Havre Daily News - News you can use

Celebrating History Hospitals, Shriners and spouse swapping


By Emily Mayer

The 15th annual state convention for the Fraternal Order of Eagles had started the day prior to the publication of the July 7, 1917 issue of The Havre Plaindealer. Havreites who found themselves selected for state committees were W. B. Pyper, Press and Publicity; F. A. Carnal, Judiciary; James Holland, Finance; and T. J. Troy, Resolutions. The Eagles were meeting at Chestnut Hall and seemed pleased with their host city.

The second annual Great Northern Stampede was drawing to a close, and complaints were made that the performance that year did not justify the price of admission and that lodging facilities were charging too much; one farmer had to pay $6 for the “privilege” of spending the night at one such hotel.

Uninformed criticism also was apparently heaped upon cowboys performing in the Stampede, which prompted the Plaindealer to state:

Anyone in the grand stand who became critical when those long horns refused to be bull-dogged, in some instances dragging cowboys a hundred feet before finally breaking away, should be invited to attend the next years’ show and go against the “gaff” for himself.

In more progressive news came this announcement:


On Tuesday of this week the erection of the new Deaconess hospital in Havre was assured, when G. W. Johnson, a contractor from Great Falls, was awarded the contact for the erection of the four story building at a price of $54,000.

The building committee has already secured the steel to be used in the construction of the building so that there will be no delay in getting material and the building will undoubtedly be ready for occupancy this fall.

The local plumbing firm of J. P. Grady secured the plumbing contract at $13,500.

This new hospital will be a much needed addition to the city of Havre and will be one of the finest in the northwest.

There was only one gathering mentioned in the Society column this week:

Informal Dance of Shriners.

The first of a series of informal dances given by the Havre Shriners club occurred on Monday evening, in the Masonic Temple.

About forty couples participated, and from a social standpoint the party was one of the most enjoyable ever occurring in Havre.

Dancing and cards formed the program for the evening, and about 11 p.m. the committee in charge of entertainment stopped the diversion long enough to serve sandwiches, coffee and cake.

It is the intention of the club to hold informal affairs of this nature during the summer months.

In war news, Congress was still debating whether or not the “Star Spangled Banner” would be our national anthem (we didn’t have one) and that “huge supplies” are needed for the Army including “foodstuffs, shaving mugs, pencils, pins pens, shoe polish, letter paper, pipes, razors, toilet articles, and spools of thread.

Every now and then, the local newspapers printed happenings that I’m sure left people scratching their heads and their tongues wagging. This article was found on the Plaindealer’s front page, proving our early citizens were as colorful and interesting as we are today:


Two Havre Couples Show Speed in Transaction

If the example set by F. W. Turcotte, an attorney; Henry Jordan, a merchant and their wives, all of this city, is followed to any extent it may soon be a common thing for couples to exchange wives. A few weeks since, the four people mentioned above took a trip to some point in the southern part of the state and when they returned the former Mrs. Jordan was Mrs. Turcotte and the erstwhile Mrs. Turcotte was Mrs. Jordan.

In the belief that the information might prove interesting to other couples, The Plaindealer sought to learn the details of the transaction from both Jordan and Turcotte, but this paper could get no statement other than one from Turcotte to the effect that the separations and remarriage were effected legally. The Plaindealer is now trying to get the desired information through the court clerk in the county where the proceedings were had, and if obtained the details will be published in a subsequent issue.

Each of the couples named were parents of two children by the original marriage, and it is understood that one each of these children was included in the alleged exchange.

More on this story later.


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