Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category


Choice Delicacies in the Market

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 11, 1904

Choice Delicacies in the Market

Home Grown Vegetables are Increasing Supply in the Groceries

Berries to Come From West

No Changes in the Live Stock and Grain Markets Since Last Week

The markets are but little changed this week. Vegetables are about the same in kind, quality and price. Home grown beet green and spinach add the only variety this week and both are welcomed with enthusiasm by the housewife who is planning a Sunday dinner. The shipping of vegetables from the south is pretty nearly shut off by the incoming  of the home grown truck. The new potatoes, new string beans, new cabbages, of course are coming from the south as yet, but even their time is not short, as all these with the exception of cabbage will soon be supplied by local gardeners. New potatoes are expected by July 4th at the latest by local gardeners and string beans will be in evidence in two weeks at the latest.

In fruits there is also little change. The first scrawny little peaches are beginning to show themselves and strawberries will climb up again next week from three for a quarter to 10 cents straight at least. The Missouri crop is exhausted and that state will cease to ship. All berries next week will come from the Hood river district in Idaho and from Colorado. Fort Dodge has received its last full car shipment for this season. All shipments will come in local from Omaha and the freight rates being thus made higher, the berries are bound to go up in prices. The home grown berries are reported to be ripening. It is expected they will come on the market the latter part of next week. All other fruit remain the same.

Live Stock and Grain.

Stock and grain markets show no changes this week with the exception of chickens, which have dropped a cent a pound, selling now for 7 cents to 9 cents a pound ($1.68 to $2.16 per pound today).

The markets are as follows:

Market item 1904 price Adjusted for inflation
Corn 60 cents $14.27
Oats 10 cents $2.39
Wheat 75 cents $17.96
Hay $5.50 to $6.00 $131.72 to $143.70
Hogs $4.10 to $4.25 $98.19 to $101.79
Cattle $3.00 to $3.25 $71.85 to $77.84
Chickens 7 to 9 cents $1.68 ro $2.16
Turkeys 10 to 12 cents $2.39 to $2.87

Spring Cleaning Needed For City

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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?”


Still No Danger From Jack Frost

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 24, 1903

Still No Danger From Jack Frost

Second Visit By the Unwelcome Stranger to this Vicinity

Tender Plants Are Touched

Every Day of Freedom From Killing Cold Means More Prosperity

An iceman once sold
Bits of ice, small and cold,
And charged for them
Their weight in gold.
At last he died,
And in torment cried,
“What wouldn’t I give
For that ice again.”

Mr. J. Frost made his second visit to Fort Dodge Wednesday night. from what can be learned by those who arose early enough to observe traces of his visit, he did not make a very lasting impression. A well known man whose word is never doubted, made the statement this morning, that but very little if any damage had been done. He also stated that the thermometer had registered but 34 at the lowest point during the early morning hours, and the frost had not done any damage on the high places and where there was shelter. On some of the low places about the city there was evidences of frost but not of a damaging character. Some of the more tender plants and vines showed traces of damage, but the more hardy varieties of vegetables and plants were not damaged.

A very favorable indication for fair weather and no frost tonight, is the friendly quarter in which the wind shifted this morning, being in the southeast. Every bright day means more prosperity for northern Iowa and incidentally Fort Dodge. It means more ground turned over by the farmers, more vegetables in the gardens, more fall pasturing for the feeders, more work for the man with the dinner pail, more building and improvements, and incidentally hands a sassy swipe to the coal trust.


How to Keep the House Cool

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 4, 1905

How to Keep the House Cool

Suggestions on How to Be Comfortable During the Summer Heat.

Close Doors in the Day Time

What to Do With The Children – Allow Them to Play in the Water Says President of New York Board of Health.

With the advent of hot weather the problem in every home is how to keep cool and comfortable as possible. Heat is always trying, energy and spirits flag, children may grow cross, while older people develop bad cases of “nerves.”

With care and judgment the house can be kept comparatively cool by throwing open every door and window after sunset leaving as many as possible open all night, then closing them again as the air grows hot and stifling in the morning. If this is systematically attended to the burden of the midsummer heat can be perceptibly lessened. The cellar particularly should be subjected to this daily treatment but when left open at night protest with coarse wire gratings the windows as a matter of safety.

Dabble in Water.

The latest suggestion for keeping the children cool and healthy is to let them dabble in water just as much as they please. “Almost everybody can place a big washtub full of cool water in the middle of the room and there let the children splash to their hearts’ content during the heat of the say,” says the president of the New York board of health. “Let the girls wash their dolls and the boys sail their boats and nobody should scold them. They should be stripped to their abdominal flannel bandages and the parents need have no fear of their youngsters catching cold.”

A further suggestion from a mother who has tried this plan for her little man last summer, during which time he never ate or slept better and never had a fretful moment, is to dissolve a cupful of sea salt in the tub of bath water. This has a distinct tonic effect while a layer of white sea sand on the bottom of the tub prevents slipping and feels comfortable to the little toes. This ocean tub may be set under the shade of a tree or in the house, first spreading a square of oilcloth if there be any danger of injuring the carpet.

For both children and adults a frequent sponging of the body with cool water is advocated together with absolute rest in the hottest part of the day and the avoidance of stimulating edibles and liquids.


Weary Willy Season Now in Full Blast

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 1, 1904

Weary Willy Season Now in Full Blast

Spring Crop of Tramps Has Been an Unusually Large One.

Dull Times Add to Numbers

The Roving Fraternity Deadbeat Their Way Searching for Employment.

The “Weary Willie” season is now at its height. He comes with the apple blossom and fades away with the first heavy frost. The “handout” request is becoming very common in Fort Dodge. Hungry Hank walks around to the back door, makes his request and when complied with either sits down on the door step and devours it or drops the foodstuffs into his pocket to go out and “whack up” with a companion, who has been delegated to “rush the can.”

The railroad yards about the city are of course the most frequented places of the fraternity, but this is a poor place to liquidate a thirst or fill an empty stomach, so they may be found in any part of the city.

There are more tramps this year, that is, men out of a job tramping and “bumming” their way thru the country, than have been seen since Coxey let his motley army of unemployed men from the west toward Washington nine years ago. Every freight from north, from south, from east, from west, that passes thru Fort Dodge bears from two to a dozen of these men hidden among and in the cars. Many of them pass thru the city with only a lookout at the yards where they stop, while others leave their hiding places and skirmish around after a drink or a “hand out.”

The closing down of factories, mills and industries of all sorts over the country has thrown a vast number of men out of work and these being single men in many instances float about from place to place in search of work. The rumors of the paving which is going on here call many of these men tot he city and being unable to secure work, get a “hand out” or two, “booze up” if they have or can get a cent and go on in their endless search for a job to other towns.

Men from the east are of the impression there is plenty of work in the west. The western man’s Mecca is toward the east and the northerner goes to the south, and the southern toward the north. Thus this endless procession of jobless men surges back and forth across the country from Maine to California, and from the “Golden” state to Main. Scarcely a wreck occurs but among the list of dead and injured, one or more unknown men are mentioned who were beating their way on the trucks, the bumpers or the blind.

Fort Doge, being a railroad town, gets more than its quota of these travelers, but the city also has a reputation for making it hard for them and they stay pretty close to the railroads, where they may board a train and get out of the city at any time. The police have always been active in their efforts and have succeeded in making Fort Dodge unpopular with the profession, and they are (missing word) to lie low while here, so the (police) are not greatly bothers by (them). It is a good reputation to maintain.


Small Improvements Over Town

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 11, 1905

Small Improvements Over Town

Terraces are Being Graded and Planted and Trees Being Set Out.

Will Aid the Town Materially

All the Property Owners, Especially On Paved Streets Should Follow the Example of a Few and Repair the Terraces that Have Been Broken up.

Signs of spring and improvement are fast being noticed throughout the town, and if everyone else follows the example of the few who have started this city will be one to be proud of this summer, when excursions are run here from surrounding towns.

There is much of the terrace around the city, on the streets that were paved last summer, that is still lying broken and ugly and some few of the citizens have already begun to put it into shape, so that the spring rains will be able to cover the brown mud with a velvety green slope.

Much of the terrace where the streets were paved last year was necessarily graded so much that if any pains are taken to fix it up, it will be even prettier than the flat terrace of the other streets.

The S.T. Meservey property is being improved in this respect and by summer it is probably that no otheer (sic) residentce in the city will present a more beautiful appearance.

All around town, small improvenst (sic) are noticed. Much of the Snell property is being planted with trees, and other terraces are being finished with stone walls or leveled off and planted with grass seed.

These are all improvements which will aid the town materially, although they seem insignificant, and it is to be hoped that every property owner will get to work and see that his own property is put in the best of shape.


“Weary Willies” are in Bloom

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 24, 1905

“Weary Willies” are in Bloom

Police Plucked a Most Beautiful Bouquet of Them Thursday Night.

Twelve Sleep in the City Jail

Were a Variegated Lot From The Ordinary Sweet William to the Hybird (sic) Ragged Tatters – All Chased Out of Town Today.

The city jail housed twelve sleepers last night. This marks the beginning of the hobo season in this section, and from this time on these men who are ever hunting work and afraid they will find it will be swarming over the north country sleeping wherever they can and begging their meals wherever they are able to find a tender hearted woman who will give them a “hand-out.”

For the past two years, there have been more hoboes (sic) in the country than at any time since Coxie’s army started on its march to Washington more than ten years ago and the season is starting out this year as tho there is still to be a great plenty of this class of people floating about.

Last fall the vast army of restless work hunters moved south with the ducks, and this spring they have appeared and are in full bloom alongside of the first delicate little easter flowers that have sprung into life the past day or two.

The gang that landed in the city on Thursday were from everywhere in general and bound for nowhere in particular. They were a variegated lot, running from the fairly well dressed gentleman “Willie” to the worst Raggedy Tags who would put Happy Hooligan on the shelft (sic) for all time to come. They were turned out this morning with instructions from the police to get out of the city with all possible haste, or they would be thrown in again on the charge of vagrancy and put to work shoveling mud on the streets. While of them were “looking for work,” they were not after that sort of a job, and made a hotfoot for the city limits with all possible haste.

This class of people believe in economizing sole leather, even through they get it out of the ash barrel, and even so early, the railroad men who run into Fort Dodge are reporting many on the move. There is scarce a freight train of any length that pulls in or out of the city, especially during the night, but carries with it from one to a half dozen of these fellows stowed away in an empty box car or on the bumpers. It is next to impossible for the railway men to keep them off, and there is scarcely ever a wreck but what there are one or two “unknown men” caught in the crush and killed.

Fort Dodge is not considered a good town by the hobo element, and is shunned by them as a general thing on account of the fact that they are almost invariably brought up in police court and threatened with being put to work on the street. This policy has been in force for several years, and as a class they have learned the attitude the town maintains toward them. The man who approaches the back door in Fort Dodge and asks for a handout is extremely hardy, and generally ends with a sojourn in the city jail or a few day’s work on the streets.


Town Topics

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 20, 1907

Town Topics

Today is in every way an ideal Spring day. The opening of Spring to a country boy means many things. It means that he will soon be fishing under the banks of the Des Moines for suckers. It means that he will sprout potatoes on the barn floor, or get the little onions ready for planting on the back lot.

The prospect of a productive season is a change even from the slush and ice of a long and dreary winter. The farmer goes out to see whether the bees are getting ready to swarm; the town man prepares to plant some flower seeds on the front lawn. The housewife, the whole land over, looks up the mops and brooms and gets in readiness for the Spring housecleaning.

Everything takes a new start, as it were, in life; we begin anew and feel brighter and better natured and feel glad that we are living.

And now that Spring seems to have run up the curtain in readiness to open the show there are many things which while we enjoy nature and its changing forms, the town dweller should attend to. Nature will do her part to beautify Fort Dodge, but it will not remove the accumulations of ashes and refuse in the cellars of our citizens. It will not repair bad pavements, muddy street, stopped up gutters or sinking crossing stones.

Nature will cause flowers to grow in the country wood, but not on the citizens lawn unless seed be planted. Nature will make the shade trees burst into leaf but it will not remove unsightly wires, broken limbs or dead trees from the streets.

The sun will shine brightly on pretty dwellings and business places, but it will not apply the paint or the whitewash brush to the back fence or the front shutters where the wintry storms have caused a former application to wear off.

Nature will make the parks look green and beautiful, but the corner lots will still have an unsightly appearance unless man assists in “clearing up.”

Nature will asist (sic) in Spring housecleaning, but as this has been a very strenuous winter, there is much for the average citizen to do to make Fort Dodge look more beautiful than ever before.