The following is part of an occasional installment of “old time headlines” compiled by the DuBois Area Historical Society. The headlines were researched by historical society board member Carol Laughlin. Headlines and story samplings appear as they did when they were published in the newspaper.

This installment is from the week of April 5, 1921.

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Tuesday, April 5, 1921

Body Of Wrong Soldier Buried At Reynoldsville

The body of John Laird, killed overseas during the World War, and brought to this country and buried in the Reynoldsville cemetery last October 31, as the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Laird of Wishaw, has been exhumed and taken to Massachusetts for burial.

Lieut. Charles Kynne, of the regular army arrived in Reynoldsville Friday last with the information that the body that had been buried in the Reynoldsville cemetery was that of John Laird, but that it was not the body of the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Laird, of Wishaw. It was instead the body of a soldier of the same name whose parents live in Massachusetts. The body was accordingly exhumed and shipped Saturday last to Massachusetts.

The error in the identification of the bodies was discovered when the mother of the Massachusetts John Laird made inquiry as to why the body of her son had not been shipped home. Investigation showed that the body had been shipped to Reynoldsville.

John Laird, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Laird, of Wishaw, was wounded July 18, 1918, by a machine gun bullet in the battle of Chateau Thierry and died in the base hospital at Sureness, France, July 29. The body was buried in a cemetery near that place. The youth enlisted July 17, 1917 and went overseas as a member of Company F, 23d Infantry, Second Division. He was overseas just a year when he received the wound that caused his death.

The parents of the young man have been informed that the body will be shipped to the United States within the next month.

Friday, April 8, 1921

Community Rooms Are Appreciated By Many People

The Community Rest Rooms are being liberally patronized these days, and more and more it is being recognized that these rooms are of much benefit to the city. Rev. J. B. Hollopeter, of Rockton, writing to the Courier states that some of his folks were in DuBois recently and went to the rest rooms. He says that the people are very enthusiastic in regards to the rooms and he believes that the rooms will be mutually helpful to the city and public in general if they are continued and improved upon.

There is no doubt of the fact that shoppers who come to DuBois greatly appreciate the fact that they have some place where they can go and rest for a time during the day. It represents no small task to do a day’s shopping, and a place where a rest can be taken in comfort is to be appreciated. It is probable that within a short time steps will be taken to install in the rooms all of the equipment necessary for the preparation of a luncheon and to place other conveniences needed.

No “Wagon” Building Permitted

There was a large amount of interest displayed last evening in the special meeting of council, called for the purpose of considering the application of Peter Magudas to erect a “wagon” building on the Callahan lot of West Long avenue. The matter was discussed at some length, it being finally decided that the petitioner be notified by the public safety department that his application was refused for the present.

Every member of the council was present, as well as all members of the City Planning Commission, representation of firemen and citizens generally, when Mayor A. J. Haag called for order. Mayor Haag stated the object of the meeting and called for remarks. The first speaker on the subject was Fire Chief Morris Anderson, who stated that as chief and as assistant state fire marshal he was opposed to the erection of the proposed building. He advised the passing of an ordinance against the building and also one that would require all similar buildings to be removed. He stated that he would endeavor to have the fire marshal remove all such buildings.

Joe Maier, foreman of the Volunteer Hose company, also spoke vigorously against the building.

At this point the old ordinance in regard to the erection of buildings in the fire zone was read. This ordinance in regard to the erection of buildings in the fire zone was read. This ordinance plainly states the character of the buildings that must be erected. Commissioner Albert, to whom the decision had been let, stated he could not see how this ordinance would prohibit a “wagon” building from being erected outside the limit and then hauled in.

Hollis Pettigrew, another fireman, spoke against the proposed building.

Contractor Heiges spoke on the proposition, but did not take a decided stand, stating that he had been given the contract to erect the building, but would abide by any decision made by council

G. A. Lukehart, of the City Planning Commission, made an emphatic protest in which he characterized the proposed building as a menace, and one that would be violating the ordinance. He stated that to permit such a building would be violating the ordinance. He advocated the removal of all such buildings.

J. J. Mack, a member of the commission, also stated his objections, claiming that to erect a building outside and haul it in would be merely a pretext to violate the ordinance. The other members of the commission expressed their disapproval of the proposed building.

Bly Hetherington, and other citizens spoke, everyone of them being against the proposition. Attorney Gleason stated that the ordinance was very plain and the proposed building, as well as several others, are a violation of the ordinance. He stated that if the present permission is refused, council must proceed against the others.

A motion then prevailed that the public safety department be instructed to notify Peter Mogudas that his petition to erect a “wagon” building on the Callahan lot is hereby refused until further notice.

Saturday, April 9, 1921

Rains Come To Relief Of Forest Fire Fighters

As a result of the rains that fell last evening it is expected that the forest fires that have been raging in this section, as well as other parts of the state, will be placed under control. The rains, as reported last evening, were quite general, and it is likely that the fires will be quenched. At least they will be subdued to a point where they can be handled by the large corps of volunteer fighters who are waging battle against them.

Large fires had started in the Penfield and Medix Run section and aided by the high winds prevailing for a greater part of yesterday traveled with amazing speed. The woods were unusually dry and the flames found plenty of inflammable material upon which to feed. Aside from the damage to the woods, it is not reported that serious losses were inflicted.

It is probable that the crews of fire fighters who left DuBois for the woods on Thursday will return now that rains had come to their relief.

In Elk County

A forest fire which started yesterday afternoon in the McCracken hollow south of town, was extinguished through the combined efforts of the Boy Scouts and the borough fire department. It was found that the pressure in the mains was not enough to force the water to the scene of the flames, so the fire truck pumping apparatus was used.

The fire began in the rear of some houses on Cardott street from an unknown cause and spread rapidly into the woods before efforts were made to stop it. The Forest Guides of the Ridgway Troop of Boy Scouts were soon hurrying to the fire from all directions, armed with shovels and grub hoes. They did fine work and succeeded in stopping the flames in many places. Several attempts at back firing were quite successful. About 15 acres of small growth was destroyed.

Another fire on the Searfass hill east of Ridgway was fought by a number of men and boys who extinguished it. Two men were seen on the hill in the afternoon, and it is presumed a lighted cigarette caused the blaze.

Fires such as those we had yesterday caused thousands of dollars damage to young trees, damage that is absolutely irreparable since time alone can recover it. When one thinks that all fires could be avoided if but ordinary cautions were used, it is deplorable that we have any fires at all. People living on the edges of town should be very careful in burning their paper and rubbish, especially so on a windy day. Children should be watched as they often start fires unknowingly while playing with matches.

If one but stops to think what awful havoc is wrought with young trees animals and birds by a fire, one would be certain that a match, a cigar or cigarette stub or a camp fire was completely extinguished.

The Ridgway Branch of the Wild Life League is trying hard to secure a picture issued by the state department of forestry which shows just what damage is caused by a forest fire. It also shows proper methods for fighting the fire.

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