Posts Tagged ‘WWI’

The Politics of War: “The Roundabout Committee and the Circumlocution Board”

March 13, 2010


(The following poem is a good piece of work by Wallace Irwin, well known writer. It is entitled “The Roundabout Committee and the Circumlocution Board”):


A national went to war against a rather ruthless foe;
It hadn’t any army, so it wondered who would go
To do the deeds of valor which the crisis did require,
To help the French to take the trench and do it under fire.

So congress got together and the senate did the same
To raise a million soldiers who would put the foe to shame,
And they quickly passed the matter up, with one complete accord,
To the Roundabout Committee and the Circumlocution Board.

Now the Roundabout Committee sat and talked for weeks and weeks
On methods of preparedness among the Ancient Greeks
While the Circumlocution Board it scratched its thoughtful double chin,
And lingered late in wise debate on “Where Shall We Begin?”

A patriot rushed in and cried, “The foe is at our gate!”
But the Circumlocution Board replied, “Just tell him, please, to wait.
We’re listening to an army plan devised by Senator Droop
To raise nine million soldiers through his correspondence school.”

Then the patriot, who was hasty, raged and stamped upon his hat,
“You’re really doing nothing and you’re taking years at that.”
Whereat the wise committee bobbed its head and answered, “True.
Take note of that, stenographer. That’s what we’re here to do.”

A military training bill the president did advise
They set upon with pencils and reviewed with hostile eyes.
“It is much too plain and simple. Let’s revise it so and thus;
We can jumble any issue, if you’ll leave the job to us.”

So at last the land grew weary and implored with shrieks and sobs.
“Let our warfare be conducted by some men who know their jobs.
Are our railroads run by poets? Or do cobblers harvest hay?
Then in military matters why should windmills rule the day?”

But the question was so pointed and its moral so direct
That it could not thread the labyrinthine hallways, we suspect,
Leading to the inner sanctum of the crooked wooden sword,
Of the Roundabout Committee and the Circumlocution Board.

The Evening News – San Jose, CA – Apr 30, 1917

Kaiser Bill Gets Kicked Out of Hell

March 12, 2010

General Pershing (Image from



Birdsboro, May 4. — Miss Bertha Squibb, of the freshman class of the local high school is certainly not pro-German, and is intensely full of the hope that the allies will vanquish the kaiser and his fellow fighters. In her spare time she has composed some poems that give her ideas of the German emperor and tell in a rhythmic way what she thinks of him. In the same poetic strain, she pays tribute to Gen. Pershing, and her efforts are certainly praiseworthy, considering her years and opportunities. Two of her rhymes follow:

A Salute to Gen. Pershing.
Hurrah for General Pershing
And our noble boys in France,
When they see the Germans coming
They will make them squeal and dance.

Oh, brave boys, be like Washington,
And fight so bold and true,
To save our country’s colors
Our own red, white and blue.

Then we will sing “America,”
With all our heart and voice,
And all our allied countries
Will help us to rejoice.

Old Kaiser Bill.

Ah, when our boys meet Kaiser Bill
They’ll take him by the ear
And gently lead him to a hill
To hang him without fear.

Methinks that Bill, with trembling lips,
Will stretch out his big hand,
And shout, “Hurrah, America,”
God save your glorious land.

They scarce will heed his pentinence,
Nor listen to his plea,
But will him well, as he goes hence,
Suspended from a tree.

Reading Eagle – May 4, 1918

Kaiser Wilhelm II (Image from


There’s a story now current, though strange it may seem,
Of the great Kaiser Bill and his wonderful dream.
Being tired of the Allies, he lay down to bed,
And among other things, he dreamed he was dead.
On leaving the earth, to heaven he went straight;
Arriving up there, he knocked at the gate.
But Saint Peter looked out, and in a voice loud and clear
Said, “Begone, Kaiser Bill, we don’t want you here.”
“Well,” said the Kaiser, “that’s very uncivil;
I supposed, after that, I must go to the devil.”
So he turned on his heel, and off he did go
At the top of his speed, to the regions below.
And when he got there, he was filled with dismay,
For while waiting outside he heard Old Nick say
To his imps, “Now, look here, boys, I give you all warning;
I’m expecting the Kaiser down here in the morning;
But don’t let him in, for to me it’s quite clear
He’s a very bad man, and we don’t want him here.
If he ever gets in; we’ll have no end of quarrels;
In fact, I’m afraid he’ll corrupt our good morals.”
“Oh, Satan, my dear friend,” the Kaiser then cried;
“Excuse me for listening while waiting outside;
If you don’t admit me, then where can I go?
Oh, do let me in, for I’m feeling quite cold.
And if you want money, I’ve plenty of gold!
Let me sit in a corner no matter how hot.”
“No, no,” said Old Nick, “I certainly will not;
We do not admit folks for riches or wealth;
Here are sulphur and matches, make a hell for yourself.”
Then he kicked William out, and vanished in smoke.
And just at that moment the Kaiser awoke
and jumped out of bed in a very bad sweat.
and said, “Well, that dream I shall never forget.
That I won’t go to heaven I know very well
But it’s really too bad to be kicked out of hell.”

–W.A. Daly, 521 Pike Street.

Reading Eagle – Aug 5, 1917


Tune: “A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight.” [scroll down for music ]

Everybody get together,
Sing and should with all your might,
For our boys have helped the allies
Beat the Germans in a fight.
And the way our kids are plugging
Fills our hearts with glorious pride —
For they met the German murderers
And “took it out their hide.”


When you hear the news from ‘cross the sea,
How our boys have won a victory.
You want to sing and shout our praise most gloriously
And have a hot time in the old tonight.
My baby.

Cheer our boys for all that they have done;
They have got the Germans on the run —
And when we hear that they have captured Bill, the Hun,
There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight.

When we know the battle’s over
And our boys are homeward bound,
Then, oh then, we’ll bust the welkin
With a never-ending sound.
We will show the world
America — stand for Democracy
And we lick the Huns to give our sons
The same old Liberty.


Reading Eagle – Jul 20, 1918

WWI: No One Need Be Hungry

March 12, 2010


Set Aside Week to Encourage Use of More Potatoes in Place of Flour.

This is Something New.

Use of more potatoes and less flour is the aim of national potato week, set aside by the government as October 22 to 27. The home economics department at Iowa State college suggests the substitution of potatoes for part of the flour in various cake recipes, such as the following, will help:

Chocolate Potato Cake.

1-3 c butter [I am not sure if they mean 1/3 c or ?]
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 squares chocolate (melted)
1/2 c mashed potatoes
1/4 c milk
1 tsp vanilla

Cream butter, add sugar and mix well. Add egg yolks well beaten and continue mixing till creamy. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, flour and baking powder which have been mixed and sifted together. Add the melted chocolate, hot mashed potato, milk and vanilla. Beat well. Add the stiffly beaten egg white. Pour into two layer cake pans which have been lined with waxed paper. Bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes.

The Carroll Herald – Oct 24, 1917

A Wheatless Recipe

Try this for the next wheatless day. They call it spider corn bread:

1-1/2 cups corn meal
2 cups sour milk
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter

Mix the dry ingredients. Add the eggs well beaten and the milk. Place the butter in a frying pan, melt it, and grease the pan well. Heat the pan and turn in the mixture. Place in a hot oven and cook 20 minutes.

This serves six people.

This recipe is one out of 61 recipes contained in “The Cornmeal Book,” which The Milwaukee Sentinel Information Bureau will send you FREE.*

Enclose a 2-cent stamp for return postage on the book, and send the coupon to THE MILWAUKEE SENTINEL INFORMATION BUREAU, FREDERIC J. HASKIN, DIRECTOR, WASHINGTON, D.C.

The Milwaukee Sentinel – Dec 18, 1917

*Probably no longer available.

Washington. Sept. 8. — Have you tried “fifty-fifty biscuits” — Uncle Sam’s latest idea for saving wheat flour in hot bread? You use two cups of corn meal, soy beans which can be home ground, finely crushed peanuts, or rice flour to two cups of white flour. Or you can use one cup of corn meal and one cup of ground soy beans or crushed peanuts with the wheat product.

You can make “fifty-fifty” muffins with 1 1/2 cups of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes or Irish potatoes or cooked cereal or ground soy beans, to an equal amount of flour.

Then there are “fifty-fifty” recipes for wafers and for corn-meal cookies.

Milwaukee Journal - Dec 23, 1917

How to make all these “fifty-fifties” as well as home methods for entire corn-meal gems and yeast breads and rolls made in part of finely crushed peanuts, sweet or Irish potatoes, soy-bean meal which can be made at home by grinding soy beans in a handmill, rice, corn meal or cooked cereals, are described in detail in United States department of agriculture circular No. A 91. “Partial Substitutes for Wheat in Bread Making.” Here is a sample recipe — the one for “fifty-fifty” biscuits as worked out by Hannah L. Wessling, specialist, in home demonstration work:

“Fifty-Fifty Biscuits.”

Two cups corn meal, ground soy beans or finely ground peanuts, rice flour or other substitute.
Two cups white flour
Four teaspoons baking powder.
Two teaspoons salt.
Four tablespoons shortening.
Liquid sufficient to mix to proper consistency (1 to 1 1/2 cups).

Sift together the flour, meal, salt and baking powder twice. Have the shortening as cold as possible and cut it into the mixture with a knife, finally rubbing it in with the hands. Mix quickly with the cold liquid (milk, skim milk or water) forming a fairly soft dough which can be rolled on the board. Turn onto a floured board; roll into a sheet not over one-half inch thick; cut into rounds; place these in lightly floured biscuit tins (or shallow pans), and bake 10 to 12 minutes in a rather hot oven. If peanuts are used, the roasted and shelled nuts should be finely crushed with a rolling pin.

In making the flour and peanut biscuits the flour and other dry ingredients should be sifted together twice and then mixed thoroughly with the crushed peanuts.

The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Florida) – Sep 8, 1917

Pumpkin Pone (Image from

These next two recipes actually sound pretty good. In regards to the Pumpkin Pone, I ran across a couple of  recipes online, and they include coconut and spices etc., so a bit more fancy than this war-time version.

Milwaukee Journal - Dec 23, 1917

Let’s Eat More Cornmeal

Following is a third series of cornmeal recipes suggested by the home economics department of Iowa State college, which is advocating the use of more cornmeal to conserve the flour supply of the country:

Rice and Cornmeal Gem.

1 c cornmeal,
1 tsp salt,
1 tbsp flour,
6 tbsp raw rice (1 1/2 c cooked),
1 egg,
1 tbsp fat,
4 tbsp baking powder,
Milk to make batter.

[No instructions for what to do with the ingredients, so I guess they assume everyone can figure it out? Back in the day, I suppose that might have been the case.]

Cornmeal and Pumpkin Pone.

1 qt well cooked pumpkin,
1 c cornmeal,
2 c sweet milk,
1 tbsp salt,
1 c sugar,
1 tsp soda.

Stir the cornmeal into the hot pumpkin; then add milk, salt and sugar. Add enough more cornmeal to make the mixture stiff enough that it will hold its shape when dropped from the spoon. Then stir in soda (dissolved in boiling water). Bake an hour and a half or longer. The longer it bakes the sweeter it seems.

The Carroll Herald – Jun 6, 1917

Don’t forget the children!

Every child can help. No one need be hungry.

Mary Miles Minter: Waving the Tomahawk and Dancing the War Dance

March 11, 2010


As Told By


To Send Bullets to Huns.

I guess I’m a bit emotional or temperamental on this subject of Liberty Bonds and my reasons for buying them, and generally get worked up mightily over it. When it comes to any subject touching upon the protection of American or American ideals or dealing with the atrocities of the Germans I just can’t help waving the tomahawk and dancing the war dance a few measures.

I buy Liberty Bonds because the government won’t sell me a cannon and let me take it across to Germany and use it myself on those nasty baby-killers. If they’d let me do that, I wouldn’t buy a Liberty Bond because a Liberty Bond means that I’ll get my money back some day with interest on it and the way I fell about it, I don’t want anything back that I can send to the Germans! They’re welcome to all I’ve got in the shape of shells and bullets, but since a girl is not allowed to do this then I must do the next best thing and make it possible for someone else to take the cannon and the bullets over there.

Honestly, my reason for buying every bond I can stagger under is not because they are the best investments in the world, because they have all the safety of hte greatest security behind them or because they pay good interest and are free from most forms of taxation (which is reason enough, goodness knows, for the fellow who squeezes the dollar) but I buy them because I have a mother and a sister and a grandmother; I buy them because I know a little year-old baby that lives next door; I buy them because I have a sw–(but that’s nobody’s business) and everytime I look at them I say, “Just because your’re mine and I love you doesn’t make you  any different before God from the mothers and sister and grandmothers and babies and –” you know, everything that lived in Belgium and France when the war started, and every time I look into their eyes, I can imagine that it wasn’t Belgium at all that was raided, but America, and I can see those blood-soaked Germans doing to my people what they did to others and I — but there, there, I’m getting excited. All the same, I feel that if it hadn’t been for those poor people who were sacrificed it might have been my own people — that even yet if the Germans aren’t wiped off the face of the earth there is still a chance of its being my people — my people — the people I know and love and live with, and I see red!

I’m a baseball fan. Aren’t you? Ever since I was knee high to a duck and ran away from home and played with the boys on the vacant lots I have loved baseball. We used to buy bats for a quarter each — not very good bats — but good enough. I remember I had a sweetheart then who was the best batter inthe lot. I bought him a bat — he hit the ball with it so hard that it broke my nice shiny red club and I cried but he knocked the ball so far we made four home-runs in a row and I was so happy I kissed him even while I cried over the bat. I often wish I could buy baseball bats instead of bonds and hit the Germans with them so hard I’d break every bat over their heads and drive them clear off the lot. Somebody told me that every quarter now-a-days paid for five bullets. That’s the real reason I buy bonds.

The Pittsburgh Press – Oct 3, 1918

City of Orange, CA (Image from

From the City of Orange website:

At the time of World War I, Orange residents supported the war effort with many Liberty Bond rallies. One of the bond parades at the Plaza was filmed and featured the movie star Mary Miles Minter, the war tank “Victory” and Company 76. A Peace Parade and Program for returning soldiers and sailors was held on Christmas Day 1918 in the Plaza.

Taylor and Minter (Image from

Cold Case Crimes Los Angeles has an interesting piece regarding the murder of William Desmond Taylor.  Evidently, Mary Miles Minter had  a relationship with him at one time. You can read  the theories of “who done it”  at this LINK.

WWI: Snapshots and Snippets

March 11, 2010

New York, Dec. 7. — There is no happier woman in the metropolis today than Mrs. Margaret O’Brien, mother of Lieutenant Patrick O’Brien, American member of the British Royal Flying corps. She is expecting her son any day to tell her with his own lips the story of his miraculous escapes, first from death when his airplane dropped 8,000 feet to a point behind the German lines and then from the train which was bearing him to a German prison camp after he got out of a German hospital.

Mrs. O’Brien has had a short telegram saying the airman was safe in England and was coming home to join the American air forces.

O’Brien, flying over the German lines August 17, engaged four enemy flyers. He dropped one of them before he received a bullet in the hip and his plane was disabled. When he became conscious after his fall he was in a German hospital. His fellow flyers had posted him as missing and given him up for dead.

He was put aboard a train with other prisoners to be transported to a prison camp, but leaped off the train while it was going 30 miles an hour.

By walking at night, swimming rivers and eating such foods as he could find in the fields he reached the Dutch frontier to find himself barred in by wide entanglements of charged wire. He went back into a forest, built himself a bridge of branches and at night threw his bridge over the entanglements. As he was crossing, the bridge gave way and O’Brien received a shock he will never forget. He dug his way under the entanglements with his hands and walked through Holland to a boat for England.

Seventy-two days elapsed from the day he was dropped by the bosche airmen until he set foot in England.

St. Petersburg Daily Times – Dec 8, 1917

It is Col. Gardner now. He was representative from Massachusetts and fought for preparedness. Soon after declaration of war, he resigned his seat in congress and enlisted as colonel in the officer’s reserve corps.

The Pittsburgh Press – May 31, 1917

Sadly, Major Augustus Peabody Gardner (he was promoted) died of pneumonia before making it to the front lines. NYT obituary: PDF LINK

A 2009 article about the sad shape of the Gardner Auditorium in Massachusetts can be found at BOSTON.COM

“Captain” Stark as Mrs. Stark is called by the band of fearless Florida girls she heads, is a sister of Hoffman Philip, new U.S. minister to Columbia. The girls, armed with rifles and automatics patrol the east coast of Florida in the vicinity of Mayport in search of pro-German activities.

The Evening Independent – Apr 22, 1918

The Red Cross

The Crimson Cross.

Outside the ancient city’s gate
Upon Golgotha’s crest
Three crosses stretched their empty arms,
Etched dark against the west.
Blood from nail-pierced hands and feet
And tortured thorn-crowned head
And thrust of hatred’s savage spear
Had stained one dark cross red.
Emblem of shame and pain and death
It stood beside the way,
But sign of love and hope and life
We lift it high today.

Where horror grips the stoutest heart,
Where bursting shells shriek high,
Where human bodies shrapnel scourged
By thousands suffering lie;
Threading the shambles of despair,
Mid agony and strife,
Come fleeting messengers who wear
The crimson cross of life.
To friend and foe alike they give
Their strength and healing skill,
For those who wear the crimson cross
Must “do the Master’s will.”

Can we so safely sheltered here,
Refuse to do our part?
When some who wear the crimson cross
Are giving life and heart
To succor those who bear our flag,
Who die that we might live —
Shall we accept their sacrifice
And then refuse to give?
Ah, no! Our debt to God and man
We can, we will fulfill,
We, who wear the crimson cross,
Must “do the Master’s will.”

— By Elizabeth Brown Due Bridge, in Sault Ste Marie (Mich.) Daily News.

St. Petersburg Daily Times – Dec 7, 1917

Posts about  WWI canteen workers:

Diary of a WWI Canteen Worker

Canteen Worker Goes the Extra Mile for a Wounded Yank

The Average New Yorker Becomes a Canteen Worker

From Soldier’s Mother to Canteen Worker

The Boy Enlists.

His mother’s eyes are saddened, and her cheeks are stained with tears,
and I’m facing now the struggle that I’ve dreaded thru the years;
For the boy that was our baby has been changed into a man.
He’s enlisted in the army as a true American.

He held her a moment in his arms before he spoke,
And I watched him as he kissed her, and it seemed to me I’d choke,
For I knew just what was coming, and I knew just what he’d done!
Another little mother had a soldier for a son.

When we’d pulled ourselves together, and the first quick tears had dried,
We could see his eyes were blazing with the fire of manly pride;
we could see his head was higher then it ever was before,
For we had a man to cherish, and our baby was no more.

Oh, I don’t know how to say it! With the sorrow comes the joy
That there isn’t any coward in the make-up of our boy.
And with pride our hearts are swelling tho with grief they’re also hit,
For the boy that was our baby has stepped forth to do his bit.

The Carroll Herald – May 30, 1917

The “Tea Party” and the Kaiser

March 11, 2010

For the freedom of the world. Subscribe to the National Loan at the Banque Nationale de Credit. Signed: SEM 1917



My grandsire painted red his hide
In ancient Mohawk style,
And crept down to the Mystic side
To wait a little while.

Then other Yanks in redskin guise
Collected at the bay
And took the tea ship by surprise
And threw the tea away.

Old George the Third was much adverse
To freedom for the Yanks
His taxes were a deadly curse —
He taxed and gave no thanks.

But when the Mohawk Boston men
Dumped all the tea to port
Kind George began to think again
And arm for warlike “sport.”

He sent his Hessians over here
To kill Cap. Barker’s boys.
To burn the school and meeting house
and other such annoys;

But when they came to Bunker Hill
That jolly day in June
And Warren met ’em with a will
They piped another tune.

The Yanks have got a job today
That’s worthy of the race;
The kaiser treads a rocky way
And spars to save his face.

But all the Yanks have gone to France
En route for old Berlin;
If we buy Bonds at every chance
You bet the Yanks will win!

Our grandsires dishes King George’s will
And salted all his tea.
Our boys will do the same for Bill,
Kaiser of Germany!
The only way to push the work
And make Berlin our own,
Is this: Get busy, do not shirk

The Carroll Herald – Sep 25, 1918

The allied flags bearing down on Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Liberation Loan. By Abel Faivre 1918.

The two images in this post can be found HERE, along with several other French Posters from WWI.


By Robert Adger Bowen,
of The Vigilantes.

Somewhere in France! ‘Tis all that I may know
Of him, my hero, with the first to go
where Duty to his country’s high emprise
Called to the answering manhood in his eyes,
As calleth Deep unto the depths below.

For him there was no waiting for the slow
Uncertain summons. In his ear the blow
Of clarion sounded, ringing to the skies,
Somewhere in France.

His soul aflame with service seemed to glow
He smiled at Death, nor shrank from that grim woe
He knew full well was oft the soldier’s prize;
Nor may I grieve if so my hero dies
To sleep in fields where blood red poppies grow,
Somewhere in France.

The Nevada Daily Mail – Nov 24, 1917


Tom Robinson, the plumber, bought a hundred-dollar bond,
Though he truly loved his country, of his cash he sure was fond.
“I’ve bought because it’s duty,” said he to Doctor Jones,
“I’ve got to do my little bit to help the Allied loans.”

The Doctor said: “I bought some bonds, then with them bought a car.
You owe me just a hundred.” Said the plumber: “There you are.”
And handed Jones his new-bought bond; then Jones paid off a debt
Of a hundred to the furrier — before he could forget.

The furrier had bought some clothes — an honest man was he —
“Let’s pay with Uncle Sam’s good bond that helps to set men free.”
And so he paid. The clothier squared up an old account
With his jobber — so the bond went on, intact in its amount.

The jobber owed the grocer for the things his family ate.
Said he: “I’ll pay in Libertys — you need no longer wait.”
Then the grocer paid the butcher, who owed the carpet store.
And he in turn reduced his debt and helped along the war.

“I’d like to buy a dress now,” said the carpet merchant’s wife,
“A hundred-dollar one will do — with bargains stores are rife.”
The modiste got the bond. Said she: “I know what I will do.
I’ll have the bath room fixed up fine and made to look like new.”

And so, ere long, Tom Robinson, the plumber, had his bond,
And no one in the country will be quicker to respond,
when Uncle Sam’s next loan appears. The moral of this tale
Is Buy a Bond and Pass It On — our country cannot fail.

— By Richard A. Foley, of Philadelphia

Reading Eagle – Dec 9, 1917


(At the outbreak of the civil war in 1861, the government offered a loan to the public to provide funds for carrying on the war. This poem was written at that time by one of our great authors and it is equally appropriate now when the government loan in  the form of Liberty bonds is offered to the public. It is well also to remember that the bonds afterwards rose to command a premium.)
Come, freemen of the land,
Come, meet the great demand.
True heart and open hand,
Take the loan!
For the hopes the prophets saw,
For the swords your brothers draw,
For liberty and law,
Take the loan!

Ye ladies of the land,
As ye love the gallant band,
Who have drawn a soldier’s brand,
Take the loan!
Who would bring them what she could,
Who would give the soldier food.
Who would staunch her brother’s blood.
Take the loan!

All who saw her hosts pass by,
All who joined the parting cry,
When we bade them do or die,
Take the loan!
As ye wished their triumph then,
As ye hope to meet again,
And to meet their gaze as men,
Take the loan!

Who could press the great appeal
Of our ranks of serried steel,
Put your shoulders to the wheel,
Take the loan!
That our prayers in truth may rise,
Which we press with streaming eyes
On the Lord of earth and skies,
Take the loan!

-Edward Everett Hale.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 30,  1917

Ef You Don’t Watch Out

March 10, 2010

Image from



Herbert C. Hoover’s come to our land to stay
An’ fill the cups an’ saucers, an’ keep the wolf away,
An’ shoo the prices off their perch, an’ loosen up the hoard
Of them that harbors foodstuffs so we can’t pay our board.
An’ all housewives in the land, when the supper things is done,
They set around the kitchen fire, an’ don’t have any fun.
A-listening to the waste tales ‘at Hoover tells about,
An’ the H.C.L. ‘at gits you
Ef you

Onct they was some people wouldn’t save a scrap,
An’ when they went to bed at night ‘thought a hil o’ pap.
They all began to holler an’ they all began to bawl,
An’ then they turned the kivvers down an’ went out in the hall;
An’ they seeked food in the pantry, the cupboard an’ the press,
They seeked food on the shelves an’ everywheres, I guess,
But all they ever found was this, tater skin scooped out,
Er the H.C.L.’ll git you
Ef you

An’ one time they was some people ‘ud allus laugh an’ say
What’d they care for H.C.L., so as they had good pay.
An’ onct when they had company, an’ folks what knows was there,
They mocked ’em an’ they shocked ’em, an’ they said they didn’t care!
An’ while they was a-eatin’ all the food in sight,
They came to two Great Big Giants, which they was ‘bleeged to fight.
One was named Starvation, an’ t’other Famine-Drought,
An’ the H.C.L.’ll git you
Ef you

An’ Herbert C. Hoover says ‘at when the soil is rich,
An’ ready for the plowin’ an’ harrowin’ and sich,
An’ you know the country needs you to go an’ “do your bit.”
An’ show that you are “on the job” an ain’t a-goin’ to quit.
You’d better mind your president an leader true an’ dear,
An’ help the po’ an’ needy ones ‘at cluster all about,
Er the H.C.L.’ll git you,
Ef you

— Exchange.

The Daily Times – Dec 11, 1917

Image from wikipedia


Food conservation
Is the cry all day;
Mother’s eating iron bolts
And father’s chewing hay.

Henry’s ate the tablecloth,
The carpet on the stairs;
There’s nothing left for Mary Ann
Except to say her prayers.

Georgie’s stewing up the broom
To make a saving soup;
Willie’s out before the door
Gnawing off the stoop.

Reginald has made a hit
By cooking all his boots;
Door-knobs take the place of eggs,
And chandeliers of fruits.

Helen’s eating shredded wheat;
You’d hardly call it food.
I would call it — what’s the use?
I mustn’t be too rude.

The remedy is plain to see,
Although ’twill be a bore —
We’ll have to cut out eating food
Until we’ve won the war.

— Springfield Union.

Reading Eagle – Dec 15, 1917


How did they entertain you last evening?”


“I don’t understand you.”

“They didn’t serve a thing to eat.”

— Philadelphia Bulletin.

The Pittsburgh Press – Oct 24, 1917

You Aren’t Really Gonna Throw That Slice of Bread in the Trash, Are You?

March 10, 2010

The Pittsburg Press (Sep. 2, 1917) has a whole “cookbook” section in the paper, along with recipes,  nutritional charts and tons of articles about not wasting food etc.

It also includes the following letter from Herbert Hoover:

Here are two articles lecturing the reader about wasting milk and bread:


Half a cup of milk — whole, skimmed, or sour — a seemingly trifling matter — hardly worth the trouble to keep or use.

In many households quite a little milk is wasted — left uncovered in glasses — regarded as useless because the cream has been skimmed off — allowed to sour — poured down the sink or thrown out.

Now, if every home — there are 20,000,000 of them — should waste one the average one-half cup daily, it would mean a waste of 2,500,000 quarts daily — 912,500,000 quarts a year — the total product of more than 400,000 cows.

It takes a lot of grass and grain to make that much mild and an army of people to produce and deliver it.

But, every household doesn’t waste a half cup of milk a day? Well, say that one-half cup is wasted in only one out of a hundred homes. Still intolerable — when milk is so nutritious — when skim milk can be used in making nutritious soups and cereal dishes — when sour milk can be used in bread making or for cottage cheese.


A single slice of bread seems an unimportant thing. In many households one or more slices of bread daily are thrown away and not used for human food. Sometimes stale quarter, or half, loaves are thrown out.

Yet one good-sized slice of bread — such as a child likes to cut — weighs an ounce. It contains almost three-fourths of an ounce of flour.

If every one of the country’s 20,000,000 homes wastes on average only one such slice of bread a day, the country is throwing away daily over 14,000,000 ounces of flour — over 875,000 pounds, or enough flour for over a million one-pound loaves a day. For a full year at this rate there would be a wasted of over 319,000,000 loaves.

As it takes 4 1/2 bushels of wheat to make a barrel of ordinary flour this waste would represent the flour from over 7,000,000 bushels of wheat.

Fourteen and nine-tenths bushels of wheat on the average are raised per year. It would take the fruit of some 470,000 acres just to provide a single slice of bread to be wasted daily in every home.

To produce this much flour calls for an army of farmers, railway men, flour-mill people. To get the flour to the consumer calls for many freight cars and the use of many tons of coal.

But some one says, a full slice of bread is not wasted in every home. Very well — make it a daily slice for every four or every 10 or every 30 homes — make it a weekly or monthly slice in every home — or make the wanted slice thinner. The waste of flour involved is still appalling — altogether too great to be tolerated when wheat is scarce.

Any waste of bread is inexcusable when there are so many ways of using stale bread to cook delicious dishes.

Since you now feel too guilty to waste any milk or bread, here are a couple of the recipes from same “cookbook” section of the paper:


Three large tablespoonfuls of butter; melt; stir in a large tablespoonful of flour and one-half teaspoonful of dry mustard; 1 cup of milk; stir until a thick gravy; then stir into this 1 cup of flaked salmon; season well with salt, pepper and paprika; one-fourth teaspoonful of tabasco sauce, and, the last thing, pour into this one-half cup of catsup; serve on hot toast or on toasted crackers.

Nut and Cheese Loaf (Image from


1 cupful grated cheese.
1 cupful chopped English walnuts.
1 cupful bread crumbs.
2 tablespoonfuls chopped onion.
1 tablespoon butter.
Juice of half a lemon.
Salt and pepper.

Cook the onion in the butter and a little water until it is tender. Mix the other ingredients and moisten with water, using the water in which the onion has been cooked. Pour into a shallow baking dish and brown in the oven.

The Pittsburgh Press – Sep 2, 1917

I Wonder if the Kaiser’s Sleep is Sound

March 9, 2010


By Berton Braley.

I wonder if the kaiser’s sleep is sound,
Or if in dreams that startle him awake
He hears dead voices issue from the ground
and sees the ghosts of fallen hosts that shake
Their grisly fists before his staring eyes;
I wonder if about the imperial bed
He does not feel a force malignant rise
— The living curses of the murdered dead!

I wonder if the kaiser’s sleep is sound,
Or if in eerie stretches of the night,
He faces God in terrible affright.
The God he has blasphemed, the God he crowned
With Prussian bays for Prussian deeds of hate!
I wonder if he finds true rest in sleep
While little children moan and women weep
Because his lust for empire waxed too great!

He drew the sword and drenched the world in blood
He plunged mankind in agony profound;
I wonder if, amid this crimson flood,
The kaiser’s sleep is sound!

The Pittsburgh Press – Jun 13, 1917


Now ends the year that well began
In peace, upon the First of Jan.
Do You recall those days of Feb.
And now that it begins to ebb,
When submarines arose to bar
The way to peace? The month of Mar.,
When war upreared its grisly shape,
Or Wilson’s burning words, in Ap.?
That epoch seems so far away —
The martial song that rose in May,
The marching feet, the fifer’s tune,
The loan we made our land in June;
The men that went again to school
To learn the art of war, in Jul.;
The fight upon the Profit Hog
That waxed so hot in days of Aug.;
The crops that ripened as we slept,
And blessed us in the month of Sept.,
The Germans, so surprised and shocked
To find our boys across, in Oct.;
The coin we gave, the clothes we wove,
The sox we knitted, all through Nov.;
We’ve struck some mighty blows for Peace
Within the year that ends this Dec.!

–Ted Robinson in Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The Daily Times – Dec 11, 1917

Corn Contest: Seed Corn and WWI

March 9, 2010




Corn See Contest Successful in Every Way. Ames Expert Awards Prizes Offered by Carroll Merchants. Cash Prizes by Carroll Banks For Sweepstakes Prizes.

The seed corn contest Saturday was all that its promoters had hoped for. A lively interest was roused in the matter of gathering see, the number of exhibits at the contest in the Citizens club room was large and many enthusiastic farmers and farmers’ boys were present at the assignment of prizes Saturday afternoon. The attendance of teachers at the afternoon meeting was good, indication an interest in the schools of the county. And to complete the success of the undertaking the address delivered by J.W. Jarnigan of Des Moines, editor of the Iowa Farmer, was instructive and entertaining.

The Citizens club deserves much credit for getting behind the contest and supporting the efforts of the school authorities in such a wholesome manner. The business men of Carroll contributed handsomely to the prizes awarded by the Ames expert and throughout the contest for several days efforts were made by the president and secretary of the club to stimulate the workers in the country.

There was but a small crowd in the afternoon till the teachers meeting at the school building was over. Then the club rooms were well filled and the meeting listened to the address of the speaker of the afternoon. Mr. Jarnigan told his hearers that he would talk about something so common that only few had ever thought about it. He proceeded to tell them about corn, describing it botanically, giving its history and process of cultivation, its products after manufacture and a whole lots of things about corn that people never thought before. The main object of his interesting talk of three quarters of an hour being to call attention to the small things about us, the things that we do not notice, but which reveals a world of interesting, useful things. The address was replete with interesting bits of knowledge, and sage advice, all told in such an entertaining manner that listeners did not realize that they were receiving instruction from a teacher in the wider field experience.

Prof. Wilson of the extension department of the State college deserves much credit for the manner in which he promoted the seed corn campaign and saw that it was carried to success. Prof. Wilson is an expert in the seed corn line and has done much to carry along the work first started by Prof. Holden in the state. He has been over the state quie generally and says that there is plenty of corn fit for seed, but fears that farmers are not giving sufficient attention to gathering the same. On account of the large per cent of soft corn in the fields he believes that more care than usual should be exercised in gathering seed corn.

Prof. Wilson is conservative in his estimate of the corn procured in the state this year. The average per acre will not be so great, though the acreage is large. After extensive observation in this section of the state he is of the opinion that at least one third of the crop is affected by the frost, that is, a third will be soft.

Image from Carroll County, Iowa GENWEB

Exhibits were presented by the following from the different townships, and the winners of prizes are indicated:

Jasper Township: Oscar and Loyd Peters, (1st prize) Roy Lawson, (second prize), Harry Reid.

Sheridan Township: Lusher Higginbotham, Ruth Lasher, Agnes Harris, Roy Harshbarger, Freddie Seeden, Henry Schleismann, Daniel Lasher, (2nd prize), Harry Sievers, Alice Lasher, Emery Sievers, Josie Williamson, Earl Lasher, (1st prize), Robert Shaw, Edwar Schaeffer, Alice Lasher.

Wheatland Township: K.M. Hansen 1st prize.

Arcadia Township: Elsie Stieper (1st prize, 2nd sweepstakes), Viola Sieverkrubbe, Evelyn Schroeder, Raymond Alter, Roy Rickers.

Maple River Township: Eleanor Jons, (1st prize).

Grant Township: William Beidler, (1st prize), Hilda Lappe, (2nd prize), Clarence Lappe, Robert Stephan.

Glidden Township: School district No. 8, (1st prize).

Richland Township: Gerald Dankle, (1st prize), George Dankle, (2nd prize), Lyle Dankle, Hazel Dankle, Basil and Selma Brand.

Pleasant Valley Township: Carl Schumacker, (1st prize).

Roselle Township: William Schwaller, (1st prize, 1st sweepstakes), Helen Overmoehle (2nd prize), District No. 5.

Washington Township: Julius Schroeder, (1st prize).

Warren Township: Herman Musfeldt, (1st prize), Lester Rowedder, (2nd prize), Arthur Gruhn, Lester Ginzen.

Eden Township: Hildegard Roth (1st prize), Irma Sandrock, (2nd prize), Delbert Morgan, Cluryl White.

Newton Township: Carl Sandrock, (1st prize), Kenneth Renshaw, (2nd prize), Merle Pomeroy, Virgil Renshaw.

Union Township: Alfred McCabe, (1st prize), Miles Smouse, (2nd prize), Irene Bolger, Walter Whalley, Joe Baker, Orton Cretzinger.

The Carroll Herald – Oct 24, 1917