Elvins Citizen Forced to Salute Old Glory


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Jacob Halter of Elvins and George Crocker, a farmer residing in the Davis Crossing neighborhood, both of whom have a son in the army, were given an opportunity to explain some pro-German statements they are alleged to have made, by a crowd which assembled on the streets in Elvins Saturday afternoon.

Crocker was brought in from his farm by Sam Doss. He proclaimed his innocence of saying anything derogatory to the Red Cross and protested that he was 100 percent loyal, and willing to support the war to the full extent of his ability. Pearl Keay, one of his neighbors, with whom Crocker had been on the "outs" for some time, had, it is alleged, circulated reports that Crocker had denounced the Red Cross when he went to him to solicit a donation for the auction sale conducted at the Red Cross picnic on the Fourth. Keay also is alleged to have said that Crocker had refused to make a subscription for War Savings Stamps.

Crocker, who is in very meagre circumstances, stated that he had pledged himself to buy thirty dollars worth of War Savings Stamps, but that he told Keay at the time that he would not buy them from him. He admitted having refused pointedly to make a donation to the picnic when solicited by Keay, but disclaimed making any derogatory statements about the Red Cross. His trouble, he said, was due to the personal enmity between he and Keay.

After short talks by Sam Doss and J. D. Vance, one of the Elvins Four Minute men, in which they presented Crocker's side of the case in a rather different light to what the rumors in circulation had led the crowd to believe, sentiment apparently turned in favor of Crocker, and he was allowed to go unmolested.

While Vance was talking, Keay exclaimed, "that sounds pro-German to me." Cora McCrorey, who was in the crowd, resented this remark and angrily protested to Keay. For a minute or two it looked like a free for all fight might be indulged in, but fortunately the affair passed off without any serious trouble.

The crowd apparently had the "goods" on Halter. He was not on the program when they originally met, but after being assembled, some one suggested that he be brought before them and a lesson in Americanism administered to him. Marshal Wm. Black went after him. He came readily and in a repentant mood. He was required to kneel on the street and salute Old Glory. Some one suggested that he be required to kiss the flag. This he was not permitted to do, one of the crowd exclaiming, "If a man insults your wife would you allow him to kiss her in apologizing?"

After saluting the flag Halter stated that if his tongue ever said anything more in favor of Germany he would cut it out.

Halter has conducted a blacksmith shop in Elvins for a number of years. He is an eccentric character and has a reputation for contrariness. He has had several law suits with the city over the payment of license. During the progress of one of these trials the court remarked that Halter was so contrary that if he fell in a river he would float up stream.

Published by THE LEAD BELT NEWS, Flat River, St. Francois Co. MO, July 12, 1918.