Archived Story

Cass during World War I

Published 10:06pm Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dec. 13, 1917: The nation’s capital ranks as the largest dry city in the country.
June 21, 1917: The GAR hall was well-filled Wednesday evening to organize a local branch of the Red Cross Society. County Chairman Mrs. A.B. Gardner of Dowagiac and attorney E. Bruce Laing were present to explain the working of the organization.
July 12, 1917: A Maxwell car made a run of 33 ½ miles on one gallon of gasoline.
1917: M.F. Wilder, a New York traveling salesman, was arrested in Dowagiac for remarks made against President Wilson and the American flag.
After communicating with federal officers in Grand Rapids, Sheriff Sill decided he was not a spy and allowed him his liberty.
Dec. 27, 1917: U.S. war saving thrift cards and stamps are on sale at G.W. Jones Bank and also at the post office.
1917: It was July 26 that America began drafting her young men for a fight against Kaiserdom and for democracy.
1918: Marcellus holds the championship for Cass County. The county is composed of five high schools. Dowagiac had to cancel all its athletics as its best athletes had enlisted.
1918: The October Cass County jail report for six months shows 22 drunks, 16 delinquents, five insane, 10 violating game laws, seven larcenies, seven wife desertions, two military desertions, two draft evasions, one who stole a train ride, one rape and one for prostitution.
Jan. 10, 1918: President Wilson takes over the country’s railroads.
1918: War savings stamps are the best investment ever offered by the U.S. government They draw 4 percent interest compounded quarterly and are so good the government will not allow anyone to buy more than $1,000 worth. They are as sound as the government itself.
Buy your stamps at the post office, bank or other authorized agencies and strike a blow for our country.
May 2, 1918: Cass County’s quota for liberty bonds has now asked for $5 billion instead of $3 billion, so Cass goes from $292,950 to $500,000.
Jan. 3, 1918: Uncle Sam made an invitation to all young men to join up and protect our liberty.
1918: Four of former President Roosevelt’s sons were in the thick of the fight in Europe. Two of the four sons were wounded and son Quentin was killed.
Sept. 12, 1918: Judge U.S. Eby got word his nephew, Ezra Eby, has been wounded in France.
Aug. 8, 1918: The fuel administrator got 3,168 tons of coal for our county — Dowagiac, 1,982 tons; Cassopolis, 330; and Marcellus, 182.
Not more than two pounds of sugar per month per person for household use.

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

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