March 25 • 05:54 AM

Tracking time and events from 1910-1935

October 28, 2009
Continued from last week is the promise to tell you of the old fashioned charivari near Almont. Webster's Dictionary tells us that charivari is a headache. Under- standably it could be if the refreshments were of a certain type. The glossary of Cletta's book states that "originally a French folk custom, a noisy mock serenade for newlyweds." Read on.

"At an old-fashioned charivari near Almont the crowd was fired into and five people more or less injured and a sixth seriously wounded.

"Mr. and Mrs. Robertson were recently married at Almont, the bride's home. Last Monday night a party of their friends and neighbors to the number of about 45 gathered at the Robertson home, which is in the Scotch Settlement, two miles southeast of Almont, to pay their respects to the bride and groom. Of course, they took along anything and everything that would enable them to give a "high class" serenade, but there was no thought of trouble, as no offense was intended.

"The company was composed of both men and women, among them being the best people in that section. They went only to have an enjoyable time and, we are informed, had taken baskets of food with them, so that after the neighborly sport was concluded all hands could sit down to a feast.

"Frank McFadden, the man who did the shooting, works for Robertson, and when he thought it was time to "ring off' he appeared with a shotgun and without giving any warning began to fire into the crowd. He supposed he was exploding blank cartridges and did not know of the fatal mistake he had made until Lewis Dietrich fell to the ground. The wounded man was carried to a nearby farm house and Dr. Burley of Almont was summoned. An examination showed that the unfortunate man's body was literally peppered with buckshot. The latest report is that his condition is very serious.

"Others who were wounded, but not seriously, are Jennie Borland, Mary Borland and Etta Mackictz and Thomas Borland and Herman Weyer.

"It is reported on the streets here this morning that Mr. Dietrich died last night. We hope the report is untrue. No confirmation of the report had been received at Almont up to 8 o'clock.''

The James Lancaster and Gladys Trott wedding especially interested me.

My Father Sam Park and Jim Lancaster attended the country school north and west of Dryden. Jim one time told me that he got better day-to-day marks in school but my Dad passed him up on the tests. Must be he was a slower learner but it sunk in deeper. Daddy, as I always called him, and my brothers always shopped at Bowen's Menswear so Jim could help them. Oldest brother Floyd was a Parke-Davis pharmaceutical salesman, calling on all the drug stores in this area. He enjoyed 'joshing' with Gladys in the drugstore in Imlay City where she worked and he was in awe of her being a pharmacist.

The following is a short obituary. Some were long and 'flowery.' I wrote of Eunice Hough Johnson several weeks ago. I was just a little girl in the same neighborhood when she and her daughter Marion, two years older than I, lived with Grandpa and Grandma Fred Hough. I never knew anything about Marion's father.

"Chas. W. Johnson was born in Port Perry, Ontario April 2, 1881 and died at his home on S. Almont Avenue, November 13. He was taken with influenza the 4th day of this month and this disease developed into pneumonia.

"He was married to Miss Eunice Hough of Almont, Dec. 30, 1915. Besides the wife, he is survived by one daughter, Marion, two years old and one sister and brother.

"Chas. was a member of Masonic Lodge, Royal Arcanum lodge and the Congregational Church. For the past 16 years he has worked for the Marshall Clothing Co. and G. M. Bowen. Perhaps no other young man has been more faithful to his employer than Charles and his smiling face will surely be missed by us all.

"The funeral will be held at the home at 2 o'clock tomorrow with interment at Almont.''

And so it was around Almont and Imlay City between 1910 -1935.

— Country Cousin

Gertie Brooks, of Almont, has been a columnist for the Tri-City Times for over three decades now. Gertie's style of reliving days long past in her writing make her one of the Times' most popular columnists.
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