Archive for August, 2013


Showman Meets With Accident

   Posted by: admin    in Accident, Entertainment

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 31, 1903

Showman Meets With Accident

John Wood, Leading Character in “Two Merry Tramps” Suffers Fractured Leg

Falls Thru Open Trap Door

Unaware of Opening in Floor, He Falls Into Basement Below

John Wood, one of the two leading characters in the Wood and Ward “Two Merry Tramps,” which is to be produced at the Midland tonight, met with an accident at 12:30 this afternoon by which he will be unable to appear on the stage for some time. As a result of his failure to see an open trap door on the stage in the rear of the opera house he was precipitated to the basement below nad suffered a fracture of the right leg between the hip and knee.

Wood, who as well as being one of the leading characters in the play, is a member of the band, and with that organization had been playing on Central avenue at noon. A few minutes before 12:30 the band returned to the opera house. A chest in which the uniforms are carried was standing near an open trap door and while in the act of placing his cap upon the cover of the box Wood unconsciously stepped into the hole and fell, a distance of fifteen feet. The other members of the band were present and several of them even saw him step back into the hole, but had no time in which to warn him of his danger. Wood himself said that the bright sunlight of the street in contrast with the interior of the opera house caused him to fail to see the opening in the stage floor. Those who saw him fall were unaware that he did not know of the opening  until too late to warn him.

A surgeon was summoned and the injured man was given attention.

The production, however, will be given tonight as usual. It is customary to provide for contingencies of this nature by carrying an understudy and in this way Wood’s part will be filled tonight.

It has since been learned that Wood’s correct name is Kenyon.

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Dies Suddenly While Visiting

   Posted by: admin    in Death

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 30, 1904

Dies Suddenly While Visiting

Peter Lindstrom of Dayton Dies of Heart Disease While at a Friend’s

Found Dead in Bed Room

Had Sister in This City — Had Been in Best of Spirits — Well Known Throughout County — The Coroner’s Jury Verdict

While visiting at the home of his friends, Mr. and Mrs. Victor Newburg, in Dayton, Peter Lindstrom, a tile ditcher, of that place, came to his death from heart trouble Monday afternoon. The cold lifeless form of the dead man was found in an upper room of hte Newburg home several hours after he had been stricken. The coroner’s jury, which was summoned at once, rendered a verdict of death from heart disease, between the hours of two and four. The jury was composed of August Putzke, Edward Putzke and G.W. Weaver.

Has Relatives in This City

Lindstrom, who was a widower, had lived in Dayton for many years and was well known throughout the county. He has a sister, who is housekeeper for E.B. Craft, and who left for the scene of her brother’s death last night. Deceased had many relatives in Dayton and the surounding (sic) towns. He was fifty-seven years old at the time of his death.

Was Feeling Well

Lindstrom had long been a sufferer from heart disease, but he had been feeling in such good spirits during the few days previous to his death that it came as a terrible shock to his friends. On Saturday night he had gone to the Newburg home for a few days visit. After dinner Monday he returned at once to his room never to go forth from it again. When supper time came Mrs. Newburg, becoming alarmed at his continued absence, went up stairs to look for the missing guest. Upon opening the door she was horrified to se (sic) the cold lifeless form half on the bed and floor. A physician was hastily summoned, but it was evident that the man had been dead for some time. He met his death between the hours of 2 and 4 o’clock.

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Only Woman Circus Manager

   Posted by: admin    in Entertainment

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 29, 1903

Only Woman Circus Manager

Mrs. W.H. Harris of Nickel Plate Shows in City

Arrives With Shows This Morning — Performance This Afternoon and Evening

Mrs. W.H. Harris enjoys the unique distinction of being the only successful woman manager of a circus. Mrs. Harris arrived in the city this morning and with her came the Nickel Plate Shows, of which she is manager. For the past three years this organization has been under her supervision and at no period during the twenty years previous to that time had the shows been more prosperous. Before his death Mrs. Harris’ husband was manager of the Nickel Plate shows and at his demise the widow pluckily took up his work and has since carried it on with unlookedfor (sic) success.

The Nickel Plate shows gave a performance this afternoon and will repeat the same this evening at the corner of Twelfth street and Fifth avenue north. The Fort Dodge public will remember these shows for the excellent performances given on past visits to the city. At the last engagement on Decoration Day, May 30, 1902, an unusually good production was given here to the satisfaction of the hundreds of people who witnessed it. In view of this fact and the further fact that the shows have improved even over their standard of last year a detailed description of their merits is unnecessary. Mention may be made, however, of the exceptionally clever work of William Melrose, who left the Barnum shows in Europe and returned to this country last spring, as well as the work of the Jenniers family of acrobats.

Fort Dodge athletic enthusiasts will be given a treat in the opportaunity (sic) to witness the work of Harry LaSage, whose athletic work is performed on a bounding rope. Mr. LaSage until a short time ago was physical director of the Illinois Athletic association.

The Nickel Plate shows arrived in the city this morning over the Rock Island from Perry. They leave on the Illinois Central for Waterloo where two performances are given Monday.

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Death of Old Resident Occurs

   Posted by: admin    in Death

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 28, 1905

Death of Old Resident Occurs

William J. Williams Died at the Hospital Today at One P.M.

Well Known in This City

Was a Very Familiar Character and Had Won a Great Many Friends During Long Residence Here by His Musical Talent and Disposition

The death of one of Fort Dodge’s oldest residents and most familiar characters, occurred at one o’clock this afternoon wehn William J. Williams passed from this life, at the hospital.

Mr. Williams was a half brother of Mrs. John F. Duncombe and has lived in this city throughout his entire life. He has always been well known by older residents of the city and won considerable popularity in Fort Dodge in earlier days by his ability to play the violin, making use of this talent very often for the benefit of others at gatherings of all kinds.

Of late years Mr. Williams has not been in very good health and has lived at the Duncombe House, working at times at the Fort Dodge Chronicle office. He has been steadily failing for more than a year and was taken to the Fort Dodge General hospital a week ago today, suddenly worse with a complication of diseases.

Since his arrival there he has been sinking steadily and breathed his last this afternoon. He was fifty-three years old at the time of his death.

His body will be removed to the residence of Mrs. Duncombe, but other plans have not yet been completed for the funeral. They will be announced tomorrow.

(Editor’s note: William J. Williams was a son of Maj. William Williams, who founded Fort Dodge.)

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Freak Marriage of Stratford Girl

   Posted by: admin    in Marriage, Society news, Stratford

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 27, 1904

Freak Marriage of Stratford Girl

Wedded at Spiritualist Camp Meeting Before Crowd of Spectators

Minerva Bentley is the Bride

Weds William L. Gibbs of Abilene, Tex., Met at Camp Meeting at Cedar Rapids, and Concluded to be Made One on the Spot

Stratford, Ia. Aug. 27 — Miss Minerva Bentley of Stratford took an important part in a woods wedding at Cedar Rapids on Wednesday evening. In fact, she was the bride, the groom being William L. Gibbs of Abilene, Tex. The two were attending the Spiritualists’ camp meeting there and concluded to enter into matrimony before the close of the camp meeting. The following is a report from the meeting in regard to this strange wedding:

“There is a little matter of business to transact before we conclude,” solemnly observed a minister at the Spiritualists’ camp meeting at Cedar River Park last evening: and with the audience all in ignorance of what was to transpire a blushing bride and groom walked into full view of the crowd and proceeded to answer the usual questions incident to a marriage ceremony.

The couple who chose this novel and surprising method of becoming man and wife were William L. Gibbs of Abilene, Tex., and Minerva Bentley of Stratford, Ia. They have been in attendance at the camp meeting and arranged with Rev. J. Allord to make a preliminary announcement and perform the ceremony.

(Editor’s note: I looked up the marriage on They were married on Aug. 24, 1904, — a Wednesday, as mentioned in the article — in Waterloo. She was 44 and he was 53. His parents were John L. Gibbs and Martha J. Long. Her parents were William Bowman and Maria Hardin.)

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Narrow Escape for Boy

   Posted by: admin    in Accident

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 26, 1904

Narrow Escape for Boy

A Heavy Weight Falls Upon Robert Craig

Pinned Down Under a Furnace Which Weights 500 Pounds, But No Bones Are Broken

Robert Craig eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Craig had a narrow escape from an awful injury on Wednesday. Mr. Craig has purchased a new heating furnace for his house and it has been stored in the barn this summer. He and Robert were out in the born (sic, should be barn) and Robert was playing about when suddenly Mr. Craig heard a cry and looking about he discovered his boy pinned under the entire front of the plant which had fallen on him, just leaving his head out above the iron.

The front weighed about five hundred pounds, at least, so it seemed to the distracted father as he raised it from off what he supposed would be a crushed and broken child. The little boy was found to be badly bruised but not a bone broken. As the front fell the door fell open and supported the weight of the structure, thus in a large measure saving the child who would no doubt have been killed, or badly injured if this had not been so.

Robert is a badly bruised boy, but he will soon be around again and there is a very thankful family up at the Craig home, in spite of the fact that just after this accident the baby secured a case knife and cut his little finger to the bone to make a diversion for his parents, who were no doubt too much taken up with Robert to please the small autocrat.

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Merry Quartette of Drunks

   Posted by: admin    in Police court

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 25, 1904

Merry Quartette of Drunks

Appear in Police Court This August Morning

All are Relegated to the Pen for Punishment and Meditation Fancy Free

A quartet of drunks and vagrants graced the mercy seat in police court this morning. All plead guilty to their respective charges, as a result the city jail now houses four new ocupants (sic). The first man up was James King who appeared Wednesday morning and was allowed to leave upon promise to get out of town at once. He was given a strong dose this morning in the shape of a $9.35 sentence (about $235 today).

William Carroll of Minnesota was quickly disposed of at $5.85 ($147). William Davis from the Windy City took his $1 ($25 today) and costs and was lead to the bastile without a murmur. John Wilborn was the last man up and he made a strenuous plea for fresh air, saying that he had an appointment at Oelwein. He too was relegated to the city pen.

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Where Do The Bottles Go?

   Posted by: admin    in Food, Household, Merchants

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 24, 1906

Where Do The Bottles Go?

Question Not Easily Answered by Busy Milk Men — Many Housekeepers Borrow Them at Times

“Where do the pins go?” is an old and trite query that has never been satisfactorily answered. The modern dealer is puzzled by a similar question equally difficult of solution: “Where do the milk bottles go? No matter how carefully or plainly they are marked, they say, there is a constant shortage which can not always be accounted for by the breakage which is, of course, to be expected.

“Our regular customers,” said one of the prosperous dealers a few days ago, “are very good about returning the bottles. It is the chance purchaser who runs into the store for a quart or a pint who is apt to be careless about sending back the bottles.”

“Yes, the bottles belonging to different dealers are always getting mixed,” continued the same speaker. “Many people, who are both willing and anxious to return the bottle, can not realize that it matters what dealer gets them, just so they are handed to some one of us. Some times I have bottles belonging to three or four different dealers, all plainly marked, left at my store or handed to my drivers by people who seem to think they have done their duty in a most exemplary manner.

“We had a good deal of trouble getting them to their proper owners until the last one of us established a sort of exchange in his milk store. the store is centrally located and when any of us gets another’s bottle by mistake we just stop and set it on a shelf behind the door there and look among the collection for our own. There are generally bottles representing half a dozen dealers or so on this shelf, which we find a very convenient institution.”

Variously Used

“It is a surprise how many uses cna be found for a milk bottle. They are a convenient shape, solid and strong, and the four different sizes in general use suit quite a variety of purposes. They come back to us in all sorts of conditions.

“Some housekeepers appear to depend upon them for supplying a shortage in the supply of bottles for catsup or pickles. They are quite popular receptacles for pear butter, apple butter and other sort of jams which need not be air tight. People seem to think we ought not to object to loaning them for a few months for such useful purposes.

Sometimes Coal Oil

The use we do most seriously object to our patrons putting the jars to is that of a substitute coal oil can. Every once in a while, when we put a quantity of bottles into the scalding tub, we notice strong fumes of coal oil. Of course that means that the whole tubful of bottles must be taken out and thoroughly washed through several waters in order that the offending bottle may be certainly secured, and nobody have cause to complain of the flavor of the milk next morning. If we could find out who was guilty of putting milk bottles to such a use it is likely that person might have trouble in getting bottled milk, but the bottles are returned with others and we are apt not to notice until the hot water gives it away.

A great many bottles are ruined by carelessness in taking out the pasteboard tops, say the dealers. People in a hurry force a carving fork hastily between the bottle and the cap, or often strike the tip carelessly when trying to force it off with some equally clumsy implement, and the result is nicked and uneven edges, which often extend themselves into cracks, which in time spell the fate of the bottle.

A neat little wire implement has been invented for lifting the cap and some of the dealers have presented one to each customer, finding that hte small outlay is more than made up in the improved condition of the bottles.



Unclean Practice Deserves Reproval

   Posted by: admin    in Medical matters, Sanitation

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 23, 1905

Unclean Practice Deserves Reproval

Ice Men Said to be Cleaning Ice in the Horse Watering Troughs

The Physicians Say to Stop

The Names of the Ice Men Who are Doing This Kind of Work Will Be Published if There Are Any More Complaints of Like Nature

The employes of an ice company have been cleaning chunks of ice in the public watering troughs and then carrying the ice to the residences, where is used for drinking and other purposes.

The practice has been going on for some time and has been called to the attention of the ice men and to many of the patrons. Physicians have taken the matter up and say that unless the practice is stopped at once the ice men will find themselves in trouble.

Even if there is no law prohibiting an affair of this kind the names of the dealers could be published. No clean housewife would think of using ice that has been subjected to such treatment.

The ice is dipped into the horse troughs and the worst of the dirt and sawdust is removed. When the ice is received at the house the housekeeper thinks that it has been cleaned by throwing water on it as is the usual custom. The ice is placed in the refrigerator and pieces may be chipped off to make ice water, lemonade, ice tea or some other cooling drinks.

The ice is kept in the refrigerator for some time and if disease germs and other impurities do not find their way into the refrigerator it is not the fault of the ice man. The practice is very unhealthy as the watering troughs are used as bathing place for dogs as well as for a drinking place by horses.

The matter has been called to the attention of the Messenger before but it was thought that the practice would be stopped and there was no proof at the time. Now that proof has been given that certain employes have been indulging in this practice it is thought time to call a halt.


The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 22, 1905

Gets a Wife Through an “Ad”

Iowa Man Chooses a Unique Method of Securing a Helpmeet

Webster City, Ia. Aug. 22 — Bert Owen, a young machinist from Valley Junction, has been in Webster City for several days in search of a wife. He advertised in the want ad column of one of the state papers for a helpmeet and a Hamilton county girl answered the advertisement. Owen returned home this morning in a very happy frame of mind and announced to close friends here that the wedding would take place during the week of the state fair.

Just who the fair damsel is is still something of a secret. Owen announced that her home is in Stanhope, but that she is visiting relatives in Webster City, and that she answered his advertisement form this city. Owen refused to disclose her name, but talked freely of his brief but successful romance.

He came to the city several days ago registered at the Wilson hotel and sought out the lady who had answered the advertisement. “She had sent me her photo,” said he at the depot this morning, “and I liked her looks. But say, she’s a whole lot better looking than the picture and I’m just sure we will like each other.”

Owen is quite talkative. Upon his arrival here he visited several stores in the city and sought information from the clerks as to the woman who had answer (sic) his advertisement. He was not at all backward and confided to all that she had answered his matrimonial advertisement and that he had come to the city to look her up. Since she is from Stanhope, south of the city, not many knew her. Owen, however, was not disheartened by this and apparently the investigations he carried on were satisfactory to him for the brief acquaintance of only a few days will culminate at the marriage altar.

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