100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending June 22, 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

“Manistee is fittingly observing Flag Day, both in form and in spirit.

“River Street, from end to end, is bedight with the red, white and blue. Other business thoroughfares make a handsome showing of the national colors.

“And the residence districts are brave in their showing of bunting, in the national emblem, service flags and Red Cross insignia. Manistee is giving fine attestation of its patriotism. This quasi-holiday this year has deeper significance to most people than ever before, since the casualty lists have impressed more deeply the consciousness that America is a nation at war in a righteous cause.

“The absence from the city of so many of its bravest and best-loved sons heightens the reverence shown the flag today, and adds luster to its radiant color scheme.

Several boys from this city and section have already given their lives for the honor of the flag, and hundreds more whom we know and love are on foreign soil or awaiting transport thither to uphold the traditions it typifies and extend the freedom for which it stands.

“The News Advocate today presents the appeals of Manistee business men to the people of this community for first consideration in making purchases.

“This campaign does not necessarily conflict with the home merchant in any other community in this county, for there are many things that the people of those communities can and should buy at home — but, when they cannot get what they want in their home towns, they should come to Manistee, the logical trade center of this section, and thus keep their money in this territory rather than patronizing the mail order houses or going out of the county to trade.

“The ‘BUY IN MANISTEE’ movement is growing and it will be worth thousands of dollars to this section.

“Manistee County will get little if any West Virginia coal this year.

“This announcement is made by the county fuel administration following the receipt of a telegram from the federal administration that the Kanawha coal fields had been closed to western consumers. From this district a large percentage of last winter’s coal supply was received, and local and county dealers had placed large orders for this year.

“Most of this coal will be sent into New England, and as a result the zone in which Michigan is located will have to depend largely on Indiana product. The new order becomes effective June 20, when an embargo will be declared. It will bar shipment west of coal mined in the Kanawha district of the Chesapeake & Ohio railroad. Contracts which have been made will be nullified by the government mandate.

“The Kanawha coal has more than twice the caloric qualities of the Indiana mined fuel. These figures give slim cheer to the domestic consumers.

“This latest order will take from Michigan consumers approximately two and a half million tons, and this diversion to eastern points will deprive Michigan of 20 per cent of its prospective supply.

“The parents of Cirenus McCary, the young Chief soldier who recently fell, mortally wounded, on the field of battle in France, have received no further information regarding his death.

“In due time details will be forthcoming which will tell the manner of his death and the location of his grave over on the border of No Man’s Land.

“The Manistee County War Savings Stamp drive will be opened with a bang on Monday evening in Ramsdell Theatre, when Lieutenant S. J. Ainsworth, a British army veteran, speaks. Dr. J. A. King, in charge of the arrangements, wishes to emphasize that there will be no solicitation of subscriptions at the meeting Monday night.

“Lieut. Ainsworth comes with a reputation of a fighter, and no less a fame as a speaker. He was assigned to Michigan by the speakers bureau of the Treasury department, and has been head-lining patriotic meetings all over the state. For two years he fought to stem the flood of Huns over western Europe, and has been invalided home because of wounds. The veteran lost a leg in battle.


“Eva Cline, 25, and Stella Borucki, 25, both employes of the Northern Hotel, were arraigned this afternoon by Justice Greve, charged with showing disrespect to the American flag.

“They were thoroughly questioned by City Attorney Campbell, and the case continued until next Saturday afternoon.

“The girls had on exhibit, alongside the American flag, some German banners, four in all. They put them from the windows of their rooms in the hotel late in the afternoon of Flag Day.

“A warrant was also issued for Mrs. Mary A. Smithson, proprietor of the hotel.

“According to the story told by the young women, they decided to decorate their windows on Flag Day, and went into the storage room of the hotel, found several American and four German flags. They all had been wrapped in a single roll, being a relic from a former managership of the hotel. They professed their innocence of any intent to insult their own flag, and declared they believed they were hanging up either a French or English banner. They did not know what the German flag looked like, and made earnest protestations of their loyalty to America.

“City Attorney Campbell impressed upon them sharply the need for education in this matter, and gave them a week to find proper proof of their innocence.

“Another accident featuring an automobile and Maple Street bridge occurred this morning at about 9:45. Frank Munson, driving a car belonging to Tom Ford, broke one of the guard rails on the south side of the bridge and shattered his windshield by attempting to cross just as the rails dropped across the roadway.

“Munson, who is an experienced driver and careful driver, is absolved from blame by the bridge tender, Stanley Radtke. Mr. Radtke delayed raising the bridge immediately after ringing the bell to permit one pedestrian to reach the pavement and Munson thought that an opportunity was being given him to cross. He started forward just as the gates fell.

“When you come to a bridge, drive slowly.

“That is the injunction of City Manager Beauvais to pilots of automobiles or other conveyances, as a result of the near accidents on the Maple Street bridge this morning and earlier in the week.

“Manistee people have acquired the habit of approaching the bridges rapidly, of passing other vehicles on the bridge, and of crossing them too rapidly. An ordinance, covering the situation, will be rigidly enforced from now on. This ordinance prohibits and conveyance from crossing the bridges of the city at a rate faster than a walk.

“City Manager Beauvais confesses that he was the first man to be called to order for violating his own rulings. Shortly after announcing the bridge traffic rule to the bridge tenders yesterday afternoon and requesting them to look after its enforcement, he had occasion to cross Smith Street bridge in a car. As he approached the bridge, a heavy team moving at a snail’s pace swung in ahead of him. He immediately and without thinking began to pass the team and was instantly called by the bridge tender to slow down and fall in behind the slow vehicle.

“A fumigation process was found necessary in the court house this morning when it was discovered that a mail package placed in the clerk’s vault Saturday had contained bodies of animals on which the sender of the package desired to be paid a bounty. The package had been locked up without its contents being known, and Clerk Papenguth declares that the animals were not in the best state of preservation. He is now waiting for the bounty claimer to appear and pay the bill for fumigation.

“The Pabst

Café, Chris Peterson proprietor, which since May 1 has operated as a soft drink establishment only, tomorrow will be opened as a first class short order restaurant, with Gus Schmock installed as chef.

“This place, always a popular one with the traveling and general public, will give the downtown district another conveniently located restaurant, and will doubtless do its share of business.

“The registration of enemy alien women opened at the police headquarters today, registering 17 women as [the] first day’s work. The work will continue for a week after the same manner as the registration of men.

“It is estimated that about 100 women will register during the week. Over a hundred men were registered in Manistee city and county last February.

“LANSING, June 17.—Women’s societies and social clubs who make it a practice to serve refreshments during afternoons or evenings, and particularly those who have been in the habit of serving ice cream, are expected by the United States food administration to desist from such practice. George A. Prescott, federal food administrator for Michigan, stated emphatically today that the food administration is unalterably opposed to any deviation from a strict three meals per day program, and will consider unpatriotic and un-American any departure therefrom. He says the consumer of ice cream at any between-meal period is a food slacker. ‘Between meal eating, no matter what, when or where, is altogether inconsistent with the United States food regulations. People are expected to eat enough of wholesome food at meal-time to last them until the next meal.’

“Standing on a wooden leg which replaced the one which he had given for his country, Lieut. S. P. Ainsworth of the British army faced a capacity audience at the Ramsdell Theatre last night and begged Manistee people to back the War Savings campaign for the sake of the American boys in France.


“Highly impressed with the advantages of the bottomlands of Manistee county as grazing grounds for cattle and sheep, L. H. Scobey of Carrizo, New Mexico, today after an exhaustive inspection of the tracts presented for his consideration signed leases for over 70,000 acres of land in the county, with a view to extensive stock raising operations here.

“Mr. Scobey stated that due to a long period of drouth in the New Mexico grazing areas, stock is literally starving there. His attention was attracted to the Manistee county possibilities in this line by R. M. Hoffman at the recent West Michigan Development Bureau and Pike meeting in Traverse City, and at Mr. Hoffman’s invitation Mr. Sobey looked the ground over about six weeks ago. He thought so favorably of the proposition at the time that he returned here a few days ago prepared to do business on an extensive scale and the execution of the leases today testifies to the sincerity of his belief in this territory for the purposes he desires.

“’Death by shooting, cause unknown,’ was the verdict returned yesterday by the coroner’s jury which investigated the death of H. Ward Leonard of Manistee, whose body was found in the woods near his cottage at Wick-a-te-wah on Portage Lake.

“Mr. Leonard is believed to have shot himself on account of worry over business affairs. He left the cottage where he was staying with Mrs. Leonard about 10 o’clock yesterday morning and went to the home of a neighbor. Both Mrs. Leonard and the neighbors who talked to him noticed that he appeared uneasy and acted strangely. Mrs. Leonard became worried shortly before noon and started out to search for her husband in the woods. At about noon she found the body lying in a hollow not far away. The shooting had been accomplished with a shotgun. The trigger had apparently been pushed back with a yardstick which lay near.

“Mr. Leonard was 56 years of age. He was born in Manistee and was the son of one of its first business men. For many years he has been engaged in real estate business, particularly around Portage Lake, where he owned large holdings of resort property.

“A spirited and at times almost acrimonious controversy over payment of bills arising from the recent smallpox epidemic in the city enlivened the council session last night.

“The report of the health officer to the board of health last night disclosed the amazing and gratifying fact that during the first 18 days of June not a single death occurred in this city of 13,000 people. This is believed to establish a record.

“During May 30 cases of communicable disease, none of an especially virulent nature, came under the observation of the department. These were classified as follows: German measles 11, chickenpox 2, smallpox 7, whooping cough 5, typhoid fever 1, tuberculosis 2.

“The smallpox situation is believed to be now well in hand, with but two cases now existing here. These are mild in character. Quarantine restrictions are said to have been rigidly enforced.

“Births during May numbered 21 and deaths 17, two of these being due to pneumonia.

“For better emergency fire protection for the business district, three new connections to enable the Seagrave truck and steamer to tap the limitless supply of water in the river will be provided at once.

“City Manager Beauvais reported to the council last night that investigation disclosed that there is but one standpipe in the city to which attachment can be made to make available the river water supply in the event of need.

“MANISTEE ASKED FOR $75.000 TO SAVE M. E. & W. OPPORTUNITY TO GET TRUNK LINE OFFERED TO CITY. M’Adoo [U. S. government] Will Give $350,000 if Manistee and Adjoining Territory Raise Their Quota, To Rebuild and Re-equip Line for First Class Service.

“Back from Washington, where he arranged a deal which, is the local end is taken care of will give Manistee its first trunk line railroad and definitely solve the problem of the future of this city, P. P. Schnorbach, chairman of the railroad committee of the Board of Commerce, has begun a drive to raise the needed $75,000.

“Eight Manistee county soldiers absent without leave from Camp Custer, were royally entertained last night in the county jail, where they were lodged by Deputy Sheriff Ramsdell. The boys are part of a group totaling over a hundred, it is said, who left the camp to visit their homes after having been refused furloughs on account of the nearness of the time for the division to leave Camp Custer.

“The boys arrived Sunday and were at their homes when rounded up yesterday. They were taken to jail to await the arrival of guards, who will probably come tonight or tomorrow.

“They are at present liable to a penalty of being fined one-third of their pay for two months and are not classed as deserters. On being taken to jail, they were released on the lawn to entertain their numerous visitors. A freezer of ice cream and plenty of good picnic material was supplied by down-town merchants to cheer their detention. All spent the night in cells in the jail and were let out in the morning to enjoy the company of many young women friends who called on them in the jail yard.

“The boys did not object to arrest and in all cases were awaiting the arrival of an officer.

“A pleasant and easy time is apparently being had by all.

“Mayor’s Proclamation. At 11 o’clock Monday Morning, June 24th, there will depart from Manistee probably the largest quota of selected men that that will leave Manistee at any one time during the period of the War, and several men who have been employed elsewhere have returned home to spend a few hours with friends and relatives before going into the service of our country.

“It is out patriotic duty to bid these men a farewell, so pleasant that they will always remember with pride the attitude of our citizens.

“THEREFORE, I, Thomas F. Kieft, Mayor of Manistee, do hereby issue this, the Mayor’s Proclamation, and urge that the hours from 9 o’clock until 11:30 o’clock of that morning be declared, and observed by our citizens as a Holiday, and particularly urge that the school children be dismissed from their classes, so that they, together with their teachers, can participate in the parade which will escort the men to the station.

“I also urge that flags be displayed from all buildings on that day.

“[Signed] THOMAS F. KIEFT, Mayor of Manistee.”

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