100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending May 18, 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

“Taking advantage of the fact that for the first time the selectives leave today at a seasonable hour the city turned out this afternoon to honor soldiers who departed for Columbus barracks. A parade and a crowd at the station were collected to join in the farewell ceremonies. Large numbers of people witnessed the march and entraining. River Street stores were closed and decorated for the occasion.

“Manufacturers of Manistee, assembled last night at the board of commerce office, placed their stamp of approval upon the War Chest plan adopted by the War Preparedness Committee and pledged their respective companies to give on each regular pay day a sum equal to that contributed by their employees.

“Each manufacturer also agreed to present the War Chest to his employees and to make the canvass within his own plant.

“On receipt of these assurances the War Preparedness committee feels today that the success of the War Chest in Manistee county is assured. It is believed that no one will hesitate to give one-half hour’s service a week to help the boys at the front and provide them with the comforts that the Red Cross, Y. M. C. A., K. of C., and kindred organizations can bring.

“As a parting testimonial of the high esteem in which he is held by that organization, the Sons of Rest last night tendered a farewell supper in the K. of P. rooms to Harry Bickell, former city clerk, who will leave tomorrow for Pasadena, Cal., to accept a fine position which has been offered him.

“About 30 intimate associates of the popular former city official were present to wish him Godspeed and success in his new field of endeavor. Frank W. White presided as toastmaster. A number of speakers expressed the regrets of the entire assemblage at the severance of home ties by Mr. Bickell, and most cordial wishes for his future.

“Dr. C. C. Webb in behalf of the gathering presented Mr. Bickell with a gold banded fountain pen. Harry made good going with a feeling response until his emotions overpowered him. [Reminder: Mr. Bickell and City Manager Ruger, in a surprise move by city council, lost their positions with the city. Both stayed on the job during the transition, Mr. Bickell training his replacement for the job of city clerk which he had held for a number of years.]

“A flood of rain and a rattling barrage of hail descended on the city last night at about 9:15 p.m. with sad effects on the few early gardens that were in the line of fire.

“The outburst of natural frightfulness passed on the whole without serious results on account of the lack of exposed objects to face its attack. Being too early for war gardens it strikes worst at the pedestrian who is rolled today in the overcoat he discarded last month. The chief topic of conversation for the shiverers is the warmth of our climate and the weather we enjoyed yesterday.

“Although volunteer work does not begin until Monday, and the War Preparedness Committee has not received its supplies as yet, Manistee people are already demonstrating their interest in the War Chest plan by making substantial subscriptions.

“The first subscription to be made was that of Miss Angie Messer, librarian of the Manistee Public Library, who has five relatives in the U. S. service. Miss Messer appeared at the War Preparedness committee rooms, Engelman building, yesterday afternoon and made her subscription (of $25).

“William Hornkohl, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Hornkohl, one of the most popular of the younger men in Manistee, left with the contingent this afternoon for the Great Lakes Training Station, to enter the service. He passed his examination last evening and was more than busy all morning bidding his friends and relatives ‘au revoir.’

“’Billy,’ as he is familiarly know by everyone, rather sprang a surprise on his family when he announced his definite decision and that he was determined to enlist for Uncle Sam to use him as he saw fit.

“His father at the station this afternoon demonstrated the right spirit of patriotism when he bade his boy good-bye when he said: ‘Son, do your duty. I regret I have not six more old enough to follow your steps.’

“Over a hundred pupils of rural schools, 117 to be exact, are taking the eighth grade examinations at the circuit room under the supervision of County School Commissioner E. M. Gerred. These examinations are for all pupils in rural schools who have completed the work of the eight elementary grades and those passing with the required marks are eligible to enter high schools.

“Yesterday the examinees wrestled with orthography, spelling, arithmetic, penmanship, grammar and reading. Today they are being quizzed on physiology, geography, agriculture, history and government. As part of the examination each pupil must also write from memory the words of ‘America’ and the first stanza of ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’

“MOTHER’S DAY will be the same to mother as any other day in one respect: She will devote the greater part of it to waiting on the other members of the family.

“With the dawn of Manistee county’s big War Chest drive approaching, the County War Preparedness Committee is confident today that a magnificent response will be made next week to its request that the citizenship of the county come forward without solicitation and pledge its contribution to the support of the great War Charities.

“Tomorrow local churches will give due recognition to Mother’s Day according to the request of the President and Gov. Sleeper.

“Added significance is attached to the observance of the day this year on account of the work which mothers have been doing for the war and for their sons in the army and navy. All patriotic organizations will honor the mothers tomorrow in honoring the part they are taking in patriotic work in honor of the boys.

“Local people will follow the custom established in past years wearing a red carnation in honor of a living mother while those whose mothers are dead will wear white flowers.

“The biggest war figure that has come to Manistee thus far during the progress of the great conflict will be here tomorrow night when Dr. M. D. Hardin of Chicago, world-famous Red Cross lecturer, who has just returned from Flanders front, speaks at Ramsdell theater

“Dr. Hardin’s lecture will be free to the general public, and will be given under the auspices of the Manistee County War Preparedness committee as part of the publicity for the War Chest campaign.

“Dr. Hardin had the wonderful privilege of being an eye-witness to the great struggle now being waged on the plains of Picardy…where von Hindenburg moved forward his pawns in the shape of army corps and had them cut down by the merciless machine gun fire of the British and French. Of this world’s greatest battle, which, it is estimated, cost the Kaiser 900,000 casualties, Dr. Hardin will speak tomorrow night.

“Preparations are being made for a record audience at the theatre.

“A number of new books, largely war books, have been purchased in the past week by the library and are now placed in circulation. Among them are some of the personal narratives of soldiers who have gone through peculiar phases of the war. On account of the fact that these books have the greatest demand of any type of books in the library, a time limit of one week has been set on some of them.

“Keep the wrist watch ticking and don’t forget to wind the clock on the mantel, because the Michigan State Telephone company has decided to discontinue giving the time of day, one of the ‘unessential’ services that must give way before the stern necessities.

“Manager J. M. Clifford of the Manistee branch said today, ‘With the demand and need for workers increasing so rapidly, non-essential features that have heretofore been permitted over the telephone now become a serious waste and the company felt there is no justification for continuing any such feature…. Individuals are now being called upon to carry their own bundles and do a number of little things that heretofore have been done for them. Looking at their clocks is one of those little services that they can perform themselves….’

“En route to Traverse City to attend the joint meeting of the West Michigan Pike association and the West Michigan Development bureau tomorrow, a motoring party of Pike officials and friends stopped for a few minutes in Manistee this afternoon.

“In addition to several vacant lots near his home on First Avenue that Justice of the Peace August Greve is cultivating, he is arranging to plant a war garden on the old Persig livery property north of the Masonic Temple on Maple Street.

“He will have the premises cleaned up and graded and will plant them to pumpkins, cucumbers, squash and citrons. As the plot of ground is so publicly situated, he will add to its attractiveness by setting out flowers.

“Manistee, May 14, 1918, Editor of The News-Advocate: I belong to the traveling public and have been in Manistee but a short time. However, I have already been impressed with the patriotism of your people.

“But the mothers do not seem to be entirely awake to the necessity of simple dress for the children. I do not refer to the cost of materials, but for the making and fashioning of the garments.

“Also the matter of arranging the hair simply. Nothing is more becoming to a child, and the ‘Dutch Cut’ is the most simple arrangement known for little girls. Yet most every mother here with a little girl is letting the child’s hair grow out, and I have never seen so many heads of Mary Pickford curls.

“Children in France are suffering for lack of clothing and local Red Cross workers will bear me out, I am sure, that the local supply would be doubled if every mother would give one-half hour more of time each day to the work.

“This time can be given without injury to her own by spending less time in her own sewing and by dispensing with her children’s curls and braids. (Signed) A VISITOR.

“Philip H. Beauvais, who was superintendent of the construction work on the breakwater at Manistee harbor, begins his duties as city manager tomorrow. All that remains to be adjusted in the interval are a few minor informalities that will be attended to at a special session of the city council tonight.

“Mr. Beauvais was offered the position by telegram April 6, when he was on a trip out west, and he wired his acceptance. He was permitted to complete the objects of his western visit and the date of acceptance was left largely to him. He returned to the city yesterday and placed his services at the command of the city officials, and the few final arrangements still required will be completed this evening.

“The new manager brings into the city’s service more than just a record of civil or constructive engineering. As a matter of fact he has for some years been posting himself on the city manager form of government and by reading and personal contact with such managers has kept abreast of the latest developments along these lines. He was a personal friend of Dayton’s first city manager, Mr. Waite, and was in constant touch with him during the latter’s tenure of office. In his travels in various parts of the United States he has taken advantage of every opportunity to study and gather first hand information on the city manager method of municipal government.

“’IS OUR CLIMATE changing?’ demands a Sunday newspaper headline. Ours is, most of the time.

“GIVING TO THE WAR CHEST fund is not charity; it is every man’s patriotic duty. Volunteer your dollars for service. Do it now.

“R. R. RAMSDELL donated the use of the Ramsdell theatre for the Hardin patriotic lecture tonight; the Michigan Tanning & Extract Co. donated the coal; the Consumers Power Co., the lights; and the Louis Sands Salt & Lumber Co., the drying.

“Facing a capacity audience in the Ramsdell last night, Dr. Martin D. Hardin of Chicago, a famed Chautauqua lecturer just returned from the battlefields of France and Flanders, painted a graphic picture of the atrocities of the Hun, commended the spirit of the American Expeditionary forces, and of their valiant allies, rebuked critics of America’s war policies and activities, and paid a high tribute to the wonderful accomplishments of the American Red Cross. The speakers tones carried conviction and confidence into the minds of his hearers, and gathered force and intensity as he reached his climaxes.

“WASHINGTON, May 15.—A new era in mail delivery in America opened when the nation’s first official aero service was inaugurated at 11:45 this morning.

“Cheered by vast throngs, two giant aeroplanes simultaneously started from Washington and New York, carrying large cargoes of mail.

“President and Mrs. Wilson, Postmaster General Burleson and many other distinguished officials watched the big army machine mount into the air from the field here, starting on the first lap of its journey to Philadelphia.

“The big bird sailed over Washington and the disappeared into the sky, carrying four pouches of mail. Part of the cargo will be dropped where a new machine will pick up 150 pounds additional and continue the flight to New York.

“Illustrating his lecture with gas masks, bombs and other implements of war, Sergeant John T. Flahiff, formerly of the famous Canadian Princess ‘Pat’ regiment, will speak at the Ramsdell theatre tomorrow evening on his experiences in the great war. Sergt. Flahiff comes under the Redpath Lyceum management as one of the speakers of the high school lecture course.

“Flahiff, a clean-cut American, enlisted in Canada and fought for several months in the early part of the war. He went into battle with his regiment in one of the biggest drives in which only 22 of the 1056 men survived the onslaughts of the enemy.

“Shortly after this he was taken ill with trench fever and was sent home by the doctors with an honorable discharge. As soon as his health will permit, he will again enter the war, this time under the stars and stripes.

“Every citizen of this county, whether he has a son in the service or not, should avail himself of the opportunity to gain an intimate knowledge of how the fighting forces of the army and navy live, as shown in the official government war films which will be exhibited at the Lyric theatre May 22, under the direct supervision of the Michigan War Preparedness Board.

“While the government put out these pictures for the purpose of educating the people, it is expected that some revenue will be derived from the exhibitions. All money over actual expenses is turned into a fund for the support of Michigan soldiers and sailors dependents.

“PETOSKEY, May 16.—German has been scissored from the Petoskey high school curriculum by order of the school board.

“War literature forwarded from Washington by the department of public information will take the place of the language study.

“IT IS MORE PATRIOTIC to eat old potatoes until July 4 than to buy new southern potatoes. And anyway, they are your own Michigan potatoes.

“A LOT OF REAL WISDOM would be lost to the world if children were only seen and never heard.

“SPRING GOT HERE with a running jump this morning. Now if we can only hold her!”

 

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