What’s in a Name?
With the knowledge of how the Goodwill Hose Company was named, we asked if anyone knew the origin of the names of the Niagara and Eagle hose companies of Pittston and Black Diamond, Excelsior and Germania hose companies in Duryea. Jack Parente of Springboro, Ohio, called to let us know we were pretty much right on as to how the name of Goodwill Hose Company came about. Parente grew up in the vicinity of Ann and Elm streets in West Pittston and his father, John, was one of the founding members of Goodwill. He recalled the incident that brought about the the establishment of Goodwill. A tremendous fire on Freemont Street could not be reached by the West Pittston Hose Company due an L&W train sitting on the railroad crossing. It was determined that a hose company on the Harding side of the tracks was necessary. The idea was met with some opposition, but the founding members of Goodwill persevered and the company was so named to establish goodwill between the fire companies and the community.
In 1949, what item did a Pennsylvania state law barred the use of that would require the city to the install additional street lights?
1949 – 67 Years Ago
John C. Kehoe Sr. worked in the mines as a young lad, but by 1949, he ended up owning the very mine he first toiled in. As president and general manager of Kehoe Berge Coal Company, Kehoe announced the acquisition of the Exeter Colliery after it had been closed by Payne Coal Company which left over 500 employees out of work. With the acquisition, Kehoe Berge assumed operation of almost all collieries in what was known as the Lehigh Valley’s Northern Division. Heidelberg Colliery in Dupont being the only exception. The absorption of the Exeter Colliery into the Kehoe Berge operation made the company one of the largest independent coal firms in the Wyoming Valley. The company expected to produce a million commercial tons of coal by 1950. According to the United State Dept. Of Labor, “anthracite coal mine production steadily declined from its peak of 100 million tons in 1917 to 46 million tons in 1950. Thirty-five percent of the coal being mined comes from surface facilities or the reprocessing of culm banks. The fatality rate drops to 1.86 fatalities per million tons of coal mined.” The 1959 Knox Mine Disaster ended deep mining in the northern anthracite fields of Pennsylvania.
1959 – 57 Years Ago
“Did they ever find Bum?” was the question readers must have asked after reading a Sunday Dispatch article detailing the search underway by two city patrolmen Bing Bussacco and Joseph Delaney. The stray dog had “attached” himself to the two officers and for quite some time had accompanied them on their beat. He even spent time at each of the officers’ homes, wandering off from one home and appearing at the other on a regular three-day interval. Delaney expected to see the dog at his door for his weekly visit, but no Bum. The patrolmen started to ask questions throughout the town and found that a man had “abducted” Bum, drove him to the Avoca cemetery, and set him free. But a search found not a clue as to the stray’s whereabouts. The officers asked anyone who saw the dog to call the police department. “He’s hard to describe, just a friendly mongrel who is friendlier with cops than anyone else,” said one officer.
1969 – 47 Years Ago
Ballroom dancer Patti Drost of Dupont was on her way to perform on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour television show in New York. She and her partner Evan Sohm of Staten Island were set to perform the Peabody. It was Drost’s third appearance on the show. The Peabody is said to have been invented by William Frank Peabody, a New York City police chief, and is a variation on the Fox Trot.
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “Do you think the new Kennedy Boulevard has improved traffic conditions in the city?” Sam Lombardo of Pittston answered, “Kennedy Boulevard is the best thing that ever happened to Pittston.” Bill Doran, Pittston police officer, added, “Despite a few drivers going the wrong way on new one-way streets, there was no clog in traffic.” Al Forlenza, Pittston, stated, “It has not only improved traffic conditions but has made the merchants a happier lot.” Kennedy Boulevard was opened to traffic on June 20, 1969.
1979 – 37 Years Ago
Members of the Polish Falcons of Duryea played an “old-fashioned” softball game against some of their friends in Mocanaqua and came out victors. Members of the team were Art Kunigel, Bernie Grzyicki, Richie Chesslock, Bob Moluski, George Nowakowski, Steve Gorman, Herbie Hoover, Bernie Kabachinski, Ed Maopolski, Jerry Joyce. Andy Herinchak, Louie Wycoski, Ted Thompson, Dick Gilroy Gene Busch, Johnny Biscontini, Bernie Ryzner, Ed Piorkowski. Eugene Branas, John Coyne, John Blanchard, Bob Ryzner, Don Kreseski, Joe Butrymowicz, Jerry Chromey, Bill Craig, George Gillow, Gene Guarilia, E.J. Maopolski, Jack Danko, Happy McGlynn.
In 1949, a new Pennsylvania state law barred and called for the removal of outdoor advertising beer signs. According to the 1948 Polk Directory, there were 163 saloons in Greater Pittston, and as the Sunday Dispatch reported, “The signs brighten up many formerly foreboding sections, which lack proper street lighting. The abolishing of the signs in front of taverns may well necessitate installation of additional street lights.”
This Date in History:
1775 — The U.S. Army is founded when the Continental Congress authorizes the muster of troops.
1777 — The Continental Congress authorizes the “stars and stripes” flag for the new United States.
1942 — The Supreme Court rules that requiring students to salute the American flag is unconstitutional.
1949 — The State of Vietnam is formed.
Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage