Archive for June 23rd, 2011


He Runs on Schedule Time

   Posted by: admin    in People

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 23, 1904

He Runs on Schedule Time

Residentes (sic) of Prospect Hill Terrorized by “Wild Man.”

Strange Individual Making His Appearance Every Afternoon and Leaves in Evening.

The residents of Prospect Hill are being terrorized every afternoon by the apeparance (sic) of a “wild man,” as he is termed. The wild man is evidently a person of very regular habits. He runs on schedule time. Each day for the past wek (sic) he has arrived in the same neighborhood on Prospect Hill at the same hour of the day, about 3:30 p.m., and departs at a given time later in the evening, after frightening the women and children of the neighborhood helf out of their wits by his freakish actions.

The man always appears from the direction of the woods near Oleson park, and and after his usual stay in the neighborhood he has haunted, departs for the unknown whence he came. All attempts on the part of the male residents of Prospect Hill to engage him in conversation and find out the reason for his strange behavior, and why he should haunt this particular neighborhood at a certain time each day, have thus far proven fruitless.

The women and children of the neighborhood have been worked up to a high state of nervous excitement by this man of regular habits, and it is understood some action is to be taken in the near future to capture him and find out the wherefore of his maneuvers.

(Editor’s note: There’s a follow-up article here.)



Sewing Machine War is Spreading

   Posted by: admin    in Business, Webster City

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 23, 1903

Sewing Machine War is Spreading

Singer and Wheeler-Wilson Companies Now in Fierce Competition in Webster City.

Methods are Too Strenuous

Warrants for Arrest of Seven Over Officious Agents Have Been Sworn Out and Placed in Hands of Webster City Police.

The Singer-Wheeler-Wilson sewing machine war, which raged with violence in this city some time ago, has spread to Webster City, where arrest seems likely to follow the strenuous efforts of some of the sewing machine agents. Warrants for the arrest of seven of these ubiquitous gentlemen were issued on Monday.

The agents for whom warrants have been issued are all from Boone.

The Webster City Freeman Tribune gives the following particulars:

The sewing machine agents who have been flooding the city with the Singer and Wheeler & Wilson machines for the past ten days, will run up against some trouble this afternoon if the program of the city police force is carried out. Warrants have been issued for seven of them upon the charge of selling their goods about the city without a license.

Since the advent of these representatives of two rival companies in the city life among sewing machine agents seems to have become peculiarly strenuous. Their modus operandi has been to leave a machine at a home whether it was needed or not, provided only that the housewife would give it a trial. Things went along smoothly until competition began to grew fierce between the two companies when each started in on a crusade of making sales on almost any kind of a basis.

It was when this stage of the business was reached that the agents left a machine at the home of W.J. Biernatzki. They removed his old machine which they were to take as part payment on the new one should it prove satisfactory. The machine was not just what was wanted, so Mr. Biernatzki says, and he made a demand on the agents for a return of the old machine and a removing of the new.

Through some misunderstanding or other the agents refused to do this, in consequence of which Mr. Biernatzki informed on them and the warrants are now made out for their arrest and will probably be served this evening. The agents all hail from Boone, instead of Fort Dodge, as mentioned Saturday.

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