Archive for March, 2012


Housewives Recipes

   Posted by: admin    in Cooking, Food

The Fort Dodge Messenger & Chronicle: March 31, 1916

Housewives Recipes

Fort Dodge Women Contribute Tested Receipes in the Culinary Art.


Lamb Chops
Sweet Potato au Gratin
Cole Slaw
Brown Bread
Brown Betty

Sweet potato au gratin

5 medium sized cold boiled sweet potatoes, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, salt, pepper, milk, one cup breadcrumbs. Cut the potatoes in to 1-3 inch slices. Put a layer in a baking dish, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Dot over with butter. Add second layer of sweet potatoes, add milk to cover. Add buttered crumbs and bake until brown.

Fish Balls With Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 cups fish flakes, 3 cups potatoes, 2 tablespoonfuls butter, 1 cup milk, 1 egg, 1/2 can tomatoes, 1/2 onion, 3 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoonful butter, 1 tablespoonful flour.

Put the potatoes (cut in small pieces) and fish in a stew pan, cover with boiling water and cook until the potatoes are done. Drain off the water, then mash and beat until very light. Add the milk and butter and season with pepper and salt. Next the unbeaten egg and whip until light. Shape into balls, roll in egg and sifted bread crumbs, then fry in smoking-hot fat for just a moment. Drain on soft paper.

Tomato sauce – Stew the tomatoes, onion, peppercorns and bay leaf ten minutes, then rub through a sieve. Cook the flour and butter in a saucepan until bubbly; add the tomatoes slowly. Season with salt and pepper and pour around fish balls. The entire cost of fish balls and sauce enough for a family of four will not exceed twenty-five cents. (Editor’s note: The twenty-five cent meal would be around $4.95 today. Remember this was wartime, and economizing and saving meat were important. In addition, this was published during Lent, so that was another reason to save meat.)

Lentil Cropuettes

1 cup lentils, 1/2 cup water, 1 stalk celery, 1/2 onion, 3 sprigs parsley, 1 cup bread crumbs, 2 tablespoonfuls flour, 2 tablespoonfuls butter, 2-3 cup milk, 1 egg. (Editor’s note: I’m honestly not sure if the milk is 2 to 3 cups or 2/3 cup, since there is a hyphen in the original article. I lean toward 2/3 cup because it’s not plural.)

Soak over night the lentils, celery, onion and parsley. In the morning cook to a pulp, strain through a sieve, add bread crumbs, egg and salt and pepper to taste. Make a sauce by creaming together the flour and butter and pouring on gradually the milk. Bring to the boiling point, add the lentils mixture and mix thoroughly. When cool, form into balls, dip in egg and crumbs and fry in deep, hot fat. The recipe should serve at least three people. This dish is a splendid substitute for meat.

(Editor’s note: There are more recipes, which I will add later and then remove this note.)



They Visited Real Volcano

   Posted by: admin    in People, Society news

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 30, 1903

They Visited Real Volcano

Fort Dodge Travelers in Far Off Hawaii Make the Most of Their Opportunities

An Interesting Experience

E.G. Larson and L.A. Thorson Peer Into Blazing Crater of Mighty Halemaumau

E.G. Larson and L.A. Thorson not only saw Honolulu during their trip to the Hawaiian islands, but were also favored with the unusual opportunity of looking down into the blazing crater of a real and semi-active volcano. The volcano visited by Messrs. Thorson and Larson rejoices in the euphonious name of Halemaumau. They were among  the passengers of the steamer Mauna Loa, the details of whose interesting trip are given by the Hawaiian Star, one of the metropolitan looking dailies of Honolulu.

the following report of the trip is taken from a copy of the Star, which was forwarded to the Messenger by Messrs. Larson and Thorson.

“There is fire in the crater of Halemaumau. The fire has been going day and night. News of the fire was brought this morning by a large party of tourists who returned from the volcano by the steamer Mauna Loa. The party went up to the volcano n early two weeks ago.

“From the statements of those in the party, the center of activity is a well defined portion of the pit. A place which was said to be about fifty feet in diameter was the particular center of activity. The lava was bubbling in this place. Evidently a greater portion of the flood of the inner crater is affected. What would appear to those above the floor of the pit to be fifty feet in diameter would be much greater. The spectators had to look down about 1,500 feet and a space fifty feet in diameter would appear nothing but a tiny speck from such an elevation.

“Quantities of steam were to be seen arising from numerous places in the big crater proper.”

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Family Saved by Dog

   Posted by: admin    in Animals, Fire, Manson

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 29, 1916

Family Saved by Dog

Awakened Just in Time to Escape From Burning Home.

Manson,  March 29. – The home of Mr. Hall, who works for the Farmers’ Elevator company, was burned to the ground last Thursday morning. Nothing was saved. No one knows how the fire started but it is thought to have originated from the stove. A large chuck of coal had been put in the heater the night before and it was thought that might have pushed the stove door open and thrown out live coals.

When Mr. Hall was awakened by the whining of a pet dog the bed was on fire. He dropped the children out of the window to the ground and went back for his wife and baby. The dog had been at Mr. Hall’s heels all the time but when he got out of the house he noticed it was not there, so he started back for it but it was not to be found.

The family went to a neighbors for the night.

The people of Manson are helping them get fitted out with clothing again. The Hall family expected to leave for Canada April 1. Mr. Hall recently had traded the house in on a farm in Canada.

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Left On The Prairie in His Stocking Feet

   Posted by: admin    in Gilmore City, theft

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 28, 1903

Left On The Prairie in His Stocking Feet

What Happened to the Man Who Tried a Game of Bluff on a Gilmore City Merchant.

Gilmore City, March 28. – A high handed game of bluff was worked on Charley Neel on Thursday evening of last week, by a fellow who is working for his board, for a prominent farmer west of town. He represented himself as being the owner of a farm a short distance out, and was very much in need of a pair of rubber boots, but did not have the money with him to pay for them.

He put up a great talk, at the same time putting on a pair of boots which just suited him, but he thought he wouldn’t take them today, but he would wait till Saturday when he would be in with some butter and eggs. A lady customer coming in at this time, he changed his mind, and while Mr. Neel was waiting on her the fellow walked out, carrying his old shoes in his hand, saying that he would throw them in his buggy and then come back.

Mr. Neel was suspicious that all was not right, and went out to investigate, and discovered his man sauntering along towards the north, and followed him until the fellow turned west, at Hunter’s corner, and increased his speed. Then Mr. Neel put Marshal Stebbins on his trail and the fellow was overtaken on the bottom west of town. He refused to come back within the incorporation without a warrant, but was finally induced to give up the boots, and he was left on the prairie in his sock feet. Instead of being a prosperous farmer, the fellow hasn’t a dollar.

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Passed Bogus Check

   Posted by: admin    in Crime, Scams, theft

The Messenger: March 27, 1907

Passed Bogus Check

S.R. Crego Arrested by Manager Duncombe House This Afternoon – The Monday not Found.

Man giving his name as S.R. Crego and residence as Cresco was arrested this afternoon by the polnce (sic)on complaint of the manager of the Duncombe House where he was stopping on the charge that he had obtained $50 ($1.155 today) under false pretenses. Crego is not an entire stranger to the manager and when he presented a sight draft on the Cresco bank and asked him to endorse it, it was done. Shortly after he learned that he had attempted to get a check cashed at the Fessler clothing store for $15 ($346) in payment for a hat and this raised a suspicion in the mind of the landlord who at once took steps to learn the validity of the draft cashed only to find that he had been duped.

He lost no time in looking up his man and at once had him taken into custody. He had acquired something of a load of “wealthy water” in the meantime and when arrested at the city hall had in his possession besides several bottles of dope and poison, a partially filled bottle of common booze. Although officer Grant made a careful search he failed to find the fifty. He did find, however, pinned to his vest, a private detective star, although the prisoner was unable to give any reasonable explanation as to how he came in possession or by what authority he was wearing it. He was placed in the city bastile (sic) until his brain cleared sufficiently to enable him to give some explanation of his actions.

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Newspaper Men From Fort Dodge

   Posted by: admin    in Business, People

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 26, 1904

Newspaper Men From Fort Dodge

S.R. Train, whose Pen Always Responded to the Dictates of His Conscience

Equally with Benjamin F. Gue, L.R. Train, who became editor and owner of the Fort Dodge Times about 1870, has done much in the veteran class of the “newspaper men from Fort Dodge” (to) build up and develop the town and the country around the town. Mr. Train established the first daily paper in Fort Dodge and carried it on for several years before the other weeklies became dailies.

On a little farm in old Moriah, N.Y., seventy years ago, a son was born in an old fashioned Presbyterian home. The father read the daily lesson from the “good old book,” and the mother folded her baby’s hands as she taught: “Now I lay me down to sleep” to one whose life for twenty-five years was linked with the life of Fort Dodge and Webster County. Three sons were born to that home with its simple life, three sons who answered Lincoln’s call for brave men to defend the union. From the father, who was a millwright, the boy learned to delight in creating things with the hands which led to a desire to create with the mind, and shaped his life work. Not until after his marriage had the opportunity come to him to learn the printer’s trade and he at once engaged in business for himself, leaving the editorial desk at Prairie du Chien, Wis., however to enter the army.

In 1870, L.R. Train was working as a printer in the office of the Fort Dodge Times, J.C. Ervin, a school teacher at Webster City, had bought the Times which had been started two years before. B.F. Gue was editor of the Northwest, the only other paper in Fort Dodge at that time. The Northwest was not run to suit the fancy of a faction of the republican party headed by W.H. Meservey, A.M. Dawley and Chas. Pomeroy, all three now deceased. These men desired the establishment of another republican paper, and believing the time was ripe for a new venture, Mr. Ervin put Mr. Train in as editor of the Times, that he might be free to start a new paper, which he did, calling it the Fort Dodge Republican. Mr. Ervin found himself somewhat embarassed (sic) by the management of his democratic and his republican paper, particularly as there was but a narrow hall between the two rooms that served as offices for the concerns, and began negotiations for the sale of the Time to Mr. Train.

There was a mortgage upon the Times for material, amounting to $1,300 (that amount in 1870 would be about $22,136 today) which was to be assumed by the purchaser, and a transfer of eighty acres of land. In addition to this, Mr. Ervin wanted five hundred dollars ($8,514), to be paid in material from the Times’ outfit.

It was in the fall of the year when farmers were bringing in their produce on subscription. One day a farmer was introduced to Mr. Train as he was on his way to his office. The farmer expressed great surprise  when told that this man was the editor of the Times. “Why,” said he, “I just delivered a load of squash for the Times. I told the man particularly that I wanted the squash to go to the editor of the Times” That afternoon, as the type clicked in the stick as he worked upon the composition for the Times, the word “squash” festooned itself around on the pages of the copy and resounded with the drop of the type into the stick. The squash had not gone into the right cellar. It was a small thing, but a principle was involved, and a principle was a great thing. When Mr. Ervin came to urge the closing up of the bargain he was told that if he would make it two hundred ($3,406) instead of five hundred it was a bargain. So the legal transfer was made, leaving the editor of the Republican to the enjoyment of editing his one newspaper and eating his three hundred dollar ($5,108) squash.

This basing of action upon principle was one of hte strong characteristics of the editor of the Times. It is needless to add that the observance of the principle did not always result financially to his benefit. The financial result was of small consequence, the triumph of a principle being the consideration.

Under Mr. Train’s management the Times became very popular and his editorials were widely copied. He mixed with all classes of people, studied their methods of thought and characteristics, and prepared his political articles with the view of reaching the most stolid and thoughtless. Organizing a line of thought in consecutive order, he wrote a column to elucidate a single thought standing at the head of the list. Then he would call in one of the slow thinkers to ascertain if his plan was successful, making the slow thinker the multiple of every political problem. The success of this plan was to him a pleasant revelation. Wealthy farmers and other laboring men came in and with marked enthusiasm expressed their pleasure, stating that it was difficult for them to understand the ordinary editorial discussion of political questions which he had made simple and plain.

Among the first settlers of Webster county were a great many men who held patents for their lands signed by Abraham Lincoln, known as the River Lands, the same having been granted to a corporation known as the River Land company. Mr. Train was the first to take up the cause of the settlers and urge the righting of the mistake which had resulted in great wrong to the settlers. His persistent demand that justice be done the settlers brought other friends to their cause and finally resulted in the awarding of indemnity by congress.

What an editor does is only a small part of his service to the public. The things he does not do are often of great moment, many times of more far reaching concern than the things recorded. These things are vital. In judging of a man’s life work, of his value as a citizen and of his influence for good upon a community, it is necessary, if possible, to learn somewhat of the things he has refrained from doing. This is especially true of one at the head of a newspaper, although it may necessarily partake of the semblance of a surmise from a process of reasoning upon the part of the public inasmuch as matters of that kind leave no blazed trail for the pursuer of facts to follow.

An incident may serve to illustrate in a small way what often  happens in alrger ways in newspaper experience. One of the leading attorneys of Fort Dodge came into the office one day with an air of importance and immediately engaged in earnest conversation. A young man (J.P. Dolliver) had just come to town, he said, who was making quite a stir, and something had to be done to head him off. He had made a speech and would probably  be called upon to make others. The attorney t hen outlined what he thought would make a crushing article and cause the young man to take a back seat or go farther west. “Call him Dolly,” said the lawyer, “nothing kills a young man so quickly as ridicule.” When the attorney had gone Mr. Train took up his pen to write the article outlined. One of his characteristic impulses was to do as nearly as possible what his friends wanted him to if he could consistently do so. But as he took up his pen two questions challenged his attention: (1) Has this young man ever done anything to injure you? (2) Has he not as good a right to live in this community as any other person?  The article did not appear, and the advising attorney’s face plainly indicated his disappointment long afterward.

Mr. Train conceived the idea of starting a daily paper in Fort Dodge, and made a tour of cities to study conditions. Upon his return he decided to make the venture. Everybody said a daily paper could not live in Fort Dodge, but everybody, as the word goes, subscribed for it, and the Fort Dodge Daily Times was a financial success from the beginning. The daily was issued for four years, and then the two other weekly papers published in Fort Dodge each started daily editions and the day after the following election the daily edition of the Times was suspended. With a clear field there was incentive to publish a daily, but the editor saw nothing worth fighting for.

In every public work, in private enterprise of public utility, his pen and work were promptly and freely enlisted, and he published large extra editions of his paper for the development and upbuilding of the interior towns and villages of Webster county. The cramped up position of the old court house as compared with that of other cities was of universal knowledge and the desirability of more room was of universal consent. A full block with the court house in the center, even though half a mile away, appealed to the aesthetic sense, and there was considerable discussion on that line at different times. Mr. Train opposed the removal of the court house location from the standpoint of the value of property and the non-transferable character of the lot deed, and his last newspaper work was in the closing discussion which resulted in the erection of the splendid structure upon the old site.

For twenty-five years Mr. Train stood at the helm of the Fort Dodge Times. During that time twelve other papers struggled for existence in Fort Dodge: some were absorbed into other publications, some died, and at the time he sold the Times in 1895, because of loss of sight, but three out of the twelve were in existence. The number of papers could safely be multiplied by three to obtain an estimate of the number of men connected with the twelve papers during the newspaper activity of Mr. Train. If may be of interest to read over the names of the twelve papers: (1) The Iowa Northwest; (2) The Republican; (3) The Messenger; (4) Mineral City Enterprise; (5) Webster County Gazette; (6) Webster County Union; (7) The Topic; (8) Mr. Hutton’s paper; (9) One started in the Doud building; (10) A Populist paper, the name forgotten; (11) The Chronicle; (12) The Post.

Up to the time of his enlistment in the army Mr. Train used neither tea nor coffee, tobacco nor liquor of any kind. While in the service he acquired the tobacco habit – both chewing and smoking, but after some years he discarded the use of tobacco. How such a man could, upon principle, oppose the prohibition movement in Iowa can perhaps be better understood now, with the mulct law in force, than during the fierce battle which waged at the time of the enactment of the prohibitory legislation which changed the vote of the state from seventy thousand republican majority to the election of a democratic governor.

The strongest dominating force in Mr. Train’s character thruout his life has been patriotism. As editor of the Times, opposition to the republican party was consistently worked out in  his editorial productions. In 1888 his deep sense of patriotism led him to the belief that he had erred in his judgment as to a choice of parties for political affiliation and he unhesitatingly announced his belief to the public, working as faithfully from that time for the upbuilding of the republican party as his earnest nature dictated, carrying with him a large percentage of the Times’ readers.

He was a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic, both local and state. Among his cherished papers are commissions from six department commanders, and he served as aide-de-camp to Commander-in-Chief Alger. He was the oldest member of Ashlar Lodge No. 111 A.F. & A.M., and to those familiar with the work of this order the dignity of this position is understood. He was always fearless in the advocacy of such measures as engaged his attention and quick to further any measure he believed would advance the interests of Fort Dodge and Webster county.

During a large part of Mr.  Train’s connection with the Times he was most ably assisted by his daughter, Edith Train, and any estimate of his work and efforts for the building up of the newspapers in Fort Dodge, and this always includes the building up of a town, for a good newspaper means a good town, would be lacking, if mention is not made of this able and excellent woman. For years, as her father’s eyesight began to fail, she was the mainstay of the office. She knew it all, was an excellent typesetter and could take the place of any man on the force and do his work from the editor to the “devil.” In Fort Dodge she made a place for herself and was always regarded as one of the ablest women of the city. She was elected to a place on the school board and filled her duties with energy and enthusiasm, giving entire satisfaction, except to a few women teachers who followed the old tradition and preferred to be “ruled by men.”

Miss Train was very active in the Equality Club, and also a very tower of strength in the G.A.R. Women’s Relief Corps. In ’95, the Trains went to the Pacific coast and are now living in Portland, Oregon. Since going out there Miss Edith Train has studied law and is practicing in the courts of that state. Mr. Train and his daughters too (took) up a homestead in Cowlitz county, Washington and the readers of the Messenger of two years ago, will remember the interesting account of their awful experience in the great fire of that date which Miss Train sent to the Messenger. Miss Rose Train is an artist and lives at home. Miss Matie is a teacher in the Portland public schools.

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Profit For Tile Makers

   Posted by: admin    in Business, Farm life

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 25, 1904

Profit For Tile Makers

Results From Wet Seasons, Necessitating Drainage

Brick and Tile Plants In and Around Fort Dodge Begin Operations.

Most of the Fort Dodge brick and tile plants have begun operations and the season promises to be a good one for that business. The H.R. Bradshaw company’s plant started up a few days ago as did the Fort Dodge Clay Works. The Fort Dodge Brick & Tile company will begin manufacturing within a few days.

The brick and tile industry is becoming of increasing importance to the city. There are now from 150 to 200 men employed in this business in the different plants about Fort Dodge.

The business has been given a great impetus by the past two exceedingly wet years. The farmer has had the fact of drainage borne upon him, and this year will witness more laying of tile than has ever been seen in the state in a like period of time. Iowa land has become too valuable to allow of its being left under water and uncultivated. Many large system of drainage have been planned for the coming year, and all the plants in the state will be kept busy.

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Marconigrams Are On The Way

   Posted by: admin    in Business

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 24, 1903

Marconigrams Are On The Way

Some of the Things Which May be Expected When the Atmosphere of Fort Dodge is Full of Wireless Messages.

They’ll be tappin’ on the window pane,
They’ll bump against the door.
They’ll slide right down the chimney,
An’ spatter on the floor.
An’ what are simple folks to think?
An’ sure what will they say,
When they find that wireless messages
Come to Fort Dodge today.

Why, a feller can’t go down the street
To get a drink of beer,
When here there’ll come a pesky th ing
A’ buzzin’ in his ear.
An’ he’ll want to swear a little bit,
But he won’t know what to say,
For it’s one of them wireless messages
That come to Fort Dodge today.

An’ when you’re sittin’ safe at home,
An’ it’s cold and dark and night,
An’ you hear a kind of whisperin’ sound,
And jump to douse the light.
Why then you stop and think a bit,
An’ then you laugh and say,
It’s one of them wireless messages
That come to Fort Dodge today.

Fort Dodge may be the center of large flocks of wireless messages in the near future, if the plans which have been made by Chicago parties are carried out. It is expected that the air will soon be full of these little messengers, carrying news back and forth between Chicago, Sioux City, Omaha and other large packing centers. Tests were made for the first time in Chicago Monday by the De Forest Wireless Telegraph company, which proposes to put in the system. Fort Dodge will be in the direct line of communication and soon the air waves may be fraught with momentous tidings.

A Chicago special gives the following regarding the plans of the De Forest company:

“Wireless telegraph messages between Chicago and Omaha and other packing centers, as well as communication between the offices and shops of Chicago firms, are promised by Lee De Forest of the De Forest Wireless Telegraph company.

Mr. De Forest is now at the Auditorium hotel. He is in Chicago to select a site for the lake station and to put the temporary system in operation between the offices of Armour & Co. in the Home Insurance building and the stock yards.

Wires were placed on the flag staff of the Home Insurance building yesterday. The work of erecting a mast at the stock yards will be begun at once and by Monday it is expected that the first orders of Armour & Co. will be passing by the wireless system.

Plans have been prepared for the establishment of the lake station, and Mr. De Forest said that this station was assured, whatever result might attend the experiments for Armour & Co. The Chicago station will be on the north shore, near Evanston. Three other lake stations are in process of construction, but the Chicago station will be the largest. Three masts have been erected at Buffalo, and he says the work is being pushed at Detroit and Cleveland. Communication between Buffalo and Cleveland will be established by May, according to the statements of Mr. De Forest. Towers will be built at the Chicago station, and it will have twenty or thirty horse power, double or triple that of the other lake stations.

Contracts already have been made with lake steamship companies in Cleveland and Buffalo and with newspapers for marine service. The steamship lines in Lake Michigan are regarded as probable subscribers for the service here in Chicago.

A feature of wireless telegraphy which will soon be introduced, according to Mr. De Forest, will be the “automobile station.” A machine is equipped with a pole and sending aparatus (sic), and thus fitted, operates in the streets, sending quotations into several brokers offices. “Such an automobile will be in the streets within a month,” said Mr. De Forest.

The first test will be made Monday. Wires will be strung on the flagstaff of the Home Insurance company building, the down town headquarters of the packing company, and a mast will be erected at the stock yards.

Mr. De Forest says he will demonstrate the practicality of his wireless system. “There is much at stake,” he said last night. “We can save them money. They now pay $100,000 a  year telegraph toil. The wireless system means less than half. It is something to be taken into consideration.”

But the Armour tests are among the smallest of Mr. De Forest’s undertakings. He wants to place Chicago in communication with all the cities of the lake region.

“We want to make Chicago the center of our western business,” he said. “The first test will be made between Chicago and Milwaukee. Then will come Mackinac, Sioux City, St. Joseph, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo. I expect to purchase a site for a station before the end of the week. It will be on the lake front, of course, and somewhere between Chicago and Evanston. We always attempt to get away from the city. That insures a better and more satisfactory service.”

(Editor’s note: The article is accompanied by a three-panel cartoon with scenes imagined from the poem. Lee De Forest was a dreamer and enthusiastic businessman, but perhaps less practical than he should have been. The De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company he founded in 1902 failed, as did many of his business enterprises.)

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Mange is Scourge Among Horses Near

   Posted by: admin    in Uncategorized

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 23, 1904

Mange is Scourge Among Horses Near

Ottosen in Humboldt County Has Many Infected Equines

Has Been Prevalent For Year

One Man Has Lost Ten Horses – Dr. Baughman Says Bad Type

The northern part of Humboldt county, in the vicinity of Ottosen, is threatened with a scourge of mange, among the horses belonging to one man, have already died from the parasite, and many other horses in that vicinity have been exposed to the disease.

Assistant State Veterinarian Boughman of this city, received a call to go to Ottosen Tuesday to investigate the conditions of the affair. He returned today and reports the attack to be the worst he has ever seen. Mange is not an  uncommon disease in this county, but it has always been of a light form and easily treated, or comparatively so.

In Ottosen, however, the disease has been running for a year, and has gained such headway, particularly among the horses of Dave Anderson, the liveryman at that place, who has already met with the loss of ten horses that the cure of the animals infected will be very difficult. The treatment of the disease is by dipping for cattle and sheep, but with horses this cannot be done and they must be washed thoroughly with a solution that will kill the parasites. If one little spot escapes the application the treatment must be all gone over again.

It is thought that many other horses in the vicinity of Ottosen are infected with the disease and Dr. Baughman will make a further inquiry into the condition of the horses in that section and will endeavor to stamp out the infection.

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Spring Cleaning Needed For City

   Posted by: admin    in Spring

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 22, 1904

Spring Cleaning Needed For City

Accumulations of Filth Lie in Heaps in the Streets and Alleys

A Menace to Public Health

Public Spirit Must Be Aroused – Present Condition is Shameful.

“Spring, beautiful Spring” arrived officially on Sunday at one minute and twelve seconds to seven o’clock p.m. in Chicago and  as there is a slight difference in time, she was only a little later in getting to Fort Dodge. As soon as beautiful Spring arrived in this town she burst into tears and cried for twenty-four hours without surcease. Why did Beautiful Spring weep? Go out and wander up and down the length of our “fowl” city and see if it is not enough to make angels weep to behold the accumulated filth and microbe breeders and monumental ash piles strewn with tin cans and garbage. Now that the rain has come it will be double dangerous, if those places are not removed and set in order and cleanliness, the very first opportunity. No doubt the Beautiful Spring would stop weeping for a short time, if she understood that Fort Dodge really would clean up at once and then she would burst into the soft gentle tears of a thankful woman, those tears that bring violets and all beautiful things.

Of course after weeks and weeks of waiting and perhaps an epidemic of some kind Fort Dodge might be clean, but why not do it now right away and have something to be proud of. This sermon does not mean your next door neighbor, but you, whoever you may be, who own or occupy a building where the back yard and alley suggests a new kind of vulgar and dangerous inferno.

The Condition in Des Moines.

The Des Moines News is trying to rouse the citizens of that city to the conditions there. Frank Fountain, city scaventer, says it will take 4,000 wagon loads to clear away the vaults and alleys sufficient to insure a sanitary condition. Unless this is done at once it is feared an epidemic of typhoid may break out.

Fountain claims filth has been allowed to accumulate during the past two years. He states two years ago 1,800 loads were taken to the dump while last but 1,200 were dumped, considerable being permitted to remain to swell the accumulation of filth now poisoning the atmosphere thruout the city.

Two years ago jurisdiction in this department was turned over to the city physician, Dr. N.M. Smith.

Mayor Brenton stated today he has had no official notification of such filth or a threatened epidemic, except thru the newspapers, “but that, if this is true, it is high time the health department got busy. I know there are hundreds of open vaults in the heart of the business district, and the business men who pay men to clean the streets in front of their places of business, continue to clog their alleys with filth, which is enough to start an epidemic, if anything will.”

He also says: The city streets are filthier than I ever saw them before in twenty years’ experience as scavenger. Unless something is done at once the threatened epidemic of typhoid will attack the city. (Editor’s note: This “he” is probably Frank Fountain, referenced in the first paragraph of this section.)

Now Fort Dodge is a small place, but a little energy and firmness on the part of the city officials and a little awakening and public spirit on the part of the citizens will make everything come out all right.

There are men on Central avenue that are making so much money doing such a thriving business that they can’t possibly take the time to clean up the filth that they have strewn in their backyards and alleys, and every day of spring weather makes this condition more dangerous and disagreeable.

What Ex-Mayor Bennett Says.

“The most difficult job the city officials have to do, is to keep this town in any sort of decent order and sanitary condition. People who know better will neglect theset hings in a most astonishing way and then be offended because reminded of their duty. We have often had to send the firemen into the cellars of reputable firms on Central avenue, because such piles of paper were allowed to accumulate there that were dangerous to the safety of the city and the easiest way was to send the fire department to clear it out.”

What Mr. Mason Says.

“I have just returned from Southern California and that garden spot of the world, Pasadena. The shock is considerable from the perfectly clean and sanitary conditions which hold in all parts of southern California to the state of things here. As we came up Central avenue, the papers filled the air and were blown about our horses’ feet to welcome us, I suppose, while the receptacles provided for such things stood on every corner. Men will take an armful of refuse and papers out into an alley or sometimes the front of the store, putting them into an empty box that is already full to overflowing without a cover and then retire with a self satisfied glow as of having done all that is necessary. It is easily seen what becomes of these papers. With so little expense and trouble we could have a beautiful clean healthy town, one to be proud of. Why can’t we have it?”

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