100 Years Ago

The following news items are reprinted from the Manistee Daily News for the week August 17 through August 23, 1919 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:

“PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 15.–Elijah Coalman, lookout on the summit of Mount Hood, stood 11,125 feet above the level of the sea and spoke eagerly into a small black instrument.

“C. C. Allen, telephone engineer, United States Forest Service, stood eight miles away and held a wireless telephone receiver in his hand. He was 7,225 feet below.

“For the first time in the world’s history a wireless telephone instrument had been installed successfully on the top of a large mountain for communication with stations below.

“The installation is a long-sought source of protection against forest fires.

“A fire on the Warm Springs Indian reservation was reported during the test.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15.–Mrs. Mina C. Van Winkle, chief of the woman’s bureau of the police department, announces that she is about to appoint colored women as police to act directly under her instructions in supervising the moral conduct of the city.

“These women will be clothes with full police authority, she said. They will be assigned to operate among the members of their own race, but if infractions of the law should come under their personal observation, they must fulfill their sworn duty and make arrests, and in every other way exercise the police power that is given into their hands by the fact that they are sworn officers of the law, said Mrs.Van Winkle.

“The wheels in the Manistee Manufacturing company’s furniture plant rehumming industriously, as orders assuring steady operation for several months are being filled.

“At the present time the plant is confining its operations to the manufacture of Bird’s-eye maple furniture, a line in which this company leads the world. New machinery is being added to the present equipment.

‘The results of ‘Resorters’ Day,’ with the pavement dance as the chief attraction, were fully emphasized yesterday. Unquestionably the biggest crowd of the series were in the city and enjoyed its hospitality. Merchants felt their visit.

“Automobile loads of resorters from nearly every colony in this region were in the city. Some arrived in the afternoon and a majority in the evening. Portage Point, Onekma, Bear Lake, Arcadia, Scottville and Ludington were well represented. Shopping was done in the afternoon and in the evening, during the dancing and afterward, ice cream parlors and confectionary stores were besieged for refreshments.

“The visitors returned with a feeling of appreciation for the hospitality of Manistee.

“Odors of Perspiration Gone in an Instant. Body odors and odors of perspiration are annoying to all. There is no way to prevent them but there are ways to retard them. We sell all of the popular perspiration deodorants in liquid, powder and paste form. They neutralize perspiration odors. They do not clog up the pores and stop healthy circulation. They do not harm the skin or soil the clothes. They are not perfumes because they have no odors in themselves. They are the proper and safe perspiration deodorants, so simple to use, so small in cost, so beneficial in result that every lady should harken to our advice to use them and of course for choice of assortments, you will naturally buy them here. City Drug Store.

“NOW! BEFORE THE BIG RUSH. Bring in your school lists and we will have everything ready for you before the opening day. BRING US YOUR USED SCHOOL BOOKS. We will allow you a good price for second-hand books in good condition. We handle everything in books and supplies from the Sub-Primary to the Eighth Grade. THE BAILEY GIFT SHOP, Inc. Opposite the Post Office. PHONE 11-W. Where They Frame Pictures. Bring in That Graduation Picture Now.

“CERTAINLY. Dancing Pavilion, Portage Point. DANCING AT PORTAGE POINT PAVILION EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT. Music by SAPPY’S JAZZ ORCHESTRA. 75 cents couple, 25 cents Extra Lady, Plus Usual War Tax.

“Of course you remember the old cylinder phonograph records on which somebody in a harsh voice always started things off by announcing the name of the selection and winding up by shouting ‘Edison record!’ This practice has long since stopped, but have you noticed that even in the most up-to-date films they still consume many feet of celluloid with the announcement of the director, camera man, property man, etc., at the start of the reels.

“The outright gift of a deed of 40 acres of good agricultural land, free from all incumbrance, to each of its employes who shall remain in the employ of the company until its saw mill operations cease, is the method adopted by the Louis Sands Salt & Lumber company for showing its appreciation for faithful service.

“…Twelve thousand acres of the company’s finest land have been set apart for this purpose…mostly located in Wexford and Kalkaska counties…If necessary the company will open up other of its extensive holdings to the carrying out of this project.

“It is figured that in the natural course of events the mills will be in operation about three years longer…’We are attaching no conditions to the deeds and anyone who receives one will be privileged to dispose of it if he wishes, but we hope that most of the men will retain their holdings as an anchor toward the security of their future,’ [Said company president R. W. Smith]…Taxes and all other expenses…up to the time of distribution shall be borne and paid by the company…In the case of the death of an employe from any cause whatsoever, during the term of employment, the right to select a parcel of land…shall pass to his widow, children or parents then residing in the United States…

“Of vital interest to aspirants to the office of postmaster of Manistee succeeding Postmaster James A. King, who recently forwarded his resignation…, is the announcement just received here that the U. S. Civil Service commission has arranged an open competitive examination to be held in Manistee on Sept.16.

“While one of Manistee county’s young men was writing on a teachers’ examination…directed by County school Commissioner Gerred, he relieved his pockets of some waste paper which they contained, specifically, gum wrappers, He threw them into the cuspidor.

“When the young man went home, his brother, who had previously given him some money, casually told him that he had given him a $50 bill. The recipient was thunderstruck. He thought it was a $1 bill. He put his hand quickly into his pocket. It came out empty.

“He, that very same night, ran back to the courthouse and there found it among the gum wrappers he had thrown into the cuspidor.

“The Mulholland United Shows will make their first appearance in Manistee beginning August 26 and lasting five days…On the midway, it is assured that there will be a new three-abreast Parker merry-go-round and a big Eli Ferris wheel.

“Prosecuting Attorney Harry F. Hittle has returned from Lansing, where he attended the conference of state prosecutors called by Attorney General Groesbeck to outline a program for the investigation of profiteering. Attorney Hittle reported that Manistee county if free of food hoarders and no complaints had been brought to him of any excessive price charging.

“With respect to Manistee county, Attorney Hittle this morning stated an investigation can only be conducted with genuine evidence, and he requests that if there are cases in this county to warrant action they should be reported to get consideration.

“After a dry, dull, unsatisfactory day, a good plan for clearing away the mental cobwebs is to take down ‘Treasure Island’ from the shelf and sail from the Admiral Benbow Inn on Hispanolia in search of the island with its doubloons and pieces of eight. An hour or so on the company of Long John Silver, Jim Hawkins, Billy Bones, Ben Gunn and Israel Hands is a pleasant reminder that the other writers of sea tales and treasure hunts are but poor imitators of R. L. S.

“A dispatch received this morning by Mrs. E. D. Wheeler, 405 Cedar Street, said that Joseph Trevitts, well known artist, would arrive in the city tonight.

“The story of how a big vision has come to Methodists of Manistee was revealed last night at the First M. E. church, when the pastor, Rev. W. B. Oldt, spoke on the subject ‘Why Manistee Should Support Our Community Project,’ referring to the contemplated purchase of the Ramsdell Hall and theater property.

“ ‘The idea came to us as a vision of community uplift,’ said Dr. Oldt, ‘our chief desire being to serve the community in the largest fashion possible. If carried out it will not be a sectarian but a strictly community affair…a great community center…’

“Reasons advanced as to why the entire community should support the project, for which a financial drive [for $150,000] is expected to be launched, were:

“Because it would save these splendid buildings for community purposes, the church stepping into the breach and saving the building for some of the purposes of which it was originally designed.

“Because the church is taking responsibility for leadership in the project from the shoulders of the city government.

“Because it expects to put on an unsectarian social and recreational program for the benefit of all.

“Because the hall and auditorium will be available for all civic interests such as the Fourth of July patriotic demonstrations…

“Because all the money invested will remain in Manistee.

“By the looks of things Manistee will be a busy day Wednesday. Yes, very busy. And it’s also going to have many, many visitors. That’s what comes from having a circus in town.

“After the small towns in the vicinity…were notified that Spark’s big circus was coming to town, a large number of requests came through the mails to the M. & N. E. railroad asking if arrangements couldn’t be made to enable outsiders, who attend the circus, to get back the same day. The company therefore changed their running schedule for Wednesday, and farmers will have no difficulty in getting home after the circus.

“To the Manistee County Bar Association has been presented a life-sized portrait in oils of the late T. J. Ramsdell who at the time of his death was dean of the Manistee practitioners. The presentation was made by Mrs. T. J. Ramsdell.

“The beautiful portrait is now hanging on the east wall of the courtroom in the county building, opposite to the picture of the lawyer’s brother Judge Johnathan G. Ramsdell. Judge Ramsdell was one of the first circuit judges of Manistee.

“The portrait was painted 20 years ago by the late Frederick R. Ramsdell, son of the venerable lawyer and public citizen. It shows the late citizen seated and looking to the front. His expression is one of kindliness and dignity so well remembered by his townsmen. The impression of relaxation and serenity is emphasized by the presence of a newspaper he idly holds. Much is added to the beauty of the panel by its framing in massive gold pattern.

“After its completion the portrait was displayed for a time in the window of E. N. Russell on River Street. Hundreds of Manistee citizenry admired the picture.

“Though the work of the artist, who died at the time of the sinking of the LUSITANIA, was not fully appreciated locally, it was nevertheless greatly admired by leading artists in foreign countries. Many of his pictures were on display at the library here, and some of his paintings were very highly valued. Personally, he did not like the picture of Mr. Ramsdell because of its dark background. Consequently, it was stored away after its first exhibition.

“At first it was intended to hand the portrait of the ‘grand old man’ in the Ramsdell theatre which was built by him, and which, during the war was so kindly offered to the city for patriotic purposes. But as the theatre would probably never again be used it was decided to offer the portrait to the fraternity of the bar.

“ ‘Get to the windward of the Fibre plant some of these days and you can realize what a benefit gas masks were to us soldiers in France,’ says one of our returned overseas boys.

“WASHINGTON, Aug. 19.– Repeal of the daylight savings today passed the house over the veto of the president. The vote to override was 223 to 101.

“To Joseph Trvitts, who is visiting in Manistee following his discharge from the service, came an opportunity while abroad that certainly would have been appreciated by any lover of art. He was selected as one of a number of artists in the service to go to Paris after the signing of the armistice there to study French art and French architecture. For three months he attended the American school in Paris.

“…It was the desire of the government that these men should gain impressions while in Paris that would stimulate them to greater accomplishments after their return. Mr. Trevitts stated that every gallery and every studio in Paris was opened to the American students and that the opportunities for study were excellent.

“…Before entering the service, [Mr. Trevitts] had been in Manistee longer than a year. The panels he produced here were exhibited locally and in a number of cities. Manistee well remembers the high talents indicated by these paintings. Mr. Trevitts plans to enjoy a short rest and then take up his palette with a new vigor and enthusiasm.

“WASHINGTON, Aug. 20.–The senate today passed over the president’s veto the bill repealing the daylight saving law…The repeal bill is now law.

“Another of the Cooper Underwear Company’s popular dances will be given in their hall Friday evening, August 22.

“Not until a survey has been made and boundaries properly determined will the city be able to determine its right to continue use of its present supply of gravel. A communication from the keeper of the coast guard station to the city commissioners expresses the belief that the city is without authority to use from the pit now utilized…From here has been taken all gravel used in street patching and concrete work…The commissioners are not certain that the pit lies within the area leased [by the government] and have requested a survey to fully determine the city’s rights.

“A petition presented to the city commissioners asking authority to proceed with the project, last evening verified frequent recent rumors of the desire of the Standard Oil Co. to erect a filling station at the southeast corner of Division and River streets. Permission was granted for the station will contribute much to the appearance of lower River Street.

“…The building will consist of one room in which oils, etc., are stored, and an overhead canopy under which cars will be driven for filling.

“DROP FORGE COMPANY ORGANIZED IN MANISTEE. $200,000 INDUSTRY TO BE LOCATED IN FILER CITY. Prospects for Rapid Growth Confront Latest Local Industry; Stock sold in Record Time…Schnorbach, Organizer, is Elected President; Filer and Smith are Heaviest Subscribers.

“Public announcement of the organization of a Manistee company…for the manufacture of drop forgings is made today. To those whose belief in the city’s future has been optimistically maintained in the face of certain negative circumstances, this announcement is made and will be received with no small gratification and enthusiasm.

“Two spirited, thrilling, amusing performances of Sparks’ world-famous sows were given yesterday in Manistee and were witnessed by thousands of persons, many of whom came to the city from neighboring centers to spend the day.

“Under the repeal of the daylight savings bill, which congress passed yesterday over the president’s veto, when the hands of the clock are turned back one hour on October 26, they will be permitted to continue their cycles of the face of time without further molestation, the whole year ‘round. And next summer we’ll be getting our darkness an hour earlier than we do now.”

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