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Celebrating History: Liberty Loans and conservation

 

September 28, 2018



By Emily Mayer

Today was the day! Sept. 28 was the date for the fourth Liberty Loan drive to raise funds to fight the war “over there.” Local projections were that Hill County for the fourth time would oversubscribe its goal of $100,000, and there was a very lengthy article on The Havre Plaindealer’s Sept. 28, 1918 front page encouraging Hill County residents to be patriotic and support the troops. To punctuate the point, another full page ad ran on the back page with a Doughboy in battle and a list of reasons why you should buy Liberty bonds, including “You couldn’t be 100% American if you didn’t,” “You couldn’t take off your hat to the flag with half the sense of ownership if you didn’t,” and “You couldn’t read the war news with half the eager faith if you didn’t.”

Local grocers and meat market owners met to discuss war regulations and to implement changes to business operations to reflect those regulations.

HAVRE MERCHANTS START CONSERVATION

Will Make Only One Delivery Each Day

Havre, Montana

Sept. 26, 1918.

At a meeting of retail meat and grocery stores of Havre, held Wednesday evening, Sept. 25th, in the office of and presided over by County Food Administrator E. C. Carruth, it was decided to adopt the War Industries Board’s request to make only one delivery a day of meats and groceries. Therefore, on and after Oct. 1st, 1918 all meats and groceries ordered until twelve o’clock noon will be delivered the afternoon of the same day as ordered. All such orders placed after twelve o’clock will be delivered the following day in the afternoon. Goods purchased in the store may be carried home by the buyer at any time.

It is further agreed that a charge of ten cents will be made for each delivery of meats and groceries not amounting to $1.00 sale and such charge of ten cents is to be added on the sales slip.

The War Industries Board at Washington insist on the reduction of deliveries for the following reasons:

1. Saving of man power.

2. Saving of gasoline, now in great demand by U. S. Government.

3. Saving of upkeep on delivery cars and wagons.

E. C. CARRUTH

Food Administrator for Hill Co.

In Havre’s early days, one could call or come in person and place an order at the food store of your choice and they would deliver your groceries, meat, dairy products, etc. to your service door, or if you didn’t have a service door, your back door. Several homes in Havre had a service door meant specifically for deliveries.

Delivering groceries-now that’s what I call customer service!

Speaking of groceries, the local Price Regulating Committee met to set prices on various grains and foodstuffs. A couple of months back, I included a list of those grains the committee would be charged with setting the price for, but that list has expanded to include “Victory Bread” (unwrapped, 16 oz. loaf for ten cents or wrapped for a penny more); beans; vegetables; evaporated milk; butter (55 cents per pound); oleomargarine (40 cents per pound); lard; bacon; syrup; ham, and salmon. The committee composed of V. R. Griggs, H. A. Miller, C. M. McCatherine, A. C. Vanderhorck, J. T. Moody and E. C. Carruth.

The women were busy completing garments to donate to the troops or to the less fortunate. Petticoats, chemises (shirts); “pajama suits” (meant to sleep in, folks, not wear out in public like I see nowadays); boys’ suits and shirts; socks; afghan squares to be made into completed afghans later; quilts; hospital shirts; and sweaters were donated, as was tin foil for use in the war effort. Others donated cash to the Red Cross for the war effort.

The Red Cross also issued the following article.

SAVE NUT SHELLS AND FRUIT PITS FOR THE RED CROSS

To save the lives of our men from German poison gas, a certain kind of carbon is needed for the making of gas masks. The best form of carbon for this purpose is made from cocoanut shells, but at present there is an acute shortage of these. The most satisfactory substitute for the cocoanut are, in the order named, peach stones, apricot pits, prune pits, plum pits, olive pits, date seeds, cherry pits, brazil nut shells, hickory nut shells, walnut shells, and butternut shells.

Save these and ship them to the Red Cross at Great Falls, which is the collection center for Montana.

All pits and shells must be thoroughly dried, either in ovens or by the sun, before they are shipped. There is no reason for separating the pits and shells in any way. Ship them all together.

Another piece of lengthy news that would signal the beginning of a new era was also found on the Plaindealer’s front page. The Border Liquor Store near the Canadian border on Wild Horse Road was the subject of a raid. The store itself had very little liquor, but upon the Assistant Attorney General Grorud’s inspection of the barn, the story was a bit different. Grorud packed along Undersheriff Roberts and Deputy Sheriff Syverud along with him, thus involving the local sheriff’s office in the raid. The Attorney General’s office had long had an issue with the illegal actions taking place in and around Havre, and the 1916 initiative passed by voters to implement Prohibition only made things more convenient for the state Attorney General’s office to intervene in local vice. Joe LeSeuer, Eval Bolton and B. M. Wilbur were arrested and charged with selling, bartering or delivering alcohol, in violation of the law. Grorud himself was charged with “forcible entry and detainer and with unlawfully and maliciously seizing another’s property.” Also charged in connection with the case was Harley Ward “with carrying concealed weapons, and displaying a deadly weapon.” Grorud brought Ward and the Rev. Huston with him to the raid and after Ward was charged, Grorud tried to get the charges dropped. Hill County Attorney Griggs claimed to know nothing of the charges but would “go over evidence and if Mr. Grorud has been guilty of violation of our criminal statues he will be prosecuted the same as any other individual would be.”

It just so happened to be an election year. More on this story in future columns!

 

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