Argus 1896 Raises Some Questions

Before we get started, two things:

a) a HUGE pet peeve of mine is when people misuse “beg the question”. It does not mean “raise the question”. Begging the question is circular reasoning; the best example I’ve ever thought of is to say “God is real because the bible says so and the bible was written by God.”

If something raises the question, then it raises the question. Thanks for playing along!

b) In reply to the last entry, I did some research. The murdering husband did go to jail but it’s unclear for how long. What is clear, sadly, is that the Temperance Society used them as an example of what happens when someone drinks the alcohol. I don’t think that is fair at all–no matter how much the woman drank, she did not deserve to die like that. (Btw, I confirmed her age to be 30).

This time around, I happened to be boogering around in the Argus files and found a write up of goings on at the Common Council. The paper just flat out gives up and says “it’s Christmastime and the news is scarce.” They still managed to dig up some stuff from Council, like this:

  • A message on the peddlers’ ordinance and its relation to the transient traders’ ordinance (Mayor Walker said it’s super fine to sell meat on the street as it is exempt from the transient traders’ ordinance because meat “comes under the head of farm” products. Got that? Great, because I don’t. At any rate, farmers could, well, peddle their meat on the streets of Ann Arbor.)
  • Allow bicyclists certain sidewalk privileges (Mayor Walker said sure, okay, use the south side of streets running east-west and the east side of streets running north-south, go no faster than six miles per hour, and for God’s sake display your license tag, bitches! He didn’t actually say “bitches” but man it would have been cool if he did!)
  • Investigating the cost of “macadamizing” Detroit Street (Referred to committee because of course it was. Btw, macadamizing means to cover with macadam, which is [directly lifted from Wikipedia]  is a type of road construction, pioneered by Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam around 1820, in which single-sized crushed stone layers of small angular stones are placed in shallow lifts and compacted thoroughly)
  • A complaint about the running of the Packard streetcars (something about the railway franchise was referred to committee because sure why not?)
  • The city building janitor’s salary was raised to $15 for five months and $10 for the other months. No rhyme or reason as to why this was. Maybe summer months were nastier? I don’t know and the Argus leaves us to wonder.
  • The ordinance relating to the killing of the red squirrels was laid on the table and–

RECORD SCRATCH. What now?

Yeah so I guess this was an issue. The Council prohibited the firing of firearms within city limits and passed to second reading an ordinance about the regulation of licenses.

So…I have questions. Was the red squirrel thing just a ruse to get the thing about the firearms brought up? What is this license of which they speak? What if you had to kill the red squirrel to feed your family? (I’m being serious). What if they overran the place and got into garbage, etc? I wondered if maybe “red squirrel” was some phat slang from the 1890s for a gun but I couldn’t find anything.

Next up…

  • Alderman Maynard’s desire to prohibit boxing contests in our fair city. He moved that the mayor take “every step in his power” to stop boxing contests. Alderman Brown might have been tired by this point because he moved to have this on the next agenda. (I read ahead to the next two meetings and didn’t see it brought up again. Did they box it out to settle it? What the hell happened?!)
  • Ald. Soule (I’m guessing namesake of Soule Blvd?) tried to bring up the bicycle issue again but President Hiscock (namesake of the street, I’m sure) declared him out of order. Presumably, he stood up and yelled THIS WHOLE COUNCIL IS OUT OF ORDER before throwing down a gavel and going out to hunt red squirrels with a knife.

 

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