100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending August 10, 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

“…At the request of the national railroad administration at Washington, the properties of the Michigan East & West railway were sold today under foreclosure proceedings, as an entirety and on the basis of a going business, to the William T. Joyce company, mortgagees and plaintiffs, in the action against the insolvent railroad corporation.

“The purchase on these terms obligates the Joyces to operate the road as a going concern under state and government supervision, and precludes the immediate possibility at least of junking it, or selling piecemeal, as was their original desire in the matter, and the object of the involved legal proceedings up to the sale today.

“WASHINGTON, Aug. 2.—Authority for the president to take over and construct power transmission lines and water power sites will be asked of congress directly after recess.

“Serious shortage of power in great munitions and ordnance centers, particularly in the east, makes such a step necessary, officials of the war industries board have contended.

“LANSING, Aug. 2.—Mayor Jacob Ferle in statement today publicly apologized for criticism of Judge Tuttle of Detroit for sentence passed on a Lansing man convicted of making seditious remarks.

“In statement Ferle avowed his patriotism and acknowledged his mistake. Recall petitions continued in circulation.

“Built originally as a logging road, the Michigan East & West, more commonly known as the Manistee & Grand Rapids railroad, has experienced even more than the usual vicissitudes of roads in that class when converted to commercial purposes in competition with trunk lines.

“The road was built in 1887 from Manistee to about Millerton, by the Canfield interests with the assistance of the Filer, Sands and Dempsey interests. Under the supervision of Henry W. Marsh, it was extended…

“For the first half dozen years or so operations were confined solely to logging transportation, the freight and passenger service was added.

“[After several changes of ownership and /or management] in January, 1914, the road was reincorporated as the Michigan, East & West.

“Following this high hopes for the future of the road were entertained for a time. A regular week day passenger train schedule was put into operation, a handsome terminal station and general offices were built in Manistee in 1915, and as a crowning stroke of enterprise Sunday train service affording an outlet to Grand Rapids, Detroit and Chicago and all points south was inaugurated. But the hopes were not quickly enough realized and the enthusiasm of the owners began to wane.

“Since the discontinuance of passenger service over the road June 17 of last year, the physical properties of the road are said to have been neglected, and the roadbed and track are admittedly in bad repair, which in part is attributed to the desire of the mortgagees to have the properties junked rather than sold as a going concern.

“As chairman of the community war labor board, Thomas B. Jones, superintendent of Louis Sands Salt and Lumber Co.,…is launching his work of supplying local industries with workmen recruited from the non-essential industries of the city.

“Considerable authority is vested in the local boards as they have the right to call upon local employers to release men from non-essential positions to do war work for essential industries. Powers to compel compliance with the requests of the board will be given over both employers and laborers.

“A canvass to find black walnut trees suitable for government use to make gun stocks and airplane propellers is to be made next week by local Boy Scouts. The name of the owner, the location of the tree and its size are reported to government workers and will attempt to arrange for the purchase of all trees fit for use.

“Governor A. E. Sleeper will be in Manistee Monday, August 12, to deliver an address.

“This announcement has been made at the Board of Commerce rooms, the governor’s presence here to be a feature of the Merchants’ and Farmers’ picnic which is scheduled for that date.

“NO ONE KNEW HOW MUCH happiness our young men put into our lives until they marched away. And that goes double for the girls they left behind ‘em.

“BAY RUM, once the lotion for every fellow who got shaved in a barber shop, seldom gets a call now except from the very old times, says a River-st. barber.

“WASHINGTON, Aug. 5.—Today’s casualty list, the greatest yet listed by Pershing, numbers 407, of which 203 were killed in action.

“It was announced that an additional casualty list of more than 200 names would be ready later in the day.

“Additional names total 299, it was later announced, making the day’s total 706.

“Riding in a buggy whirled a dozen blocks by a runaway horse while his father clung to the side of the vehicle in a vain effort to check the frightened animal, was the experience of six-year-old Floyd Wrzesinski this morning. The only serious results of the mishap were bad scratches and bruises suffered by the driver, Stephen Wrzesinski, 293 Sixth Street. The horse was finally stopped after his race down River and Water streets when Harry Johnson, proprietor of the Salt City Auto Garage, got in front of the animal on Cedar street hill with his car.

“For no apparent reason, the horse…started to run just as the driver was stepping out of the buggy…. Unable to get back into the rig, the man dragged fro some distance holding on to the side of the buggy. Finally, being unable to stop the horse and being injured from kicks by the horse, he let go and the rig with its young passenger traveled the length of Water street, while scores of people rushed after it. Several attempts to catch the horse were made and men in automobiles did their best to get in front of the animal and turn him aside. The plan was carried out successfully by Mr. Johnson while the tired horse was slowing down on the steep hill.

“Me. Wrzesinski had his injuries treated in Lyman’ Drug Store. Boy, horse and Buggy were found entirely unhurt.

“With all outdoors as her auditorium and the tonneau of an automobile her platform, Miss Marie B. Ames, eloquent suffrage evangel now directing the campaign for votes for women in this district, treated Manistee to the novelty of an open-air speech by a woman Saturday evening, when she attracted a large and interested audience to the corner of River and Maple streets.

“William Juergens, jailed last week on suspicion of being a dangerous alien enemy, was released Saturday night, on orders from United States Marshal, Herman O’Connor, of Grand Rapids. Accusations against him were found groundless by an official of the American Protective League, who visited Manistee Friday to investigate the case.

“Although exonerated of the charges, Juergens was required to give special pledge to keep away from docks, warehouses and other places from which enemy aliens are barred.

“Local officials were largely in the dark as the cause of the case.

“Juergens, who has been a resident of Manistee for the past two years, during which time he has been employed at the Manistee Iron Works as an expert toolmaker, and who previously resided here for four years, states that he is the victim of misunderstanding and misinformation, and points to the fact that he was cleared of all specific charges against him as substantiation.

“He is now endeavoring to complete the formalities requisite to full American citizenship, and expresses the hope that under the new government ruling his status as a citizen will soon be satisfactorily established.

“After a ‘home’ visit of but 10 days, Mr. and Mrs. R. R. Blacker, who usually spend the entire summer in Manistee, have returned to Pasadena, Cal., to resume the pressing war activities in which they are engaged.

“‘Sure would liked to have remained here,’ said Mr. Blacker. ‘This place and Pasadena are the finest spots on earth, and Manistee will never lose the call of ‘home’ for me. But we’ve started some things in Pasadena that we have to finish, so we feel obliged to return, glad to have been permitted to be with you even this little period.’

“John S. Park. professor of agriculture, arrived in Manistee Friday to accept the offer of a position in Manistee high school.

“County Food Administrator George O. Nye yesterday received orders from the state administration in Lansing to close the grocery store of Michael Krus, 269 Sixth St., for a period of two weeks. The suspension order went into effect Monday.

“This action is the result of Mr. Krus’ violating the 50-50 and the 25-50 rule with regard to the sale of flour. According to the officials from the enforcement division of the administration who investigated him, the grocer was selling flour without regard to the purchase of substitutes.

“This is the second violation of the flour rule which has brought punishment to a Manistee county grocer, J. Adamski having been fined $50 a few days ago.

“Three registrants for army or navy nursing during the first two days are the record thus far of the student nurses campaign which opened yesterday afternoon at the Red Cross headquarters under the direction of Mrs. William Lloyd.

“Mrs. Lloyd explains that students enrolling for army or navy service must be 21 years of age and have a high school education. Those enrolling for civilian service must be 19 years of age and need not be high school graduates.

“With Manistee city now thoroughly established on a sugar card basis, county food administrator George O. Nye is turning his attention to the balance of the county and announced today that the entire county would go on a sugar card basis Thursday, August 8.

“Beginning this date no grocer in the county will be privileged to sell sugar to any patron unless the latter presents a sugar card. Sugar cards will be issued without cost to heads of families at the offices of the various county food administrators.

“Every applicant for a sugar card is required to sign an application before securing his card. These applications are returned to the office of the county food administrator and checked. Should the check develop that some has applied for and secured two sugar cards both will be immediately recalled and the offender will be debarred from the purchase of all sugar for an indefinite period.

“WHENEVER THERE APPEARS in the current war news the name of a French town hitherto not mentioned you will hear it pronounced, on an average, nine different ways.

“STEVEN, SEVEN YEAR OLD son of Martin Adamczak, 172 Eighth St., was taken to Mercy hospital today for treatment of a critical case of tetanus. The disease is in the boy’s blood from infection of a slight wound in the foot suffered two weeks ago.

“MEN TO THE CANNON; women to the cannin’.

“WASHINGTON, Aug. 7.—The War Department today announced 871 names in six casualty lists, the latest from the Franco-American drive.

“This brings the total losses from the drive so far announced to 2,544. In today’s lists 579 were army casualties and 292 marines.

“Otto Lauer, popular manager of the Lyric theater, accompanied by his wife and baby, left Manistee this afternoon, in automobile, for Chicago. There Mr. Lauer will confer with the owners of the local theater.

“The company wants to transfer Mr. Lauer to the Cadillac theater which, it seems, needs the constructive efforts which the manager used in the upbuilding of the local photoplay house. When word of the contemplated change began circulating along River street the business men decided instantly that Manistee cannot afford to lose the smiling Otto.

“Opposition to the change chrystalised into action by the Board of Commerce, which has sent a telegram of strong protest to the Chicago headquarters. It is probable that this will be followed by a petition signed by local merchants.

“BRISTOL, Eng., Aug. 7.—John H. Brown, a young carpenter, was fined $50 for cutting two fingers off his right hand by putting them in front of a circular saw, to escape military service.

“PERMISSION WAS granted by the city commission last night to the Western Union Telegraph company to hang a large electric sign in front of the offices on River street. The sign will be placed under the supervision of city manager Beauvais, who will see that the state law regulating the hanging of these signs is observed.

“MRS. BERTHA JOHNSON returned to Manistee yesterday after an extended two months’ trip to the Pacific coast. When Mrs. Johnson left on her vacation it was her intention of making a few days’ visit at Milwaukee. She exercised the woman’s prerogative, however, and decided on the spur of the moment to go still further. While absent she visited Portland, Oregon, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other western coast cities, and is highly elated over the trip.

“To win the war—that’s the task.

“Here’s a brand new working basis, suggested by Lieut. H. J. King, son of Dr. and Mrs. J. A. King of this city, in a letter written to H. W. Musselwhite, editor of the News-Advocate.

“Win it with comics!

“That’s the hunch!

“What Lt. King suggests in his own words is:

“‘My platoon sergeant has interrupted me in a most unsoldierly fashion; Cause—“Doing the Duffs,” May 20, 1918. “Tom Comes Home Prepared for an Attack,” in your paper. It was funny. It will do more good at a more opportune time than you anticipated, perhaps. The sergeant has cut the thing out and will send it to his brother somewhere else in this country. That sort of stuff helps win the war. You ought to set aside a time and place for patriotic Manisteeans to deposit their comic Sunday supplements that they may be shipped to the headquarters, 126th Infantry, A. E. F., France.

“‘I am positive that the receipt of funny and humorous papers or stories will prove of great fighting value to our men.’

“There is the request, and Manistee citizens who will help put a few smiles into the war may do so by leaving at the News-Advocate office their comic supplements,, and humorous sheets. From time to time they will be forwarded to the Manistee boys in France.

[Lt. King also writes the following in his letter:] “Time is precious. You may consider this as being personal or printable. No doubt will be irrelevant and somewhat incoherent. Have a toothache—abscess in canal roots of molar. During the past 18 hours I’ve devoured as many aspirin pills and my gums are painted with iodine. (An attempt to camouflage.)

“Dentists are well equipped in our regiment, but I am unable to see them, the company’s first sergeant totes a coy satchel filled with dope. He visits all men daily ( In this case officers are ‘Men.’)

“Want to administer a boost to the Y. M. C. A. They are doing a wonderfully fine work here. The evidence of this is demonstrated to me daily in censoring mail.

“In nearly every letter remarks by the enlisted personnel of the company are to be seen praising this organization.

“Stephen, eight year old son of Martin Adamczack, 172 Eighth St., died this morning at Mercy hospital after three days’ suffering from tetanus. The boy was brought to the hospital Tuesday morning in serious condition and grew worse in spite of the best treatment possible. The disease was the result of infection from a slight wound in the foot suffered two weeks ago.

“The boy is survived by his parents, one brother and one sister.

“David McCurdy of Chief suffered a broken hip day before yesterday, when he fell from his crutches. He was treated by Dr. J. A. King and is reported as doing well. Mr. McCurdy is one of the oldest residents of the Chief region and is 68 years old.

“ENGLISH SPARROWS, the Fords of the air, have again taken possession of the trees in Courthouse yard in preparation for their annual fall convention.

“Cupid must have been drafted!

“Evidence at the office of the county clerk shows that however good fighters Manistee boys are, they are timid when it comes to the proposition of getting marriage licenses. A scant dozen in the past two months replaces the one a day in former years.

“Aside from the question of fees which are earnestly desired for the upkeep of the county, the matter comes to a serious outlook for Manistee girls, real estate men, furniture dealers and legal experts on securing divorces.

“The scarcity is imputed to the departure of young men for the army and the unwillingness of the girls to take the ones who remain. Part of the blame rests also on the county fuel administrator and his ever recurrent warning of fuel scarcity and high prices. The anticipation was, however, that the inducted men would act according to the rules of romance and musical comedy and flood the clerk with demands for licenses on the day before induction.

“No such pleasing and picturesque affairs have occurred to date, and, painful thought, the girls spend never a day moping their vain regrets for the departed but hike for the Red Cross where they have a most unromantically good time knitting all sorts of prosaic things for men they never saw.

“Verily, Cupid is one inefficient guy.”

Leave a Reply