100 years ago: Soldier stationed at U.S.-Mexican border reports conditions ‘hot … but pleasant’

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for July 14, 1916:

  • “A member of Company H [stationed at Eagle Pass, Texas], writing to the Journal-World, says: ‘It’s hot down here but pleasant – a kind of a dry heat that I find no harder on me than that which you will find on old Massachusetts street on a hot day. We have cold nights so that a person can get plenty of sleep. There are lots of snakes and small vermin like spiders, centipedes and the like here, but we have our camp as clean as an asphalt pavement so that there is very little danger. There have been four or five rattlers killed right in camp, but if a person is careful there is nothing to worry about. It took a lot of work to clear camp and get it into shape, but we are sitting pretty now and have to keep the whole place as neat and clean as a pin. I’ve been so busy that I’ve had very little time to write letters. What with drill or work all morning, and with non-com officers’ school in the afternoon and the preparation for it, there is not a great deal of spare time. Of course we do our own washing, too, and the rifles have to be kept right. So one isn’t idle long.'”
  • “It is probable that the wives of a number of Lawrence officers will go to Eagle Pass in the fall if the troops are still camped there, and will form a Lawrence colony in the town. An officer of the First Regiment wrote yesterday that many of the regular officers have their wives at Eagle Pass.”
  • “The finishing touches are being put on the Merchants club rooms this week so that they will be looking fine when the Kansas Retailers arrive for their convention on Wednesday…. The ‘Welcome to Lawrence’ banners will form the official decoration in the hall as well as in the windows of the merchants along the street. Secretary Sparks has a large number of these banners on hand.”
  • “The Edmondson Grocery on east Ninth street was entered last night by someone looking for money. The thief entered at the front of the store by prying off boards on each side of the window and breaking a large window. A cash drawer was broken into and the contents taken. But the thief found slim ‘pickins’ for the drawer had been emptied of all but $2 in small change when the store was closed. The robbery occurred between 10 and 11:30 p.m. for the window was reported broken before midnight. The police were notified but no clew was left by the thief.”
  • “An automobile climbed up on the sidewalk this afternoon in front of the Lawrence Building and Loan association but did not get far enough to do any damage aside from knocking over an iron hitching post in front of the office. The car was driven by Elizabeth Plank who misjudged the distance to the curbing when starting the car. She did not have room to turn out as she supposed and something serious might have happened if the hitching post had not checked the car.”
  • “The chemical car of the fire department was badly damaged this afternoon when it skidded into the curbing at the corner of Eighth and Pennsylvania streets. The right rear wheel was snapped off at the hub and the right side of the car was damaged to a slight extent in the mishap. No injuries resulted but Officer Sam Cooper, who was standing on the right running board, barely missed hitting a telephone pole. The car was driven by Ralph Lawrence and was being used to take Officer Cooper to 1234 Pennsylvania street in response to a call for someone to take care of a mad dog at that place. The driver failed to slow his car down enough to turn the corner, causing it to skid into the curbing. A truck was sent to the rescue and the damaged car was taken to headquarters.”
  • “A three-fourths eclipse of the moon will be visible over the United States tonight at 9 o’clock. The moon was to enter the shadow at 3 and leave it at 5 a.m. tomorrow. There will be a total eclipse January 18, 1917.”