Bonham Daily Favorite, March 30, 1918
Honey Grove Is Very Much Aroused
Actions and Speech of Several Germans There Are Displeasing
A rather serious condition obtains now at Honey Grove and in the country near there. The Favorite has been aware of conditions there for several days, but has said little about it. It gave a brief account a few days ago of the punishment meted out by a number of citizens to Fritz Messerer, a German resident of the town for disloyal and offensive remarks concerning this country. He was roughly handled.
On Monday last a mass meeting of the citizens was held to express their feelings toward this man and other Germans, of whom there is a small colony northeast of that place. We understand that these people were assured that as long as they conducted themselves like men who were worthy [of] the protection of the country that is now protecting them and giving them sustenance they were perfectly safe. But they were given to understand that the people knew enough to justify them in feeling that some of them were not loyal to this government, and that Honey Grove Americans were not going to put up with any expressions of disloyalty or any show of disloyalty.
Messerer is owner, with another German, of the Honey Grove ice plant. They were told that somebody must manage that plant whom the Honey Grove people could put the utmost confidence in. We understand from a Honey Grove man that later on the government was asked to send a man there to take charge of the property.
Some of the Germans in and near Honey Grove are naturalized citizens and some of them are not. Some of them are above suspicion, but others must prove their loyalty by their actions. We hope that there is none of them but who will come up like men and stand behind this nation in its efforts to overthrow the tyranny that drove most of them to this land for freedom and protection. It behooves all these men to walk circumspectly, for our people are now in no humor to bear any show of disloyalty on the part of any man, native or foreign-born. White this is true, let it be kept constantly in mind that every man is entitled to full protection and freedom as long as he behaves as a good citizen should. There is apt to be those who are ready to make the innocent suffer with the guilty. That should never be done where it can be avoided. The Honey Grove people should see to it that every loyal German should be given the same consideration and protection that is granted a loyal native. We believe this will be done. We firmly believe that short shift should be made of the alien enemy or the native who will aid and assist the enemies of this country in this supreme hour of its trial, but at the same time we believe that the people should make sure that the guilty party is known before any violent action is taken.
We cannot be too careful. We cannot take too much pains to protect ourselves against spies and disloyal citizens of this land, as well as disloyal aliens. But we cannot be too careful to know that we are right when we decide that a man is an enemy.