100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending August 11, 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

“The fate of Manistee’s Chautauqua rests on the results that will be achieved in the ticket sale Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. With three more days left of the ticket sale and $1,300 of tickets yet to be disposed of, prospects for the 1917 Chautauqua appear dubious unless a phenomenal rush should take place beginning tomorrow morning.

“Between 12,000 and 14,000 people patronized the Fifth Avenue bathing beach during the month of July, according to figures and estimates made by men in charge of the beach.

“Records kept by Ellsworth Krantz showed that 6,400 took dips during the day time. Observations made by others are to the effect that even more people went to the beach in the evening. That means an average of more than 400 a day. Considering the fact that most of the time the temperature was such as to make bathing a punishment, the showing is remarkable proof of the popularity of the municipal beach.

“During this time not a fatality or accident marred the season’s record. The chance for free swimming instructions by Mr. Krantz was made use of by 111 persons.

“Right now the institution is suffering from growing pains. It is getting to be too big a thing to be handled on the everything-free basis and hundreds of bathers are expressing the hope that by next year it will be possible to have a large bath house, with rooms and suits to rent and attendants in charge, so that it will not be necessary to put on bathing suits at home. They are more than willing to pay a fair price for such accommodations, as it is manifestly impossible for the city to invest big sums for buildings without any revenue to pay for cost and maintenance.

“Mrs. A. A. Griffin of Louisville, Ky., has leased the Manistee Business college from W. H. Martindill and will open the institution for the season of 1917-18 on Monday, Sept. 3.

“Mr. Martindill, who has successfully conducted the college the past 21 years, has severed his connection to take charge of the commercial department of the Manistee High School.

“HERE WE ARE TALKING about conservation, and Old Sol goes and wastes all the heat he has in the summer.

“REDPATH DECORATIONS were put overhead along River Street during the night. Small pennants of various hues are hung from one end of the street to the other.

“HORSE KICKED ITSELF over the shafts of a light delivery wagon in front of the Western Union Telegraph office about noon today. Traffic was delayed for awhile until the animal was untangled.

“Patriotism will be the dominant note of the Manistee Redpath Chautauqua, which opens here Wednesday, Aug. 8, under the auspices of the Board of Commerce, and many of the lectures will have a special bearing on the war and the part everyone can play to bring it to a speedy close. The music is largely martial in spirit.

“Registrants reporting for examination next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be disposed of at the rate of 32 per hour. To make this rate possible two extra examining physicians will be appointed to assist Dr. L. S. Ramsdell, regular examining member of the local exemption board.

“The seriousness of the affair does not seem to seep through the minds of some. They think that the local board has pretty much of a free rein and can grant favors and special considerations. On the contrary, the rules are drawn tightly and the boards must comply with them. It is all part of the military system and obedience is the one factor that must prevail.

“A number of registrants have come to the board and asked for the exemption blanks, intending to make them out now, because it would not be convenient for them to come on the day and hour mentioned in the call. These boys have another guess coming. The local board has already done far more for the convenience of registrants than the law requires.

“Failure to appear in person or to establish a valid reason for non-appearance will cause the registrant to be recorded as physically qualified for military duty.

“There is but one safe rule for registrants to follow: Come when called and do as they are told.

“An interesting letter has been received here from Thomas (Red) Andresen, who recently enlisted in the army and is now at the Columbus. O., barracks.

“Andresen speaks proudly of his native state and asserts that army men claim it is one of the best in the union for securing recruits.

“Tired, sleepy and worn out, Andresen says he arrived in Columbus on a special coach carrying 60 other recruits Monday afternoon. He details the severity of the physical examination which, he says, lasted from 7 o’clock in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon.

“Judging from the pride with which Andresen speaks of being a soldier, it must be great to be in the ranks, expecting any minute to be sent away to battle for the freedom and democracy of this free United States.

“NEW SAFETY GATES have been put on the Smith Street  Bridge. The markers are painted white and are visible for a great distance. Danger signs will be placed in prominent places to further warn travelers.

“AND IT ALMOST FROZE over last night. Heavy comforts were the comfortable thing before morning.

“The smokes are ready and the coffee soon will be for the business men’s smoker tonight at the Square Meal annex.

“The puffing and munching begins at 8 o’clock; no time limit afterward.

“It is a get-together meeting and it is hoped that the place will be crowded.

“Face, hands, legs and body blackened and swollen from mosquito bites and scratches, eyes bleary and dull from want of sleep, clothes torn until they resembled rags, Harry Adamczak, nine-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Adamczak, 183 Twelfth Street, was found Saturday morning seven miles from the road between Sauble river and Hamlin Lake after being lost since Thursday evening.

“The lad and his mother had gone berry picking in company with seven other people. The day was spent in picking berries in the vicinity of Cooper’s creek, near Sauble river.

“A party was sent out at 2 o’clock Friday morning to search for the lad. All day Friday the boy’s father and friends kept up an endless search. All night the party moved along the swampy land near the Sauble river and close to Hamlin Lake.

“Repeated calls were sent out and it was about 8 o’clock Saturday morning when Mr. Adamczak discovered his son, standing in water almost waist deep and seven miles from any road.

“The boy was barely recognizable when found. His face was a solid welt from mosquito bites. His hands were scratched. He had removed his stockings and was in his bare feet. His legs were torn and bruised from contact with insects and brush.

“The boy had eaten nothing except three strawberries since Thursday. He was almost starved with hunger and thirst. His lips were swollen and frothing and he was in a mental daze.

“When questioned, the lad stated that he was only berry picking and wanted to know where his mother was. He did not realize that for two days he had been wading through one of the worst swamps in this part of the state.

“Mrs. Adamczak was just recovering from a hysterical condition when interviewed by the News-Advocate today. Between laughs and spasms of crying she stated that she was glad that her son was back. Asked if the boy might be seen, she said he was out playing but that he would soon be home for something to eat.

“’I simply can’t fill him up,’ she said. ‘He ate a whole berry pie yesterday and I had to take it from the oven before it was done to satisfy his appetite.’

“Young Adamczak is apparently no worse for his terrible experience.

“Manistee’s quota of men for the first draft has been reduced from 192 to 158. The local exemption board has received 34 exemption cards from the governor, certifying to the fact that the men whose names are on the cards are not subject to the draft because they have already enlisted in some branch of service for their country.

“Fear that parental objection would deter him from his plans impelled Alex C. Hornkohl, Jr., 19 years old, son of Commissioner and Mrs. Alex C. Hornkohl, to enlist for service in the army at the local recruiting station Saturday afternoon, and to leave immediately for Grand Rapids, whence he will leave this evening for Columbus, O.

“Letters left in charge of Recruiting Officer Leech, for delivery to his parents after the train was well on its way to Grand Rapids, was the first intimation given them of his plans. Although naturally deeply grieved, they commended the spirit of the youth, and practically declared that they would interpose no objections. Mrs. Hornkohl left this morning for Grand Rapids to bid her oldest son a personal farewell before he departs for the army camp in Columbus.

“Young Hornkohl, who is familiarly known to his intimates as ‘Sunny’ or ‘Buns,’ is one of the most popular lads who has gone from this city to take part in the great adventure. He enlisted in the medical corps of the service, and passed a highly satisfactory preliminary test for fitness. Officer Leech, in charge of the local station, characterized him as a highly desirable recruit and expressed no misgivings as to his ability to qualify for the service.

“AN AUTHORITY says one way to avoid suffering from the heat is not to think about it. Please excuse the authority for reminding you of it.

“AUTOMOBILE WITH a Florida license passed through Manistee this morning. Considerable distance to travel to the Michigan resorts.

“SUMMER VACATION DAYS are fast coming to an end. Many a youngster with coat of tan will return to the classrooms next month to begin the first term grind.

“Unless the Chautauqua patrons of Manistee, those who believe in the great annual institution that is the best the city affords in the amusement line, come to its support within the next 24 hours, Chautauqua is lost to this city.

“The response to the oft reiterated request of the Board of Commerce that those who have patronized Chautauqua in the past years make good on their pledges has fallen far short of what it should be.

“The failure of Chautauqua here this year will not only entail a serious financial loss to the Board of Commerce. The more serious feature of the failure will be the loss of prestige and standing that the city will suffer.

“Mr. Manisteean, do you want this to happen? It’s up to you.

“Not one slacker or shirker was noted among the 128 registrants notified to report before the local exemption board today for examination.

“Theodore Somsel of this city, employed on the Michigan East & West railroad, was the first man to be examined. He was also the first man to apply for an exemption blank, requesting one because he has a wife and family to support. While no effort was made to keep track of exemption requests, the percentage will run very high.

“Only two were disqualified because of heart lesions, a remarkably low percentage. Flat foot, rupture and under weight were the prevailing causes for disqualifications.

“The receipts from fines, other than for violation of city ordinances, up to and including June 30, amounted to $784 in Manistee county. This money goes to the library funds of the school districts that apply for the same.

“The Manistee Milk Producers’ Association organized a week ago, last night in Board of Commerce rooms held its second meeting and effected a permanent organization.

“The milk dealers, now well organized, are in a better position to advance their interests, working collectively, than they previously were. It is proposed to make their organization respected through maintenance of good service at all seasons, standardization of prices and product, and other co-operative methods that make for greater efficiency. The milk dealers wish it clearly understood that they are not out to ‘gouge’ the public, but intend to make merely a fair profit, failing which they will dispose of their herds and engage in some other business.

“SAFETY GATE STANDARDS are being fitted to the Maple Street Bridge as additional protection to traffic.

“CLOUDY, MURKY DAY foreboded rain in quantities. It will be welcome after being overdue for so long.

“’Soldier, what’s your name?’

“The Red Cross workers have taken rapid action on Capt. Wenzel’s suggestion that all Manistee county boys in service be provided with a few essentials of comfort.

“In yesterday’s issue of the News-Advocate it was suggested that the men in service be furnished with towels, wash cloths, writing materials and other articles to promote their comfort while on duty.

“Immediate action has been taken by the Comfort committee of the Red Cross chapter. Two donations have been sent them for providing comfort bags. R. R. Blacker has given $375 for the fund and Miss Martha Filer has donated $100. The names of every young man in Manistee county who has enlisted in any branch of service or who has been drafted is wanted that he may provided with a comfort kit.

“This work does not come under the Red Cross activities nor can funds be used from the chapter for making and equipping the bags. Donations must be received to carry on the work. Those interested are solicited to aid the movement by liberal subscriptions. The name of the man to whom the bag is sent will be printed on the outside covering.

“The City of Manistee, by resolution of its council and through action by its city attorney, will vigorously oppose granting the pending petition of the Michigan East & West Railway company that it be allowed to tear up its tracks and abandon its stations and offices in the city. This determination became a matter of record last night.

“Like the small boy of the family who discovers the skunk in the woodpile, Junior City Commissioner Alex Hornkohl was the one who scented evidence of a conspiracy between the M. E. & W. Railroad and the Pere Marquette to give the latter a virtual monopoly of all transportation facilities into the city.

“Commissioner Hornkohl’s suspicions were embodied in a resolution which narrated grounds for the above beliefs, and recited instances of alleged bad faith and broken promises on the part of the P. M. in its past dealings with the city, in view of which the present move of the M. E. & W. was construed as highly inimical to the interests of this community. Mr. Hornkohl’s resolution was passed without dissent, and City Attorney Campbell was instructed to put forth his best efforts against the granting of the road’s petition.

“This morning’s grist of examinations before the local board totaled 107 men, making 215 for the two days. The day’s quota called was 128, but all the absentees had good reason for not reporting and had previously got in touch with the board. Nearly all were for previous enlistment and for employment too far away to permit them to come.

“Exemption requests again were numerous today, better than two-thirds asking for applications and affidavits.

“Rejections will exceed those of yesterday, 43 failing to pass first examination and re-examination.

“When the launch ISABELLE became the property of Mr. Blacker someone remarked ‘Them as has gits.’ Someone else amended ‘Them as has gives,’ and the amendment prevailed for the $400 realized from the sale of the launch will be immediately given to swell the local Red Cross fund.

“An accident that might easily have proved fatal to three persons occurred on the county road last night when a horse driven by William Olson of Newland became frightened and lunged from the road, hurling the buggy and occupants down a steep embankment. Olson sustained several broken ribs. His sister and another woman, the other occupants of the buggy, and the horse escaped with only minor scratches.

“Dr. A. S. Payne was summoned to Newland about 11:30 last night to attend the injured man. Beyond hysterical conditions prompted by the accident the other members of the party were particularly fortunate.

“Health Officer Ellis’ report to the council last night showed gratifying health conditions during July. But 14 cases of communicable disease came under the observation of his department during the period, and one of these carried the unfamiliar label of ‘impetigo.’

“Pressed for a definition of ‘impetigo,’ Dr. Ellis characterized it as a contagious skin disease, sort of eczema, a little more virulent than the itch but of briefer duration, usually. We hope we’re not going to have any epidemic of impetigo, and Dr. Ellis assures us we’re not likely to. The others of the 14 cases were classified thus: Typhoid fever 3, diphtheria 4, erysipelas 1, scarlet fever 3, pneumonia 1, measles 1.

“Births during July were numbered 16, and there were 14 deaths, one each of typhoid and diphtheria.

“Did Schuster do it purposely, or was it accidental?

“This is the question which is agitating folks who last night saw him tumble through a screen on the stage of the Ramsdell in ‘Prancing Around,’ the jolly but inconsequential musical presented by his company as the third offering on their bill.

“If Schuster’s plunge was premeditated, it was a good bit of business. If not, it was a still better one. It gave the sparce but appreciative audience its best laugh of the evening, and upset completely the gravity of his whole company. The male quartet—always a handy implement in an emergency—relieved the situation for the company, and ‘Prancing Around,’ which is an apt enough title, pranced merrily to a close.

“MAN WEARING A BEARSKIN overcoat was conspicuous on River Street this morning.

“THE CITY IS FEELING the pinch of the labor shortage. City Manager Ruger reported to the council last night that municipal work is piling up, owing to Supt. Shields’ inability to get sufficient help, and quite a few streets are getting in bad condition as a result.

“Promise which is practically assurance that the highest Chautauqua ideals will be realized in this year’s program was given in two excellent bills which marked the opening yesterday of the 1917 Redpath entertainment in Manistee. The commodious tent on the old circus grounds, Seventh street and Fairview avenue, was comfortably filled for both afternoon and evening entertainments, and both audiences quickly caught the genuine Chautauqua spirit and abandoned themselves to whole-hearted enjoyment of the musical and oratorical treats placed before them.

“The Bohemian orchestra, a musical organization of superlative merit, gave an extensive program in the afternoon, and a briefer one in the evening as a prelude to the lecture of Dr. Hardin, one of the big guns on the Chautauqua firing line.

“Dr. Hardin, an avowed pacifist who desires peace so fervently that he is willing to fight for it, in the evening marshaled an appalling array of gruesome statistics to point the fact that the present war is the most wanton destruction conceivable, and as a militant evangel of peace pleaded eloquently for ‘war that shall forever end war,’ a war that shall exterminate German militarism.

“’Before there can be any approach to an ideal world; before democracy can exist; before a lasting peace can settle on this war torn earth, the German autocracy must realize that there is something higher than the German state.

“’I want peace. I am a pacifist, but if we must fight to obtain peace, then let us jump in and lick Germany to a frazzle.’

“Inveigled from his dinner table by a member of his household, and lured to the Hotel Chippewa by P. R. L. Carl under pretense of a pressing business engagement, Edward Buckley, Manistee pioneer lumberman, president of the Buckley & Douglas Lumber company and the M. & N. E. Railroad company, last evening was surprised on the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday by officers and friends of the two concerns with an informal 6 o’clock banquet at the Hotel Chippewa.

“TODAY’S MUCH APPRECIATED visitor: Mr. Very Welcome Rain.

“’When it comes to crates of potatoes, what do you think of the one over yonder,’ said James W. Duncan this morning, as he pointed to a queer looking contraption in the vacant lot east of his office on River street, near the Smith street bridge.

“The ‘crate’ toward which he pointed is a slatted affair, seven feet high and four by six feet on the ground. At first glance it looked like a ventilated manure box, except that potato vines were inquisitively poking out through the chinks, while on top was a luxuriant mass of vines several feet high. It is the outfit with which ‘War Garden Jim’ is experimenting with the new method of intensive potato growing that was described in the News-Advocate last spring.

“All told, it has 168 hills of tubers. It is a seven-story affair, the spuds being planted in layers.

“’Drouth, weeds and bugs don’t worry this potato patch,’ said Jim, with a grim nearly as expansive as the crate. ‘I turn on the hose when there’s no rain; weeds have no chance to get a start; bugs would need an elevator to get up to the top and then the breeze or stream of water would brush them off.

“’There’s no reason why you can’t civilize potatoes just as you can people,’ Jim continued. ‘A family used to require a big plot of ground to live on, but now a few rooms, piled up story after story are the rule in the cities. It’s just as easy to build up a seven-story ‘flat’ of spuds as of humans, if you give them air, light, water and a little intelligent supervision. And when digging comes all you need to do is kick the crate to pieces or turn it upside down.

“I can’t lose out. I’ve more than got my seed back, and look at the fun I’m having,’ was Duncan’s concluding remark, as he turned away to call attention to the other war gardens on the empty lot between his office and the brewery building.

“These latter, by the way, show what persistent effort can do under discouraging conditions. Cinders, rubbish, rusty tins and wires had made this piece of ground an unsightly spot. Some of this ground is being worked by Duncan, while other portions are being looked after by other men in the neighborhood. Every conceivable variety of vegetable is growing there and doing well, and several family tables are daily being supplied with vegetables at no further cost than a little work that in reality is a welcome and healthy exercise.”

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