100 Years Ago: Reserve Militia, Pollyanna Tea Room

The Intelligencer November 15, 1915 (page 2)

“Dear Sir:—I am not an alarmist and not very emotional but we are now at a very critical time in the great war. Are we Belleville citizens doing our full duty? Do we fully realize what is possibly before us? From the conduct of many of our townspeople and townsmen we are not. …

What can we do further then? Be prepared ourselves to repel the enemy that may invade our country, may attempt to desecrate our homes. How can that best be done? By every man between the ages of 18 and 60 years in our city taking up seriously the work of being instructed in the necessary drill of our army. The people of this community have the spirit and the intelligence to become abler and better soldiers than any German trained citizens. …

We are sending forth our men in contingent after contingent and in a short time all our trained Volunteer men will have gone. Then who will be left to guard our shores? An untrained mob. …

There is nothing on earth to prevent our attendance except sickness or death, as all meetings, lodges, societies, committees and pleasure gatherings, the pool room, the dancing hall, the picture show are entirely secondary to drill instruction on Tuesday and Friday evenings from 8 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. …  Yours for the protection of home and country. J.F. Wills.

We commend the above letter of Ex-Mayor Wills to the earnest attention of all citizens. No loyal subject will venture to gainsay its logic or to underestimate its loyal spirit.—ED.”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1915 (page 7)

“The opening of the Pollyanna Tea Room Saturday afternoon and evening was an event which could be recalled with great satisfaction and pleasure.

The Pollyannas are twelve little ladies banded together to help further the patriotic cause. A ‘Fairyland’ it is with its gorgeous decorations of flags, maple leaves, barberries, brilliant and artistic lights adding greatly to its beauty. Too much cannot be said of the Pollyannas themselves. Their costumes were most attractive! middy suits trimmed with red and white caps with the ‘Red Cross’ seal. Their gracious and courteous manner was freely commented upon by those who visited Fairyland. The tables were very attractive, bouquets adorning the centre of each.

‘Fairyland’ is not complete without music. Beautiful were the selections rendered through the agency of ‘our friend’ the ‘Victrola’ during afternoon and evening.”