Electric Lights and Water Works

Times were changing, and progress was knocking on Skidmore’s door in the form of electricity and a new municipal waterworks.  The New Era asked local businessmen about the issues and printed the following in its December 31, 1914 edition:

Electric Lights and Water Works of Most Importance.

In order to find the sentiment of business men, on what would be the most benefit to Skidmore and vicinity, the New Era distributed a circular last Saturday containing the following:  “Will you give the New Era a suggestion that is practical, that will benefit the people of Skidmore and surrounding vicinity.”

About fifty were distributed and it seems not very much interest was taken in answering.  A suggestion is simply an idea and it may seem surprising how few people have complied with the request, and how many have an idea they do not want made public.

‘Tis a very fortunate community that only so few people can suggest anything to improve it.  Yet the New Era man found several amongst those who had been requested to make a suggestion, that, while they had been too busy to write anything, were ready to discuss various subjects but as the New Era man was not a dictagraph or short-hand reporter their ideas are lost to our readers.

Perhaps the New Era should have not made such a request at a time when so many were so busy, but it is done and here is what they say:

Other Things Also Water.
Speak well of your neighbor, don’t knock, but boost.  Talk city water works.
W. S. Linville.

Light First, But Water Would Be Good, Too.
Electric lights for city.  Water works would be a good thing I think.
J. R. Willits.

Wants Two Good Things.
Water works and lights.  For Skidmore and vicinity to pull together on water works and electric lights.
W. R. Fullerton.

Excellent Idea – All Work Together.
Our suggestion would be better cooperation of Skidmore and surrounding vicinity, for what is good for Skidmore is good for the surrounding community.
R. B. Foster.

Wants to Get Busy Now.
I would suggest that the citizens have a meeting and devise means for procuring water and light for our city.
E. D. French.

Wants Water or Light, But Prefers Water.
My suggestion would be either water works or electric lights and would suggest water works in preference to electric lights.
Ham Bramble.

City of Beautiful Homes.
That the coming spring and summer, all lawns be well kept and decorated with small shrubs and flowers.  Terraces or space in front of all lawns (in the street) be kept free from weeds and tall grass.  Let this be a city of beautiful lawns.  Plan now, be a good scout, do a good turn daily.
Dr. J. E. Pierpoint.

Wants Everybody Good.
Array ourselves in our best smiles.  Quit nagging and kicking, boost for Skidmore and community.  Look for the good points in neighbors and friends, and profiting by the experiences of the past.  Live soberly, honestly, charitably and neighborly.  Be content with our lot until by our own effort we do better identify ourselves with those influences that build up moral and spiritual characters — in a word, be good.
J. C. Spahr.

Keep Street Lights in Good Condition.
Skidmore owns 5 gasoline street lamps now; when kept in proper repair they give excellent light, none better.  Why not keep them repaired and in first-class conditionand lighted on every night when there is no moon?  As they now stand globes and mantles are broken, posts are leaning, and they do not give one a good impression.
G. L. Owen.

Against the Violation of Law and Condemns Games of Chance.
Dear Editor: —
In response to your much appreciated invitation, permit me to suggest, as a benefit to the people of Skidmore that there be created a strong and mutual moral sentiment among the business and professional men of the town and surrounding vicinity against the violation of the local option law of the county.  Also that as law abiding citizens and as parents with the highest interest, both temporal and spiritual, of our sons and daughters at heart, that we firmly condemn and seek in every way to prohibit all forms of gambling and games of chance, whether it be with the professional “bum” in the hay loft or among the so called high society in the parlor.
Rev. C. H. Sauceman.

Missed the Point a Little — But Very Good.
It is a capital idea that you have asked the people for suggestions tending toward the improvement of your New Era. To be a success any paper must please the people, not all the people – that’s impossible – but it must meet the approval of the majority of our citizens in order to hold up its head as a weekly small town paper.

Some one has said, “Criticism should come only from him who can do better,” and in offering these suggestions, I am not criticising – just responding to your appeal in the hope that I might unearth something that has been overlooked.

The primary mission of any paper is to impart news – it is a medium that keeps us a little closer together, that ripens our friendship and when it has accomplished this, it is a good paper.

With this idea in view I would suggest that farmers, bankers, merchants, preachers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, depot agents, any one, be invited to write articles revealing their ideas concerning their work, what they have to contend with, and how they overcome difficulties. How easy life would be if there were no difficulties (perhaps too easy) but who knows but what we are standing in each others’ way when we had just as well be standing where we would be bothering no one.

Let us be frank, let us be fair and I’ll guarantee that everyone will get lots of good out of articles of this kind.
F. H. Barrett.

It is not feasible to have water works from the fact that the constitution limits municipal bond issues to 5 per cent of the assessed valuation of property.

An unsigned suggestion was received but it is not published because it was not signed.  The suggestion had reference to the appearance of the New Era with advertising on the front page.  The point is well taken and admitted, and there may come a time when we will be able to get ideas and news enough to fill up the front page, but most country papers have to cater to the fancies of the advertiser.

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