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From our archives: Police to crack down on speeders

What we thought: 100 years ago

Published: Monday, June 9, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 9, 2014 8:47 a.m. CDT
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A century ago, automobiles similar to the 1914 Hudson Six 54 Phaeton were being driven too fast on Dixon streets. A Telegraph editorial called for police, using “judgment and fairness,” to enforce city ordinances against excessive speeding.
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Louella Parsons 1881-1972 Well known as a Hollywood movie columnist, Parsons wrote scripts for movies early in her career. Dixon honored its former resident with a Louella Parsons Day in 1941. A century ago, the Telegraph noted that Parsons planned to be involved in a movie shoot at Grand Detour.

Note to readers – Sauk Valley Media reprints editorials and articles from the past as a regular Monday feature. The following items appeared in the Telegraph between June 8 and June 12, 1914.

Curbing the speeders

The local police department has entered into an active war against the automobile and motorcycle speeders, the violators of state and municipal law, and in this campaign they should, and we believe, will, have the undivided support of every law-abiding citizen of Dixon.

Those who run their machines faster than the law allows are dangerous to the health and lives of everyone who comes in their paths, not to speak of themselves and the occupants of their cars.

If they are not responsible enough themselves to keep within the bounds of safety, it is surely the duty of the law to step in and enforce conditions that will make the streets of the city safe for all who wish to use them.

Speed law violators are now in the main only caused by thoughtlessness, and these violators do not break the law with criminal intent. Usually drivers who are stopped and told they have been driving faster than the limit are very indignant, and will not believe that they have been driving faster than the prescribed number of miles per hour, and they are usually honest about it. They do not realize how fast they have been going.

However, the Telegraph believes the Dixon police force can be trusted to use judgment and fairness in their arrests and to show no partiality. All serious offenders should be punished and if one lesson is not sufficient to impress the offender, the second lesson should come quickly and with enough emphasis to bring it home for keeps.

One of the city ordinances that should, in particular, be enforced strictly is that which demands that drivers of all vehicles must not pass a street car which is taking on or discharging passengers.

Turning corners is also something that auto drivers should watch themselves about.

Don’t blame the policeman when he arrests you for speeding. He is only doing what he has sworn to do and what you yourself, if you are a taxpayer, are paying him to do. If you don’t want to pay for your fun, don’t speed. – June 8, 1914

Pay your poll tax

A good many Dixon township voters who, under the present law, come in under the poll tax law, are required to pay the poll tax. Some of them feel that the payment is unnecessary, inasmuch as the practice is obsolete, but they must realize that the law is active and in force, and that Dixon township failed to vote it out at the last election.

The officers of the township are duty bound to enforce the collection of the poll tax, no matter how much they sympathize with the objectors, and they have no alternative.

The poll tax is small. It must be collected and it may be necessary for the officials to take legal steps. Do not put them to the expense. Pay the tax this time, and vote it out next year. – June 9, 1914

Board condemns rubbish throwers

Lee County public highways cannot be made into dumping grounds

People who are in the habit of throwing empty bottles, cans or other rubbish into the public highways of Lee County were the subject of some “heated” talk by the supervisors this morning, and the proposal of Supervisor Brucker of Sublette Township, that the county pay a reward of $10 for information leading to the conviction of people guilty of this misdemeanor, was welcomed enthusiastically by the board.

The judiciary committee will report such a recommendation.

The action of the board is inspired by automobilists and others who have been throwing bottles into the highways, and it is at them that it will be directed, but the supervisors plan to make their action broad enough to include all who throw rubbish of any kind into the highways. – June 10, 1914

Get free mile of road

If the Board of Supervisors won’t put that state aid road work on the Lincoln Highway this year, maybe Dixon Township can spunk up and get the free mile of concrete road by voting a bond issue and putting in some road on its own account.

It seems a shame to pass up a perfectly good mile of concrete road that can be secured free of charge. – June 12, 1914

Grandy to be scene of motion pictures

Essanay Co. to take at least one picture in the summer resort up the river

Grand Detour is to be the scene of a motion picture play, and the quaint, old beauties of the quiet little summer resort will be published to the world through the medium of the movie film.

Mrs. Louella Parsons of this city, now connected with the Essanay Motion Picture Co. of Chicago, will come to Dixon, and it is the intention of her company to bring a company of players to Grand Detour and take their picture there. – June 12, 1914

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