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Looking Back – August 18, 2021

25 years ago

August 21, 1996

In a ceremony held on Kaskaskia Island at the Church of the Immaculate Conception (founded by Pere Marquette in the 1670s), Jacques Andreani, French Ambassador to the United States, presented a medal to William Cappel of Cappelville, Calhoun County.

Cappal, whose Indian name is Pirushi Makwa (the Far Off Bear), the son of the late
Gerhard Cappel, was recognized for his role in the preservation of the culture of the Illiniwek.

As chief of the Tamaroa and Metchigamea tribes of Illinois, he feels strongly that the younger generation should learn about their history and culture.

The son of the last fluent speaker of the Illiniwek language, Chief Cappel has been especially concerned that the language not be lost.

Since 1995, the Tamaroa language has been taught in the Brussels Elementary School, 38 percent of whose students have Indian ancestry.

Unable to attend the Kaskaskia Island ceremony due to poor health, Cappel authorized John White of Michael, his Akapia or ceremonial assistant, to speak for him.

White, whose Tamaroa name is Yaranwe Makwaki (The Five Bears), delivered a brief speech to the French Ambassador in the Illiniwek language.

Ela White of Michael translated the speech into English. Ela White, whose Indian name is Takameha (Water Spreading Over the Land) is of Kaskaskia ancestry.

The Tamaroa, Metchigamea and Kaskaskia are three of the tribes of the Illiniwek.

A delegation consisting of a dozen members of these three tribes performed the sacred Calumet Dance of Peace, reaffirming the historic bonds of friendship between their people and the French.

Ambassador Andreani also presented a medal to John White, Yaranwe Mawaki, Tamaroa, and Joseph Ginex, Kishapiwa, Metchigamea.

“This medal is presented to Pirushi Makwa (William Cappel), Chief of the Tamaroa and Metchigamea tribes of Illinois by His Excellency, Mr. Jacques Andreani, Ambassador of France to the United States of America.

“We still remember the Illinois as loyal allies of the French more than two centuries ago. They suffered greatly as a result of their allegiance, yet never wavered in their friendship.

“We recognize your efforts to preserve Illinois history, language and culture, and we welcome the opportunity to hear once again the sacred songs of the Calumet in this traditional affirmation of the friendship between the Tamaroa and Metchigamea tribes and the French people.

“We thank you for reestablishing these old ties between the Illinois and the French. We know that they come from the heart.

“Your father, Gerhard Cappel, whose Tamaroa name was also Pirushi Makwa, kept alive the beautiful Tamaroa language so that the present generation could hear those ancient words.

“In continuing this tradition, you have encouraged the preservation and survival of Tamaroa traditions for the next generation, for which the future is in your debt.

As token of our recognition, honor and respect, please accept this medal, as in the old days.”

50 years ago

August 19, 1971

Back in 1910, the owners of the first two automobiles in Calhoun County, the Stephen McDonald family and the Charles Fester family, were worried when they read suggestions for laws to control cars.

The “Farmers Anti-Auto Protective Society,” an organization which took a dim view of the so-called horseless carriage, is said to have drawn up the following set of rules to be sent to the state legislature:

Automobiles must be seasonably painted- that is, so that they will merge with the pastoral ensemble and not be startling.

On discovering an approaching team, the automobilist must stop off-side and cover his machine with a tarpaulin, painted with the scenery.

In case a horse will not pass an automobile, notwithstanding the scenic tarpaulin, the automobilist will take the machine apart as rapidly as possible and conceal the parts in the grass.

In case an automobile makes a team run away, the penalty will be $50 for the first mile, $100 for the second mile, $200 for the third, etc., that the team runs, in addition to the usual damages.

On approaching a corner where he cannot command a view of the road ahead, the automobilist must stop not less than 100 yards from the turn, toot his horn, ring a bell, fire a gun.

Automobiles running on the country roads at night must send revolver, hallo and send up three bombs at intervals of five minutes. Country roads at night must send up a red rocket every mile and wait 10 minutes for the road to clear. They may then proceed carefully, blowing their horns and shooting rockets.

The speed limit on country roads this year will be secret and the penalty for violation will be $10 for every mile an offender is going in excess of it.

C.E. Skeel, who owns a copy of the set of proposals, mentions that his father, Dr. W.A. Skeel Sr., did not invest in a car until after 1912.

75 years ago

August 15, 1946

Increases of 66 percent in hogs, nearly 50 percent in all cattle and decreases of 20 percent in sheep and lambs and 9 percent in horses and mules in Calhoun County between 1940 and 1945 are indicated by advance information collected by the U.S. Census of Agriculture and released by J.H. Allison, farm adviser.

Egg production increased 27 percent, chickens raised increased 18 percent and milk production decreased 5 percent between 1939 and 1944.

Corn acreage increased 20 percent and all hay acreage 4 percent while the total small grain acreage decreased 17 percent during the 5-year period. The alfalfa acreage increased from 2,323 to 2,790.

Apple tree numbers decreased 40 percent, peach trees increased 70 percent and pecan trees decreased 80 percent. Grape vines increased 15 percent between 1940 and 1945. Pear trees increased 20 percent.

Vegetables grown for home use in 1944 were valued at $72,681 compared with $45,585 in 1939. The cost of feed bought for livestock and poultry in 1944 amounted to $458,388 compared with $83,593 in 1939.

The number of farms decreased 7 percent between 1940 and 1945, from 991 to 919, while the size of farm increased 12.1 acres, from 144.5 to 156.6 acres.

Copies of the advance report have been placed on file in the offices of farm adviser, county AAA, county clerk, county superintendent of schools.

100 years ago

August 18, 1921

The following our brevities excerpted from the Aug. 18, 1921 edition of the Calhoun News.

A New York scientist declares that all humans will be 11 feet in 25,000 years. Growers of apples in Calhoun and other nearby counties should make a contract with that scientist at once for apple pickers. The use of ladders can be discarded. -Alton Evening Telegraph.

A bunch of young folks from Michael enjoyed a picnic up at the “Bath Springs” last Saturday. Peter Zipprich, with his machine, saw that the “bunch” and their well-filled baskets got to their destination. Those present were: Misses Petronilla, Eugenia, Barbara and Martha Zipprich, Bernice, Anna and Katherine Ewen, Adella Roentz, Lillian Gress, all of Michael, and Miss Lucille Banghardt of St. Louis.

They all report the best of a good time. They spent the day with nature after which all went to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Peter J. Zipprich where Mrs. Zipprich had a sumptuous meal awaiting them.

Mr. and Mrs. Zipprich are the best of entertainers and the young folks voted them as such before departing for their homes in the late evening.

The following want ad was taken from the Sherman (Tex.) Daily Independent. Does any school teacher in Calhoun County want the job? “Wanted- A school teacher; a woman; must wear clothes below the knees, above the waist, and below the elbows.”

A grand Bazaar, social and dance will be given by the ladies of St. Anselm’s parish at Kampsville Thursday, Sept. 1, 1921. Dancing at the Beach Pavilion from 8 to 1 a.m., Alton Orchestra. Bazaar, social and old time dance at school hall. Good music. Come and have a good time.

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