100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending January 12, 1918 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:100 Years Ago

“WASHINGTON, Jan. 4.—The president today called upon congress to give him full and unrestricted powers in the conduct of federal operation of the nation’s railroads.

“‘Private interests,’ he said, must give way for the present to public necessity.’

“‘If the government carries out reported plans and pools all traffic, ending competition, one million men with families who depend indirectly on transportation companies will be without living,’ says the Chicago Railroad News Bureau.

“‘There will be no need of the army of general freight and passenger officers. vice presidents in charge of this work, and thousands of soliciting freight and passenger agents now working for different companies.’

“WASHINGTON, Jan. 4.—Increasing the draft age to 40 or 45 years is one of the ‘probabilities of the future,’ according to Provost Marshal General Crowder, in his annual report.

“The older men would be used mostly for skilled war work, but the report also points out the danger of injuring the coming generation if too many of the young men are taken.

“George O. Nye, Frank A. Mitchell, George M. Burr, George A. Dunham and P. P. Schnorbach were elected directors of the Manistee Board of Commerce at yesterday’s election. Mr. Schnorbach is the only new man in the list, he succeeding Charles H. Morey, who declined to stand for re-election because of ill health.

“The Manistee Shipbuilding Company has just finished delivering 50 tons of coal among its employees, to whom it sold the fuel at cost. It also turned a car of coal over to the Manistee Iron Works.

“About two months ago the company sent an urgency call for fuel to the federal fuel administration at Washington, but received neither reply nor coal. To avert further complications from lack, the company installed electric power to operate its plant. A few days ago two cars of coal, consigned to the company, majestically rolled in at the railroad yards. Inquiry at the main office at Baltimore brought the information that no coal had been sent from there, and the local branch was instructed to use the coal where it would do the most good.

“As the Iron Works was in need of coal one car was turned over to them, and the other, containing about 50 tons, was parceled out among employees.

“In answer to the Saginaw Traction company’s appeal for cars and equipment to operate their lines after the disastrous $200,000 fire last week, which practically destroyed the entire rolling stock, Manager Charles S. Kressler of the Manistee Street Railway company has sent some half dozen of the old cars formerly in service here to relieve the situation. They can be used temporarily until the company there is able to secure new equipment.

“A letter received today by Mrs. E. J. Anderson from her sister, Mrs. Harlan MacMullen, conveyed the information that Capt. MacMullen has been ordered to Rochester, Minn., for further instruction in a course in surgery preparatory, it is expected, to being sent ‘over there’ to France.

“The well known local physician has been at Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Ky., in the medical service. For some time Mrs. MacMullen has been in Louisville, and she accompanied her husband to Rochester.

“Capt. MacMullen is enthusiastic over his work, and at the prospect of soon seeing active service with the American expeditionary forces. Mrs. MacMullen expects to remain with him until he is sent abroad.

“Deputy Revenue Collector Michael P. McCuen of Grand Rapids, who is at the court house to help citizens make out their income tax returns, is like a fellow who is ‘all dress up but has no place to go.’

“He is ready and anxious to do everything he can [those] who come within the income tax provisions, but he has nary a supply blank or form with which to work. Traffic congestion and shortage of paper supply is the reason given by the Grand Rapids office for the failure of the blanks to arrive.

“This does not mean, however, that Mr. McCuen cannot do anything. Citizens who consult him can obtain necessary information on many points and he will make memoranda as to blanks, forms needed…and full service will be completed when the supplies get here.

“With the ultimate purpose of instilling a greater loyalty to their churches and of creating a larger and more constant attendance, three Sunday school classes of three local churches have inaugurated a competitive attendance contest to determine the most regularly attended Sunday school in Manistee.

“While only three churches have entered the contest, the race is open to churches of every denomination in the city. The only requirement necessary is that a record of each Sunday’s attendance be turned in for publication in the News-Advocate the following Monday.

“The Congregational, Methodist and Baptist churches started in the contest last Sunday. Although the weather was exceedingly inclement, the classes upheld their ordinary standard as compared with outside conditions.

“The annual ice harvest began this morning when two concerns engaged between 50 and 60 men to cut into the 11-inch ice near Parkdale. The weather is ideal and the ice looks to be the finest yet harvested here…The [companies] will complete their work within a week if weather conditions continue satisfactory.

“Hard times besetting the country which have caused consumers to use sparingly of ice during the past summer and the fact that the saloons will go out May 1, causing a greatly decreased demand for ice, is responsible for the statement that ice dealers will not attempt to harvest a large supply of the cooling blocks this winter.

“There is a large reserve already on hand at the old R. H. Hoffman storage house, held over from last winter’s harvest.

“FUEL CONSERVATION Order Regarding Electricity for Illumination. U. S. Fuel Administrator cancels regulating time advertising signs shall be lighted.

“’In its place all signs of every kind are ordered discontinued completely THURSDAY and Sunday of each week. On this same night stores not open for business must not show inside lighting more than necessary for safety.

“It is further ordered that as few lights as possible be maintained in homes and other places on THURSDAYS and SUNDAYS. It is hereby declared and ordered by the Federal Fuel Administrator of Michigan that the provisions of the above named order are binding upon the makers and users of electricity for illumination purposes within the state and that they are in force and effect on and after this date.’

“[Signed] W. J. PRUDDEN, Federal Fuel Administrator of Michigan. Lansing, Mich., Dec. 26, 1917.

“The Consumers Power Co. has been instructed to see that the above order is enforced. Please see that it is carried out promptly. [Signed] CONSUMERS POWER COMPANY.

“WASHINGTON, Jan. 5.—A general order curtailing unnecessary passenger traffic to liberate locomotives and trackage for freight movement is expected soon from the railroad administration.

“This will be the first step in a broad campaign to discourage unnecessary travel. Fewer passenger trains and less commodious accommodations and elimination of ‘luxury service,’ with possibly higher fares, McAdoo believes will take much of the joy out of sight seeing jaunts.

“Meantime, moderating weather in the east, aided in the shattering of freight congestion.

“Mrs. Aug. N. Johnson will be at the Red Cross headquarters on Maple street every afternoon next week to receive payments for pledges given during the Christmas drive.

“All 1917 members who failed to renew membership during the recent campaign are requested to do so with Mrs. Johnson.

“Twenty pounds heavier that when he left for Camp Custer early in September, his cheeks ruddy with the glow of health and the glasses which he aforetime invariably wore discarded completely, Harry E. Kruse, former News-Advocate linotype operator, now a member of the national army, spent the last couple of days at his home here enjoying a brief furlough.

“Harry is a splendid example of the beneficial results of the system of training for the army service. He has broadened out, straightened up, and from a man whom many of his friends prophesied would never pass the physical examination has developed into a regular husky. Do you wonder that he likes the service?

“He does, every bit of it; likes his officers, his work, his uniform, his housing accommodations, his food, and the whole works. ‘It’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me,’ he says. And he says the same is true of nearly every Manistee man in his company. ‘They all like it, and it is doing them all good,’ he declares.

“Harry dropped into the News-Advocate for a while yesterday and renewed acquaintance with his former machine. ‘More used to handling a gun,’ he explained, ‘and sometimes a pick and shovel in trench digging. But it’s the life. Yes, we are comfortable there all the time and get plenty of good wholesome food. Don’t I look it?’

“You bet he does. He viewed with interest the star on the News-Advocate’s service flag which is dedicated to him and spoke in high appreciation of the support which Manisteeans behind the lines are giving their representatives in the service.

“Due back in camp Sunday midnight, Harry had to leave on this afternoon’s train, because of the lack of Sunday transportation facilities, after apparently enjoying every minute of his leave of absence.

“Feed the sea gulls.

“The birds are severely affected by the severe weather and will starve unless someone offers to feed them during the period they are unable to secure food.

“Persons desiring to offer sustenance to the birds may take old scraps of bread, crackers or dried food-stuffs to either the Maple or Smith street bridge tenders and they will see that the friendly gulls are regularly fed.

“There hare hundreds of gulls waiting near both bridges for scraps of food. They were there last winter and were well taken care of by persons who regularly carried dried bread and scraps to them. During the present cold weather and while the ground and river is covered with snow and ice, the birds have no means of securing their food and come to the bridges with the expectation of being fed from above.

“Feed them lest they starve.

“Frank Misch has apologized to the local branch of the Red Cross but his apology has not been accepted as yet.

“The board of directors announced today that they had received a written apology from Misch as ordered by the court and that they would decide whether to accept it at their next meeting, January 14.

“Misch stated in his apology that he did not remember ever having made such radical statements as were charged against him in the complaints but that if he had said them he was sorry and asked the pardon of the Red Cross members.

“Pursuant to orders from Prosecuting Attorney Howard Campbell that he take out a membership in the Red Cross, Misch yesterday went to the captain of his district and subscribed for a $2 membership.

“Announcement is made today of the sale of the Electric theater, motion picture house, By Allen G. Christianson to Otto J. Lauer, manager of the Lyric theater. The consideration was not made public.

“Mr. Lauer took immediate possession. He announced that for the present at least the Electric will be operated as it has been heretofore, presenting high grade film productions Saturdays and Sundays.

“No community effort launched in Manistee in years has been greeted with a greater burst of enthusiasm and readiness to give support as the Community Chautauqua, which begins Friday, January 11.

“One of the features of each program will be the community singing, with special emphasis upon patriotic songs.

“As a preliminary to his work for the Community Chautauqua and the ‘better citizenship’ movement, Dr. A. F. Hess will have an ‘Allegiance Service’ at the Congregational church Sunday morning. Patriotism will be the theme underlying the entire service, and it is hoped that not only the parishioners but others as well will attend.

“After the sounding of a bugle call there will be a roll call of those of the congregation who have joined some branch of the United States service, the response being made by the parents of the absent one or by some one delegated by them to do so.

“Next a six-year-old boy dressed to represent the Y. M. C. A. and a girl of the same age attired to represent the Red Cross will march slowly, to music by the bugle, from the rear of the church to the front. Here four Boy Scouts, in uniforms and under arms, will slowly hoist the national flag, which up to this point has been at half-mast. During this ceremony the audience will rise and sing ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’ the Scouts timing their movement so that the colors will reach the peak as the song ceases. Then the audience gives the military salute and the oath of allegiance, which is:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands; One Nation indivisible, with Liberty and justice for all.

“The manner of giving the salute is as follows:

“Right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat the pledge slowly. At the words ‘to my Flag’ the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, toward the flag and remains in this position to the end of the affirmation, whereupon it quickly drops to the side.

“Following this will come the sermon by Dr. Hess, whose subject is ‘The American Ideal.’

“CITY, PUBLIC AND PAROCHIAL schools will be open Monday morning after a two weeks’ vacation. The Parkdale school will remain closed for another two weeks because of the acute coal situation.

“City and County Are Snowbound; 14-Inch Snowfall. Drifts Three To Seven Feet Deep Block Local Traffic; Street Car and Autos Stuck; Outgoing Trains Leave On Time.

“Street cars were forced to abandon operation early yesterday afternoon. One of the cars stands at the River-Division street intersection with its nose pushed into a six-foot bank of snow. The other has not been seen since ‘some time yesterday.’

“Swishing and swirling, biting faces of those who had nerve enough to attempt a passage from one place to another, the storm descended in all of winter’s fury yesterday. Beginning as a desultory snowfall early Sunday morning it continued to increase in force and volume until proportions of a blizzard were reached. By some act of providence extremely cold weather did not accompany the storm, thus relieving many families from acute suffering from cold.

“Macquorn Nuttall, after a very successful week at getting recruits for U. S. navy rifle range branch of service, received a wire at 10 o’clock last night to remain here until January 15 and continue enlistments.

“To facilitate the work he has opened a recruiting office upstairs in the post office.

“Men between the ages of 18 and 21 can be accepted for the rifle range service of the navy; also men included in the selective service draft who have not yet been called to the service. The duties are to do construction work on the ranges and instruct recruits in the army and navy how to shoot. Service is for the United States only, unless the recruits sign up with the expressed agreement that they wish to go to France.

“…opportunities for promotion are exceptionally good.

“Beginning Jan. 1 that state law concerning securing of marriage licenses requires that females be of the age of 18 or that they must have written consent of parents. Heretofore the age limit without parents’ consent has been 17 years, the new law increasing the limit one full year.

“Despite the fact that yesterday was a day far from being agreeable toward promoting any gain in attendance at the three Sunday school classes in the contest to increase the average regular Sunday attendance a gain in percentage was recorded at all three churches.

“WELL, THERE’S SLEIGHING anyway. Sleighs are about all that can get over the ground right now.

“IT IS STILL SNOWING. For good measure, very likely. There are some places where it is not more than two or three feet deep.

“THERE WERE MANY PEOPLE downtown last evening despite the weather. All of which just goes to show that a person will go where he wants to in the face of all opposition.

“NOW IS THE TIME the seagulls would appreciate a few of those scraps a person might take down to the Maple or Smith street bridges and throw overboard to them. The friendly birds are having a hard time scavenging their food from the deep snow.

“JOHN STRONACH, JR., who is now U. S. deputy internal revenue collector assigned to Ludington to help in making out income tax returns for Mason county citizens, spent Sunday at his home here, returning to his duties in the lower port today. John likes his new work, and is putting a lot of enthusiasm into it, as he does in everything he undertakes. Others from Manistee engaged in the same service and assigned to other western Michigan counties are Max Baumann, Fred McGillis and George Seymour.

“STREET CAR TRACKS are lost under the snow. Management doesn’t expect to run cars for a couple of days, at least.

“ONE NICE THING about this year is that when you write 7 instead of 8 you can change it so neatly that it doesn’t show.

“YESTERDAY’S SNOW temporarily closed the motoring seasso. Even Dr. Homer Ramsdell couldn’t get through. His car is not in its accustomed parking place today.

“RIDING IN A DAY COACH will give the rich a chance to learn some of the beauties of democracy. The last lap of the trip into Manistee is especially recommended.

“FRANK ZIELINSKI tells some interesting stories of his visit to Camp Custer. ‘A wonderful place,’ stated Frank on his return to Manistee.

“And still Deputy Revenue Collector Michael P. McCuen, who is at the courthouse to help people make out their income tax returns, is without the necessary blanks and supplies.

“This means that one entire week of his stay, which ends Jan. 26, has gone by without his being able to perform the service for which he was sent. Except possibly by later putting in night work, the lost time cannot be made up by him, as his schedule is made out until March 1, when the statements must be in the hands or at the office in Grand Rapids.

“’When a feller needs a friend.’

“That saying applied to the local force of city and rural mail carriers, brings a feeling of sympathy for the faithful government employees who deliver the United States mails no matter what the weather.

“Yesterday was one tough day for both city and rural carriers. The city men, loaded down with heavy mail and parcel-laden pouches, had a difficult time getting over their routes through the deep snows. But the routes were covered and the mails delivered.

“The two rural carriers, buffeting the drifts throughout the morning, were forced to turn back after half their routes had been traversed.

“But the U. S. mails will be delivered. Both rural carriers started out again this morning and expressed the hope that they might be able to get through. All city deliveries were made.

“’Broadway look just like River street since the lightless nights have been enforced,’ writes Lieut. Gabriel Powers from New York to his brother-in-law, Frank J. Zielinski. Lieut. Powers is awaiting orders to sail for France.

“Because of frozen water pipes in the building, the St. Joseph’s parish school did not open for the winter term yesterday morning.

“It was impossible to heat the rooms with the pipes in their present condition and classes were called off until Thursday morning.

“Father Bieniawski announced today that 600 pupils were kept from class work because of the break. He further stated that plumbers were at work on the plumbing and that the building would be warmed by Thursday at the latest.

‘One of the most amusing incidents connected with the snow-shoveling activities around town is the building of Fort Miller on River street.

“Located exactly in front of the Miller Hardware company, a snow fort has been erected, standing about 10 feet high from the pavement. Placed atop the fort are two miniature cannon and an American flag. Woe be unto the enemy who attempts to destroy the fortress and haul down the Stars and Stripes from its peak.

“Similar mountains of snow are banked along the curbs and in the street for the entire length of the main thoroughfare. The city superintendent will face a huge task in getting the snow hauled off.

“Four Manistee young men leave on the Pere Marquette tomorrow morning to enter the government service, and while no demonstration in their honor is possible, this does not lessen the public’s appreciation of the spirit of loyal Americanism which has prompted them to offer their services to the U. S. naval reserve force.

“All were recruited here during the stay of Recruiting Officer Macquorn Nuttall. All expressed a desire to serve their country in some patriotic manner. All were physically strong and fit, they could fight and they enlisted. Uncle Sam will teach them to perfect their marksmanship at some naval reserve rifle range and they will become a part of the little cogs in the war machine that will eventually bring a world democracy and peace.

“Manistee, city and county, has ever been foremost in offering her sons for service. Hundreds of the community’s finest examples of young men are gone. Some are already in France, others are on their way, and still others are preparing to ‘go across.’ Others, many of them, are treading the decks of men-‘o-war on the high seas, and still others are standing guard over the state’s industrial and manufacturing centers.

“WASHINGTON, Jan. 10.—Woman’s war work is winning her the vote.

“The first trench in the battle extending over many years is expected to fall when the senate votes on the constitutional amendment to grant equal suffrage.

“With the president supporting, and Republicans almost solidly for the amendment, it is expected to get the necessary two-thirds vote. Already the ballet to carry the senate has been started by the suffragists, who expect a complete victory in two months.

“Ratification by all states within two years is predicted.

“LANSING, Jan. 10.—Truck trains moving on regular schedule over fixed routes from Lansing, Detroit, Flint and Alma are expected to be a common sight within the next few months, according to M. J. Phillips, military assistant of the Michigan war preparedness board.

“Only six income blanks have been received by Deputy Collector Michael P. McCuen for use in helping the public make out income tax returns. This mammoth consignment came from the Grand Rapids office last night, with the explanation that only a few had been received there from Washington. As Mr. McCuen is no ‘miracle man’ he cannot figure that he is much better off than he has been since his arrival here on January 2.

“Athletics, so far as the Manistee High school is concerned, are abandoned for the year.

“The basketball schedule, one of the strongest ever attempted for a local team, has been given up. There is no hope of ever playing any of the baseball games booked with some la the fastest Michigan high schools next spring.

“Ellsworth S. Krantz, physical director of schools, has been called to war. Uncle Sam’s great fighting machine, in process of being molded, has claimed another useful and efficient young man who has just achieved success in a new field in Manistee.

“For the first time in years athletics have been promoted to their fullest extent. High school athletics especially have been promoted wonderfully by the efficient instruction of an expert.

“Now this is lost to a certain extent. Young men capable of acting in the capacity of physical directors have nearly all been called to war. It is impossible for the faculty to secure another man to replace Mr. Krantz during the period of his absence. The athletic situation will necessarily and automatically drop back to its former place until the war is over and he returns to again take up the work.

Frank’s big store force of regular clerks have an organization among themselves called Frank’s Store Booster club. They have a meeting the first Tuesday of each month, at which time a social session is held and matters of interest regarding the store discussed.

“At its annual meeting last Tuesday it was decided that on account of the war, all social activities will be cancelled in the future and the money usually used to defray the expenses of the evening’s entertainments will be turned into channels that will be of some benefit to the ‘Boys over there.’

“As a starter it was decided to subscribe for 13 memberships to the Red Cross fund—the full 100 percent of the store—and in one of the company’s display windows is to be seen the Red Cross flag with 13 crosses showing 100 percent from that place of business.

“This is the most patriotic movement and shows pretty plainly how the clerks in this store feel toward the Red Cross.

“A pall seems to have settled over the city. The usual winter festivities are no longer in vogue. An atmosphere of quiet pervades the community.

“War, accompanied with its taking of many of the city’s capable young men, with its home activities, the Red Cross, food campaigns, fuel and food conservation movements and a greater demand for ready money, has caused a number of the regular social events to be forgotten and the time and energy of the community to be devoted to more useful endeavors.

“Few outside amusements are scheduled for Manistee this winter. A lecture or so, special films and vaudeville acts from time to time, constitute the city’s outlook for pleasurable attractions.

“No basketball games or theatrical engagements have been booked for the Ramsdell theater or hall. The several lodges and fraternal organizations have for the most part called off their regular social and special attractions because of the situation caused by the war.

“Manistee rests quietly, awaiting what the vagaries of the great conflict may bring, awaiting the return of her many sons who have gone forward for the country’s rights.

“TONS OF SNOW have been removed and hauled from River street by Supt. Shield’s sleds. Fort Miller, in front of the Miller Hardware company, has been left standing. ‘Couldn’t haul down the American flag,’ stated the street superintendent.”

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