Celebrating History-August 19, 1916

Boone's with peopleThe big news this week was the arrival of Congressional candidate, Jeanette Rankin, who was running on the Republican ticket. All three Havre newspapers ran a story about the event.  This article announcing Miss Rankin’s visit appeared in The Havre Daily Promoter’s August 14, 1916 issue:


“Miss Jeanette Rankin, candidate for congress, will be in Havre to talk to the people at open air meeting tonight, Aug. 14 at 8 o’clock, in front of Boone’s drug store.

“Miss Rankin stands for the following principles:

“National Suffrage

“Child Welfare

“Tariff revision for the protection of the worker


“Greater Publicity in Congressional Committees.

“Miss Rankin has an intelligent grasp of Social and Industrial Conditions in Montana and in the United States, gained through her extensive travels and study.

“The women have a right to be represented in congress.”

After the event, The Havre Plaindealer reported in its August 19, 1916 issue:


“Last Monday evening Miss Jeanette Rankin, of Helena, the first Montana woman to run for a seat in the United States congress, gave an address in the interests of her candidacy.  A large crowd collected on the street near the Boone drug store and listened to a very interesting talk by Miss Rankin.  Miss Rankin appealed to the voters, both men and women, for the protection of the children of the country, she said, “The interests of the women and children should be represented.  All other big interests are represented, and surely the children are the biggest interest in any country.  Montana may send a woman to congress to represent the women and children of the nation directly.

“She stated that she was a strong advocate of the farm loan law and also of a law similar to the one in force in New Zealand, which enables laborers to borrow the capital to build homes for themselves, and pay back the loan in monthly installments.

“Miss Rankin was met at the depot by the Womens Congressional club and escorted around town by auto and her short stay in Havre was made very pleasant.”

The Hill County Democrat’s article in its paper of the same date was less enthusiastic:

“Republican Speaks In Havre

“A Woman Candidate for Congress

“Miss Jeanette Rankin, of Missoula, who is a candidate for congress on the republican ticket addressed a large open air meeting in front of Boone’s drug store, in this city on Monday evening.  She was introduced by Rev. L. J. Christler and spoke about woman suffrage and announced she was for Hughes.  Miss Rankin is a very modest young lady by is quite earnest and enthusiastic in her work and presented some of the issues of the day with great force and eloquence.  Quite a number of Havre’s female politicians were out to hear her address.”

The best report was given in the August 15, 1916 issue of The Havre Daily Promoter, however, I only got part of the article before the microfilm machine decided to throw a temper tantrum and not print out copies.  It does that on occasion.  After all, it was donated 30 years ago this year to the Havre-Hill County Library by the Havre Rebekahs, and in human years the poor thing is probably pushing 100.  Few people operate like they’re 20 when they are 100, so hopefully whatever ails the Microfilm Machine at the Library will pass and next week I can get my copies!

However, what I did get contained more information than either the Plaindealer or the Democrat.  It reported around 300 men and women gathered on the street in front of Boone’s Drug Store, located on the southwest corner of First Street and Third Avenue, to hear her address.  It also reported that Miss Rankin was “intellectual” and they were apparently impressed about her “obvious sincerity” and “her splendid ideals” of her platform, rather than poo-pooing it as the Democrat did.  The article went on to outline her entire speech, which quite frankly is more impressive to me 100 years later than 95% of the political speeches given during this sordid election year.

Here are two entries from the Plaindealer’s “Society” column, complete with misspelling, which I believe should be ‘gracious’ and not ‘fracious’!

“Gives a Dancing Party

“At the residence of Mr. and Mrs. James Holland, Sr., last Monday evening, occurred one of the most successful social affairs of the month, when Mr. and Mrs. Holland gave a dancing party in honor of Miss Mary Roche of Omaha, who is visiting at the Holland home.

“The rooms were beautifully decorated with nasturtiums, pansies and sweet peas.  About seventy guest were invited and enjoyed the hospitality of the fracious host and delightful hostess.

“The lawn and veranda were beautifully illuminated and refreshments were served on the lawn and in the rooms with their French windows opening to the floor.  The guests enjoyed themselves by dancing and in conversation.

“Punch was served during the evening.”

French windows are similar to French doors, which are two panels that open with no center stile or vertical post in the middle.  This allows for a greater opening for both concepts, should the need arise, as was the case for the Holland party.

“Birthday Tea

“Mesdames Langston and Sundahl were genial hostesses on Thursday afternoon at a birthday tea given at the residence of Mrs. L. Lucke, for the benefit of the Episcopal ladies guild.  The occasion was greatly enjoyed by the large crowd in attendance.”

This article was published in the Havre Daily News on August 19, 2016.


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