Once Upon Our Peninsula: Feb. 7-14

News from this week’s past

All items are from the Door County Library’s newspaper archives, and they appear in the same form as they were first published, including misspellings and grammatical errors.

Door County Democrat

February 16, 1917

Even Needles High.

Local tailors say that even the needle situation is serious. Hundreds of machines in the big shops in the cities are idle because needles cannot be obtained. Previous to the war half the needles used in the United States were imported from Germany and the United States cannot get the wire to increase their production. Needles that formerly sold at $6 a thousand are now selling at $50.

There is a rise in textile values that has not been paralleled since the Civil war, and that, based upon volume of business, has never been approached. Cotton within two seasons has advanced approximately 200 percent and wool about 100 percent. Never since the Civil War has the manufacturer been confronted with such high price levels.


Door County Democrat

February 16, 1917


Mrs. Rose Petersilka Drops Dead at Institute.

Condition Over-wrought By Inordinant Interest in War Over Which She Continually Brooded.

Mrs. Rose Petersilka, widow of the late Frank Petersilka, died at the home of her son J. D. Petersilka at Institute, on Feb. 7. Her death is attributed to an over-wrought condition brought on by an inordinant interest in the European war and the present crisis in which the United State is involved.

Mrs. Petersilka, whose maiden name was Rose Keller, was born in Mahen, Austria, on Sept. 8, 1847, the year of the Austria-Hungary war in which Hungary rebelled under Kossuth, so well known to Americans. Throughout her life in Austria she was ever fearful of war and had seen so much of it that the continued peace in America was what caused her to immigrate to this country—to be free from the worry of further wars.

Since the European war broke out she continually brooded and worried,

and talked Incessantly about war. She was in good physical health up to the very moment of her death, but her mind continually preyed on the subject of war. The morning of her death at the breakfast table she and the family were talking war and she was sure Germany and the United States were going to fight, and that her son would have to go to war. She got up from the table, and still discussing the subject of war, fell over dead. She was in her 79th year.


Weekly Expositor Independent 

February 20, 1885


While looking for his shanty on the ice during the storm of Monday, 9th inst., John Nelson, the Washington Island mail carrier, lost his way and all attempts to find the shanty or retrace his steps proved futile. He says that he started out with the intention of taking shelter from the storm in his shanty while he fished for trout, but to his misfortune he found that either the shanty had moved or he had lost his way. To face the snow storm was impossible, and owing to the fact that his tracks had been blown full by the drifting snow he could not retrace his steps, but continued in his perilous march in quest of shore. Night came on with the wind increasing, which seemed to drive the frost through his very body, and he had become almost discouraged when he discovered a light a short distance ahead, and straightway made for it, but to his surprise he could not gain on it. When he stopped to think about this strange phenomena he found that instead of there being only one, he was surrounded by lights. This rather perplexed him at first, and he was about to throw up his hands in despair, when he happened to think that these lights were frequently seen (as he had heard) by fishermen on the ice just before, and sometimes during a storm, and soon made up his mind that he bad mistaken a jack-o’-lantern for a friendly light. He soon arrived to the conclusion that standing still would not do, and consequently he moved with the wind—sometimes on his feet, while at other times he would be precipitated headlong into a snow bank.

This was in Death’s Door, and all who have crossed this place in winter know that the ice is very rough and uneven, and much trouble is experienced in traveling on it, even by daylight. He did not cease walking, however, until the next morning at 10 o’clock, when he landed safely at Garrett’s Bay, having been out twenty-four hours without eating or drinking. His cheeks were badly frozen, but with the help of his friends they were thawed out by rubbing his face with snow, and it is thought that nothing serious will result from this terrible experience.