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. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1917
Today will bring another afternoon of fair skies continuing this evening. There will be light winds from the southwest and slightly warmer temperatures. Today’s high will reach 65° with the low about 48°.
The eyes of Philadelphia are focused upon criminal courtroom 676 of President Judge Charles Brown in City Hall as Mayor Smith and 8 co-defendants were formally arraigned on charges including conspiracy to commit murder in the killing of policeman George Eppley. The other defendants are Common Councilman Isaac Deutsch, Select Councilman William Finley, Police Lieutenant David Bennett, Special Policeman John Wirtschafter, Policeman Clarence Hayden, Policeman Emanuel Uram and Special Policeman Michael Murphy.
The “star” witness presented by the Commonwealth was Sam Maloney, former boss of the Ward and the manager of the Val O’Farrell Detective Agency. He testified that his agency was employed to round up strong-arm men in New York for use in the election on September 19th. He testified that State Senator Edwin Vare financed the importation of the thugs and that his brother, United States Congressman William Vare had full knowledge of the plan. Maloney said he discussed the plan with Deutsch and was told Vare would pay the expenses. He also said he was given $1000.00 by Finley in Senator Vare’s office as a down payment. Maloney’s employee, James Clark, also testified stating Deutsch directed the hired gang on what to do that day.
James Carey, the Penrose-McNichol candidate for council in the “Bloody 5th“ also took the stand. Mr. Carey, with his head still bandaged from the beating he received (shown below), testified that he had a conversation with the Mayor before the election. In that discussion the Mayor told him the Vare brothers wanted Deutsch to win and the Mayor was with the Vares. Mayor Smith said they would “go the limit” to defeat him. Mr. Carey said the Mayor brought into the Ward policemen who answered to the Vares on Election Day. These policemen didn’t wear uniforms and were there to protect the gang from New York who were going to get him and his supporters. He also described the beating he suffered and the murder of officer Eppley. At 3:30pm the hearing was adjourned and will continue tomorrow.
The Phillies are hosting the Giants for the final series of the season. The 1st and 2nd place teams are meeting in back to back doubleheaders. In today’s games the Giants took the opener, 5 to 2 but it took them 12 innings to get the win. In the second game it wasn’t close after the Phillies drove in 6 runs in the 6th inning and added 2 more in the 8th for an 8 to 2 win. The win was also the 30th victory of the season for Grover Cleveland Alexander who also contributed with his bat knocking out two doubles and driving in 2 runs. This is the 3rd consecutive season that “Old Pete” has won 30 or more games. Only Christy Mathewson has accomplished such a feat (1903-1905). Up in New York the Yankees beat the A’s 3 to 2.
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