Needed Improvements in Union City
Miss Lana Wilson
There are very few things which are so perfect they cannot be improved. Union City is a fine little place, but it has not quite reached the standard of perfection. We are told that it is one of the busiest towns of its size in the country round and while we admire its beauty, its commercial, industrial and other advantages, we cannot overlook its faults. While we all enjoyed the history very much and were greatly surprised at the wonderful growth and advancement of the city, and could not help be delighted when the different ones told of the business that it carried on here and the great prosperity of the place, yet lest we should be too proud of our town we deem it best to consider some of the things necessary to keep up the reputation already gained.
The prosperity of a place as well as its reputation abroad, is indicated by its public buildings. If this be true, one might infer that Union City was not very prosperous. Up to within a few years ago our school accommodations have been all that was required, but since the population has increased and the course of study has been enlarged, more room is needed, It is true we are soon to have two small buildings erected and that is good so far as it goes, but we positively need a new high school building such a one as every flourishing town like our should possess.
There is one thing that would add very materially to the interests of the town and that is a public library. If we had some place where the young men could go in the evening and get the benefit of good books and read the latest news we wouldn’t see so many of them congregated on the street corners every night.
Then there is another building which tends to educate the people and that is not in the best condition. No doubt you are all aware that the Opera House does not harmonize with the rest of the town. The location is a good one so far as preceding it fame abroad is concerned, for the railroad track passes so near it. If we had a modern stone building there, we should not have to offer as an excuse, “Oh, the railroad goes through the poorest part of the city.”
People will seek amusement and if the good and instructive entertainments are not placed before them they will take the less wholesome. If nothing but the poorer entertainments, which only can be accommodated in such a house as that one are presented, they will soon lose their relish altogether for the better.
But we have some things here that are not only of no benefit but are a positive injury to the town. These are the saloons and billiard parlors. Every intelligent person knows that they are a detriment to our town and how it is that we have so many is more than I can understand. Surely that that destroys both soul and body ought not to be encouraged in our midst. The reason they have such a stronghold on us, perhaps is because most of us have been busy with our own duties and pleasures and have not realized how much strength these powers were gaining. When we are brought to feel that our prosperity and happiness are endangered we will rise in our might and drive them out.
It has been said that crime loves darkness and this has been well demonstrated on some of the unlighted streets of our city. But our worthy councilmen have not been idle along this line for very recently they provided that any more of the streets should be lighted by electricity. Perhaps if the town owned the electric light plant as it does the water works, all of the streets might be lighted for the same amount that it now costs to light only part of them.
You often hear the proverb, “Health is wealth.” If this be true, we ought to keep our streets sprinkled better in the summer time, for many disease germs are carried about in the dust. In the warm weather when the water supply is low, with just enough in the spring to meet the demands of the people, if we had a special hour in the morning and evening to sprinkle the streets, the creek water could be turned on at those times only and have the good pure water for drinking and cooking purposes. Heaps of rubbish piled up here and there not only add to the ill health of the neighborhood, but detract from the beauty of the street. In connection with these we wish to bring your attention to the old tumbled down buildings which are always are nuisance to the community.
The new pavement has been a source of great pleasure to us all for the last year, but the way of this world seems to be, “The more you have the more you want.” We should all be glad to have the pavement extended and we certainly should appreciate having that which we already have better cleaned.
A source of great annoyance to the ladies as they walk along the street is the promiscuous spitting on the sidewalks. Why not have a law against it? Other places have tried it and have been well pleased with the experiment.
Union City, as well as other cities, ought to be famous for parks. We certainly have good locations and how delightful it would be to sit beneath the leafy bowers on a summer afternoon and read, or in the evening listen to the music furnished by the celebrated Coleman’s Band.
With these improvements added to our already beautiful and enterprising little city we would have almost a paradise.