100 Years Ago in Louisiana

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 11, 2004

The following news items were published in Louisiana newspapers during the week of Oct. 9-15, 1904.

Proposed amendments include sewage remedies

Amendments to be voted on in November include proposals for tax exemptions for new railroads in their first decade, the creation of a court of appeals, and another particularly important to city dwellers. The legislation would allow any Louisiana city whose center is compact and whose suburbs are sparse to develop their own sewagery system in any densely settled areas they deem necessary.

At present, sewage from the inner city business city section of Lake Charles, for instance, is disposed of into the lake through private owners. The townspeople are ready to pay for a remedy as the lake is sure to eventually be saturated with impuration.

Lake Charles American Oct. 9, 1904

Call for an interstate commerce commission

An overwhelming abundance of fatal railway disasters throughout the country has Louisiana activists calling for a nonpartisan, non-sectional and nonsectarian authority like the Interstate Commerce Commission to accept responsibility for rail transportation. Control must be taken from the labor unions whose grievance committees are a thorn in the side of disciplinary bodies. The railway fatalities are attributed to demoralization of discipline and to lack of proper equipment. Those that control the purse strings are not those with appropriate engineering knowledge so cheaper systems are replacing safer, better performing trains. The ICC, many believe, will alleviate many of these pressures.

The Daily Picayune Oct. 10, 1904

Funeral makes lasting impression

The funeral ceremony of a red man united several tribes, bringing the 500 or so more observers to tears. Chacopee Tribe of Alexandria and La Nape Tribe of Selma were welcomed by Kiowa Tribe of Pollock where a white dove was released in flight to the Spirit. The ceremony was moving enough to have others exclaiming that The Order of Improved Red Men was fast coming to the forefront, exemplifying freedom, friendship and charity.

Alexandria Town Talk Oct. 11, 1904

Largest residence in Lake Charles destroyed

A reverend’s house, used as a parsonage, tragically burned as a result of a defective brick chimney leading up from the kitchen. The fire fighters could not extinguish the fire before it destroyed the house. Most of their efforts were spent on preventing the houses nearby from igniting as sparks were flying.

Lake Charles American Oct. 12, 1904

Broad Street Canal offers foul air

An investigation following numerous complaints of insufferable odors at the Broad Street Canal between the Old and New Basins revealed foul air despite a recent canal cleaning. The St Louis Street canal, as it turns out, was the culprit as its contaminated contents were backing into Broad Street when its water level was higher than the latter. The resulting standing water was emitting quite a disruptive stench. A flap is to be constructed to prevent the flush of water between canals.

The Daily Picayune Oct. 13, 1904

City Council reneged

Sidewalks and ditches were the topics of heated debate at the Lake Charles City Council meeting. The chairman of the city improvement committee had nothing to report when questioned about the need for proper sidewalks. They are accused of reneging after having said they would fill the Ford Street ditch. A fuming public suggested that it at least be curbed and covered with a culvert. The City Council finally agreed.

Lake Charles American Oct. 14, 1904

New sidewalks

The new city ordinance regulating sidewalks will be put into practical operation in the near future. Old wooden walks will have to give way to concrete. The property owners will be recruited to pay 20 percent of this cost. The total five year cost is estimated at $115.55.

The Weekly Iberian Oct. 15, 1904

Rises in the cost of living

According to the Bureau of Statistics of Labor, the basic necessities for a family of five could be bought for $333.32 in 1897, a sum that a laborer could earn in an average of 166 days. In 1904, the yearly necessities for that same family would cost $447.07 and take 205 working days to afford. The rising cost of living has been attributed to flagrant government spending and laborers’ demands for greater wages and shorter working hours, which translate to greater production costs and higher prices for consumers.

The Daily Picayune Oct. 16, 1904

Provided by the Louisiana Press Association.