Archive for April 17th, 2011


Fort Dodge Sports Anxious

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 17, 1905

Fort Dodge Sports Anxious

Are Getting Uneasy for the Opening of the Fishing Season.

Fish Stories Going Already

Big Fish Are Caught in Vicinity of McQuire’s (sic) Bend – One Eighteen Pound Cat Pulled out by a Native of That Part of the Country.

With the many reports that the fishing is excellent, the hands of the Fort Dodge sports are itching to take out the rod and reel and pull in a few fine specimens. It is a month yet however till they can toss the line without an eye as to the whereabouts of the fish commissioner, so they will have to content themselves for another thirty days, unless they care to go down and get a few suckers on worm bait.

Before the catfish was put into the catalogue with the gamers, along with the trout, the pickerel, the pike the bass, the carp and many others, there was some sport to be had even before the expiration of the time limit set by the game law. Then the Isaac Walton who got particularly hungry for fish shortly after the ice went out, could go down and sit on the bank with a crawdad on his hook and pretty generally come home with a nice mess of cat fish on his string.

While the catfish is not a fighter when hooked, there is a considerable amount of fun in pulling out a big fellow, and the fishermen miss him very much from the ranks of the tribe the law fails to protect.

There is nothing now outside the protecting pale of the game law except these two bundles of bones, the sucker and the redhorse, or salmon. These are free plunder at all times, and there are many who fish for suckers and make a mistake of catching other brands. A number of people are even unable to tell the difference after they are pulled out of the water, and take them home with them. But in fear they have made some horrible mistake generally use a grain sack to carry them in.

There are reports that the fishing for catfish is excellent this season, and a large number of them have been taken from the river in the south part of the county, where some very large ones have been caught. It is reported that one monster landed in the vicinity of McGuire’s Bend weighed in the neighborhood of eighteen pounds.

There are always a few of these big fellows who make their way up from the Mississippi river and get hooked by some Webster county fabricator. There is something strange in the fact that liars are always the most successful fishers. They are generally able to land a fish considerably bigger than the one that got away from the ordinary sport.

In spite of the fact that it is early yet, the local fishermen are getting out their tackle and will be in readiness to do business on the first day of the open season, which falls on May 15.

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Refrigerators are Rifled Saturday

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 17, 1905

Refrigerators are Rifled Saturday

William Matt and Ryan Residences Were Visited in Early Morning.

Somebody Had a Good Dinner

Thieves Helped Themselves to Chickens, Pies, Radishes, Onions and Numerous Other Tempting Dishes That They Found Under Cover.

If your refrigerators are outside, bring them in. If the back door is unlocked proceed to lock it at nights, because it is no longer the bitter winter time, when you are not supposed to have anything in them, nor it is likely that the Hungry Henry’s (sic) can have their brains clouded with delicious visions of spring chicken, fresh vegetables such as radishes and onions, and pass by untempted. See to your refrigerators.

Saturday night several homes in the the (sic) vicinity of third avenue north, and Eighth street were visited by thieves, and as a result several families awoke to greet a provisionless Sunday.

The William Matt residence seemed to have suffered the most daring burgulary (sic), as the thieves entered the back hall, where the refrigerator stood and having hauled it to the light which was beginning to dawn, rifled it of everything it contained. There was chicken, two of them and many other delectable dishes for use the next day.

The occurrence was not discovered until the next morning when Mrs. Matt opened the ice box to get some meat for breakfast and soon afterwards when they inquired about the neighborhood it was found that a less successful attempt was made at the Ryan home on Eighth street.

Mrs. Ryan stated that about three o’clock in the morning she had heard the noise on the porch and began moving about in the house so that they would hear her. They did and she saw them run in the direction of the Matt home. They had only been at her home a short time, as they carried away only radishes and onions and there were many other things which might have tempted them had they had time to find them.

Another refrigerator in the neighborhood was opened but nothing taken, the burgulars (sic) evidently lacking one bad trait, that of exceeding hoggishness, but whatever they did not take did not prevent them from having a feast worthy of a bountifully spread board, all day Sunday.

No doubt a carnival of the Knights of Tie Passes was held in the woods near town Sunday and was void of the formalities of civilization, while it revelled (sic) in its conveniences, and the toast proposed by the manly knights was probably a unanimous echo of “the jug of wine, a loaf of bread and wilderness” theory.

(Editor’s note: “Knights of Tie Passes” must be a colloquialism for hoboes, although my Google search turned up nothing. A refrigerator in 1905 would have been a true “ice box” – a cabinet in which ice kept food cool. There would be no need to keep it in the kitchen, necessarily, and if kept on a porch it would be easy prey for outsiders.)

From the 1908 and 1909 Fort Dodge city directories:

William and Lydia Matt lived at 14 N. 15th St. in 1908 and 525 1/2 Central Ave. in 1909. He was an engineer for Fort Dodge Auto Co. While his employment didn’t change during those two years, they moved, which leads me to think they had moved between this incident in 1905 and 1908. The Webster County Genealogical Society has the 1889-1890, 1898, 1908 and 1909 directories, but nothing between 1898 and 1908.

Mrs. Stella M Ryan and two men, probably her grown sons, lived at 135 N. Eighth St. In 1908, Frank P. Ryan was a clerk and in 1909 he was a checker for the Illinois Central Railroad. In 1908, George J. Ryan was a clerk for the ICRR and in 1909, he was a student at Tobin College.

More ice box thefts occurred in different neighborhoods in this time period. You can search for refrigerator in the search box at upper right.

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