NOTE: The following items originally appeared on the front page of the Thursday, July 12, 1917, edition of the Albany Daily Democrat.
Home patrol to organize Monday
That there is grave danger to property and lives in this vicinity is the information that has reached Albany and a movement is under way to organize to meet any emergency that might arise. The disturbances of I.W.W. (NOTE: Industrial Workers of the World; lumber strikes had erupted in Idaho and Washington the previous month, followed by a lumber workers general strike on June 30. Oregon would join the effort on July 30. The Pacific Northwest strikes were eventually successful, resulting in the eight-hour day and better working conditions.) and other agitators in Arizona, Washington, Idaho and other states, even including troubles at Marshfield, where United States District Attorney [Alfred E.] Reames is making an investigation, gives warning that a concerted effort is being made to destroy factories, mills, warehouses and crops.
One man with a fire brand can get fire to a whole field of grain or to a building. A handful of dynamite will lay a bridge or building in ruins.
Advice received here from the outside disclose the most startling kind of evidence that links up the German government with recent disturbances and activities in this country.
To the end that this city may be prepared and ready for any eventuality that may occur, Ed. S. Hawker, the only officer of the Civilians and Spanish American War Veterans Rifle Club remaining in the city, has called a meeting of that organization to be held in the armory Monday evening, at 8 o'clock. Every man in the city, especially businessmen and property owners, is requested to be on hand.
The purpose is to organize a Home Patrol for protection against I.W.W. and other agitators. The men joining must be willing to accept patrol duty for protection against crop and property destruction.
It is pointed out that after the Coast Artillery company leaves, Albany will be one of the few cities of the state without protection and every man in the community should be on hand to learn what is expected of him.
(NOTE: At the Monday meeting, 42 men signed oaths to defend their lives and property.)
Council submits water measure
According to the terms of a resolution passed by the City Council last night, the proposition of issuing $250,000 of five percent bonds for the purpose of purchasing the water plant of the Oregon Power Company will be put up to the people at the next regular election. However, it is thought that the matter will be brought to a vote at a special city election to be held next December.
A petition was filed by some 600 voters last January asking the council to investigate the municipal water business and after a careful search of the activities of other cities and consulting many engineers on the subject, the council committee of the whole reported back on July 5, recommending that if anything was done that the plant of the present company be purchased. The matter will be left entirely with the people.
The report of the committee on accounts and current expenses was accepted and bills allowed paid.
Dr. C. Vard Littler was confirmed as a member of the board of directors of the Albany Public Library to succeed Frank J. Miller, whose duties as public services commissioner in Salem takes him away from this work.
Mayor L.M. Curl called attention to the laxity of the enforcement of the traffic ordinance and pointed out that had the laws been strictly enforced, the accident resulting in the death of Ralph Williamson at Fifth and Washington Streets Tuesday evening would not have happened. Several of the councilmen took shots at the police department and Chief of Police John Catlin spoke in his defense. The police state that they do all they can to enforce the regulations but that when their backs are turned the speeders exceed the limit.
The Chief recommended as the only way to solve the problem was to adopt Salem's method, employ a motorcycle cop and keep him on the job. The fines from speeding cars and cycles paid for the machine the first year and go far toward paying his salary.
City Engineer Penland reported on the paving of Baker Street and recommended the allowing of the monthly estimate of $2,369.10 to Mrs. Frances M. Travis for the past month. This was allowed.
Mrs. Travis was granted an additional 10 days to complete the paving of Baker Street on account of unavoidable delays in getting started.
The council passed the bill introduced at the last meeting making it a misdemeanor to drive cattle over certain streets of the city unless said animals are securely controlled by a rope in the hands of the person in charge. The mayor has not yet signed the bill.
Wants salaries increased
Owing to the increased cost of living the members of the street and fire departments asked for an increase of $10 per month on their regular salaries. The matter was referred to the committee on Ways and Means.
The matter of the removal of the old barn on Water Street between Baker and Montgomery (spoiler: It's gone) was referred to the committee on Streets and Public Public Property with power to act.
The petition of L.B. Hixon Jr. to install a 220-gallon gas tank in front of his store on Lyon Street was referred to the committee on Fire and Water.
The matter of the repair of the pavement on Third Street was referred to the Streets Committee with power to act.
The quarterly reports of the City Treasurer H.B. Cusick and Recorder L.G. Lewelling were presented. The report shows that the warrant indebtedness of the city has been decreased from $74,000 to $56,000 since the first of the year.
Safe of Scio milling company blown open
The safe of the Scio Milling company was blown at a late hour last night after the thieves had gained entrance to the office by means of a pass key. A packing saturated with a high explosive was used and the door of the safe was blown in bits, although the door was not locked and could have been opened by turning the knob. No money is kept in the safe and it is used merely for the books and papers of the mill, which were found under the company warehouse across the street. Nothing was taken as far as can be determined and it is supposed they were after money or valuable papers. The till containing a small amount of money was not opened.
A coupling pin and a brake key from a Southern Pacific railway car were found in the office and it is supposed that they were used in pushing the packing in place around the door of the safe.
The pin and key were found to have been taken from a car at West Scio, which was standing on the siding there.
Deputy Sheriff J.R. Frum went to Scio this morning to investigate but found no clue as to the identity of the men.
Frank Burke, engineer for the Arnold merry-go-round, was arrested yesterday by Chief Catlin after he had consumed bad whiskey or white mule (archaic slang for moonshine). Last night in the jail he broke up all of the chief's fine chinaware. This morning he was fined $15, which he paid.