This week from our pages in his­tory

Cecil Whig - - CLASSIFIED CHESAPEAKE - By JACOB OWENS jowens@ce­cil­

ELK­TON — Each week, we take a look back in time to ex­am­ine what was on the minds of Ce­cil County read­ers. Ro­tat­ing through the Whig’s 176-year his­tory, we hope to not only pro­vide di­rect text from our ar­chives, but also con­text as to why the is­sue was im­por­tant at the time.

Join us as we thumb through the pages of our his­tory. 150 years ago (Sept. 17, 1842) In 2017, bet­ting and sports seem to go to­gether like peanut but­ter and jelly, whether you’re look­ing at fan­tasy foot­ball, daily games like DraftKings or the tra­di­tional par­lay card. A cen­tury and a half ago, how­ever, wager­ing on one of Amer­ica’s big­gest sports was just in its in­fancy, as ev­i­denced by a Whig re­port from the base ball game in Elk­ton. Base Ball The “Na­tional Game” is be­ing re­vived again in our county. A “match” played on Tues­day on the Elk­ton ground be­tween the Bach­e­lor Club of Philadel­phia and the Elk­ton Club, which was a well con­tested game, re­sult­ing in a small vic­tory to the Bach­e­lor by five runs.

The En­ter­prise Club of Bal­ti­more and Ce­cil Club, played a match game yes­ter­day af­ter­noon. The game was pro­gress­ing when we closed up to go to press.

It has be­come fash­ion­able to lay heavy bets on the “Na­tional Game,” which, is fast car­ry­ing it, like horse rac­ing, un­der the spe­cial care and man­age­ment of the fancy. We have not heard, how­ever, of any bets be­ing taken or of­fered, on the games played on the Elk­ton grounds.

The In­de­pen­dent Or­der of Odd Fel­lows (IOOF), or Odd Fel­lows, is a non-po­lit­i­cal and non-sec­tar­ian in­ter­na­tional fra­ter­nal or­der founded in 1819 by Thomas Wildey in Bal­ti­more. Also known as the Triple Link Fra­ter­nity, re­fer­ring to the or­der’s “Triple Links” sym­bol, al­lud­ing to its motto “Friend­ship, Love and Truth,” the Odd Fel­lows are a char­i­ta­ble ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tion. The group erected a hall in Elk­ton in 1867, but the Whig’s then-pub­lisher, Palmer Rick­etts, scolded the town’s wealth­ier res­i­dents for not help­ing in its fi­nanc­ing. The New Hall The Odd Fel­lows’ Hall, which is be­ing erected in this town, has been pushed for­ward since its com­mence­ment with com­mend­able en­ter­prise.

The brick work will be fin­ished in a week or ten days, and when the struc­ture is com­pleted, it will be an or­na­ment and an im­prove­ment to the town, that the Or­der and cit­i­zens maybe justly proud of. While the style of ar­chi­tec­ture of the build­ing is com­par­a­tively plain, it is neat and hand­some. The Hall, when com­pleted, will cost twen­tythree thou­sand dol­lars. Fif­teen thou­sand dol­lars will be raised by stock sub­scrip­tion, and the residue fur­nished by the Or­der.

While the ef­forts of the Or­der to erect such a pub­lic build­ing in our town, is wor­thy of nil praise, es­pe­cially when its com­par­a­tively limited, pe­cu­niary means are con­sid­ered, the en­ter­prise has not met with that cor­dial co-op­er­a­tion and ma­te­rial aid from our wealth­i­est cit­i­zens it should have done. Those of hum­bler means have come for­ward nobly and helped to erect this fine Hall. The fact that such a build­ing will add to the value of prop­erty in the town, should be an in­cen­tive to large prop­erty own­ers, to lend a help­ing hand. The stock is not asked to be taken as a do­na­tion. The in­vest­ment will pay from the start 6 per­cent. Of­fices are en­gaged in ad­vance, the rent of which will amount to $1,400 per an­num, with­out count­ing the pro­ceeds from the pub­lic hall and of­fices not yet en­gaged.

The wealthy prop­erty own­ers of the town should be ashamed to hold back, and of­fer no en­cour­age­ment and as­sis­tance to the Or­der, in its ef­forts to in­crease the in­ter­est and add to the beauty of the town. The Or­der ask, as a mat­ter of duly, the prop­erty hold­ers to give them more lib­eral aid. They do not so­licit do­na­tions, but pe­cu­niary aid to com­plete a build­ing, the rents from which, in a few years, will re­turn ev­ery dol­lar of out­lay. 25 years ago (Sept. 16, 1992) Fol­low­ing the July death of a pro­tester in Char­lottesville, Va., and the en­su­ing crit­i­cism of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s re­sponse to a white su­prem­a­cist rally there, the Ku Klux Klan has reap­peared in the na­tional con­ver­sa­tion this year. Ce­cil County has a long trou­bled con­nec­tion to the racist group, although op­po­nents have of­ten stood to fight its at­tempts to be re­vived. Twenty-five years ago, Elk­ton was deal­ing with just that very is­sue, when a Klan fac­tion ap­plied to march through the streets of the county seat, spark­ing a protest by the lo­cal com­mu­nity. Elk­ton OKs Klan march on Sept. 26 Within a few min­utes and with­out even mut­ter­ing the name Ku Klux Klan, Elk­ton’s mayor and com­mis­sion­ers fol­lowed a fed­eral judge’s man­date Wed­nes­day night and ap­proved a date, time and route for the Klan’s pa­rade.

About 100 mem­bers of the In­vis­i­ble Em­pire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are sched­uled to march on Main Street through down­town Elk­ton at 1 p.m. Satur­day, Sept. 26.

Ch­ester Doles, self-pro­claimed leader of the Mary­land Klan, re­quested the date and time in a let­ter to the town Fri­day. Doles also re­quested a po­lice es­cort out of town at the end of the march.

The ap­proval comes af­ter an eight-month process. The Klan first asked in Jan­uary to march in Elk­ton to protest drug deal­ing in a Booth Street neigh­bor­hood. The il­le­gal drug trade leads to “race-mix­ing,” Doles said.

Doles changed the April date be­cause it co­in­cided with the an­niver­sary of the as­sas­si­na­tion of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. He re­quested an­other date in April and the town de­nied the pa­rade per­mit fear­ing the vi­o­lence that could be sparked by counter-protestors.

In Au­gust, a U.S. District Court judge struck down the town’s re­fusal, say­ing it was a vi­o­la­tion of the white su­prem­a­cist or­ga­ni­za­tion’s First Amend­ment right to free speech.

The town was or­dered to pay the Klan’s Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union le­gal fees of $15,633.80 as well as the $4,000 to $5,000 the town will pay its own at­tor­neys, town ad­min­is­tra­tor Lewis Ge­orge told the com­mis­sion­ers.

Mayor James Crouse plans to avoid the march and en­cour­ages oth­ers to do the same. He is chal­leng­ing Booth Street youth to a bas­ket­ball game af­ter ded­i­cat­ing a new bas­ket­ball court on the town’s nearby school ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing grounds.

Down­town busi­nesses may be clos­ing dur­ing the march. And, ac­cord­ing to the Rev. Vi­vian Cas­tian of Wright’s A.M.E. Church, lo­cal churches may be hav­ing a Unity Day ser­vice dur­ing the pa­rade.

Churches held a Unity Day ser­vice on April 11, when the Klan had pre­vi­ously wanted to march.

Cas­tian plans to tell her parish­ioners to go to the church, go to the bas­ket­ball game or stay home. “I don’t think we need to give them any at­ten­tion,” she said.

Crouse agreed. “Let them just do their thing and get out of town.”

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