Jul 26, 2014
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This Was Southampton: Week of July 22, 1959

A look back at life in Southampton, more than a half century ago.

This Was Southampton: Week of July 22, 1959


The following information was obtained from The Southampton Star, week of July 15-22, 1959 


Top News: Manpower Shortage Hit By Fire Chief 

Horace C. Beans, Chief of the Upper Southampton Township Fire Company, and Fire Company President Sarmen Rhoads granted a special interview with The Southampton Star regarding the future of the company, following reports that manpower hit an all-time low.

Levels Compared to WWII 

The Star reported manpower for staffing Upper Southampton Fire Company’s trucks reached one of its lowest levels since wartime.

Beans said the department struck an emergency arrangement with the police department to use an officer as a driver for one of the fire trucks, but said this was only a “stop-gap measure.”

Rhoads said the department needed more men to keep the daytime ranks up to our expected high level of efficiency.

“Manpower and finance are our biggest problems,” he said. 

Rhoads said that with 7,000 persons living in the township and around 15,000 in the immediate area, he expected to be able to draw upon enough men to build the department’s daytime ranks. 

He said adding more members in the upcoming months was a priority for the department.   

Rescue Squad Plans

Asked about plans to organize and operate an Upper Southampton Township Rescue Squad, both Beans and Rhoads agreed that a squad was vitally needed in the area.

However, Rhoads said that again manpower was a problem. 

“A rescue squad is a separate organization from the fire company. It must have its own funds, its personnel and its own vehicles. Money for the organization would have to come from the people in the Southampton area, since it would be a voluntary organization,” he said. 

Rhoads told The Star for future emergencies the township had been promised a stand-by ambulance from the Trevose Rescue Squad. 

“It would be based at our fire house during a particular period,” he said.  “But this is only a temporary expedient and doesn’t solve our present needs.” 

Estimated Costs 

The gentlemen estimated that the ambulance itself would cost between $14,000 and $15,000 in what they called “the inflated automotive market of the day.” 

They said approximately 12 men and women would be required to operate the squad, which would be available to the community on a 24-hour basis, 365 days a year.

Also, all of the workers would need to be trained in first aid by the American Red Cross.

Discussion to be Continued

Rhoads told The Star the discussion would be on the agenda at the next fire company meeting. 

He said the company recently ordered a new truck and planned to retain the old truck as an autocar. 

“With our 1959 budget set at $21,000, we can use all of the financial and moral support of every individual in the township,” he said. 


Below the Fold: 

The biggest news in Southampton Heights for the week was the move of the Yerkes’ house to its new location on Cherry Lane and Pinewood Road.



The Davisville Center, at Davisville and Street Roads, advertised the following deals:

Steaks for 85¢ a pound. 

Two 3-lb packages of Frankfurters for 99¢ 

A “Giant-Sized” box of Tide for 74¢

Salada Tea Bags – 49¢ for a box of 48 bags



Experienced Waitress Wanted – Steady work. Fountain knowledge helpful, but not essential. Hours – 5 to 11 p.m. Apply to HUB Luncheonette, 772 E. Second Street Pike, Southampton

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