100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending February 2, 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

“AMSTERDAM, Jan 25.—Severe rioting Wednesday and Thursday in Berlin was reported in dispatches here today.

“One report asserted that mobs were marching the streets demanding peace.

“It is regarded significant that Thursday’s newspaper had not arrived from Berlin as usual.

“WASHINGTON, Jan. 25.—Authority to the president to order registration and drafting of all men between 18 and 62 to be used in conduct of industries necessary for the war is provided in a bill introduced by Senator McCumber and referred to the military committee.

“County Fuel Administrator J. C. Beukema received the following telegram from State Fuel Administrator W. K. Prudden late this afternoon.

“New fuel conservation orders will appear in all the daily papers throughout the state not later than Sunday, stating clearly and concisely the hours governing all lines of business which must be strictly adhered to throughout the state.

“Pending the publications of these instructions, the county fuel administrator of Manistee will make no change in the schedules that are now in force.

“WASHINGTON, Jan.25.—Surgeon General Gorgas told the senate military committee today that a lack of proper sewerage and overcrowding caused epidemics in the training camps.

“Forging ahead with a drive against ‘war department inefficiency,’ Senator Chamberlain summoned General Gorgas, who told the committee that practically none of the national guard camps have sewage facilities.

“Forty per cent of pneumonia cases in the camps are followed by measles. Measled epidemics resulted directly from overcrowding. ‘We have 80,000 men in the medical corps. We ought to have 100,000,’ said General Gorgas.

“President Wilson accuses Senator Chamberlain of Oregon, a Democrat, of ‘astonishing and absolutely unjustifiable distortion of the truth’ in the speech delivered by the senator in New York.

“Chamberlain says he spoke extemporaneously and criticized only the military establishment. Here is the portion of the speech, as reported in the eastern papers, that caused the presidential reprimand:

“The military establishment of the United States has fallen down. There is no use to be optimistic about a thing that does not exist. It has almost stopped functioning, my friends. Why? Because of inefficiency in every bureau, in every department of the government of the United States.

“Ernest Bosch, until recently a teacher of physics and chemistry at high school, left the city, unaccompanied, on the afternoon train yesterday. He was ostensibly headed for Cleveland, O., where his brother lives, according to all information available here today.

“Whether he had reached his destination, or whether he has been stopped by federal authorities in Grand Rapids for his statements here, is unknown today.

“The matter was made a public one through the News-Advocate; the statements Bosch made before the teachers’ institute were published; later his explanation, thought by many to have been an open declaration as to his attitude toward the United States was printed and news soon spread that federal authorities would begin immediate investigation to ascertain whether Bosch was a fit person to be at large. His knowledge of chemistry would serve well against this country in case he wished to turn against it and hold himself in abeyance with the German government, it was said.

“Whether the federal agents have taken this reported action or whether they have allowed Bosch to proceed uninterrupted on his trip, is not known. No formal charges were filed against him here.

“Bosch was never officially reinstated in the high school faculty as was rumored. The school board merely consented to allow him to conduct his classes until the United States authorities had made their investigations. Bosch immediately sent in his resignation following this announcement, stating that he ‘cold no longer be of that service to the community which would make his work as a teacher a pleasure as well as worth doing.’

“Despite weather conditions that make even sleighing a difficult method of transportation,, interest is running high and the attendance is large at the Manistee County Farmers’ and Teachers’ Institute and Mid-Winter fair at Bear Lake, which began yesterday afternoon and continues through Saturday. Upward of 250 people attended this morning, many more came this afternoon and at least 600 are expected this evening, when Dr. A. F. Hess of this city is to be the principal speaker.

“ONE PLEASANT DAY was followed by another of winter’s terrors. Ah, well, ‘tis na’ th’ blighty. Summer may come, summer may go, But Manistee’s winter goes on forever.

“ALL REPORTS TO THE contrary, Ward Baker wishes it announced that he has no intention of leaving the city. He has merely discontinued his directorship of the symphony orchestra.

“WASHINGTON, Jan. 26.—In response to the new starvation cry from Europe, President Wilson tonight will issue a proclamation calling for greater sacrifices in this country.

“War bread containing only 75 per cent wheat flour, one wheatless meal daily, two wheatless days weekly and regular meatless days will probably be asked.

“State Fuel Administrator Prudden’s new regulations, issued today, insofar as they affect Manistee conditions are as follows:

“Grocery stores may be open Mondays until noon, but are allowed to sell necessary food supplies only; no candy, tobacco, etc.

“Drug stores may be open nine hours Mondays, but sell only drugs and medical supplies; open other days for nine hours except Saturdays, when 12 hours are permitted.

“Other stores, offices factories, etc., except those specifically exempted under the Garfield order, must close Mondays.

“Barber shops may be open until noon Mondays, but not sell cigars, tobacco, etc.

“Newsstands may be open Mondays, but are limited to the sale of papers and periodicals.

“Churches are given nine hours instead of six; may heat small rooms or church parlors during the week for Red Cross or other necessary church work.

“Mrs. Frances King has received a telegram from her son, Lieut. Harold J. King, stating that he is ‘on his way to France.’

“No word having been received from Grand Rapids as to the arrest of Ernest Bosch, it is assumed that he was permitted to proceed unmolested on his way to Cleveland.

“While his departure Thursday afternoon was not known to the United States Commissioner in Manistee, Bosch’s friends say he endeavored to see that individual but he was busy at court, and that he left word to inform him of his intended departure on the 4:05 afternoon train; that he went to the train early so that if seen by citizens they could ask him for explanations if desired. This is the same train taken by Supt. S. W. Baker of the public schools, to whom Bosch had presented his resignation as the result of the feeling engendered by the war views expressed by Bosch last week.

“Let your light shine. No need of using trench candles in your homes as yet.

“There’s a car of kerosene oil in town. Came yesterday, consigned to Martin Brown, local agent for the Standard Oil company. And there is another one on the way. “Pere Marquette steamer service, for the present at least, has been abandoned. This is the first time since 1904 that the lake navigation lanes have been closed because of unbreakable ice. Service will be resumed as soon as the ice fields break sufficiently to permit passage.

“At a meeting of a number of representative women at the home of Mrs. E. N. Turner, last Saturday, under the auspices of the Woman’s Committee of the Council of National Defense, it was decided that the women of Manistee do everything in their power to secure the services of a woman county agent for Manistee.

“Under the Epping Federal Food bill, a large appropriation was recently made by the United States government to pay the salaries of women household demonstration agents in various counties of all the states. Michigan may have twenty of these women agents, who will work among the women of the county as the farm agent works among the men, the United States government to pay the salaries on condition that the county provide an office and pay traveling and other expenses.

“With a snapping and breaking that resounded through homes, wth shivering inhabitants poking their red noses from under warm bed clothing, with furnaces and stoves failing to perform their proper functions of keeping warmth, Manistee shook and shuddered Saturday night and Sunday under the lowest official temperature experienced here this winter. The lowest reading was 15 below zero sometime Saturday night.

“Snow clouds rose from the west during the night and rapidly advanced with another batch of the downy. This morning say snow plows out clearing walks of a three-inch fall. The storm is scheduled to continue today. More snow and cold weather is billed for Manistee.

“AND IT WAS ANOTHER marooned day for Manistee with no incoming or outgoing mails.

“SUN SHONE BRIGHT on a frozen world yesterday. It’s normal again today, however, with snow and storm and railroad traffic stopped.

“The U. S. attorney general department calls attention of officers registering aliens during the week of Feb. 4 to the following paragraphs in the official regulations:

“’All registration officers are reminded that many registrants will need assistance and advice in filling out their registration affidavits, and they are requested to aid such persons in every proper way. Registrants are not to be treated as persons of evil disposition, and the registration officers are urged to deal with them in a courteous and friendly manner.

“’It is also requested that no fees be charged or gratuities accepted by registration officers, for administering oaths, or for any other reason, and that publicity shall also be given this order.’

“At a meeting of the Red Cross executive committee,, yesterday, the apology of Frank Misch for making slanderous remarks in regard to those connected with the Red Cross was acted upon and after much discussion the apology was finally accepted, as the board wanted to show their magnanimous attitude toward the offender.

“Nevertheless the board intends to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any future offense of a similar nature.

“Chief of Police Tom Grady has not received any further information of the promised report blanks for the registration of enemy aliens since issuing his instructions a week ago for those required to register. He expects to receive additional information and the necessary blanks before the period of registration begins Monday, Feb. 4.

“The call for registrants under the questionnaire system to report for physical examination will probably be issued in a day or two by the Manistee exemption board. Under the new plan the board could have asked men to report any time after the first batch of questionnaires had been received, examined and classifications made. However, because of the quarantining of parts of Custer camp as well as the uncertainty of railroad service, the board has thus far refrained from sending out the call.

“The drastic regulations of the food administration seem almost a joke to people whose many days are meatless and are glad for the simplest of food.

“The fuel situation is a very serious one to many a workingman’s family as there is not always enough cash on hand between pay-days to pay for coal, and now there is no credit.

“The Monday holiday to some means a longer morning sleep and an extra day to read and rest; from others it takes away the little margin between just enough to supply needs and not enough.

“The question of clothing is a very serious one and the number of children who lose valuable school time because they have no shoes or who go in tattered, ill-fitting shoes that let in snow and cold is not inconsiderable in Manistee.

“When you see and hear these things right here in Manistee you want to do something about it.

“This is what the Social Welfare league is trying to do, to help keep the wolf from the door. To help people find work, to tide them over temporary emergencies and prevent suffering.

“We do not feel we are begging. Our work is being well sustained by the large firms in our city, but we feel it is a community service, and that as many as possible should belong to it and share in its work.

“You can become a member at any time by giving your name and fifty cents or more to the treasurer, Rolf Nielsen, or the secretary, who is at the Board of Commerce every day between one and three. [Signed] WILMA M. WHITE, Secretary.

“MANISTEE HAS HAD several ‘driveless’ weeks, but the lull will be broken shortly. Campaigns for the war savings stamps and the Manistee Chapter of the Red Cross are scheduled a week or two hence.

“NEW YORK, Jan. 30.—John Reed, author and social worker, has been appointed Bolsheviki consul to the United States, according to word received by New York newspapers.

“Reed is a citizen of the United States who has been some time in Russia.

“Balked in their first design of ‘scrapheaping’ the Michigan East & West railroad, the principal creditors, who are said to be closely allied with its chief stockholders, have instituted proceedings apparently calculated to accomplish the same result through a different channel.

“Last Friday, in the federal court in Grand Rapids, the William Joyce company of Chicago, mortgages on the properties of the insolvent road, petitioned for a foreclosure decree and asked the privilege if selling the road as a going concern, if possible, or if not, of dismantling it and selling it in parcels or parts.

“January, 1918, month of unprecedented severity coupled with unusual deprivations,,, reached its bitter end today. And this is no figure of speech, at that. With local thermometers indicating 15 degrees below zero, and even lower figures, this January sustained its sinister reputation to the very end of the chapter.

“The weather is beginning to get on our nerves. We hope for better things from February, rotten as is that month’s reputation in such regards. Saturday is the day on which the Groundhog is scheduled to tip us off to the nature of the weather which we must endure for the ensuing six weeks. And for the sake of the peace of mind of all of us, even the least superstitious, we fervently hope the skies will be so clouded that the rodent can not see his pestiferous shadow and so foredoom us to another six weeks of the same, with slight variations.

“Grief over the fact that the outbreak of the war had prevented his securing his naturalization papers and the belief that his usefulness as a member of the community was thereby impaired are thought to have been the reasons that impelled John Edens to hang himself yesterday.

“Mr. Edens had taken out his first papers a few years ago, but before the time for taking out the final papers, his plans were interfered with by the war measures, adopted at the time of America’s declaration of war, which made it impossible for aliens to become naturalized. The old man [aged 70], who ardently wished to become a citizen grieved over being listed as an alien enemy of the country to which he wished to transfer his allegiance. He once remarked that he felt that he had no right to live in this country. No one suspected his state of mind before, although his health and spirits have been low since the beginning of the war. At present it seems the only plausible explanation of his action.

“GOOD-BYE JANUARY! We’ve seen enough of you and the likes of you.

 

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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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