Tag city council

Patriotic Mr. Day

AC 1896-05-09 p10 thumb


A Civic Insignia for Atlanta Seems To Be His Fad.


The Sanitary Committee Considers the City Flag, but the Aldermanic Board Wants More Light.

The aesthetic taste of Councilman Thomas Day will receive a sore shock when council again assembles, and a fond hope which he as been sacredly treasuring during the past fortnight may be dashed to earth.

In his patriotic zeal, Councilman Day introduced an ordinance before the general municipal assembly several weeks ago. As carefully recorded upon the big ledger of Clerk Phillips the ordinance read in toto:

“By Councilman Day, an ordinance establishing the flags and colors of the city of Atlanta.

“Whereas, the city of Atlanta has no authorized flag or ensign, and whereas, it is fitting that such should be established in accordance with the ancient custom of independent municipalities, therefore be it resolved by the mayor and general council of the city of Atlanta that the following shall be the forms, devices and colors of the civic flag, ensign and pennant of the city of Atlanta:

“That the colors in the several forms shall be yellow and blue, of hues or tints expressed upon the pattern, and the exact copy of which is hereby directed to be placed on file in the office of the clerk of the council and displayed in the city hall marked: ‘Approved colors of the city flags of Atlanta.’ ”

Councilman Day is one of the most patriotic members of the municipal assembly. This ordinance was the outspoken token of that higher valor which is indicative of statesmanship, and exemplifies inspiring instincts. Since his election, Councilman Day had long regretted the sad neglect which caused Atlanta to be without a flag. In his broad knowledge of effects the councilman had divined that nothing would be more ennobling of the boys and girls of Atlanta than some symbol of her progress, some material emblem of her wonderful prosperity, some flaming insignia to which the people of Atlanta could point with pride and proclaim lasting allegiance to its colors.

Just what colors these should be the aesthetic councilman could not at first decide.

It was one day in early spring when the silhouette of the doughty wardsman fell athwart the desk of Clerk of Council Phillips, and that official pushing his pen behind one ear asked what service could be rendered.

Councilman Day spoke in a voice full of serious contemplation and weighty deliberation:

“Phillips,” he said, “I have an idea.”

“Ah,” said the clerk, bending nearer with a look of wistful surprise.

“Yes, sir; I have an idea. Atlanta has no flag. Atlanta has no colors. Suppose some day the members of council should be called out in a body, as it often occurs; suppose there should be a public parade in which Atlanta ought to be represented, would it not be well for some emblematic colors to be displayed; would it not be meet and proper for us to fly our flag?”

“In truth that is an idea – an idea most meet and proper,” replied the clerk.

“Then,” continued the councilman, “why not write to some of the larger cities and find their flags and devices. This must be done at once.”

In accordance with this expressed wish Clerk Phillips issued a letter to many cities. Immediate replies were received. For the most part the larger cities did not have flags, but some samples were sent, and these were presented to Councilman Day.

The councilman supplemented these with a collection of colors which would dazzle an artist. He spread out before him all cardinal colors and as many shades and mixtures as could be gathered. Councilman Day first thought of red, but this was too flaring, and he decided to select something more austere. He had the colors arranged in their prismatic form, red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, violet. The councilman skipped orange, as it was not positive enough. It was yellow he decided upon, signifying the fading of all things bad in the city politic. Councilman Day is not a decadent, and his selection of this hue had no reference to degeneracy in any form. He wished another color and fixed upon blue, signifying hope – the blue of the skies.

In accordance with this his ordinance was framed and duly presented to council. Here it was read once and referred to the ordinance committee. Considering it in all its lights the committee reported favorably and returned it to council.

It was read the second time and referred to the sanitary committee. Councilman Day lifted his eyebrows in mild surprise. He could not understand what connection ditches and dirt could have with the glorious colors of the city of Atlanta. But Mayor Pro Tem. Hirsch was wanting in sentiment and ordered the matter to be considered by the sanitary committee.

At the last session of council Chairman Thomas, together with other matters of sanitation, reported on the color question. It was acted upon favorably by council and sent up to the aldermanic board. In the meantime it had chanced to fall into the hands of the mayor and he wrote his approval thereon. Yesterday it came up to be considered by the aldermanic board.

The flag was discussed from an artistic standpoint. Some of the members of the board did not like the yellow.

“Make it green,” said Mr. Colvin.

“Black would be better,” put in Colonel Howell.

Inasmuch as there were no colors with the ordinance, and inasmuch s there no drawing of the flag, nor anything to to show its device the alderman decided to refer it back to council. This disapproval will be a serious shock to the patriotism of Councilman Day. It will necessitate another sharp struggle for his colors.


The Constitution: Atlanta, GA – Sunday, April 19, 1896

Nearly Everybody, Young and Old, Rich and Poor, Is Riding Nowadays.

When Atlanta’s first big exposition was in progress fifteen years ago a spinster school teacher, tall and slender and elderly, was “seeing the sights” with her sister. She came from a little settlement hidden away in the mountains of Rabun county, and it was her first visit to a big city. The cotton exposition contained many marvels which excited her wonder, and she frequently expressed her surprise in the crude parlance of a mountaineer.

“Well, I’ll swow, Mandy,” she said on more than one occasion, “what will these city folks do next?”

Her greatest surprise-perhaps it would be fair to say-her greatest shock, occurred on the last day of her visit. The high bicycle was a new thing in Georgia at that time and its appearance on the streets was watched with interest by everyone. To the school teacher it was more than interesting, it was phenomenal, and at the first sight of one she clutched her sister’s arm in wild alarm and told her to “look quick and see that wheel running away with a man.”

The good lady, if she is still alive, would see about 1,200 wheels “running away” with men and women, too, if she would pay Atlanta a visit today.

The growth of the bicycle “craze,” as some people insist on calling it, has been very healthy and fairly rapid in this city of late. From December 1st there have been nearly 500 new wheels sold in Atlanta. Of this number 400 are being ridden daily by Atlanta people. There are 1,200 wheels in daily use here, which is clear evidence that bicycling is beginning to be appreciated as a healthy and enjoyable sport.

Those who think that Atlanta is leading in this innovation, however, are mistaken. Atlanta is not so far behind other cities on the bicycle question as to be ashamed of her position, but she is by no means leading the van, not even in the south. Savannah, St. Augustine and New Orleans have become thoroughly imbued with the bicycle fever, and in proportion to population they are slightly ahead of Atlanta.

If Atlanta had as many bicycles in proportion to population as Washington, New York, Boston and Chicago there would be in the neighborhood of 10,000 wheels instead of 1,200.

A bicycle salesman, one who is thoroughly posted on the bicycle situation in every city in America, said yesterday that he believed the bicycle business in Atlanta was more promising today than ever.

“The people here have just come to the full appreciation of the merits of the wheel,” he said, “and I confidently expect to see 2,000 wheels in this city at the close of the season where there are only 1,200 now. The people people are practically unanimous in indorsing the sport and society has stamped with its approval the debated question: “Shall women ride?”

Good Roads for Bicyclists.

Peachtree street is the wheelman’s delight. Pryor street is satisfying to the most fastidious. Aside from these two thoroughfares Atlanta is deficient in bicycle paths, but the suburban roads afford excellent riding. Those who have ridden long enough to become inured to a good, long tour, find a spin out to Lithia Springs or Stone Mountain enjoyable. The roadways through and around Inman Park are good. The trip to Buckhead makes a pleasing run of fourteen miles. One of the favorite bicycle paths is along the old Peachtree road and great things are expected of the road to the barracks if the government will pass the appropriation for improving it.

At present there are no large bicycle clubs here. Small parties can be seen every morning and evening when the heat of the sun is not oppressive, spinning away to the suburbs. Tourist parties from northern and eastern cities often rent wheels for an afternoon to take a better look at the Gate City and its surroundings.

It is said that preliminary steps are being taken to organize a very large club of local wheelmen who will take regular tours every evening.

Scorching Habit Condemned.

The theory that every rose has its thorns applies with as much truth to bicycling here as elsewhere. The “Scorcher” is the bete noir of the beginner’s life. As Mr. B. F. Copeland, the manager of the riding school at the Gate City Guard’s armory said yesterday: “There is nothing which so retards the growth of bicycling in this city as scorching. It would not be a bad idea if the city council would pass an ordinance prohibiting great speed within the corporate limits.”

This has been done in nearly all of the larger cities. In New York the policemen who are stationed along th Boulevard are provided with bicycles for the purpose of arresting wheelmen who go faster than the law allows. The great bicycle path from Brooklyn to Coney Island, which is said to be the finest in the world, is always patrolled by policemen in knickerbockers, who can “scorch” most of the racers when it is necessary to make an arrest. In case they cannot catch a fast racer their shrill whistle causes the policeman ahead of him to mount his wheel and when Mr. Scorcher has distanced his first follower he finds himself in the clutches of the second or third, as the case may be. It is impossible to escape and yet is surprising how many bold wheelmen will attempt it. There are at least a dozen such captures on the Brooklyn bicycle path every Sunday.

Atlanta Policemen on Bicycles.

The ladies of Atlanta are the great enemies of the scorchers. They have begun a crusade to have the habit stopped and they are firm in their determination. The chances for a bicycle squad for the Atlanta police force are good. In case the city council passes an ordinance restricting the speed on Peachtree street it will be necessary to mount the policemen who patrol that thoroughfare on bicycles in order to prevent violations of the ordinance.

Where Beginners Learn To Ride.

One of the most interesting sights to be seen in Atlanta at this season is the classes of beginners at the Columbia Bicycle academy in the Gate City Guard’s armory. There is much to arouse the mirth of the visitors, but there is little of humor to the novices themselves except when they are resting and their friends are “going through the mill.”

The beginner as a rule has the look of a wild horse who suddenly sees the approach of a locomotive for the first time. There is a glare of fright and curiosity in the eyes, which is in strange contrast with the clinched teeth and the expression of “do or die” depicted in the tightly closed mouth. The best time to see the show is from 8 to 10 o’clock at night, when the business men are taking their first lessons. Awkwardness, timidity, assumed boldness, despair and uncertain hope are illustrated as well as they could possibly be by the actions and expressions of the “first nighters.” It must be seen to be appreciated. No description can give a fair idea./

The management of the school says that the ladies learn very much more easily than the men. They are less awkward. The ladies’ classes are from 8 a. m. to 1 p. m. and 2 p. m. to 6 p. m. The ladies are also given what are known as direct lessons. When they reach a certain point in advancement and gain a little confidence they are put in charge of an instructor and taught on the street. There are many expert graduates of the school among the lady riders of the city.

Major Fitten a Graceful Wheelman.

Major John A. Fitten is one of the city’s graceful wheelmen. This is true despite the major’s 265 pounds. He flits about with ease, notwithstanding that he is a heavy weight.

He learned at the wheeling school in the Grand. It took him some time, but he learned thoroughly. His school days were attended with many hard knocks and falls, but he pulled through without any broken limbs. He is now having a huge wheel of stout frame specially manufactured for himself and in a short time he will be spinning over the city’s by-paths on his trusty charger.

Major Fitten took his lessons at the school at the early hour of 6 o’clock in the morning. Rosy from a good night’s sleep he would hie himself to the school. He would mount the wheel with the courage of a Spartan and proceed to land himself violently upon the floor some twenty feet from the starting point. Nothing discouraged, he would spring to his feet nimbly, scurry upon his vehicle and hurry away again.

He had a great rival in the person of Colonel Thornton, who also tips the scales at 265 pounds. They took lessons together and had many an exciting encounter. Their antics were the talk of the school and every pupil felt a deep personal interest in the outcome of their studies. They both graduated about the same time are now vieing with each other in the ease and grace with which they spin across the country.

The teacher, Mr. Copeland, also taught Speaker Tom Reed the mysteries of the wheel. This occurred last spring and it was not an easy task. The speaker weighs 295 pounds and he is not unlike Major Fitten in physical build. “Major Fitten is much more more agile,” said Mr. Copeland yesterday, “and handles himself much better. He learned much faster.”

Smashes a Wheel.

Jim McKeldin is one of the city’s enthusiasts. He has been riding a beautiful $125 wheel of which he is immensely proud. He was out on the asphalt with a party a few nights ago and met Major Fitten.

“You don’t know the first thing about riding,” said the major scornfully.

“I don’t, eh?” said Mr. McKeldin; “suppose you try it.” He hopped off his wheel. “Here, get up, major, and give us a lesson,” he said.

The major held back modestly. “Oh come on,” said Mr. McKeldin.

“Well, here goes,” said the major, and he made a leap for the saddle. The wheel shot gracefully forward. The pedals responded easily to the major’s expert touch. He went sailing down the asphalt as graceful as a fairy.

There was a sudden crash, and looking, Mr. McKeldin saw his wheel sink into utter ruin and collapse beneath the major’s portly form. It was not an ordinary collapse. It was an extraordinary one. The wheel did not simply break in part. It broke all to pieces, into hundreds of pieces. The seat was mashed as flat as one of Aunt Jemima’s pancakes, and the wires of the wheels were twisted into a million shapes. It was hard to tell whether it was the remains of a bicycle or a dynamo. There was no semblance of a wheel left.

Isham Daniel’s Ride.

Although Mr. Isham Daniel has laid strict injunction upon his companion not to repeat the story, it has gained general currency and I will repeat it here-the story of Isham Daniel’s swift and disastrous ride.

He took to the wheel gingerly. He did not enter into it with that conquer in-a-minute-or-die spirit. He was patient. He lacked confidence, and he wanted room. He did not like to ride on a street on which there were any other moving objects, and he always avoided cars. Cars were his pet fear.

He went out with Jim McKeldin the other afternoon late. He paced along carefully until Wilson avenue was reached. It’s a fine drop for the wheelmen down Wilson avenue to the expostion gate.

“Go it, Isham, I’ll follow,” said McKeldin.

Mr. Daniel moved forward slowly at first, his wheel gaining in celerity as he went. Presently it was moving at furious speed and the rider found his feet off the pedals and himself unable to regain control of the mad steed. At this juncture a car loomed into view, coming toward him in front. He knew for a certainty that collision with that car was inevitable. The thirty feet of space that he had on his side of the track was far too narrow to allow him to pass in safety. There was but one thing to do; he would dash into the sidewalk.

It was a startling spectacle that Mr. McKeldin looked down upon. He saw his comrade swerve violently to the right and with the force of a steam engine dash into the high curbing. The wheel stopped with a crash and was dashed to pieces, and the force of the collision lifted Mr. Daniel from his seat and planted him over in the vacant lot. He got up unhurt, glad to sacrifice a wheel as the price of his own life.

And There Are Others.

Mr. Thomas C. Erwin is also a victim of the freaks of the wheel. He was hurled from his, near Fort McPherson, last Sunday, and skated along the road on his face for a considerable distance. The experience was very damaging to the smooth contour of his face.

And there are others who are wearing bandages, poultices and plaster casts. The percentage of accidents is naturally high, considering the large number or riders there are in Atlanta. None of the sufferers from the wheel have given up, however. They are waiting to get well, when they will ride again.


The Constitution, Atlanta, GA. Tuesday, July 21, 1885

The General Council Closes Barber Shops.

The General Council Convenes in Regular Session – The Barbers Send in a Petition Which is Granted – A Batch of Petitions – Mr. Middlebrooks on Bill Board Pictures

There will be no more shaving and hair cutting in Atlanta on Sunday.

The general council has so decreed it.

During the regular session of the body yesterday afternoon Mr. Cooper, chairman of the ordinance committee, presented an ordinance prohibiting barbers from keeping open doors on the Sabbath day or working behind closed doors.

The ordinance was drawn by Mr.Cooper in accordance with a petition from the Atlanta barbers. That petition was signed by sixty-six of seventy odd barbers in Atlanta, and urgently requested the general council to pass an ordinance prohibiting barbers from working on Sunday.


The ordinance created a warm discussion. Mr. Van Winkle opening the fight.

Mr. Van Winkle wears side whiskers and when the lather is applied to his face the razor covers only the small surface of a chin. Mr. Van Winkle has but little use for the tonsorial artist, but he was opposed to the ordinance. He thought that a man ought to have a shave when he felt inclined to invest fifteen cents in the luxury.

Mr. Garrett, whose large, round face has never been hidden by a beard, did not know just how he stood. He was perfectly willing to take his shave Saturday, so he said, as he ran his hand across one cheek, out of which a Saturday’s shave was showing itself. “But,” he continued, “I don’t think


Now there is the traveling man. He may reach Atlanta late Saturday night, and may want a shave Sunday morning. This ordinance would then work him a hardship. Suppose we pass this ordinance and exempt the hotels. Let the barbershops at the hotels stay open on Sunday. How’s that, eh?”

“That won’t do, Mr. Garrett,” said Mr. Grambling, another gentleman without a beard. Now, I shave as often as anybody, but I am willing to take mine Saturday nigh or do without until Monday. But let us close all or none.”

“Them’s my sentiments,” said Mr. Beatie whose face has never known a razor. “I’m in favor of closing them all. Shut up the shops and give the a rest on Sunday. They ought not work anyhow on that day.”


“You don’t need a barber at all. That beard of yours shows that,” said Mr. Van Winkle, smiling.

The entire council laughed and Mayor Hilyer joined in.

“No, I’m glad I don’t,” said Mr. Beatie, “and I think barbers will go out of fashion some of these days and we’ll all wear beards.”

“Well, I move to amend that ordinance,” said Mr. Mecaslin, who sometimes wears a delicate beard and sometimes presents a clean face. “I want to change it so that the hotels can keep their shops open on Sunday.”

“Oh, that ain’t fair,” said Mr. Cooper, who has shaved off a heavy, luxuriant beard recently, and now wears a small nut brown or


“That ain’t fair, I say. The object of the petitions sent in here by the barbers was to have all shops treated alike. Don’t close part and leave part open. That would be to ruin those who close. The patrons of the barber who shuts up would leave him to go to the shop that stays open. You see what that would result in. Then, again, the barber works hard from Monday morning until midnight Saturday. He wants Sunday to rest in. Don’t exempt the hotel shops, but pass the bill as it stands or defeat it. I have no personal interest in the matter. The barber, on an average, is a good citizen, and I am here to represent any class that asks for a measure.”

“I move,” said Mr. Beatie, “to table Mr. Mecaslin’s amendment.”


The amendment was lost.

“Now,” said Mr. Mecaslin, “I move we table the ordinance.”

The motion to table the ordinance was lost.

“Well, I’d like to have a whack at this,” said McAfee, whose rosy cheeks have never been hidden by a rough unkept beard, “I move the adoption of the ordinance.”

The ordinance was adopted.

Mr. Bill Mickleberry, the beardless, was not there to vote.

Mr. Mahoney, who wears no beard, and Mr. Middlebrooks, whose blushes can’t be seen on account of a heavy beard, took not part in the debate.

Mr. Stockdell and Mr. Hutchinson were absent, but both are regular Sunday patrons of barber shops.


Mr. Mahoney, of the street committee, offered a resolution, directing the contractors putting down belgian block on Decatur to sink crossing at the intersection of the streets.

Mr. Beatie opposed the resolution vehemently. He said among other things that a street paved with belgian block had no more right to the crossings than a brass monkey had for a new shirt.

Mr. McAfee supported the resolution.

So did Mr. Cooper, who claimed that the general council had nothing to do with the work, but that it was a matter in the hands of the street commission.

The mayor differed with Mr. Cooper.

The resolution was sustained.

The police committee made reports upon the


near Broad. The reports recommended that the saloons be given a license until August 1st, and that after that no license issued.

One of these saloons is run by a widow lady, a Mrs. Mangum. Mr. Robert Hill appeared before the council and argued against the report.

Mr. McAfee through the committee had right to debar a person from applying for a license hereafter. He made several ineffectual efforts to have the report amended.

Mr. May coincided with Mr. McAfee.

The report was adopted.

Mayor Hillyer sent in a lengthy paper, which when read proved to be a veto of the five-feet sewer between Houston and Wheat streets. He assigned as his reasons the inadequacy of the sewer to the demands made upon it.


Mr. Kirkpatrick, of the special committee on the water works, stated that his committee had made progress. He then said that letters had been received from a great many civil engineers who were willing to make the survey contemplated, but that the committee found trouble in selecting. He then suggested that a member of the committee or two members might be sent to New York and have a conference. The suggestion resulted in the adoption of a resolution authorizing the mayor and a member of the committee on general council to visit Richmond, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York and examine the water works system and employ an engineer. Two hundred dollars was appropriated for the trip.


Mr. McAfee presented a petition from Darly, the bill poster, asking to be allowed to put up some bill boards.

The resolution was about to go through when Mr. Middlebrooks secured the floor and said:

“I don’t know about that. He might put up a picture we would—–.”

“Oh,” said Mr. McAfee, “the law already covers that point.”

The petition was granted.