This month’s reprint of The Bend Bulletin appeared Jan. 2, 1919, and it features some truly noteworthy content, beginning with a lurid account of a Christmas murder/suicide. George Simms, authorities concluded, was shot in the head by his wife, identified only as Mrs. Simms, who then turned the gun on herself. The story’s language is colorful (“six shooter”), its tone is breathless, and its almost casual characterization of the unnamed Mrs. Simms as an older wife motivated by unjustified jealousy is sure to make many modern readers cringe.
Sharp-eyed readers may recoil, too, at the advertisement on Page 3 for Snow Flake Sodas. The brand’s logo, which appears on its box in the ad, was a swastika. The symbol had very different associations in 1919 than it later acquired as the result of its adoption by the Nazi Party.
A name that will be familiar to many readers today appears in a preview of the 1919 legislative session. Denton Burdick, mentioned as a potential candidate for speaker of the House, represented Central Oregon. He is the paternal grandfather of Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, who currently serves as Senate majority leader.
This edition, finally, touches on many of the issues that have dominated our reprints of the 1918 Bulletin, including the growth of Bend’s hospital and its mills, the ravages of the flu, the effects of World War I and, of course, Prohibition.
(Click on the images below to read the reproduced pages.)
Our goal with these sections is to replicate the experience of reading the newspaper 100 years ago. Listing historically significant events, as The Bulletin does regularly, is a useful, but limited, exercise. A digest of highlights doesn’t tell you which films were playing locally 100 years ago, which products businesses were advertising and who was staying at local hotels. Only reprinting the entire paper can do that.