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A century ago in July: What made local headlines in 1919

A cartoon published on the front page of a July 1919 edition of the Daily Republican-Times.
A cartoon published on the front page of a July 1919 edition of the Daily Republican-Times.

Editor's Note: These news stories were gathered from July 1919 editions of The Daily Republican-Times. Take note that some spelling, punctuation and usage is different than what we publish today. So take a trip back in time (or in “The Rep-Times,” as readers used to call it) and read what was making news 10 decades ago.

Ottawa Saloons Conforming to Dry Law

The saloons of Ottawa were either closed to-day or were selling soft drinks to their patrons.

Webster gives three sets of definitions for the word saloon and the third one of those, which means grog shop, will have to be eliminated from now on, it seems.

One of the prominent saloonkeepers when asked if they were selling beer like the Chicago saloons replied, “Do I want to get jailed?” and went on to say that he believed there was not a saloon or a club in town that was selling liquor to-day, and the clubs have never had licenses, he added.

The brewery wagons were busy delivering soda pop and the like to the thirst parlors to-day.

Last evening a farewell was said to all the intoxicating liquors by almost the whole nation, with fitting ceremonies, according to different individuals’ ideas and tastes in the matter. Yesterday was one of the biggest days in the history of the saloons of this city, but nevertheless there was the gloom coincident with the impending ban of all intoxicating drinks.

A good many celebrated so well that even to-day they have not as yet regained the equilibrium, but from now on it’s the soda pop and lemos and the like for all.

The brewery in North Ottawa is constructing a new office building and rumor has it that the company contemplates new improvements and innovations in the brewery building itself in the near future. Changes will be made to conform with the new law and only soft drinks will be manufactured.

Last evening many were the obsequies held over the bodies of John Barleycorn and old King Booze, and their relatives. Even a neat casket, six pall-bearers and a fitting burial service all around were accorded these departed members of liquordom.

(Editor’s note: The ban on alcoholic beverages called for in the 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution did not take effect until Jan. 17, 1920, a year after the amendment’s passing. However, the sale of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of more than 1.28 percent was banned by the Wartime Prohibition Act effective June 30, 1919. The following day was nicknamed the “thirsty-first.”)

Notorious Ottawa Resort to Close

Ottawa’s notorious resort at 1033 Fulton street is closed — and closed for good.

This was the information given to chief of police James Crowe yesterday afternoon, when he paid a visit to the resort in an effort to ascertain whether it was still in operation.

The only persons in the place were Gertie Sachs, the proprietress, and the cook.

“I have told you before and I am telling you now for the last time that you must quit business,” chief Crowe informed the woman in charge.

“This place is closed right now as far as the business I have been conducting is concerned,” said Gertie. “All of my girls have gone, and they will not return. I am through, but I don’t intend to move. Some people seem to have tried to obtain possession of my property for a song, but I won’t sell for any price. I’ll stay here and starve first.”

It is reported that the present owner of the property paid $8,000 for it. Before coming to Ottawa, she told the police chief, she was in the same kind of business in Mendota for 16 years, and never was molested while there.

At the city council meeting Monday evening, at which mayor Weeks made a sensational statement charging commissioner Palmer with failure to supress vice and gambling here, the mayor stated that the complaint concerning the Fulton street resort had been made to him by Al Richards and Hugh J. Mitchell. Commissioner Bradley suggested that the reason why Mitchell and Richards made complaint was that they desired to obtain possession of the property…for use a yard to store coal.

But Gertie says she has no intention of selling out to them, no matter what offer they make to her.

French War Bride Arrives With Soldier Husband

Ottawa’s first French bride to arrive came without heralding or éclat at her new home, with her husband, Lieutenant Ewing P. Daly, son of Mr. and Mrs. D.E. Daly, of 108 East Superior street. The soldier husband and his petite French wife came home on the 5:37 Rock Island train last evening. Their arrival was a surprise to Lieut. Daly’s parents, as he had not even informed them he was in this country.

Lieut. Daly and his wife came home on board the USS Agememnon and landed in the states last Monday. Yesterday Daly spent the day showing his foreign bride the wonderful sights of the metropolis of Illinois — Chicago. Then they came home and surprised the old folks. His mother was so surprised that she collapsed when she saw her son and his wife. They knew that he was married, but it was the unexpectedness of the return of her only child, who had been gone for twenty-three long months, that caused the mother to give way.

Although he Dalys came into Ottawa as quietly and unannounced as possible, it was not long before the news got around, and to-day all Ottawa is agog and talking about this wonderfully brave little woman, who has come into a land of strange people and customs with her soldier husband.

This “nouvelle marie Francais” is petite with black hair and a vivacious smiling expression. She speaks very little English, but seems to understand our language to quite an extent. Her husband chatters away with her in French, just as if he were a native-born, and, as some of Mr. Daly’s relatives speak French, the little bride will not find herself without interpreters, or those she can converse with, until such time as she masters the English language.

Lieut. Daly met his bride eighteen months ago, when he was stationed in Bourges, France. Here there was a huge French hospital, where 15,000 soldiers were cared for, and it was here in the office of the hospital that he met Helene Boutet, who was a resident of Bourges, and was serving as a Red Cross worker in the paymaster’s department in the hospital.

Later the lieutenant was transferred to St. Aignon, but he found time to return to Bourges to see his little French sweetheart, and last May the romance culminated in their marriage at the family homier Bourges. Madame Daly remained with her parents while her husband returned to St. Aignon, where he was stationed until the camp was closed. Then he and his wife bade farewell to France and the bride’s home and faced westward to his home. At Brest they unfortunately lost their baggage and were forced to come home minus their personal belongings. 

Lieutenant Daly is a graduate of the Ottawa high school of the 1912 class, and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1917. He entered the first officer’s training school at Fort Sheridan and received a second lieutenant’s commission. A short time later he sailed for France.

Mrs. Daly has a mother and a sister and brother in France. Her brother was a corporal in the artillery and saw much service in the French army.

Last evening the Daly home was the scene of a gathering of friends and relatives of the groom, who came to offer their congratulations and to welcome lieutenant Daly and his bride home.

(Editor’s note: The Dalys lived at 647 Chambers St. Helene Daly died at age 74 on Feb. 17, 1966. “Mrs. Daly collapsed and died about 2:30 p.m., Thursday in the Hulse Funeral Home where she went to the wake for Mrs. Ida Fogle,” according to her obituary in the Daily Republican-Times newspaper. “Efforts of the Ottawa Fire Department first aid squad to revive Mrs. Daly were unsuccessful.” Ewing Porter Daly, a retired highway department engineer, died July 29, 1967, age 72, at the Highland Convalescent Home. Both were buried at the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery. They had no children.)

Ottawa Council Debates Business District Parking

A lengthy discussion in regard to the regulation of traffic in the business district of Ottawa was indulged in by the city council at its meeting last evening, after J. Ward Conde, local garage proprietor, addressed the commissioners and complained of conditions which exist here.

Conde suggested that automobiles be prevented from parking along La Salle street, but that they be placed on side streets. He said it might be a good idea to have a time limit — say 30 minutes — on the time autos could be left standing on La Salle street. Commissioner Bradley objected to this plan, saying he feared it would hurt the business of the La Salle street merchants if the autoists were compelled to leave their cars at a considerable distance from the place they traded. Bradley said that it might help to relieve congestion by compelling the autoists to park in to the curb instead of parking sideways as some of them do now, but he declared himself as being very much opposed to driving the autoists from La Salle street.

Commissioner Palmer stated that he believed the automobiles should be parked at an angle of 45 degrees, but declared the matter should be given some careful thought before any action was taken by the council.

A number of years ago, when automobiles were few, the city council passed an ordinance compelling the parking of automobiles on Court street. But automobiles have now become so numerous, Mr. Palmer explained, that Court street is now “but a drop in the bucket.”

“Ottawa is becoming very congested with autos, especially on Saturday nights,” said Palmer, “and La Salle street is badly jammed. I believe conditions on La Salle street should be improved, but, with nearly every side street also crowded with autos on Saturday night, it is a question where to have the autos park.

“I have no desire to injure the business of the local merchants, and I am in favor of getting the sense of the views of the business men before we take any action.”

Mayor Weeks also said he favored consulting the Ottawa Business Men’s association, and the matter was dropped until a later meeting.

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