There really wasn’t much in the newspapers 100 years ago this week. An announcement that the Hill County Fairgrounds would play host to car races the coming Sunday was printed in the Hill County Democrat’s August 26, 1916 issue. Races for light cars, big cars and free-for-alls were scheduled, and the drivers included Jerry Wanderlich, King Kelly from Chicago, Captain Harvey Kennedy of Ohio, Adolph Carlitz of Illinois, Coy Doyle, Rex Young and Fred Jennings.
In Gildford, things were also picking up. The Havre Independent Order of Odd Fellows helped install a new lodge in the bustling little town. This article was found on the front page of The Havre Plaindealer’s issue of the same date:
“INSTITUTE NEW I.O.O.F. LODGE AT GILDFORD
“Havre Lodge Attends in Body to Put on Degree Work
“Last Saturday evening, District Deputy Grand Master Thos. Kirkland of Assinniboine Lodge No. 56, O. O. O. F., went to Gildford to conduct the institution of Gildford Lodge No. 115.
“Sunday morning, the degree staff of the Havre lodge, accompanied by the local Oddfellows band and about sixty members of No. 56, went to Gildford by autos. Upon their arrival they were conducted to the new lodge room where the degree staff put on the four degrees of the order in ritualistic style.
“At six in the evening the visitors and members were banqueted, after which a program of entertainment was given.
“The degree of work was finished at 10:30 p.m. when the Havre contingent returned home.”
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows got their start in 17th century England, during a time of a high degree of illness, primitive medical practices, orphans, widows and families who could not afford to properly bury the deceased. Caring citizens united, collected funds and went about helping the destitute, the sick, and assisted in proper burials. They became known as “Odd Fellows” because people thought it strange that people organized to help those in need. The Odd Fellows are also referred to as the Three Link Fraternity, which are three oval links, which stand for Friendship, Love and Truth. The symbol can be seen on the Havre I. O. O. F. building’s cornerstone on Fourth Avenue, built in 1920. The Odd Fellows were originally all men, and the women’s group was known as the Rebekahs. They were the first national fraternity to welcome both men and women when the Odd Fellows adopted the Rebekah Decree in 1851.
From the Plaindealer’s Society column, here are a few social gatherings in Havre:
“Gives Pioneer Party.
“At the home of Mrs. Joseph Gussenhoven in this city, Tuesday afternoon occurred one of the most delightful social functions of the week. Mrs. Hollinger was the guest of honor at a pioneer party. Only guests were invited who could really qualify as old timers in the city. A very pleasant afternoon was spent in reminiscences. The house was appropriately decorated and at the close delicious refreshments were served by the hostess. Mrs. Hollinger was a resident of Havre some twenty years ago.
“Lodge Holds Social Session.
“The ladies of Havre Chapter O. E. S., No. 30, held a social session in their lodge room at the temple in this city, Tuesday evening. A very pleasant and enjoyable evening was spent in dancing and other entertainment. Thayer’s orchestra furnished the musical part of the program.
“Dancing Party for Guests
“On Tuesday evening Mrs. James Holland, Jr., and Mrs. L. K. Devlin were hostesses at a dancing party given at the home of the latter at 413 3rd avenue in this city. The part ws given in honor of Mrs. S. A. Walker of Everett, Wash., and Miss Mary Roach of Omaha, Nebr., who are visiting in the city. The rooms were beautiful in their decoration of sweet peas and clematis and other flowers. Twenty-six couples enjoyed the hospitality of the hostesses. The evening was spent in dancing. Light refreshments and fruit punch were served during the evening.”
The Devlin and Gussenhoven homes still stand today.
This article was published in the Havre Daily News on August 26, 2016.