If They Went Broke

Prominent Fort Dodge Citizens Tell a Messenger Reporter What They Would Do If They Awakened Christmas Morning Without a Cent

The Fort Dodge Messenger, Saturday, December 13, 1902

J.B. Hine

“What would I do if I were broke?” said Mr. Hine tugging at his chin with his hand, “well, I don’t know? That’s a pretty hard question to answer al. in a minute, but I suppose, why I’d go to work, of course. Anything honorable that I could get to do. Anything at all.
“Did you say you wanted to know how I earned my first hundred? Well, I’ll tell you, I earned my first hundred dollars selling papers. It was at the time of the Chicago fire; I was eleven years old and I made my first money selling those papers. I had the sale of all the papers in Muscatine all during the excitement of the fire.”

C.D. Case

“Well,” said Mr. Case, “I would try if I hadn’t a cent, to find some work for which I was adapted and if I couldn’t find anything I wouldn’t go on the street as a laborer, but I’d try to find a position as clerk. Of course, though,” he added, “I wouldn’t let things run too long. I’d work as a street laborer before I’d do that.

“I made my first hundred dollars clerking or rather, acting as cash boy in a large city dry good store, yes, that was the first money I ever made, as cash boy in a dry goods store.”

Charles Craft

“Well,” said Mr. Charles Craft, “I suppose if I had nothing I’d sponge off some of my friends. Oh, you want me to be serious? Well, I’d get to work, anything I could get, first and then, look for something for which I had a knack. I earned my first hundred dollars hauling coal from the coal mines to Fort Dodge, when I was a young man.”

J.C. Cheney

“Well,” said J.C. Cheney, “if I were without money I certainly would not expect to put up prescriptions in a drug store, or do work on the Messenger. Come to think about it, I think the best and pleasantest place about that time would be Coffin’s home. Yes, just say that I’d go to Coffin’s home.” But when confronted with the problem of how he would get there, he settled back in his chair with a rather baffled expression. Then he added, with a business-like air, “Of course if I was a young man, I’d work, of course.”

O.M. Oleson

Martin Oleson looked up from his books with surprise. “Why I’d get some work. I can’t tell you how or what kind, because there are a thousand different circumstances which would require a thousand different methods of action. I’d get some work to do, tho. You might say I’d just hustle. Yes, hustle around and make some more money.” And from the expression on his face, one would be led to think he could do it.

P.T. Johns

“Well,” said Mr. Johns, of the Johns Dry Goods Company, “I should not worry. No, I never do that. I’m one of these fellows who,m if the whole world went back on me, I’d be just as jolly as I am now. When I got burnt out in North Dakota, I didn’t worry any.” And then a far-a-way look made him remain silent for a moment, but he laughed and said: “When I lived in the old country I used to give my last shilling to the church, but I always made more before the week was up,” and he laughed as he nervously rustled the leaves of a “War Cry” on the desk before him.

(Editor’s note: The War Cry is the official news publication of The Salvation Army.)

Dr. Alton

“Well,” said Dr. Alton, “it depends on where I might be. If I were in a foreign country with no friends and no money, it would be a pretty serious matter. Well, I’d probably look for a job and take the first thing available, anything that would bring me an honest meal. Did you read ‘New Samaria’ by S. Weir Mitchell, in Lippincott’s a few months ago? Well, that man was in just such a fix. He went to this place called ‘New Samaria,’ to look over some mines, and while riding out to them, was held up and chloroformed, and all his papers of identity as well as his valuables taken.

“He awoke in a hospital to find his reputation made as a horse thief, who was drunk in a buggy which he had stolen. He had had a runaway and was dangerously injured.

“Of course no one would believe he was a millionaire and he went thru all manner of difficulties before he could get money. That’s just the same case exactly, only it was a very improbable story, as he never once thought of getting work.

“Anybody would do that as the first resource, if only enough to pay for a telegram sent to obtain his identity.id I earn my first hundred dollars? Teaching school. Yes, I’ve been a school teacher.”

L.A. Thorson

L.A. Thomson spoke up in amazement, “Why, I’d work, of course. Work right here on the street, if I couldn’t get anything better, but I wouldn’t be content with that. I’d hurry up and do something better. I earned my first money, exactly $126, by farming for seven weeks steady, with only half a day rest, when I was sick and couldn’t work. I was busy so much that I didn’t have time to spend my money, and what I did spend I squandered on overalls, hickory shirts, a denim Jacket and a straw hats. That outfit cost just five dollars so then I has $121 left as capital to go on.” (Editor’s note: $126 in 1902 is approximately $3,820 today; $5 is about $152, and $121 is about $3,669.)

L. E. Armstrong

L.E. Armstrong said that he would get out on a farm away from the city and start anew amid the green fields and lowing cattle and he did not seem to loathe the newly formed idea in the least. “I made my first money,” he said, “clerking in a store.”

Louis Charon

”if I was left without any money or friends,” said Mr. Charon of the Boston Store, “I would try to get some work. I would hunt for the kind of work that would help me back to the kind of business I had been in and would work with that object in view, getting back to where I had been before I lost my money. I earned my first money clerking, and I learned my grade much as it said in the paper that the English people had to. I was in Germany, tho, and it wasn’t so strict.”

M.J. Haire

“If I went broke, it would not give me much concern,” remarked M.J. Haire, general manager of the Haire Clothing company. “I think I would return to the occupation at which I earned my first hundred dollars, that is farming. I would go directly back to the soil, where there is more calm contentment than in the whirl of commerce.”

C.M. Rudesill

“Well,” said Mr. Rudesill, while he smiled reminiscently, “I earned my first money selling apples on an apple wagon at a political convention. Sold them by the dimes’ and nickels’ worth to the men at the convention. Then I took that money and bought myself an organ to learn to play on. If I was left without any money or friends I think I’d find something to do. That would certainly not be impossible in this day and age.”

D.C. Meloy

“I don’t know what I would do.” Said D.C. Meloy. “I suppose I’d have to work, tho, anything honorable that I could find. I earned my first one hundred dollars clerking in a store; a grocery store.”

S.J. Bennett

”In answer to your question as to what I would do if I was broke, and as to how I made my first $100, I will say: If I was broke, I would catch onto the first job that was offered me if it was honorable. I would not haggle about hours, or conditions, if I could stand them. And I would hold down my job as long as it lasted, or until I could better my condition. The first $100 I earned, according to my recollection, I made working on a farm. I worked from daylight to dark and milked twenty cows after the day’s work was over.”

(Editor’s note: $100 in 1902 dollars is about $3,032 today. However, these men were talking about thei

Pinterest for Genealogy

In May, I gave a program on Pinterest for Genealogy at the monthly meeting of the Webster County Genealogical Society. On Oct. 26, I gave a slightly updated version of that program at the Hamilton Heritage Hunters workshop in Stanhope. Unfortunately, there were some technical difficulties, and I had to just “tell” the presentation without “showing,” as the projector had a different kind of adapter than my laptop, and my laptop didn’t “see” the wi-fi that it needed to. So I just talked about the subject, rather than being able to click on links to go to websites and show what I meant.

So I promised I would put the presentation online, and here it is. Carol Snyder Foltz

Pinterest for Genealogy

I use social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook and so on for a couple of reasons. 1) To learn. I find out new things from other genealogists. 2) to share what I know. My research is on as many sites as I can manage, in order to share what I’ve done so it doesn’t get lost when I’m not around any more.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social media platform. It is a bookmarking site. It’s like a scrapbook of websites.

I used to buy magazines like Woman’s Day and Family Circle. When I liked an article, I would cut it out. Recipes, home decorating tips, organization tips – you name it.

Pinterest is kind of like that, except that instead of physical things cut out from magazines, it aggregates things pinned – or saved – by others. And now it also allows you to upload things that aren’t links to other sites.


A board is a collection of similar items.

A section is part of a board. This is to help you organize things. Under my Family History board, I have other categories like Cemeteries, DNA, Writing, Occupations and more. I also have one (so far) section of family photos.

A pin is a single item in a board. When you save something, it’s called pinning. It’s like pinning something on a bulletin board.

When you follow someone, you will see things they have pinned.

How can we use Pinterest for Genealogy?

The obvious and easiest way to use Pinterest is to pin things that come up on your wall.

When you first sign up for Pinterest, you get default boards. You can add boards and name them. When Pinterest gets an idea what you are looking for (you can use the search box), it will show you more of that type of thing.

Recently, it showed me one thing about funerals. I saved that thing. So it showed me more things about funerals and about estate planning.

The same thing will happen with the other boards that you set up. Once you show an interest in a topic, you will see more of that topic.

You can also follow people or follow specific boards of people. The Webster County Genealogical Society has a Pinterest account. You can follow us at www.pinterest.com/wcgsiowa.

(Cyndi’s List https://www.pinterest.com/cyndislist/)

(Valerie Elkins https://www.pinterest.com/valerieelkins/boards/)

How should you organize your boards?

This is entirely up to you. Look at other people’s boards to get some ideas. The society’s boards are entirely about genealogy topics. My personal boards have a variety. Some of my pins are not all that well organized.

Pinterest has made some changes since it started. One thing is that you can add sections to a board. So I have a Family History board, with different sections like Cemeteries, Census, Immigration, Crafts and scrapbooking, Photo organization … so many categories.

You can also move pins from one board or section to another if you change your mind about how your boards should be organized. I have a board about sewing projects and another one about ideas for quilts to make with my mom’s old clothing. But I don’t have a board just about quilting. So I could create a board about quilting or a section under sewing. And I could move my Ideas for Mom quilts under either of those categories.

What about pins that are not linked to websites?

You can upload images to your boards. Generally, pins are designed to be a thing that you click on to take you to a website for more information. However, there is also a use for just uploading family photos, for example.

Here’s why I have started doing this. I have a family history blog. I pay for a domain name and hosting. When I started this, I wasn’t thinking that far into the future. However, I realize now that my daughters are not going to want to continue my blog. Once I stop paying for it, it will disappear. So I need to get the information online in different formats so that it won’t be lost.

One way to do that is through online trees on sites like Ancestry, Family Search, My Heritage and Wikitree. I have a secret group for a particular set of cousins on Facebook. Secret groups can only be seen by the group members. It’s a very small group, and because it’s secret, if there is someone who might be eligible and want to join, they wouldn’t even know about it.

But Pinterest offers another option to share this information. I can upload family photos with the information relating to them. I can create pins that lead to my blog – and update the links when I finally get around to putting the information on a site that doesn’t require me to continue to pay for hosting (like Blogspot). People do have to sign up for a Pinterest account, but that’s free.

Be aware of copyright issues. (See https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2013/02/19/copyright-terms-of-use-and-pinterest/) This comes up in the adult coloring groups I’m in. Using Pinterest to locate websites with information is good. When someone images that belong to someone else to Pinterest and you download those images and use them without attribution to the artist or author is not good. In the case of the coloring pages, I try to find the artist and get the image from their website. For genealogy purposes, I click through to the website. There may be more information there that I can use.

Don’t forget to follow through on your pins. Saving them is one thing. But click through to make sure that the link has information you want and is still valid. You might find that a website has been deleted, or reorganized, so that link names have changed. If the site is still up, you may still be able to find the information.

I recommend “Pinning Your Family History” by Thomas MacEntee. It’s 99 cents on Amazon. It’s a very short book, but has some good tips.

Other Social Media


As I mentioned, I have a secret group on Facebook for cousins on my mom’s side. I also belong to a bunch of genealogy-related groups and follow genealogy-related pages.

Genealogy Master List of Facebook Groups https://www.facebook.com/groups/744717045667772/


I follow genealogy researchers and bloggers on Twitter. One favorite is Jennifer Mendelsohn, who does what she calls “resistance genealogy.” That is, she researches the family trees of public figures who say bad things about immigrants. Often, she finds the same things in those family trees that those people are speaking against. Chain immigration (where family members come to the U.S. in small groups), people who immigrate but don’t learn English right away, people who were deemed at risk of becoming a public charge, people who come here as young children. Each of those cases was spoken against by a current descendant of people who did those things.

To find out more about using social media for genealogy, do a search on Google to find websites and YouTube for videos. Follow genealogists on different platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) to see what they are saying.





















Norwegian genealogy

We have Linda Greethurst giving a program on Norwegian genealogy. She has give us two sites to help with research.

The Norwegian genealogy site is https://www.digitalarkivet.no/en/. The /en/ is the English version.

Another site is OJ’s homepage. https://otjoerge.wordpress.com/norwegian-american-dictionary.

The dictionary site helps when working on DigitalArkivet.no.

Many of the Digital Arkivet records have not been indexed, so you may have to browse records. You will need to register for a free account in order to use the site.

Norwegian counties are like states in the U.S.

There should be an official parish register and a copy of the official parish register that was kept at a separate location. Once or twice a year, the keeper of the copy and the minister were supposed to compare the versions, so there might be additions at the end  of the book.

Linda Greethurst recommends “A Research Guide for Norwegian Genealogy” as a valuable resource for researching Norwegian family history. It is published by The Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library in Madison, Wisconsin. Their website is www.nagcnl.org.

Websites again:

  • https://www.digitalarkivet.no/en
  • https://otjoerge.wordpress.com/norwegian-american-dictionary
  • www.nagcnl.org

March 12 event canceled

Our planned event for March 12, 2018, has been canceled. Eowyn Langholf, of Wikitree, was scheduled to talk about Wikitree and collaborative genealogy, but due to unforeseen circumstances, won’t be able to be in Fort Dodge that day. We will reschedule the event when she is able to come.

On this day: Jan. 10, 1918

Dayton Review: 10 Jan 1918

Pioneer Passes

The passing of Allen Dugger at the home of this daughter, Mrs. B.H. Sanders at Briggsdale, Colorado, on Monday of last week marks the passing of another of the pioneer settlers of this county. He was born in Macoupin Co., Illinois, March 26, 1836, hence would have been 82 years of age at his next birthday. At the age of 16, he moved with his parents to Keokuk County, Iowa, where he was married to Adeline Andrews, January 25, ,1857. In 1865 th ey came to Webster County, settling near Lehigh, then Tyson’s Mill, and lived in that community over half a century. Mrs Dugger died in 1911, also at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Sanders, and Mr. Dugger has since made his home among his children. Three children have preceded him in n death, two passing in infancy, and his eldest son, Will, in Denver in1906. Six children survived, three sons and three daughters, Mrs. C.M. Watson and Mrs. B.H. Sanders, Briggsdale, Colo., Mrs. J.T. Collard, Commerce, Okla., J.A. and M.H. Dugger, Sybrant, Nebr., and C.S. Dugger, Barrett, Nebr. His remains were brought to Lehigh, and interment made beside those of his wife in the Beem cemetery on Wednesday of last week. Mr. Dugger was a good neighbor and a respected citizen always. He always took an interest in his friends and companions, as did Mrs. Dugger, and their home was always a social center for old and young. “Aunt Ad and Uncle Al,” as they were know among the young people of their day, always had a welcome ready, and many were the happy social events that are still remembered by the boys and girls of that time, given by this youth loving couple, in the hospitality of their home. A host of old time friends will sympathize with the family in their bereavement.

Winter weather

Our policy is that if the Fort Dodge schools are closed or have a late start due to weather, we will be closed that day. The current weather forecast calls for rain and sleet turning to snow overnight Wednesday, then gusty winds. So we will be closed on Thursday.

We are still open today (Jan. 9) and tomorrow (Jan. 10) from noon to 3 p.m. You can also call 515-302-9854 to schedule a time to visit during Fort Dodge Public Library open hours.

On this day: Jan. 3, 1918

Dayton Review: Jan. 3, 1918


The home of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Thomas was the scene of a quiet home wedding New Years evening, their daughter Inez being united in marriage to Arthur Leffler Holmstrom, Rev. N.E. Kron of the Lutheran Church officiating. The ceremony took place at six o’clock, under an arch of green and white, which formed the color scheme of the decorations. Frances Freeburn played Mendelssohn’s wedding march, and the wedding couple took their places unattended, the ring ceremony being used in the plighting of their voews. Bernice Lundlen sang “O Promise Me,” and “I Love You truly.” Only the immediate families, brothers and sisters, and a few girl friends, were present to witness the ceremony, after which a three course wedding dinner was served, her girl friends doing the serving. The bride was dressed in white crepe de chene with white dull veil caught up with smilax. Both the contracting parties have grown to manhood and womanhood in our midst. The bride is a graduate of our public schools, and the past year has been attending Grinnell College. She is a young lady of pleasing attainments, kindly considerate of these around her always. The groom is a son of Mr. and Mrs. J.P. Holmstrom, west of town, a young man of industry and integrity, who will make a success of life. Both a re popular and respected among their associates and friends. They will be at home after March 1st at Maple Ridge Farm west of town, which the groom will farm the coming year. We join in the congratulations and best wishes extended to them.


Paul Williams, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Williams, and Miss Milly Kirkman, a daughter of A.S. Kirkman, all of Pilot Mound, were quietly married at Boone on Tuesday, December 18th. A wedding reception was given them at Pilot Mound the next evening, Mr. and Mrs. Alva Linn of this place attending, Mrs. Linn being a sister of the bride. Both are well known and highly respected young people of that community, who have grown to young manhood and womanhood there. They will reside on a farm southeast of Dayton, which the groom will work the coming year. Dayton friends of the newly wedded couple extend them sincere good wishes for a truly happy married life.

On this day: Dec. 21, 1917

Fort Dodge Messenger and Chronicle: Dec. 21, 1917

City Briefs

Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Wilson leave Saturday for a holiday visit in Minneapolis and St Paul.
Mr. and Mrs. Strong Hinman expect to spend the Christmas vacation with relatives in Wichita, Kas.
Mrs. W.H. Rubel leaves today for Dubuque where she will spend the holidays at the home of her daughter, Mrs. J.J. Roshek.
Lieutenant Emmett Lenihan comes up from Camp Dodge tomorrow for the Christmas holidays which he will spend with his relatives here.
Joe Stecher, the Nebraska wrestler, spent Wednesday night in this city en route to his home from Humboldt where he attended the Gotch funeral.
Mr. and Mrs. J.G. Larosn are entertaining Mr. and Mrs. Berg Osvog of Canton, S.D., this week. Mr. and Mrs. Osvog are on their wedding trip.
Mrs. Georgia M. Joselyn and daughter Estella leave this evening for Rockwell City where they will spend Christmas at the Edward S. Joselyn home.
Mrs. Maude Huffman has filed suite for divorce from Marion Huffman. The petition alleges that they were married in 1909 and have one adopted child.
Misses Dorothy Hurlbut. Katharine Ryan, Ruth Fitzpatrick and Annice Woodward are expected int he city Saturday noon from Milwaukee Downer where they have been attending school. They will be in Fort Dodge for the Christmas holidays.
Many hunters of Fort Dodge left early this morning on the big rabbit chase – the purpose of which is to catch rabbits to be turned over to the poor of the city. The weather is ideal for the hunt. The hunters are expected to report at the municipal building this evening with the day’s catch.
Blanks have been received in the office of the county clerk for the recording of births. The new law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 1918. Ten days is given to record a birth. Failure to do so makes one liable to a fine of not less than $5 and not more than $100 and imprisonment of thirty days. The responsibility of recording births rests with both the parents and physician or midwife.
Mr. and Mrs. Mack Hurlbut are entertaining a number of their relatives over the Christmas holidays. Their guests will be Mrs. George Spangler of Winthrop who arrived yesterday, and Mr. and Mrs. S.T. Spangler of Winthrop, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Swan of Independence, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh E. Jones and daughter Frances of Northwood and George Spangler of Winthrop will come tomorrow.

On this day: Aug. 24, 1917

Fort Dodge Messenger and Chronicle: Aug. 24, 1917
Fort Dodge People at Humboldt Fair
Fair Reported Unusually Good This Year
Fireworks Display is Fine
Many residents of Fort Dodge drove to Humboldt Thursday evening to attend the Humboldt county Fair, which opened that day. They report the fair as unusually good this year and the fireworks display especially fine. Among those who were in attendance were Mr. and Mrs. R.R. Wilson, Mr. and Mrs R.P. Atwell, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Hannon, Frank Hellman, Cozette Alline, Mary Nelson, Vida Fuhrman, Alta Reentz, Frank O’Hearn, Grace Tinkham, Lou Pray, A.C. Heath, Wm. Peters, Dr. and Mrs. Philip Dorr, Gertude Pfaff, Catherine Lex, Mary Reilly, Charley Casey, Andy Hamlin and Bert Hogan.