Three old men reading news

110 Years Ago – A Quirky Week in News In Michigan’s Upper Thumb in 1912

The Harbor Beach Times kept everyone up to date. No news was too obscure or local that it didn’t warrant a few lines in the paper. So here are a couple of interesting news tidbits from this week 110 years ago this week from Michigan’s Thumb.

Lose Those Marbles! – State Puts Ban on Marble Chocolate Drops.

Taylor Brothers - 110 Years Ago
Taylor Bros. Co. Image from

William T. Hillscher, state food, and dairy inspector, swooped down on the Taylor Bros,’ Candy Co., at Battle Creek, one of the biggest wholesale candy concerns in America and seiz­ed 1,000 pounds of “chocolate drops.”

The candy was designed for marble draws. Schoolboys buy them to get the marbles within. Inspector Hlllscher acted on mothers’ complaints, who feared their children would swallow the candy whole and choke on the marbles. The Taylor company agreed to use no more “marble fillings.”

Ice Collection Underway

Cutting Ice – 1900 – Courtesy Library of Congress

We notice Point Aux Barques boys are now busy putting up ice. This is for next summer’s water wagon, is it not, boys? Our people [in Port Hope] are now putting up their ice which is of a very nice quality.

Frozen Spuds And Boy’s In their Sleighs

Horse Drawn Sleighs
Horse Drawn Sleighs – Courtest Library of Congress

Several of our young men are making good use of their cutters, [a light sleigh] which we are sure is of particular interest to the young ladies of adjoining vicinities.

Purdyville – Some of our people are facing a problem— how to keep potatoes from freezing in the cellar these days.

Two Surfire Test On Your Farm For Where To Putt Your Animals These Days

Chicken Coop – Library of Congress

If you want to know how long to allow cows to stay out in the winter, take off your coat, go out in the yard and stand around awhile. When you begin to feel uncomfortable and feel like going into the house, put the cows in the barn.

If the members of your poultry house are standing on one foot, take them in your cellar. They will enjoy the change.

Telephone Upgrade May Confuse You

Telephone Girl
Telephone Girl – Library of Congress

The Harbor Beach Telephone Co wishes to announce that during the next few days, they will change over nearly all their city lines to the cable system. During this change, there may be some confusion. If the patrons will be a little patient with the service, it will be appreciated.

Bad Axe Better Watch Out For Pigeon

1890s Bad Axe
Bad Axe Court House

That smiling sister village of Pigeon with her sugar plant and new woodenware factory is now agitating the bonding of Winsor township for $50,000 to complete the good roads system for that township. Of late, since our Pigeon neighbors quit cater-hauling and petty personal fights and jealousies, they get what they go after. And if Bad Axe doesn’t do things with her old tumbledown courthouse pretty soon, there will be one worthy of the name standing about five miles west of Elkton. So go to it, Pigeon. We admire your spirit.— Elkton Review.

Forget these New Fangled Cars – Own a Livery

Horse Livery 1904
Livery Stable 1904 – Courtesy Library of Congress

For Sale – Livery Stable in Harbor Beach, complete equipment. Land and barn, the equipment consist of 9 horses, ten buggies, automobile, several cutters, harness, etc., all in first-class condition. Only livery in the City. A money maker from the start.

On The Cover – Frank W Murphy Honored

Harbor Beach Times 1912
Front Page of the Harbor Beach Times – January 12, 1912

Our featured image includes a short story in the Harbor Beach Times about Frank W. Murphy being named a press agent for the Wilson Club in Ann Arbor. Murphy was still a student at U of M but active in politics and public life.

Twenty-seven years later, President Roosevelt would appoint Murphy Attorney General of the United States in 1939. Then, on January 4, 1940, President Roosevelt nominated Murphy to the United States Supreme Court one year later. On February 5, 1940, the Senate confirmed the nomination.

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Michael Hardy

Mike Hardy is the owner of Thumbwind Publications LLC. It started in 2009 as a fun-loving site covering Michigan's Upper Thumb. Since then, he has authored a vast range of content and established a loyal base of 60,000 visitors per month.

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