There are numerous stories that tout the virtues and sometimes non virtuous events that marked the county’s history. In my researching the history of La Porte County I came across articles of people, places and events that defined the county’s history. Some of the articles referenced the first person to do this or that. Others announced the first time an event or opening occurred. This is the 24th in a series of articles that may bring a smile or frown to your face, or cause you to say “Oh my gosh,” or “I didn’t know that.”
The Evening Dispatch reported in 1928 that the James H. White family of Granada cottage in Long Beach was getting a supply of natural gas sufficient to maintain the gas operated accessories in their home. It had not yet been determined whether it would be possible to have a gas furnace hooked up to the supply, but the matter was to be investigated.
The source of natural gas was discovered in the spring near the White’s home, when beautiful and extensive improvements in the landscaping of the grounds were undertaken. When the natural gas was discovered arrangements were made to provide a tank for the gas to be used at home. The mechanical device has worked perfectly and eliminated a large monthly gas bill for the large home.
(Evening Dispatch, October 16, 1928)
According to an editorial that appeared in the summer of 1923...“There are three kinds of mosquitoes. They are the “airdale,” the “greyhound and the ordinary “cur,” according to “Dr. W. C. Miller, chief of the division of public health of Pennsylvania, who declared that there is aristocracy among mosquitoes just as much as among blueblood dogs.”
“The “airdales” and “greyhounds,” Dr. Miller narrates, compose the aristrocacy known as the stegomyia and anophelea. They fly aloof of the common herd and carry yellow fever malaria. The gangsters are he “curs,” and devote their lives to the annoying of folk on warm summer nights.
“To our mind, all mosquitoes are “curs.” But what the health officer is getting at is that the tastes of the aristocracy are just as plebian as the taste of the hoi polloi, and hence all branches thrive in the same kind of water, drains, ditches and ponds. As he suggests, now is the best time to treat them all as curs and drive them from out our midst. (News, June 2, 1923)
Unlike the Wright brothers, Hans Grede and Bill Waterhouse of La Porte focused their attention on the monoplane, a one-wing concept. They as Don Gregory of Michigan City believed that the engine should be placed in front of the pilot as opposed to being located behind him. A January 1928, issue of The Herald-Argus noted, aviation authorities said Grede actually “beat the Wright brothers in a successful flight of a heavier-than-air flying model.”
Grede's experimental plane was constructed with long cross pieces of hollow tubes of steel that formed the body of his airplane. His monoplane design was not a popular concept and was among the few built in the United States in 1913, according to the La Porte Daily Herald.
Grede gained "celebrity" status with his successful prototype. However, he was unable to find financial support in the United States. His disappointment caused him to look overseas for backing. The German government and army were impressed with his monoplane. They accepted his aeronautical theory and design, "...fostering (it) everyway possible....” By 1913, according to the Herald, Germany's army was using his airplane. Think about this for a moment! World War I began in August, 1914.