Posts Tagged ‘1904’


Refrigerators in City are Robbed

   Posted by: admin    in Household, theft

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 10, 1904

Refrigerators in City are Robbed

Residents in East Part of City Are Up in Arms Over Petty Depredations

Bad Characters in the City

Everything Left in Refrigerators on Back Porches in the Neighborhood of Second Avenue South and Thirteenth Street Disappears

Residents in the eastern part of the city have been suffering lately from the depredations of sneak thiefs (sic) and are arming themselves and have determind (sic) that if they catch any one around their places in the night hour it will go hard with them. Of late several people living in this vicinity have had their refrigerators opened in the night and have in consequence found everything eatable gone in the morning.

The refrigerators have been so thoroughly stripped that people when they see the doors of their refrigerators open in the morning are surprised if they find the ice has not been taken. The people in this neighborhood have decided that the matter has gone too far all ready (sic) and are making strenuous efforts to locate the petty thieves. Mrs. D.B. Johnson had her refrigerator opened Monday night and everything was taken. The next night the refrigerator of W.A. Shephard which was sitting on the back porch was opened and everything was found to be gone the next morning. The contents of both refrigerators were all gone, the thieves taking everything in one, from some cold chicken and meat down to the butter, eggs, and milk. From the quantity and from the variety and class of everything taken it is shown that the thieves are not looking just for dainties but are feeding solely from the articles taken from the different refrigerators over town.

Whether it is the members of some family who are doing this to get a living or is some one who is in the city attending the races is not explained, but the residents in the part of town where the depredations have been committed think it is men who are living at the race course and are able to get all their food in this manner. The depredations as far as reported have only extended to the neighborhood of Second avenue south and Thirteenth street, but as the people in this part of the city are all preparing to put a stop to it and are not leaving things where they can be got at, it is probable that the thief’s (sic) will be forced to commence operations in another part of the city. So every one who has been in the habit of leaving things in the refrigerators on the back porch are advised to discontinued (sic) the practice at least while the races are going on as disreputable characters are sure to be around at such a time.

While every effort is being made to apprehend the guilty persons it is a very difficult matter as with so many bad characters in the city at such a time the city police have a great deal to look after.

(Editor’s note: This was an issue the following year, as well.)

Information from the 1908 city directory for Fort Dodge:

W.A. Shephard: 1322 Second Ave. S. He was the president of Shephard Hardware Co., 831 Central Ave. (Hardware, Tinsmiths, Heating and Plumbing). His wife’s name was Georgia.

Mrs. D.B. Johnson: 1328 Second Ave. S. Delbert B. and Anna Johnson. He was a conductor on the ICRR (Illinois Central Railroad). He is not listed in the 1909 directory. There are three possible listings for her. Anna M. Johnson was a stenographer for Fort Dodge Grocery Co., boarding at 900 I St. West Fort Dodge. (Note:  Street names changed a couple of times, so this is not the same I Street as today.) Anna O. Johnson boarded at 204 H St., West Fort Dodge. Anna S. Johnson was a seamstress, boarding at 234 N. Second St., North Fort Dodge.

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Price of Flour Soars Upward

   Posted by: admin    in Food, Merchants

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 9, 1904

Price of Flour Soars Upward

Jumped Twenty Cents on the Sack Monday and Will Go Higher

It May Reach Two Dollars

Damage to Wheat Reported to be the Cause of the Raise — Rust in North Wheat District Said to be Serious — New Bug in Minnesota

Two dollars a sack (about $50 today), that is what flour may be within the next few days, according to the judgment of Andrew Hower, the Fort Dodge authority on flour. On Monday this commodity made two jumps of ten cents ($2.52) each and is now selling at $1.70 ($42.77) per sack, with no relief in sight for the immediate future and a continued upward tendency at the present.

Wheat Damaged in Northwest

“Wheat is reported to be badly damaged in the northwest by rust,” said Mr. Hower, to a Messenger representative this morning. “This is responsible for the present advance. the price at the mills has raised fifty cents ($12.58) on the barrel the past week, and the advance will undoubtedly continue. Flour that was welling yesterday morning at $1.50 ($37.74) per sack is now retailing at $1.70 and is likely in my judgment to go on up till it reaches a price right around two dollars. Wheat, I believe, will be forced up to at least $1.10 ($27.68) per bushel, before the new crop comes on and the uneasiness is over, and flour is bound to soar in sympathy.

New Bug Damages Wheat

T.H. Hoffman, the partner of Mr. Hower in the wholesale flour business, has just returned from a trip into the wheat growing districts of southern Minnesota, and he reports the crop in the territory covering a number of counties in the best of the wheat territory has been attacked by a new bug, and is threatened with very serious damage. The oldest residents of the country infested have never seen anything like the insect that is causing the trouble. The bug operates by getting into the stem of the grain and taking the substance out of it. The outlook in this district according to Mr. Hoffman, is said to be serious.

The Grocers Optomistic (sic)

The grocers of the city who have been seen seem to think the matter is not so serious as the (millers) would make believe, and they think the scare will blow over in a short time. R.A. Schroeder, of the Right Place, said this morning: “I really believe the reports as to the damage to the wheat crop of the northwest have been exagerated (sic) and that there is not so much occasion for worry with regard to the matter as has been made out. I think when the harvest comes, there will be plenty of good wheat. There is generally a little flurry in wheat about this time of year, and I believe that present excitement is caused to a great extent by the men who would dispose of the old wheat they are holding at a good margin and they are taking advantage of the exagerated (sic) stories of damage to the new crop to boost the price of the old wheat on hand.”

(Editor’s note: No where in this article does it explain what amount of flour is being sold to the consumer. I imagine it is a large amount, like a 25-pound or 50-pound bag, rather than the 5-pound or 10-pound bag that we are familiar with today.)

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The Lions Take a Fast Ride

   Posted by: admin    in Animals, Entertainment

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 6, 1904

The Lions Take a Fast Ride

Horses Run With Cage Holding King of Beasts

Big Vehicle Gets Start of Team and Driver And Dashes Down Hill Leading to Round Prairie

A runaway with a cage of lions is an exciting thing at best and when the danger of a steep hill is added to the event, the affair takes on a form that involves considerable danger.

This is the very thing that occurred this morning as the pageant of the Norris & Rowe show left their grounds on Round Prairie to the Third street viaduct, the big vehicle proved too much for the brake and the horses were unable to hold it back. When the predicament dawned on the driver, he let the horses run down hill until they struck the level of the viaduct, where the big wagon was slowly brought under control. It dashed clear across the viaduct, however, before the driver could regain control.

The rapid rate of travel and the bouncing he got, proved a matter of considerable concern to his highness, the king of beasts, who was the single occupant of the cage, and he dashed against the bars of his prison in a manner that threatened it with destruction.  He had quieted down fairly well, however, by the time the procession reached Central Avenue, and was only walking back and forth in a manner that denoted the rapid ride had gotten on his nerves. The parade got back to the show grounds without further accident.

(Editor’s note: This article was published on a Saturday. At the time, The Fort Dodge Messenger published Monday through Saturday. There is another article, published on Aug. 8, 1904, which details an incident later the same day as the parade, when the lion escaped during the circus performance and severely injured a horse belonging to Charles Dayton.)

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Deadly Disease Attacks Cattle

   Posted by: admin    in Animals, Farm life, Homer, Lehigh

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 5 1904

Deadly Disease Attacks Cattle

Cows Near Lehigh are Victims of Strange Disease Which Kills

Five Herds Already Attacked

Farmers in Vicinity of Lehigh and Homer are Badly Frightened Over Appearance of Apparently Incombatible (sic) Disease Which Proves Fatal

The cattle in the vicinity of Lehigh and east about Homer have been attacked by a most peculiar disease that is baffling the veterinaries of the vicinity, and causing considerable loss to the farmers, who are much alarmed over the situation and fear a general spread of the disease. Five different farmers about Lehigh and Homer have lost cattle with the disease already.

The Malady Proves Fatal

The malady in nearly every instance had proven fatal and the people of the vicinity have no idea of the treatment of it. The first symptom, where milch cows are attacked is generally the caking of the bag. A little later the afflicted animal begins to stiffen in the hips and back, and staggers as she walks. Death almost always follows these symptoms closely.

Veterinaries Puzzled

Veterinaries have been called from Fort Dodge, but so far they have been able to give no satisfactory explanation of the disease. Whether it is some variety os smut or some new weed the animals are getting this season that acts on them are now known, but it is more probable they are the victims of some new disease.

Precautions Taken to Prevent Spreading

Every precaution is being taken by the farmers in whose herds the disease has appeared to prevent its spread. Among the several farmers who have lost cattle from the malady so far are F.L. Spencer, living three miles north of Lehigh and Ashberry Johnson, whose home is located near Homer in the eastern edge of Hamilton county. (Editor’s note: Homer was located within Webster County.)

County Has Been Free From Disease

The county has been unusually free form diseases of all kinds so far this season, as far as farm animals have been concerned until within the past month. Within the past four weeks, however, a number of maladies have made their appearance both among horses and cattle.

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Improvements in Fire Department

   Posted by: admin    in City Council, fire department

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 4, 1904

Improvements in Fire Department

Shall Another Station Be Built and New Wagon Ordered?

Present System Inadequate

Says Fire Marshal Lowry Who Advocated Purchase of Chemical Wagon and New Station. Fire Committee Discusses Matter

Does Fort Dodge Need a new fire house, locate presumably on the corner of Twelfth street and First avenue north, and a new wagon which will be fitted up for the extinguishing of fires by chemicals? These are two momentous questions which will be discussed by the city council at their next regular meeting Monday night.

Need of Chemical Wagon

In the opinion of Fire Marshal Lowry, the present fire protection is inadequate to the needs of the city. Over sixty per cent of the fires could be put out by chemicals, thus saving the loss of damage to property by water. But the present wagon is fitted out with only two two gallon extinguishers. At a meeting of the fire committee held last night the matter was taken under advisement and a recommendation will be made to the city council next Monday to purchase a new chemical wagon. Such a wagon would be about the size of the present wagon, but would contain a forty gallon tank of chemicals under the seat with two smaller tanks on each side of the wagon. Two hundred feet of chemical hose would be included and a root and extension ladders. 1,000 feet of water hose will also be carried. the cost of such a wagon complete would not exceed $1,700 (about $42,775 today). It would weigh 8,000 pounds when empty and would be equipped with three-inch rubber tires. This wagon would serve as a protection to districts outside of the city mains, the chemicals being as effective one place as another.

The present wagon would by no means go out of use. It could be kept in the present house and the old hook and ladder which is now stored in the fire house and which is very seldom used, could be taken elsewhere. In case of large fires a hack team could be secured and both wagons used, but as chemicals are used in the main, the new wagon would be taken out for the most part. (Editor’s note: They are suggesting that in case of a large fire, someone would run to a livery stable and hire horses to run the old hook and ladder. Times have certainly changed.)

Need of Second Department

It is also the intention to bring up the matter of having a second station. It is argued that should two fires happen to take place at the same time in opposite parts of the city protection could not be offered. The present East End department consists of but a hose car and relies entirely on volunteers in case of fire. It is thought that a station located on the city’s property on the corner of Twelfth street and First avenue would be in the proper place. This location would make it almost the central part of the city and at the same time save the lower department of the run up hill to the east part of the city which is always so exasperating. A second station could be maintained with very little cost after the building had once been built, as there would be plenty of apparatus when the new wagon had been purchased.

Waterloo Has Two Wagons

Those of the department in favor of the improvement say that inasmuch as other towns of size not larger than this, hav1e superior protection to that in Fort Dodge, a change for the better should be made. Waterloo has two chemical wagons. The water committee is composed of John Ruge, Guy Ranking, Jesse Beal, and Louis Fessler.

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Strange Disease Attacks Calves

   Posted by: admin    in Animals, Farm life

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 3, 1904

Strange Disease Attacks Calves

Makes Its Appearance at Willow Edge Farm with Fatal Effects.

Ten Die in Herd of Seventeen

Disease Showed Itself Only a Few Days Ag — All Possible is Being Done for the Afflicted Animals and Every Precaution is Taken

A peculiar disease has broken out among the calves at the L.S. Coffin farm and is sweeping the animals off with terrible rapidity. Out of a herd of seventeen calves confined by themselves, ten are already reported dead and the most of the others are sick.

The disease made its appearance only a few days ago, but soon showed the serious nature int he  havoc it wrought among the calves it had attacked. The disease is an intestinal affection (Note: should be affliction?), and the animal attacked does not last long after the malady makes itself known. The veterinaries of the city who have been called on the case, have not as yet decided on the nature of it, but every precaution is being taken to keep it from spreading to other herds on the farm.

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Youths of City Turn Aeronauts

   Posted by: admin    in Entertainment, Inventions, People

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 2, 1904

Youths of City Turn Aeronauts

Balloon Ascension Every Evening in the Eastern Part of the City

Herman Price Makes Balloon

The Corner of Third Avenue North and Eighteenth Street is the Scene of the Ascension, Which akes (sic) Place Every Evening

The carnival balloon ascensions have made as great an impression on the small boy as does every while west show and attractions of like nature. After every wild west show has been here the small boy turns into a western cowboy or Indian for a month and the favorite play grounds of the youth are turned into a scene of massacre with the cowboy to the rescue. Bows and arrows are made as are also lassoes of every description and until the novelty wears off, the mothers have a hard time to kep (sic) the faces of the youths free from war paint. The same applies every time a circus gives a performance when every youth turns trapeze performer or a contortionist of some kind But to have the youths turn aeronauts is a new experience to the mothers of this city. After previous balloon ascensions small parachutes were in great demand but twelve-year-old Herman Price is the first to have daily balloon ascensions.

Although there is no one who goes up with the balloon or no parachute drop made, other particulars of a balloon ascension are carried out to the smallest detail. First the balloon which is about six feet in height is placed over a hole and this hole is connected with a larger one in which a fire is made. The fire is then started and after the balloon is well filled with smoke, quantities of kerosene or gasoline are thrown on the fire to make it gas and as the boys, if they are lucky in begging a large quantity from their mothers, throw it on unstintingly, the balloon is soon filled.

After Herman decided that the balloon is filled sufficiently, the order to cast off is given and the balloon starts on its journey. The balloon as a rule is sent up several hundred feet and sometimes when the boys in the neighborhood have been successful in getting a large quantity of oil or gasoline the balloon is sent to a height where it is scarcely visible. When the balloon is up a great distance it can be  scarcely distinguished from a large balloon especially if it is at dusk when the boys generally send it up.

The balloon is made of a glazed paper which holds the gas and smoke very well. A canvas balloon of this size is too heavy as Herman has found out and so this glazed paper was used in place of it and a very good substitute it has proved. The paper holds the gas and smoke for several minutes which is amply sufficient to send the balloon to a great height and its descent is very slow.

The boys of the east end of town all consider that they own an interest in the balloon as they are generally tghe ones to furnish  and gasoline. However, Herman Price, or as he is better known to the boys of this part of town, “High Price,” is the sole owner and inventor of this balloon. He has made several balloons, but all manage to get destroyed before many weeks old as the paper can be easily torn and a little leak in a balloon of this size is disastrous. So one after another has he made until now he is an expert in the business. The balloons have gradually increased in size and his friends predict he will make one soon large enough to sen dup some animal aeronaut.

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Choice Delicacies in the Market

   Posted by: admin    in Farm life, Food, Household, Spring

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



Message From Dead Found in Bottle

   Posted by: admin    in Clare, Kalo

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 7, 1904

Message From Dead Found in Bottle

 Boys Fish Out the Bottle as it is Floating in the River Near Kalo.

“Matt McDermott, Clare, Iowa. Tired of living, will seek a watery grave.”

This message was found enclosed in a tightly corked bottle by some small boys at Kalo. While playing near the river they noticed the bottle floating near the shore and fished it out with a pole.

Matt McDermott, a young farmer living near Clare, disappeared last summer and if the note in the botle (sic) proves to be writen (sic) by him it is the first real clue discovered as to his possible fate. McDermott drove to Fort Dodge one Saturday. He put his team in a livery stable and was seen at several places until 3 o’clock in the afternoon. He is supposed to have been seen later in the day but conclusive evidence to that effect has never been produced and the same holds in regard to his being seen near the public square the following morning. Many rumors were afloat for a time, but after the first three hours he spent in the city that afternoon he had disappeared almost as completely as if the earth had opened and swallowed him. Suicide was the theory for his disappearance, but the authorities and many of the missing man’s friends were not wont to disbelieve the theory that he is still living. McDermott had been inclined to be morose for a year or so preceding his disappearance and various troubles are assigned as the causes for his wishing to suddenly disappear.

A brother of the missing man living at Clare was notified of the discovery and immediately went to Kalo. He identified the handwriting as that of his brother and feels certain it is not a deceit. The only unusual feature of the note is the fact that it was signed Matt McDermott. His brother’s usual way of signing was his initials only.

The discovery has created considerable excitement in Kalo, but no search has yet been made for the body.

It is quite likely, if the missing man did take his life in this was he threw himself into the Des Moines at a point not far from this city and there is no way of accurately judging how far the body may have drifted since the deed was done.

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Destructive Fire at Knierim

   Posted by: admin    in Fire, Knierim

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 4, 1904

Destructive Fire at Knierim

East Side of Main Street Swept by Flames

Loss Amounts to About $4,000 – Fire Originated in Hay Mow of a Livery Barn

The whole east side of the main street of Knierim was destroyed by fire Friday evening, causing a loss of about $4,000 ($95,798 today), partially covered by insurance.The fire originated in the haymow of the livery barn, and had broken thru the roof of that building before being noticed. Three horses were burned before they could be rescued. The fire spread rapidly to the adjoining  buildings, all of which were consumed despite the utmost efforts of the fire company. The strong wind which was blowing at the time made control of the blaze impossible.

The buildings consumed were the livery barn, belonging to John Burr, partially covered by insurance, the George Wright harness shop, fully insured and a carpenter shop. The last named building was empty.

The fire was discovered about 4:30 in the afternoon and was so far advanced that nothing could be done by the fire department.

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