This Week In History: November 14, 1918 – Armistice Week
Twin City News: November 14, 1918
E.O. WEIST, Editor and Proprietor
“Monday night (Nov. 11), Baltimore and Basil Citizens, as well as well as a large number of our former friends, gathered into our towns and joined in with the jollity of the occasion. No particular efforts were made for a set program, each town just endeavoring to give vent to its pent up emotions, glad that peace had come and that no more sacrifice of life was necessary and that the horrors of war were over. Each town hurriedly put on a parade, that while unique in many instances, but was joined by everyone, and if they could have been thrown together would have been more thoroughly enjoyed. (writer’s note: Editor Weist seems to be challenging the rival “Twin Cities” to be more co-operative…his newspaper’s byline was “IN UNITY THERE IS STRENGTH”…especially in the celebration of the conclusion of WWI.) The Basil Band headed a large parade of Red Cross Members, School Children, and Citizens, marched to Baltimore, while Baltimore had an automotive parade and started for Basil, and they passed each other on the way. Each parade was composed of (separate) Red Cross Members, School Children, Citizens, Fantastics, etc. while Old Glory was used in profusion. Both towns had all manner of firearms, anvils, etc. in constant use so that with cheering , horns going at top speed, songs from school scholars and Red Cross Members, it was a medley of sounds in which each individual followed his own vent. The big tractor of Mr. Herman Sands, with its chime whistle, added to the din as the parade started in Baltimore. (writer’s note: Herman could have been Vernon Sands, well-known local businessman–the large hay barn in Rome Side that still stands–who built in 1917 the unique house, with early electrical wiring, across from the current post office that eventually housed the family and office of Dr. Sneeringer. Vernon included a reinforced thick concrete shelter in the basement of his house to protect the inhabitants. After all, it was WWI.) The Kaiser received attention due him, in Basil, when he was hung and burned, while in Baltimore he lay dead in a coffin and was attended by an escort of Royal mourners. Bonfires in each town, with the shooting and jollifying was kept up until a late hour when all departed, satisfied the Kaiser would receive his just deserts and that an opportunity had been had to let out the pent up emotions that has held us the past few years.”
Mr. Joseph Smart left Sunday evening for Cleveland to report to his commanding officer, in charge, of the Great Lakes Naval Station. While not recovered entirely from his broken limb yet, Joseph can hobble around by aid of a cane, and will finish his training in the officers’ school.” (writer’s note: Joseph was the son of Harry E. Smart, the founder of the local paper mills in 1893. The Smart Family marker remains the largest one in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Rome Side.)
“At no distant day the Board of Education will sell the school buildings and grounds of Baltimore and Basil. The grounds are among the most desirable sites for residences and should attract a number of buyers anxious to build.” (writer’s note: This prediction was spot-on. The Griley Family Estate built their fine home, garage/apartment on the grounds now occupied by the iconic Griley House, the two Baltimore Community Museum buildings and the branch of the Fairfield County Library.
BASIL LOCAL ITEMS:
“Uncle Sam begs us to ‘to do your Christmas Shopping early.’ No better gift than a Magazine or Paper. See Lewis Cook for Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, Country Gentleman or other Magazines.” (writer’s note: And many readers will lament that in these current times we advertise too much for a Christmas Season before Thanksgiving! Also, Lewis Cook, at age 18 earlier in that Summer, had suffered a life-threatening diving accident in Pawpaw Creek from which he would be paralyzed for the next 40 years. While confined to a wheelchair and being dependent on friends who carried him to historic or naturalist sites that he was interested in researching, Lewis would record his findings and became a state-wide recognized author. Not one to sulk or feel sorry for his condition, he helped support himself by selling subscriptions to magazines and newspapers, writing for the same including a magnificent series for the Cleveland Plain Dealer on the Ohio and Erie Canal, working as the accountant of his father’s Basil business, D.S. Cook & Sons * (see photo) and several other wage-earning jobs.