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This Was Newtown: 1908

A look back at Newtown, 104 years ago this month.

From the Newtown Enterprise, November 1908

Newtown borough, township vote for Taft

Editor's note: In the presidential election of 1908, Republican William Howard Taft defeated Democrat William Jennings Bryan, who previously ran unsuccessfully for president in 1896 and 1900. Taft carried both Bucks County and Pennsylvania.

The election in Newtown borough was devoid of sensational or startling features.

Not a challenge was made and the vote of every man who presented himself at the polls was accepted without question. There was no large congregation of people about the polling place.

The total number of votes was 393, out of a registration, corrected up to sixty days before the election, of 444. Of Tuesday's vote, 197 were straight Republican and 63 straight Democratic ballots.

Republican William Howard Taft received 275 votes in the borough to Democrat William Jennings Bryan's 104. Taft's vote was eight less than that given Republican Theodore Roosevelt in 1904, while Bryan's was ten in excess of what Democrat Alton Parker had in 1904, and 20 more than what Bryan had when he was before the people for the second time--in 1900.

Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received five votes, and Socialist candidate Eugene Debs got four votes.

The work of the election officers was not completed until 3 o'clock Wednesday morning, long after all those who had been out to hear the returns and learn the results had returned to their homes.

Newtown township voters turned out to the number of 187. Of the ballots cast, 87 were straight Republican and 59 straight Democratic.

Taft outpolled Bryan in the township by 103 to 81 votes, while Chafin received two votes and Debs none.

There was considerable feeling Tuesday over the challenge of a colored man's right to vote. The vote was finally accepted after the matter had been referred to the chairman of the Democratic county committee.

Beautiful wedding takes place in Newtown

A wedding of interest to many residents of Bucks county was that solemnized according to the impressive ceremony of the Society of Friends, at the home of Mrs. Abbie B. Rice, of Newtown, when her daughter, Maud Esther Rice, became the wife of William R. Stuckert, Esq., of Newtown, on Wednesday.

The home, situated on North Lincoln avenue, was tastefully decorated for the occasion with a profusion of emilax and white sweet peas, and the ceremony took place beneath a bower of this same decoration at 12 o'clock, noon. The wedding was under the care of Makefield Monthly Meeting of Friends.

The bride looked extremely lovely in a handsome white lace and net robe gown, wearing a veil and carrying a bouquet of white sweet peas. Her maid of honor, a former chum of Swarthmore College days, was Miss Anna J. Nichols, of Wilmington, Del. Her gown was an elaborate pink creation and she carried pink sweet peas. The groom was attended by Clarence J. Bisker, of Chicago.

After the few simple words of the ceremony had been said, first by the groom, then by the bride, the marriage certificate was read by Mrs. Mary E. Eyre. Remarks appropriate to the occasion were made by Evan T. Worthington, and made an impressive benediction to the solemn ceremony.

There were about fifty persons present, including only near relatives and a few intimate friends, who offered Mr. and Mrs. Stuckert their heartiest congratulations during the reception hour following the ceremony.

The bride and groom departed in an automobile for a wedding trip later in the afternoon amid a shower of best wishes and confetti. Mr. and Mrs. Stuckert will be "at home" after December 15th at 110 N. Lincoln avenue, Newtown.

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New Century Club hears about Jane Addams  

The Newtown New Century Club meeting on Wednesday afternoon was largely attended, and a very enjoyable time was spent listening to several of the members give reports of recent pleasure trips and club functions.

It was the idea at this meeting to commence the study of present day women, those prominent in all positions which women may fill, and a number of interesting meetings are promised for the remainder of the year.

Miss Martha C. Wilson read a paper on Jane Addams, who is carrying on such splendid work through the beautifully equipped settlement house, known as "Hull House," in Chicago.

Miss Addams was called to this work of bridging the social barriers while on a trip to London as a young woman. She saw a poor, half-starved man buy a dirty head of cabbage and begin at once to devour it.

This picture made such a strong impression on Miss Addams that she left her life of ease and luxury and began at once to prepare herself to be able to give help in all ways to the needy, with the thought before her, "Who is our Neighbor."

This has been the motto always and ever at "Hull House," and is, no doubt, accountable for its wonderful power among the industrial classes. Many of her helpers are people of wealth and refinement who have been called into the work by the wonderful personality of the originator of the House.

A piano duet was played by Mrs. Bertha Feaster and Miss Annie B. Smith at the opening of the program, and Miss Smith played a solo at the close, both of which were greatly appreciated.

Borough Council discusses disputed street  

The regular monthly meeting of Newtown's borough fathers was held last Monday evening with all in attendance except President Afflerbach. John H. Mitchell was elected to preside during the evening.

It was reported that the alleged street from South State street, in the rear of Kenderdine's establishment, had been fenced in by direction of Edward S. Hutchinson, representative of the estate of H.G. Sickel, deceased, and that the borough now had use for some of the material deposited on the line of said alleged street, known to some as Chancellor street extended, but could not get it as the gate in the said new fence is kept locked.

A motion was made that the Street Committee be instructed to tear down the fence or cause it to be removed. This motion was earnestly discussed.

Councilman Voorhees questioned whether the worthless piece of ground in controversy was worth a lawsuit. If the material which the borough had deposited on the alleged street had been placed on the side instead of the middle thereof, he thought there never would have been any trouble over the ground.

William L. Walker said the borough's property deposited there had never been in the way of the Kenderdines. Attorney Stuckert thought the right to run the water from Chancellor street over this ground was its most valuable feature for the borough. Burgess [Mayor] Trego argued that there must be some way to dispose of the water on South State street.

The motion lost by a vote of 1 to 2. Then a motion that the Street Committee be directed to go to Edward S. Hutchinson and endeavor to secure a right of way for a water course over the fenced-in street was carried by a vote of 3 to 2.

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Newtown Notes

John J. Burns was given a very pretty surprise party at his home on South State street Monday evening in honor of his birthday. The evening was pleasantly spent in vocal and instrumental music and dancing, after which a lunch was served. About 100 guests were present from Trenton, Yardley, Fallsington, Churchville and Newtown. After wishing the host many more happy birthdays, the guests departed at a late hour for their homes.

The total receipts of the Ladies' Social and Aid Society of the Presbyterian Church supper, at Newtown Hall, on Saturday evening were $171.83. Some 311 suppers were served.

Malcolm A. Buckman, as captain, had 136 men from Newtown in line at the big Republican demonstration in Doylestown on Friday night.

Robert Atkinson was taken to the Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia on Sunday to receive treatment for a bursted artery in the foot, but is now at his home again.

A big flock of wild geese, going South, flew over Newtown on Sunday evening about dark. A sure sign of approaching cold weather.

George L. White, of Newtown township, has voted in 19 Presidential elections. He began in 1836, when William Henry Harrison ran for the office, and has never missed one since.

Miss Amy Buckman has installed a bathroom and the necessary conveniences in her home on Congress street.

The 147th annual meeting of the Newtown Library Company was held on Saturday afternoon at 3 o'clock. The directors met at the office of George A. Jenks on Thursday evening to select new books for purchase.

Special services will be held in the Newtown Methodist Episcopal Church every everning next week except Saturday. The meetings will be in the charge of Rev. E.F. Hoffman, the pastor's son, who will preach each evening in the interest of evangelical work.

Harman D. Addis, of the Southampton granite and marble works, this week finished the erection of a fine tomb over the vault of the late Mrs. S.E. Dolton in Newtown Cemetery. The vault itself was constructed last summer by Mr. Addis.

All the old officers, with one exception, were re-elected at the annual meeting of the stockholders of the Bridgetown and Newtown Turnpike Road Company, held Monday afternoon at the office of Thomas P. Chambers. William T. Wright succeeds Edward H. Buckman as treasurer.

William Foote, living on Sycamore street, has finished gathering his big crop of rutabagas. He now has 2,700 bushels of the root stored about his premises.

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