Chattanooga News in 1917

What was going on in Chattanooga a little over 100 years ago? Thanks to a reader, I learned that a few years of The Celina Democrat newspaper (years 1910-1918) are on the Library of Congress website. Chatt is a few miles from Celina but the paper occasionally published Chattanooga news. And some Willshire news as well, even though Willshire is in another county.

The Celina Democrat was established in Celina in 1895 by Charles C. Carlin and George W. Phillips. It called itself ”the home paper of Mercer County” and referred to Celina as…”the Reservoir City-the biggest little town on earth—the hub of the universe.” The Celina Democrat was a weekly paper, published on Friday, and usually consisted of 8 pages. Its front page focused on local and state news and the interior pages included national and international articles. Local items included local business items, classifieds, real estate advertisements, legal notices, obituaries, marriages, local news and personal gossip that was organized by town name. The Celina Democrat ceased publication in 1921.

As I browse through this newspaper will share some Chatt and Willshire news. Today, few Chatt and Chatt-area news items from The Celina Democrat in 1917:

C.L. Vining, late candidate for County Auditor, made The Democrat a pleasant call a few days since while looking after some business matters down at the hub. Mr. Vining has gone into business at Chattanooga, having, but recently purchased the Merkle store there. His host of friends down this way will surely wish him unstinted business success.
[4 May 1917, p.1]

The Celina Democrat, 4 May 1917.

To Have Patriotic Meeting and Pole-Raising Next Sunday Afternoon—Expect Big Crowd
The people of Chattanooga and vicinity will participate in a flag raising next Sunday afternoon at half past two o’clock, and an invitation is extended to everybody in the county to witness the raising of Old Glory and hear the interesting program that has been arranged.

Addresses will be delivered by Lieutenant H.O Jones of the United States Army, Rev. Paul Marsh of Decatur, Ind, and former Prosecuting Attorney B.A. Myers of this city.

Music for the occasion will be furnished by the Chattanooga Band and the Male Chorus, of Decatur, Ind.
[22 June 1917, p.1]

The Celina Democrat, 22 June 1917.

News concerning some Liberty and Blackcreek Township residents:

Lewis Fickert, of Liberty township, was thrown headfirst from a Ford, his nose split, his face badly cut and his body badly bruised, last Monday night, when the machine, driven by his brother, Otto Fickert, went into a ditch a mile and a half northwest of town. The latter drove the car off a culvert bridge while attempting to go around a heavy wagon. The driver was uninjured. [29 June 1917, p.1]

A valuable steer, belonging to John Kettering, of Blackcreek township, was instantly killed, when it was struck by lightning, during the storm of last Friday night.
[29 June 1917, p.1]

A barn on the Frank Hinton farm in Liberty township, seven miles northwest of this city, was completely destroyed by fire last Monday noon, together with its contents of hay, grain and farm implements. A small calf was cremated. The origin of the fire is unknown. [13 April 1917, p.1]

A large barn on the Charles Weitz farm in Liberty township, nine miles northwest of this city, was destroyed by fire of unknown origin about 11:30 last Sunday night, together with the contents which included a threshing outfit, farm implements and a quantity of hay and grain. [13 April 1917, p.1]

Chattanooga Party Enjoy Day at Soldiers’ Home
An automobile party from in and about Chattanooga motored to Dayton Sunday and spent the day at the Soldiers’ Home, where they took their dinners and had a jolly time. The party included Fred Meyers and family, John Regedanz and wife, Iven [sic] Johnson and wife, Mrs. Barbara Huffman, Mrs. Perry Gibbons and son Vernon, John Bollenbacher and wife, James Gibbons, Charley Regedanz and Clyde Grim and family.
[6 July 1917, p.1]


An article featuring Chatt’s bank:

A Financial Institution at Chattanooga That Has Gained Prestige Very Rapidly Since Its Organization, and Stands To-Day As One of the Pillars of Strength in the Financial World of Western Ohio.

The Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Chattanooga, has been gaining prestige at such rapid rate since its organization that it has taken its place as one of the Gibraltars of Finance in Western Ohio, as it is conducted with a conservatism that makes it a very reliable institution It was organized by business men of Chattanooga and little did these gentlemen realize although they were optimistic that the institution would make such rapid strides to the front. With such men at its head it naturally followed that it would be successful and it would be conducted on a sound and conservative basis.

The bank occupies a very commodious building and the interior is furnished with the latest banking furniture of the period and is arranged both for convenience of the officers and for the benefit of the public. Its safes are fire and burglar proof and in keeping with the style used by some of the leading banks of the country.

A general banking business is transacted and money is loaned at reasonable rates on the proper collateral, personal or mortgage security. All classes of accounts are solicited and proper treatment is assured all, rich and poor alike.

Four per cent interest is paid semiannually on all accounts. This is one of the distinctive features of the banking life of Mercer county and its hundreds of depositors fully realize the safety and convenience of this department…

Mr. William Flith is president of this bank while Mr. T.W. Baker is its able and efficient cashier. The above names represent business men of well known financial ability and under their guidance the Democrat feels that this institution will continue to prosper and be one of the important factors in the continued development of Chattanooga and Mercer county. [27 April 1917, p.9]

Former Chatt Bank, Google Earth, October 2008 photo.

And finally, for today:

Will Serve Without Compensation As Crop And Feed Commissioners-Some Pointers.
The following gentlemen have been appointed as Crop and Food Commissioners to look after their respective townships under the direction of the Ohio Branch, council of National Defense, an organization national in scope and reaching every nook and corner of the United States. [from Blackcreek & Liberty Townships]:
Blackcreek-George Hill
Liberty-Peter Linn
[27 April 1917, p.11]

I will post more news as I go through the issues of this newspaper.


Skip to comment form

    • Gloria Clouse on June 10, 2022 at 12:54 pm
    • Reply

    Thank you Karen for the information in this article. I always learn something new and it’s fun to read about my “old home town”. Keep up the good work. I look forward to this every week.

    1. You are welcome! Glad you enjoy the Chatt news. There is more news coming, as I have quite a few more papers to read through. Great to hear from you!

    • Pat Stuckey on May 22, 2023 at 3:21 pm
    • Reply

    I just read the newspaper from 1917 and read about my grandfather Otto Fickert and Great Uncle Lewis Fickert. Thank you.

    1. You are welcome! It is always interesting to read about your ancestors and learn a little about what they were doing. Thanks for writing!

    • Pat Stuckey on May 22, 2023 at 3:23 pm
    • Reply

    Did you get the list of names on my quilt or do I need to resend them?

    1. The names on the quilt to not seem to be local and I could not determine what they had in common. Sorry I could not help with that mystery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.