A look back in time: May 1919

Bryce Haugen
The following local stories were published in May 1919.

Pool room ordinance, May 6
The proposed pool room ordinance was read and laid over after several amendments had been proposed. The ordinance, offered by Alderman Briggs, proposed to close the pool rooms all day on Sundays and “between the hours of 11 o’clock p.m. and 8 o’clock a.m. on secular days.” In the discussion, it was shown that the state law regulating pool rooms is not well observed in Moorhead. Mayor Humphrey announced that he would issue orders to the police department for a strict enforcement of the law. The proposed ordinance was then laid over “to see how the law enforcement plan will work.”

May 5 is freak weather day, May 6
May 5 is one of the freakiest days of the year, according to the records E.F. Mackall has kept for over 30 years. There has been snow, freezing temperature and 102 degrees in the shade, according to Mackall’s record.
Yesterday, the May 5 of this year, the temperature record was 30 degrees at 7 o’clock in the morning. Last year, the high record for the day was 102 in the shade at 2:30 in the afternoon. The greatest variation recorded was in 1899, when the minimum was 30 and the maximum 70 degrees.
The record shows a snow storm in 1892, snow flurries in 1906 and two inches of snow and a temperature of 31 degrees in 1915.
On May 5, 1905, there was a big snow storm and the Northern Pacific Railway Co. had to use a rotary plow to open the line between Jamestown and Minnewaukan, where the drifts were from eight to 12 feet deep.

Moorhead must have more homes, May 6
The housing problem will be discussed at a special meeting of the Moorhead Commercial club to be held at the public library building on Friday evening. A report will be made by the club’s special committee, appointed several weeks ago. No other matter is scheduled for consideration at the meeting, and “it is hoped that there will be a full attendance of members.
Houses of moderate size and apartments are in great demand in Moorhead, and well-informed men say at least 50 houses could be sold or rented. The lack of apartments for small families has been felt for some time, and the demand has continued to increase with no relief in sight. Several property owners have considered erecting apartment buildings, but were deterred by the conditions resulting from the war.
It is no longer a question of how much rent, but to get a place to live. This answers the claim that the cost of buildings has increased greatly above pre-war estimates. It has reached a point in Moorhead where additional housing facilities must be provided, or the growth of the city will cease.
At the meeting on Friday evening, it is understood, the proposition to form a corporation to build a number of cottages and small houses for sale will be considered. The plan is to sell the houses at a small advance over the cost and to use the money to build additional houses or an apartment building.

Dr. Russell to give address at Normal School commencement, May 8
Dr. William Russell, dean of the college of education of the University of Iowa, will deliver the commencement address at the Moorhead normal school on Friday, June 6.
The subject of Dr. Russell’s address will be Bolshevism. While on a mission in Russia for the United States government last year, Dr. Russell made a close study of conditions and he will tell of the things of which he has personal knowledge.

Ulen wants all day light juice, May 9
The proposition to sell the municipally owned electric light plant is under consideration by the people of Ulen village. J.F. Helberg, owner of a generating plant at Helberg park, proposes to take over the Ulen system and furnish a 24-hour current instead of the from sundown to 11:30 p.m. hours under the present plan. The proposition will probably be submitted to a vote early this summer.

Trains to stop at Perham, May 10
Beginning today, train No. 4 on the Northern Pacific, will stop each Saturday afternoon during the summer at Perham. This train is due to leave Fargo at 3:50 and Moorhead at 3:53 p.m. and the Perham stop will be a boon to many fisherman who wish to visit the lakes in that locality.

Woman bites officers thumb, May 14
Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Newell of Fargo made things lively in front of the Scandia hotel early this morning and started a rough house in the Moorhead police station after they had been arrested by Patrolmen Charles Anderson and Joseph Hansmann.
Mrs. Newell bit Officer Anderson’s right thumb while she and her husband were resisting arrest. After the prisoners were brought to the station, a quart bottle of whiskey was taken from Mr. Newell and left on the desk while the search of his person was continued. Mrs. Newell grabbed the bottle and began to drink the contents. When the officers attempted to recover the bottle, she resisted, and the whiskey was spilled all over the room.
This morning Mrs. Newell entered a plea of guilty and Judge E.U. Wade imposed a fine of $100 and costs, or 60 days in the county jail.

Four joy riders held in Moorhead, May 21
The case of four joy riders arrested early this morning, charged with creating a disturbance at the Probstfield farm north of Moorhead, is set for trial before Judge E.U. Wade this afternoon. The car, driven by Luke Sharp, was held as security for the appearance of the four persons in place of bail that was fixed at $100 for each. The other three members of the party are Edwin Larson, Elizabeth Kepenberg and Thora Kupensberg.

Burt Patterson found insane, May 27
Burg Patterson, under indictment for first degree murder for shooting to death his father, William Patterson in Moorhead on the night of Feb. 14, was adjudged insane after examination before Judge Albert Johnson in Clay County district court last night, and ordered committed to the criminal ward of the St. Peter hospital for the insane.
Dr W.B. Patterson, assistant superintendent of the Fergus Falls hospital for the insane, one of the best known alienists of the northwest, testified that Burg Patterson is insane with every indication of imbecility.

Greek laborer drowns in east N.P. reservoir, May 29
George Vassel Pappas, 28, employed as a section man on the Northern Pacific was accidently drowned in the company’s east reservoir, near Glyndon, about 1 o’clock yesterday afternoon. Pappas and Pete Shepis had started out for a ride on the lake when the boat in which they were riding begun to leak. The men became frightened and both jumped into the water.
Pappas was unable to swim. Shepis escaped by holding to the boat.

Great crowd at Hawley Friday, May 31
Memorial Day exercises held at Hawley yesterday brought together the largest number of people whoever assembled in eastern Clay County at one time. Hundreds of automobiles brought the people from every part of the county to take part in the celebration in honor of the nation’s heroes.
(Fargo Forum articles from newspaper archives, courtesy of the Fargo Public Library.)

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