From the Lafayette Gazette of March 26th, 1898:
Miss Cora Desbrest, the diligent local agent of the Teche and Vermilion Telephone Company, has furnished The Gazette with the new rates fixed by the telephone company. Under the new arrangement boxes can be rented for exchange limits only if desired by subscribers. Reductions have been made in the price for parish limits. The following are the new rates:
Residence, exchange limited - $12.00
Residence, parish limits - $18.00
Business, exchange limits - $18.00
Business, parish limits - $24.00
The contracts for exchange limits are to be signed for one year, while for the parish contracts are made for two years. Payments are required to be made quarterly in advance.
We are informed that several of our citizens will subscribe under the new rates. None of the old subscribers have expressed any indication of discontinuing which speaks well for the management of the exchange. The new office of the company is neat and commodious and every facility is extended to patrons of the line. Lafayette Gazette 3/26/1898.
Mr. Hoggsett's Proposition.
In the proceedings of the City Council and printed in another column appears the proposition of Mr. Hoggsett, of the Teche and Vermilion Telephone Company, to furnish the town with a day and night service. Fifteen dollars a month is the price asked by Mr. Hoggsett for this service. The offer is also made to furnish the town with two boxes to be placed at points directed by the Council, provided that two booths are built by the latter to protect the company's property. These two boxes to be used for "police patrol service only."It is useless to speak of what the Council should do in regard to this proposition. The Gazette is informed by the municipal authorities that in view of the present obligations of the town the consideration of Mr. Hoggsett's proposition is simply out of the question. There is some talk of the fire companies accepting the offer of the telephone company, but it is safe to say that the town can not afford to pay $15 a month for the service proposed, however valuable it might be.
Lafayette Gazette 3/26/1898.
Prevented by the Prompt and Heroic Action of Our Citizens.
The work done by the people of the town in putting out the fire last Tuesday proves what can be done by an organized force with the proper means to fight the dread foe.
At one time an awful conflagration seemed imminent. Not only did the fate of the Hebert building appear hopeless, but the question was how many other houses would be destroyed. A strong wind was fanning the flames which grew thick and large with alarming rapidity. But the brave fellows who reached the scene first were not of the kind to be disheartened by the apparent hopelessness of the undertaking. They did not hesitate, but began to work with most admirable courage, forgetting all about their personal safety.
Several of the most active followed Alley Sprole and climbed upon the roof. Wet blankets were applied, shingles were torn off. By this time buckets were procured and two of the waterworks hydrants were opened and water was conveyed to the roof. In the meantime every bit of the furniture was moved from the house. There was a large piano and other heavy pieces of furniture, but in less time than it takes to write it, all the contents of the house were placed out of the fire's reach.
The work on the roof continued with unabated energy until the blaze was completely extinguished and only a little smoke remained. The splendid work of the men was the subject of some very favorable comment from those who were in a position to see in what manner the terrible conflagration was prevented.
Gus Lacoste did effective work with his little hand pump.
The hose ordered by the town was at the depot, but had not yet been delivered. A carriage was dispatched to the depot to get some of the hose returned but just a little too late - the fire was already out.
This fire will serve as a warning to the people of the town to support the fire companies which have just been organized. The town needs a thorough system of fire protection. The splendid work done by the other day proves that we have the right sort of material - only organization and discipline are needed.
Lafayette Gazette 3/26/1898.
The convention has already spent half of its allotted time without arriving at any conclusion on the suffrage question, and if it proposes to adopt a plan to suit the Times-Democrat it will sit until doom's day without having accomplished anything.
The people or rather the Democrats of Louisiana have called the convention together to legally disfranchise the mass of negroes in this State. Had not such a necessity existed there would have been no constitutional convention. The delegates were elected to perform that plain duty. They were elected for that purpose and not for the purpose of holding a sort of indignation meeting to denounce fraud, abuse the people of South Carolina and Mississippi and talk themselves hoarse about honesty.
Everybody knows that election frauds have been committed in Lousiana. But the convention was not called to deal with the past. It is to deal with the future. To avoid trouble. To make a recourse to fraud and bulldozing unnecessary. To maintain white supremacy without resorting to violence or dishonest elections. In order to do that it is necessary to invalidate that Republican infamy known as the Fifteenth Amendment. Every Southern white man who is not a traitor regards that amendment as the most iniquitous measure ever adopted by a government for the purpose of humiliation and revenge, and yet a lot of pretended purists are raising a cry of bogus indignation because an effort is being made to thwart the evil effects of the infamous amendment.
We believe with that staunch old Democratic journal, the Daily States, that the first duty of the convention is to eliminate the negro from the electorate, and it that can't be done the convention ought to adjourn and the members allowed to return home. So long as the negro will remain a factor in our politics, there will be a fraud and bulldozing in our elections. The white people of this State will never permit the negroes to hold the balance of power. The purists may whine and the kickers may kick, but Caucasian rule is the unwritten law of the South to remain in force as long as the Almighty will not change the order of things.
The first step toward honest elections is the elimination of the negro voters. This the suffrage committee has endeavored to do, but it has so far failed. The Times-Democrat killed the original proposition; section five, which promised to to accomplish the purpose of the convention, was knocked out in the first round by Senators Caffery and McEnery, and the convention is again at sea. The "understanding clause" which has rid the State of Mississippi of the negro as a political factor and which has rendered the same service to the white people of South Carolina, has been voted down in the Democratic conference and unless the proper influence is brought to bear the wide divergence of opinion which seems to prevail among the delegates may result in a failure on the part of the convention to offer any remedy for the abnormal condition of affairs in Louisiana.
Before this issue of The Gazette was in the hands of its subscribers, we hope that the convention will have passed a suffrage law, clear and unmistakable in its meaning, disfranchising as many negroes, and enfranchising as many whites as possible. Be it the "understanding clause", or some other clause which will carry out the purpose of the convention, but by all means let the members of the convention have the courage of their convictions. Let them do what they were elected to do, and not listen to the objections of hostile newspapers whose editors have become so alarmingly virtuous that they fall into duck fits every time some one cries "fraud."
Lafayette Gazette 3/26/1898.
Not Yet Ready.
In reply to several inquiries as to the time when the City Council will be ready to let citizens have the use of the waterworks we will state that the plant has not yet been accepted by the town. Under the contract the contractors are to run the plant thirty days the end of which will be the 1st of April. Then if everything is shown to work satisfactorily and in accordance with the stipulations of the contract, the town will take charge of the plant. It will them be possible to attend to the orders for hydrants. The tapping machine has been received and before the plant is finally accepted by the Council it is proposed to have the mains tapped to ascertain if they will stand the test. Before an acceptance is made by the Council a few things about the plant will have to be remedied.
Mr. Linden Zell, assistant supervising engineer, has been at work since Monday making a thorough test of the plant.
Lafayette Gazette 3/26/1898.
The most recherche function ever chronicled in the annals our little city was the banquet given by that popular organization, the Century Club, to commemorate its second anniversary. A supper of sixty covers, thirteen courses, was served by efficient waiters, from tables bedecked with Flora's fairest offerings, the whole presenting a scene of this occasion was due to the indefatigable energy of the worthy president and the cooperation of the members, among whom exist the most perfect congeniality and good-will. Too much praise cannot be awarded Mr. and Mrs. J. Hahn for the arrangement of the menu and the adornment of the banquet-hall; a toast, made by the Hon. Chas. D. Caffery, to this couple, was drunk by all. Many other toasts aided in enlivening the evening's entertainment, which all were loathe to bring to a close, and whose echoes still reverberate in memory's domicile.
Those who heeded the Herald's "O come to the festal board to-night" were Mesdames J. Nickerson, G. Breaux, F. S. Mudd, J. G. Parkerson, C. D. Caffery, T. Nelson Blake, F. Eloi Girard, A. Denbo, T. M. Biossat, F. J. Mouton, R. M. Delaney, B. Clegg, J. Hahn, Misses Mayre Little, Besse and Leila Cornay, Lea Gladu, Eliza and Susie Hopkins, Pearl Harmanson, Viola Kelly, Adele Young, Lizzie Parkerson, Aimee Mouton, Haydee Trahan, Lizzie and Clye Mudd; Messrs. A. Denbo, J. C. Nickerson, Leo Judice, Alcide Judice, H. Hohorst, C. O. Mouton, Wm. Hamilton, Orin Hopkins, E. Dicks, J. G. Parkerson, J. O. Mouton, Bruce Pickett, D. A. Cochran, H. Van der Cruyssen, L. F. Rigues, F. E. Mouton, Don Caffery, John L. Kennedy, Ralph Elliot, Chas. Parkerson, Sterling Mudd, Gus. Breaux, T. M. Biossat, B. Clegg, Chas. D. Caffery, Frank Patin, John Hahn, Jules Mouton, Drs. Martin, Mudd, Girard, Trahan and Mouton. Lafayette Gazette 3/26/1898.
Negro Base Ball. - Two negro base ball teams will play a game of ball at the Oak Avenue park Sunday afternoon. The seats on the stand will be reserved for white people who may wish to see the game. White men will umpire the game and the strictest kind of order will be maintained.
Lafayette Gazette 3/26/1898.
Accidental Death. - A young negro who was thrown by a horse at the Oak Avenue Park last Sunday died Monday from the effects of the injuries that he sustained in the fall. Laf. Gazette 3/26/1898.
From the Lafayette Advertiser of March 26th, 1898:
The court was in session during the week and the following criminal cases been disposed of:
Joseph Edmond, entering store at night time was convicted.
Terena Watson, obtaining money under false pretenses, convicted.
The following sentences have been imposed:
Klebert Gaspard $20 fine,
Seth Sayre $15 fine,
Tennent Kelly $15 fine,
Joseph Peletier $20 fine,
and in default of payment each one to spend 3o days in jail.
The civil suits were as follows:
Marie Verzane viz Luke Broussard, judgment in favor of defendant;
A. Kary et al. viz J. J. Price. Judgment for plaintiff;
E. Doyle viz: Olivier Blanchet. Judgment for plaintiff. Lafayette Advertiser 3/26/1898.
City Council Proceedings.
Lafayette, La., Feb.24th, 1898.
The City Council met this day in special session with the following members present: Mayor Caffery, Councilmen Hahn, Hopkins, Landry, Martin and Mouton.
The Mayor stated the object of the meeting to make arrangements for payment of the water works and electric light bonds falling due March 1st, 1898 being Nos. 1 to 5 inclusive of $500 each.
And interest on the entire amount of bonds as per the following statement of the issue:
The bonds were issued August 16th, 1897 and the first interest coupon amounts to $16.25 making a total of $1,170 of interest due March 1st, 1898.
The following was then offered by Dr. Hopkins:
Be it ordained by the City Council of Lafayette that the water works and electric light bonds and the interest on the entire amount of said bonds, falling due on March 1st, 1898 as indicated by the foregoing statement be paid out of the water works and electric light fund, and the mayor be and is authorized to warrant upon the treasury for the same and attend to the payment thereof. Be it further ordained that the mayor is authorized to make the best possible arrangement for the transmission of said money to New York the place of payment.
Adopted by the following vote:
Yeas: Hopkins, Mouton, Hahn, Landry and Martin.
The following was offered by Mr. Mouton and unanimously adopted.
Be it ordained by this Council that the posting of bills or notices of any kind or in any manner on the electric light poles of the town is hereby prohibited; nor shall any one be permitted to drive nails or tacks or in any other way mutilate the said poles, and that any one violating this ordinance shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten dollars and in default of payment of fine shall be imprisoned not exceeding 15 days, at the discretion of the mayor.
There being no further business the Council adjourned.
Lafayette Advertiser 3/26/1898.
Selected News Notes (Advertiser) 3/26/1898.
The water works' manager has invited the city council to partake of the hospitality at the tank this afternoon. Pretty cool weather gentlemen. Let us toast the tank.
The Advertiser's staff will be at the tank this afternoon to see that the City Council does not get too watered.
W. C. Black, D. D., Editor of the New Orleans Christian Advocate will deliver a lecture Monday night at Falk's Opera House. Admission (unreadable) cents.
Secretaries of firemen's companies and all other secretaries of meetings held in Lafayette, are respectfully requested to send their minutes to the Advertiser for publication.
426 electric lights have been already put up in stores and residences, and the demand for them is still increasing. Therefore this will this will be a profitable and successful investment.
Electric lights have made their appearance in the streets. (unreadable word) a luxury compared with the unreadable words). So far they are giving (unreadable word). The light is bright and its radiance is quite spreading. Laf. Advertiser 3/26/1898.
OWLS HAVE THEIR USES.
Mice, Insects, Gophers and the Swarming Sparrow Food for the Wise Bird.
The little screech-owl, well known in most parts of the country, is indefatigable in its work of destroying mice and insects. It may often be seen at dusk hovering about barns and outhouses, watching for mice, or skimming over the fields or along the hedgerows in search of grasshoppers, crickets and beetles. Many birds of this species have taken up a residence in the cities having learned to feed upon that most destructive nuisance, the English sparrow. In winter rural residents often notice the tracks of mice which form networks in the snow, crossing and recrossing, passing in and out of walls and stacks - tending to show how active these small rodents are when most of the world sleeps. Occasionally such a track stops abruptly, and, while the observer is trying to read more of the history written in the snow, his eyes catch the faint impressions of a pair of wing tips near where the trail ends, and instantly he is made aware that a tragedy has been enacted. Screech-owls also feed on chipmunks, shrews, moles and occasionally bats. During warm spells in winter they forage extensively and store up in their homes quantities of food as a provision against inclement weather.
Probably the most important from and economic point of view among the owls is the barn owl. Its food is almost entirely made up of injurious mammals. In the west it feeds largely on pouched gophers, and the stomach contents of many individuals examined have revealed little else than the remains of these rodents. To appreciate properly the services of this owl it must be remembered that pouched gophers are among the most destructive mammals which inhabit this country. In various other localities it feeds extensively on the common rat. The great horned owl, which in the east is persistent in its attacks on poultry and game, kills immense numbers of rabbits in rabbit infested parts of the west, where its assistance is invaluable to the farmer. It is much addicted to eating skunks, of which it devours great numbers wherever those objectionable animals are common.
From the Boston Transcript and in the Lafayette Gazette 3/26/1898.