Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Day - Galveston - 1894


How It Will Be Observed in Galveston--The Church Services.


Orphan Children Made Happy—Needs of the Old Woman's Home—Hospital Patients Will Feast.
Poor gobble-gobble! No longer will he strut in the barnyard singing his monotonous chant. Stripped of his feathers, he lies stuffed in the hot oven of nearly every kitchen in the land, a savory sacrifice to a thanksgiving nation. And the rest of the feast. What boy grown to manhood's estate does not remember the turkey, the chicken, the gravy and cranberry sauce, the celery and olives, the wealth of vegetables, ending with plum pudding, mince and pumpkin pie, fruit, nuts and raisins? And then the dreams that came in the silent watches of the night!

There are those who have not the advantages of the home feast, and it was among the different benevolent institutions that a News reporter strolled yesterday afternoon and evening.


All afternoon wagons and carriages had driven up to the entrance of the home for homeless children on Twenty-ninth and Winnie, leaving good things more than enough for to-day's feast. At the particular moment the visitor from The News approached a clatter of children's voices rent the air. Mrs. Dart had just driven up in a carriage filled with as many little presents as ever Santa Claus loaded in his sleigh on the eve before Christmas. There were dollies, big and little, hoops, jumping jacks, picture books and toys of all kinds, which she passed out to the bright-eyed, excited children who clambered around her carriage. A few feet away the second wagon load of presents from the children of the Third district school at Thirty-first street and avenue L was being unloaded. The two big boys who brought the load had no need for assistants to carry the goods into the house. Everyone, from little tots 3 years old up, wanted to carry something in. The scene reminded this visitor of a lot of Palmer Cox's Brownies attacking a grocery wagon. They were in and under and all around the wagon, and it was fortunate that the horse was a gentle animal, or some of the little Brownies would have been trampled upon.

The two wagon loads contributed by the scholars of this school consisted of two or three hundred cans of vegetables, fruit and sardines, and four sacks of flour, potatoes, coffee, apples, sugar, oranges, grapes. The canned fruit came in like pickle casters at a wedding. The school at Thirty-fifth street and avenue P 1/2 added to the canned assortment. The Bath avenue school sent vegetables and fruit. Miss Warner's kindergarten sent donations of eatables. Some big-hearted unknown sent up a a dozen turkeys. The Farris club sent in $20 in cash. There were other gifts, so many that all can not be enumerated.

The dinner, which will be served to the twenty-five little folks about 2 o'clock today, will be prepared by the ladies of the society. The matron, Mrs. Anna Hughes, will have the virtues of her medicine chest tested to-morrow, from all appearances.


All was expectancy about the Protestant orphans' home when a News reporter peeped into that model of neatness yesterday. The different churches of the city take turs in preparing the Thanksgiving dinner, and this year the ladies of the synagogue will perform that duly. All that the matron, Mrs. Christie, will have to do will be to make the oyster soup. This is the one day in the year on which the children get oyster soup. The dinner will consist of turkey and cranberry sauce, ham, vegetables, cake, etc. The ladies will wait upon the children themselves. There are thirty-six children in the home at present, ranging from 2 to 16 years of age. Mrs. Chrlstie only has one assistant, each child doing some work. Even 4-year-olds are taught to make their own beds.


When the reporter visited Miss Gray, matron of the old woman's home, yesterday at noon, the prospects were not so bright for a big feast as at the two homes for children. There are eight old women at the home, one of whom is 87 and two 78 years of age. The building is small and ten people would crowd the place. Ten or twelve applicants are unable to obtain admission. The late Henry Rosenberg left $30,000 for this home, but it is only available for building, and the association, of which Mrs. Geo. P. Finlay is president, is suffering for cash. Of the eight occupants one, widow of a soldier in the Mexican war, is able to pay $5 of her pension each month. Another is paid for by the Presbyterian church society. The other six are entirely dependent upon charity. A little while ago the cook had to be dispensed with for want of funds and an old lady on crutches does the cooking. A citizen writes to The News about the home as follows:

"I fear that the citizens are not aware of the needs of the old woman's association. Their finances are running very low, and without assistance they will have to give up, which would be a shame. The old women have to do the work, and are all sorely afflicted. Three use canes; one can't walk at all, one is on crutches and others are crippled or suffering with chronic diseases. I was there the other day and actually saw the one on crutches cooking. She was thankful that she was able to do something to show her gratitude. Now if some one would donate so much a year so that the ladies could hire a woman to do all the work it would be a deed of charity. I understand that the population of this city is 45,000. In such a city is it possible that the moneyed men are not going to help the ladies? I care not what business they follow or what denomination of the Christian religion they belong to. I beseech them to deal out their charity lavishly on Thanksgiving day to the old woman's home at 3027 avenue L, corner of Thirty-first and avenue L. Let this be a thanksgiving long to be remembered, even long after every present member has passed to the great beyond. Don't forget that we all are growing old and that the wheel of fortune turns, and some day, when forsaken by sons and daughters, your mothers may be knocking at the old woman's home for admittance. God forbid it is my prayer."


An extra dinner will be served to the patients in St. Mary's Infirmary this noon by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, consisting of turkey and dressing, light pudding, nice soups and the like. There are 105 patients in the hospital, in every stage of illness from nearly every complaint except contagious diseases. Ninety of these are pay patients and fifteen charity patients. The patients for whom the sisters receive a remuneration are marine, county and Santa Fe railroad patients and some twenty-five who are paying individually for the most excellent service they receive. Five or six of the patients are there from old age and expect to remain there until death carries them away.

The News reporter was shown over the hospital by a sister. Everything was spotlessly clean and the different wards showed much attention upon the part of the thirty-five sisters at present in the mother house.


Dr. Gammon, superintendent of the Sealy hospital, was engaged in the rather peculiar occupation of slicing a cat's tail when the reporter called upon him in the laboratory of the medical college yesterday. The cat was dead and the slicing was done in the interest of science, not for a Thanksgiving dinner for the hospital patients. The doctor said that there were ninety-eight patients in the Sealy hospital just at present and they certainly would have a little turkey and cranberry sauce. There are three kinds of diet in the Sealy. Those who have a good, hard working stomach and digestive organs were on house diet and could eat anything from beef broth to a keg of nails. Another class were on soft diet and had to be looked after. The third class were on milk diet, and even pictures of turkeys had to be turned to the wall in their apartments.


Union Thanksgiving services will be held in the First Presbyterian church this morning, beginning at 11 o'clock. Rev. J. W. Lowber will preach the sermon. Other resident clergymen will participate in the services.
Thanksgiving service will be held at Grace church at 11 a. m. According to custom the thank offerings will be distributed between the homes for old women, orphans and homeless children. The pastor requests all his people and all who would like to contribute to send their offerings to the church before 10 o'clock.
Thanksgiving services todasy at the Mount Olive Baptist church on Thirty-sixth and avenue I [Sealy Avenue]. Thanksgiving sermon at 3.30 p. m. by the pastor, Rev. E. M. Wright. At 8 p. m. sermon by Rev R. M. Floyd, D. D., of San Antonio, superintendent of missions for the Baptist general convention, colored, of Texas, assisted by Rev. M. E. Terrell of this city.


The following petition was circulated and signed by those whose names are attached:
Galveston, Tex., Nov. 28.—Thursday, November 29. Thanksgiving day, being a legal holiday, we, the undersigned, agree to close our respective places of business at 12 o'clock m. on that day.
Marx & Blum.
Leon & H. Blum.
J. Rosentfield & Co.
The Galveston dry goods company.
Mayer, Kahn & Freiberg.
Ulhmann, Lewis & Co.
P. J. Willis & Bro.
R. B. Hawley & Co.
Gus Lewy & Co.
J. S. Brown hardware company
Mensing Bros. & Co.
Focke, Wilkens & Lange
Penland & Breath.
Jake Davis & Co.
Gust Heye & Co.
Sass & Cohen.
J. F. Smith & Bro.

All the bnnks in the city will close to-day.
There will be no school to-day. School to-morrow as usual.
The criminal district and the recorder's courts will not sit to-day.
All the local insurance agents will close their offices to-day.
Yesterday Mayor Fly gave orders to Chief of Police Lordan to liberate the eight city prisoners in the county Jail, that they might properly give thanks.

--Article from the Galveston Daily News, Thursday, November 29, 1894

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