“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.


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