100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending July 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

“The City of Manistee today entered into a contract with Mrs. Flora Fowler, president of the Fowler Building company, for the purchase of the property at the corner of Water and Maple streets, now occupied by municipal and business offices. The contract stipulates the payment of $9,000 for the building.

“The purchase is a most advantageous one and will meet with general approval of Manistee citizens. The purchase price is less than half the amount that the city has paid in rent for the quarters since its occupancy began in 1902.

“The Fowler building is one of the few in Manistee without vacant offices, and is considered a good buy from an investment standpoint as well as from the angle of economy. The city offices occupy the lower floor, while in the basement are located police headquarters and a meter repair and storage room. The second and third floors are occupied by business and professional men.

“No alterations are planned at the present time as the building is well adapted to present requirements. The first floor has recently been redecorated and remodeled.

“George O. Nye, county food administrator, warns Manistee grocers that a food administration ruling requires that all eggs must be candled before purchasing. The ruling is to prevent placing bad eggs on the market.

“A survey of Manistee county farms made recently by agricultural men shows that most of the farm products will be scarce and light crops this year. The encouraging prospect is, however, that beans and potatoes, which most farmers are growing as their heaviest crop, are the best looking product in most parts of the county.

“The [oat] crop promises to be fair. Hay is also in short supply due to dry weather. Corn has made very slow progress…and does not appear to promise very good results.

“Apples are looking good but late varieties will be a very short crop. Cherries will be about one half of the normal crop on account of the early injury by frost and the recent cold snap.

“Raspberries were badly injured by the frost and some growers will have only one fourth of their usual output. Other berries are growing well.

“Announcement was made today that Portage Point Inn is open for the summer season and ready for the accommodation of guests, parties and picnickers. The road leading to the hotel has been repaired and will no longer be a place of terror for the motorist. The first affair at the hotel will be a beach party tomorrow evening. Dancing in the pavilion will follow. Manistee people are especially invited to attend.

“The draft quota of 240 men for induction on July 24 was again assigned to Manistee county according to a message received today from General Crowder. The county must send every man in the first class who is physically fit for service and as it is impossible to use men from other classes, the huge quota will not be filled. Manistee is ordered to produce the second largest quota in this part of the state. The Grand Rapids board is assigned 750 men while the next after Manistee is Mason County, with a call for 146. No other contingents along the west shore reach into three figure numbers.

“Recruiting officer Davidson will send out his largest quota of navy volunteers Monday morning at 6 o’clock when 10 Manistee county boys will leave for Detroit to undergo examination for enlistment. On account of the early hour, no celebration will be held. Although the boys, who have elected to fight the U-boats, deserve all the honor that the city could give.

“IT IS NEVER TOO LATE to buy War Savings Stamps. Manistee county’s quota is still far from being filled. Buy ‘em today.

“MUCH FAVORABLE COMMENT is heard concerning the new cement stairs leading down the Second street hill to Spruce street.

“SLOWEST COMPLAINT on record was heard today when Andrew Jack appeared in the News-Advocate office to declare that the article concerning himself, reprinted yesterday from the Times and Standard 42 years old, was not absolutely correct. Most of the persons who are misrepresented in papers do not wait 42 minutes to let us know about it.

“TIMES AND STANDARD, Manistee’s newspaper 42 years ago today, contained the account of General Custer’s defeat and death in the battle against the Sioux City Indians at the Little Bighorn river in Wyoming. The first ‘Heard in Manistee [column]’ item concerned the building of the T. J. Ramsdell residence on Cedar street.

“Sunburn Time is Here. You can laugh in the face of the sun if your skin is protected with NYAL FACE CREAM WITH PEROXIDE, The Quality Cosmetic. The Wise Woman’s Beauty Ally. Apply Nyal Face Cream before going out, and you are safe from the blistering and burning of sun or wind. If you neglect the precaution, apply Nyal Face Cream when you get home; it is remedial as well as preventative. Unexcelled as a beautifier. Classy-fies Any Complexion. A generous jar for 50 cents. Small size, right for the handbag, 25 cents. City Drug Store. First National Bank Block. Phone 389.

“Manistee will honor France tomorrow in the same fitting manner that France celebrated America’s birthday on July Fourth. In all of the churches there will be commemorative exercises and in the evening, beginning eight o’clock a mass meeting will be held at Ramsdell theatre when Manistee will renew her pledge of allegiance to France and our other allies.

“German alien women are advised to call immediately for their identification cards, which are being given out by the city clerk at the city offices. The cards should have been obtained before yesterday, but about 35 are still left in the clerk’s hands.

“Every alien enemy woman must have a card to prove that she has complied with the law and registered. The work of giving out cards will be continued for only a few days longer after which inconvenience with the police may be expected by those who cannot produce the necessary paper.

“Will Andresen, son of Thomas Andresen, 319 Sixth street, is the author of an interesting letter from France.

“Dear Mother: Received your one very welcome letter of May 11 and surely was pleased to hear from you again as we have not had a particle of mail since we moved up to this position.

“You may be sure that while the guns are booming and German shells are dropping near us we think of home with a feeling we never had before.

“I received a letter from Thorwald too and he says that things are pretty dull in little Manistee right now.

“I surely hope it is better ‘apres la guerre’ [after the war] for I would like to settle down in Manistee but I certainly will not do it unless things are better than they were when I was home for a few days last July as after being in some of the large cities of the country I never could settle down and quit wandering unless I had a fairly decent town to settle down in.

“The last I saw of Einer S. Johnson (his former neighbor who was killed in action a few weeks prior to this letter) French doctors were putting new teeth in his head, but we are now many miles from there.

“I am sleeping in a little tent where there is just room for two soldiers and we are about 30 feet from the guns which boom day and night but the only thing that keeps me awake is once in a while a gas shell comes over and we must put on the gas masks and it is hard to sleep with your nose plugged up and breathing through a rubber tube stuck in your mouth. But our gas mask is our best friend in this war.

“Well Mother you are not allowed to send me anything any more but don’t worry. I am getting along fine. I sent home $20 through the Y.M.C.A. on June 7 as up here at the front the only thing we need any money for is some chocolate and tobacco and now our Uncle Sam is going to issue us Bull Durham every 10 days so we can get along fine.

“I got some cigars at the ‘Y’ the other day and was as happy as a bird for a while as they sure are scarce.

“I am going to write a joke about visits in a dugout. In a dugout where we were this sign appeared.

“Come as often as you wish,

“Stay as long as you please,

“Smoke our cigarettes,

“Make yourself at home,


“So you can see what we thing of our masks. We never even go to eat without them or don’t go outside without them and at night we keep them under our head like a man would a precious watch.

“Well I am going to close for this time hoping this reached you O. K. and in as good health as it leaves me because I sure am feeling fine. Your loving son, BILL.

“Citations for the Croix de Guerre for two Manistee boys, Sergeant Frank O’Connor and John Anderson, announced in a letter read at the French patriotic meeting last night,, showed the honor done to Americans by France, while America honored France by meetings, such as was held in the Ramsdell hall by the people of Manistee.

“An unusual audience attended the gathering in the theater which was decorated with flags of all the Allies and especially of France. The red, white and blue of the sister nations were the principal decorations. The program was opened with the singing of the Marseillaise by Mrs. Alice Turner, accompanied by Miss Helen Fish. The entire audience stood at attention as for the Star Spangled Banner while the verses were sung, and joined in the chorus with excellent effect.

“The meeting was closed with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner by the assembly.

“WASHINGTON, July 15.—President Wilson will announce his policy toward the wire control in United States soon, which was given him Saturday night.

“It was officially announced at the Board of Commerce this morning that the building to be erected on the Briny Inn site by the Cooper Underwear company will be three stories high, and will be constructed at a cost not less than $50,000. This announcement is important because it means that the company is planning operations here on a much larger scale than was at first considered.

“A training course for women to learn nursing and care of the sick will begin at the Red Cross headquarters next Friday evening for the benefit of all women who wish to receive the instruction.

“The purpose of the course is to relieve the need for nurses by enabling women to take care of ill members of their families and dispense with the services off a trained nurse. At the end of the training an examination will be given and a certificate given, signed by the local chapter supervisor, certifying successful completion of the course.

“The Red Cross is also urging all eligible women to take regular training to become war nurses. Trained nurses must be between 18 and 35 years of age, have an eighth grade education and take a three year course in some institution. No married women are accepted as war nurses.

“How it feels to wear a Croix de Guerre is told by John Anderson, a Manistee boy, in a letter to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Anderson. Mention of young Anderson’s winning the coveted badge was made in the News-Advocate yesterday.

“Dear Folks: …Friday was one big day for we boys who went over the top not long ago. The Frenchmen we went over with invited us over to their place to spend all day Friday and also the night with them. The first on the program was the French colonel decorating us with a Croix de Guerre. So believe me, I feel real proud walking around here wearing my Croix de Guerre. After being decorated we had the honor of shaking hands with the colonel and our brigadier general who also was present. All this ceremony being over, we had dinner with the French sergeants.

After dinner we went to a café and spent the afternoon drinking champagne. About 5 o’clock we were lead to a beautiful spot in the woods with long tables, where we sat down and had supper with the entire French company. From 5 o’clock until 10 o’clock at night we remained at the table eating a good meal served in many courses at the same time drinking their native wine and champagne. Having a temporary stage for the purpose and a piano, we were entertained by the French soldiers who sang and put on acts of comedy. That night we slept with these French soldiers and in the morning we returned to our own camp in a truck.

“Enclosed you will find the citation or certificate showing that I am entitled to the Croix de Guerre, and also the program and menu for the day. I wish you would preserve both of these, and if possible please have the citation framed.

“Well having no more to say excepting that I am feeling well and happy, hoping you’re the same, I will close. Your loving son, JOHN.

“Twenty-three registered men of Manistee district were re-classified from class five to the first class yesterday afternoon by the local board and are called for examination Friday. Those passing will be placed in class 1, but will not be included in the contingent which will leave a week from Wednesday.

“W. H. Theis of the Federal Department of Agriculture is in Manistee for the purpose of looking over the county to find all barberry bushes which may be growing on farms or in woods, and causing the wheat rust.

“The disease breeding bush has been almost completely cleared out in the city, where a campaign was recently carried on by the agricultural classes of the high school. Persons having plants on their lawns have been requested to remove them and in most cases have complied willingly. A few who refused to do so have been reported to the state department and will be dealt with according to a state law by the inspector of nurseries, Prof. L. R. Taft. A penalty of $10 fine and 10 days sentence in jail is provided for whose who fail to destroy the bushed within five days after notification to do so.

“Labor shortage on the Manistee county farms is going to develop into a big problem before the advent of heavy harvesting time, according to Frank Sandhammer, county agent, who has been giving the matter serious consideration. The draft drains upon the agricultural sections are going to be hard to counter-act, and it is going to result in the increased employment of woman labor on the majority of farms.

“All of the selects who have been given deferred classification in previous calls on agricultural grounds, have been summoned to depart with next week’s contingent. All take with them applications for furloughs which will be presented to their captains, after they have been inducted into camp life. Decision on these, however, is problematical. Concrete examples of the difficulty which will arise to county farmers are given by Mr. Sandhammer.

“Forest Hoffman, who has two hundred acres under cultivation, will have to leave the fields unattended. His father also has a big farm nearby with growing crops, and he has one farm hand, who has been called also. This leaves the elder Hoffman with two big farms on his hands, which he cannot handle without help. There are others situated in much the same way, and some sort of organized effort is necessary if the crops now growing are to be harvested 100 per cent.

“JULY WON’T BE JULY until it’s hot enough for corn in the country and too hot for comfort in the city.

“’CONGRESS CONSIDERS lowering the income tax salary limit,’ Washington correspondents inform us. Curiously enough, however, congress never considers taxing the congressmen’s salaries.

“A meeting of the merchant’s trade committee was held in the board of commerce rooms this morning and made the decision that the annual Farmers and Merchants picnic will be held this year as usual, or better than usual. The Manistee County Red Cross will be the beneficiary as far as monetary returns are concerned, but everybody is going to profit by having a great time.

“Two ordinances regulating the traffic and parking of automobiles and other conveyances were adopted by the city commission at its meeting last night. Both were submitted by City Manager P. H. Beauvais.

“The first…ordinance provides that when a fire alarm is sounded all drivers must proceed to the right side of the street and come to a stop until they ascertain in what direction the fire fighting apparatus is going. They must remain stopped until all apparatus has passed if they are on the same street or in the vicinity of a street intersection which must be traversed by the apparatus.

“This ordinance is framed to prevent any serious accidents, such as nearly resulted some time ago when the big Cadillac, responding to a fire, sideswiped a drayage truck.

“The other one prohibits parking for a longer period than 20 minutes in front of the entrance of any public building and declares that no conveyance shall be left for any period of time closer than 25 feet to any fire hydrant.

“Violation of either of these ordinances shall be deemed a misdemeanor, and is punishable, upon conviction, by a fine of not exceeding $10, and in default of payment a jail sentence of not more than 30 days is provided.

“WASHINGTON, July 17.—Science has added another delectable fruit to man’s larder. It is to be known as the tangelo; and is a cross between the Tangerine orange and the grape-fruit, or pomelo.

“The steamship NORTH AMERICAN of the Chicago, Duluth & Georgian Bay

Transit company line, the largest and finest passenger liner to ever this port on a regular run, warped up alongside the P. M. Line dock shortly after 8:30 this morning and discharged 14 Manistee passengers on the first trip of her season’s schedule between Chicago and upper east shore stations.

“The palatial floating hotel which has heretofore plied the Duluth course has been diverted to meet the demand for water transportation to the northern Michigan resort region caused by the defection this year of the Northern Michigan Transportation company.

“The arrival of the big passenger steamer attracted a crowd to the docks and brought out much admiring comment. The NORTH AMERICAN bulked large alongside of the river warehouses, which she completely overshadowed, and her progress up and down the river made an impressive spectacle.

“According to the report of Dr. E. S. Ellis, city health officer, submitted to the common council last night, there is very little contagious disease in the city. During June there were 13 cases of whooping cough, five cases of Liberty measles and two cases of small pox, making 20 in all, reported to him.

“There were twelve births as against five deaths. One death from whooping cough and one from tuberculosis were recorded.

“THE GOVERNMENT continues to issue urgent calls for shorthand operatives to work in Washington. From which we infer that the government is shorthanded.

“JOHNSON CIGAR COMPANY made a shipment to 10,000 cigars to the main factory in Grand Rapids today. The factory now has 60 employes and an output of 4,000 cigars daily.

“TY COBB announces that he will quit baseball at the end of this season. The rest of the Detroit team seems to have quit at its beginning.

“NEW YORK, July 18.—Official word of the loss of Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt [T. R.’s son] behind the German lines in France was received today by Colonel Roosevelt in a cable message from General Pershing.

“A call for limited service men of the first draft class is issued today by the local board. About 400 men are wanted from the state for service in guard and fire companies. Only men of the first class disqualified for general military service will be accepted.

“After tomorrow the privilege of voluntary enlistment will be withdrawn with a probable substitution of compulsory induction.

“Manistee’s 400 war gardens which take up over 40 acres of land inside the city limits are a profitable investment of land and labor according to Prof. L. D. Hard of the high school faculty, who has been in charge of the public school gardens and has investigated the war gardening work in the city.

“The crops of radishes, carrots, peas and beans are in good condition and are constantly being harvested to feed the gardeners, incidentally keeping down market prices for the entire city and greatly increasing the local supply of food.”

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