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The Millinocket Times, 1917

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!

By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum

Suffrage victories of 1917 in the U.S., a difficulty in securing high boots probably will affect the length of skirts, and penalties will be assessed for men who have not registered for selective service were all hot topics in The Millinocket Times, June 15, 1917. This fragile museum copy of the 100+ year-old newspaper printed just two months after the US entered WWI, reminds us that life was changing for Americans.

World War I had started in Europe in 1914 and in that year, US Congress appropriated funds to prepare the US for war. However, the US did not enter the war until April of 1917 after Germany had sunk several US merchant ships. The Millinocket Times tells little of the war events as at that time communication of such news took a long time to reach the American public via telegraph and it was heavily censored.

An ad on the front page from Millinocket Insurance Agency states Explosion Insurance was available and that it was “essential in these disturbed days.” Also available was windstorm, fire, plate glass, and automobil (no e on the end) insurance. Another front-page ad asks, “Who Does My Vulcanizing? Why?” A local could go to the Millinocket Vulcanizing Co. where they would “repair all kinds of blow outs, tread and rim cuts, splicing tubs and repairing of all kinds.”

The Millinocket Times and Weekly Exchange was published every Friday by the Reliance Publishing Company with Burdette D. Miller, manager and editor. According to the publication information, this paper was first approved for mailing at the Millinocket Post Office on April 23, 1915 so the Miller’s had been publishing from that date.

Much of the paper is filled with articles received from other entities. One of the inner pages has a section titled “Locals” and is followed by a smaller section of “East Millinocket Notes.” The following were deemed important enough for publication. “Geo. Stearns went to Norcross Wednesday on business. S. Hagerman, L. Dyer and B.D. Miller spent Sunday at Sandy Stream fishing, all report a good catch. The fire department was called out on Wednesday night about 11:15 to a fire at the Moore house.” There are a couple of names mentioned for being in court on charges of intoxication. They were given fines of $10.00 plus court costs. One noteworthy event rated one of the longest paragraphs in this section. “A railroad car of mixed vinegar and bulk pickles was unloaded on Monday. This is the first time that a car of this kind has been shipped to Millinocket merchants.”

Miller, the editor and manager of The Millinocket Times and Weekly Exchange decided sometime shortly after this June 1917 issue to sell the newspaper and enter the US military. He did so and served until the war ended on 11/11/1918. It is unknown if the new owner of the newspaper ever published an issue.

The museum has had visits in past years from Miller’s son Frank and granddaughter June and mostly recently from two great-grandsons from another genealogy line. They all had a chance to view this 1917 paper.

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