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Newspaper Page Text
able before they would give them a
The ice engineers and firemen then
walked down out in sympathy with
The manufacturers shut down
their plants, and announced they
would stay shut down until the men
came back humbled.
A week passed; the hot spell be
gan; and the broiling city was
wrapped in suffering as m a blanket
The people cried out to the city
government for help. Mayor Hunt
said he would buy ice in other cities
and distribute it from the city fire
The distribution of ice from the
firehouses was begun at once, but the
supply was pitifully small It was
some time before the reason leaked
Every time that Mayor Hunt tried
to buy ice for the suffering people the
ice trust balked him. The order had
gone out that no ice must go into
Cincinnati until the wagon drivers
and firemen and engineers of the
Cincinnati ice barons were broken.
The suffering among the people
grew greater. The death rate among
infants mounted day by day. The
sick poor died like flies. The hos
pitals rapidly were becoming houses
of death. And the people cried aloud
But the ice barons were firm. They
would not give an inch. If the men
yielded, if they gave up their demand
for recognition of the union, if they
tore up their union cards, if they
threw themselves on the mercy of the
manufacturers in the matter of
wages, then something might be
done. But not otherwise.
The citizens held a mass meeting.
They called the ice barons to that
meeting. The ice barons came, and,
lomewhat awed by the earnestness of
the people, they promised to re-open
their plants pending arbitration of
their differences with their employes.
That night there was joy in the
But that night the ice manufac-'
turers held a secret, midnight meet-'
ing at which they decided they would
repudiate their agreement with the
As soon as this became known the
Cincinnati Academy of Medicine held
a hurried meeting and passed a reso
lution calling upon Mayor Hunt and .
the Board of Health to seize and '.
operate the plants of the ice com- j
panies-in the name of the dying
babies of Cincinnati. ',
That night Mayor Hunt seized the ;
plants and began the work of resum
ing operation. t
The union engineers and firemen
were hired by the city; an arrange
ment was made with the ice wagon
drivers whereby the union men were
to distribute ice; the wagons and au
tomobiles of the companies were I
seized to this end.
The ice barons watched this move j
in pained and unbelieving dismay,
then ran to their last standby, the
They- applied for an injunction to s
restrain the city from operating then
plants. All day long Saturday the city put v.
on its witnesses, and they were noti
the ordinary sort of witnesses at the ,
hearing of an application for all in
junction. They were mothers from the tene- f
ments who told how their babies were
suffering or had suffered and died;
they were fathers who told with
tears in their eyes of children that
were no more; they were the wo- "
men put in charge of the city milk
stations by the health department.
who told of fainting mothers and '
dying children, and the impossibility
of saving them with the ice plants
shut down; they were nurses of the i
Children's Clinic, with tales of hor-
ror; and doctors wearied with the toil
of the hot spell.
Inspiration must have come to the
attorneys for the ice trust as thev
listened to those witnesses, for over
Sunday the Ice barons decided they.