100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending April 6, 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

“EXCUSE US, PLEASE. Owing to a too heavy demand on its facilities, and the shortage of help by which we have been handicapped recently on account of the number of men contributed by this office to the service of the nation, The News-Advocate was very late yesterday in going to press, and in delivery to local subscribers. For which we ask your indulgence.

“We will do our utmost to see that this does not happen again. The press of Easter advertising yesterday, however, was greater than we could handle in regulation hours with our limited force of artisans.

“Since the call to service came The News-Advocate has relinquished five valued members of its force to the army and navy, and is about to lose the sixth—the superintendent of its mechanical department. It has been impossible to fill all their places with the class of skilled labor required, but we are doing the best we can every day, and hope to not be compelled again to make apology for late delivery, which we assure you is vastly more exasperating, and expensive to us than it can be to you. [Signed] THE PUBLISHER.

“Children’s Year starts on Liberty Day, April 6, with a national campaign to keep the little ones in good health and to cut down the death rate which at the present time is 100 deaths to every 1,000 babies born.

“In New Zealand only 38 babies die out of every 1000 born. The decrease in their death rate, which was once as high as ours, is attributed to the work of Dr. F. Truby King.

“Three coaches filled with passengers bounding along for hundreds of feet over the ties on top of a sand fill, tearing up the track as though with dynamite and twisting themselves like rags, without the slightest injury to any person aboard, are the outstanding features of a wreck in the Pere Marquette line about two miles south of Freesoil at 10 o’clock last night. The accident was caused by rails spreading on account of the softening of the roadbed due to the thawing snow.

“The reason advanced to explain the fortunate outcome of the affair is that, as the accident occurred on a sand fill the soft earth gradually checked the cars and minimized the jars and let them sink to such a depth that they were kept from turning over. The engine was not damaged and remained on the track, which appears to have spread behind it.

“It is reported that there were three wrecks on the Pere Marquette yesterday, one at Evart in which 16 coaches were piled up and another lesser one on the Chicago , Grand Rapids line.

“EASTER RABBITS ARE TABOOED BY HOOVER. LANSING, March 29.—Rabbits will lay no wondrously colored Easter eggs this season. Food Administrator Prescott today forbade using up eggs for ornamental purposes when they are in such demand for food.

“If the United States is to furnish the allies with the necessary proportion of wheat supplies to maintain their war bread from now until the next harvest, which is a military necessity, this country must go on half rations in the use of wheat. There is left for general consumption approximately one and one half pounds of wheat products per person each week.

“Tomorrow’s farewell to the 66 Manistee county boys who will entrain for Custer Camp will eclipse anything of the kind seen here since the mobilization of America’s man power for army service began.

“The season of the year, the high pitch to which the public has been stirred by the great war struggle overseas, as well as the large number comprising the contingent whose immediate relatives and friends are deeply concerned about their going, all combine to make it certain that the final quota of the first call will receive the most memorable parting in the city’s history.

“At a meeting of the Manistee County Medical Association the question of instituting a free medical and dental clinic was given consideration. As every physician does a great deal of this work and no cases of suffering through lack of needed medical aid are known, it was recommended in the form of a motion that the work be done by each doctor independently as in the past, thus saving the expense of keeping a clinic. It was, however, recommended that the county should secure the services of a county physician.

“Three Manisteeans, Mrs. William Lloyd, Miss Ethel Larsen and Agricultural Agent Frank Sandhammer assisted in making the agricultural extension school at El Grange hall, near Dublin, an unqualified success.

“Mr. Sandhammer spoke on ‘The Improvement of Potato Seed. The proposition of adopting one variety of potatoes for Manistee county was earnestly discussed, but no definite action taken.

‘Miss Larsen gave a very interesting description of the federal food department at Washington, together with a forceful appeal for farmers to but Liberty bonds. She urged the making of financial sacrifices if necessary, as it is better to mortgage the farm and buy bonds than to have the Kaiser eventually own the farm as he now practically does in Germany.

“Mrs. Lloyd explained the purpose and method of the registration of women that begins April 27, and the women in the audience showed great willingness to do their part. Mrs. Lloyd and Miss Larsen also spoke at the public school in that district, with the result that 38 enrolled and the teacher volunteered to act as enrolling officer.

“The new motor hearse acquired for the joint use of four local undertakers arrived in Manistee at 8 o’clock last evening, being driven up from Grand Rapids by Charles Madison, who was accompanied on the trip by Ray Bradford. Start from Grand Rapids was at 6 o’clock in the morning, and four hours of the elapsed time were consumed in negotiating the last 23-mile stretch from Scottville to this city.

“Finished in gray, the motor hearse is as handsome and impressive looking as has been seen anywhere. It is a combination of George O. Nye’s old Peerless chassis, remodeled to the requirements and with 17 inches added length, fitted with the hearse body of H. D. Bradford’s former equipage. With a wheelbase of 155 inches it is said by Charles Madison, its former chauffeur and driver on yesterday’s trip to possess great flexibility and power, making it ideal for the purpose for which it is designed.

“Thursday, March 28, marked the thirty-third anniversary of the marriage in Manistee of Mr. and Mrs. Nels Olson, 180 Harrison St. Mr. Olson is the senior member of the Olson Lumber company.

“In honor of the significant occasion, a reception was given for them last evening at the Swedish Mission church. The entire affair was successfully arranged without the knowledge of Mr. and Mrs. Olson.

“A short program of music and toasts was carried out and telegrams were read from the four absent sons of the family.

“Dainty refreshments were later served in the parlors of the church which were made especially inviting by the use of greens winding around the pillars and extending across the ceiling in artistic fashion. The large table was made b right by its pretty decorations. The centerpiece was a beautiful silver candelabra with pink lighted candles. A pink basket fashioned into a large rose, fresh pink roses and ferns also adorned the table and made it handsome in appearance.

“After a social period the reception was concluded by extending hearty congratulations to the guests of honor and sincere good wishes for their future.

“Voters of Manistee, you are confronted by an important civic responsibility the coming Monday, day after tomorrow.

“By your ballots Monday, you will choose the man who will be one of the five members of the city commission for the ensuing five-year period, and Mayor of Manistee in 1923. It is up to you to pick a man worthy of the trust and the honor, one whose character will be a credit to the community he represents officially, whose integrity is unquestioned and whose record as a citizen is above reproach.

“In short, voters of Manistee, it is clearly your duty to chose as your commissioner and prospective mayor a man for whom you feel that you will never need to apologize as Manistee’s first official citizen, representative and spokesman.

Sixty-five stalwart sons of Manistee rode out into the bright-dawning morning today on their way to Custer camp to receive training and instruction to fit them for doing their bit toward rolling back the Hindenburg hordes in Europe and prevent their crossing to America’s shores.

“Though a more than ordinarily large proportion of the boys who left came from the county and all had taken their final farewells at home, a throng that taxed the standing room capacity of the vacant space and curbs near the station turned out to see them off. It was a seriously silent body of people, not one whit less moved than the hurrahing, flag waving assemblies of the earlier days of the war. There was an air of determination, repression of emotion, yet unmistakable evidence of willingness and determination to meet any and all sacrifices necessary to see the army through to the bitter but victorious end. Pain and sorrow were reflected in the eyes of friends and relatives, but back of these gleaned a courage not born of momentary enthusiasm, but of the fixed purpose to sit tight and stand fast to meet all emergencies.

“The contingent was under the charge of Ellsworth Krantz as captain, Emery Olson as first lieutenant and Carl Anderson as second lieutenant since yesterday afternoon and will remain so until their arrival at Camp Custer.

“Raymond Solomon , son of Owen Solomon, a former resident of Manistee, is dead in France, according to a telegram received by his aunt, Mrs. Ray H. Leet, of this city. The boy is said to have died yesterday of bronchitis in a camp behind the lines in France.

“The message was intended for his father, who now lives in Charlevoix, and was misdirected to Manistee.

“Before leaving for Camp Custer a number of the Manistee selectives took advantage of the absent voters law and cast their ballot for Monday’s city election.

“Wednesday, April 3, will be a memorable day in the history of Manistee Aerie 1765 of Eagles, for on that date will occur the burning of a note for $1,000 representing the indebtedness on the building.

“DON’T FORGET to set your clocks an hour ahead tonight. You’ll have to keep up with the time, and the times.

“MOTORCYCLE OFFICER OLK was out with his machine this morning, for the first time this season. He also sprung a new service uniform for Easter, and looked very trim indeed as he assisted in controlling the crowds at the depot when the selected men entrained for camp.

“Banks will be closed Monday, election day.

“IT IS ONE OF THE IRONIES of gardening that vegetables have to be planted, but weeds come up of themselves.

“SODA The 1918 Season Is Now Here! Our soda fountain is now open for the season of 1918. Unusual care has been taken to thoroughly plan this coming soda campaign. New products and new drinks. Highest degree of purity. Delicious sodas properly and cleanly served are going to appeal to you more this year than ever before, and the invitation is herewith given to make our soda fountain your meeting and treating place throughout the coming season of 1918. City Drug Store. First National Bank Block. Phone 389.

“Although indications had been for a light vote at the election today, owing to the absence of so many young men from the city and assumed lack of interest in the purely local issues, brisk early morning balloting threatened an upset of the dope bucket. Shortly before noon a considerable number more votes had been deposited than were cast a year ago at a corresponding hour.

“Favored with the finest kind of weather—the brand that years ago used to be known as ‘Republican weather,’—and with the clocks all an hour ahead of the old schedule, the voters were astir betimes, and showing every evidence of keen interest.

“Manistee took to the new time schedule without a flutter yesterday and by this time nearly everybody has forgotten about the old time.

“A gale that at times reached a velocity of 50 miles an hour laid low a mile a mile of the Consumers Power company’s line between the big dam and Stronach dam about 3:30 yesterday afternoon [Easter], and for 12 hours the entire Manistee service was out of commission.

“As a result the community was not only without electric light and power service, but telegraph service was also off.

“The absence of current showed how few business places are equipped with both gas and electricity for lighting. Some closed down entirely, others kept going by digging up a kerosene lamp or two and still others stuck up candles. Here and there a store showed gas lights, and these places loomed up as prominent as a dress suit at a plumber union’s ball.

“Comparatively few church serves were cancelled, however, as some were equipped with gas and others used candles or kerosene.

“The change to the daylight saving schedule of time came in mighty handy.

“River street presented the aspect of a rather subdued carnival. The walks were filled with strollers vainly seeking some illuminated oasis in which to spend the evening.

“The movie theaters were put out of commission, and hundreds went home in the afternoon wondering whether the hero would find the proof he needed to foil the villain and adventuress and bring back the sunny smiles to the countenance of the rustic bride.

“Many from Eastlake and other points in the suburban district were temporarily stranded because the street railway was hors de combat plight was short-lived, as they soon discovered that the new service put on by the Manistee taxi company, with city-style taxi cabs was in operation. They hailed these deliveries with joy and forked over their dimes as willingly as though they were pennies.

“Mr. A. Gusto Wind blew into Manistee for his final March visit on the last day of the month and performed a lot of freakish pranks by way of a farewell celebration snuffing out all of the electric lights as the crowning enactment.

“People who came downtown in their new Easter finery met A Gusto Wind emphatically. Hats of men and women came off to him. Swinging sign shrieked a welcome and big plate glass windows groaned their displeasure. Doors galore flew open to admit him.

“He visited the outskirts of the city and played whistling tunes up and down chimneys. He whizzed along highways and byways and paid his respects with reckless abandon.

“And by no means least, Mr. A. Gusto Wind reached the outskirts of young women on the streets resplendent with their Easter finery. There was a flapping of silken skirts, and limbs other than those of trees chilled under the furious attack.

“Mr. A. Gusto Wind blew back into town to look ‘en over. Incidentally he had plenty of company in the men who stood just around the corners out of the breezes, but where they could watch this season’s display of silken hosiery.

“Aside from the blowing down of a long stretch of wires which plunged the city into total darkness and cut off telegraph communication, no great damage was done. Loose shingle and scraps of paper, the vanishing winter’s flotsam and jetsam, were blown wildly about and drifted in windows in places where they were not desired.

“And there was this satisfaction—it was the farewell appearance of the March wind this year.

“In a contest close enough to be interesting and decisive enough to be beyond dispute, William Pehrson was elected yesterday city commissioner for the five-year period, and in the rule of rotation by seniority in that position, mayor of Manistee in 1923.

“The absent voters’ ballots in yesterday’s election cut much less of a figure than was anticipated. But 32 in all were received, these principally from men for Camp Custer, with a few scattering ones from traveling men who were out of the city, and sailors absent from their home port.

“WASHINGTON, April 2.—A public hearing on the application of the food and drug act to methods of packing poultry fir shipment was held today by the bureau of chemistry of the department of agriculture. The point at issue if whether the shipment in interstate commerce of poultry packed with ice, which causes the poultry to absorb water and lose food value, constitutes a violation of the food and drug act.

“Thomas A Major was adjudged insane this morning in probate court on the finding of the examining physicians, Dr. L. S. Ramsdell and Dr. H. D. Robinson. And was committed to the asylum aat Traverse City, where he was taken this afternoon by Sheriff Waal.

“The judgment was made on the grounds of his attentions to young women and his eccentric political and social activities in the city. He is notorious locally as the author of several books and pamphlets, a constant candidate for political offices, and the president of a strange lodge of boys.

“Two of the vacancies created in the city offices by the requested resignations of three officials recently were filled last night, when the council by unanimous vote appointed Arnold T. Graves to the position of city clerk as successor to Harry Bickell, and Adolphus Magnan assessor, in place of Chris Jentoft.

“As soon as new tickets, which may be expected any day now, are received from the printer, patrons on the Manistee Street Railway will pay fare at the rate of 50 cents for seven tickets, or 10 cents per trip when tickets are not procured. Simultaneously, street car service north of the river to Parkdale will be resumed.

“While the county organization is ready to jump into the campaign for the Third Liberty Loan, the official literature and supplies have not yet been received, with the exception of about one-third the supply of advertising posters.

“The reason for the delay in shipping the literature is that congress dragged the Liberty Loan bill around until last week and then made mistakes in it that had to be corrected. As a result the public printeries have been unable to get their presses working in time.

“MASTER ALLEN WIGHT, a youngster knee-high to a newsboy, scampered into the News-Advocate office this afternoon with the first Manistee-grown dandelions of the season. He picked them near his home at 208 Walnut Street.

“To conserve sugar George O. Nye, county food administrator, today issued a request to all hotels and restaurants in the county that they remove sugar bowls from their tables.

“This order does not require that meals hereafter be sweetless, for patrons may be supplied as heretofore with sugar for coffee and other foods. Leaving sugar bowls on the table, however, tends to waste, Mr. Nye points out.

“’The man who insists on two spoonfuls of sugar in his coffee is as dangerous a traitor as the man spreading sedition and disloyal literature.’ Mr. Nye stated.

“’Conservation of wheat, sugar, fats and meats is as vitally important in the conduct of the war as the manufacture of munitions. Public opinion goes a great way toward the enforcement of these very necessary food regulations and I therefore call upon every loyal citizen to keep track of slackers who refuse to live up to the food conservation program.’

“An appeal to Manistee people to buy their Liberty bonds at home and thereby enable Manistee county to reach its quota for the forthcoming Third Liberty Loan was voiced this morning by the executive committee.

“A Grand Rapids bond house and trust company is flooding Manistee with circulars and subscription blanks asking people to subscribe through it for their Liberty bonds.

“’Manistee county has all it can do to meet the successive demands made upon it by the government in the sale of Liberty loan bonds,’ a member of the executive committee declared this morning. ‘Patriotism begins at home. We therefore appeal to all our citizens who intend to buy Liberty bonds to buy them in Manistee.’

“MARBLE TIME IS HERE, also the inevitable advance in prices. Clay marbles cost 35 per cent more than last year, while ‘agates’ have gone up 10 per cent. Tops are practically the same price as last year. All marbles and tops sold now are of domestic manufacture.

“THE BLEAK NORTH WIND continues its spring offensive. Gardening operations are held in abeyance meanwhile.



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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