100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending April 20, 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

“COLLINSVILLE, Ill., April 12.—The coroner’s jury which investigated the lynching here last Friday of Robert E. Praeger, alleged German sympathizer, recommended that five men be held, charged with murder, in connection with the hanging.

“The opening step in the boys’ Working Reserve campaign was taken yesterday in a mass meeting at the high school. The boys of the school, over a hundred in all, attended the meeting, which was held in the gymnasium. County School Commissioner E. M. Gerred aroused the boys’ enthusiasm by pointing out the patriotic duty involved in farm work and the great service which may be rendered in this line by boys who are too young to fight.

“The local reserve officers will act as an employment agency. When any farmer asks for assistance, a boy or as many boys as he needs will be called upon to go to work for him.

“A canvass of the city will be made shortly by Boy Scouts to offer enrollment cards to young men not in school who are willing to work at the patriotic service.

“School boys who join the reserve and are called to work before the end of the school year will be excused from school. They will receive credit for a full year’s school work and will be graded on their past records as indicative of the standard of the missing work. A certificate of employment for the period not spent in school must be presented to take advantage of this offer.

“The scarcity of potatoes in Manistee is about over, as all dealers have adequate supplies today or will have them ready for delivery tomorrow. Manistee has been unable to substitute potatoes for wheat because no potatoes could be had. The farmers have been unable to come to town with their spuds until lately, it is said, but this difficulty has now been removed and the hauling of potatoes will be more than sufficient to supply all local demands.

“…Said County Food Administrator George O. Nye today, ‘and with the local shortage ended, it is out duty to use them as a substitute for wheat and other foods, and it is also a matter of thrift to buy them because of the reasonable price.’

“As a fragrant reminder of their sojourn in Florida, and temptation to repeat the experience, Bert Hendel and George O. Nye received from Cody’s Grove at Crooked Lake, Fla., three large baskets of luscious fruits, which are now on exhibit in the Manistee County Savings bank rotunda.

“Included in the exhibit are pale lemon-colored grapefruit nearly as large as small Michigan pumpkins, russet and golden Florida oranges, a few degrees smaller, and more richly-tinted tangerines of satisfying dimensions. The fruit was produced by a cousin of the late Col. William F. Cody, the illustrious ‘Buffalo Bill’ of American history, near whose place Mr. and Mrs. Hendel and Mr. and Mrs. Nye enjoyed themselves through a couple of the winter months.

“The exhibit richly deserves the attention which it is attracting.

“August Rissanen, native of Finland and a socialist orator, was arraigned on the charge of vagrancy this morning and succeeded in clearing himself of the charge and also of the suspicion of disloyalty which had been attached to him.

“The vagrancy charge was made last Thursday on technical grounds for the purpose of holding Rissanen until federal investigation could be made of the stories told about him. Kaleva people who had heard his lecture said he was preaching disloyalty and a hurry-up attempt was made to lodge him in jail to end his campaign.

“In the meantime, local authorities studied the mysteries of socialism and discovered that two parties existed in Finland. The ‘Whites’ are revolutionists who desire the aid of Germany in carrying out their plans. The ‘Reds,’ Rissanen’s party, work for the sme end but choose the United States to keep its watchful eye ever the new government.

“The explanation rendered the matter satisfactory to local authorities. Rissanen returned to Kaleva today to make another address in order to leave no doubt about his loyalty.

“Mr. Rissanen stated today that he formerly taught in the Workingmen’s college near Duluth, but quit when the I. W. W. got control of the institution.

“FRIEND NEIGHBOR, after an inspection of the lawn, announces that the sportive dandelion is venturing forth and shortly will be big enough to be shot and eaten. The dandelion is something on the order of spinach, except that spinach gets better traction along the alimentary canal by sanding the track.

“BILL ALBERTSON knows that summer is coming soon. He visited a movie show last night and saw several of the actors wearing straw hats and tennis flannel trousers, while the girl behind him had been eating peppermint candy, a man on his right had been eating spring onions, and a fat woman on the left used violet perfumery. He was considerably encouraged at the outlook.

“THE OLD SECOR MANSION at First and Oak streets, which has been converted into a modern two-family dwelling by the owners, Lloyd & Smith and Charles A. Anderson, will shortly be occupied by the families of Dr. Homer A. Ramsdell and F. Y. Rice. Mr. Rice is the new manager of the Michigan Tanning & Extract company’s Manistee plant. Mr. and Mrs. Rice will occupy the east portion of the building and Dr. and Dr. and Mrs. Ramsdell the west portion. In addition to the other conveniences Dr. Ramsdell will now have home garage facilities, for which his car should be much obliged.

“MONTROSE, Mich., April 13, —Twenty women tarred and feathered Mrs. Harley Stafford, German, here during the night for alleged unpatriotic utterances.

“Seventy-five citizens drove automobiles to the Stafford residence. While the men in the party bound Stafford, the woman dragged his wife from bed, took her outside and covered her with hot tar and feathers.

“Lansing, April 13.—Governor Sleeper issued a proclamation today exhorting the people of Michigan to ‘avert mob rule’ in dealing with pro-Germans and citizens whose disloyalty is questioned.

“Deploring the epidemic of tar and feather parties and lynchings in various parts of the country, he appealed to Michigan to ‘let regularly constituted authority handle matters.’

“’I fully appreciate conditions which have aroused some people to the opinion that they can accomplish the desired result by taking the law into their own hands. But there are courts and laws in the land, and citizens must allow them to handle matters affecting the peace and dignity of the state and nation rather than attempt snap judgment. We must all exert patience.’

“Worked up to a high pitch on enthusiasm by reports of amazing successes elsewhere, and firmly resolved to achieve the winning of an honor flag for Manistee, the 75 or more salesmen who comprise the assault squad for the sale of the third Liberty loan bonds in Manistee met last night in the Public library…

“Not a note of pessimism was heard. They were all ‘pepped up’ and impatient to got to it.

“In a meeting that for enthusiasm and willingness to sacrifice time and personal affairs was not one whit behind the feeling exhibited by the men, the women’s organization for the third Liberty Loan campaign gathered at the public library auditorium this afternoon.

“FLINT, April 13.—William D, Terbush, harnessmaker, whose store front was painted yellow because, it was stated, he had refused to purchase Liberty loan bonds, signed a subscription for $1,000 worth of the bonds.

“He made a statement in which he admitted he had been too tardy in the matter and that he was accorded was deserved.

“[Toddler] George Sweetnam is reported as recovering from the burns and scalding received Wednesday when he fell and thrust his hands into a pail of hot water.

“SEVERAL STORES are presenting impressive window display boosting the third Liberty loan.

MNA Mon. April 15 pg. 1

“Without a hitch at any stage, the third Liberty bond drive opened with a rush this morning that promises to send Manistee so far over the top that there will be no top in sight.

“The enthusiasm displayed was astonishing. Not only the workers but the citizens as a whole are keyed up to a pitch that is unprecedented in the annals of patriotic work in this community.

“Following a bust first morning’s sales activities, the sales forces met at the Chippewa at noon for luncheon. Reports at that time showed that nearly half of the county’s quota had been subscribed during the first half day of the drive.

“Optimism pervaded the gathering as team captain after team captain reported in excess of his anticipation.

“OXFORDS TODAY uncovered a multitude of chilly ankles.

“WHAT HAS BECOME of the vaudevillian who used to get an encore by singing ‘I Didn’t Raise My Boy to be a Soldier?’

“THE FIRST STRAW HAT was visible on River street yesterday afternoon. Its owner discreetly carried an overcoat under his arm.

“FIFTH AVENUE ROAD was the popular promenade again yesterday, as the fine weather brought people out for a little tramp outside the city.

“Larsen Bros., Inc.

“Every man, woman and child should devote THIS WEEK to the cause of Liberty. We will do our bit by devoting our entire receipts for the week of April 14 to the 20 for the purchase of Liberty Bonds. Every dollar spent in our store this week will be used to buy Liberty Bonds with.

“The opening gun in a campaign to make Manistee a city of fruitful gardens this summer was fired when the War Food and Garden committee met yesterday afternoon in the Board of Commerce rooms at the call of County Agricultural Agent Frank Sandhammer to discuss plans for this work. From the firing of this gun until the last potato, beet, or carrot is blown from the ground, and the last bean pod popped, it is hoped to stimulate an interest that will not falter or waver in making every suitable spot in Manistee bring ‘forth a hundred fold.’ It is hoped that every family, old and young, boys and girls, will join in this program of making every vacant lot produce as it has never produced before.

“BOND DRIVE HAD PASSED $200,000 MARK THIS NOON. REPORTS TURNED IN SHOW GRAND TOTAL OF $204,450 ON SECOND DAY. WOMEN SECURE $12,800. FACTORIES ENTHUSIASTIC.

“Do you, as an American man or woman of German descent, of the bidding of the Kaiser?

“If you, as a sovereign American citizen of German stock, want to assert your manhood or womanhood, refute this slanderous attack on free citizens by signing the call to democracy of the Friends of German Democracy.

“This call is in the nature of a resolution adopted at a mass meeting held by the Friends of German Democracy in New York City.

“Copies of the resolution have been sent to the German-American society in Manistee. If Manistee citizens of German descent wish to show their loyalty they can do so by signing and circulating and pledging their efforts to the cause for which friends of freedom are fighting the Kaiser.

“The city had the first taste of warm spring rain last night and this noon,, and every one had the opportunity of trying to dodge the showers just at the dinner hour. It was a real spring rain that didn’t send every man hiking for his warmest coat. On the contrary, the temperature dropped not a point as the downpour began. Although many people were caught in the showers, no objections were made as the city got a badly needed cleaning.

“The noon luncheon at the Chippewa today was attended by between 40 and 50 of the bond sales force, whose enthusiasm is as exuberant as it was at the outset of the drive. Great acclaim greeted the posting of the figures on the board showing Manistee city alone to be within striking distance of the mark established as the county’s quota.

“The Jackies band, 40 strong, arrives at 11:45 a. m. from Traverse City via the M. & N. E. and leaves for Ludington at 2:25. Upon their arrival they march direct to the Chippewa hotel, where citizens will join them and the speakers’ party at noonday luncheon. Reservations for the luncheon should be made at the Board of Commerce or the hotel. The band will be escorted from the train by the Boy Scouts and will uncork some of their most inspiring march music enroute. They will, of course, do much to enliven the proceedings at the hotel also.

“Technically the band and speakers are touring the state to help enthuse the people for the Liberty loan, but the local committees and workers expect to introduce an innovation by getting the full quota subscribed by Friday morning and converting the meeting into a jollification of the affair.

“With two city clerks on duty and a delegation of ladies in attendance last night, the session of the city council took on an unwonted air of dignity.

“The ladies, Mrs. H. W. Marsh, Mrs. William Lloyd and Mrs. P. C. Jensen, comprised the committee representing the Lakeside club in an effort to interest the city in the purchase of a spraying outfit for the preservation of shade and fruit trees in the city, which are reported threatened with extermination by the ravages of insect pests. Mrs. Marsh made a dignified appeal for consideration of the request, which on motion of Commissioner Kieft was referred to the city manager and Prof. L. D. Hard of the high school for investigation and disposal with the sanction of the mayor.

“Payment of $338.86 for bills contracted in connection with the two smallpox cases which disturbed the peace of mind of the local health authorities last month was authorized last month by the council, with a feeling of thankfulness that by prompt preventive measures a threatened epidemic was prevented.

“As reported by Health Officer Ellis, Mrs. Edna Sharp of Flint while visiting in Manistee the first week in March was stricken with the malady, contracted in her home city. The physician called to the home of her relatives here reported the case in its early stages, and the health officer verified its nature. In this emergency Mayor Bradford authorized all necessary measures to prevent spread of the contagion, and drastic quarantine was enforced by the health officer. This restricted it to two cases in the one house, and the quarantine was lifted March 31, fine recoveries being recorded in both cases.Dr. Ellis reported that the afflicted family was unable to bear the expense incurred, which is chiefly for physicians’ services, nurse hire, drugs and medicines used, and recommended that the city pay the bills, with recourse to the city of Flint or Genesee county, in which the case was contracted, for its legal share. This phase of the question was referred to the city attorney for presentation to the proper authorities.

“So far as communicable diseases are concerned, the city was in good health during March. Beside the two cases of smallpox mentioned, but 23 other cases came under observation of the health department. Of these, 20 were of German measles, two chickenpox and one whooping cough.

“There were 19 deaths during the month. One death was due to tuberculosis.

“The combination rain and snow storm of last night and today temporarily delayed the city’s going over the top in the third Liberty loan drive. The sum to be raised is comparatively small and without question will have been secured by tonight or early tomorrow, so that the plan of using the Jackies band visit to celebrate the achievement will be carried.

“With the addition of the sixth star to its service flag, the News-Advocate today contributes another valued member of its force to the nation’s service. Tom Green, for the past six months linotype operator and foreman of the composing room, left this afternoon for a brief visit to his home in Kansas City. He is included in the next draft contingent from a Chicago district, and expects to be called any day now.

“No institution in Manistee has been as hard hit, proportionately to the number of its working force, as the News-Advocate, through enlistments and the draft. Within a year six men from a force which never exceeds ten men in number have been recruited from this office to Uncle Sam’s fighting forces, making heavy in-roads into our man-power. Today but three people beside the publisher who were members of the force a year ago are now connected with this newspaper.

“WELL, SPRING MANAGES to get in a day here and there at any rate.”

 

 

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