Archive for March 24th, 2011

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 24, 1903

Police Interrupted His Circus Performance

Badly Intoxicated Character Raised a Disturbance on a Fort Dodge Front Porch

At about nine o’clock Monday evening the police were called to a residence on South Seventh street, about Fourth avenue, where it was reported a crazy man was disporting himself.

The man created a sensation by his actions. he went up on the porch and danced a regular clog dance, after which he laid upon his back and kicked the side of the house. The lady who was alone in the house with her little boy, was very much alarmed.

When the police arrived they found it to be a bad case of intoxication. The man was lodged in the city jail, and this morning in police court gave his name as Joe Woods and his residence at Irwin, Iowa. He said he was on his way to Algona, and after paying the usual fine and his city hotel bill, he was advised by the court to shake the dust of Fort Dodge from his feet and take the first train to his destination.

The other business of the court was two drunks who gave their names as O’Connell and Seabald. Seabald had just come from Minnesota to visit his folks here and thought he would celebrate and thereby have something to remember Fort Dodge by. After paying their fines the men were allowed to go.

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$15,000 Fire at Gilmore City

   Posted by: admin    in Disasters, Fire, Gilmore City

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 24, 1903

$15,000 Fire at Gilmore City

Four Business Houses are Burned to the Ground on Monday Night

Volunteers Put Out Flames

Fire Was Fanned by High Winds and Was Controlled Only After Prolonged Fight

Gilmore City, March 24 – Four business buildings were destroyed and loss aggregating $15,000 was caused by fire at his place on Monday evening. In the face of a blinding snow storm, the volunteer fire department of the city pluckily fought the flames, which at first leaped with resistless force from one building to another, and finally, after an all night’s battle, brought the fire under control.

Following are the buildings destroyed, with losses:

Cobb, general store, loss $7,000, partly covered by insurance.

C.M. Warn, hardware and general merchandise, loss between $5,000 and $6,000, insured.

George Burns, grocery store, stock saved but badly damaged, building partly burned, loss about $1,000.

Emery Ebersole, Independent Telephone Exchange, loss about $700, no insurance.

The fire started in the rear of the Warn store building at about 8:15. By the time the alarm could be given and the department summoned, the building was in a blaze and beyond saving. The flames sped quickly to the other doomed structures.

It is suspected that the fire was set by careless boys, who were seen in the rear of the Warn building a few moments before the flames started. Who the boys were, has not yet been learned.

Telephone service with Gilmore was for a time cut off this morning, on account of the burning of the excahnge but the line was repaire by 11 o’clock this morning.

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West Bend is Badly Scorched

   Posted by: admin    in Disasters, Fire, West Bend

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 24, 1903

West Bend is Badly Scorched

Saloon and Billiard Hall are Burned in Fierce Early Morning Blaze

One Family’s Narrow Escape

Aroused From sleep to Flee for Their Lives. They Saved Nothing.

West Bend, March 24 – The Link saloon and the Delano billiard hall in this place were burned to the ground early this morning. The fire started in the saloon at 2:30 o’clock from some unknown cause, and the flames, fanned by the strong wind which was blowing spread to the billiard hall which stood next door.

The West Bend fire department by hard work succeeded in saving the real estate office of J.J. Watson which however was badly damaged, as was an elevator which stood close by.

A family named Douglas, who lived over the saloon, were roused from their sleep by the cry of fire, and were forced to flee into the stormy night. They were able to save nothing of their personal effects, but are being kindly looked after by the neighbors.

The loss on theĀ  buildings destroyed is not definitely known. Mr. Delano was carrying $200 insurance.



“Weary Willies” are in Bloom

   Posted by: admin    in People, Police court, Spring

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 24, 1905

“Weary Willies” are in Bloom

Police Plucked a Most Beautiful Bouquet of Them Thursday Night.

Twelve Sleep in the City Jail

Were a Variegated Lot From The Ordinary Sweet William to the Hybird (sic) Ragged Tatters – All Chased Out of Town Today.

The city jail housed twelve sleepers last night. This marks the beginning of the hobo season in this section, and from this time on these men who are ever hunting work and afraid they will find it will be swarming over the north country sleeping wherever they can and begging their meals wherever they are able to find a tender hearted woman who will give them a “hand-out.”

For the past two years, there have been more hoboes (sic) in the country than at any time since Coxie’s army started on its march to Washington more than ten years ago and the season is starting out this year as tho there is still to be a great plenty of this class of people floating about.

Last fall the vast army of restless work hunters moved south with the ducks, and this spring they have appeared and are in full bloom alongside of the first delicate little easter flowers that have sprung into life the past day or two.

The gang that landed in the city on Thursday were from everywhere in general and bound for nowhere in particular. They were a variegated lot, running from the fairly well dressed gentleman “Willie” to the worst Raggedy Tags who would put Happy Hooligan on the shelft (sic) for all time to come. They were turned out this morning with instructions from the police to get out of the city with all possible haste, or they would be thrown in again on the charge of vagrancy and put to work shoveling mud on the streets. While of them were “looking for work,” they were not after that sort of a job, and made a hotfoot for the city limits with all possible haste.

This class of people believe in economizing sole leather, even through they get it out of the ash barrel, and even so early, the railroad men who run into Fort Dodge are reporting many on the move. There is scarce a freight train of any length that pulls in or out of the city, especially during the night, but carries with it from one to a half dozen of these fellows stowed away in an empty box car or on the bumpers. It is next to impossible for the railway men to keep them off, and there is scarcely ever a wreck but what there are one or two “unknown men” caught in the crush and killed.

Fort Dodge is not considered a good town by the hobo element, and is shunned by them as a general thing on account of the fact that they are almost invariably brought up in police court and threatened with being put to work on the street. This policy has been in force for several years, and as a class they have learned the attitude the town maintains toward them. The man who approaches the back door in Fort Dodge and asks for a handout is extremely hardy, and generally ends with a sojourn in the city jail or a few day’s work on the streets.