|YEARS GONE BY
|Pottsville Republican of January 4, 1913
SOME BIG LIVE TOPICS FOR SCHUYLKILL HAVEN PEOPLE
Schuylkill Haven business people are about the most active bunch of good citizenship that can be found anywhere in the Schuylkill
region. The town is one of the liveliest, up to date places of the county and there are plans ahead which, if only carried out in part, will
succeed in stirring up not only the local community, but will widely extend the influence of Schuylkill Haven and bring additional trade
to town stores. The citizens were formally banded together as a municipal league but the place of this body is now taken by the
Manufacturers Association and these are ably assisted by the town officials so that together there is quite a live wire crowd who are
looking after the best interests of the town.
Among the things that are leading topics of conversation with our people, and you will hear at least one or more of these matters
talked about every time you see two or three of our leading citizens talking together, are some of the following:
An electric bus line to Friedensburg and eventually Pine Grove,
The bridging or tunneling of the Reading tracks on Main Street at the passenger station,
The turning of the old canal on Canal Street into a park,
The paving of more of the streets,
The organization of a central steam company that will supply heat and power to residences and factories,
Opposition to the control of council by Reading Company influences,
A fight against the prevailing high price of coal,
The dredging of the old river or the culverting of the stream as a means of better health regulation in the borough,
The construction of a municipal building for council, school board, Board of Health, Civic Association and Police Headquarters.
These are some of the many breezy topics our Schuylkill Haven people are interested in just now, besides the talk of increasing their
factory facilities. Talking of factories, Schuylkill Haven is proud that all of the many factories are controlled and managed by home
people and these industries are becoming so diversified that, when one or down, the other one is up and so by variety in industry
there are no severe spasms of idleness hereabouts or hard times. There is always one or more of the various sets of industries
running full force and their factory managers and owners are the first citizens of the community who are always ready to do any and
everything to promote Schuylkill Haven's best welfare. The town is largely overcrowded with churches, it must be confessed, and this
is the reason why there are no big church improvements being talked of right now. It wouldn't hurt, and it might be a great benefit, if
some of the smaller congregations would only unite into one general congregation and thus give more salary to the preacher and be
more influential than they are as small struggling congregations. Schuylkill Haven is indeed well known as the town of many churches.
This is the year for the election of Council and the School Board members and the Reading Company people are already prepared to
try and make up what they lost at the last couple of elections, for Schuylkill Haven is unlike many of the other towns of the county in
being able to say that corporation employees do not control their municipal bodies. The big effort to keep control of the Council in the
hands of the citizens direct is being closely watched after because of the desire to get the Reading Railroad Company to either
depress or raise their tracks at the passenger station so as to avoid the terrific dangerous crossing, which is to be made more
dangerous by the increasing number of tracks to run into the new freight and coal yard station. No definite action has come before
Council as yet but the law is being looked up to see if the Reading Company can be compelled to provide a passageway under or
above the tracks at the passenger station crossing. Some of the timid ones are afraid to engage in this movement because of the of
threatened removal of the car shops if the town does anything against the company but the sensible businessmen laugh at this idea
as they realize that the Reading Company hasn't located the shops at Schuylkill Haven to benefit the town but because of the
accessibility to cheap labor and freedom from the labor unions.
It was thought that the removal of the making up of trains from Cressona to Saint Clair might compel some of the railroaders
hereabouts to move to Pottsville, Port Carbon and Saint Clair but the men are quietly getting together and have intimated to the
company that they expect the needed transfer facilities for the train hands between Schuylkill Haven and Saint Clair so that the men
can continue to live hereabouts where the bulk own their own little home properties and to part with which at this time would mean a
great sacrifice to each and all of them. The railroaders say that if the Reading won't take care of them that they can easily get jobs with
the Pennsy or go farming.
By the way some of our nearby railroaders on the Pennsylvania at the Mount Carbon dispatching yard have been called "on the
carpet" at Reading and told that those who drink must stop drinking and those who loaf around saloons but who don't drink must also
stop their congregating at the saloons for the Pennsylvania Company is determined to lessen the liability of accidents growing out of
the use of intoxicating liquors.
It is said that Canal Street, just west of the railroad, where the canal has been abandoned, and which has been an unsightly place, was
originally laid out as a 120 foot wide street and when the Navigation people gave up the canal, all the rights reverted to the borough,
so Schuylkill Haven can turn the central portion of this street into a town park and public playground but the borough isn't ready to
make the investment just now and those who would like to see this project are waiting and hoping that when one of the prominent
citizens die that maybe he will leave a fund for this purpose.
Our citizens have been waiting for the Greater Pottsville Committee to come down this way so that we can hear if they have any good
reasons to suggest why Schuylkill haven should be absorbed by Pottsville or Schuylkill Haven should do the absorbing, take in
Pottsville and turn it into a Greater Schuylkill Haven project instead of a Greater Pottsville one. A consultation with the Pottsville
committee with Schuylkill Haven's leading citizens can do no harm. In fact, it might be the means of stirring up not only the community
but helping the Pottsville people in their commendable efforts to advertise their town and extend their municipal lines. There is one
thing that Schuylkill Haven people must acknowledge and that is that fully twenty to thirty three percent of their people, either directly
or indirectly, obtain their livelihood through connections with Pottsville business industrial establishments.
Pottsville Republican of January 6, 1913
COURT PREVENTS SCHUYLKILL HAVEN PAVING
The decision of the court in the famous Schuylkill Haven paving case was handed down by Judge Bechtel and in it he sustains the
injunction against the borough and in favor of John Huling and others. Some months ago, the borough of Schuylkill Haven, through
their officers and council, adopted a resolution to pave Dock Street in that borough, at part cost to the property owners. Testimony
was heard and an injunction applied for upon the ground that the borough had no right to pave the street at part cost of the residents
and property holders. It was alleged, that because the borough had previously repaired the street, the same was to be considered as
a paved thoroughfare and that, if the same was to be covered by paving instead of macadam, the council and borough authorities
must do the work at the cost of the whole borough. The arguments in the case have been pending for some months. C. E. Berger and
J. R. Reilly, representing the applicants for the injunction and E. A. Noecker for the responding borough. The cost of the paving will be
somewhere over three thousand dollars and it is said that the borough authorities will appeal the decision of the court to the Supreme
Court for a decision.
Pottsville Republican of January 7, 1913
SCHUYLKILL HAVEN WILL APPEAL PAVING CASE DECISION
Providing the calculations of the members of Schuylkill Haven Council are not miscarried, the verdict rendered against Council by
Judge Bechtel regarding the paving of Dock Street, will be carried to a higher court. At the monthly meeting of council, held Monday
night, the committee reported on the verdict and then stated to council that they would recommend the case be carried to either the
Supreme or Superior Court if necessary, at the discretion of the attorneys employed. Councilman Saul stated to Council that if the
borough verdict stood, it meant that hereafter Schuylkill Haven could do no more paving, even if a petition was presented, signed by
three quarters of the property owners. If Council should ever recognize the petition and go ahead with paving, the verdict rendered
on Monday would enable those property owners who had not signed the petition to come back to Council. Councilman Saul believed it
would be a foolish proposition to allow the verdict to stand as it is and have people say that the street is macadamized when it really is
Council was also informed that the decision rendered was, in all probability, based on facts and not law. In the opinion of Judge
Bechtel, his honor believes that the street was really macadamized somewhere betwen the time the borough was incorporated and
the present time but he does not state when. If the street was really macadamized, then, according to recent decisions, the paving of
Dock Street at the present time would mean that this street would be repaved which is contrary to the law and therefore the members
of Council could not collect from the property owners. If the case is carried to the Supreme Court and that body decides that Dock
Street has been macadamized, then there is not a street in the borough of Schuylkill Haven that has not been macadamized, or for that
matter, in the state of Pennsylvania. The decision, again providing that it stands, would mean that the paving of all streets in the
borough could be stopped unless the cost was paid by the entire municipality. The decision would nullify all acts pertaining to old
streets and would then refer to new streets or streets now under course of construction. It was stated that Council have two chances
to win the case, first by a hearing before the full court and then before the Supreme or Superior Court. It was finally decided to allow
the attorneys in the case to decide on what procedure to pursue.
W. J. Downs and E. W. Underwood, two representative businessmen from Schuylkill Haven, appeared before council with a petition
signed by about one hundred businessmen and residents of the town requesting council to communicate r arrange a conference with
Superintendent Rockwell or the officials of the Traction Company regarding transportation between Schuylkill Haven and Saint Clair.
The meeting will therefore be awaited with a great deal of interest by not only members of council but by the town in general, including
the merchants who annually contribute thousands of dollars to the Reading Company.
A. V. Emerick, residing just outside of the borough limits, and near the home of Samuel Bittle on the road leading from Long Run to
Cressona, appeared before council and stated that the water from the borough road drains into his property and that at the present
time he has four feet of water in his cellar. He asked council to remedy the same. Councilman Yost stated that he had visited the
Emerick home and found that what had been stated was correct. He was under the impression that someone was trying to avoid
expense and was therefore draining the water on the road belonging to the borough of Schuylkill Haven and this, in turn, found its way
onto the property of Mr. Emerick. Mr. Yost believed that if the borough of Schuylkill Haven, the borough of Cressona and the
township would get together and each pay one third of the costs, the complaint could be easily righted. A blueprint of the road was
produced and the matter placed in the hands of the Highway Committee.
As this was the beginning of a new year, council decided to increase the rate of wages paid laborers from 15 cents per hour to 16 1/2
cents per hour. Several members of the council thought that the increase should be two cents an hour. The rate paid for teams will
remain the same.
Roger McCaffrey was again reelected as superintendent of the borough electric light plant, his salary to remain the same as last year,
namely $90.00 per month. All of the employees at the plant were reelected at the same rate of wages.
The Highway Committee reported the filling of Dock Street and the cleaning of gutters, also the cleaning on Main and saint John
Streets and the sewers on Union and saint John Streets. The building of a fence along the Schuylkill Mountain and the laying of two
sections of pipe were also reported.
Pottsville Republican of January 11, 1913
THE SCHUYLKILL HAVEN SCHOOL BOARD
The school board met in regular monthly session on Monday night. President Jones, on account of his legislative duties at Harrisburg
was absent. Secretary Tyson was also absent, the critical condition of Mrs. Tyson keeping him away. Vice President Paxson was in the
chair and Mr. Stauffer acted as temporary secretary. The principal's report was read and received. In part it was as follows. Miss
Raudenbush's school was reopened on Monday with thirteen absent but a good number will be released from quarantine about
Wednesday. Twenty new pupils were enrolled, fifteen of them being beginners. There are a few beginners who can start but are at
present quarantined, for such the principal was authorized to extend the time limit for admission. A report on Floyd Moser's absence
from school was referred to the board. The principal presented a certificate of regular employment signed by his employer. The
principal was advised to consider it satisfactory. A special invitation had been sent to the ministers in town to inspect the school
building on High Street on Monday and two of them did so. A representative from the Schuylkill Haven Foundry Company was present
and asked the board to exempt the company from taxes. In support of the request, he stated that it was a home industry which was a
source of great good to the town, the stockholders being our own townspeople and the capitol our own town money. Both the County
Commissioners and the Town Council have already exempted them from taxes, the latter for a period of ten years. The principal was
instructed to put out several notices announcing the special election.
Pottsville Republican of January 17, 1913
SCHUYLKILL HAVEN SHORTS
The special program in the high school was well rendered. The boys and girls did so well with their speeches that they were invited by
the directors to deliver them to the public meeting in Keystone Hall on Tuesday evening. Miss Thompson, teacher of Number 17
school at the North Ward, who was confined to her home in Williamstown by illness, is again in the class room. The special election on
the new school building proposition will be held on Saturday night. Every voter should consider well what a new building will mean to
the present and future generations of children and then vote true to his honest convictions. Any person desiring to inspect the old
school building on Saturday afternoon is cordially invited to call on the principal in his office in the basement of that building and he
will gladly show you the building. In a vote taken in the high school after the debate last Friday, a unanimous vote was registered in
favor of a new school building, about seventy voting fot it. This represented almost as many families. Friday, a special election with
regular sample ballots will be held in a lawful manner. Measles are making greater inroads to our school attendance daily. Three and
four cases, with from one to five school children being repeated each day. The high school suffers considerably in consequence.
Pottsville Republican of January 20, 1913
SCHUYLKILL HAVEN SCHOOL LOAN DEFEATED
Schuylkill Haven voted on a $65,000 loan for a new school building in the north ward Saturday and the proposed measure was lost by
66 votes. The vote was 228 for and 294 against. Not half of the vote was polled. In only one ward, the north in which the building was
to have been erected, had the loan passed, was in favor of the measure. The vote by ward follows: East 104 for and 114 against; South
39 for and 99 against; North 76 for and 63 against; West 9 for and 19 against.