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Celebrating History: Bankers meeting and more news from Camp Lewis

 


By Emily Mayer

It’s spring, and that means conferences of various sorts. Havre played host to one of those gatherings this week 100 years ago as reported in The Havre Plaindealer’s June 8, 1918 edition:

HAVRE ENTERTAINS NORTHERN BANKERS

First Annual Meeting of Group 2 Montana Bankers

The Havre banks were hosts on Wednesday to the northern group of the Montana Bankers’ association. Bankers from all sections of northern Montana were in attendance. The program opened at the Hill county court house at 10:30 a.m., with an address of welcome by C. F. Morris, president of the Security State bank of Havre which followed a short invocation by Rev. L. J. Christler. The response to the address of welcome was made by A. S. Lohman. Then came the president’s address by F. A. Flannagan, cashier of the Benton State bank. This was in turn followed by an excellent address on timely topics by Sam Stephenson, president of the First National bank of Great Falls. County reports were made by J. A. Hatch, cashier of the First National bank of Harlem for Blaine county; W. W. Carley, cashier of the First National bank of Geraldine, for Chouteau county; C. H. Sands, vice president of the Security State bank of Devon for Toole county; and E. Koefod, president of the Farmers State bank of Rudyard for Hill county. After the appointment of the committees the meeting adjourned until afternoon when the convention listened to a splendid address by Chancellor E. C. Elliott of the University of Montana, and a talk on “Modern Problems” by Henry Von Der Weyer, vice president of the Merchants National bank of St. Paul. After the afternoon session cars were provided by Havre citizens and a trip was made to the state experimental station farm at Fort Assinniboine. The banquet was held at the Grill café in the evening which was followed by a theatre party at the Orpheum. The attendance at the meeting was far better than had been expected and it was a very enthusiastic one throughout.

In war related news, Camp Lewis in Washington state was preparing for a big horse show to demonstrate the capabilities of the army’s horses and mules. The Senate was getting ready to debate a bill that would cease the production of beer; it was soundly opposed by US Food Administrator Herbert Hoover.

The thought was to save the grains and fruits used in the production of beer, wine, whiskey, brandy and gin for the war effort, but Hoover stated that the benefits of putting the nation in what seems to amount to a mini-Prohibition would far outweigh any food savings in the effort. Remember, while Montana voters had approved a ballot initiative for Prohibition, along with a few others, the nation was still wet. So, don’t mess with their beer!

Montana State Food Administrator Alfred Atkinson was explaining to newspapers across the state why it was so important to have a “wheatless June,” saying, in part:

We expect a crisis and we want to be ready to meet it. For this reason it was considered advisable to ascertain all surplus stocks on hand, whether held by the merchant, baker or housewife. This move was widely misunderstood, but the action was taken that we might know where available flour was to be had to that we could get it quickly when the necessity arose.

Those housewives who are holding excess stocks subject to the order of the food administration have no right to use them up rapidly simply because they have them, as this supply is held subject to our order with certain reservations. The time may be close at hand, for all we can tell, when these stocks will be needed and needed badly.

Another article stated a big increase in wheat crops for the 1918 growing season, but local meteorologist C. W. Ling reported the driest May on record. He reported .13 inches of rain for May 2018, with the highest temperature being May 3 at 85 degrees and the lowest on May 26 at 25 degrees. The last killing frost in May happened on the 29th.

It was also graduation time 100 years ago. These two articles in the Society column documented a couple of gatherings related to the annual ceremony:

Seniors Honor Principal

Miss Grace Easter, principal of the Havre High School entertained the members of the senior class on Saturday evening at her home on Third Avenue. At the close of a delightful evening the class presented Miss Easter with a beautiful gold wrist watch with the class of 1918 seal and her initials, as a slight token for their appreciation of her efforts on their behalf.

Teachers Entertained.

On Saturday afternoon at the Presbyterian Manse, Mrs. P. H. Case and Mrs. N. C. Abbott entertained twenty two of the lady members of the teaching staff of the Havre schools. The afternoon was the most pleasantly spend in conversation, music and knitting. At 5’clock a dainty lunch was served.

There was one war related entry in the Society column this week:

The sum of $30.85 was turned over to the Red Cross this week, and proceeds of the recital given by the pupils of Mrs. A. D. Smith, which was held last week.

 

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