100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week ending November 9, 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 Chemical Closet Supply company, of Jackson, which manufactures a line of chemical closets and toilet facilities for homes and buildings unprovided with sewer facilities, will occupy the former Manistee Watch Company building on Arthur Street in a few weeks, as a result of a deal closed at the Board of Commerce office yesterday afternoon between Bernard Ostendorff of Ludington, executor of the William Rath estate which owns the building, and O. M. Arthur of Jackson, president of the company.

“’We expect to employ 90 men within 90 days after being fully established in Manistee,’ Mr. Arthur stated at the Board of Commerce office after the deal was concluded. ‘Eventually I expect that we will employ double that number. There is a great future for our product, and we have already received a number of large orders, one of them being from a leading Michigan railroad which proposes to equip all its towers and rural stations with our product.’

“Writing from Camp Dix, N. J., Ellsworth S. Krantz, former physical director of the Manistee schools, informs The News-Advocate that he is up to his old stunts, coaching a football team.

“Lieut. Krantz is Battalion Athletic officer. Krantz writes, however, that he is anxious to get in a real outfit, an overseas outfit, but fears that the Huns will lie down too soon to give him the chance.

“Harry Foster, Manistee soldier, will bring back a sightless right eye when he returns from the battlefields of France. Word that he was wounded in action, and that his eye was gone was conveyed in letters just received from him by relatives and friends in this city.

“’Just a few lines to let you know I am well enough to write even though a piece of Fritz’s shells hit me a slap alongside the jaw and blackened my eye,’ he writes to his mother, Mrs. H. D. Foster, First Street. ‘Am at present in the best of care. It is hard to write as the bandages cover my eye.’

“News is mighty scarce here,’ his letter concludes, ‘and thank goodness bullets and shells are scarcer.’

“In a letter to a friend Sergeant Foster says that the sight of his right eye has been destroyed.

“A petition of protest against any increase of the gas rate has been filed with City Clerk Arnold Graves for presentation to the city commission at its special meeting tonight. The petition carries many names, a number of the signers being business men and other well known citizens.

“The petition asks that the request for higher rate be refused at this time, and that the city employ a municipal gas expert to inspect the facilities of the Michigan Light Company for producing gas and to otherwise go into the affairs of the company.

“Ushered in by sleety snowsqualls, the first of the season, November right at the outset gave promise of making us quickly forget the fine weather vouchsafed us by October in contemplation of the inroads on our coal bins necessitated by the approach of winter.

“WASHINGTON, Nov. 1.—Decided improvement in the health conditions of American troops arriving abroad was noted today in a report received by the war department from the chief of the army debarkation service. The improvement is believed by officers to reflect the better conditions in army camps in this country.

“County food administrator George O. Nye announces the receipt of a telegram from the state administrator, George A. Prescott, which increases the amount of sugar allowed to each person per month to three pounds. This ruling applies only to the November allotments.

“Another change is that purchasers may buy their entire month’s supply at one time instead of every two weeks as has been the custom.

“We wonder which Roosevelt hates more, Wilson or the Kaiser.

“A dangerous fire was put out, shortly before noon today, at the home of P. P. Schnorbach, 22 Third Street, with hand and tank chemical treatment by the fire department. The blaze was of unknown origin and was detected in the southwest corner of the house on the second floor. The loss will amount too $150.

“Cranberries will be scarce this year, an agricultural bulletin informs us. At last we have discovered one shortage that we won’t worry about.

“Word was received from P. H. Beauvais this morning that his wife was growing weaker and that all hope for her recovery had been given up. Mr. Beauvais left last night for Detroit to be with his family.

“MEN VOTERS—When you go to the polls next Tuesday, think about your mother. Remember the first time you discussed something seriously with your mother? Not the funny little problems of your childhood because, wonderful as those talks were, they didn’t show you the mother that you later discovered. It was when you went to her about your first job, or about your troubles at the office, or a new opportunity in business; that was when you found your real mother! Remember how simply and clearly she talked it over with you—how she put her finger on the important part and how it all straightened out in your mind!

“Wouldn’t you trust her to make a sound decision on anything that affects your lives? Wouldn’t you trust her to vote on any question that affects your lives?

“Let your answer be ‘YES’ on your ballot next Tuesday.

“LOCAL PASTORS URGE SUPPORT OF SUFFRAGE AMENDMENT.

“The influenza ban on public gatherings prevents pastors of various city churches from urging from their pulpits support of the suffrage cause. Because of this fact, several local clergymen have asked The News-Advocate to make plain their stand on this vital issue, which is the principal issue of the election Tuesday.

“Rev. J. M. Steffes, Guardian Angels church: ‘In the persistent advance of the human race in the struggle with autocracy towards the possession and enjoyment of fuller human rights and a greater measure of freedom, the enfranchisement of woman is a necessary and inevitable step. Unless it is granted, we will never in our journey reach the zenith of human liberty and be sure of the plentitude of human happiness.’

“Dr. James E. Wilkinson, rector Holy Trinity church: ‘The present war has made tremendous demands on us all, and women especially have risen so splendidly and unwearily to the burdens thrust upon our country, that it seems to me the right of suffrage should be granted unquestioningly—even if there were no other reasons.’

“As I see it, women as well as men are American citizens…women are intelligent, high principles, deeply interested in whatever concerns the welfare of the American people—Why shouldn’t they have the right to express their opinions by means of the ballot?’

“Rev. J. A. M. Rodholm, pastor Danish Lutheran Church: ‘As woman has taken her share of the work in hand now, she ought to have her share of the responsibility of building up after the war.’

“Rev. A Bieniawski, pastor St. Joseph’s (Polish) church: ‘As long as women willingly and gladly share burdens of public life with men, they should also be allowed men’s privileges in public affairs. This we owe to them as a matter of justice…’

“Rev. Wesley B. Oldt, pastor, First M. E. Church: ‘I heartily endorse the demand now being made by women for a political, educational and social status equal to that of men. I consider the demand to be just upon the grounds of natural and property rights.’

“Influenza is rapidly losing ground in Manistee city and county. Yesterday there were reported to the state board of health only one new case. Today an increase to five was noted, but some of these are old cases. There have been no deaths in the past several days, and patients are rapidly recovering from their sieges.

“Monday the public schools will re-open after a two weeks’ shut-down, the board of education taking this action at a meeting last night. The county schools will also be opened at that time. These have all been closed for a longer period of time than those of the city.

“There has been no intimation from Lansing when the ban on theaters, churches, and other gathering places will be lifted.

“A telegram received by Arnold Graves, city clerk, from City Manager P. H. Beauvais, announced the death of Mrs. Beauvais in Detroit. The end came about half past three o’clock this morning, and marked the end of an illness extending over a period of several months. Tuberculosis was the cause of death.

“The council meeting last night…was a placid affair without any signal accomplishments.

“The higher-yet cost of gas petitioned for by the Michigan Light company, franchise holders, was the principal subject for consideration, and the question was not disposed of.

“A petition bearing 119 signatures and requesting the council to withhold decision until further investigation is made was presented and given right-of-way. On motion of Commissioner Kirster the petition was received and placed on file and the mayor was authorized to secure the service of an expert to determine the merits of the company’s appeal.

“Alert cards have been sent to 49 Manistee County registrants of the September class, warning them to be ready to present themselves at the courthouse for induction into the military service.

“In homes where nothing at all is wasted the family will please overlook the fact that today’s pumpkin pie tastes slightly jack-o-lanterny.

“Peace is a glorious prospect to everyone except the young fellow in the training camp who is afraid the war will be over before he can get to France.

“If a man takes a fair slant at what Mother and The Girls have done since the war began we fail to see how he can keep from stepping into the booth Tuesday and handing them the right to vote just as often as he does.

“The Manistee Public library will be opened Monday at the usual hours.

“AUSTRIA YIELDS UNCONDITIONALLY. GERMANY’S BIGGEST ALLY SUBMITS TO ENTENTE TERMS.

“Seventy-five thousand acres of available and unoccupied cut-over hands were listed in reports filed ready for submission to the department of interior this morning by B. R. Hendel of the Western Michigan Development Bureau, and Frank Sandhammer, county agricultural agent.

“This work is being done at the instance of the government which is planning on caring for large numbers of returned soldiers by placing them on farms. The land will, according to present plans, be furnished to the veterans free of charge.

“Influenza has lost much of its terror for Manistee people because of the progress which has been made toward its extermination. During the past 48 hours only one new case has been reported to Dr. Szudrawski, which marks the most favorable stage the epidemic has reached.

“The schools, city, country and parochial, reopened this morning, as did the library, and the local health authorities are awaiting the sanction of the state board to take off the ban entirely.

“The last influenza patient will be discharged from Mercy sanitarium tomorrow morning, after which all the rooms will be thoroughly fumigated and made ready for treatment of other patients.

“The second soggy, saturated Sunday in as many weeks yesterday spoiled the public’s only opportunity for diversion by putting an effectual wet blanket on the joys of country motoring, hiking or picnicking. With all churches and amusement places still closed under the influenza ban, there was just nothing to do but stay home and stoke the furnace or go to the office and catch up with some neglected work.

“But people cheerily made the best of it, saved a little loose change and got better acquainted with their families. Few automobiles were about, those mainly on business or eleventh-hour political campaigning, and the lights were out early almost everywhere in town last night.

“In the League of Nations Germany will have to start in last place.

“School bells, heard this morning for the first time in nearly two weeks, had a familiar and pleasing sound—to everyone but some of the kids who have enjoyed the flu ban vacation.

“Regarding this plan to settle returned soldiers on the land—wouldn’t it be a good idea, before finally carrying it out, to tell the soldiers about it?

“Whatever else you do tomorrow—vote! And whatever or whoever else you vote for, vote ‘YES’ for woman suffrage and for retention of the county farm bureau.

“Funeral services for Mrs. P. H. Beauvais will be held in Muskegon Tuesday morning, according to word received here. A number of beautiful floral pieces from city officials and Mrs. Beauvais’ friends were sent to Muskegon yesterday. Mrs. Beauvais passed away Saturday in Detroit.

“GERMANY GETS ARMISTICE TERMS. AUSTRO COLLAPSE COMPLETES RING AROUND GERMANY.

“Whoever’s elected picked a nice day for it.

“This fact, and the added one that a light vote is being cast in city and county, is about all the definite election news available at the hour of going to press.

“Washington, Nov. 5.—America’s armies will be a year or two returning and demobilizing.

“This is the general war department estimate today, although nothing is being done until Germany has fulfilled the armistice terms.

“Manistee county’s quota in the national campaign for the seven recognized war charities has been increased by $4,375, making it $21,868.44. Manistee of course will have no campaign to raise this amount as it all comes out of the war chest.

“Owing to the fact that the new gauze has not as yet arrived, the Red Cross surgical dressing rooms will be closed until further notice.

“HUN MUST ACCEPT QUICKLY OR SUBMIT TO MORE DRASTIC TERMS.

“A Republican landslide that swept the county building clear of Democratic officeholders for at least two years to come overran Manistee county yesterday and proved rather convincingly that the G. O. P. is still the dominant faction in this neck of the woods.

“The voters of Manistee county are never disposed to extend the ballot right to women, but may have to submit if encouraging early reports from throughout the state are justified by finial statistics.

“In both city and townships the decision was adverse to the women franchise seekers. The city buried it by 367 more votes against than in favor of it, but one in seven districts, the Third, registering its favor.

“The city of Manistee yesterday, by giving the question of the retention of the county farm bureau an affirmative majority of 124 votes, offset the adverse verdict of 77 from the townships and conferred this meritorious measure on the county by the tight fit of a 47 majority.

“The desired minimum in influenza cases was reached during the past 24 hours according to Dr. Szudrawski, acting health officer who had none to report to the state board of health today. This fact is sufficient proof that the epidemic has been nearly exterminated so far as the city is concerned.

“In the county there has also been a decided falling off in the number and virulence of cases under medical attention, although in Bear Lake township there was one influenza death yesterday.

“Monday, Nov. 4, 19188, was a busy day at the library. With no estimate of the books returned but with a circulation of 493 books loaned, the date of the reopening of the library gave another banner day to our statistical records.

“Corporal Fred Zimmermann, who was wounded in action last August, recovered and went back into action, is again in a base hospital suffering from a bullet wound. Corp. Zimmerman is the first Manistee boy to suffer two wounds while serving with the American forces. Robt. McDonald, who is serving with the Canadians, has been back in the hospital several times.

“PEACE!

“GERMANY SURRENDERS, ENDING GREATEST WAR OF ALL TIMES.

“The war is over!

“The Allies and Germany signed an armistice at 11 o’clock this morning.

“Proclamation By The Mayor: Inn appreciation of the glad news received today announcing the end of the war in the triumph of democracy over autocracy,, with the restoration of peace,, presaging the early return of our valiant soldier boys, I, Thomas F. Kieft, Mayor of the City of Manistee, hereby proclaim the remainder of this day, Nov. 7, 1918, a civic public holiday.

“And I earnestly commend that all citizens so far as possible suspend their customary activities and in a spirit of praise and thanksgiving observe this epochal occasion in appropriate and decorous celebration, as befits a loyal, patriotic community. [Signed] THOMAS F. Kieft, mayor of Manistee.

“The Kaiser—in effigy—will be burned on the city market site this evening.

“This ceremony will follow the most exuberant public demonstration and parade through the streets Manistee ever witnessed.

“At a hastily convened meeting in the Board of Commerce rooms this afternoon it was decided to give form to the spontaneous outbreak of celebration then in progress, by arranging a tremendous public demonstration in which everyone is urged to participate.

“What’s Doing Tonight: Marching bodies assemble on First street, east to Division, at 7 o’clock.

“Automobiles and floats assemble off Division street. 7 o’clock.

“Victory Parade, under direction of F. M. Hoffman, marshal, will move at 7:30.

“Line of march—Through principal downtown street, concluding at City market site.

“Bonfire in charge of Boy Scouts.

“Burning of the Kaiser in effigy—Spanish war veterans.

“Community singing led by Father J. M. Steffes—‘America.’

“Five-minute address, Dr. A. F. Hess.

“Marseillaise.’

“’Star Spangled Banner.’

“All come prepared to sing.

“Manistee will be freed from the influenza ban tomorrow—if that is of any interest to you now.

“A telegram received by The News-Advocate from the state board of health this morning conveyed this information,, and the re-opening of theaters, churches, dance halls and other places of public congregation, will mark the end of a long period of darkness. The influenza lid has been down for nearly three weeks, and during that time upwards of a hundred cases have been treated in Manistee and more than that number in the immediate communities. There has been but one death in the city, but the rural communities have suffered comparatively heavy fatalities.

“Dr. Szudrawski today reported 11 new cases, after a period of more than 48 hours which had developed only two cases. It is believed that none of today’s cases are virulent.

“Manistee went wild today upon receipt of the news of the signing of the armistice by Germany.

“Restrained with difficulty on several previous occasions from celebrating prematurely, the city today gave full vent to its exuberance over the glad tidings.

“The word, received by The News-Advocate at 11:35 this morning, was immediately made public and pandemonium broke loose. Within one minute of receiving the information Fr. Steffes had the Guardian Angel chimes peeling a triumphant paean of victory and thanksgiving. The opportunity he had long awaited had arrived, and Fr. Steffes put heart and spirit into his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and other patriotic airs.

“Almost immediately all the factory whistles and bells in town broke into a strident din which proclaimed to an expectant public that peace was at hand. Every flag in the city was quickly unfurled to the gracious breezes, the courthouse cannor fired a salvo of acclaim, knots and groups and large gatherings of people quickly assembled and work was quite generally suspended.

“A quick decision was reached to close the public schools for the day, which was just as well, for the minds of the pupils would have been far from their studies. A number of factories called a half-holiday, and glad rejoicing ruled.

“The noise of the great demonstration has subsided somewhat at this writing, but the gladness of the occasion has not abated.

“Nov. 7, 1918, the most epochal day in the world’s history, is befittingly and appropriately observed in Manistee.

“Everyone is earnestly glad of the coming of peace, and is showing it with little regard to dignity.

“With the sound of the first whistle tearing the air, people poured out of their houses and filled the streets. Then almost with one accord they ran to their telephones and began calling. For the next hour the switchboards at the Bell Telephone office were blazes of light. It was impossible for the operators to take care of the calls, because it seemed every one wanted everyone else [spellings as printed] at the same time. Manager Clifford declared that he had never seen a similar situation.

“Early after dinner Capt. Wenzel and his cadets, headed by a mixed fife and drum corps, and flanked by high school students and teachers, put on the first parade. The boys, carrying their drill rifles, presented an unusually neat and soldierly appearance. These young Americans were the first to begin celebrating.

“The students at St. Joseph’s school could not be restrained, Father Bieniawski told The News-Advocate. With the word of Germany’s surrender they became unmanageable. Some made for the bell rope and began peeling forth the news. For more than two hours they rang, the children working in relays, and they were relieved for 45 minutes at noon by the factory girls.

“’The children would not be controlled,’ said Father Bieniawski, ‘but had to go home to tell their parents that the kaiser had to kiss Uncle Sam’s boots.

“Chief Grady, not to be out done by any one, dug up somewhere a picture of the Kaiser and a german flag [small k and g as printed] . Planting it in the center of River and Maple streets, matches were touched to it and soon but little was left but the charred remains. The chief stuck by his job valiantly and even if the wind did blow the picture and flag down he kept it up as long as possible.

“The sidewalks are thronged with people. It seemed that everyone within a radius of five miles was on River street. The merchants joined in the celebration and closed their stored and mingled with the crowds. No one attempted to do any business.

“In compliance with the request of more than 100 Manistee citizens, Mayor Kieft has set about to secure an expert investigation of the need of the Manistee Light company for another increase in the gas rates. A letter was dispatched yesterday to Prof. J. C. Anderson, a well-known University of Michigan faculty member, asking him to make the survey.

“Christmas labels are now coming daily from the soldiers overseas, and are being taken to Red Cross headquarters, where the boxes for packing are being supplied. These boxes are taken home, and when packed are returned to the Red Cross for inspection, wrapping and mailing. The person sending the box pays the postage from the place of mailing to Hoboken, N. J., the point of embarkation.

“Two hundred and twenty-five male students of Manistee’s public schools from the 7th to 12th grades, inclusive, today began their course in military training under J. H. Braithwaite of Chicago. The first classes received their initial lessons in the gymnasium of the Woodrow Wilson school, although it is the intention to give out of doors work whenever the weather permits.

“The work is compulsory, and its introduction into the curriculum here was the result of a petition, signed by a large number of male students, asking for it. The school board received the petition several weeks ago and since that time has been searching for an instructor.

“It’s a dull world again. The influenza panic is over, election is over and the war is about over. Affliction appears to be on the wane.

“If this weather continues a few more days October and November can feel assured of handsome pluralities in the popular months contest.

“To close their campaign in New Jersey suffragists held a 24-hour meeting. Did they talk in relays or did one woman do it all?

“City Manager P. H. Beauvais, whose wife died last Saturday in Detroit, will return to his duties in Manistee tonight, according to a message from him received by Arnold Graves, city clerk, this morning.

“As soon as peace has been restored and traveling conditions have approached something like normal American nouveau riche should lose no time in getting to France for their accustomed tours. After four years of intense suffering the French, more than ever, will need something to laugh at.”

 

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