Havre Daily News - News you can use

Celebrating History: Socialist candidates and church fires


Courtesy photo

This undated photo shows the old Presbyterian Church in Havre.

We go back to Havre for the month of March. Information for this ninth installment of this series celebrating the 150th anniversary of the creation of Montana Territory comes from the March 7, 1914 issue of The Havre Plaindealer, exactly 100 years ago today.

There was a lot of local news throughout the newspaper, including what was going on at both the City Council and County Commission meetings; Orpheum Theatre owner T. C. Penny purchased the Chinook theater; Hill County Assessor J. H. Fenton held a meeting, which was well attended, regarding more uniform property assessment; a spelling contest to be held at the State Fair in Helena (it is now in Great Falls), along with the rules as to how to participate; and a lengthy article taken from a letter written by Joseph Valadon on his trip abroad to places such as Gibraltar, Algeria, Monaco (he noted others were gambling, but he did not), Italy, Egypt, and was expecting to go to Palestine in the next few days before returning home.

There was other news in the paper. It was an election year in 1914, with the following columns appearing on the front page:

Reformers Endorse Socialist Ticket

Believe This Course Better Than a Split of Votes

At a meeting held in the council chamber of the city hall last evening, the reform part of the city of Havre formally endorsed H. S. Spooner, the socialist candidate for mayor, thus eliminating a ticket of this party from the primary field for the city officers in Havre. It is understood this action was taken with the view of conserving the strength of both the socialist and reform parties, and it is the idea that with their combined strength they will be able to capture the approaching city election.

Another Ticket In Municipal Field

Present Mayor Heads Ticket Filed the Past Week

City Clerk Jas. Holland this week received the nominating petitions of the Citizens ticket that will compete for city offices in the forthcoming municipal election. The ticket is made up as follows:

For Mayor -

D. S. MacKenzie.

Treasurer -

A. M. Grimmer.

Police Magistrate -

Wm. B. Pyper.

Aldermen - 1st ward. H. Archibald; 2nd ward. C. F. Morris; 3rd ward, Wm. Wunder.

The mayor, treasurer, police magistrate and second ward aldermanic candidates are the present incumbents of the office named and hence are up for re-election.

It wasn't all politics in Havre. The following appeared on the front page, complete with name misspelling:

Photograph Gallery Has Been Improved

Considerable improvement work has recently been done at the Brainers photo studio, on Third avenue in this city. All rooms of the studio have been thoroughly renovated and remodeled, and there has been added a dressing room and other necessary adjuncts. In addition, Mr. Brainers has installed entirely new display cases, and these have been filled with the very best specimens of the photographer's art. An announcement from this popular institution appears in another column in this paper.

Fire Damages The Presbyterian Church

A fire broke out in the Presbyterian church shortly after noon Wednesday, and while the building was not entirely demolished, considerable damage was done to the interior. The firemen worked fearlessly, but it seemed impossible for a long time, to locate the blaze. No explanation as to how the fire started can be given, as there had not been a furnace fire in the church since the Sunday previous.

The Presbyterian Church in 1914 was located on the Northwest corner lot of Fourth Avenue and Third Street, and would later be purchased and moved by the First Baptist Church to its current location further down Fourth Avenue, ironically not far from the current Presbyterian Church.

Other news in the Social Pages include:

Meeting Sunday 3 p.m. at city hall to organize tennis club. All men interested whether you are players or not, are urged to come and help form a good club. 3 p.m. Sunday at city hall.


A class in physical culture is now in practice by members of the seventh grade at the Lincoln school. The work consists of military drills, folk games and folk dancing.


Beginning with Monday, March 9, the noon hour of the Havre schools has been shortened fifteen minutes, hence it is that school is closed at fifteen minutes to four instead of four o'clock in the afternoon.


The Fourth grade of the Lincoln building, has just completed an arithmetic contest, in which Fern Bowlsby was victorious."


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