Sparta News Plaindealer Archives - Special Edition September 1999: February 1900: The new union had negotiated a new wage scale with the operators. The Plaindealer did not list all the wages, but drivers' wages were boosted from a $1.75 per day to $2.10 per day. The local lodge of the Federation of Labor had grown so large that the carpenters withdrew and started a union of their own with 19 members. About a dozen ladies met in Allen's Hall Saturday evening to consider the advisability of organizing a "Working Girls Union." Organized labor was just getting a start in this area.
100 Years ago - Marissa Messenger - January 26, 1917: Mr. Louis Miller, a prominent merchant of this place, recently purchased the beasutiful and palatial residence known as "The Borders' House", which is situated in the Eastern portion of the town. This is perhaps one of the finest residences in Southern Illinois. The landscaped yards, walks, and gardens of flowers and shubbery [sic] occupy nearly an acre of ground. In the midst of this is located the residence which Mr. W. E. Borders built some years ago ...at approximately an expense of $35,000. The residence has fourteen rooms, equipped with every modern convenience - Hot and cold water - connected bath rooms with sleeping rooms - a basement of immense size, finished attic, den, parlors, dining rooms with built-in conveniences and finished in expensive hard-wood. The large living room, with its high, beamed ceiling is a picture of elaborate beauty. Among the exquisite designs of built-in-furniture in this room is a private desk, which Mr. Borders designed for his personal use. Another attractive feature of the place is the spacious veranda, which extends almost around the large building. A large and modernly arranged garage is another convenience which Mr. Borders did not overlook when planning this place. It accommodates three large cars...
From the Marissa Monitor files:
April 2 1880 - John Heil and Robert J. Wilson caught a stray wolf or coyote last Saturday last Saturday. - Robert Mearns road engine arrived on Thursday evening. The boys thought it was an escaped elephant from Barnum's menagerie. - Mitze's new bay window stands out like a sore thumb and attracts fully as much attention.
March 31, 1927: The railroad depot here was held up early yesterday morning by two armed bandits who got a small amount of change from the cash drawer and carried off a small "pony safe" from the express office. The safe contained seven money orders, which if cashed will furnish sufficient clues to trace the bandits. - Fred W. Keim made an attractive window display this week by placing a flock of young chicks in his show window, using chick foods and tonics for the background of the display. - The Soy Bean Special, operated by the Illinois Central railroad, spent an hour at Marissa last Monday. The train's six coaches were equipped with experimental data on modern farming, plants, soil, seeds, and records, a splendid moving picture show and a corps of instructors and lecturers.
Sparta, March 1900 - Ice had not been thick enough for harvesting in this vicinity during the winter and the Plaindealer predicted it would be necessary to import the product during the coming summer. Mrs. Lucretia Baird of Eden, brought to the Plaindealer office a copy of the Sparta Journal of September 24, 1853. The paper was published by J. S. Coulter. Among the advertisers were the Thomas McClurkin Woolen Factory, the J. E. Detrich & Co. general Store, Pollock & Glenn druggists, Andrew Miller, jeweler, and the Union Academy. The Plaindealer and the Argonaut were waging an editorial war over the fact that T. F. Alexander, editor of the Argonaut, had been "deposed" as secretary of the Southern Illinois Improvement and Loan Association. A. A. Brown was elected to succeed Mr. Alexander as secretary. The Plaindealer called Mr. Alexander a "salary grabber, Republican, Democrat, Populist, everything, nothing;" and said that he was "too fat and lazy to work." What the Argonaut said about the Plaindealer was not published in the Plaindealer. [Comment by webmaster: Oh my!]
February 21, 1885 -the Washington Monument was formally dedicated, and three years later it was opened to the public, who were permitted to climb to the top of the monument by stairs or elevator. The monument was the tallest structure in the world when completed and remains today, by District of Columbia law, the tallest building in the nation’s capital. The 555-foot-high marble obelisk was first proposed in 1783, and Pierre L’Enfant left room for it in his designs for the new U.S. capital. After George Washington’s death in 1799, plans for a memorial for the “father of the country” were discussed, but none were adopted
until 1832–the centennial of Washington’s birth. Architect Robert Mills’ hollow Egyptian obelisk design was accepted for the monument, and on July 4, 1848, the cornerstone was laid. Work on the project was interrupted by political quarreling in the 1850s, and construction ceased entirely during the American Civil War. Finally, in 1876, Congress, inspired by the American centennial, passed legislation appropriating $200,000 for completion of the monument.I
At 7:12 a.m. on the morning of February 21, 1916, a shot from a German Krupp 38-centimeter long-barreled gun—one of over 1,200 such weapons set to bombard French forces along a 20-kilometer front stretching across the Meuse River—strikes a cathedral in Verdun, France, beginning the Battle of Verdun, which would stretch on for 10 months and become the longest conflict of World War I.
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