Celebrating History-September 2, 1916

Havre’s many labor unions were busy preparing for the upcoming Labor Day Celebration this week 100 years ago, and it was no small affair.  The September 2, 1916 issue of The Hill County Democrat outlined the many events plus prizes donated by various Havre businesses to the winners. The events included a grand parade with cash prizes for the best float for “best uniformed float” and “Most appropriate decorated float”.  Speaking from the band stand followed, and next was a baseball game between the Machinists and the Clerk’s unions.  The Havre Union Band played at a concert, and several sporting events invited all to attend and participate: Free for all 100 yard dash (professionals barred), Union Men’s Race 100 yards, Married Ladies Free for all 50 yards, Girls free for all 50 yards, Fat men’s (over 190 lbs.) 50 yard race, Committee Men’s race 50 yards (the Labor Day Celebration was organized by men serving on the General Committee, Press Committee, Financial Committee, Sports Committee and Reception Committee), Ladies Free for all 50 yards, Girls under 10 years 50 yards, Wives of Union Men’s race 50 yards, Presidents’ Race, Boys under 16 years 50 yards, Boys under 12 years 50 yards, Boy’s Sack Race 50 yards, Union Men’s Race 100 yards, Boy’s Spider Race 25 yards, Secretary’s Race 50 yards, Men’s 3-legged race 50 yards, Men’s race over 60 years 50 yards, Boy’s 3-legged race 50 yards, Little girls race 50 yards, Bicycle race men, Bicycle race boys, Tug-o’-war with eleven men on each side, Championship Wrestling Match, Horizontal Bar Exhibition, followed by another concert by the band and a grand ball at Lyceum Hall starting at 9:00 p.m.

I have gone through several years’ worth of newspapers during Havre’s early days and I noticed Havre once hosted many unions, and not just those associated with the railroad.

Schools were scheduled to start on September 11 back in 1916, and several new teachers were announced as well as some teachers changing grades in the elementary schools.

Primary elections had taken place earlier that week, and there were still some races whose winner had not yet been announced as they were still counting ballots.  Remember, this was back in the day when everything, including casting your ballot, was done by hand, and counted by hand, and travel to and from polling places wasn’t as easy as it is today, and there was no mass mailing of ballots, either.  Therefore, sometimes it took a while to declare a winner!  Here in Hill County, the Plaindealer and Democrat were published on Saturdays.  The primary election took place on that Tuesday prior, and as of publication, Hill County still had one precinct’s ballots to count.

In other progressive news, The Havre Plaindealer’s front page of the same date carried these two announcements:


“On Monday or the day following, contingent upon the progress of carpenters and painters in completing their work, there will be opened in Havre a new pool and billiard parlor.  Ed White and his brother, William, are proprietors of the new establishment, which will be located in the Blashfield building at the corner of First street and Fourth avenue.  In addition to the pool and billiard business, the new establishment will bear the euphonious title of Eddie and Bill’s place.


“The Havre greenhouse, owned by L. C. Trump, is being greatly enlarged, and within the next ten days the new addition will be under cover.  With the new building completed the capacity of the greenhouses will be more than doubled.  It is the intention of the owner to supply Havre and vicinity with all kinds of cut flowers and plants during the coming fall and winter, and in the spring it is intended to make further additions to the plant.”

Havre continued its social gatherings, and here is one of several announced in the Plaindealer’s Society column:

“A Serial Party

“The second of a series of social parties was given at the home of Mrs. Webber on 3rd avenue last Saturday with Mrs. Webber and Mrs. Haglund as hostesses.  The rooms were beautifully decorated with sweet peas and vines.  During the afternoon refreshments were served consisting of assorted candy, assorted cakes, cantaloupe sundae, coffee and punch.

“The guest list included the following: Mesdames Bossout, Black, Ritt, Duncan, Ritt, Kay, Hutchinson, Rathbone, Langston, Christianson, Brundge, Pyper, Almas, Meyers, Wright, Bonine, Blair, Kendig, Troy, Holland, Sanderson, Erler, Campbell, LeRoy McKenzie, Hays, Ferguson, Carnal, Beaulieu, Ashton, Lang.”

This article was published in the Havre Daily News on September 2, 2016.


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