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MARY BRASWELL: Looking Back at Albany in 1908

HISTORY COLUMN: In November 1908, presidential election results were updated during the evening at the Dougherty County courthouse.

Mary Braswell

Mary Braswell

Each week, Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can Call her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

The following news items are from the pages of The Albany Herald in November 1908.

— Needed: farm laborers, paid by the month or year and fed and supported by the landowner. During working season, pay ranged from 35 cents to 40 cents per day during the working season.

— For one night only, a company of 75 actors and actresses performed “The Traitor” at the Rawlins Theatre. Seats for the sequel to “The Clansman” went on sale at 9 a.m. at Cohn Bros. five days before the show, with no seats laid away for anyone. Ticket prices ranged from 75 cents to $1.50 with the full house reserved for whites only.

— New arrivals at Mock & Rawson included dill pickles, sauerkraut, bulk olives, Swiss cheese and pickled pig feet.

— The Amateur Carnival was held at the Elk’s Hall, which included a bird supper and, later in the evening, dancing for the young people. New to the carnival was the “Wild Woman.” Described as a “tiny little being but so wild she would claw one’s very eyes out if one looks at her right hard.” So wild was the woman that she was housed in a separate tent from that of the Wild Man.

— A notice was published that four young girls, ages 6, 8, 10 and 12, were being sent from Dougherty County to the Georgia Industrial Home in Macon. Before the young girls could be received in Macon, it was required that they have clothing. Residents able to assist could bring clothing items by the office of The Herald.

— Visitors to Atlanta wishing to read The Albany Herald while in the city could find copies in the reading room of the Piedmont Hotel.

— The Herald arranged to receive updated returns of the presidential election from the Associated Press, Western Union Telegraph and Southern Bell Telephone Company. Originally the returns were to be announced by megaphone from the window of The Herald. Because of inclement weather, the returns were given and updated as available in the Superior Court Room at the courthouse. In the end, William Taft won the election against William Jennings Bryan.

— An escaped convict from the Tift County camp was arrested in Albany. Postcards were sent around the area with a description of the man. It was the fact that the prisoner had six fingers on one hand that made the capture easy.

— So great was business for the Albany Buggy Company, undertakers and embalmers, that there were two telephones. Numbers to call were 424 and 428.

Dreamland Electric Theatre at 238 Pine St. announced a complete change of program every day. Admission was 5 cents and 10 cents.

— John B. Shiver, a Poulan butcher, killed a cow which had in her paunch a watch chain, a watch case, a piece of chain, about a pound of nails and a half-dollar dated 1858.

— The cost to build macadam roads in Dougherty County reached $1,200 per mile. Macadam was described as small broken stones mixed with tar or clay.

— A resolution by the Albany City Council forbade any city employee to absent himself from the city without consent of the mayor or head of the department with which the employee is connected. Violators could be fined, suspended or dismissed at the discretion of the City Council.

— The U.S. Corps of Engineers reported that there was to be $25,000 available for the fortification and improvement of docking stations along the Flint River .

— Although insured for $1,000, Sam Farkas still took a loss as fire swept through a building he owned at the lower end of Broad Street near Front. The large, two-story frame house was being used for storage. Destroyed in the fire were 10 tons of hay, 300 sacks of feed, a few barrels of syrup, cotton seed meal plows and other agricultural implements, as well as six or more buggies. Fortunately, just after the fire was discovered, someone opened the neighboring Farkas Stables and set free 40 horses and mules. Loses were estimated at between $3,000 and $4,000.

— The Loyal Temperance Legion was an organization for children. The mission of the group was “to engross on the brain and heart of childhood that it is not only right but scientific to let alcoholic drinks alone.” Every boy and girl in Albany, ages 8-14, was invited to join.

— Georgia’s attorney general, in an opinion given to the state school commissioner, held that school districts that voted in a special tax for school purposes could not subsequently rescind the action. Once voted in by the people, the tax became perpetual.

— Several cases of scarlet fever were reported in Leesburg.

— The Dixie Manufacturing Company of Poulan advertised the need for girls to operate sewing machines in the overalls factory.

— The large number of ladies in Albany, all members of the Hospital Association, held its most successful fundraising event to date. The Hospital Bazaar consisted of numerous booths selling everything from aprons to dolls to food items to pillows and more. Candy was made and pulled on-site, selling as fast as it could be made. By the end of the two-day event, nearly every item was sold and a profit of $553.45 was made, all of which went to further plans for a much-needed hospital.

— Albany observed Thanksgiving Day as a holiday with most stores closed for the day. A worship service was held at the Baptist church, joined by members of the Presbyterian and Methodist churches. The Albany Herald did not publish on Thanksgiving Day.

QUIK ANSWER

The answer is (a) 10 cents per hour.