100 Years Ago: City Council Tries to Procure Cheap Coal, George Thompson Is Prisoner of War, Cobourg Heavy Battery, Lieut. Vernon Castle and Lieut. Coates Fly to Belleville, Private Coon Progressing

The Intelligencer May 29, 1917 (page 1)

“ ‘That this Council take the necessary steps to purchase coal for the coming year and sell the same to the citizens at cost.’ This motion was moved by Ald. Platt and seconded by Ald. Woodley at last night’s Council meeting. Ald. Platt said other cities were doing the same. …  The coal situation, he declared, would be again acute next year. He did not want to interfere with the coal merchants. …

Ald. Deacon declared that the Belleville merchants had treated citizens pretty fair last winter. Belleville was buying coal as cheap last spring as Philadelphia. The local dealers are at their wits’ end in trying to supply Belleville with coal.

Ald. Platt said he did not think the merchants were wanting to ‘do’ the citizens. But if the City Council could get the coal it would do a favor to the people. ‘We want the coal supplied to the citizens at a reasonable rate.’

Ald. Woodley—’Let us see what prices we can get. We can submit them to the Council and to the people. We can let them know what we can give the coal at.’ Mayor Ketcheson said he was as anxious as anyone to get his coal cheap, but the dealers are not making large profits.

The motion carried almost unanimously. The committee of investigation is composed of Aldermen Platt, Robinson and Parks.”

The Intelligencer May 29, 1917 (page 2)

“Belleville Boy Is a Prisoner. The following card tells a story all its own regarding one of our soldier boys: Friedrichsfeld, April 8th, 1917. Dear Intell.:

I am sorry to let you know that one of the old Intelligencer’s news boys is a Prisoner of War taken on the Somme, Sept. 15th, 1916. I am well, and expect to be back with you soon. Would much prefer to be with the boys on the front, formerly of Christie’s Laundry. Best regards to all the boys. Yours very truly Geo. J. Thompson. Princess Patricia’s Canadian L. I. No. 124475.”

The Intelligencer May 29, 1917 (page 5)

“Cobourg Heavy Battery. Since the last list of names of the Belleville lads, who have lately enlisted with the Cobourg Heavy Battery, the following have now put on the Artillery uniform: Messrs G. French, B. McBain, C. Clarke, F. Corby, H. Potter, N. Childs. This makes in all twenty-two Belleville men, who have signed up at Cobourg in one week, and along with the half dozen who are following suit in a few days and the ten Albert College Students, the grand total will be about forty.

The Ninth Draft will be almost entirely Belleville Boys, and any who yet wish to join it must hurry. Bombardier Bullock and Gunner Madill have returned to Cobourg.”

The Intelligencer May 29, 1917 (page 6)

“Birdmen. Belleville was visited on Sunday afternoon by two distinguished Flight Commanders, both of whom have served in France, in the persons of Lieut. Vernon Castle and Lieut. Coates, accompanied by their Flight Sergeants.

They landed on Colonel Ponton’s farm in Sidney and after spending a pleasant hour at ‘Sidney Cottage,’ where they met a number of young people, they left again for the east and before going gave the crowd of at least a thousand people who had gathered to watch their departure, an example of an action in the air. Lieut. Vernon Castle looping the loop several times before waving goodbye.

The air being clear the sight was most striking and one rendered doubly interesting by the fact that both officers had done their duty at the Front and are now training the young Canadians to follow in their foot steps, or rather in their soaring wings.”

The Intelligencer May 29, 1917 (page 6)

“The following message conveys the pleasing intelligence that Pte. F. W. Coon, of this city, who was wounded is progressing favorably.

Ottawa, Ont., Mrs. Elizabeth Coon, 13 Brock St., City. Cable received from England states 219521, Pte. F. W. Coon suffering from impetigo, progressing satisfactorily, but will be some time in hospital. Will send further information when received. Office I.C. Records.”