acreage set aside at the beach to successful cultivation. Larsen Brothers’ store has secured a large assortment of old war relics from the Spanish-American war and will place the same on exhibition as an added inducement to Manistee young men to enlist their services for the cause of their country.

“The Choral and Symphony society has made an offer by which a comfortable sum will be raised for the benefit of the Manistee County chapter of the American Red Cross. The society will offer half of the proceeds of its concert to be given Tuesday , May 29, to the local chapter.

“Here is a chance for all Manisteeans who desire to serve their community to do so without getting in the actual line of fire but at the same time to go abroad for active service.

“Charles S. Kressler has just returned from Grand Rapids, where he was in consultation with Maj. F. W. Alstaetter, U. S. Army, who has charge of recruiting men for the railway engineer regiment to be sent to France for work on the allied railroads.

“All men enlisted for this branch of service will be sent to the front at once. Excellent opportunities are offered for bridge carpenters, motor repair men, masons, structural steel workers, riggers, blasters, photographers, cooks, buglers and a large number of laborers and handy men.

“France sent large numbers of men to help the United States out of her difficulties 140 years ago. This is the opportunity for red-blooded Americans to repay that debt.

“BUCKLEY & DOUGLAS company officials wish to announce that the News–Advocate was in error concerning the statement yesterday that the new flag raised at their mill Monday evening was furnished by their employes. Officials of the company purchased the colors, it seems.

“Walter Carl returned from Culver Friday, where he took up a two weeks’ course in drilling, and other accomplishments demanded of a soldier. Carl praises the institution highly, saying it is wonderful how much can be taught in such a short time. Robert Wellman, who also took the course, has not yet returned. The boys are thinking seriously of starting a company in the high school. If they do, the students will no doubt join the company to a man, as every boy in the high school is eager for military training.

“The great membership drive of the Manistee Chapter of the American Red Cross will begin at 9 o’clock Saturday morning.

“The drive will continue through Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

“The ambition of the workers is to raise $5,000 and to secure 2,000 members, in this county.

“At 9 o’clock Saturday morning, 30 members of the membership committee will invade the business section of the city. The day will be spent in this district.

“Work has been arranged for both Sunday and Monday.

“Absolute poverty can be the only argument any person can conscientiously give for declining to become a member.

“There is very little poverty in Manistee.

“Every automobile owner in the city is invited to join in the Red Cross parade which is to be held Saturday at 8 o’clock. The parade will form at the Boy Scout headquarters.

“Miss Doris Canfield is in charge of the automobile section of the parade. She desires that car owners communicate with her by telephone (No. 58) before noon Saturday. She will explain the requirements.

“It has been determined by the junior class of the high school not to hold their annual banquet for the seniors this year. Through the patriotic spirit that pervades the school this year, the class has decided to apply the money that would be spent on the banquet to the Red Cross fund.

“This is just another instance of the spirit generally found in Manistee. The high school banquet has always been an annual affair, coming at the close of each school year and being given as a sort of farewell affair for the graduating class.

“The members of the Board of Commerce having the mobilization census in charge in the city are slowly finishing their work. When complete it will be the most complete compilation of facts and figures ever made in the city. The names, ages and nationality of every person living in every dwelling or habitation in the city will have been recorded.

“In addition to getting the exact number of people in Manistee, ages, etc., there is an ideas of the amount of foodstuffs carried and at present on hand in each household.

“The reports will show the number of people invalided, the condition they are in and whether they can work or not.

“The sheriff and other peace officers will have an opportunity to ascertain the number of guns of all kinds, other weapons, with ammunition for same and who are the owners of same.

“When the reports are recapitulated it will show in an intelligent manner the amount of foodstuffs, coal and wood necessary to take care of the citizens of Manistee for one year, so that the merchants and dealers can plan to have an adequate supply on hand.

“It is also planned through the Board of Commerce, if possible, to have as much of the fruits, vegetables and other commodities raised or produced in Manistee county held and sold in the county. By using the productions of our own county with many of the middlemen eliminated in addition to the double freight charges taken out, it will permit the local consumer to purchase in larger amounts and at a smaller price…and at the same time it will help most of the money now sent away [be applied] for local use. The careful, sensible use of the data of the mobilization census now under way will help to solve many at present difficult problems confronting the local people and its greatest friend, the Board of Commerce.

“HUGE STEEL 70-foot flagpole is being erected at the home of James Dempsey on Maple street. Old Glory will fly proudly from its top when firmly set in the ground.

“DR. LEWIS S. RAMSDELL and Dr. Homer Ramsdell vaccinated the students of the Fourth ward and Central schools today. Between 175 and 200 were attended, 125 of that number being at the Fourth ward school.

“Memorial Day, called Decoration day, was originated in 1868 when Gen. John J. Logan, as commander-in-chief of the grand army issued an order dedicating the 30th day of May a day for decorating the graves of old soldiers. The day has been legalized inn nearly every state of the Union.

“The day was never observed in Manistee until 1868, when a few old soldiers met and organized a post of the Grand Army, naming it after the first man that enlisted in the Civil war, James F. McGinley. The first year after searching around the bushes and weeds in the cemetery they found a few old soldiers’ graves. They placed flowers on them without the regular services. The next year the school children assisted and quite a collection of people assembled in Oak Grove cemetery, where the services were held.

At that time the public assisted and many a neglected grave was attended and decorated with flowers. The third year was the banner year for the Grand Army. The old soldiers and their families from the neighborhood came to assist and there were over 1,200 given free dinners at the German hall.

“From that time the day has been regularly observed by the people here. In former years the day was spent more particularly by the public for festivities and sports which has been in a measure eliminated.

“There are 124 old soldiers buried here and the act of decorating the graves have been done largely by the post. The public takes an interest in decorating their own friends’ graves.

“One time McGinley post had 132 members on its rolls. Now it has only 30. The authorities at Washington report that the old soldiers are being laid away at the rate of 3,000 a month or one every 15 minutes. In a few years more they will all be gone and the services of the day will fall upon the Spanish War veterans, the soldiers that are now enlisting and the Boy Scouts.

“A casual glance around Manistee and vicinity reveals the full swing of spring activities. With the coming of the last few days of warm weather people and things have awakened to the fact that winter is finally over and that nature has decided to grant the more pleasurable things that have been long delayed.

“Farmers and war gardeners are busily engaged in planting their produce. This citizen army is working with a vengeance to secure prompt and satisfactory results at the earliest possible time.

“Birds seem to sing the glad tidings of spring, buds are bursting forth in the first spring advance toward rehabilitating the trees for summer. The spirit of mingling together pervades the air; people are getting more congenial as the winter grouches are being slowly worn away. Gladness and rejoicing replaces the morose and solemn moods induced by the hardships and discomforts of winter.

“Spring is truly here. Long may she breeze about in our midst.”

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