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Posts about Religion

Oct. 22, 1906: Censorship in libraries

Posted by: Ben Welter Updated: October 6, 2014 - 11:59 AM
This Minneapolis Journal editorial about the impact of censorship on boys and girls reminded me of a feature in the Catholic Bulletin – now the Catholic Spirit – many years ago. Each week, the archdiocesan newspaper listed the movies being shown on TV and in theaters, along with a one-letter rating for each. The list was intended as a guide to parents about which movies should be avoided. But I can attest that many young people used it the opposite way. The “O” rating – morally objectionable in whole or in part because of strong language, violence or sexuality – indicated a TV movie that was not to be missed.

Censorship in Libraries.

There is a practice in some public libraries in England that is being suggested for adoption on this side [of] the water. Librarians are “blacking out” from the newspapers left on file in the library certain portions which are not considered best for young people to read. The “poison” is carefully excised so youthful readers will get only what is good for them, and will read even newspapers with untainted mind.
This censorship might serve some purpose if there were no other copies of the newspapers accessible, but when the papers are in common circulation it can only have the effect of drawing attention to the great black marks and setting the young readers out to discover what they missed. They will read the blacked-out sections with the greater zest because they are forbidden, and therefore must be interesting. The English librarians black out betting and racing news, in order that a taste for gambling shall not be cultivated in the library precincts. No doubt their well-meant efforts serve only to direct the attention of British boys to the subject of racing and betting on races.
The way to turn the attention of boys and girls away from reading that does not improve is not to make it forbidden, but to show them how interesting the good things are, and give them a bent toward good reading that will of itself exclude vitiating mental dissipations.

Sept. 5, 1888: All aboard for a Lake Minnetonka wedding!

Posted by: Ben Welter Updated: June 1, 2013 - 3:39 PM
St. Martin’s by-the-Lake Episcopal Church in Minnetonka marked its 125th anniversary this weekend by re-enacting the first wedding held there. The marriage of Lucy May Camp and Henry Von Wedelstaedt on Sept. 4, 1888, was a gala affair. Among the 150 in attendance were some of the Twin Cities’ most influential men, including the bride’s father, lumberman George Camp, who commissioned the chapel; George Brackett, former Minneapolis mayor; Loren Fletcher, who served six terms in Congress; A.J. Blethen, owner of the Minneapolis Tribune; and U.S. District Judge William Lochren. The chapel, designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert, was “decorated entirely with wildflowers,” including an abundance of goldenrod. The Minneapolis Tribune captured all the excitement -- include a nearly catastrophic train accident -- in the next day's paper.


The Gold Was the Gold of the Beautiful Flowers That Prevailed in all the Decorations.
Marriage of Miss Lucy May Camp and Henry E. von Wedelstaedt – Brilliant Reception at the West.
The marriage of Miss Lucy May Camp, daughter of Major George A. Camp, to Henry E. Von Wedelstaedt, of St. Paul, took place in the beautiful Camp memorial chapel at Minnetonka Beach yesterday noon. Coming so soon after the pleasant ceremony attendant upon the dedication of the chapel, this event was particularly appropriate and happy.
  The Camp chapel, which is now the home of St. Martin's-by-the-Lake Episcopal Church on Lake Minnetonka's Lafayette Bay, got a new bronze bell in 2004. Above, crane operators lifted the steeple back into place. (Star Tribune photo by Richard Sennott)
The chapel was decorated entirely with wild flowers, the most prominent of such being golden-rod. The carpet had been crushed and golden-rod thrown over it; the musicians were screened by golden-rod; the altar rail decorated with it, and from the center of the arch above the altar was suspended a large ball of that beautiful flower, with baskets of other wild flowers on either side. The arrangement of this floral display was by an expert florist, and nothing could have been more natural or prettier. The guests from Minneapolis and St. Paul came to the wedding ceremony in a special train, and fully 150 were present. The bridal party, consisting of Samuel E. Hill and Park von Wedelstaedt, ushers; Miss Barnard of Lincoln, and Miss Von Wedelstaedt, bridesmaids, and Maj. Camp, accompanying the bride, were met at the chancel steps by the groom and his best man, Mr. Stanley Proudfit. The bride was attired in cream white moiré antique trimmed with lilies of the valley and pearl ornaments. She carried a bouquet of white rosebuds. The maids were attired in white silk with tulle overdress and carried bouquets. The marriage service of the Episcopal church was read by Bishop Gilbert, he pronouncing the couple man and wife. After the ceremony the bridal party, accompanied by their friends, were served a wedding breakfast at the cottage of Maj. Camp. The music for the occasion was rendered by an orchestra of string instruments, which played during the wedding service and the repast.
Returning from the beach a special train brought the entire party to Minneapolis. An accident to the engine detained the train some 30 minutes, about two miles west of the Hutchinson junction. While they were stalled there what might have been a terrible accident was averted by the good fortune of a brakeman, who ran to the rear of the train just in time to discover a freight train approaching at a rate of 30 miles an hour. The narrow escape was forgotten, however, last evening in the brilliant gayeties of the reception. Over 300 guests accepted the invitation to be present at the West [Hotel]. The entire first floor was given up to the reception, and the rooms were exquisitely decorated with flowers. Dr. Guy R. Montgomery, Cavour Langdon, Luther Newport and Park von Wedelstaedt acted as ushers. In the center room was a beautiful ribbon of flowers, with the monogram C. & W. worked in its center; this stretched diagonally across the large mirror. Tasteful decorations of roses and ivy were plentiful. The refreshments were placed upon serving tables in the room opening off the parlors, and were served in magnificent style. The tables were loaded with beautiful candy and wax designs, and elaborate game and fruit pieces. One of the designs was in the shape of a miniature pond, with tiny boats
The West Hotel, Minneapolis, in the 1880s. (Photo courtesy of Hennepin County Library's Minneapolis Collection.)



July 22, 1914: Police chief in pajamas chases thief

Posted by: Ben Welter Updated: February 13, 2013 - 7:02 PM
From the Minneapolis Tribune:

Police Chief in Pajamas
Chases Thief on Streets

Detective Ohman in Union Suit Joins in Pursuit – Neighbors Are Startled.
Shots, Confusion, Police Called, Then All Fade Back to Bed.
Chief of Police Martinson in pajamas, Detective Ohman in a union suit and both in a revolver battle at 2 a.m. yesterday with a resident who thought them burglars, stirred the sleepy citizens of the district around Blaisdell avenue and Thirty-seventh street into waking consciousness. A score of revolver shots reverberated through the night air, the chief and his detective missed the burglar and nearly caught a cold and the excited resident who was sending the bullets in the direction of the supposed burglars ducked into his home when he discovered his mistake.
Shot Heard Around the Block.
It all happened this way. At 2 a.m. Mrs. David Humphrey, 3624 Blaisdell avenue, heard a noise on the back porch and woke up. She saw a man crouching on the porch under the window. She awakened her husband and he got his revolver. He fired at the prowler, who slid down a tree near the porch. This was the shot heard around the block.
Chief Martinson lives just around the corner at 126 East [West, actually] Thirty-seventh street. He sleeps on the porch. The chief heard the shot and made a dash for what he thought was the source of the shot, with nothing but a suit of pajamas, slippers and his revolver. Detective Ohman’s house backs on the chief’s yard. Detective Ohman got to the street just 36 seconds after David Humphrey took a shot at the prowler. Then Citizen No. 2, name unknown, appeared on the scene. He had heard the shot and did the same as the chief and detective, got his revolver – also his trousers.
Chief Takes No Chances.
The citizen saw Chief Martinson and Detective Ohman in fast progress down the avenue and opened fire. The chief sized up the situation and stopped. By this time the whole neighborhood was aroused and dozens of frantic telephone calls sent riot messages to Central station. Whereat, Captain Merrick and an auto load of detectives hurried to the scene, just in time to see the chief shyly withdrawing to his screened boudoir, while a half dozen residents, a la Vera Cruz snipers, had their heads out the second story windows with firearms drawn for action.
A rebuilt but still grimy-looking motorcar carried traffic on Blaisdell Avenue at 35th Street in about 1904. (Photo courtesy

June 24, 1912: Ten things girls shouldn’t do

Posted by: Ben Welter Updated: June 26, 2012 - 3:43 PM
The Rev. T.W. Stout had some (mostly) good advice for the girls of Calvary Methodist Church in Minneapolis. Tribune editors published the list the next day so that girls of every faith might benefit.

Pastor Gives Ten “Dont’s”
To Guide Lives of Girls


Rev. T. W. Stout Gives Sequel to Last Week’s Talk to Boys and Young Men.

Tells Fair Sex to Think, Stop Nagging and Shun Late Hours.
Rev. T. W. Stout of Calvary Methodist church gave a sequel to last week’s talk to boys when he spoke last night to young women on “Ten Don’ts for Girls.” His advices follow:
1. Don’t fail to think. A thoughtless woman is like a lunatic at the wheel of a ship; they affect the lives of many, but heaven only knows where the trip will end. Study. Get ideas. Think.
2. Don’t forget that beauty is from within. Good blood, good ideas, a good heart; these only can make beauty. A scratch may mar a painted doll, but smallpox itself can’t efface real beauty.
3. Don’t be too sure you are in love. It is probably only a spell of something else. Try absent treatments. If you can’t stand a year of separation, don’t marry. Better a sensible old maid than a broken-hearted wife.
4. Don’t go to work unless you have to. Your presence in the office keeps someone else out and lowers wages. Maybe that other person has a family to support. Low wages makes a good market for virtue.
Like Bargain Counter Goods.
5. Don’t permit familiarity by men. Some girls are like bargain-counter goods; of good quality and at a fair price, but they have been pawed over by so many vulgar hands they have lost their value. There is a place for the icy stare as well as for girlish glee.
6. Don’t be a nagger. Find out what “nagging” means; then don’t. Homemaking is better than housekeeping.
Homemakers don’t nag. Nagging is sending scores of boys and men to destruction.
7. Don’t make appointments that your folks don’t know about. They never pay except in novels, and novels lie. It won’t hurt to tell mother, and may save you a world of trouble. When you cease to be modest you cease to be a lady.
8. Don’t disregard your health. Late hours, scanty clothing, dissipation and stimulants will do more to make you homely and unhappy than all the work you can do.
9. Don’t be idle. There is plenty to do. Help folks. Scores of politicians would covet your chance to make yourself popular by helpful kindness. That old widow in the next block is a gold mine for you if you only knew it.
10. Don’t forget Christ. You would probably be a slave or a chattel but for him. Don’t fail to show your gratitude in appropriate ways.
Calvary Methodist Church, Penn Avenue North and Oak Park Avenue, Minneapolis, in about 1915. (Image courtesy of


Jan. 1, 1912: Telegram delivered to pulpit

Posted by: Ben Welter Updated: January 1, 2012 - 10:25 PM
Here’s one more reason to turn off your cellphone in church – especially if you’re the one giving the sermon. From the Minneapolis Tribune:

News of Father’s Death
Reaches St. Paul Pastor
in Midst of His Sermon

Rev. Carl G. Hagberg, rector of St. Sigfrid’s church, St. Paul, yesterday subdued the sorrow in his own heart, caused by news of the death of his father, while he preached to his congregation on the joys of the New Year.
Mr. Hagberg was in the midst of his morning sermon when a telegraph messenger appeared at the door with a message for him. An usher received the message, and thinking it might be important, he interrupted the preacher to give him the message.
Hastily opening the envelope, Mr. Hagberg read that his father, Andreas Anderson Hagberg, formerly of St. Paul, had died that morning in Gardner, Mass. Folding the message and tucking it under the Bible, Mr. Hagberg resumed his sermon on the cheering outlook for the New Year. At the close of the sermon he offered a brief prayer and dismissed the congregation with the benediction. It was not until the close of the service that any of the congregation knew of the rector’s great sorrow.



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