Celebrating History-May 4, 1918

The Montana Council of Defense issued a press release regarding its “order” regarding people who were not working, “affecting loafing and idle men generally”. The Havre Plaindealer printed the information in its May 4, 1918 issue, which stated, in part:

“The duty is hereby imposed on every adult person having the necessary physical and mental capacity and ability to do so, to work and engage in some legitimate occupation for at least five days during each calendar week for the period of the existing war.”

Failure to do so would be considered a misdemeanor. Those not engaged in “some legitimate occupation” were required to register with the city clerk, county clerk and recorder or justice of the peace and provide a reason why “he is not engaged in some legitimate occupation”. The new “rule” targeted male slackers. Women, it seemed, were getting a break.

Montana’s appointee for the Federal Food Administration appointed a county administrator for each of Montana’s then 43 counties. Hill County’s appointee was none other than the incomparable E. C. Carruth, one of Havre and Hill County’s most well respected and affable citizens. The Food Administration’s ad for the week admonished waste of all kinds, claiming every person produces 90 pounds of rubbish every year, that open garbage cans are “the greatest agent of disease of any community” and to keep them covered at all times, that “rubbish contains many articles that have a sale value if they are properly sorted”, and that many communities were using local prisoners to do the sorting.

Speaking of the Food Administration, the Society Column carried a poem about

“Little Herbie Hoover’s come to our house to stay,
“To make us scrape the dishes clean an’ the crumbs away,
“An’ learn us to make war bread an’ save up all the grease,
“For the less we eat of butter the sooner we’ll have peace,
“An’ all us other children, when our scanty meal is done,
“We gather up around the fire an’ has the mostest fun,
“A-listenin’ to the proteins that Herbie tells about,
“An’ the Calories that git you ef you don’t watch out!

“An’ little Herbie Hoover says when the fire burns low,
“An’ the vitamins are creepin’ from the shadows soft an’ low,
“You better eat the things the Food Folks says they’s plenty of,
“An’ cheat the garbage pail an’ give all butcher’s meat a shove,
“An’ gobble up the corn pone an’ vegetables an’ fish,
“An’ save your drippin’ an’ yer sweets an’ lick clean every dish,
“An’ don’t get fresh a-talkin’ or what you won’t do without,
“Or the Calories’ll git you ef you don’t watch out!”

The poem is by Sophie Kerr and was published in Life magazine. I can feel every teacher who teaches English cringe and reaching as fast as they can for their red pencils.

Also in the Society column were gatherings of local interest, including:

“Dinner Party.

“Mrs. C. M. C. Taylor was honored Thursday evening, when Mrs. Jennie invited six ladies at an elaborate five course dinner party. Carnations, jonquils and pansies were used in profusion throughout the rooms and as decoration for the dining table, where cards were marked places for Mrs. C. M. C. Taylor; Mrs. A. L. Ritt; Mrs. Rathbone; Mrs. Ledan; Mrs. Rudie Erler and the hostess.

“Red Cross Tea.

“Miss Cecelia deLorimer entertained a number of friends on Wednesday evening at a Red Cross tea.”

There were several entries in the “Of Local Interest” social pages regarding the Great War:

“Chas. Koerner, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Koerner of this city, who recently completed the course at an officers’ training school and was made a lieutenant, spent three days with his parents here, leaving last Sunday for camp. While in Havre Lieutenant Koerner received the Masonic degrees.

“Wilbrod J. Bergeron, who is a member of the veterinary department of the 40th division of the headquarters troop, stationed at Camp Kearney, California, was in the city Thursday and Friday, en route to camp from Montreal, Canada, where he has called to attend the funeral of his mother. Mr. Gergeron was among the first of Hill county boys to answer his country’s call. He has a fine homestead in the Wild Horse lake section.

“Mrs. Clara Kriebs and Mrs. Winnie Berry, chairman and secretary of the Midway auxiliary of the Red Cross at Sage were in Havre Wednesday on business connected with that organization.

“Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Loranger received word this week that their son Raymond, who recently underwent an operation at the marine hospital in Santiago, Cuba, was nearly recovered and would be on duty again in a few days.”

The homestead community of Sage was located between Inverness and Goldstone in western Hill County.

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