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100 Years Ago This Month

April 1917

April 6


A band of Gypsies passed through Emmitsburg Tuesday afternoon in route to Gettysburg. They were traveling in five wagons.

Arbor Day

Gov. Harrington has issued his proclamation setting April 13 for the observation of Arbor Day throughout the state. The Governor, in a proclamation, calls on the people, and particularly the officials of public schools to observe the occasion by the planting of trees.

Hydrophobia Outbreak

Hydrophobia has broken out among the dogs in Freedom Township. This week two dogs, belonging to William Winebrenner became rabid, frothed at the mouth and showed every symptom of hydrophobia, in its worst stage. Mr. Winebrenner called in Mr. Rogers who shot them both forthwith.

Hotel Martin Opens Doors

The "Hotel Martin," recently completed, is now open for guests. Mr. Thomas Gelwicks, owner and proprietor, is very much gratified by the reservations that have been made and announces that by the 15th of the month every room in the house will be occupied.


There was a very exciting run away Wednesday evening around five o'clock when a double-team of spirited horses pulling a large farm wagon at a speed that seemed, to many excited onlookers, to be about a mile a minute tore through town. At Patterson's corner, the horses turned into the alley and were brought to a stop.

First Recruit

The first prospective recruit for United States Army to apply to postmaster Duncan last week was Benjamin McNair, of Freedom Township. Mr. McNair left for Harrisburg, where he will undergo an examination and if he is accepted will be sent to the army at once. He gave his age as 23 years and has been living on a farm in Freedom Township.

Funds For Upkeep Of Cemetery

A local project has been started by the lot holders of the Lutheran Cemetery to raise, by subscription, $1,000, the interest to be used to keep them perpetually caring for this cemetery, where the ancestors of so many Emmitsburg families rest. Mr. Helman, who is conducting the movement for raising the necessary funds, feels assured that the plan proposed would make it possible to give proper attention to all the lots without any discrimination, former Emmitsburg resident lot owners will be glad to contribute.

April 13


A flurry of snow Easter Sunday, followed by a regular winter downfall at night, winded up with a Monday morning coating three inches deep. The cold snap Sunday had little effect however on Easter dresses. Officially, it was spring weather and spring hats, gowns and shoes made their appearance just the same as usual – and a stunning sight they made. Every house in Emmitsburg in which children lived had an Easter window this week. Cards, rabbits, eggs, peeps, ducks, geese, setting hens and everything suggestive of the season were in evidence.


Outward signs of patriotism have been noticeable in Emmitsburg ever since the possibility of war began to be talked of. Business houses and private drawings are displaying the American flag. Autos are decorated with "Old Glory," and everyone is wearing a patriotic button.

Boozers Rally To Support War Booze Tax

Following the announcement from Washington that the Administration will be taxing booze to help pay for war preparations, members of the Former Former Boozers Association held a rally on the square calling for every able body man in town to support the funding call by drinking as much booze as they could every day. Boozer President Dan Shorb said that the county should immediately repeal the impending start of prohibition, warning that the loss of tax revenue from end of booze sales played into the hands of the Germans and could undermine the war effort. "Those too old to fight," Shorb said to a thoroughly enumerated audience, ‘should do there part by drinking for victory."

Spaulding Home Burns

An exploding oil stove caused destruction by fire of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Spalding, near Emmitsburg, last Saturday afternoon around three o'clock. At the first alarm of fire the people raced to the scene and a good-sized bucket brigade was organized. Their efforts to extinguish the fire were of no avail as the building was a frame one with a shingle roof. To make the situation yet more hopeless the spring from which all the water had to be drawn was so close to the house that a strong wind made it too hot for the bucket brigade to draw water. Every effort was made to save the furniture but the piano and about a dozen other articles were all that were snatched from the flames. The total loss is estimated to be $3,500. The property and its contents were insured for $1,210. Mr. and Mrs. Spaulding are very appreciative of the assistance rendered them by their friends and neighbors.

April 20

Drifter Found Near Reservoir

"John" - who is a dead ringer for Edgar Allan Poe with a three-day growth of beard -camped around Emmitsburg last week and later at the reservoir where his particular actions aroused the suspicion of the custodian of the town's water supply. There was a telephone message, a quick response on the part of Constable Motter then, as "John" did not exhibit the proper passports to disclose intelligently the objects of his Anchorage on the warder company’s property or tell the purpose of a bottle of strangely colored liquid which he is alleged to have had in his possession, he was entertained by the town authorities and on Sunday given a motor trip to Frederick where he was introduced to the sheriff.

At the trial, "John" said he was born in Michigan, but had a brother in Baltimore working for "China Brothers" (no doubt a chop-suey joint). In his attempts to elicit further information, the District Attorney was regaled with an account of "john’s" journey to this place and it was disclosed that the authors of his being were born in some foreign port, the name of which was a cross between the explosion of the catsup bottle and a geographical designation of some place in Romania. To sum it all up – "John" will be "at home" (at Montevue) to his friends during the outing season – until sometime in July.

Dodgeball Team

In a game of dodgeball played in Emmitsburg, the first of a series held under the auspices of the Frederick County Athletic League, between Emmitsburg and Walkersville public schools, the girls from Emmitsburg won by the score of 9 to 3.

Red Cross Unit Organized

A large audience of very earnest women attended a meeting in the public school auditorium Friday night to organize a Red Cross unit in Emmitsburg. The women were told in very plain language that there was nothing in the so-called romance usually woven into Red Cross work by novelists and playwrights. It is work of the most earnest kind requiring intelligence, accuracy and perseverance. At the meeting, there was enrollment of 55 members. Also, it was reported in the news received with applause, but all the merchants of Emmitsburg were ready and willing to furnish whatever they could supply at wholesale prices.

Horse Shot

Mr. Troxel lost a very fine horse on Monday. The horse was being worked in a plow, when it became frightened and ran into barbwire fencing, thereby breaking his leg. Dr. Brokow was summed and shot the horse.

April 27

Flag Raisings

James Haynes, a farmer in Taneytown, assisted by a number of his no less patriotic neighbors, raised last week a pole of 80 feet on the summit of a hill of his farm. From it floated a large United States flag. Meanwhile, the citizens of Sabillasville purchased a large flag, 12’ x 18' and erected a 66 foot pole on the square. On Sunday afternoon with all respect to the occasion, the flag was raised to its position.

Women Learn To Drive Automobiles

Enticing debutantes and just ordinary domesticated matrons are dabbling around in pools of grease and oil these days under model automobiles learning the art of chauffeuring, so they will be able to do something when the country sounds the call to arms. Just drop in any garage in most any town and there you see them -squirming around in the one-foot airspace between the engine of the automobile and the ground. The work was started by the Red Cross and, according to reports pointed headquarters; it has spread like a windswept fire throughout the county. When the women have completed their course they will offer their services to the war Department and a car thrown in.

Four Score And One

Mr. David Rhodes, one of Emmitsburg's most estimable citizens, was tendered a birthday dinner at his home on Gettysburg Street yesterday, having reached his 81st year. Mr. Rhodes was born in 1836 at Rhodes Mill, near Emmitsburg, where he lived until about two years ago when he removed to town. Mr. Rhodes even in his advanced age is a man of physical vigor and keynote and is to be congratulated by the community on his rounding out another year.

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