Woodrow Wilson has been elected president and the nation has entered the Age of Reform. Gallatin struggles to stay up-to-date. Tunsten street lights are installed around the square. "A cross arm of two lights is put on each post, and they give the Gallatin business district the appearance of a white way….It is a very cheerful improvement. (June 12, 1913)
Another big improvement is being made in Dockery Park <197> the home of the Daviess County Chautauqua. "The contract has been let for the installation of modern toilets on the grounds…" (July 30, 1914)
Most houses are now wired for electricity.
"Penn Love has installed an electric washing machine for Homer Feurt this week and from all reports this machine makes wash day a picnic and a pastime instead of a drudgery and nerve wrecker. The wash is put in the machine with the hot water and soap, you press the button and the machine does the rest. With the electric washer, electric irons and an electric range, housework is made a pleasure. Mr. Love will supply you with any of these accessories to marital happiness." (????)
Gallatin is mightily behind times when it comes to street improvement, and must wake up to the necessity of paving. "No other town in N.W. Missouri, the size of Gallatin, is without street paving…Just why Gallatin does not pave we cannot understand with natural resources or rock and sand on hand." (July 19, 1917)
Car maker Henry Ford introduced his Model T automobile in 1908. The horse gives way to the automobile, the horse trader to the car dealer, the blacksmith to the mechanic. In the summer of 1913, the Maxwell was the popular vehicle in the area.
"What we term a real auto record was made in a new Maxwell 35-4…J. T. Cope returned from Kansas City Tuesday night in a new 1913 beauty…made the run of 106 miles, registered by the speedometer, and used only five gallons of gasoline, an average of 21 miles to the gallon." (Aug. 14, 1913)
Keeping up the roads was a community affair. Every able bodied citizen took up a pick and shovel. Good Road Days in Missouri was a proclamation with dates fixed by the Governor Major. "George Lockridge, county highway engineer, is now engaged in organizing the county for the two days work, and everybody should get their road tools ready for big doings on the roads." (Aug, 1913)
Rural schools with those endearing names <197> Shady Grove, Brushy Creek, Prairie Valley, Roasting Ear <197> have begun to consolidate.
"The schools included in the consolidation are Jameson, Laswell, Brown, Beck, Brushy Creek and Grant. This will be the first consolidated school district in Daviess county…The Coffey district, including Coffey, McClary, Burnes, Feurt, Freeport, Shady Grove and a small part of the Everly district, will vote on the question of consolidation next Monday…The Blake district, including the Goodbar, McClung, Mann, Prairie Valley and Fairview schools, will vote March 18." (March 5, 1914)
Upset with "that pile of brick and mortar in the southeastern suburbs of Gallatin now known as Grand River Academy" the Commercial Club committee was appointed to see what could be done in the matter of compelling William Jewell to return the property to the people of Gallatin. An infirmary was considered.
"There is a strong sentiment in the county favorable to disposing of the poor farm and the building of a home that will properly house the unfortunates kept at the farm. (July 17, 1913)
Ultimately, the property was purchased by Dr. E.W. Dow for an exclusively girls’ college. (April 23, 1914)
The farming community refuses to lag behind the rest of the world.
"Floyd Tuggle, one of Daviess county’s most progressive farmers, last week purchased an all steel gas tractor, "the modern farm horse," the first in Daviess county for use on his farm and the roads…. It will run about five miles per hour on high speed and more than two miles an hour on low speed. (Aug. 14, 1913)
Cattle, hogs, sheep, having nothing to crow about when the big Daviess County Poultry Show is in full force. More than 40 person made entries with approximately 400 birds in the show.
"Step into the Alexander building on the west side of the square <197> you’ll hear music <197> not piano or violin, but rooster and hen music, made by blooded birds from everywhere….There you will find the best the poultry industry produces housed in pretty little coops… pleasing little tags on each coop to tell you what kind of chickens… an elaborate state exhibit in the northeast corner of the room, incubators, courteous attendants who will tell you all about it…." (Jan. 22, 1914)
The Daviess County Farm Bureau or Farmers Association is organized at a meeting in Gallatin. Hon. Wm. Hirth of Columbia, editor of the Missouri Farmer, addressed the assembly:
"For a long time there has been something radically wrong with farm conditions. It has been a case with the farmer of accepting the other fellow’s price for everything they sold and accepting the other fellows’ price for everything they bought….The farmer is a mere helpless producer. He has nothing to say as to what his commodity shall bring." (July 5, 1917)
Resources are still being discovered in the area, including a vein rich in silver on the McCrary farm is in the south part of Sheridan township and on Marrowbone creek. (Jan. 1, 1914) and: "What is supposed to be a good flow of natural gas was accidentally brought in while drilling for water at the farm of James Realing…five miles northeast of Lock Springs….Mr. Realing left Sunday for Kansas City to secure the services of an expert <197> as he does not know whether to "shoot" the well or not. (April 11, 1918)
The income tax and Federal Reserve system are created in this decade. Not everyone fares so well in the new world of commerce and consumption.
"The failure of George & Robinson, the rock crusher people, has been made more complicated by bankruptcy proceedings. (April 27, 1911)
The American railways already faced ever increasing costs of operation. The European war which started in Aug. 1914, suddenly brought American railroads face to face with the gravest crisis in their history.
"…with the financial markets of England, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium and Holland indefinitely closed to them <197> it means that they must henceforth finance all their requirements within the U.S. Not only that, but in their frenzy for ready gold these countries are frantically seeking to dispose of big blocks of the nearly five billion dollars’ worth of American railroad securities that they now hold. It was this "dumping" process which forced the closing of the New York Stock Exchange some weeks ago." (Oct. 1, 1914)
Nature creates her own difficulties for the people of the region. Daviess County is swept by flood twice this decade. In 1915 it was a May flood and a July flood, too. In 1917 it was a June flood.(June 17, 1917)
Heat records are broken in the days before air conditioning.
"Electric fans, hand-fans, the cool water pitchers and the ice man have all been working overtime this week in their efforts to give the people some relief from the extremely hot weather. The mercury has been above the 100 mark at many points…The courthouse yard is one of the favorite places for those looking for a cool spot. (July 17, 1913)
Deadly small pox is rampant throughout the US early in the decade. There is an outbreak in the community that results in widespread alarm.
"Dr. Chas. Pipkin, president of the Board of Health for the City of Gallatin, informs us this week that there is not a single case of smallpox in Gallatin, the last case having been dismissed from quarantine Tuesday….Parties who for a time were alarmed and afraid to come to Gallatin by reason of the exaggerated reports of the disease, now are coming to realize that Gallatin is in fact the safest place they could go because the authorities have had successful experience in handling the disease…(Dec. 15, 1910)
For the most part things are swell. Daviess Countians dance the tango and listen to ragtime. Five cents is now the price of admission to the movies at the Gem.???? Baseball is truly the national pastime and draws 30,000,000 people a year.
"There are over 35 leagues under the National Commission, with six to eight clubs apiece, playing an average, possibly, of 130 games to the season…..And even the figures don’t begin to measure popular interest. Where is the town that doesn’t get the returns by wire? Think of the playographs in every major league city and the crowds they draw. (An extract from the American Magazine) (????)
Citizens hunt, fish and seem to undergo a craze for the great outdoors.
"The "New City of Providence" is nearing completion at Wynne’s dry dock, east side square, and will soon be ready to launch for pleasure traffic on Grand River. It is built on more artistic lines under the nautical skill of that "old river rat" Frank Wynne and looks as graceful as a swan and its builder claims will ride the rolling waves of Grand River with as much ease and as little likelihood of turning topsy-turvy. Only an experienced bare back rider could stay in the old "City of Providence" when it was in motion and it was always considered policy to steer her into shallow water and hold her when Charley Myers changed his cud of tobacco from one side of his mouth to the other. The launching of the "New City of Providence" will be an epoch in Grand River navigation." (????)
J.C. McDonald of Jameson has the distinction of establishing the first summer camp on the banks of Grand River."His camp is equipped with modern conveniences and his steel row boat affords means of pleasant river tips as well as proper care for his lines…Frequently there is a pilgrimage of Mormons from Utah to the scenes as of their early day settlements near Mr. McDonald’s camp…" (????)
Women strive to keep the move toward progress wholesome. Soldiers of family values and virtues, they march down the streets of Gallatin to stamp out untoward social vices.
"Prohibition must eventually win," states the editor of the Gallatin Democrat, "The Fight is on to a finish."
"The prohibition amendment was defeated by a large majority in the state at large, although Daviess County gave the amendment a majority of nearly six hundred…." (Nov. 24, 1910)
Daviess County women formed their own temperance movement, combining religious fervor with the fight to ban liquor.
….Service was held at the Methodist church last Sunday night, under the direction of the Community Interest League. It was a temperance service of marked interest and zeal…(July 3, 1913)
These are women of action:
"A little company of Gallatin women who were standing on the sidewalk near the Andrews racket store Saturday afternoon during the festivities of the stock show noticed that quite a number of men, young and old, were going up the stairs leading to the Odd Fellows’ hall and the upper rooms of the Hamilton buildings adjoining. The actions of the men convinced the women that a drinking joint was be operated upstairs, and they decided to interfere with the procession of burning thirst.
The women lined up across the doorway leading upstairs, and after two or three appeals form men to let them through the line, which they turned down, they noticed that no further effort was being made to get in….they discovered that the procession was gaining admission to the upper
refreshment chamber by a back stairway.
…the women made an investigation of the upstairs. But if there had been any booze up there, the boys had either drank it all or had sneaked it out the back way, because the crusaders found neither bootleggers or booze.
The raid created quite a little excitement, and has put a real scare into the local booze dispensers. And now is a mighty good time for the law violators of this town to quit business. (Oct. 1, 1914)
Men are more or less appreciative of the women trying to keep them in line.
"Josephine <197> that’s my wife <197> is most generally with me after dark. I reckon they is a reason. I got a cow the home place that I named Josephine, because she is so stubborn. Josephine had a bull calf that was allus breakin’ through the fence, a gittin’ into the clover. I seen Josephine <197> that’s my cow <197> many a time stand in front of the weak spot in the fence and keep that thar caff from goin through. Just like Josephine <197> that’s my wife <197> many a time has she stood between me and temptation by pullin’ me past one of them cheap theaturs." (Jan. 26, 1910)
Women may be moving toward a new independence, but men are still inclined to protect them the old-fashioned way.
"…The young men… followed the Sheriff’s daughter and a young girl friend, Miss Fay Elmore, home from the Gem, annoying them by fresh remarks. When informed of the matter Sheriff Blair came back up town with the girls and finding the young men in the office of the Windsor hotel did a little "mashing" of his own account. He knocked one of the fresh ones down twice and gave him a severe pummeling, but while so engaged the other masher, who had been the more persistent in his advances with the young ladies, rushed out the door and saved himself by fast foot work." (Jan. 2, 1911)
The friction between the United States and Mexico had threatened for two years or more to result in open warfare. Mexicans employed by the railroad were apt to run into wholesale prejudice by the locals:
"There was great excitement in the Mexican colony here Monday. Two of the natives came up from St. Joseph looking for one of their fellow country men who had left the camp near there and took one of the other fellows wife. From the excitement and jabbering among them it would seem that the unwritten law would be in full force and effect should they overtake the guilty Greaser. (Altamont items…????)
The Mexican "crisis" faded from public view with the entrance of the U.S. into the world war in 1917. Times changed. Prosperity would revert to shortages and rationing. Still the country entered the war with considerable enthusiasm. This is, after all, the war to end all wars and to make the world safe for democracy.
The Daviess County quota for the draft was raised from 80 to 130. (Aug. 2, 1917) One young man <197> Leonard Patterson <197> is the first man, number 258, to be drafted into the national army after a lottery held in Washington, D.C. (July 26, 1917)
Over 50,000 Yanks die in combat "over there." Even more die of disease.
"The first young man from this county to give up his life in the great international struggle was Daniel Collier of Jamesport who died at Camp Funston, Kans, of spinal meningitis. (Nov. 29, 1917)
Daviess Countians take the discomfort of war in stride.
A local fuel committee is organized to"investigate prices and supply in the county." (Nov. 22, 1917)
The food conservation plan is "directed toward saving wheat, meat, fat and sugar, because these are staple products of which there is an immense shortage." (Oct. 25, 1917)
The coal situation in Gallatin is acute and with zero weather in our midst, the problem of fuel is a serious one. Many homes are practically without coal….Local dealers are expecting a shipment every day. No dealer in town has a pound on hand. (Jan. 10, 1918)
Women begin to work in factories. Everybody does their bit. They "give until it hurts" <197> the slogan of the Red Cross campaign. (June 20, 1917)
They help Uncle Sam by investing in War Certificates, Thrift Stamps, Liberty bonds and the Y.M.C.A. War Fund Campaign.
The Star Theatre, is showing the popular movie, "The Kaiser, Beast of Berlin." (June 13, 1918)
Congress outlaws criticism of the government. Spies and saboteurs are everywhere.
"The newspapers over the country are warning everybody against purchasing articles <197> such as court plaster, mending tissue, etc., from peddlers. Many instances are reported in the U.S. that enemies are selling this stuff and that it contains the germs of leprosy, tuberculosis, typhoid, etc., etc. DO NOT purchase anything from an agent that you do not know <197> not even lead pencils. (July 26, 1917)
Farmers are asked to raise more poultry. "No other source of animal food offers such quick returns as the raising of poultry." (Nov. 29, 1917). A decade earlier, it was horse thieves that met swift justice. Times have changed.
"Because of recent depredations of chicken thieves in the neighborhood, the Prairie Hill Co-Operative Club of Jefferson township is offering a cash reward of $100 for the arrest and conviction of any person stealing chickens, or other property from any of its members. The Club members declare they are going to employ every possible means to bring the guilty parties to justice."
The soldiers who do make it back, having survived new and bloody technology <197> armored tanks, machine guns, poisonous gas <197> now face the Spanish flu pandemic which will result in the death of 550,000 Americans.
Researched by Wilbur Bush