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THAT REMINDS ME: Taxed Enough Already? Not in 1913

The income tax, regarded as the most power conferred on American government since the government's foundation, started 100 years ago. The story in the Herald in 1913 said the tax was on the path to bring billions into the public treasury. "Althou...

Marilyn Hagerty
Longtime Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty and her review of Olive Garden going viral is the Herald's 2012 story of the year. Grand Forks Herald photo by John Stennes.

The income tax, regarded as the most power conferred on American government since the government's foundation, started 100 years ago.

The story in the Herald in 1913 said the tax was on the path to bring billions into the public treasury.

"Although the income tax had been agitated for many years and its existence assured by amendment to the Constitution, it was agreed last spring by a necessary number of states," the Herald reported.

"The collection by the government will strain the Treasury Department and will be accomplished, it is believed, with thousands of complications now unforeseen."

But a later story in the Herald said: "While the new income tax law is now in effect, it has not caused much flurry in financial circles of this city. There has been considerable inquiry made as to its meaning; local bankers find they are in the dark to much of it.

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"There is a general opinion that after the first of the year, it will cause little trouble."

And life went on as winter was closing in 100 years ago in Grand Forks:

• The Ontario Store downtown was holding its second anniversary sale. Benner & Begg was having a clearance sale with ladies fleece lined union suits regularly $1 on clearance for 79 cents.

• Lights of the city were turned on. The new 135-foot smokestack built on the Grand Forks city power plant was completed, and all engines started. Thus, electric power could be furnished to all parts of the city.

Henry Lykken, city engineer, said the plant would give more satisfactory service than in the past. Lights in the residential areas had been out for days because the engine could not be turned on full pressure until a suitable smokestack was built.

• Three hunters taking a chance on the ice on Devils Lake drowned. They were in the party of Frank Kelly, who was described as a prominent farmer at Oberon, N.D.

• "University wins from A.C. in championship contest," read a headline.

The story reported, "Coming back playing the kind of football it was capable of, the North Dakota University football team snatched the state championship contest from the A.C. by a score of 20-14. That was after the first half closed with the Aggies ahead."

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Then a review of the football season at UND said, "Though in the matter of winning games, the Flickertails have been left in the rear, the team has not been a disappointment. The last game was the most desired."

• A new and larger toboggan slide was completed, and lighting for it was authorized.

The sled on "Blue Hill" was put in condition and ready for the snow. The skating rinks at Riverside and Central Parks would be flooded as soon as the weather was favorable.

• A contract for $8,350 was approved for the construction of the Grand Forks Curling Club. It called for completion in time for the Christmas holidays.

Mayor Waugh of Winnipeg promised a group from his city would be in town. There still was a small amount of stock outstanding.

• About 500 Shriners were welcomed to Grand Forks at the end of November 1913.

In area news 100 years ago:

• Pembina County dedicated its handsome new court house at Cavalier, N.D., with Gov. Louis Hanna in attendance. People came by team and auto from all corners of the county. The noon train brought speakers for the day along with visitors from Grand Forks and Fargo.

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Since the day was raw, the crowd was packed into the court house.

n N.G. Larimore, a pioneer in North Dakota and widely known founder of Larimore, N.D., died Nov. 19, 1913, in St. Louis with what was described as "old age and heart failure." He was 88.

He was president of the Elk Valley Farming Co. that was operating 15,000 acres in the Larimore area. He had been president of the UND board of regents. He was a member of the Methodist Church and a trustee of Wesley College in Grand Forks.

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