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Celebrating History: Rising to the war 'Over There'


Hill County knew how to rise to the call to war "over there" and Havreites knew how to send them off in style, as described in the July 27, 1918, edition of The Havre Plaindealer.

A very large article on the front page gave the names of every young man leaving for camp to learn to be a soldier or sailor, and another very lengthy article detailed the send-off celebration. "Serious throngs" lined the streets to watch the parade, which included Miss Edith M. Pyper, little daughter of Judge William Ball Pyper, dressed up as Lady Columbia and riding a Shetland pony led by "Uncle Sam" Bobby Sartain.

The boys leaving, the Red Cross, veterans and sons of veterans, Boy Scouts, labor organizations and civic groups all participated in the parade. The huge crowd then went from the courthouse where the parade started to the corner of Third Avenue and Second Street, where the Havre Band played patriotic music, speakers gave "glowing patriotic" and "stirring addresses," capped off with the burning of an effigy of the Kaiser. At the end of the article, the Plaindealer wrote:

The crowd dispersed with strengthened resolutions to do everything possible at home to support the soldiers at the front and in many homes that night new plans were to buy more savings stamps, save more food and make new sacrifices for the cause.

One of the departing men was mentioned in the "Personal Mention" section of the society column:

Will Spooner, one of the proprietors of the Oxford pool hall, has disposed of his interest in that popular resort and gone with the marines to fight for Uncle Sam.

With the purchase of The Havre Plaindealer from Sam Y. B. Williams by F. E. Martin, changes were being made. The Society column was now "The Week in Society," and Mrs. Williams was no longer producing the column, which showed in the way Havre's various society gatherings were described. In the "Personal Mention" section was this small entry:

Mrs. Sam Williams was in Havre Tuesday and Wednesday, bidding farewell to her many Havre friends, before leaving for Sequim, Washington where she and her mother, Mrs. E. C. Richards will make their future home.

Here are the gatherings described in this week's column:

Birthday Party.

Mrs. Flora Wick gave a party Tuesday afternoon in honor of her daughter Amelia. The affair was to commemorate the young lady's third birthday. Games and other amusements were the diversion for the afternoon, at the close of which light refreshments were served.

Mrs. Norris Honored.

On Monday afternoon Mrs. L. K. Devlin gave a party at her home in honor of Mrs. Edwin L. Norris of Helena, who has been visiting in the city for several days. The afternoon was spent in knitting and sewing at the close of which refreshments were served.

Entertains Guest.

Mrs. V. R. Griggs gave a party Tuesday afternoon complimentary to Mrs. Samuel Walker of Seattle, who is visiting her sister, Mrs. L. K. Devlin in Havre. The afternoon was spent in knitting. Light refreshments were served at the close of the party.

M. E. Ladies Hold Meeting.

The Van Orsdel Ladies Aid of the M. E. Church met in the reception room of the church Thursday afternoon. Several matters of importance were under consideration.

There were a couple of war related entries in the "Of Local Interest" social pages:

Jack Lyons, who has been a member of the aviation service for the past eight months, is spending a 30 day's furlough in Havre.

The following committee has been appointed by John J. Kay, chairman for Hill county, in connection with the smilage work: G. J. Bonine, J. D. Gallup, Leon Choquette, D. F. Destel, Mrs. J. C. Koerner and Mrs. L. E. Rhoades. The committee held their initial meeting Tuesday evening and outlined a campaign program.

The "smilage work" the committee was tasked with was the creation of "smilage books" put out by the War Department and purchased by citizens who in turn would give them to the men in training. The books consisted of coupons ranging from $1 to $5 and used as admission to "Liberty Theatres, Liberty Tents and Auditoriums" found on camp sites. The entertainment was meant to keep the trainees' spirits up, for all too soon would the realities of the war "over there" prove much less pleasant.

The Price Regulating Committee released its prices, and from the last time I wrote about this subject the prices remained the same but some items were added, which are: Corn starch, Kingsford, 1 pound package 13 ½ cents; Corn starch, Argo, 1 ¼ pound package, 17 ½ cents; lard, per pound, 31 cents; white sugar, per pound, 10 cents; brown sugar, per pound, 9 ½ cents; Fat substitutes: corn oil per pound 40 cents, cottonseed oil per pound 40 cents; evaporated milk: tall cans 16 ounces, per can 14 cents and baby size, per four cans 25 cents.

Did you know Havre had a business that produced its own peanut butter? Wiltner's Meat Market was running advertisements announcing "OUROWN" Peanut Butter, "Made right here in our own market, and it's delicious. Try it. WE MAKE IT AS WE SELL IT."


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