100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending July 13, 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’s most heroic, most sacrificing legion, the mothers of sons given to the service of their country, constituted the most impressive feature yesterday of the most impressive street pageant and ceremony the city has ever witnessed.

“Hundreds of marching mothers, heads held proudly erect, carrying aloft service flags displaying one, two, or three, and in one instance five stars, trudged the streets to martial music in the most significant manifestation of loyalty any community has ever seen. In the van marched a mother bearing a flag with two stars, one blue, one gold, betokening one living son in the service, one slain on the far-off field of battle. And the grief in that mother’s heart was subordinated to the glitter of pride in her eyes at the thought that her men-children had been given to the cause of freedom.

“Sturdily they trudged the streets, patrician women and women who have served them in the humble duties of life, women of many nationalities, but now all just plain American mothers of soldiers, dominated by the one thought, Patriotism. This was their inspiration and their presence was an inspiration to all beholders.

“In their wake, upheld by a score of juvenile boy cadets, was borne a mammoth service flag showing 614 stars, seven of them golden stars denoting the supreme sacrifice of that many sons of Manistee county, lovingly by members of the Red Cross and presented to the war mothers of the county, and confided to the custody of county officials. The hoisting of this on the east wall of the court house in appropriate ceremonies marked the conclusion of the greatest Independence Day parade Manistee has ever seen.

“War Savings subscriptions go steadily on in the city with a total today of about $50,000 and the expectation from the unreported county districts of about $25,000 more by tomorrow evening, when the intensive campaign ends, it is expected that Manistee will have about one-fourth of the quota which it must raise by the end of the year. All workers are doing their utmost today to increase the standing of their districts and raise the grand total.

“An executive meeting of the County Farm Bureau officials was held this afternoon at Bear Lake. The principal speaker was Hale Tennant, the marketing specialist who will cooperate with local farmers in an effort to find a market for the county potatoes.

“Ruby Dean, the cabaret singer, is in Manistee playing an engagement at the Lyric theatre. She came from Cadillac where fresh laurels were given her yesterday.

“Miss Dean is not taking advantage of her recent murder trial in Chicago to secure a reputation on the singing stage. She was acquitted and she stands on her talent. She is enthusiastic over the reception thus far given her on the circuit and hopes that by her brilliant vocal powers to repeat in Manistee what she has done ever since she has been absent from Chicago.

“With the first prejudices against their enterprise dispelled by the satisfaction of their patrons, and favored by ideal weather yesterday, the Zeidman & Pollie exposition on West River and Water streets, given under the sponsorship of Manistee lodge of Elks, did its bit in adding to the attractions of the city’s Fourth of July festivities, and incidentally did tremendous business all and until late at night.

“Despite the crowds that surged through the exposition space, there was not a hint of disorder during the entire day, and the special police on duty there had nothing to do but enjoy themselves the same as other people and draw their pay.

“At no time since the carnival has started has any turbulence developed, and no complaints of impositions or deception have been lodged with the authorities.

“On account of the bad conditions of the automobile road, repairs on which are in progress and cannot be completed possibly before the middle of next week, the reopening of Portage Point Inn and pavilion under new management, originally scheduled for tomorrow, has been deferred for a few days.

“Miss Carlotta E. Hoffman, well-known Manistee girl who for a number of years has served as a Methodist missionary in India, is here for the first time in five years on a visit to the family of her brother, R. M. Hoffman.

“WE CAN ALL REMEMBER the time when it was figured that the Fourth had passed unnoticed unless some member of the family carried an arm or two in a sling at its conclusion. Yesterday there wasn’t a single accident recorded in Manistee.

“Sergeant Frank O’Connor, of Manistee, one of the ‘fightingest Irishmen’ Uncle Sam ever got from western Michigan, whose feat of going over the top with Jack Anderson, another Manistee boy, has been awarded the ‘croix de guerre’ by the French government for gallantry in action.

“O’Connor has seen considerable action since his arrival in France, and has been reported killed. That report arose when a Frank O’Connor from another state was named in the casualty lists, at the time when addresses were not given.

“Frank Demski, of the U. S. Marine Corps, 20 year old son of John Demski, 604 Spruce street, is officially reported seriously wounded according to a telegram received from Washington last night by his parents.

“A promise of further information as soon as available was included in the message.

“WASHINGTON, July 6.—President Wilson today clashed with the senate on the question of passing the measure empowering him to seize the nation’s communication lines before congress adjourns.

“Some senators bitterly oppose such action. Others declared the president already has power to seize the wires if he deems it necessary.

“Earl Sanders, a Copemish boy, 20 years old, who is in the county jail facing a prison term because of the theft of a quantity of ginseng, is not going to have to wear the convict’s stripes.

“Instead he will boast the proud uniform of the United States army. The young man, whose record up to the theft of the herb was spotless, will make Uncle Sam a dandy fighter, in the opinion of Prosecutor Howard Campbell, whose decision in the case keeps Sanders from the penitentiary.

“It is at Sanders’ request that he will join up. He is willing too get into either branch of the service, but prefers the army.

“WASHINGTON, July 8.—Rationing of coal to householders has been announced by the fuel administration as among plans designed to prevent a threatened shortage of coal next winter.

“Each domestic consumer will be allowed only as much coal as is found to be scientifically necessary to heat his house to 68 degrees, provided every conservation rule has been obeyed.

“…The thoughtless and wasteful consumer who finds his allowance gone before the end of the winter will have only himself to thank if he has no fuel with which to heat his house.

“…All doubtful cases will be carefully checked up by inspecting the house in question and surplus coal when ordered will be refused.

“All consumers who have obtained a quantity of coal in excess of their allotments, or who, by deceit or misrepresentation have violated any rules or regulations of the fuel administration, will be prosecuted.

“WASHINGTON, July 8. — Announcement that a campaign for a $112,000,000 fund for the Y. M. C. A. war work will be begun immediately after the Fourth Liberty Loan was made by Robert R. Mott, international secretary, after a call on President Wilson. Mr. Mott has just concluded a visit to 28 states in the interest of the drive.

“At the meeting of the Social Welfare League held last week, slightly discouraging reports for May and June were heard from the various officers.

“The treasurer’s report showed that after the next purchase of coal to be stored for next winter’s time of need, the treasury was so depleted that it is necessary to give up the employment of a visiting nurse until October.

“The League realizes that many calls are made on the community for war relief and patriotic investments but hopes Manistee will not neglect the needy of the city. No benefit has been given charitable work for more than a year and many members of the League have allowed their member ships to lapse.

“LONDON, July 9.—The influenza epidemic is spreading rapidly and has reached the midlands.

“Schools have been closed and many mines are in danger of shutting down.

“WITH THE AMERICAN ARMY IN FRANCE, July 9.—Henry Johnson and Robert Robinson, Black soldiers from New York, have been cited for bravery while fighting with their unit in a sector of the French front. They put to flight in No Man’s Land, a party of Germans, estimated to number 40. The citation comes from the French command.

“Next Sunday, in Manistee, will be devoted to paying tribute to France, according to plans which were inaugurated this morning. July 14 is the national French holiday, and America proposes to celebrate it with as much fervor as the Fourth was celebrated throughout France.

“District No. 8, State Regimental Industrial Commission, was formally organized at a dinner meeting held today at the Chippewa Hotel, which was attended by business and industrial men from the counties in the district. The meeting was arranged by the Manistee Board of Commerce.

“The various industries were classified according to classifications received from the state commission. These will be sent to Detroit, state headquarters, and questionnaires will be forwarded from there. When these are filled, and the capacity of the various factories in the district for war work is reported back, war contracts will be distributed.

“The barberry bush is practically an extinct plant in Manistee as a result of the extermination campaign which has been carried on by the students of the high school agricultural class under the leadership of their teacher, Prof. L. D. Hard.

“The bush, which is a menace to wheat crops on account of harboring the spores of the deadly wheat rust, is to be destroyed entirely in Michigan and the students were requested by the state authorities to make a survey of the city and report where plants were to be found. After their inspection, Prof. Hard visited all owners of property on which the shrub grew and requested them to remove it.

“In almost every instance the owners responded willingly to the request and but a few bushes are now to be found in the city. The largest offender was the city itself as about 125 bushes were found growing in Reitz Park. These were quickly removed without regard for the destruction of the gardening scheme. In many cases Manistee people sacrificed greatly to comply with the demand as the bushes which they uprooted were valuable and their removal left gaps in the appearance of the lawns and gardens which will be difficult to fill.

“The few persons who refused to give up their cherished plants cannot be compelled to do so although a bill now pending in the legislature and liable to be passed soon would inflict severe penalties on all persons who do not fall into accord with the plan.

“Manistee’s 43 farmers who are registered in class one and liable for the next call are being assisted to obtain time to harvest their crops by County Agent Sandhammer. The point on which the county agent is working is to obtain a furlough before the men are called and thus enable them to stay on their farms after being drawn for service.

“The local draft board has received orders to disregard all time extensions and is listing the 43 farmers of class one for induction in the next quota.

“Offered a splendid industry that will employ from 200 to 300 people…Manistee people will have an opportunity next week of demonstrating whether or not they desire to have new factories come here and are willing to assist in securing them.

“To secure the Cooper Underwear Company the Board of Commerce was required to offer the Briny Inn property as it stands as a site for the Cooper factory building.

“The Hotel Chippewa company…has agreed to sell it to the Board of Commerce for $5,000. This sum will have to be raised next week to enable the Board of Commerce to carry out its part of the agreement.

“The whole future of the city is in a way dependent on the raising of this $5,000, inasmuch as failure to secure the needed sum will be notice to the board of directors of the Board of Commerce that residents and property owners of this city do not care for new industries and are unwilling to assist in locating them here. The directors express every confidence, however, that people of the city will respond handsomely and that the required sum will be raised in a few days.

“The local draft board requests all class one men wishing furloughs t6o work on farms to call at the county clerk’s office and secure applications. The board is anxious to help the men needed on farms to postpone their induction into service It will, however, be impossible to care for them on the day of induction and all should call before that time to make necessary arrangements.

“Daily improvement and increase of output is shown at the Johnson Cigar Factory in the Winkler building on River street. On its third day today, the company is employing 38 operatives who are learning the trade.

“The working force is being increased as rapidly as equipment can be prepared for them and room secured. It is hoped to have 100 employed within a week.

“SCIENTISTS SAY many insects are really beneficial. But there is no apology possible for the house fly or the potato beetle.”

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