This Was Doylestown, 1936

The annual Birthday Ball will be held to benefit polio victims, Doylestown may get its own lockup, and a car plunges into the Borough Dam, 77 years ago this week.

Birthday Ball to raise money for fight against polio -

Editor's note - Franklin Delano Roosevelt lost the use of his legs when he was stricken with polio in 1921, at age 39, and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Roosevelt began undergoing therapy at the natural mineral springs in Warm Springs, Ga., and later created the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation to assist polio victims. After he became president in 1933, Birthday Balls were held each Jan. 30 (Roosevelt's birth date in 1882) to raise money for treating and finding a cure for polio, also called infantile paralysis.

Together with 5,000 cities and towns throughout the United States, Doylestown will promote a third annual Birthday Ball for President Roosevelt, in the 111th Regiment Armory [on Shewell Avenue] on Thursday night, Jan. 30.

The ball is the rallying point for all those who wish to stamp out infantile paralysis. The last two years, the President's ball in Doylestown has attracted more than 500 dancers, and a sum of money has been cleared that has substantially assisted in this nationwide movement to wipe out polio.

There is a popular demand in Bucks county to carry on the work this year, in view of the recurrence of the dreaded disease during the past Summer.

"It looks like the biggest dance in the history of this worthy project," declared Francis L. Mathews, of New Hope, secretary of the general committee. Ken Stanley and his broadcasting orchestra have been booked for the dance.

"After this ball is over and you have journeyed to your home, happy and tired from dancing, you will feel proud of the fact that you were one of the many who contributed in a large way to the rehabilitation of those suffering from infantile paralysis," said the general chairman, Maxwell Koplin, of South Langhorne.

This year, the local committees throughout the United States have approved the President's suggestion that 70 percent of the proceeds raised by each local Birthday Ball be retained in the community to be disbursed to local or adjacent orthopedic hospitals, or for the treatment of local infantile paralysis cripples, as each local committee will decide.

Thirty percent of the proceeds will be turned over to the national committee for delivery to the President, to be presented to him by the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation for the continuation and extension of its part in the national fight against infantile paralysis.

It is estimated that another million dollars will pour into the war coffers for America's offensive against infantile paralysis this month. The reports of the 1935 balls, drawn up by Keith Morgan, treasurer of the national committee, showed that $1,071,000 was raised for the fund on Jan. 30, 1935.


Doylestown may get local lockup -

Doylestown may soon have her own lockup if a suggestion made at Monday's Borough Council meeting by former state Senator Webster Grim is accepted.

Appearing before Council, Senator Grim suggested that the police committee confer with the trustees of Aquetong Lodge No. 194, I.O.O.F. [Independent Order of Odd Fellows], concerning a section of the Lenape Building, at Main and State streets, that is available for a borough lockup.

Police are at their wit's end to know what to do with the numerous transients who come here stranded at night and want a place to sleep, since they cannot be sent to the County Jail or County Home, and the town has no lockup. Almost every night there is at least one transient--and there have been as many as seven in one night.

Council members expressed the opinion that the Lenape Building proposition is by far the best offered to Council, and the police committee was directed to meet with the lodge officials immediately. It is quite likely that the much-needed lockup for "overnight guests" will be established shortly in the Lenape Building.

Also at Monday night's meeting, Council members were furnished with copies of the proposed "Doylestown Building Code," covering 175 typewritten pages.

The proposed building code was drawn up by an expert. Various communities were visited and building codes carefully examined before the proposed Doylestown code was framed. Although very lengthy, the proposed code will take care of Doylestown, it was explained, for many years to come.

The code was referred to the police and fire committee, which was authorized to hold public hearings from time to time for the various contracting trades covered in the code. The entire 175-page document will be carefully reviewed and recommendations will be made before it is finally placed before Council for passage at a future meeting.


Car plunges into Borough Dam -

An early-morning dip in the icy waters of the Doylestown Borough Dam was the rather shocking experience of Mrs. and Mrs. John B. Hill, of Mechanicsville, on Wednesday.

Hill and his wife were returning to their home when the accident occurred about 5 o'clock Wednesday morning. Hill, a veteran of the World War, is a shoemaker who conducts a shop in Chalfont.

As Hill was proceeding east on State Street, he missed the slight left turn at the borough mill hill, according to Chief of Police James Welsh, who investigated the accident. His car hopped a small ditch, speeded downhill over the frost-covered ground for a distance of 85 yards, and then plunged into the Borough Dam in two feet of water. The car finally came to a stop eight feet from the side of the dam.

The scream of a woman and noise caused by the cracking of ice that covered the dam awakened Mrs. Herbert Coulton, wife of the engineer of the Doylestown Water Works, who lives about 80 yards from the dam. She awakened her husband, who hurried to the assistance of the Hills.

Hill had managed to get his wife out of the car--a small coupe--by the time that Coulton arrived on the scene, and was carrying her toward the Coulton residence. Mrs. Hill was in a semi-conscious condition from shock and cold. Both were immediately taken to their home in Mechanicsville by Mr. Coulton.

Hill's car was towed out of the dam shortly before 8 o'clock by a wreck-car from a Doylestown garage. The automobile was not damaged. The lights of the car were still burning when the car was towed out.


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Boy Scouts hold father-and-son banquet -

Boy Scout Troop 2, of Doylestown, held the first father-and-son banquet in its history Monday night at the Water-Wheel Tavern in Dyerstown. The banquet was attended by 62 enthusiastic scouts, scouters and fathers.

The speaker, Scoutmaster-Skipper Robert M. Moore of Philadelphia, who has been a scouter for 23 years, told the scouts of several experiences he has had in connection with the sea scouts, and as scoutmaster.

"When our troop became interested in sea scouting, we had ten Eagle scouts ready for the ship. At first, we used a canoe, in which we had many adventures. Then, as we expanded, we obtained a twelve-foot 'sneak box' with a four-foot mast." Mr. Moore said.

"With the 'sneak box,' we once sailed up to a fifteen-foot mud flat, skidded all the way across it, and resumed sailing on the river, saving a good deal of hard sailing," he related. "We were able to obtain a 24-foot whaler, in which we took several long cruises."

Robert Dippy, chairman of the troop committee, spoke of the troop's accomplishments. "Under the leadership of Scoutmaster Hillborn Darlington, Jr., the troop has progressed rapidly. As soon as we obtain a cubmaster, we will organize a cub pack," he stated.

Scribe Dillwyn Darlington, editor of the Boy Scout Bulletin, gave a detailed account of the activities of the newly formed journal.

"For some time, the troop has needed a publication to aid in the planning of the troop affairs. With four different organizations, we feel that this publication will serve as a fine medium between the boy and his parents, as well as training the scout in elementary journalism. This bulletin, published monthly, will notify the parents of the activities of the boys in scouting," he said.

Carl Gretz, an outstanding Indian dancer, presented a short dance, which depicted the hunting scene of the Indian. Mr. Gretz, a resident of Jenkintown, was a pupil of George Stalling, the world's best white Indian dancer and former instructor at Dan Beard's camp.


Company D undergoes annual inspection -

With 60 out of 61 Guardsmen present, the annual Federal inspection of Company D, 111th Infantry Regiment, Bucks County's only Pennsylvania National Guard unit, was held Friday evening in the Armory.

Wearing their tan-colored serge uniforms and barrack-style caps, the Guardsmen engaged in various military drills, including first aid, in the large drill shed. Twenty-three of the Guardsmen have less than one year of service.

The officers in charge of the inspection were Colonel Kellerer, who represented the United States Army; and Major Drake, of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

The Guardsmen demonstrated a close order drill of squad movements by company and platoon; school of soldier, which involved the fundamentals such as marching and saluting; and an elementary gun drill consisting of the mounting and dismounting of machine guns.

As the command of one of the inspecting officers, the Guardsmen staged an advanced gun drill, including the laying of targets and the firing of the new .22-caliber machine gun.

Among the 75 guests were Captain Daniel D. Atkinson, formerly head of the local Guardsmen; ex-Sergeants Frank M. Stultz and Peter Carney; and World War veterans Dr. John J. Sweeney, George Atkinson and John Atkinson.


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Doylestown Town Notes -

When Stace McEntee, a member of the Bar, went at 5:30 Monday afternoon to get his car parked on Court Street, in front of Doylestown National Bank [at Printer's Alley], it was gone. Mr. McEntee had left the key in the car, which was only about 100 feet from his office. The automobile was recovered Tuesday at Harrow, where it was found by a garage owner abandoned on the road.

Miss Sarah M. James and Dr. George H. Lorah left Sunday at midnight for a five-week sojourn in Florida.

Raymond Lawrence, of East Court street, is confined to his home because of an ear infection.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry E. Ely, of East Oakland avenue, were among the guests during the Major Bowes amateur hour radio broadcast from Radio City in Rockefeller Center, New York, on Sunday evening. The studio, which was filled, seats 1,400 people.

Daniel Shaddinger is having alterations done at home on East Court street, under the supervision of Mr. Krout.

Miss Gertrude Rutherford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Rutherford of Donaldson street, had the misfortune to burn her arm when she fell against the stove on Wednesday.

At the Sunday evening service at 8 o'clock in Salem Reformed Church, curios and slides, brought from China to America by Dr. A.D. Casselman, will be shown.

Rudolph Hein, D. Ralph Stone and several other local wrestling fans on Thursday night attended the matches in Camden, N.J. featuring Chief Little Wolf, the Navajo Redskin, famous for his invention of the torturing Death Lock; and Joe Dusek, youngest of the quartet of Omaha wrestling brothers.

Miss Grace Chander, of West Court street, on Monday evening attended a performance of "Ethan Frome," with Raymond Massey, Pauline Lord and Ruth Gordon, in a Philadelphia theatre.

Henry Kuhliessen, one of the County Seat's most enthusiastic philatelists, has announced that in the interest of organizing a stamp collector's club, a meeting will be held at his home on Shewell Avenue on Wednesday evening.

Charles Brashears, of East Oakland avenue, is a patient in Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia, where he is undergoing treatment and observation

Miss Dorothea F. DeCoursey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl DeCoursey, entertained about twenty-five of her friends at a musical tea Saturday afternoon at the studio of her teacher, Miss Katharine C. Siegler. The piano program of classical, romantic and modern composers from Bach to Debussy, was very well played, Miss DeCoursey receiving much favorable comment on her talents.


From the Doylestown Daily Intelligencer, Week of Jan. 12-18, 1936

Mark Glidden January 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM
I wonder if I gave my wife a stove as a gift if she would thank me for "the gift of lasting joy". Hmmmmmm.
Wayne Younger January 17, 2013 at 03:33 PM
I contracted polio one week b-4 Thanksgiving in 1948 while trying to "grow-up" in New Galena. My father was in the middle of trying to get a third mortgage on our farm for the expenses when the March of Dimes CALLED HIM, telling my father not to worry because they were going to pay EVERYTHING. Guess where my donations have gone since.
Sarah Larson January 17, 2013 at 10:33 PM
That's a great story, Wayne. Thanks for sharing.
Mark Glidden January 18, 2013 at 08:04 PM
That is an awesome story and good reason for the dedication you have to MOD. Thanks for posting it!
Sarah Larson January 24, 2013 at 05:30 AM
Probably not so much. ;)


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