Looks like the new-fangled automobiles in central Minnesota were embraced AND made fun of in equal measure. Almost all new purchasers were listed by name in the paper, sometimes including how much they paid for the car. Below are some articles with a fair amount of 'schputt'. I don't think any of it was written by Math Hesch, tho...these were "editorial" pieces.
BTW, according to the Pierz Journal, most people used their cars during the summer and fall, putting them up on blocks for the winter and giving the team a break once the roads dried out in the spring.
"A fellow from Lastrup had heard that Ford, the auto manufacturer, used tin cans in the construction of his car. He gathered up several hundred tomato, sauer kraut and oyster cans and sent them to the Ford factory along with a request that they be made into an auto. A week later he received a Ford by freight and a check for $8.80 by mail. He had sent too many cans".
" AUTOS THAT PASS IN THE NIGHT.
A party consisting of Chas Gish, Arthur Boyce, Louis Gravel, Anna Gish and Gladys Eynon broke down last Friday near the cream station in Granite while autoing from Onamia to Little Falls. Mich. Priglmeyer towed them to the village in the afternoon. Chas Schroeder of Little Falls was sent for, who, after looking the machine over, decided that the damages could not be repaired outside of a garage. At the approach of the evening twilight the party sadly resumed its slow and laborious towage toward the occident.
While in our village, Mr Schroeder answered another call of distress from a Little Falls Chauffeur whose auto had ceased to automobilize at the foot of a hill north of Buckman. We were told that the ailment of the second auto was of such a nature that it, too, had to be taken to the repair hospital the same night". August 1911
"A BAD WRECK.
Last Tuesday night at about the steenth hour of the night, a bad wreck occurred on the Pierz Buckman short line. It seems that the Buckman fast express, south bound, while running at a high rate of speed, collided with the north bound flyer, which also was not going slow by any means. The night was an exceptionally dark one and the headlights on neither of the engines(if they had any) could be seen. While we could not learn who was in charge of the express, the flyer was manned by engineer Bentfeld of Pierz and conductor A.K. Mathison of Duluth. Outside of a severe shaking up and a few bruises sustained by the above named engineer and conductor, no other damage was done".
"...20 to 40 miles an hour!"
It's stunning to remember that it was a almost exactly a hundred years ago that all this was taking place. Wow, huh?