This Was Newtown: 1922

A look back at Newtown, 90 years ago this month.

From the Newtown Enterprise, October 1922

Newtown, other boroughs oppose replacing trolleys with buses  

Application of the Pennsylvania-New Jersey Traction Company for permission to discontinue the trolley service between Doylestown, Newtown and Bristol, and to substitute therefor an automobile bus line, came up for a hearing before Public Service Commissioner James Benn in Philadelphia one day last week.

As a result of the hearing, which Commissioner Benn continued indefinitely, it is unilkely the request of the trolley company will be granted until the company guarantees the municipalities through which it now operates, a satisfactory transportation service, with enough equipment to handle all traffic and a promise to repair all streets in the various boroughs that may be torn up in scrapping their line.

At the hearing, William R. Stuckert represented Newtown borough; Isaac J. Vanartsdalen, Hulmeville and South Langhorne; Senator Clarence J. Buckman, Langhorne; and Howard I. James, Bristol.

All the boroughs, through their attorneys, protested vigorously against the discontinuance. They were joined by protests entered by residents living along the line and also by the Trenton and Bristol Traction Company, which entered a protest against the proposed lower-end route of the bus line. The school district of Wycombe also made a protest.

Gaylord Thompson, superintendent of the Pennsylvania-New Jersey Traction Company, was called to testify. He said it was the company's intention to discontinue the Newtown and Bristol sections of the line altogether and to scrap the equipment. Superintendent Thompson contended that the company is operating at a loss of $25,000 annually.

It is planned to operate the bus line every two hours between Doylestown and Bristol, with an additional hourly bus between Langhorne and Bristol. The new buses will seat 17 persons each.

Attorneys took the stand that a 17-passenger bus every two hours could not handle the traffic along the line. Those protesting also contended the certificate should not be granted until the boroughs and communities along the line had some guarantee that all streets should be repaired after tracks were torn up. For this guarantee, the boroughs are asking a bond.

Commissioner Benn told the trolley company to hold a public meeting with the various boroughs and communities along their line and to map out some plan would absolutely protect all the boroughs and would give them assurance of service that would handle all passengers and be satisfactory to everybody.

Women's group to distribute gifts to hospitalized veterans

The Newtown Women's Christian Temperance Union convened on Thursday evening at the home of Mrs. Lavinia T. Brown. Anna M. Wood conducted a devotional period, followed by sentence prayers by several members.

Alice A. Buckman, local and county head of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Department, laid plans for the November W.C.T.U. meeting.

This takes the form of a Christmas shower for those who served the nation before shot and shell. Another afghan will be undertaken and it is hoped a sufficiently large number of members will knit these six-by-six-inch squares, so that some soldiers hospitalized may have it at Yuletide.

If anyone has phonograph records which she is willing to give away, she will do much good by sending them to cheer hospitals where those wounded in the World War are still struggling to regain health.

The sunshine bags made at last December's meeting were so much appreciated that they will be again made. Every woman of the union was asked to bring seven small gifts to fill a bag, each gift being wrapped and marked with the day of the week on which it is to be opened. If there are any money contributions, such will be used by the superintendent in buying materials for the bags themselves.

It is hoped that at least two comfort bags will be made and filled. The content of comfort bags is set by the national superintendent, so the articles needed will be bought from the general treasury.


Morell Smith Post, No. 440, of the American Legion wishes to announce the reopening of a series of DANCES in Bond's Auditorium, Newtown, Pa., the first of which will be Saturday Evening, Oct. 14th... Hildebrecht's Orchestra will play. Ladies' Auxiliary will act as patronesses...Ladies, 50c; Gentlemen, 65c.

Newtown council discusses street repairs  

Four of the six members of the town council of Newtown Borough attended the monthly meeting of that body held last Monday evening.

It was reported that a crossing stone at Washington Avenue and Chancellor Street had been broken by the roller in operation on Washington avenue, that the material loosened on said avenue had been put to a good use in filling in on other streets and that the old cistern on Liberty Street, near Washington Avenue, had caved in again.

As trucks and automobiles from outside the borough--some of them from outside the State--are responsible for much of the street wear, to repair which is so costly in these days, it was suggested that it might be well to adopt the plan now in effect in a certain Long Island City, where all such vehicles are required to pay a toll or tax on entering the town or stay on the outside.

Under New Business, it was reported that Harris Brody had paid the bill of costs incurred in the repair of the traffic sign at State street and Washington avenue, which was wrecked by his runaway team.

Hutchinson Brothers had been employed to mow the sides of some of the streets with a mower, the work with a machine being considered preferable to scythe work, aside from the fact that men could not be obtained to swing scythes.

Treasurer Merrick reported receipts during the past month as follows: Permit of Keystone Show, $10; street permits, $3; foreign fire insurance premiums returned, $50.12; Linton Memorial Park fund interest, $42.75; borough tax, $3,391.51; bond tax, $968.87; interest on Liberty bonds, $61.63; use of roller, $69.60; total, $4,597.48.

Fire destroys barn, farm buildings

The large stone barn on the farm of Horace E.K. Stapler, known to many as the "Samuel Wynkoop Farm," along the Neshaminy southwest of Newtown, was burned Thursday afternoon, the fire breaking out about 4 o'clock.

Mr. Stapler and his man were cutting corn in a field some distance from the buildings when the latter, looking toward the barn, saw that it was on fire. The blaze seemed to have started in some baled straw on the barn floor.

There was some delay in notifying the Newtown fire department, due to the lack of a telephone, so that when the firemen arrived there was no possibility of saving the building. They accordingly turned their attention to the work of saving other buildings.

Frame hay and straw sheds attached to the barn, and a frame wagon house across the lane, were also burned. Some of the contents were removed, but several tons of baled wheat, oats and straw in the barn, and 25 bushels of wheat in the wagon house, together with some pieces of machinery, shared the fate of the buildings.

We have heard no estimate of the loss sustained by Mr. Stapler. There was partial insurance on the burned buildings with the Farmers' and Mechanics' Mutual Insurance Association of Bucks County and the Mutual Beneficial Insurance Association of Bucks County, while the personal property was protected by a policy with the Commercial Union Assurance Company of London, England.

The barn, which thus fell prey to the destroying element, was built many years ago by Charles Leedom, but was in good condition, and would have answered its purpose ror years to come had it been permitted to stand.


FOR SALE...$2,000 Buys a Working Man's Home; hardly the price of a garage. 6 rooms, large lot...$3,150 Buys a New Bungalow. Everything in complete order; possession in thirty days. Why rent when you can buy property for such a figure?...$2,800 Buys a Nice Corner Home. Very large lot, garage, poultry house and garden...Several Other Bargains on My List...W.T.WRIGHT, Newtown, Pa.

Newtown Notes

Street Commissioner Rudolph Hauler, while at work on Washington avenue on Monday, slipped from a shaft of his cart and fell on the street curb, cracking one or more of his ribs. Because of this accident he has had to keep on the retired list this week, but says this is only temporary and he hopes to be back on the job next week.

Miss Helen Morris has been enjoying at her home a week's vacation from her duties. Last Saturday, she joined a party of employees of the Reading Railroad on an excursion to the Hudson River, returning on Sunday evening.

Harvest Home Day, organized by the Epworth League, will be oberved in the Newtown Methodist Episcopal Church on Sunday, October 15. Fruits, jellies, vegetables, groceries and provisions of all kinds may be left at the church Saturday afternoon, October 14. The same is to be sent to the Deaconess Home in Philadelphia.

Twenty-one cows, averaging $106-1/2, with $141 the highest price, were sold at F.H. Bernheisel's sale at the Brick Hotel on Thursday afternoon.

H. Griffin Miller is having a large brick chimney built on the north side of his building on South State street, with a view to using for dwelling purposes the portion of the building not occupied by the store.

Mrs. Anna Fell, now living in the Hellig house, has purchased from Mrs. J. V. Goodnoe the restaurant business which the latter has conducted for several years at State street and Centre avenue, and will move there and take charge on November 1st.

The members of St. Luke's Church will celebrate the ninetieth anniversary of the founding of the parish during the week of the annual parochial festival, which begins on St. Luke's Day, October 18. In addition to the customary services, there will be special preachers and special music.

Mr. and Mrs. George Patterson, of Newtown, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Grupp, of Elizabeth, N.J., have been away on a week's motor trip to Gettysburg, Washington, D.C. and other points of interest.

The Boys' Brigade met in Arcade Hall on Monday evening. In the near future, they will hold a cake sale to get funds with which to purchase suits and pay hall rent.

Jannsch's bakery delivery team had a narrow escape on Thursday, when on East Centre avenue, the shafts worked loose and fell down. The horse, being quiet, did not attempt to run away and the damage was soon repaired.

Mrs. Charles Edward Price underwent an operation Monday at the Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, and has since been doing well.

The first meeting for this season of the Newtown Friends' Association will be held in Friends' meeting house on October 11. Murray B. Kenworthy will talk on Russian famine relief work. He has been at the head of the American Friends' Service Committee's portion of the work, and tells an appealing and effective story in regard to the needs of Russia and the work that has been carried on there by Friends. The meeting will be open to the public and everybody who desires to do so may attend.

Anna Domzalski October 09, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Love these articles, you learn so much! What a great community Newtown has been and is! Love living here and selling real estate!
Marie Hutchinson November 13, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Love these articles. I have lived in Newtown since 1934. My great-grandfather, Lawrence Hutchinson, came to the Newtown area in the mid 1830s from Ireland and my grandfather, William, and father, Earl, were born in Newtown. These bring back memories.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »