Off the Editor’s Desk – 12-13-2017

I thought that for this week I would take a trip away from the political arena into something much lighter. From time to time I go into the Tribune Library and ramble through the old files to find an article for someone that’s looking for mostly family history.

[emember_protected] I found myself looking at the newspaper file of the Glenwood City Tribune from 1916, one hundred and one years ago. I would like to reprint several of the items that were newsworthy from that time period.

STRANGE DOINGS UP NEW HAVEN WAY—Jos. Kluser, who lives just across the line in Forest, informed us that John and Mike Kavanaugh lost a steer in a manner very much out of the ordinary. The Kavanaugh had a quantity of dynamite stored on their farm in what they supposed was a secure place, but a bunk of steers managed to get to it and ate it up. One of them appeared to have swallowed the lion’s share of it, and Mr. Kluser was informed that the animal later was blown to pieces by the strange contents of its stomach, presumably as a result of coming in serve and sudden contact with an immovable object.

AFTER JUNE 1ST, 1917 Downing and Glenwood City will be given 24-hour electric light and power service. And Boyceville is still clinging to the durn old-fashioned lamp.—from the Boyceville Press.

THREE BUSINESMEN FROM GLENWOOD CITY—R. A. Cleveland, A. C. Harriman, and C. P. Peterson were Minneapolis visitors on October 18th and called at the Soo (SOO line Railroad) general offices and urged the need of a new depot for Glenwood City. The Glenwood City Advancement Association has taken this matter up and will not drop it till a station similar to the new ones built by Soo at Colfax and New Richmond.

FIRE AT ROBERTS—The hotel at Roberts was destroyed by fire Wednesday night. Sweet’s Drug Store adjoining was damaged. On account of danger to other property the Hudson Fire Department was called. They made the run in 35 minutes, – Hudson Star Observer.

BELOW ZERO—In the last ten days there has been an unbroken stretch of Arctic weather ranging from zero to 25 below zero. It was reported at Emerald for the first three days of this week the thermometer had fallen to 30 below zero. 

MORE CABBAGE—If Robert Schriener can secure contracts for a total of 200 acres of cabbage for delivery at his factory in this city next fall, he will be able to pay a larger contract price per ton. One of the largest houses handling Kraut in the United States has agreed to take Mr. Schriener’s 1917 output at a fixed price provided he can furnish a quantity that would require 200 acres to produce.

WILSON’S SPEECH TO CONGRESS—Early in February of 1917, Mr. and Mrs. D. H. Syme of Glenwood City received the following letter from their son Alex, who was attending school in Washington D. C.

“Washington was up in arms when the morning extra announced yesterday that President Wilson would deliver his speech to congress. I immediately hurried down to Mr. Frear’s office to see if he could give me a pass. Every congressman or senator has just one pass that he can give, so it is pretty hard to get one. I found he was out of town and that his father had his pass.

But, I went over to the capitol, anyway, to see Mr. Wilson come up with his corps of secret servicemen. I then went up to one of the great corridors, just off the spectator’s gallery, so I could at least get a “second hand” hearing of the speech. The thought came to me while waiting there that perhaps I might be able to bribe someone to let me through, I went over to a page boy and passed him a dollar, asking him if he could get me in someway. He said he would try and instructed me to follow him and to say simply “Page” when we were stopped by the guard. After much delay we finally got past the last guard, and into an ante-room, where I stood in the entrance, not twenty feet from the president.

I was not troubled during the whole speech, because I stood right by the press-box, and was perhaps taken for a dispatch boy.

Of course, by this time you will have read about his great speech and the wild enthusiasm that greeted almost every sentence.

I have the greatest admiration for the man after hearing him, He was very sad all through the speech, and time after time his voice broke and his eyes filled with tears.

I shall never forget the event as long as I live. I believe I was especially fortunate in being so near him, because I was able to see things about the president that the people in the gallery were unable to. I never let my eyes off the president from the time he came in until it was over. I followed every word and emotion and action that took place. I have found that Wilson has the spirit of a patriot, the poise of a king, but humble in his greatness; the heart of a lover of humanity, and, best of all the courage of a MAN.

It was feared that some German patriot would attempt Wilson’s life on his way to the capitol, so he came heavily guarded. When he got out of his car, his guards closed in about him as he walked down the corridor to the elevator, but he brushed them aside and walked bravely among the people. Every man took off his hat and made a way for him.

I am mighty glad to have been able to have seen the things I did yesterday, as I am sure you are, too.”

The Historical importance of the address to Congress on February 3, 1917, that young Alex Syme had the privilege to attend was the date that President Wilson informed Congress that diplomatic relations with Germany were severed. Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war on April 2, 1917 and four days later Congress acted and we were in World War I.

Thanks for reading!   ~ Carlton [/emember_protected]