As the Midwest Heat Wave of 2012 hopefully comes to an end, many news outlets are highlighting the July 4th, 1911 heat wave that struck the eastern United States and killed 380 people. This lead me to wonder what kind of weather Crandon was experiencing in July 1911.
As it turns out, the local newspaper didn’t make that big a deal out of the heat wave. The only mention of the heat is an advertisement from the “City Drug Store” and in an article titled “Beulen Loses His Beer”.
Beulen Loses His Beer
President James Beulen, of the Fine Cut club of this city, is warm under the collar and not from the warm weather either. The last-trip made to Crandon by Joseph Eihlien of the Schlitz Brewing Co., of Milwaukee, he met James and upon parting told him, that he being an old friend, he would send him a case of beer from his big Milwaukee brewery. The beer came just before the Fourth of July, and James placed it in his cellar with great care, and then presented a number of his friends each with a bottle before he sampled any of it himself. Later on he pulled a cork and discovered that some unhung reprobate had opened a good share of the bottles, drank the beer and refilled them with water. Then he had to hunt up the people he had given bottles to and find out if they had beer or water. If Jim should ever discover the perpetrator of the joke he swears that Forest county will have to record the worst tragedy in its history.
As it turns out, James Beulen was one of Crandon’s Civil War Veterans. According to R.T. Krueger, Beulen served in Wisconsin’s Company I of the 11th Wisconsin Infantry and Company E of the 52nd Regiment Infantry. Let’s hope someone discovered the “unhung reprobate” that pulled this prank on one of Crandon’s veterans!
According to newspaper reports, Crandon’s Commercial Club, began preparing for their “rousing celebration” in May of 1916. Members of the executive committee included T.B. Guthrie, M.D. Keith, W.A. Wescott, J. Breakstone, Wm. Wilson and Lyle Carter. These gentlemen urged the citizens of Crandon “to do your share toward making this a big day”.
The committee did their fair share of making this an event to remember. According to the June 30th advertisement in the Forest Republican, the committee went to “great expense” to secure Howe and Barlow and their dog Ginger, a sensational Iron Jay Wire Act and Prof. Perry who would make a “death defying slide for life hanging by his feet, from the court house dome”.
And, to finish off the celebration, “Fire works will be fired from a barge anchored out on Metonga Lake, on the night of the Fourth”.
A Grand Success!
In a follow-up article published on July 7th, it was announced that “about two thousand people from neighboring towns and the country” attended the 1916 Crandon celebration. The morning trains were filled with visitors from “Shawano, Lily, Neopit, Langlade and other settlements.” “The trains were met at the depot by the Crandon band which headed a long parade of floats and automobiles”.
The article went on to announce the winners of various races held throughout the day. In the half mile running race between ponies, Howard Kuss, Dennis Lee and Hiram Ritter were winners in the order listed. In the “free for all trotting race”, Mont. Whitt, Ed Merenes and E. Jamison all participated with Mont. Whitt earning the first prize money.
All-in-all it sounds as if the July 4th, 1916 celebration was a grand success!