THE IDJTAROD PIONEER
Published Every Saturday Morning at Iditarod, Alaska
Vet. 7 CHARLES A. DERRY, Editor and Publiaher No. 6
One Year $10.00 One Month $1.00
Six Months 5.00 Single Copy.25
Advertising Rates on Application
INTERIOR ALASKA MAIL SERVICE
As usual at this time of year, the newspapers of
Alaska are filled with protests against the mail serv
ice furnished by Uncle Sam to this remote portion of
his domain. In some instances the comments have
almost a tone of despair; and wnen it is learned
wherein their complaints he it is cause for wondei
that they are so moderate in their condemnation. For
instance, on January 3 Nome reported that only
three small mails had arrived at that place since the
close of navigation. The report says that the service
this winter is worse than ever, and all Nome is up in
From Ruby comes the report that up to January
15 not a newspaper had reached that city from toe
Outside of later date than October, and the Record
Citizen becomes justly indignant at the treatment the
community is being accorded. That newspaper says.
But what can be done about it? To communicate with the
postoffice department is to receive as reply a lot of quotations
from the set rules of the service that afford neither explanation j
nor hope for betterment. . . ]
Perhaps a homily on the cost of the service in Alaska may be ■
added To hell with the cost! The people want mail. If the j
government does not expect to serve them with it, why don't they
s: and let them make other arrangements. If it cannot deliver
the mail at the price, why don't it increase the postage to Interior
Alaska, ten hundred per cent if need be, just so it will perform the
service ? What right has the government to worse than confis
cate the newspapers and magazines for which the people have paid
good money, and then prate about hard times? The cost of carry
jng government literature on nematodes, prehistoric cockroaches
and other subjects as useless to ordinary humanity could be better
spent on the Alaska mail. But it won’t be, and what can be
done about it ?
The Ruby newspaper strikes a new note m the
mail controversy when it asks what right the gov em
inent has to worse than confiscate newspapers and
magazines for which the peopie have paid good
money. If it were impossible to carry mail to this
region it would be a different matter. But such is
not the case. While Iditarod apparently has fared
better than her neighbors, there is much to be de
sired in this respect, and with the weekly service in
operation there is no good reason why the weight
limit should not be increased to make possible the
receipt of all mail with the possible exception of
parcel post matter.
In the meantime Fairbanks, which receives three
mail consignments per week, is continuing its de
mand for “all the mail all the lime, and the in
creased service is persisted in despite the fact that
recently it was stated that not a pounci of mail matter
destined for Fairbanks was at the coast terminus.
Publications all over the country have been enlisted
in the campaign, and public men and business insti
tutions have taken the matter up with the govern
ment. But the trouble with this campaign seems to
be that Fairbanks is the only city considered by the
agitators. It is pointed out that Fairbanks receives
more mail than all the rest of Interior Alaska and
Seward peninsula combined, and is still doing the
Oliver Twist stunt. Nobody will begrudge the Tan
ana metropolis all the mail she can wheedle out of
the government; but when it apparently works to
the detriment of other Alaska cities and districts, a
halt should be called.
There is a most feasible solution to the mail prob
lem, however, and that is furnished by the Seward
Iditarod trail. If the report be true that the govern
ment is making a test of this route for the transporta
tion of the Nome mail, there is hope that better
things are in store. There is no sensible reason for
carrying the Nome mail by way of Fairbanks, Tan
ana and the Yukon river route. It will be demon
strated that the route via Seward, Takotna and Dish
kaket is much shorter and more convenient, and it
will have the added advantage of being independent
of the Fairbanks route. With the added mail, the
time made over the Seward trail by reason of the
additional travel also will enable the contractors to
make better time. It is possible that quite as good
time could be made in carrying the Ruby mail over
this trail also. At any rate, much would be gained
for all concerned by a separation of the routes.
The recent apparent elimination of General Fran
cisco Villa from the scenes of turbulence in Mexico
by means of an agreement entered into by the subor
dinates of that worthy and those of his successful
opponent, Carranza, may or may not prove to be
lasting. It is persistently rumored that he has de
clared himself dissatisfied with the terms of the
agreement, and stranger things have happened than
that Villa should succeed in raising another force to
give battle to his enemies. But there appears to be
little chance of success for a new Villa revolution.
That more will be heard of this most interesting
character in the Mexican muddle is certain. A man
of mystery, little of an authentic nature has been
published with reference to him, and much that was
plainly fabrication. A recent newspaper sketch
which bears the mark of authenticity says of him:
Doreteo Orango was born in 1868 in Las Nieves, in the state of
Duranga. As a youth he ventured into the mountains of Chihua
hua and collected a roving band to whom he became known as
“Pancho” and Francisco Villa.
During the outbreak of Madero against Porfirio Diaz Villa
fmerged from the mountains and forsook the bandit life credited
to him. His rise to military power and his descent from the pin
nacle of revolutionary fame dates hack scarcely three years ago,
when he crossed the Rio Grande with only a handful of compan
ions, "borrowed” horses and $7 in money and a meager supply
of coffee and beans.
Less than a year after his entering the army of Madero he
became the leader of a well-equipped army of nearly 20,000 men.
His fearlessness in battle and his acknowledged ability as a dis
ciplinarian won for him his title. At one time, as head of the
Carranza army, more than half of Mexico was under his control,
With Indian blood in his veins, he was a hater of the Span
iard. He also was an enemy of alcohol. Popular with his men,
his strength grew and at the time of Huerta’s departure from the
throne Villa was one of the military geniuses of the revolution in
Mexico. He was then credited with presidential aspirations.
Unlettered and without diplomatic experience, trouble arose.
The first signs of discontent came previous to the Aguas Calientcs
convention, more than a year ago, ordered for the purpose of out
lining the policies of the administration, of which Carranza then
was the nominal head. Carranza advisers criticized the method of
selecting delegates to the convention. Stormy scenes were en
acted. The policies adopted gave evidence of the rupture that
General Villa, with General Kmiliano Zapata, incorporated and
formed what was called the conventional government. Carranza
adhered to the term “constitutionalist.”
Generals and lesser leaders chose and aligned their men accord
ingly. Villa then retreated northward, after once having set foot
at least in the suburbs of Mexico City, and began the struggle to
maintain his army. Acts of violence followed close upon each
other; towns were looted, foreigners persecuted; bridges and other
property destroyed, and demands made upon wealthy mining men
and mercantile businesses for money.
Villa's army then was not the army that stood with him at the
height of his triumphs. Bickerings in the commands of several
of his generals became alarming. General Urbina, who once led
hie advance forces, was murdered. The next of Villa’s strong sup
porters to disappear was Colonel Fierro, nicknamed the “butcher.”
Fierro it was who was said to have caused the death of William
Benton, a British subject, whose death in Juarez two years ago
has never been explained satisfactorily. Other of Villa’s com
manders and members of his provisional cabinet crossed into the
United States, and many of his troops received immunity from
Carranza upon their surrender. The recent recognition by the
United States and other powers of the de facto government of
Carranza, Villa felt sorely, and evidences of the end of a bitter but
unequal fight were soon made manifest.
No wonder the Ford peace mission has so far failed to put a
stop to the war. Dr. Cook of North Pole Mount McKinhy-Mount
Everest fame joined the party at Christiania.
We venture to say that many Alaskans who have been sojourn
ing Outside, and who will return “over the last ice” or by “the first
boat in the spring,” will appreciate the verses of the "Bard of the
Kuskokwim,” which appear in another column.
Our optimistic Ophir correspondent reveals an ideal condition
of affairs in the old camp. What community could report more
in these times than that the outlook for the future is as good as
the past, that everyone is in the best of health, that the mail
comes regularly and that there is lots of grub?
The Ruby Record-Citizen complains because the report of
Governor Strong, which was sent to the press of the territory for
release on January 10, was published by the Fairbanks newspapers
of December date. But so far as we have been able to discern,
the Fairbanks papers did not execute much of a “scoop,” from a
news standpoint, at least.
Speaking of the agitation for “increased powers for the terri
tonal government,” the Nome Industrial Worker says: “There is
no reason to believe, with the influence so great of various inter
ests over the legislature, that better results would be obtaind by
giving it ampler powers. It might, but it is a debatable question.’
There are many who will entirely agree with the Nome newspaper.
Word comes from London that the expatriated American multi
millionaire, William Waldorf Astor, has at last achieved his life’s
ambition, and has been made a peer of the British realm, King
George having recently conferred upon him the title of baron.
It is little wonder that a title of nobility in England is coming to
be less valued as time goes on, when snobs and parvenues can lit
erally purchase these “honors.”
The paragraphers of the daily press and the “funny” men of
the comic papers who have been having the time of their lives in
belittling and cartoonnig Secretary of the Navy Daniels will please
take notice that Senator Tillman, chairman of the committee on
naval affairs of the United States senate, pronounces him cur
“greatest secretary of the navy.” Of course, Tillman may not be
as competent a judge as some of the penny-a-liners.
A fool with little poetic ability and less brains has written a
song entitled “Pretty Little Indian Maid,” and dedicated it to
President Wilson and his bride, to whom he sent a copy of the
“song.” On being informed by the President’s secretary that it
was obnoxious to the chief executive, the “poet” condescended not
to publish it. And straightway he gave it to the newspapers.
Sometimes we are tempted to believe that there are also advan
tages in a form of government which makes it possible to muzzle
There is a strong probability that the “mail order business”
is to become one of the most profitable of San Francisco’s indus
tries. According to an advertisement in the Seattle newspapers,
the “Rainier Brewing Company of San Francisco” will deliver
beer to its former patrons in Seattle, and gives instructions as
to how it is to be done. First you buy a permit from the county
auditor and mail it to the brewery, which, upon receipt of the
price, will forward beer by the dozen or case, and deliver it at
your home, at about twice the price the Seattleites were wont to
pay for the same goods to the “Rainier Brewing Company of
Another war story which, however, will not become history
without corroboration, is reported in a New York dispatch printed
last fall, which quotes Henry Ford of automobile and peace mis
sion fame as follows: “When I visited President Wilson in Wash
ington he told me (bat he had heard on good authority that after
Kaiser Wilhelm - ».iied the first declaration of war he suddenly
flung the pen across the room and, looking up to the great mili
tary leaders assembled around him, said: ‘There, you’ve made me
do it, and you are going to regret it for the rest of your lives.’ ”
Asked whether he thought President Wilson believed the story, Mr.
Ford replied: “I don’t know. I do. It proves what I have always
thought. The kaiser is a humane man, strictly devoted to peace,
but as a ruler was forced to do what he was told by the mili
A deputy United States marshal of the Fourth division, making
his monthly report to Marshal Erwin, incorporates the following
in the official document, which was published in the Fairbanks
newspapers: “While I was away last month I came pretty near
losing a fine milch cbw. My wife, who is inexperienced in caring
for cows, called in a neighbor woman to help her. Well, they
concluded the cow’s bill of fare was not good enough or varied
enough, so they dipped into the oats bin and gave the cow a nice,
big feed of oats. Result: Cow got fat, but altogether too sudden.
Took the combined effort of several cow doctors, horse doctors and
human doctors, with taps, syringes and oils, to keep the cow from
blowing up.” No reports of such intimate nature have so far
emanated from the marshal’s office of this portion of the district;
and we tremble to think what would happen were the facile pen
of Iditarod’s deputy marshal to get busy in this strain
Many who talk loudest of "efficiency” came to the United
States to escape it.—Indianapolis Star.
Anyway, those trenches should give Europe a v.Tondcrful sub
way system after the war.—Columbia State.
If the war keeps up the allies hope Italy and Germany may
eventually get cross at each other.—Kansas City Star.
Is any further proof needed that the Germans are in desperate
straits? Berlin is manufacturing a substitute for beer.—New
Cheers by the house of commons when Churchill informed
them he was going to the front can be taken any way you please.
BACK TO ALASKA AGAIN
(C. Edward Cone)
I’m looking tough and the trail is rough,
And the dogs are sore-footed and lame;
I’m just about broke, my watch is in soak,
And I’m playing a pretty tough game.
But I’ve played it before, and I’m looking
And 1 don’t care a rap to bp plain!
For I’m right in the swim, and I’m chock
full of vim,
For I’m back to Alaska again.
I’ve been out a year! and isn't it queer
That I feel it had been about ten
Since I told the boys and made such a
About where I was going - and when?
I talked quite a lot (of course it was rot! >
About quitting the snow and the rain,
And going Outside, the ’mobiles to ride
But I’m back to Alaska again.
Now this is no joke! 1 had quite a poke,
And I felt ’bout as rich as a Jew;
I just had to go Outside for a blow,
And try a few games that were ne'e.
Was it chickens, or hay? or what did I
Well, it might have been cattle or grain
1 would raise for to sell; but I merely
So I’m back to Alaska again.
I may not talk fair, but people out there
Are watching a North boat for pie!
And they manage to see a big chunk
Before she is ready to tie.
Thev took me in tow, and I had no show.
For they foozled my poor little brain.
And they picked me then as clean as a
And I’m back to Alaska again.
NEWS ITEMS FROM DAWSON
Child Meets Death by Suffocation
DAWSON, Dec. 22.—Gladys Marion, the
5-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph
Marshall, was suffocated in bed today when
a fire broke out in their cottage home on
Third avenue. The mother had gone
across the street for a few minutes' visit
with a neighbor, and when the fire was
discovered the flames filled the room in
which the child was, the burning paper
fro mthe ceiling making an inferno from
floor to ceiling. Firemen and others made
I desperate efforts to reach the chil l, but
in vain. It is believed the fire was oc
casioned by the explosion of the heating
Death of a Pioneer Miner
Rufus Reeves Miller, a sourdough miner
who has been a resident of this district
for years, died yesterday from cancer of
the stomach, aft$r a long illness.
Brides’ Finery Destroyed
j While c.n the Eagle trail, en route to
\ upper Fnrtymde, a freight rig driven bv a
I man named Davis overturned. The team
ster went to get help, and while he was
away the two carbon heaters he was using
for foot-warmers started a fire, and the
whole load was consumed. This included
two trunks containing the trosseaux of
two recent brides, Mrs. Davis and Mrs.
I Frank Flerbster. The clothes and wedding
J gifts were valued at $1,500.
HOW PROHIBITION LAW
AFFECTED SEATTLE PEOPLE
j SEATTLE, Jan. 5.—The authorities
| have decided to prosecute the saloon men
who have started selling “life-staff" and
other substitutes for beer since the prohi
bition law went into effect. The trials
of the cases will be regarded as test cases
to prove whether substitutes come under
the prohibition law or not.
Bead From Drinking Wood Alcohol
SEATTLE, Jan. 5.- -Three persons are
dead here as the result of drinking wood
alcohol, which was taken to alleviate the
craving for drink, and their inability to
procure whisky because of the going into
effect of the prohibition law. They are
Edith M. Burdette, Jerrv Brown and Jacv
Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, the first woman
in this country to receive the degree of D. D.
and M. D., is now in her 68th year, vig
orous and forceful. She was brought to this
country from England at the age of 4 years
by her parents.
Fresh Olympia and Eastern Oysters, $1.50
per can. Iditarod Meat Co.
A /A a
CLEANING AND PRESSING
ALL KINDS OF FUR WORK
Suits Cleaned and Pressed, Fur Coats and
Robes Lined, and All Kinds of
Fur Work Done
51/IRS. CMAS, LARSON
Orders may be left with Mrs. Thornton
Any Length Handled
Any Part of City
I Mutch ler Bros,
DAILY STAGE SERVICE
|| OPEN DAY AND NIGHT
| FLAT CITY H0H8ACK & DURAND
i Bst. the Grand and Bagoy's Bars
1 THE BEST ALL THE TIME
WE ARE HERE TO STAY
Best of Everything
ALL THE TIME AT THE
Open D«v and Night
Michigan, 1881 Alaska, t»ia
George Woodruff Albrecht
COUNSELOR AND LAWYER
The Pioneer Attorney of Iditarod
E. M. STANTON
Attorney at Law
Oflice: Corner W illow and Second Sts.
Iditarod Pioneer Building
CM AS. E. TAYLOR
Attorney at Law
First Avenue Iditared
ATTORNEY AT LAV/
Room 1 Over Merchants Cafe
PHYSICIAN AND SURGEON
DR. H. E. AURINGER
Office: Flat City Hospital, Fiat City
Consultation Hours in Forenoons and
DR. IK. BEHLA
Appointments by Telephons
TBjjj Gold st- FU‘ c-<'
| 11 Mrs. Geo. Mutchler, Prop.
Nicely Furnished Rooms Barn for Horses and Dogs Baths in Connection
SEES GENERAL MERCHANDISE
THE BEST OF EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME
msssmasssssst. SHORT ORDERS ^BaasasKE
FIRST AVE. OPEN DAY AND NIGHT ^^77777!
We Pay the Highest Market Price for
AND WILL BUY ANYTHING FROM A MUSKRAT SKIN TO THAT HASHISH DREAM OF
THE TRAPPER, A PURE BLACK FOX
We Carry a Well-Selected Stock of
Class A Fresh Groceries
In Workingmen's Clothing
we can supply you with Logger Shirts, Woolen Overshirts, Mackinaws, Woolen Pants, Stan
field and Medlicott Underwear, Leather and Woolen Gloves and Mittens, Rubber Pacs and
Mr. W'oodchopper, if you are up against a knotty problem, we imite you to call and see us.
We have the solution—Axes, Mauls and Wedges.
GENERAL MERCHANDISE FLA T CITY
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