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And Now You Know: First Week of the New Year, 100 Years Ago

By Mike Louviere

The Orange Daily Leader in 1918 was a vastly different paper from today’s edition. It was a four-page edition. The first page was national news, and news of the war in Europe that had been raging four years. The second page was more of a business page with articles about national and world businesses, almost a small town Wall Street Journal page. The third and fourth pages were local items from serious to mundane and advertisements.

The first serious item, 100 years ago, was that there was going to be a bond election “for the construction and equipping of new buildings for the local free schools”. The proposed amount was $100,000 payable in 40 years.

A.B. Tucker who lived in the Bonner Addition had placed an ad in the Leader to the effect that he had a milch cow for sale. Editor A.L. Ford reported, “He was in the office yesterday and said if he had as many cows for sale as he received answers to the ad, he would have been a millionaire about teen times over.” Ford went on to say “This merely goes to show that if you want to sell, buy, rent, or exchange, advertise it in the Leader.”

Movies were popular entertainment venues in those days. The Airdome Theater had presented one of the strongest pictures of the season to the public, according to a review. The title of the movie was “The Auction Block”, taken from the book of the same name by Rex Beach.

“The picture was well shown, not a film break or a bobble marking the continuity of the performance. It took in the neighborhood of an hour and a quarter to show the entire picture, and no stops were made to change reels” according to the writer.

A notice from the Orange County Irrigation Company told all companies taking water from the canal that the charge for the year 1918 would be one fifth of the crop irrigated from the canal.

The advertisement section led off with information that there were two car loads of young mules and mares, aging from three to five years old for sale at Grubbs Transfer Company.

Orange State Bank advertised that you could open a savings account with as little as a one cent deposit per week; you could increase the amount as you pleased. The bank paid 4% interest.

Orange Iron Works stated that they could perform saw mill work, work on tram engines, logging cars, pumps, boilers, and steamboat machinery.

Weaver and Sons, Ship Carpenters and Boat Builders, said; “We build and repair launches of all sizes, tug boats, and barges. Our yards are located between the two Lutcher and Moore mills, best facilities in the south for getting lumber.”

J.A. Snoddy, located at 408 Front Street sold Lipton’s Coffee and Mareschal Neil Flour.

The Model Steam Bakers at Henderson and College Streets proudly advertised that they baked hot bread twice daily.

Café Gomez sold fish and oysters daily and stated they were the “Popular Café of the People”.

Sholars Drugs, was located at 512a Front Street, Phone 19.

Of all the businesses in this article, Sholars Drugs lasted the longest, closing their doors only a few years ago.

“And now you know”