19 Aug 2014
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This Was Doylestown, 1914

Tabor Home marks its first anniversary, a chef is stabbed at the Monument House, and borough council wants a gasoline storage tank removed, 98 years ago this week.

This Was Doylestown, 1914 This Was Doylestown, 1914

Tabor Home celebrates first anniversary -

Ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the dedication of the Tabor Home for Needy and Destitute Children took place at the Home, located on the Doylestown pike, on Tuesday.

At the morning exercises, addresses were delivered by the Rev. Prof. C.M. Jacobs, D.D., of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Mt. Airy; and the Rev. C.J. Musser, D.D., editor of the Reformed Church Messenger.

At the afternoon service, there were interesting exercises by the children of the home and by a selected number of children from the Doylestown Public School, who rendered several drills and dances under the direction of Miss Sue Swartzlander, physical education director. An address was delivered by the Rev. C.G. Berkemyer, D.D., superintendent of the Wartburg Orphans' Home, located at Mount Vernon, N.Y.

All offerings of the day were for the benefit of the splendid work which the institution is doing. There are at present 45 children who are being cared for by the authorities of the institution, and many others are on the waiting list to be admitted as soon as the capacity can be enlarged.

The Home was started by a poor washerwoman--that is, poor in money but a millionairess in heart and generosity. Earning a livelihood at the wash-tub down near Philadelphia, slaving for a living, her heart was touched by the needs of an orphaned family of children in the neighborhood and she took them in.

By-and-by, there were more needy children touching her heart, and this great-hearted princess of the tub re-enacted the "widow's mite" story. She went to her pastor, Dr. Philip Lamartine, for help, and agreed to give her home for the work if the congregation would assist her in this great charity.

They agreed, and did; but the number of children grew, and outgrew the humble home of this woman, and another property was gotten.

It kept growing because it met a demand not met by Protestant congregations. It met the demand for the care of destitute children--not necessarily orphans--children worse off because of brutal fathers who would not support them but did abuse them, and, sometimes but not as often, unnatural mothers.

The Home took such children as the little chap who was thrown out of a window by his mother and was paralyzed, but who is now strong and active through the kind treatment he received in the Home.

The number of applicants for admission to the Home grew so rapidly that it was necessary to get a bigger place, and so, with more faith than cash, the people behind this institution decided to buy the Fretz homestead in Doylestown township for $22,000. They had just $500. Since then, $1,750 has been paid off, and efforts are to be made this year to wipe out the $20,250 indebtedness which remains.

Editor's note - Tabor Children's Services now runs its programs from the home, where the children's dormitories were discontinued in 1981.


Chef stabbed by dish-washer at Monument House -

James Weatherly, the chef at the Monument House [on North Main Street, where Third Federal Bank is today], had a very narrow escape from being murdered Thursday morning by Roger Ragland, the dish-washer, who slashed him seriously on the right side of the neck and on the side. Two arteries were cut and Weatherly bled profusely, but he will recover.

Ragland and Weatherly, both very large men, were working in the kitchen together shortly after six o'clock when the dish-washer started to fool around with one of the waitresses who was trying to draw some water. Weatherly remonstrated with him twice, and after the second rebuke, the chef says, Ragland suddenly drew his penknife and attacked him.

Weatherly claims he attempted to retreat to the cafe, but Ragland caught him at the door. After cutting two gashes through two coats and other clothing into his side, Ragland made a slash at his neck and cut a deep gash on the right side from the hair-line to the point of the chin, cutting the arteries.

Weatherly, bleeding profusely, managed to get away and call for help, and was hurried to Dr. Felix Murphy nearby, who worked with him for an hour. Seventeen stiches were necessary to close the wound in the neck.

Ragland was immediately arrested by Policeman William Hendricks and was taken to the Bucks County Prison. He had little to say, except that it was in self-defense.

Employees believe there could have been little quarreling, as they heard no noise coming from the kitchen until the cutting affray took place. Weatherly claims that he did not attack Ragland.


Women to make garments for European war victims -

Editor's note - World War I began in August 1914, with Great Britain, France and Russia pitted against Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey. The United States did not enter the war until April 1917.

Doylestown women are going to send a very substantial and helpful contribution to the Red Cross Society for the relief of the suffering of Europeans--if you can judge by the large attendance at the mass meeting of women of all the churches of the town in Randall's Hall on Monday afternoon.

Mrs. William R. Mercer, Jr. extended a call to the women of the town, and more than fifty were present at the meeting and were enthusiastic. In an informal address, Mrs. Mercer explained the reason for calling the meeting and read a circular sent out by the emergency committee of Philadelphia.

She explained the great need for the proposed assistance to the Red Cross Society, whose work is international and unrestricted by politics, race, color or creed, and told of an offer by the Jenkintown committee to supply material for garments to be made. She said she thought, however, that there are enough loyal and generous women in Doylestown to take up the work independently in a local organization.

It was decided to have an all-day meeting in Salem Reformed Church, to which box lunches will be brought by those who will take part. Those who will help expect to make the articles most urgently called for, which are men's night shirts, children's slip dresses and knitted woolen stockings. All of the garments are cut out and all the wool needed for knitting the stockings at the meeting was distributed, and was taken home by the women present.

It was announced that women who do not knit or care to sew, but who wish to assist, may do so with small contributions toward buying materials to be made into garments. Donations to the fund should be sent to Mrs. William R. Mercer, Jr., and finished work should be sent to Mrs. William L. Randall.

Mrs. Thomas Ross has offered to give a series of four lectures on Russian art at the home of Mrs. Hugh B. Eastburn, the proceeds to be devoted toward the relief fund.


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Council seeks removal of gasoline storage tank -

Town Council put itself on record Monday evening as being opposed to having the Atlantic Refining Company maintain in the borough any longer the menace of a 20,000-gallon storage tank filled with gasoline, and appointed a committee to confer with Borough Solicitor Wesley Bunting to have the tank removed.

Seven years or more ago a similar movement was started, but at that time the company promised that it would not store gasoline or other high explosives there without notice. Since then, councilmen stated, the company has four tanks for headlight oil, containing 25,000 gallons, and a 20,000-gallon tank of gasoline. In addition to that--Council says without permission--the company has laid two pipelines across South Clinton street from the railroad tracks to its plant.

A petition was presented to Council by taxpayers, residents and property owners of South Clinton street and vicinity. It stated that the storage of large quantities of gasoline, "by reason of its combustible and high explosive qualities, your petitioners consider a menace to their property and even to their lives, and, therefore, respectfully request Town Council to immediately take such steps as may be necessary to abate the nuisance."

In connection with the petition they also sent a recent newspaper clipping giving a detailed account of the narrow escape Brownsville [Fayette County], Pa. had from being wiped out by fire when a terrible explosion of gasoline took place there. Gasoline was thrown several hundred feet into the air. The burning fluid quickly spread flames to many buildings, and many citizens were caught in the rain of burning fluid.

Councilman Watson said: "I think this is one of the most dangerous menaces in town. Stored in a neighborhood where there are many inflammable buildings and highly inflammable materials, besides residences, is a great quantity of combustible fluid liable to explode at any moment.

"What I have noticed in other places, the tanks have been away from the built-up sections because of the constant danger to property such as can be found in the Brownsville incident, and another which did great damage. I think the best thing to do is to appoint a committee to confer with the solicitor to have the tank removed."


Assistant engineer dies at borough water works -

Climbing the steps at the Doylestown water works about 8:10 Friday morning, Edgar Ruth, assistant engineer, called feebly to Engineer William Hudson for help, then fell over on the steps and died almost instantly. Death is believed to have been due to acute indigestion.

Mr. Ruth had not been in good health for some time, and on Friday morning complained of feeling choked up. Engineer Hudson got him some soda mints, and later he said he felt better. After Mr. Hudson had gone outside the plant to his truck, he saw Mr. Ruth coming up the steps from the engine room and heard him exclaim feebly: "Oh, Billy."

He had hardly said the two words before he fell over. Mr. Hudson ran to his assistance, but he died almost immediately. Dr. Joseph R. Swartzlander, who was summoned, said he believed death was due to acute indigestion.

The deceased was the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Ruth and was born at Mechanics Valley, where he was raised on his father's farm. His early life was spent in farming, but for a number of years he had been employed as an engineer.

He was employed at the plant of the Doylestown Electric Company, then at the Paul Valley power station of the Rapid Transit Company, and later at the Willow Grove power plant. For about a year he has been assistant engineer at the Doylestown borough water station.

Mr. Ruth was well known as a musician. He was a member of Brock's Orchestra, when that noted musical organization was in its prime, and of the Doylestown Band.

He is survived by his widow, who was Miss Saurman before her marriage; two daughters, Miss Sadie Ruth and Mrs. Russell P. Crawford, of Doylestown; and a sister, Mrs. Stephen K. Atkinson, of Trenton.


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Doylestown Town Notes -

Yum! Yum! The members of Doylestown, had rabbit pie for "eats" Wednesday night. Dictator George L. Bitting went out with his trusty 12-gauge shotgun Tuesday and got 'em.

Harvey Shelly, of North Clinton street, is slowly recovering from a severe carbuncle.

Six of the fifteen surviving members of Company G, 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry, attended the fifth annual reunion in Doylestown on Saturday. They met at the General Robert L. Bodine Post, G.A.R. [Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union Civil War veterans] on Oakland avenue, followed by a banquet at the Railroad House [on South Clinton Street].

"Linden Hall," which was purchased some months ago by Wynne James, has been handsomely remodeled.

A live opossum was on exhibition Wednesday in the window of Frye & Weidner's store on Main street.

As the apple season is about over, Wilson H. Swartley will close his cider and vinegar plant on Wood street this Saturday.

Arthur C. Leaman, of East State street, suffered a very serious attack of heart trouble Thursday evening, but Friday morning was reported to be resting easier.

Mr. and Mrs. I.J. Vanartsdalen moved Saturday to their new Colonial residence on the Chestnut Grove Annex tract [near West Oakland Avenue], and Mr. and Mrs. Harold H. Keller are moving into the house on East Ashland street they vacated.

Dr. Joseph R. Swartzlander has had an enclosed top put on his Ford runabout.

Improvements required by the Factory Inspector are being made to the Doylestown Worsted Mill [on North Main Street, where Belvedere at Doyle Square is today]. In the factories where machinery is used, safe-guards have been put around the dangerous parts.

James P. Sculi has sold a property on Lafayette street to C. Joseph Schroeder for $2,500.

A little girl under the care of the Aid Society has run away from her home in Doylestown. She is ten years old, has dark hair and eyes. When she went away she was dressed in a plaid dress, red sweater and two-shade brown knitted cap. The society will be very thankful for any information leading to her recovery.


From the Doylestown Daily Intelligencer, Week of Nov. 8-14, 1914

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