100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending September 21, 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

“Registration of Manistee county’s man-power yesterday fell somewhat below the official estimate of 2,441. Reports to County Clerk Gus Papenguth today, as clerk of the draft board, showed 2,252 men between the ages of 18 and 21, and 32 and 45 registered.

“The estimated registration for the city alone was 1,240, but it fell below the thousand mark, the total from the seven districts being 970.

“Sheriff Waal has received an order from Adjutant General Bersey telling him that the first call for these latest registrants would include none below 19 years of age or above 36 years.

“Open Air School. A few more children may be admitted to the open air school in the Grant School Building. Those wishing to enter school see superintendent Baker at once.

“The mystery of the young man who presented a gun at Fred Bottrell Tuesday evening was lifted today and the would-be hold-up man lodged in jail yesterday when Chief Grady stopped a youth as a vagrant on account of burrs on his clothing, suggesting that he had slept out of doors. The boy, who gave his name as Basil Rains, age 17, and his residence as nowhere, was searched in the jail and a revolver and searchlight were found in his pocket. Confronted with questions he admitted stepping into the rear entrance of the door and pointing his loaded gun at Mr. Bottrell but gives as his purpose the intention of stopping an altercation which was going on in the building.

“The boy is entirely without money or knowledge of any occupation except farming. He is unable to furnish or procure bail and will be lodged in jail until the opening of the circuit court term.

“Another trophy from No Man’s Land has been received in Manistee, and will undoubtedly receive a large amount of attention from local residents for the next several days. It is a gas mask taken from a dead Hun officer, and the first one that has been seen in this section. After looking at it, it is easy to picture the grotesque looking figures the masks transform a soldier into, but its chief interest is in the mute testimony offered that another good German has been made.

“The mask was enclosed in the metal can, which is carried by the German soldier. Unterofficer Reck, was the name on both the can and on one of the mask’s bands. It will be on display in T. W. Ferguson’s store window on River street for several days.

“The German language is no longer among the studies to be taught in Manistee High School, it was announced today by Supt. S. W. Baker. Following action of the local school board, the language in which an excellent course was formerly taught, is now dropped from the school program. The action was decided upon last year and no new classes were then started but those already started were allowed to complete the year’s work. The substitute course given is the Spanish language taught by Mrs. Winnogene Scott, teacher of French and Latin. The French classes are attended by 48 pupils this year and are the largest ever taught in the school. The language has become since the beginning of the war one of the most popular studies and is taken by the majority of seniors and a large number of juniors in the college course. The Spanish class, the first ever taught in Manistee high school, has 11 students. One and two year courses are planned.

“A further matter in connection with banishing German is the project gaining in public interest of dropping from English use a number of time-honored German words used in the United States. One example given by Rev. J. A. Bienawski of St. Joseph’s church, is the school term ‘kindergarten,’ Suggestions for an English word to take its place are wanted by many schools and the word will probably be replaced as well as a number of others in an effort to purify English, especially in the public schools.

“The was has killed business, but we don’t believe it has hurt the sport.

“Friday, the thirteenth, Watch your step!

“WAR SERVICE COURSES FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS. Short courses in first Aid, Military Drill, Motor Driving and Repair, Cookery—

“Canteen Service, Dietetics, Reconstruction Aids, Railway Service, Bookkeeping, Business Practice—

“Shorthand, Typewriting, Secretarial, Civil Service—

“Students enter any time. DAY AND EVENING SESSIONS. WOMEN TRAINED in the least possible time by intensive methods at the Thomas Normal Training School. 1595 Woodward Ave., Detroit, Mich., Established 1888.

“Your country pays well for your service—investigate now. NORMAL COURSES IN ALL SPECIAL DEPARTMENTS AS USUAL. DORMITORIES AND DINING HALLS FOR OUT-OF-TOWN STUDENTS. Write, call or telephone North 192.

“The bridge, knitting and thimble party which was given at the Masonic temple this afternoon for the benefit of the Comfort Kit fund was attended by a large number.

“Parent’s day will be observed at the Congregational church tomorrow morning at 10:30 o’clock. Any parent in the city is invited to attend and those with sons in the service are requested to wear a red flower for distinction. An appropriate war measure sermon will be preached for the occasion.

“Sweet Cider. 25 cents a Gal. First of the Season. F. J. Johnson, GROCER.

“An equal suffrage meeting was held in the public library yesterday and plans were made to complete the petition work before Thursday and have the petitions on exhibition at the [county] fair. They contain the names of hundreds of women who want the ballot.

“Michigan is not taking a back seat in any progressive move and Manistee wants to do her part toward recognition of woman’s work.

“Secretary Redfield of the presidential cabinet has a woman secretary. She is probably the first woman to hold the post of private secretary to a cabinet member. The chief clerk of the state fish, game and forestry department is a woman. So hand in hand the work of the world is being dome by the men and the women.

“The commercial room of the Woodrow Wilson High school is again very popular. This room, in the capable charge of Miss Pearl Winkler, has been made most attractive by new pictures and patriotic decorations. The commercial department, due to the kindness of Mrs. Winnogene Scott, is very proud to claim the distinction of being the first room in the high school to have an entire display of the flags of all the allied nations.

“The present enrollment in this department is 75. Twenty-three college students heeding the call of the government for stenographers and typists have also entered this department to prepare themselves to fill the vacancies made by those who are now in active service for the United States.

“Many changes have been made for the ensuing year and, as a result, the students are enthusiastically so-operating with thee commercial teachers in order to make this term a most successful one.

“The rush for canning sugar at the office of County Food Administrator George O. Nye yesterday was the largest since the issuance of certificates began. During the afternoon 191 permits were granted, which is nearly 50 more than the previous high mark.

“Plums, apples, tomatoes, with various kinds of pickles are now finding their way into the winter larder, which occasions the big demand for canning sugar. For these purposes there is a sufficient quantity of sugar on hand, Mr. Nye says.

“Can you remember when everybody, almost, used to go auto riding on Sunday? It’s different now, isn’t it?

“Now that airplanes are carrying the mail, the woman who always begins her letters by saying, ‘Thought I would drop you a few lines,’ is more literal in her opening.

“Historically significant, locally and nationally the new spirit stirring American manhood, was the arrival yesterday [Sunday] afternoon in Manistee of three autos bearing 16 men and boys of draft and near draft age from Kaleva.

“Protected from the odium of any suspicion of ‘slackers’ the cars bore the ‘exempt’ signs for ‘military training’ issued through the courtesy of J. C. Beukema, fuel administrator.

“Heading straight for the court house, the sixteen met Capt. Wenzel and Sheriff Waal, then repairing to the supervisors’ room ‘went to school’ for three and a half hours—learning at first hand the why and wherefore of military terms, definitions, school of the soldier and school of the squad from Capt. Wenzel.

“This group of men and boys from Kaleva and nearby farms, paying their own expenses that they might qualify for officers of the ‘Kaleva Reserves’ to train themselves and their comrades for their country’s service under the plan of the National Security League—this group is significant of the new patriotism of the ‘man behind the man behind the gun’—the new patriotism that means ‘get ready’ yourself, if needed, help the next man ‘get ready’ if he is needed—keep the supply of men—‘trained men’—going ‘over there.’ Every hour of preliminary military training received by prospective draft men means a saving of millions of dollars, means a ‘speeding up’ in answer to Gen. Pershing’s call for men—more men.

“Knitted garments and sewing for soldiers, hospital patients and Belgian refugees will constitute an exhibit to be made by the local chapter of the Red Cross at the county fair this week. [This will be] a show of all the war work which has been done by local people under the auspices of the Red Cross.

“Manistee county will soon be called upon to get behind and push a movement for training units at every place of importance in the county—with the backing of every man and boy, the plan can be carried out, and it will not be long before the ‘Kaleva Reserves’ will have rival ‘Reserves’ to compete with in Manistee city and in every village in the county.

“The first football game of the season is projected for Manistee high school to be played against the Shelby high school team at the latter town next Saturday afternoon. Manistee High School’s team was beaten by a narrow margin last year by the down-state aggregation, and a stronger local team this year hopes to even the defeat.

“Manistee’s team is self-coached and drilled due to the lack of an athletic director through the loss of E. S. Krantz, who was drafted and is now an officer in the national army. The team is under the management of Principal J. M. Slagh who is arranging the schedule of games with other high schools and caring for the business of the team. A strong team is promised for the game as about 30 boys are in the crew which practices every evening on the old circus grounds. The greater number of the boys are inexperienced in the game as the greater number of last year’s team consisted of boys who have since left school. The boys will make the trip to Shelby Saturday morning by automobile.

“Gasless Sunday propaganda: ‘Tanks will win the war. Don’t fill them.

“The public library returns today to its winter schedule and henceforward the building will be open every evening until 9 o’clock.

“With September better than half gone, we are forced to remark that not a single joke has been sprung on September Morn. Has that young lady quit bathing and gone to war?

“Kaleva was awakened Friday night, as it seldom has been before, by “Pat’ McCoy, the British veteran who told of his life in and out of the trenches on the western front during the first two years of the war. The veteran was given a packed house.

“Yom Kippur, of the Day of Atonement, most sacred date on the Jewish religious calendar, is being traditionally observed in fasting, prayer and penitence by people of that faith today. It began at sunset yesterday, and several business places in the city are closed on account of it.

“Cit Commissioner Alex C. Hornkohl today is celebrating his forty-first birthday. Beside being one of the youngest men of his age to be found anywhere Alex enjoys the distinction off being one of the youngest fathers of two sons in the service, with one boy in the army and another in the navy.

“With registration for service just out of the way, war workers get only a short rest before they are at it again. The Fourth Liberty Loan campaign will open tomorrow, with a strong appeal for voluntary subscriptions. News from the front of the great American victory in the St. Mihiel salient will give the loan a big boost in this country.

“These are the days of enthusiasm and inspiration, the days that stir the individual’s patriotism to fever heat. Victory in battle; steadfast, united purpose at home; the will to subscribe to the Fourth Liberty loan voluntarily—these are some of the things that point the way to an early ending of the war.

“Sensing this as the feeling of the people, The Manistee county Liberty loan organization has centered its coming campaign for the fourth loan around two voluntary subscription days, designated as Sept. 28 and 29, when it is hoped Manistee’s full quota will be pledged.

“The fairgrounds at the sunrise end of Portage lake sure was one busy place today, with installation of exhibits in progress and intensive preparations for the formal opening tomorrow.

“Two Manistee boys are reported seriously wounded in telegrams received by their parents, and privates Peter Sadowski and Theodore Krolczyk are on the list or honored men for sacrifices to democracy. Peter Sadowski is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Sadowski, 304 Fourth Ave. He is reported as wounded on July 18, but the way or character of his injury are not given. His parents are still awaiting further news of him.

“Theodore Krolczyk is the son of Mrs. Josephine Krolczyk, 222 Twelfth St. He was wounded on August 4 and his injuries are not described in the telegram.

“Miss Alice Kuenzli of Nevada, Ohio, takes her work today as home demonstration agent of the county farm bureau and, as her first service, is in charge of the food conservation exhibit at the county fair where she will be busy the rest of the week demonstrating scientific cooking and conservation. After the fair she will launch her campaign in the county to improve home conditions on farms and introduce scientific knowledge of women’s work in the same manner that the county agricultural agent has sided the men of the county.

“She will reside at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sandhammer, 308 Maple St.

“The only survivor [still living] of the Battle of Blue Mills, which was fought 57 years ago today on the Missouri river during the course of the Civil war, is Charles W. Babcock, 412 Third St., who recalls the fight in which Union forces 185 men in a quarter of an hour when attacked from ambush by southern soldiers.

“The battle was one of the kind in which inexperienced soldiers fought with the skill and training obtained in civil life by hunting. Of the story nothing is left but the reflection that soldiers once sprang from the ground overnight ready to battle for their country or whatever part of it they preferred. The honors go to the home guards of the Union army, who it may be presumed, fought like veteran troops when surprised and shot down in scores by the sudden attack. The local soldier does not state which side won the victory.

“The government is asking for several thousand tons of fruit pits from the people of this country—and walnut shells. They are used in perfecting the American soldiers’ gas masks. The pits and shells are burned and the carbon which results from the burning is said to contain some of the best gas absorbent of anything heretofore found.

“A committee from the Lakeside club took the matter up with Supt. Baker yesterday. He advised by all means to allow the children this opportunity for patriotic service. At no late date, therefore, a ‘Liberty barrel’ without doubt will be placed in each school building to receive the children’s contributions of pits and shells.

“As a wise precaution, the pits should be brushed under running water and placed on a tin in the oven or on the oven to dry. They must be dry, otherwise in a mass, they would mold.

“John Lehr of Eastlake has received notification from the war department that his son, Albin Lehr, reported missing in action on August 2, returned to the American lines on August 5. The telegram came as a distinct relief to the soldier’s parents who were in suspense as to whether he was killed, wounded or a Hun prisoner.

“Adolph J. Nessen, chairman of the count war board, perpetrated a joke on himself Sunday that might have had some tragic consequences if he had not tumbles to it in time to avert them. In a spell of absent-mindedness on the gas-less morning he backed his car out of the stall and headed for the golf course according to ancient custom.

He got as far as the home of his buddy of the links, Ellsworth O’Neil, and loudly honked. Whereat Mrs. O’Neil appeared and informed him that had started AFOOT for the ninth hole, and demanded to know by what right he, Adolph Nessen, was driving a gasoline car. Just then Adolph tumbled to the situation.

‘No right at all,’ he admitted. ‘I forgot what day it was. It’s one to me. Keep it quiet.’ And he shamefacedly turned about and exceeded the speed limit in getting his car under cover. But murder will out, and Fuel Administrator Beukema was appraised by telephone from three sources of Adolph’s dereliction in duty. ‘I wondered why the few people I met looked at me so curiously and crossly,’ said Mr. Nessen in recapitulating the circumstances, and thought there must be something queer about my appearance.’ He has pledged himself that it won’t happen again.

“Sudden rain shortly after midnight this morning was a benefaction to Manistee county, worth many thousands of dollars to farmers, as it averted almost certain frost. And it left bonny weather in its wake.

“After three summers of dredging and clearing work, Manistee harbor channel is completed in line with the government specifications and A. F. Everett, government engineer in charge of the work here, announced today that the entire river is now dredged to a depth of 20 feet.

The work begun in the spring of 1916 culminated in one of the best harbors on the lake, and with the approaching completion of the breakwater, Manistee will have a harbor which will be an encouragement and invitation to all the trade of the Great Lakes.

“Despite a driving rain which endured all morning with no sign of abatement and effectually put the bingo on all fair festivities planned for today, officials of the Manistee county fair now in progress at Onekama refused to be downcast.

“‘It will only serve to bring them out in greater numbers Thursday [Patriotic Day] and Friday,’ declared President Arch Marshall optimistically. ‘Those were the “big days” we planned for, anyway. We are not the least bit discouraged.’

“INFLUENZA WAVE SWEEPS THE EAST; MOBILIZES NURSES.

“BOSTON, Sept. 18.—Nurses of the New England division of the Red Cross have been ordered to mobilize immediately to fight the Spanish influenza which is taking a heavy toll about here.

“Nearly a score died in the past 24 hours, and nearly 200 cases are reported.

“Disease Spreads—PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 18.—Several hundred cases of Spanish influenza have developed at the Philadelphia navy yard.

“Commissioner L. S. Ramsdell took occasion to compliment the city health department on its effective checking of smallpox and other contagious disease, in Manistee during the past several months. Dr. E. S. Ellis, health officer, presented his report for the month of August, showing a small percent of communicable diseases and a continuation of the very small death rate for a city the size of Manistee.

“Sixteen cases of communicable disease were reported last month divided as follows: Whooping cough, 5; smallpox, 8; measles, diphtheria and tuberculosis, one each. There were 15 births and 7 deaths.

“Induction into service on October 12 faces all the qualified men registered in June and August of this year who are left in the county under a call for 120 men received this morning by the local draft board. Unable to fill the call completely the local board will clear up all class one men of the former registrations in making up a contingent of about 100 men.

“The call will take about 5,000 men from the state and the resources of all districts are strained to produce the number of men asked from them.

“An open house on every block in the city for residents of the neighborhood to volunteer for Liberty bonds is the leading feature of the plans made by the Women’s Liberty Loan committee at a meeting held yesterday afternoon at the public library.

“The time-honored custom of municipal employes continuing on the cit payroll at full salary during times of illness or injury, will no longer prevail, according to a decision which was reached by the commission at its meeting last night. The issue arose when the proposition of approving compensation,, equal to full salary, for Patrolman James Haskins, injured several weeks ago, came up. Haskins sustained a broken leg, while on duty, when his motorcycle turned over.

“In bringing up the matter City Attorney Howard Campbell called attention to the fact …that the city is operating under the workmen’s compensation act. This entitles any municipal employe to compensation equal to half of his wage…

“Sifting the matter out it was decided that the city was ready to do what all other employers do, but no necessity was seen for going further. Consequently, after Patrolman Haskins has returned to duty, the old custom continuing until then, employes will have to look to the compensation board for disability remuneration.

“Merchants intend to begin on Oct. 1 the sale of Christmas goods. But very likely, as usual, most of us will put off buying ours until Dec. 24.

“Organization of the city’s registered men for military drill under direction of Capt. Will Wenzel will be considered at a mass meeting which will be held tomorrow evening at 8 o’clock in Ramsdell hall. It is planned to form a company of men to learn the manual of arms before being inducted into service in order to better their condition the army camps.

“With a tang of autumn in the air, visitors [at the county fair] today went about their routine business of ‘taking in the fair’ in the old familiar way. Judging of exhibits in the various departments added to the general interest, while the annual reunions and renewals of friendships were in progress on every hand.

“The dominant note of the afternoon program was patriotism, with inspiring addresses given… Community singing of patriotic airs…proved one of the most popular innovations ever introduced at a Manistee county fair.

“Pieces of Quentin Roosevelt’s airplane picked up from the wreck which lies close to the dead flyer’s grave, were received today by Mrs. Russell Fisk from her husband, a musician in the 125th regimental band. The souvenirs are small pieces of wood, one of oak, supposed to be from a rib of the wing, and a basewood strip supposed to have been in the body of the machine.

“Russell is the son of Joseph Fisk, 453 Third St., and has been in France for some time and was with the soldiers who found young Roosevelt’s grave a short time ago. The wrecked airplane in which the flyer fell lay near the grave which was a heap of earth surrounded with a fence of stakes. All the soldiers took bits of wood and metal from the machine.

“A new surf boat built to race through the breakers to stranded ships is to be the property of the local Coast Guard station within a week when the craft, valued at over $2,000, arrives from Baltimore to take the place of a similar boat which was condemned by the government as unfit for use. On the receipt of the boat, Capt. Robinson, keeper of the Coast Guard station, will receive bids for the old boat which he is ordered to sell. S

“With the enlargement of their floor space to almost double its present space, the G. J. Johnson Cigar Co., factory in the Winkler building on River street will proportionally increase their already large output and force of workers within the next month.

“A week from next Sunday, September 29, at 2 a. m. clocks will be turned back one hour, after a daylight saving of an hour a day since the last Sunday in March. The daylight saving scheme proved a success.

“Next Easter will fall on April 26; in 1992 it will be 16 days earlier. It may even interest someone to know that in the year 2000 Easter will be on April 23.”

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