On this page we will look back at life in the city during the war years. Here we will provide the visitor with the stories making the news, what was happening in sports and entertainment, city politics, the social scene and the prominent people at the time. We will also recount the events occurring in the war on that day. So, check back each day for new editions.
To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 12, 1916
There will be more rain today with warmer temperatures. The high will reach 47° with the low tonight about 31°. The precipitation should clear out overnight. Lamps must be lit on automobiles and other vehicles by 5:15pm.
Pandemonium reigned at 7th & Dickinson Streets today as fire burned “Joe’s Busy Bee” corner to the ground. Hens and roosters ran squawking on the pavement, barrels of kippered herring were overturned on the sidewalk and hungry dogs had a very good time. The fire was started in the cigar and lunch shop of Joseph Moskovitiz, 1450 South 7th Street. It spread to Raphael Korn’s chicken store, 1452 South 7th. Some of Korn’s hanging dressed chickens were cooked on the hooks. The plumbing and rubber store next to the “Busy Bee” also burned adding a pungent odor to the neighborhood.
People living above the stores struggle to get out of the buildings. Some women fainted and had to be carried. A very fat policeman tried to shimmy up an awning pole to rescue one woman who was screaming for help from a 2nd floor apartment. The pole snapped and the officer landed on his bottom. Thankfully he suffered no injury except to his pride. All the residents and workers were eventually evacuated from the burning buildings unharmed. The buildings from 1448 to 1452 were destroyed.
E.T. Stotesbury (shown below) is a man of many abilities and skills. He can run railroads, banks, horse shows and charity balls. He is also very wealthy. But even if Mr. Stotesbury were to lose his fortune tomorrow and his various positions, apparently he possesses another previously unknown talent, that of artist model. For several weeks Mr. Stotesbury has been posing as a subject for the Graphic Sketch Club. For the present he is providing his services gratis but were he to need the funds, artist’s models are generally receiving .35¢ per hour.
A horrific crime has occurred in Mexico. From El Paso, Texas comes word that General Francisco Villa personally ordered the execution of 17 Americans and 1 British subject on Monday. Villa and his men stopped a train west of Chihuahua, Mexico and had all the Americans and Englishmen removed. The men were employees of the American Smelting and Refining Company. While Villa looked on the men were lined up beside the train, stripped of their clothing, brutally beaten and then shot. After the shooting the Mexicans looted the train making off with over $200,000 in currency and supplies. Some in Washington, D.C. are speculating that the reason for the murders is Villa’s anger over the United States’ recognition of the Carranza government.
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