Notes on Daily Local News
compiled by Michael Pasquarello,
Disclaimer: These notes on articles from the West Chester, Pennsylvania Daily Local News were collected for specific research projects related to industrialization and the Depression of the 1930s. They do not include all of the articles in any issue, nor do they contain all of the information in any particular article. While every reasonable effort was made to insure its accuracy, information on this website is presented AS IS without warranty, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy, timeliness, or completeness. It is intended as a resource for historians, and nothing more. To report an error, make a comment, or submit notes on additional articles, please contact Dr. Jim Jones.
A "Farewell Evening" was held by Chester County Council of Boy Scouts for three field force members. Due to lack of funds the Council had found it `necessary to do away with the services' of B. J. Thomas (Downingtown), E.F. Huber (Phoenixville), and C. H. Good (West Chester).
June Brides, Inc. reaches a new high in stock despite the Depression thanks to 141 marriage licenses being issued in June. Stated that the number of licenses in June of 1930 was 126, and in 1928 it was 128.
A priest from Pittsburg, Rev. James R. Cox is going on a trip to Berlin and Rome to talk to Hitler and Mussolini. Cox, who is going to run for the presidency as the candidate of the Jobless Liberty Party, went to discuss possible ways his `Blue Shirt' organization could help alleviate unemployment.
Two `young white men' were taken into custody for allegedly beating up and robbing Raymond Howe, a 30-year old taxi driver. They stole his taxi and a watch valued at $4,000.
The Main Line Emergency Committee held a dinner and dance for unemployment relief. They raised around $1,000. The article gives the names of some of those who attended.
A local black man named Allen Smith confesses to removing railroad spikes and plates. He hoped that by flagging the trains down to warn the conductors of the dangerous tracks ahead, that he would be financially rewarded.
Local law firm Reilly and Reilly moves its office from the Farmers and Mechanics building to the Court House annex where properties are being rented.
West Chester's Daily Vacation Bible School announced that it would indeed open for its summer session, though the usual $500 budget had been cut to $250. The teachers, including a newly hired woman, bore the brunt of it as they were given `honorarium' cuts to their pay.
The Executive Committee of the Women's Republican Club met and discussed possibilities to help the unemployment situation. They sent a letter to the Senator and Representatives and asked that `measures be enacted which will relieve the unemployment situation by creating work,' implying that they want to give the unemployed work, not just assistance.
Norman Houck, a 17-year old, was arrested after his mother called the police and reported the `larceny of a gold watch.' Norman pled guilty and was advised by the judge to learn a trade while at the reformatory.
Two black West Chester residents, 50-year old Louis Knox and 20-year old Henry Beckett, got into a fight in the street. Knox had apparently provoked the fight and cut Beckett first, but Beckett responded by hitting Knox over the head with a brick. Knox received a fractured skull and doctors said his chances for recovery were not good. Beckett got four stitches and was then taken by the police and held without bail.
Chester office of Household Finance Corporation announces that West Chester families can borrow up to $300 for family financial emergencies. Unlike other loans, only the husband and wife need to sign for it (no relatives or friends need to endorse them) and no background investigations are made.
Two black West Chester residents were arrested by Federal agents on charges of liquor possession. The two men were caught during a raid which was reportedly going to be the first of a series of raids around the area.
A young man named Andrew Uth `persisted in filling his pockets with cigars' in a Coatseville restaurant. The owner of the restaurant hit him with a club and fractured his wrist after Uth, who was refusing to pay, `threatened him (the owner) with a dish.' Police arrived and charged Uth with drunk and disorderly conduct, took him to the hospital to take care of his wrist. Uth spent the night in jail and was fined $25.
A black drifter named William Barks was fired from the janitorial job he had been given at the police station. Barks `forgot his manners so far as to become drunk and disorderly' and was arrested. He was also told to leave town pending his release.
Louis Knox died in Homeopathic Hospital at 6:30 p.m. on the 6th due to the injuries suffered from getting hit in the head by a brick. [MP: Refer to JULY 5th FIGHT]
Announcement from the West Chester Board of Trade says that all businesses in the borough will be closing at 1 p.m. every Wednesday during July and August. This is supposedly a tradition that allows employees to enjoy "mid-week half holiday during the warm summer months.'
Chester County Judge Broomall orders `erring husbands' to provide monetary support to the wives and children they left behind. Apparently, Mrs. Bertha Steffey was not only deserted by her husband, but also mistreated by him when he was still with her.
The Mayor announced the police statistics for the month of June, 1932. There were 19 arrests, 33 law violations, 6 accidents, $189 accrued (from fines, licenses, etc.), and the police worked 52 extra hours.
Intended to `lure the Sunday driver,' there was a map of Chester County's roads in the newspaper showing all the possibilities of highway and backwoods driving. A key on the map indicates which ones were under construction or newly improved, many of the roads were.
A West Chester man was arrested in Coatseville in connection to the local `numbers racket.' Officially charged with disorderly conduct, Percy Henry Jr. was only fined $10 because there wasn't enough evidence to book him for anything worse.
Henry Beckett was charged with the killing of Louis Knox. [MP: Refer to JULY 5th FIGHT]
Chester County's WWI veteran `unit' of the Bonus Army (or Expeditionary Force, whatever you'd like to call it) broke from camp at Washington D.C. and all but eight members have returned home. They left because of overcrowded conditions and a shortage of food.
Cheyney State Teachers' College is providing vacations for young African-American children from overcrowded city districts. Every week during July and August, 25 new girls get to come and stay at Cheyney for the week for free. Another nearby university is doing the same for 25 boys every week.
West Chester State Teachers' College has begun construction to add three new rooms in the main girls' dormitory. The recreation and study rooms were needed because the `student body has grown so large.'
West Chester resident John McCarthy had his car stolen by six boys who had escaped from Glen Mills Reform School. The boys were caught later in Bel Air, Maryland over 60 miles away. Apparently, they had tried to steal five other cars, but were unsuccessful until they got to McCarthy's.
This article mentions that lots of people went swimming in Sharples Lake yesterday, most likely because of heat and the closing of stores at mid-day.
The Borough Council approved a plan drawn up by the Town Planning Council to relieve some of the pressure of unemployment. The plan is basically to put men to work on small local projects and pay them in food rather then regular wages.
The local police have abandoned their new firing range. Apparently, the new range was a bit dangerous and stray bullets and ricochets were a substantial issue. Instead of repairing or fixing the range they simply moved back to their old one.
A liquor still was found in an abandoned building (formerly used as a blacksmith shop) on West Gay Street. It was discovered, by accident, because the overflow valve was not connected to the sewer drain and waste water was running into the street. Street Commissioner Lawrence Reagan happened to be in the area and noticed the water spilling into the street. Thinking that it was a leak in the plumbing, he had cops check out the building and inside they found a 500-gallon still. The man apparently operating the still ran from the scene and hid in the quarry on West Chestnut Street.
Two men from Philadelphia, who were in the area, reported to local cops that their cars had been ransacked. Among the items stolen were a check, a watch, and license cards.
The improvements being made to the Garden Theatre are now finished and the theatre is open again. The improvements, designed to bring a bigger crowd to the theatre, were the installation of a brand new air cooling system and a new ticket booth, and general redecoration to the building.
In Washington, Capitol officials had sent out Marines to clear the streets of the members of the Bonus Army. After being quickly recalled, the police were then sent out. After two hours, the police were also recalled, unsuccessful in their mission.
Demonstrations by the Bonus Army continued today outside of the Capitol in Washington. The article mentioned that they were considering moving teir protests to the White House.
Capitol officials in Washington discussed the possibility of offering the Bonus marchers jobs as a means of dispersal, hoping this would calm them into leaving the streets of the capital.
A report released shows that all branches of education have experienced an increase in attendance from 1927 to 1932.
Norman Benner of Matlack Street had his car stolen. The theft occurred during the night and the car was later discovered outside the town in the woods, stripped of some valuable parts.
The West Chester School Board announces that it is lowering tuition for out-of-town students who are sent to West Chester for school. The reductions in tuition range from $.50 to $1.50 per month.
West Chester Board of Trade unanimously passed resolutions supporting efforts to reduce the State government's expenditures. This was in done in an effort to combat the movement to effect higher taxes for unemployment relief.
Extra police were sent to keep `insurgent' elements of the Bonus Army from picketing in front of their new demonstration spot, the White House. The police were given orders to use force if necessary.
Chester County has adopted a new program of store orders, designed to aid families with little or no income. The store orders are acceptable currency in stores, but for food only. The state compensates the stores.
Sherwood Pyle confessed to stealing headlights from Norman Benner's car after he was caught in possession of headlights whose serial numbers matched Benner's headlights. He denied actually stealing Benner's car though and claimed he found the car in the woods. Since no evidence could be found to contradict him, he was placed under $800 bail for stealing the headlights.
Mabel B. Johnson, Grace J. Weaver, and Mae E. Patton all filed for divorce. Patton and Johnson stated desertion as their grounds for wanting the divorce, Weaver filed for divorce because of infidelity. [JJ: Grace Weaver's husband was Wilmer V., an insurance agent. They owned a home at 532 S. Walnut St. See 1932 West Chester Borough Directory.]
A judge reduced Devere Quillen's support payments to his wife from $15 to $10 a week. This was due to Devere having his own pay cut and because for a few weeks he was out of work due to illness. At the time of the ruling, Devere owed his wife over $200.
United Press article states that in the last month, Wall Street experienced the most sustained `boom' in the market since October of 1931.
Police and a `war-time emergency guard' fought with 200 members of the Bonus Army and beat them back from the White House, where they were trying to continue with their demonstrations. Fighting in the streets lasted over an hour, and in the end nine veterans were arrested.
Although they had been told that wrecking crews were going to come and break apart the buildings housing them, the members of the Bonus Army did not leave. The plans for the wrecking crews were halted when the Police Chief said that he had no orders to clear the grounds, and therefore no authority to evict the veterans.
A `revolting case' was brought before the Mayor involving a man who was `soliciting his wife' to young men of West Chester. This was done allegedly done just to make money for food. Ira Wilkinson, 28-years old, and his wife, 22-years old, have a 7- year old child and live on Lumber Street. The husband was put in jail and sentenced to 90 days in jail and a $100 fine. The wife and child were offered to be taken care of by Welfare.
Walnut Street resident Leroy Whiteman, 17-years old, was charged with stealing a pair of pants and a pocketbook containing $1.20 from the clothes of a bather at Pratts Dam. He was taken to jail because he couldn't pay the set bail. Whiteman said he stole the pants because he needed a pair and couldn't afford them.
Catherine Parise filed suit for a divorce from her husband on grounds of desertion. Her husband Dominick had apparently left her in 1930.
Bonus Army agrees to leave buildings on Pennsylvania Ave. which were supposed to be demolished by wrecking crews so that federal construction work could begin. The leader of the marchers, Walter W. Waters, said his men would move to Anacostia, a suburb of Washington.
Beulah Musser of West Barnard Street files suit for divorce against her husband on grounds of desertion.
Report states that West Chester residents collectively received $151,000 in life insurance claims in the past year.
The Town Planning Council is supplying the tools and the Welfare Committee is supplying the men to help clear Hoopes Park of underbrush and give new life to the park.
Three men, one from West Coatesville, were arrested for being drunk and disorderly. This broke the previous daily record.
Isador Snyder of East Market Street had his car stolen from Athletic Field while he was there watching a ballgame.
All West Chester residents who had not paid their water bills were told by the Borough Council that they have to pay by August 10th, or else their water would be turned off. Leniency, in the form of an extended deadline, would be shown to those who could present a satisfactory explanation as to why the haven't paid.
Government officials `gathered evidence intended to prove' that the Bonus Army was Communist while police kicked the few remaining marchers out of town. Thursday night apparently ended with the U.S. Army tear-gassing the members of the Bonus Army and using tanks, machine guns and bayonets to compel the demonstrators to leave town. They also burnt the camps that remained down to the ground. Around 400 men were rounded up and escorted out of the city. Walter W. Waters encouraged the remaining men to leave. [MP: Interesting to note that the Thursday night incidents were not reported in Friday's paper.]
|Copyright 2010 by Dr. James A. Jones|