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100 Years Ago February 1919 – Local News

100 Years Ago February 1919
In and About The Haddams
Selected from the pages of The Evening Press and lightly annotated by Sally Haase

Higganum, Feb. 1, 1919: It is very evident that the ladies of the Red Cross are becoming much interested in the work now being done for the suffering French and Belgians, by the large number present on Thursday.
Mrs. Chauncey Clark, Mrs. Howard Spencer, Mrs. Cornelius Kingsland, and Mrs. Walter Kingsland were pleasantly entertained Thursday at the home of Mrs. Jarvis Kingsland. A bountiful dinner was served, while the afternoon was pleasantly passed with graphaphone selections.

East Haddam, Feb. 3, 1919: A consignment of twelve game fowl are being shipped from Whippoorwill Terrace to Scranton, Pa., this week.
The National Net and Twine Co. have rented the rooms across the street from the factory of W.O. Peck and will be fitted up into an office.

Hartford, Feb. 4, 1919: The Connecticut senate refused by a vote of 20 to 14 to pass the resolution ratifying the federal prohibition amendment to the constitution of the United States. This action means that regardless of what the admittedly “dry” house may do, that Connecticut will never ratify. [There was no need for Connecticut to ratify. On January 16, 1919, Nebraska became the 36th state and the last state needed to ratify the amendment.]

Senator Hazen of the 34th district, who voted in favor of the amendment, said that while the waste and misery of the war was awful, the waste and misery of the liquor traffic was worse. He said the question was not one of ratification of the amendment, but as to whether or not Connecticut would stand in line with 44 states which ratified the amendment. The question was the greatest before the senate since abolition.

Just before Prohibition

Senator Brooks, opposing the resolution, criticized the provision saying there would be about 50 different state laws. He said that returning soldiers were the maddest bunch he had ever seen when they heard of the passage of the law in their absence. Connecticut never did ratify the first twelve amendments to the federal constitution, he said, nor did they ratify the income tax amendment. [With ¾ of the states needed to ratify the Bill of Rights, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Virginia did not vote for the amendments. In 1939, Connecticut ceremoniously, voted to ratify. Connecticut voted NOT to ratify the XVI Amendment to levy and collect taxes, yet Connecticut voted for a state income tax in 1991.]


Moodus, Feb. 4, 1919: W.N. Manee has a large force of helpers at work filling his ice house with nine-inch ice from Wigwam pound. The delivery clerk at W. J. Thomas is using W.N. Manee’s horse and wagon, until repairs are made to his automobile.

Middletown, Feb. 5, 1919: Merwyn Smith, alias “Red Eagle,” an India, has been about town for nearly a month past, except a short sojourn at Haddam jail as the guest of Sheriff Thompson, will spend the 120 days at the jail as a result of his outbreak yesterday. Red Eagle has been a familiar sight on Main street for some days past, wearing as he did a broad brimmed sombrero. He apparently is an Indian of some education and attended an Indian school as a boy. Yesterday he called at the hotel of Phillip O’Meara, the valley Hotel, and asked for a room. Some words followed and finally O’Meara called the police. When they got there, Red Eagle and the proprietor had nearly come to blows. Red Eagle fought and kicked the officers, but was restrained with the help of bystanders. It was evident from his conduct that he had been taking too much whiskey.
Waterbury, Feb. 8, 1919: The proposed barge canal along the Naugatuck valley from Waterbury to tidewater at Derby may not materialize now as the result of a hearing today. It developed at the session that many of the factories along the route would object strenuously to the proposition if it interfered with their present waterpower. In addition, the costs of construction and the acquisition of water rights would be staggering.

Higganum, Feb. 10, 1919: The school in town is holding one Saturday session every two weeks to make up the time lost by the epidemic of influenza.

Hartford, Feb. 11, 1919: By a vote of 153 to 96 the Constitution house of representatives voted in favor of the federal ratification of the prohibition amendment which last week was rejected by the state senate [and thus failed.]

Colbenz, Germany, Feb. 15, 1919: Press heroes behind the scenes: Officers, chauffeurs and mechanics contributed to the harvesting of the news of what the Yanks were doing along the western front, although the part they played was not spectacular and might easily be overlooked. Mechanics toiled over cars plastered thick with the grime of battlefields, day and night, in heat and cold, fair weather and foul, and they never grumbled. Chauffeurs went without sleep and meals. They drove through areas shelled and gassed. They carried their cars into machine gun range under the orders of the correspondent whose duties compelled visits to advancing lines. They drove without lights on nights as black as ink, during air raids and navigated through hazardous congestion of armies moving into battle. And yet in spite of the dangers and hard work, the chauffeurs had the most fascinating jobs in the army. The correspondents, in need of keeping close on the heels of developments, saw every nook and cranny of the battle areas, toured the British and French fronts, in addition to the American battle lines. There was no end to narrow escapes. The couriers deserve a lion’s share of praise also. They carried the news copy to the telegraph stations through mud and rain, sometimes riding all night.

East Haddam, Feb. 21, 1919: Marshall Miner is to discontinue his milk route and his sold his cows.

Rocky Hill.  The ferryboat from Rocky Hill passed this place, under steam, Tuesday. She is to run on the Chester-Hadlyme route while the “Cheslyme” undergoes repairs. It is quite unusual to see the river so clear of ice at this time of the year.

100 years ago, much has changed and, then again, nothing has changed.

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