Celebrating History-February 2 and 9, 1918

Outside of numerous articles regarding World War I printed in the February 2 and 9, 1918 issues of The Havre Plaindealer ranging from shaming citizens for food hoarding to reminding citizens they “Can’t Get Away From Income Tax”, the news from Havre was mostly social. The only local news not involving gatherings in Havre was the monthly weather report from C. W. Ling. January 1918 saw four periods of chinook winds followed by below zero temperatures, and 7.3 inches of snow still on the ground at the end of the month, with the most snow of .33 inches falling on the 17th and 18th. The lack of snow will come into play later and spelled disaster for many a homestead family and the communities suffered as well.

A few entries in the “Of Local Interest” social pages in both issues were interesting. These are from the February 2 issue:

“The annual ball of the Havre lodge of Moose will occur next Tuesday evening at Lyceum hall. Arrangements thus far completed assure those attending one of the most enjoyable affairs of the kind ever given by this popular order.

“Max Cebulla has purchased the Tom Fitch home in east Havre, and moved his family to their new home this week. Mr. Cebulla recently disposed of his ranch holdings to Harry Downes.

“Claims have been filed against Hill county by the Great Northern Railway company for a return of alleged excess taxes amounting to $2,513.97. The claims have origin in eight separate districts of the county.”

These entries were in the February 9 issue:

“Word received from J. H. Holtzendorff, formerly a member of the Havre police force, states that he is now a sergeant in the army, stationed at Battle Creek, Mich. He expects to leave for France in the near future.

“The directors of the Home Builders Association at their regular meeting Wednesday evening elected the following officers for the ensuing year: G. A. Hulfish, president; Dr. J. S. Almas, vice president; A. L. Ritt, secretary and treasurer; V. R. Griggs attorney; James Holland, general manager.

“Through the consideration of Mr. L. K. Devlin and the board of county commissioners, the administrative office of the Havre City School system is now located in the court house, second floor, west side. Superintendent Abbott will be there regularly on school days between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. and at other times by appointment. The phone number is 584.”

The Society columns were full of gatherings during the past two weeks. In the February 2 issue, the following was published:

“Junior Red Cross.
“A Junior Red Cross chapter has been formed in the city, and the first meeting of the various branches was held in the school houses this morning. Superintendent Abbott granted permission for the use of the schools from 10 to 12 o’clock on Saturday mornings, and the members affiliated with the organization meet at the buildings where they attend school.
“Membership to this organization is 25c, and it is hoped that it will be large for there is much to be done. The work includes the making of fracture pillows, knitted squares for afghans, joke books and many other interesting and useful articles. All work is done under the supervision of the young ladies of the Red Cross.

“Celebrates Anniversary.
“Master Frank Ferdinand Jestrab, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Jestrab, entertained a party of little friends Wednesday afternoon at the home of his parents, the occasion being in celebration of his fourth birthday anniversary. Games kept the little one in high glee throughout the afternoon, which was concluded with serving of a dainty lunch. Those present were: Joe Troy, John Wright, Phillip Morris, Richard and Joseph Choquette, Hermie Ohland, Walter Mack, Philip Jestrab, Robert McCormick, and Jean Brown.

“Charity Ball Draws Crowd.
“From the standpoint of attendance the annual charity ball of the Havre lodge of Elks, given Thursday evening, excelled any previous event of the kind. Lyceum hall was taxed to care for those in attendance, and in addition several hundred tickets that were disposed of were not used.
“The affair was a brilliant one socially, and adds laurels to the local lodge as entertainers.

“Frolic Day.
“’All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. Next Tuesday is Frolic Day and will be observed by the Woman’s club of Havre. An interesting program has been prepared by Mrs. A. J. Wright, and all members of the Study Department are requested to be present.”

A few of the entries from the February 9 issue are as follows, complete with misspellings:

“Reylon Club Hold Banquet
“The Reylon club, an organization composed of employes of the F. A. Buttrey company of Havre, held their annual banquet in the basement of St. Marks Episcopal church on Wednesday evening. The ladies of the church served the banquet. Ninety members of the club were in attendance at the meeting. Ben R. Vardeman of Des Moines, Iowa delivered an address to the club on “The Science of Merchandising,” which was an inspiring and helpful discourse. The Lyric orchestra furnished the musical part of the program. Altogether the affair was a grand success.

“Back From Wedding Trip.
“Christ Fuglevand, one of the members of the contracting firm Fuglevand & Sundber, returned this week with his bride from a short wedding tour of the cities on the Pacific coast. Mr. and Mrs. Fuglevand were married in Great Falls a few weeks ago. They will make their home in this city.

“Burlesque by Woman’s Club.
“The Shakesperian division of the Havre Woman’s club on Wednesday afternoon, gave a Shakesperian entertainment at the library. The burlesque was under the management of Mrs. J. A. Wright. The meeting was exclusively for members of the club and was well attended and enjoyed by all. Many of the finer portions of Shakespearian writings were given a humorous expression by the ladies in costume.”

Who says cosplay is a new thing?

With regard to the entry of the Lyric orchestra, 100 years ago there were no films with sound, and theatres needed pianists or orchestras to follow along with the movie to add a range of emotions. Technology for synchronizing action and sound wouldn’t happen for almost another decade, with the first “talkie” being “The Jazz Singer” in 1927.

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