The Fort Dodge Messenger: Dec. 2, 1903
Wants Dealers to Pay $9,000
Mrs. S.E. Smith Files Suits Against Three Firms Selling Intoxicants
Alleges Sold Husband Drink
Report That Defendants are Only Men Who Wouldn’t Make Settlement
Suits for damages aggregating $9,000 (about $221.796 today) have been brought by Mrs. S.E. Smith against three Fort Dodge dealers in intoxicating liquors on the grounds that they sold intoxicating liquors to her husband, S.E. Smith, and thereby lost to her the support which she would have received from him had he not been furnished with opportunity to become intoxicated. The defendants int he suits are Jacob Schmoll, Kiley & McCaffrey and C.S. Corey. Of each individual dealer plaintiff asks $1,500 ($36,966) actual and $1,500 exemplary damages, or a total of $3,000 ($73,932). Petitions for plaintiff have been filed by W.T. Chantland in the office of the county clerk.
The wording of each petition is similar. It is alleged that the defendants for the past year have been selling intoxicating liquors to S.E. Smith, plaintiff’s husband, who is addicted to drink. It is claimed that Smith is a stone mason and when able to work makes from $2.50 to $4.50 ($62 to $111) per day, which however, he does not earn when under the influence of liquor.
It is hinted that the trial of the suits on file will prove unusually interesting. Smith, it is claimed, did not confine his liquor purchases to any particular dispensers of intoxicants and other liquor dealers may be implicated. There is a further report that defendants in the three suits on file are the only persons who refused to make a “settlement” with plaintiff and that others were accused of selling Smith liquor, but that they made a settlement and no action was taken against them.
Tags: 1903, Chantland, Corey, Kiley, McCaffrey, Schmoll, Smith
The Fort Dodge Messenger: Dec. 1, 1903
Sprinkles Gold Dust on Floor
Joaquin Miller, the Poet, Tells of a Dance Given in the Klondike
The Floor Becomes Slippery
Miners Sprinkle Gold Dust on it to Keep the Women From Falling.
At one of his lectures just after his return from the Klondike Joaquin Miller told the following story: “One night I was invited to a dance in a miner’s cabin and while Bill Dalton scraped away on his fiddle we just hoed it down. But eh miners tramped in and out so much between dances that before midnight the ladies declared the floor was so slippery they couldn’t dance another step unless something was done. Then something was done that never was possible in mining days in California. Each miner gallantly opened his buckskin powder pouch and sprinkled gold dust on the floor! And this was repeated throughout the night. And in the morning, ladies and gentlemen, those miners never troubles themselves about sweeping up that gold dust. They just hitched up their dog sleds and rode away.
At this point of Miller’s narrative there was a slight agitation in the audience, an ominous sign of incredulity, but Miller was equal to it. With a wave of his hand toward one of the boxes, he said, “And my old friend up there in the box, Captain John Healy, will substantiate what I say.”
It was a master stroke of the poet, for the house burst into applause and greatly embarrassed the modest millionaire mining and railroad promoter of Alaska, who unsuspectingly had accepted Miller’s invitation to attend the lecture in the afternoon.
(Editor’s note: There is nothing in the article that indicates origin. I doubt that this lecture occurred in Fort Dodge. But it is an interesting story, nonetheless.)
Tags: 1903, Healy, Miller