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Columnist: Bonine had largest chestnut orchard in state

Published 9:01am Thursday, July 30, 2009

1915: Suckers have been quite plentiful this spring in the outlet to Magician Lake – a little stream called Silver Creek. The fish can go no farther than the Marquardt mill. The Indians catch lots of suckers and dogfish weighing 10 pounds or more. They like to eat dogfish, as well as the suckers.

1917: Dowagiac began talking bout a sewage disposal plant (Guess what? It only took 42 years to finally get it.)

1919: The smallest chestnut crop in years was harvested in Cass County this year. John Stevens has 20 trees and George Cameron has 12 trees. Besides many small chestnut orchards, Cass County has the largest one in the state. It is five acres on the James Bonine farm in Penn Township.

September 1919: Something I never knew was Herman Schuchert, who was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Schuchert (Uncle Billy directed the Round Oak Band), wrote under the name Jeremy Lane and published another book – “Yellow Men Sleep,” which sells for $1.60.
January 1920: Two Army trucks and a gang of 20 men this morning started at Cassopolis to open the road to Dowagiac and should have it opened by afternoon.

Due to heavy storms, the county Road Commission had been unable to open the Dowagiac-Cassopolis highway.

Since the first heavy snow, we had to travel by rail, which took a whole day.

Question: Did the city in 1960 have a plaque in memory of Miss Lou Keatley made and put on the first City Hall?

Miss Keatley donated $10,000 and I don’t know if there ever was a plaque and, if so, where is it now?

My old kindergarten teacher, Dorothy Lee Armin, always asked me to write about this when we used to visit her.

She said Miss Keatley deserved the honor of a plaque.

April 1959: Rep. Floyd Wagner says a big NO on the vote on state income tax of another 1 percent.

I’m going through the old papers that Roger Jenison let me see.

I read a lot of the comics of the time period – Nancy, Blondie, Tarzan, Ella Cinders and, of course, L’il Abner.

Does anyone remember Mammy Yokum, who used to have the fabled Double Whammy? How about Marryin’ Sam and the Shmoos?

In 1959 there was a nice picture of Mayor and Mrs. Eugene Jenison, son Roger and daughter Judy taken just after the 1959 election. I’ve spent quite a few joyful hours reading the old Dowagiac Daily News papers and taking lots of notes to come up with this series of articles.

I’d like to thank Roger for thinking of me.

“Cardinal Charlie” Gill writes a nostalgic weekly column about growing up in the Grand Old City.
E-mail him at cardinalcharlie@hotmail.com.

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