Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Great War: October 22, 1918

A hundred years ago, World War I was drawing to a close. The Allies were driving the Germans out of Belgium, and an armistice was being negotiated. The headlines on the front page of the weekly Columbia Republican for October 22, 1918, reported the progress of the Allied offensive. 


There was also an update on the negotiations with Germany to end the war.

Page six of the Columbia Republican that day reported Hudson's efforts in the last days of the war to bring the conflict to an end. The Liberty Loan drive, now referred to as "Victory Loan," raised $315,260 in Hudson alone, exceeding the established goal by $164,850.

The article that follows this triumphant head reports the amounts contributed by the major employers in Hudson at the time . . . 

and by their employees.

It's interesting to note that the contribution from the employees of Gifford-Wood Company and Knickerbocker Portland Cement Company exceeded the contribution of the company; in the case of Knickerbocker, the employees' subscription was more than twice the amount of the company's.

The people of Hudson also contributed to the final push of the war in another way: prayer. The Columbia Republican reported that Mayor Charles S. Harvey, complying with a request from all the clergymen in Hudson, issued a proclamation. The text of that proclamation follows:
To the Citizens of Hudson:
Whereas, a petition, signed by all of the pastors and clergymen of the city has been filed in the Mayor's office, requesting the Mayor to issue a proclamation setting aside a few minutes each day at noon for the purpose of prayer to Almighty God for the blessing upon our cause.
Now, therefore, I, Charles S. Harvey, Mayor of the City of Hudson, in compliance with the terms of said petition and in accordance with the custom prevailing in other communities, I do hereby recommend that beginning Sunday, October 20th, 1918, during a few minutes following the striking of the noon hour on the fire alarm, all citizens of this community, whatever their employments may be and wherever their location, reverently pause and with bowed heads lift up their prayers to the God of Battles for the success of our arms and the restoration of a just and lasting peace based upon the high and noble principles set forth by the President of these United States.
The communication that prompted the declaration was signed by fourteen clergymen. The signers and their affiliations are listed below; the locations of the churches given are those found in the Hudson city directory for 1918. 
  • William C. Anderson, A.M.E. Zion (corner of State and North Second streets)
  • Thomas L. Cole, Church Christ Episcopal (corner of East Court and Union streets)
  • J. M. Eberlein, St. Matthew's German Lutheran (State Street between North Fourth and North Fifth streets)
  • M. Frienberg, Anshe Ammes Synagogue (14-16 Warren Street)
  • George E. Keefe, St. Mary's (corner of South Third and Montgomery streets)
  • Thomas O. Johns, St. John's Methodist Episcopal (Fulton below North Third)
  • W. Dewitt Lukens, Baptist (corner of Union Street and City Hall Place)
  • James M. Martin, Reformed (453 and 455 Warren Street)
  • Dewitt C. Reilly, Universalist (450-452 Warren Street)
  • W. H. W. Reimer, Lutheran (corner of North Sixth Street and Gifford Place)
  • J. F. K. Riebersell, Emanuel Lutheran (20 South Sixth Street)
  • Rev. S. Tenerowicz, Our Lady of Perpetual Help (75 North Second Street)
  • R. Irving Watkins, Methodist Episcopal (corner of South Third and Union streets)
  • George C. Yeisley, Presbyterian (corner of Warren and South Fourth streets) 
A hundred years later, only half of these congregations still exist.

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