Sesquicentennial Highlights

Sesquicentennial Highlights
Excerpts from the Plain Talk 1902

1901 showed marked progress over building in 1900, especially in the erection of new buildings in the business blocks. Several fine homes have been built and two of the business blocks are receiving finishing touches. The new Science Hall at the University was a great asset costing $40,000.00.

Some of the young men of the city thought that a dozen American Beauties would make a nice Christmas gift. But they guessed again when they discovered the price was $15.00 per dozen.


In a little room on a side street two or three honest and earnest women (or men) met and banded together for the worthy purpose of beginning a City Library for Vermillion. On Monday afternoon nearly 50 of Vermillion's representative women met at the home of Mrs. A. E. Lee to discuss the establishment of a library. Arrangements were being made for a "Donation Party" to be held soon so that matter may be brought before the public and donation of books will be received. Will all persons who have books from the Baptist Library please return them soon.

This paper is not in favor of any particular place for a hotel for Vermillion, but it would like to see one erected here that would be a credit to the city.

The ladies of Vermillion are to be congratulated on the interest they are taking in the city library project, and anyone who has watched the development of the cemetery under their hands, cannot be certain that a city library is but a matter of a short time. The Plain Talk would like to see the hotel enterprise taken up by the ladies of the city, for then there would be something done.

The City Council met in regular session Monday evening, and a large number of visitors were present. The principal drawing card was the billiard, pool and bowling alley ordinance. After arguing pro and con in regard to the amendments the city attorney was called in and the matter was put over until Friday evening, when it will surely be settled. The ravine park was ordered purchased, for a consideration of $600.00 upon recommendation of the Committee.

The state owes Clay County and this city about $50,000.00 for rebuilding the University Hall in 1893. The next legislature should be asked to refund the loan made over eight years ago. We want a new courthouse, and the county loan will build it; we want a city sewerage system and an addition to the city hall, and the city loan will pay for them. We want the money, and must have it.

The reception in the interest of the Vermillion Public Library and Reading Room will be held next Monday evening in the Masonic Hall. All are invited to be present, and to bring a book or the price of one for the library. Refreshments will be served from 6:00 to 8:30 for which a fee of .10 cents will be asked. At 8:30 the meeting will be called to order, and short addresses will be given by several prominent citizens.

The City Council at its adjourned meeting on Friday evening, passed the ordinance concerning a billiard and pool hall and bowling alley, and the city will hereafter grant license at the rate of $35.00 for the first table, $15.00 for each additional one, and $25.00 for each track in the bowling alley department. With the exception of Alderman Barrett, the vote was unanimous for passing the new law.

Don't forget the meeting of the Library Association at the Masonic Hall next Monday evening. At this meeting the committee will report the results of their conference.

A few businessmen met at the Clay County Bank Tuesday night and talked over the hotel question. Before the meeting adjourned a hotel company was organized with a capitol stock of $25,000.00. The articles of incorporation are being amended today when they will be sent to the Secretary of State for filing.

The directors of the Library association met Monday night and elected C. M. Young as President, Jason Payne as Secretary and L. T. Swezey as Treasurer.

The billiard and pool hall and bowling alley fixtures owned by Reilly Bros. Have moved to the new building and will be open for business on Monday. Pat McClaire expects to open his new Tonsorial Parlors in a few days.

After twenty years pounding, H. L. Ferry has finally convinced the pension department that he fought on the field of battle during the Civil War, and is entitled to a pension. Last week he was granted $6.00 a month, with only $24.00 back pay. This is pretty small recognition for a soldier of the republic, but Comrade Ferry is thankful for small favors just the same.

The following article was found in the February 6, 1902 Edition of the Plain Talk

THE FOURTH OF JULY IN 1860 IN VERMILLION

To the Editor of the Plain Talk:

In recent issues of the local papers appeared an item in regard to an old flag made by Mrs. Kiplinger of Elk Point in 1867, which is likely to be one of the interesting contributions to the State Historical Society.

As we read the brief article our mind drifted back to a little flag episode on the Fourth of July, 1860, I n Vermillion. We shall not attempt to tell of the incidents or festivities of that day. Some of the scenes would not look well in print at this time. Suffice to say it was a wild day in the little village, one of those days which were not infrequent in those wild and woolly times, when a drunken rough would go tearing through the streets on the back of a wide and untamed steer, or engage in boxing bouts, the first blood for the whiskey.

The writer was in the little village that morning (patriotic and thirsty) with an old flag which he had brought with him when he came to the territory. It was soon fastened to a staff, which was nailed to the top of Compton and Duel's store building. As its folds floated out in the breeze a wild hurrah went up from the crowd in the street. Someone present called attention to the fact that the flag was wrong edge up. But old Van Meter said let it remain. That in the distance might then be heard the low mutterings of a gathering storm. Should it burst God only knew what shape or position the flag of our country might assume. Thus it was left until blown to pieces by the winds.

This, we believe was the first flag to wave over the city of Vermillion. Had it been preserved it, too, might have become historic. But who on that day thought of forty-one years hence?

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