Archive for July, 2011


Humboldt Pastor Dies of Lockjaw

   Posted by: admin    in Accident, Death, Disease

The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 24, 1903

Humboldt Pastor Dies of Lockjaw

As Result of Stepping Upon Nail, Rev. Carlson Succumbs to Dread Malady.

Dies in Intense Agony

Stepped Upon Nail a Week Ago Today but Failed to Call Physician Until Thursday, When His Condition Was Past All Assistance.

Humboldt, July 23 – Rev. Mr. Carlson, pastor of the Danish Baptist church, died this morning as a result of stepping upon a nail at his home a week ago today. The wound in the foot developed into lockjaw, death following intense agony.

Rev. Carlson accidentally stepped on the nail while walking near his home. The nail penetrated his shoe and entered his foot, but he failed to call a physician until Thursday. Dr. Churchill of Fort Dodge was called into consultation with the local physicians, but lockjaw, which had set in, had rendered the condition of the patient beyond medical aid.

Deceased had been a resident of Humboldt for fifteen years.

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Fiftieth Anniversary Episcopal Church

   Posted by: admin    in Church news

The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 18, 1905

Fiftieth Anniversary Episcopal Church

Saturday, July 22 Marks the Day of Organization.

The Church Will Celebrate

Ice Cream Social and Musical Program Will be Given On East Lawn of The Church – Appropriate Sermon Sunday.

This week and the Saturday of this week, mark the anniversary of the organization of the Episcopal parish in Fort Dodge, which occurred July 22, 1855. In commemoration of this coming event, the present prosperous church will give a lawn social on the east lawn of the church Saturday evening and will furnish a fine musical program as well as ice cream and cake. Sunday the present rector, Rev. Biggs, will deal largely with the history of the church in his address.

In a worn and almost yellow edged book, a record is to be found of the principal happenings of the church from the time of its organization.  The first item mentioned is of course, the organization of the church which was accomplished largely by land commissioners who were sent out here by President Buchanan. Names which are signed to the first resolution ever written by this church, will be found to be those old in history of the city as well as the church.

Just a year from the date of organization Bishop George Washington Lee proposed that if the church would raise $1,000 ($23,971 today) he would secure enough more funds to build a chapel, but this proposition was not accepted. Following this move, the first pastor, Rev. H.A. Wilson, but upon hearing that he had publicly denounced Free Masonry he was informed that his services would not be useful in this church and the Rev. Mr. Wilton therefore did not arrive in Fort Dodge.

February 1st in ’58 a committee was erected to raise funds to build a church. They resolved “to build a church 30×45 feet of stone or wood, with Gothic or pointed windows.” J.L. Cheney, E. Bagg and S.B. Olney were on the committee and Rev. Fairchild, who had been elected pastor, was delegated to go to Chicago to raise money for the church among the stronger churches there. On December 23, $1,420 ($35,333 today) had been expended, $699 ($17,392) had been paid out and the church was in debt $741($18,438). A frame church was being erected north of the site now occupied by Tobin college.

December 27th the vestry resolved “that we proceed with work on the church as heretofore, until the windows are in, one more door made, the buttons are one, the roof finished and all cracks stopped. Then suspend work until further action is taken.”

Action was indeed suspended and nothing more was done until after the war – to be exact until Easter, 1867. Rev. John Hochuly was next called to the Fort Dodge church. He (didn’t have?) any idea of how to manage affairs here, leaves a voluble record of his rectorate and resigned with almost nothing accomplished. Then nothing more was done until 1870 when Rev. E.H. Harlow was called to this place. The question of debt came up during this year, but nothing was accomplished, as Rev. Harlow had scarcely any idea of hom (sic) to manage affairs and extremely little idea of the value of money. He remained a year and having resigned, nothing was done until 1873, when Rev. Charles Stout was called.

Rev. Stout was a young man and  this was his first parish. He did excellent work and accomplished much toward liquidating the debt. The church had found themselves in dire straits when some of its creditors B. Grayson, H. Beecher, Webb Vincent, Beth Vincent, S.B. Olney and J.F. Duncombe donated their claims, almost wiping out the debt. Rev. Stout stayed about three years and the debt was about cleaned up. He asked the vestry if he might have services in Webster City and they conceded that he might do so one Sunday in six, “until such time as the railroad company changed its time tables.”

Rev. Stout’s resignation was received “most reluctantly” and following him, Rev. W.C. Mills was called and acepted (sic). During his pastorate there was the first informal talk of a new church. His pastorate was the longest the church had ever known and was prosperous in every way. Rev. Mills resigned in September, 1880, and no rector was called until all obligations could be wiped out. This was evidently accomplished by February, 1882, because Rev. C.C. Adams was called to the church and accepted. He remained a year and was succeeded by P.C. Wolcott, who also stayed about a year. Then the church was closed again for about a year.

Robert J. Walker was the next rector, and he began his pastorate by asking the vestry for a loan of $250 ($5,987). The records show that they considered it so long that it was dropped. Eight months later Rev. Robert Walker resigned. Rev. J.W. Paige followed him and was there until his death, serving the longest of any rector of the church. The records show his time of service to have been the most fruitful and prosperous the church had known and he was much beloved by all.

In January, 1892, the old church burned and measures were taken at once to secure a new church. The money on hand after the lot was sold and the insurance collected was $2,900 ($69,458). A subscription list was passed around and in a year the church aggregated the sum of $10,340 ($247,655). Plans were considered for a building to cost $10,000 and the contracts were about to be let when Rev. Paige died. At that time everything went slack and the new church matter was dropped. In April, 1893, the former plans were discarded and a new building committee, consisting of J.C. Cheney, Webb Vincent and A.J. Arthur were appointed with power to proceed with the original plans or adopt new ones. New plans were adopted and the present church as built. The architect was Clinton Nourse of Des Moines and the contract was let to Hepler and Brown. During the time of its erection, Sunday school services were kept up in what is now the Salvation Army hall. Mr. Rutka being the prime factor in this movement. He was ably assisted by Mrs. J.F. Duncombe, Misses Maude Lauderdale and Blanche Burnam.

Rev. A.V. Gorrell was the first pastor in the new church, remaining about a year after which Rev. C.H. Remington was called. Under his rectorate, the church was enlarged, the organ instituted and the church was successful in every way. His term of service was long and the church deeply regretted that failing health made his resignation necessary in 1904.

Rev. C.L. Biggs, the present rector, came to Fort Dodge the first of this year and has proved as excellent choice thus far in his work here.

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New Wrinkle in Love Letters

   Posted by: admin    in People

The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 17, 1905

New Wrinkle in Love Letters

Writes Message of Devotion on One Sheet of Paper Sixteen Feet in Length

A certain love lorn swain in Fort Dodge has devised a unique method of communication with the lady of his affections. He recently mailed her a gushing epistle descriptive of his hearts emotions, written on a single strip of paper sixteen feet long and containing over 5,000 words. Needless to say that he was compelled, by lack of a sufficient vocabulary, to repeat often such expression as dearest, sweetheart, etc. It is reported that the girl in question was compelled to employ a Webster’s unabridged dictionary to assist her in the reading of the epistle.



Record Breaking Weather Today

   Posted by: admin    in Farm life, weather

The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 17, 1905

Record Breaking Weather Today

Sunday Was The Hottest Day in Two Years and is Equalled (sic) Today

97 Government Thermometer

The Finest Thing For Iowa Corn That Could Happen – Heat is Terriffic (sic) In The City – Asphalt Pavings Become Very Soft, Being Cooked by Sun.

To suffering humanity in Fort Dodge the news that the weather record for two years has been broken in the last two days will not be surprising. How many more years’ records are broken are not known as the local observatory was only established two years ago. The temperature Sunday afternoon reached 97 degrees Fahrenheit on this government thermometer which is located in about as cool a place as there is in this city.

The thremometer (sic) is located in a hollow back of Tobin college and is then protected by a small building. Thus it is “in the shade” and further more it is official. The day was the hottest that has been recorded since the local weather station was established and as today is very hot again this record may be broken before nightfall.

At one o’clock Sunday the government thermometer registered a little below 96 degrees. Before the day was over the temperature crept up to 97. A few minutes before 1 o’clock today the thermometer registered 96 degrees Fahrenheit and from indications will go higher.

A cooling breeze seems to have sprung up at 3 o’clock and maybe there will be relief for the city inhabitants. Fort Dodge was not the only place that received the high marks in temperature for in the entire Des Moines district the rise in temperature was very noticeable.

It is the finest weather for the Iowa corn crop that could occur and the present weather is worth many thousands of dollars each day to Webster county farmers alone.

The asphalt paving and in particular that laid the last year has become very soft because of the heat. A person can dent the paving with the heel of the shoe, while the horseshoes leave marks every day.

(Editor’s note: I will include an additional article from other parts of the country. This was next to the Fort Dodge article, on the same day.)


Twelve Die From Heat in Chicago

The Mercury is 93 in Shade and Twelve Deaths Are Reported.

Chicago, July 17 – Noon, mercury 93 in the shade; twelve deaths from heat.

New York, July 17 – The hot wave which caused many deaths in New York last week and which only ended yesterday returned again today bringing higher temperature than ever before and a renewal of intense suffering.



Give Scientific Demonstrations

   Posted by: admin    in Entertainment, Inventions, People

The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 16, 1904

Give Scientific Demonstrations

Professor Patty Will Make Interesting Experiments at the Chautauqua.

Wonderful Radium Properties

Is an Inexhautible (sic) Source of Heat and Energy – One Stick of It Can Propel a Steamship Across the Ocean – The Experiments.

On July 26 at the Fort Dodge Chautauqua Professor Patty will demonstrate in a lecture some of the properties of the latest scientific discoveries, namely, radium liquid air and wireless telegraphy. Professor Patty is the possessor of a small piece of radium about the size of a pea. The value of radium at present is about $1,000,000 per pound, and yet is it contained in small quantities in almost every other substance like air, water and earth.

The process of reducing it from these substances is yet in the primary experimental state. The most remarkable qualities of radium are its inexhaustible energy of heat and light. The scientists have held a theory called the conservation of energy, namely, that the give and take energy from one body to another is generally believed to balance up. and now radium is discovered to give a continuous expenditure of energy without receiving any equivalent. The source of its power seems to be entirely unlimited. In radium we have a dynamo which throws off high-power electricity whitout any engine or machinery to enforce it. Our steamships could cross the ocean by using the energy of a stick of radium and we understand that that the Light and Power company are negotiating with Professor Patty for the loan of his piece of radium to furnish power to run the street cars with during the Chautauqua if the long delayed shaft don’t come before that time.

These wonderful properties of radium give a new meaning to the relation between spirit and matter so that this new discovery is likely to have an influence on the logical thought. Radium also has some healing qualities and will effect the study of medicin.

All of its wonderful properties are to be demonstrated by Professor Patty in a way to please and instruct the large audience that will no doubt gather on the occasion. He will also show the remarkable properties of liquid air which melts steel pens and freezes strawberries to 312 degrees below zero. A small amount of it will heat a house in winter and cool it in summer.

But the most practical of all recent scientific discoveries is wireless telegraphy. Professor Patty will also demonstrate this. He has a compete set of wireless telegraph instruments and will send and receive messages thru space in t he presence of the audience.

Wireless telegraphy has already become a necessity to this world for it is the only way whereby ships can at a distance communicate with one another and with the shore. Navies of all nations are being rapidly equipped and its possibilities in warfare are being tested in the present conflict between Japan and Russia.

We shall expect soon to have telephoning made possible by the wireless system. The exhibition of these scientific experiments with radium, liquid air and wireless telegraphy will provide a rare opportunity to the people of the community of gaining first hand and accurate ideas of scientific phenomena of world wide renown and the greatest importance.

(Editor’s note: For more about radium, visit this Wikipedia article. For one thing, the article states: “The amounts produced were aways relative small. For example in 1918 13.6 g of radium were produced in the United states.” That amount converts to less than half an ounce – .4797 ounce, to be precise. The $1 million dollar price for a pound of radium would be about$23,949,480 today. Also, it would be easier to search online for Professor Patty if the article had mentioned his first name I did find one specific mention of him in the Chautauqua magazine, mentioning that he would be at the Chautauqua in Fort Dodge in July 1904.)

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Business Dull at Gypsum Mills

   Posted by: admin    in Gypsum mining

The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 15, 1904

Business Dull at Gypsum Mills

Four Out of Nine Shut Down – Others Running on Half Time.

Stagnation Reigns Supreme

Prospects for Fall Business Nevertheless Good – All Depends on the Crops – Closing Down Imposes No Hardships upon Employes (sic).

Stagnation reigns supreme at the gypsum mills. There are only four out of the nine mills running, and two of these are only operating part of the time. The United States Gypsum company is running out, but two of its six are working men on half time.

Little Building the Cause.

The present desuetude can be attributed to but one cause. As soon as building ceases there is absolutely no demand for stucco. This has been the worst season experienced for many years, but the same trouble occurred during the hard times of several years ago when practically none of the mills were running.

Outlook Not Bad.

Despite the present stagnation the outlook for business next year and this fall is not discouraging.

“If the crop prespocts (sic – should be prospects), which we now have, hold out, business will soon commence to pick up,” said a local manager. “One thing is apparent; the stucco business is now at its lowest possible ebb. Hence the present volume of business cannot be reduced. There is as little business now being done as people can possibly get along with.”

Closing Not Severe on Men.

The shutting down of the mills has not been a great hardship on the men employed. Most of the men have either found work at the nearby coal mines or on the neighboring farms where hands are now in great demand.

Fort Dodge has not suffered as much from the slack gypsum business as many other places where mills are located. The United States company have several places been compelled to shut down its mills entirely.



County Doctors are Organized

   Posted by: admin    in Medical matters, Organizations, People

The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 15, 1903

County Doctors are Organized

First Regular Meeting of the Webster County Medical Association is Held Tuesday.

Society to Meet Quarterly.

Next Session Will Be Held First Tuesday in September – Board of Censors Appointed and Other Business Transacted – Officers of Association.

The fifth regular meeting of the Webster County Medical association was held in the coroner’s office in the court house Tuesday afternoon. the purpose of the session was to compete the organization of the society which was formed a few weeks ago. Among other business transacted it was decided to hold quarterly meetings, the date of the next session being the first Tuesday in September.

The following were appointed a board of censors:

Dr. H.G. Ristine, Fort Dodge.
Dr. C.H. Mulroney, Fort Dodge.
Dr. G.C. Riordan, Barnum.

It will be the duty of this board to determine who is eligible for membership into the society and to investigate any alleged unprofessional conduct on the part of the members. As recently stated in the Messenger, every county organization in the state are units of the Iowa State Medical society, according to the provisions embodied in the constitution of the American Medical association of New Orleans a few months ago, and those attached to the constitution of the Iowa State Medical Society when that body met in Sioux City and a county society membership is necessary to obtain admission into the state organization.

The Webster County Medical association has a membership of twenty-two, the basis on which it was organized, providing for membership from all schools of medicine, including all licensed physicians who admit that they do not practice religion or faith as a healing power for disease.

The following are the officers of the association:

President, Dr. Robert Evans, Fort Dodge.
Vice President, Dr. E.O. Evans, Gowrie.
Secretary, Dr. W.W. Bowen, Fort Dodge.
Treasurer, Dr. F.B. Olney, Fort Dodge.

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This Cat Rivals the Dog

   Posted by: admin    in Animals

The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 15, 1904

This Cat Rivals the Dog

Fred Devling Possesses a Cat That Will Hunt Small Game For Its Master.

Fred Devling recently received a foreign cat which is used in hunting squirrels and weasels. The cat is a large one and in color is much like the maltese. There are also six kittens of the same kind which although very young are beginning to show the traits of their kind, as they are also very good hunters.

The full grown cat is a very large one, being about twice the size of the ordinary cat and very much stronger. the cat has the instincts of the ordinary feline only developed much more. These cats when let loose in a field or woods immediately begin to search for game. From their size one would realize that they were much stronger than the ordinary cat and therefore much more able to attack larger animals and birds than the ordinary house cat would, but one even then fails too (sic) understand their real ability as hunters.

Mr. Develing (sic) intends to keep the full grown cat for use in hunting, but he intends to dispose of the younger cats.

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 15, 1903

Happy Man of Fifty Years Takes a Bride of Sixteen

Unusual Wedding Ceremony to Take Place at Lehigh – Interested Persons are Both Well Known.

Autumn and spring will join hands to tread as one over life’s uncertain pathway, when Paul Jacobs and Elsie May Baldwin, both of Lehigh, take the vows which bind them as man and wife. The groom is a miner by occupation and has lived in the vicinity of Lehigh for a number of years. He is fifty years of age and h is bride is sixteen.

Mrs. (sic) Baldwin is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Baldwin, well known residents of Lehigh. The written consent of the girl’s parents was required before the clerk would issue the certificate which licenses them to wed.

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Meat Famine in the City Monday

   Posted by: admin    in Food, Merchants

The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 14, 1903

Meat Famine in the City Monday

Non-Arrival of a Shipment From Omaha Causes Shortage Which is Felt All Over City.

Markets Are Well Supplied

Peculiar Instance When Meat Market Proprietors Depend for Supply on One Shipment Which Fails to Arrive – Epicures Go to Bed Hungry.

A genuine meat famine existed in Fort Dodge Monday. A canvass of the meat markets yesterday afternoon in search of a tender steak or succulent roast resulted only in obtaining such replies at “Sorry but we are clean out.” “We haven’t got a pork chop in the house.” It is said that the only thing remaining in the meat line in the local butcher shops was a strong of bologna or a half a pound of wieners.

The famine, which was a stern reality for the many working people in the city who depend on meat at the chief means of subsistance (sic), was apparent to every market in the city. The cause was the non-arrival of the car of meat from the Armour Packing company of Omaha. The car in question was scheduled to arrive in the city on Monday mornings and seldom fails to come a (sic) the appointed time. In some way however the car missed connections Monday and the dealers who rely on this car for yesterday morning’s supply were disappointed in their expectations, as were many lovers of porterhouse who were doomed to be disappointed when they sat down to Monday evening’s repasts. The car is known as an “open car.” In other words, dealers may take from it whatever amount they need, it not being necessary to place orders ahead before the shipment leaves Omaha.

Ordinarily the butchers would not have suffered, but unfortunately every shop in the city was particularly low during the latter part of last week, and therefore had planned to secure an extra supply this week.

The delayed car, together with two other cars from other companies which regularly arrive on Tuesday, came in this morning so that all the markets are well stocked today.

With two exceptions, all of the meat dealers in the city rely entirely on packing house meats for their supply. These two firms, however, were both short on Monday morning and had expected to stock up from the Armour car. After ten Monday there was no meat to be secured in the city.