Archived Story

Cardinal Charlie: Disgruntled 1909 prisoner ready to eat mouse meat

Published 11:12pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I was given another book to look at by one of my readers.

It was 310 pages of columns in the Marcellus paper from 1909-1918.

Besides the Marcellus things, I found a lot of other things of interest.

1909: Colby Milling Co. of Dowagiac disposed of its half interest in the Marcellus flour milling property to E.S. Conklin, who in the past eight years has owned a half interest in the mill and been manager of the business there.

1909: Cass County Sheriff Rutter reports that Steven Pangburn, in jail to be sent to prison for the murder of his wife, and William Rose, an arsonist, are two of the worst prisoners he has ever had in his jail.

Pangburn put a dead mouse on the dirty dishes going back to the kitchen with a request to the cook to fry him some fresh meat.

The sheriff said it will be a great relief when they are gone.

It was 1909 when the U.S. mint got rid of the Indian head pennies and started the Lincoln penny.

1910: Auto licenses will cost $3. State authorities think there will be 15,000 of them. There were 12,000 sold last year.

1910: On the Grand Trunk Railroad line there were only two places you were allowed to drink on the train stops. One was Port Huron. The other was Vicksburg.

A Marcellus ad: I am at my yard on East Main Street on Saturdays. Bring your junk that day. Rags, 60 cents per hundred; rubber, six cents per pound; copper, eight cents per pound. We buy beeswax, sheep pelts, horse hides and second-hand stoves. Square deal to everybody. Your patronage solicited, Fred Williams.

1910: Aug. 30, the first steam boat on the St. Joseph River went from Constantine to Benton Harbor with 50 passengers, passing through Elkhart, a tiny village surrounded by woods.

1910: On Nov. 29, there was a disastrous train wreck at Kalamazoo when a fast train hit a street car, killed seven people and injured 20 others seriously. Several were not expected to live.

1911: The Cass County Fair will open Sept. 19 and a large item of expense is $1,500 for the airship flights, one to be made each day, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Cass County Fair is the only county fair we have heard of that has closed a contract with reputable aviators, such as Capt. Baldwin or J.C. Mars, both of whom have a worldwide reputation.

This feature alone will be worth the price of admission.

1911: Marcellus’s large crowd was disappointed when the airship didn’t come from Dowagiac as promised. The plane was to be piloted by Fred Dobel.

Mr. Dobel, although he reached Dowagiac on Sunday, could not get the machine ready to make the trip at the time announced. There were many sad faces of the hundreds that were there.

“Cardinal Charlie” Gill writes a nostalgic weekly column about growing up in the Grand Old City.

Email him at cardinalcharlie@hotmail.com.

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