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 North Manchester, Indiana

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  NEWSLETTER
of the North Manchester Historical Society
Vol. XVI, No. 3 (August, 1999)

 
 
 

Editor's Note

In this issue we look at the days of World War II in North Manchester. We remind ourselves of the irritations, of the shortages and restrictions of the times. We start with the Dimouts and then the Blackouts which were early hints that change was coming. The 1943 NEWS JOURNAL provides the story.

Practice Dimout Thursday Night

There is nothing complicated about the dimout for North Manchester Thursday evening. The fire siren will sound a warning at 8.45. At 9:00 will come the dimout signal. The dimout will continue until air raid wardens report compliance in their respective districts. If all comply it need not last over fifteen minutes, but if people are careless, it will last longer. The rules are simple and easily followed:

Dimout, which means all lights out applies to all residences, whether in downtown section or not. 

Auto and trucks must be driven on parking dim, or parked along street curbs. 

Dimout does not apply to street lights, nor to factories in night operation, nor to business houses in the business section. 

Incoming auto drivers will be stopped at the approaches to town and bright lights dimmed.

Dimout applies to North Manchester corporation and to Riverside and East Manchester as far south as Pony Creek and as far east as the O.A. Kanower place.

Air raid wardens auxiliary police and Boy Scouts are to meet at the town hall Tuesday evening at 7:30 for assignment of duties and districts.

 
 
 
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  Next issue the assessment was favorable with the headline:

Practice Dimout Was Successful

North Manchester's first dimout was held Thursday night and in general was very successful. The only weakness was the fact many people could not hear the fire siren. It is believed this can be corrected when the real blackout comes later in the month by having the Peabody factory whistle and the college chime sound the signals in conjunction with the fire siren. There was not a person in town or in Riverside and East Manchester who refused to cooperate. It was necessary to stop at 68 homes and notify the people personally. Some did not hear the siren, others had forgotten about it, but all were cooperative.

Auxiliary police were stationed at the approaches of town, and there was not a car driver that failed to stop and comply with the request to drive with dim lights. Regular town officers patrolled Main street in the business section and corrected any driving with bright lights. The lights in the business houses, and the street lights were not turned off. Air raid wardens and their assistants including Boy Scouts, patrolled their respective districts and when all had reported the dimout was lifted. It lasted from 9:00 to 9:40.

Only those two units were used Thursday evening because it was not a complete blackout. When the blackout comes, the above units along with the auxiliary firemen, first aid workers, ambulance corps, etc. will be called.

*****

The county wide blackout is to be held in Wabash county Wednesday evening from 9:00 to 9:30 and all lights of every character are to be out with the exception of factories operating at night. This includes the country districts as well as cities and towns and there will be a general patrol to see that there is compliance. All autos and trucks are to stop and pedestrians are to stay off the streets. No light of any kind, visible from the outside, is to be shown, and if people play radios in rooms visible from the outside, the front should be covered with a dark cloth. Regulations for the rural district are under the direction of W.K. Delaplane, and to enable patrolmen in the country to check their district, it is likely they will be permitted to drive with dimmed or

 
 
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  partially covered lights. Wabash county is a defense area, largely because of considerable production of military material in Wabash, North Manchester and Urbana. and officials from the state defense council will come to Wabash to check the efficiency of the arrangements.

In North Manchester the control center will be at the town hall . . . The rules for the blackout in brief are as follows: Signals: Alert signal at 8:45, sounded by the fire siren, Peabody factory whistle and college chime. 9:00, black out signal, 9:30, all clear signal.

All residences to be entirely blacked out from 9:00 until the all clear signal at 9:30. All business houses to be blacked out, all street lights, all outside sign and window lights to be turned off.

Cars in movement at time of blackout, should be driven to a curb, the lights turned out, and no further movement until the all clear signal. Pedestrians should get indoors immediately.

Air raid wardens will patrol each district to check for lights showing. Auxiliary police will halt all traffic. Obey them, for they have full authority to enforce compliance.

After the all clear signal all workers are to assemble at the town hall to discuss the blackout, and policies that could be bettered for greater efficiency. If people cooperate Wednesday evening, it is likely this will be the last practice blackout. It is to be hoped that necessity for a real blackout caused by an air raid will never come. But we would be foolish not to be prepared in case there is a real air raid.

 
 

Canned Food Ration Will Begin March 1

The office of Price Administration in Washington Tuesday announced that rationing of canned and frozen fruits and vegetables and dried fruits will begin March 1. The program, calling for a week's "freeze" of these commodities, during which time consumers will register for War Ration Book No. 2, provides for sales of the commodities in grocery stores will stop at midnight, February 20, and will not be resumed until the ration date.

This "freeze" was set up by officials for the purpose of allowing grocers to stock up, to arrange and mark merchandize and undertake other preparations for the complicated "point rationing" system.

 
 
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  Beginning February 22 and continuing for six days, the entire civilian population of the country will be registered in school houses and elsewhere for this new type of rationing. Registration is expected to be handled by school teachers in a manner similar to the nationwide registration for sugar rationing nearly a year ago.

At this registration anyone who can show that he has War Ration Book No. 1, the coupon sheet now used for sugar and coffee, will be entitled to receive War Ration Book No. 2, which will be used for both canned goods beginning March l,and meat rationing, expected to start a month later.

War Ration Book 2 will contain four sets of blue stamps and four sets of red stamps. OPA has announced that the blue stamps will be used for processed foods and the red stamps will be used for meat. The letter on the face of each stamp indicates the ration period and the number denotes the number of points each is worth. Point values of various foods will be announced by the Government just before the new system starts, and will vary from time to time, depending on the relative scarcity or abundance of items involved.

Before receiving the new ration book, each family will be required to declare the number of cans of fruit and vegetables the family had on hand February 21. From this number will be subtracted five cans for every person in the family and coupons from the new book will be torn out for any cans in excess of five for each person. This count of canned goods, however, will exclude home canned foods and certain types of non-rationed commodities such as canned olives or jellies and all cans containing less than eight ounces, which includes small cans of baby foods.

*****

The American housewife with a tendency to put on weight has learned to count her calories in recent years. Now she will have to learn to count her points, for the food rationing program which goes into effect March l is based on the point system, with the point value of an article changing as it becomes scarcer or more plentiful. The rationing of canned foods will be followed later by meat and possibly dairy products, so it will be necessary for the housewife to school herself for intelligent use of the rationed foods.

 
 
 
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  Each person will be allowed 48 points a month, which will figure about one can of rationed food each week. This will be cut in half if the person has more than five cans on hand the beginning of rationing. Regardless of how much overstock there is in a home, only half of the coupons will be taken from the ration book for each month, when issued, thus permitting supplemental foods to be purchased and consumed along with the canned foods already in the home.

Every bit of garden produce that can be raised and processed in the home saves that much capacity of commercial canners capacity that is needed to process food for the armed forces and people in the cities who have no access to garden sites. If food rationing continues into next year, as it undoubtedly will, home production of food will be a necessity as well as a convenience.

People who plow lots will do well to list their names with Mr. Harting. The committee will not undertake to make arrangements about the plowing, but it will make it more convenient if the gardeners know who is available to plow the lots. The gardening season will soon be here, and prompt action is needed in listing the lots.

 
 

And then came meat rationing 

Meat dealers had the busiest day in many years Saturday as people thronged to markets to obtain a last minute supply before rationing went into effect. Few obtained more than normal needs for most dealers had little reserve, and had to limit sales to the individual. Fresh meat has been fairly plentiful in North Manchester and at no time have people been without fresh meat, although they could not always get the cuts they wanted. Smoked meats, which come from the packers, has been a different story. Much of the time there has been no ham and bacon available but lunch meats have been fairly plentiful.

So far as fresh meats are concerned, local dealers probably can meet rationed demands right from the start. It will take some time for the stocks of cured meats to reach normal if they do at all for it all depends on the amount the government and lend lease takes from the big packers, and also whether the small packers, who supply most of

 
 
 
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  the needs in the smaller towns, will be in position to operate. Many of them closed because they could not pay live stock prices and remain under the wholesale ceiling prices.

This morning the display cases in the meat markets looked by Mother Hubbard's cupboard, and the meat dealers were breathing a sigh of relief that the rush of last week was over. All admit they probably did an all-time record business for March. Just how effective the rationing program will be, with all the loopholes and inequalities that exist in it remains to be seen.

 
 

The National Food Situation Stated

Tighten your belts? There will be more or less continuous shortages of some kinds of foods during the coming year, particularly canned fruits and vegetables, dehydrated eggs and milk, meats and meat products, according to Food Distribution Administration officials. Such products are especially well adapted to military use. They take up comparatively little shipping space for their food value. The shortages will grow out of the needs of our military forces and the needs of our allies, but the civilian population will not be hungry.

Compared with 1942, and roughly estimated on the basis of prospective 1943 production, civilians will have 11 per cent less meat; 27 per cent less canned and shell fish; 21 per cent less butter; ll per cent less cheese; 15 percent less canned milk; 51 percent less canned fruits; from 3 to 25 percent less of various fresh vegetables 27 percent less canned vegetables; 6 percent less dry beans; about 22 percent less sugar; 21 percent less rice, 29 percent less coffee; 60 percent less tea; 12 percent less cocoa.

Rationing boards have received instructions that restaurants and eating places serving coffee, must do so only when serving a meal or what constitutes a meal. No longer can an inveterate coffee drinker go into a restaurant and say: "Gimme a cup of Java." Restaurant operators must now set up their basic needs on a monthly basis instead of the two months basis in effect heretofore, and then expect a ten per cent reduction from that figure. It will be interesting to note the compliance to this restriction. Will the rubber sandwich of a few years ago come into use again?

When prohibition was repealed in Indiana, it was with the stipu

 
 
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  lation that alcoholic beverages could be served only with food. Tavern operators quickly found a way to get around that . If food was not really wanted, a stale or "rubber" sandwich was placed on a plate and set before the thirsty customer along with the drink. It was not eaten of course, and was shoved back for the next customer. Thus was the letter of the law obeyed.  
 

War Dogs Wanted By Army Service

Do you have a dog you will donate to the armed services of the nation? If you have and the dog is the right type, you will be rendering a service to your country, for dogs are much needed. A well trained dog, with a soldier is estimated to be worth six sentinels when it comes to detecting the enemy approaching under cover of darkness. Dr. Edgar Wright, North Manchester veterinarian, has been appointed district director for Wabash county and will be glad to have people with suitable dogs communicate with him.

The United States War Dogs have proved so necessary that the War Department has gradually raised the number wanted from 200 to many thousands, based on their performance both at home and abroad with the Army, the Navy, the Marines and the Coast Guard. The role of these War Dogs is varied. The loss of life of Army messengers between detachments is very large. In this work dogs can be used to save lives of many of the men. The dogs run close to the ground and, usually protected by vegetation, can more safely accomplish their purpose. Dogs are trained to locate hidden enemy machine gun nests and snippers in the same way bird dogs find game.

In fact, some of the United Nations progress in the South Pacific was seriously held up by the Japanese dogs supplied by the Germans. War Dogs are in Africa and in many locations outside the United States serving as Sentry Dogs, Pack Dogs, Sledge Dogs, and First Aid Dogs. The War Dogs protect Army Posts, Navy Yards, Plants, Airplane Hangars, Warehouses, Arsenals, Defense Plants, etc., and have caught saboteurs in various parts of the United States.

Dogs must be 20 inches or more in height at the shoulder and weigh over 50 pounds, dogs that cannot be intimidated by strangers, one to five years old, pure bred to cross bred. The breeds wanted and approved by the Armed Forces for War Dog training, as of January 22,

 
 
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  1943, are:

Airedale Terriers, Alaskan Malamutes, Belgian Sheepdogs, Bouviers des Flanders. Boxers, Briards, Bull Mastiffs, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Collies (Rough & Smooth), Curly Coated Retrievers, Dalmatians, Doberman Pinschers, English Springer Spaniels, Eskimos, Flat Coated Retriever, German Shephard, German Shorthaired Pointers, Giant Schnauzers, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Irish Setters, Irish Water Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, etc.

 
 
 

Exceed World War I

The number of men in military service from the North Manchester area now exceeds the number in service during the First World War. (early 1943) At the time the armistice was signed there were 334 in service. At present there are at least 375 in service from this area in this war. Of this latter number at least 50 are overseas, this being mostly men in the army and marines. It is more difficult to determine when a person in the navy is overseas, for the ships operate from bases, and go out on task duties and then return to base. Thus they are not included in this list. Some of our men are in convoy work, and thus shuttle back and forth between the main land and foreign lands. As their work is a military secret, there is no way to determine their status.

During the first World War this area was fortunate to lose only eight men by death and of those several died of disease. It was not because our men were not in active combat, for 110 were overseas, but rather that they were lucky. Thus far we have had no losses in battle or from disease, with the exception of one boy, a member of the Wabash National Guard Company who died of disease just after the company was mustered into federal service.

*****

The first local casualty was Arthur Judy on of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Judy killed in the Navy on May 2, 1943.

 
  *****

Infantile paralysis broke out in the area in September.

*****

In December, an appeal was made to local citizens to offer rides to College students if they were traveling to places near their homes for Christmas.

 
 
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Editor's Note

There was significant resistance to military service in the North Manchester area from those whose conscience did not permit them to actively participate in activities of that type. Selective service allowed those persons to do work of social value in no military settings. Selective Service also provided training on some occasions.

Training Men For War Relief Work

Victor A. Olsen of Washington, D.C. , field representative of the National Headquarters of Selective Service, was here Saturday to inspect the C.P.S. group of about sixty men now undergoing a ten weeks course in relief and reconstruction work at Manchester College. Mr. Olsen is connected with General Hershey's office, with jurisdiction in the 4-E, or conscientious objector class. He was accompanied by C.C. Shotts, also of Washington, on the National Service Board for Religious Objectors, concerned with special projects and uses of men in the 4-E classification.

The course is one which was previously established by Prof A.W. Cordier and now enlarged to qualify men for reconstruction and rehabilitation work under the Gov. Herbert Lehman plan. At the conclusion of the ten weeks course, the men will be sent wherever they may be needed, and depending upon transportation facilities. One such unit is now employed in Puerto Rico.

Editor's Note

A camp had been established at Lagro for those who refused military service and there was considerable resentment at the local level.. In the spring of 1943 a News Journal editorial expressed some local feelings...

Convienient Conscience

Announcement has been made in Washington that Brigadier General Hershey has approved a plan of the conscientious objectors at the Lagro camp to form an ambulance company for service in China relief work. Two ambulances were purchased for that purpose a year or more ago and stored in a local garage. The plan was vetoed by

 
 
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  military authorities at that time because shipping space available was vitally needed for sending supplies and men to the Pacific war front.

If and when this group and their ambulances start to China, they will have to travel through submarine infested waters and through zones subject to attack by hostile surface and air craft. Member of the merchant marine, who man the ships and men on war ships will have to risk their lives to get them there. Perhaps residence in another country will give these conscious(sic) objectors a better appreciation of their own, but many people wonder how they satisfy their consciences in asking other men to risk their lives to get them to China.

A few days ago a group at Lagro refused to husk corn on the grounds that they were in effect replacing men who were serving in the armed forces. It would be irony indeed if some of these men they refused to "replace" would be the very ones called upon to protect the "China volunteers"

 
 

Editor's Note

Many of us may have forgotten that the World War II period was the first great recycling effort in the United States. Just a couple of examples:

People of the nation are now being asked to save old light bulbs, fuses et cetera, for brass, steel, copper and nickel wire they contain. Under the direction of the local salvage committee, Harry Harting, chairman, the local office of the Public Service Company of Indiana is acting as collecting agent, and already a good sized pile of items is growing in one of the display windows.

A thousand old light bulbs will provide metal for 40 compasses, a vital necessity to our troops fighting in the jungle or on the desert. No single bulb is too little to be salvaged as all the brass, steel and nickel wire possible must be found. Even the wire in the tube at the base of a bulb is valuable. In buying new bulbs and fuses, it will be a good practice to bring in the old ones.

*****

The collection of tin cans in North Manchester the latter part of February (1943) has been announced by Harry Harting, local salvage chairman. This is the first time local residents have been called upon to save their tin cans, as the facilities for the reclamation of the tin

 
 
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  coating on the cans has been limited and available only in certain areas.

It is Mr. Harting's plan to have large receptacles placed in different spots, and delivery of the cans to these places should begin as soon as the receptacles are ready. Because the "de-tinning" process is fairly expensive for the small amount of tin recovered from a can, people are asked to prepare the cans properly for the process.

First the cans should be clean. In fact, housewives should get the habit of rinsing out a can thoroughly when it is first opened. The label should be removed. Both ends of the can should be cut out, or enough so, that they may be folded down inside, This is to make it possible for the "de-tinning" fluid to pass clear through the can. The final step is to flatten the can by stepping on it. Do not bring dirty or rusty cans to the collection bins.

 
 
 

Ceiling Prices Placed On Corn

Ceiling prices on corn were ordered Tuesday by the Office of Price Administration with the approval of Claude Wickard, Secretary of Agriculture. The order is temporary, for sixty days, and directed that elevators should pay the price in effect that day. This in the North Manchester, Servia and Laketon area will be 80 cents a bushel. Added to the net price of corn is the government subsidy payments, which is claimed will bring the price to parity. The order was made according to OPA to prevent a runaway price on corn and consequent increase in price of pork and beef. Farm organizations generally are opposing the order and advance various reasons.
 
 

Editor's Note

Farmers struggled with the problems of rationing and with labor shortages during the war.

Farners operating trucks and who were allowed inadequate gasoline when it was first rationed, should make application for extra gasoline this week at the AAA office in Wabash. Applications cannot be filed after January 31. Many farmers operating trucks were unable to estimate definitely their needs when rationing first started. Some have found that they had asked for insufficient, and this can be corrected if they supply the necessary information and make application

 
 
 
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  this week. It must be done at the AAA office in Wabash, as ODT had turned rationing of farm truck gasoline to the county AAA departments. Commercial truck operators which includes those operated by retailers and manufacturers, make their adjustments through ODT office at Fort Wayne, while private car and tractor fuel is rationed by the rationing board in the city hall at Wabash. (Does one dare comment that it took gas to go to three places to get separate allotments?)  
 

Farm Help Meeting Today At Wabash

A meeting of farmers and representatives from the federal employment office at Marion was held at the court house in Wabash this afternoon and plans discussed for supplying labor to farmers during the crop season. It is proposed to induce labor to migrate from Southern Indiana areas to districts where labor is needed, the entire matter being on a voluntary basis and by mutual agreement of parties concerned. In other words the government agency will merely serve as a go between for the employing farmer and the prospective laborer. There is no question but what all available help will be needed. Many farm boys have entered military service or are working in industries, while many of the younger active farmers have moved off the farms, attracted by high wages of the war industries. Farm machinery is being rationed and it is doubtful if many farmers can increase their mechanical equipment sufficiently to overcome the labor shortage.

Later, in North Manchester, the plan was explained further:

Some farm help from Southern Indiana is available, and those chosen will be given a course of three weeks at Purdue university to become familiar with modern machinery, live stock, etc. No employment for less than 90 days will be considered, and a yearly contract is preferred. The applying farmer sends the application to Marion, and an effort will be made to find the type employe desired. The contact between employer and employee rests with the principals themselves, the Employment Service, having no part in it. It would take at least 30 days to handle the application and get all preliminaries arranged.

Some doubt was expressed Monday evening as to whether it would be desirable to import much labor from Southern Indiana, of

 
 
 
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  the type that would be available. Considerable labor of that kind has been imported from Kentucky and Tennessee.

Labor shortage also complicated repairs of drainage and sewer systems.....

This year, if repairs are made, farmers themselves will have to do most of them. They can obtain replacement tile through the surveyor's office which handles this work for the commissioners, but it is impossible to get the labor. A number of men who are classed as ditchers say they are steadily employed now in the defense or other occupations, and will not leave those jobs for an occasional ditch repair job. So if drains have become clogged by roots or broken tile, and farmer's lands are not draining, they will do well to make the repair themselves before the farming season starts.

Friday the Indiana House further liberalized the ditch law by passing an amendment to the ditch repair law, providing that the repair of both open and tile drains, and applying to tile ditches requiring a tile of 8 inches or larger in diameter, which drains two or more tracts owned by different owners, costs to be paid out of the county general fund, and allows up to $10,000 a year to be spent for this purpose. Cities and towns should sponsor a bill to provide for similar repairs for sewers where two or more property owners are affected.

 
  And some problems continued whether or not there was a war...

Manchester Still Causes Trouble

Railway and Express company maps need revision. Although there has been no Manchester postoffice in Indiana for a number of years, yet two villages by the name of Manchester are still carried on the express company maps and guides. The one that causes the most trouble is in Dearborn county , which was changed on the postal maps to Aurora a number of years ago, and which does not even have a post office today. It is a cause of much misdirected express, and occasionally mail. North Manchester merchants order goods. A shipping clerk addresses it to Manchester, Indiana. The package goes to Manchester, Dearborn county, and when it cannot be delivered there, then is forwarded on to North Manchester thus resulting in delay and additional shipping costs. The other Manchester, an inland village west of Logansport, causes little trouble of that kind because it is not on a
 
 
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  railroad and is not regarded as a shipping delivery point.

North Manchester originally was platted Manchester, but when it was found there were more than one town by the name, the local town was officially changed to North Manchester, and the earlier real estate deeds all show the change on the abstracts of title. In late years there has been considerable agitation to change the name to Manchester again.

 
 

News from the front

Mrs. Ira Perry is mentioned prominently by an Associated Press writer, Harold V. Boyle, whose story of the American assault on an Axis held town in Tunisia appeared in many newspapers Friday. Lieut. Smith is referred to as "the fighting dentist" because he gave up his Army dental post for front line duty with the troops. As a liaison officer, Lieut. Smith had taken the A.P. writer in a jeep to a hill top less than 4 miles from the town of Faid which was being subjected to a thunderous artillery barrage of several hundred heavy shells. Driven from their hiding places were several tanks, and as they watched they saw one tank destroyed. 

Huge ammunition dumps were blasted and the explosions continued for hours as the flames reached other stores of powder. After several hours the flame and flashes wore out and the great night show was over. Smith and Boyle were in plain view of the Germans but the lieutenant is quoted as saying, "Don't worry. The Germans won't waste an artillery shell on this jeep." 

 
 
  Keep buying war bonds and placing flags on the pictures of local men in military service in the window display at the Public Service Company's office. The plan of personalizing the purchase of War Bonds by honoring a local boy in service with a flag on his picture was adopted by local Chairman Paul Beam as a temporary expedient to promote Bond sales. Now he finds he can't stop it as many Bond purchasers want it continued. "All right," says Mr. Beam, "Let's keep it up. But this time let's fill the board with flags before the end of the month." The board has not yet been completely filled. Far more than enough Bonds to do so have been sold each month, but only those who have had a direct interest in someone pictured have taken the trouble to put up a flag.  
 
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