This Day in History: June 28th, 1916

This Day in History: June 28th, 1916


MILLTOWN, June 28-Preparations are being made for the erection of a new Raritan River Railroad station near as the present one is far from being adequate since so many of the employees of the Michelin Tire Company, the Russell Playing Card Company and powder works employees make use of this line to get back and forth to their work.

It is proposed to build an up-to-date station in every respect in order that there will be sufficient room for an office as well as a waiting room.

The present structure will be torn down and while the work is being done the office force will make themselves comfortable in a baggage car which has been provided for the convenience and equipped for an office.

This Day in History: September 29th, 1914

This Day in History: September 29th, 1914


MILLTOWN, Sept. 29 – The first burglary that Milltown has heard of in a long time took place sometime last night, probably while all Michelinites were in Brunswick celebrating the winning of the second pennant in the New Brunswick Factory League.

It was at the railroad station of the Raritan River Railroad on Washington Ave. where the robbery occurred. From what could be learned this morning, the extent of the theft is a sweater owned by Winfield Fine of Milltown, an employee.

The safe, which reportedly had not been locked, was open. All papers, books, etc., were strewn about the floor. No money could be found as it had been safeguarded by the agent in another way. Thus, the robbers were evidently disappointed. Everything was topsy-turvy: chairs, filing cabinets, desks, and other movable items were out of place. Papers and other valuables from the safe were scattered on the floor. Entrance was made by breaking the lock on one of the windows, and the exit was evidently made the same way, as there was no other evidence remaining.

As of now, no clue has been found.

Miss Van Arsdale’s Party

A delightful party was held at the home of Miss Augusta Van Arsdale of South Main Street last Saturday night. Piano selections were rendered by Misses Anna K. Hoelzer of Milltown and Miss Alice Ayres of New Brunswick, and singing was also enjoyed. Various games were played during the evening, and a delicious collation was served before the guests departed.

The guests were:
From Milltown: Misses Augusta Van Arsdale, Gertrude Schildt, Anna K. Hoelzer, Mr. and Mrs. Voorhees Van Arsdale, Mr. and Mrs. Addison Thompson and daughter Margaret.
From New Brunswick: Misses A. Gourley, Alice Ayres, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Van Arsdale, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Van Hise, Messrs. James Gourley, George Gourley, Harold Hyle, Eddie Torney, Willard Thompson.

Exciting Runaway
A horse owned by W. Kubitz, a grocer of this place, and driven by Harry Moor, was frightened yesterday afternoon by the whistle of a train at the Raritan River Railroad depot. It raced down Washington Avenue at a terrific pace. As the horse neared the corner of Main Street and Washington Avenue, a trolley car was blocking the crossing. The horse kept its pace and was heading straight for the car when a heroic motorman leapt from the car, grabbed the horse by the head, and steered it in front of the car and over the tracks in front of the car barns. The horse was halted by the motorman, who held onto it until the driver caught up.

W. C. T. U. Meeting

The regular full session of the W. C. T. U. is being held in the Methodist Church here today. The State president of the W. C. T. U. will deliver an address this afternoon at two o’clock and again at 7:20 this evening. Next Monday night, at the Rescue Council, there will be delegations present from Elizabeth, Plainfield, and New Brunswick. All members are requested to be present. The State Councilor, Howard S. DeHart, will be there and will likely have something to say in the interest of the order.

Borough Council Meeting

An adjourned meeting of the Borough Council will be held at Borough Hall this evening.


Arthur Beecher has resigned from his position with C. W. Kuhlthau and has accepted a position with Hermann’s bakery, filling the vacancy left by the resignation of Fred Young.

Mrs. Chris Jensen and Mrs. Chas. Denbard visited New York City over the weekend.

Postmaster J. V. L. Booraem is confined to his home with a severe cold.

Michelin Band Picnic Tomorrow

Tomorrow night at Parsons’ Grove, the Michelin Band will hold their first annual picnic, to which all are invited. Michelin will provide their own music. Mr. and Mrs. D. V. Wyckoff of Brooklyn were guests at the home of Mrs. Stelle on Sunday.

This Day in History: September 21st, 1914

This Day in History: September 21st, 1914

MILLTOWN, Sept. 21 — Elwood Boyce, of Ford Avenue, passed away around six o’clock last evening after a three-week battle with typhoid fever at Wells Hospital in New Brunswick.

Mr. Boyce had been involved with several local organizations. Alongside his brother Frank, he managed the Empire Grocery business in Milltown. He served as the foreman of Eureka Fire Company, No. 1 and was a member of Charles L. Walters Council, No. 178, Jr. O. U. A. M. His affiliations extended to the Walters Guards and the Tottenville A.C., of Tottenville, the town where the Boyce family originated from. His business associations helped him foster a wide circle of friends who are mourning his passing, leaving a feeling of sorrow across the borough. Herbert & Moke are overseeing the funeral arrangements. Mr. Boyce is survived by his wife and child, as well as other immediate family members.

Funeral of Thomas B. Reed

Thomas B. Reed, a resident who worked as a night watchman on new construction projects in Milltown until recently, died at his son Frank Reed’s residence on Washington Avenue. The death occurred on Saturday morning, just after nine o’clock. He is survived by two sons and two daughters. Other surviving relatives include his brother, William R. Reed of New Brunswick, and his sister, Mrs. R. A. Harkins. The funeral service will be held at his son’s home this afternoon at three o’clock, with Undertaker Quackenboss handling the funeral arrangements.

Traffic Delayed

On Saturday afternoon, the driving wheels of a Raritan River Railroad engine derailed at the Main Street crossing near the Michelin Tire Factory. This incident led to a substantial delay in trolley services and other traffic for some time.

This Day in History: September 20th, 1909

This Day in History: September 20th, 1909


Couple Charged With Robbing Milltown Man, Located at Perth Amboy and Confess Their Crime

MILLTOWN, Sept. 30 – The details surrounding the robbery of Frank Le Roy, a resident of Washington Avenue and an employee at the Michelin Tire Company, have been disclosed. On Friday, Mr. Le Roy visited South River, withdrawing $102 from a bank there around 11 o’clock in the morning. That evening, with the money still in his possession, he stopped at Sayer’s Hotel before proceeding home along Washington Avenue.

Approximately thirty minutes later, he returned to the hotel, bleeding profusely from his nose and mouth. Since Mr. Le Roy does not speak English, an interpreter was brought in to help him communicate what had transpired. He reported that he had been assaulted, held up, and robbed by two individuals he had noticed earlier in the hotel.

Constable A. Neldlinger was immediately assigned to track down the suspects. The constable followed their trail first to South Amboy and then on to Perth Amboy, where he involved the local police in the search. By Saturday afternoon, authorities had apprehended and detained the two men in question.

The suspects, identifying themselves as Henderson and Nelson, confessed to the crime promptly upon arrest. They also stated that they were both employed by the P. & C. Company. While they did confess to the crime, it remains unclear whether all of the stolen money was recovered.

Rumors have circulated suggesting the involvement of a third individual in the incident; however, this information has yet to be confirmed. The investigation is ongoing as officials work to verify the details provided and explore the potential participation of a third party in the criminal act.

This Day in History: September 19th, 1914

This Day in History: September 19th, 1914


Watermelon Cut Was Feature of It – Streets to Be Watered Among Other Town News.

MILLTOWN, Sept. 19 — The spacious lawn adjoining the home of the Misses Anna and Alma Kuhlthau, on Main Street, Milltown, was the scene of a delightful watermelon party last evening. The act of watermelon cutting was a featured activity of the evening. Besides, there were many outdoor games indulged in, and the evening hours whiled away all too soon.

The lawn was beautifully adorned for the occasion, boasting an artistic array of Chinese and Japanese lanterns.

Those present were Misses Anna and Alma Kuhlthau, Mr. and Mrs. Christian Kelthau, Misses Stella and Hazel Borean, Miss Stella Helen DeHart, Harriet Mesars, Howard Booream, William Booream, Christian and J.H. Junker, Edwin and Christian Kultau, and Mr. and Mrs. Rateher.

Streets to be Watered

It is understood that negotiations are now underway between the borough officials and the Public Service Railway Co. to have a trolley sprinkler traverse the streets of the borough to settle the dust, which has been causing much discomfort throughout the town.

New Hat Next Year

If one of our prominent officials hadn’t worn his straw hat too many days over the straw hat limit, he would not have had to buy a new one next year. But now, his favorite top piece has been divided into two separate parts; the crown has no connection with the rims.

The official in question entered the local freight station recently, and as he was approaching the station, the entire force united to carry out the suggestion to remove the crown of the official’s hat should he enter, and succeeded.


Mrs. Willard Randolph of River Road was a Milltown visitor yesterday.

Mrs. J.M. Cumming and daughter Ruth, from San Francisco, were visitors at the home of William R. Evans yesterday.

At the Churches

At the German Reformed Church tomorrow, the Rev. William F. Barney will occupy the pulpit both in the morning and the evening. An English service will be held at 7:30 in the evening, preceded by the meeting of the Young People’s Society at seven o’clock. Sunday school will be held at the usual hour in the morning.

At the Methodist Church, the Rev. James W. Marshall, district superintendent, will occupy the pulpit in the morning and in the evening. Rev. L.L. Hand will be in charge. Rev. Hand has chosen “Owners-Mark” as his theme. Sunday school will be held at the usual hour in the afternoon, and the regular meeting of the Epworth League will take place at seven o’clock in the evening, under the leadership of the league president, Jos. M. Crabiel.

Convention here

At the W.C.T.U. meeting held at the home of Mrs. James Lyle on Thursday evening, arrangements were made to host delegates for the annual convention scheduled for Sept. 29th. This will be the fall convention of the Middlesex county W.C.T.U. The following officers were elected at the meeting: President, Mrs. J. Lyle; Vice President, Miss Man Huff; Second Vice President, Mrs. Elizabeth Crabiel; Recording Secretary, Mrs. Lester Snedeker; Financial Secretary, Miss Buste Crabiel; and Treasurer, Miss Mildred Stelle.

The L.C.S. gathered at the home of Miss Elizabeth Kuhlthau on Thursday evening. Rev. William F. Barney and Nicholas Christ are attending the Synod of the German Reformed Church in New York.


New Yorker Stricken With Apoplexy While Working in Hay Field; Leaves Behind Wife and Children

MILLTOWN, Sept. 19 — Charles Sohl, son-in-law of Henry Rathcamp, manager of the Milltown Street Department, had recently moved to Cottage Avenue, Milltown, from New York earlier this week. Unfortunately, he was stricken with apoplexy yesterday afternoon shortly after 3 o’clock while working in a hay field in North Milltown. Before an ambulance could reach his home, he passed away.

There were initial reports in Milltown last evening suggesting that Sohl had been sunstruck due to a sudden change in his work environment — transitioning from working in an artificial ice plant in New York City to loading hay. However, Dr. F.E. Riva, who was summoned to the scene, diagnosed the cause of death as apoplexy.

At the time of the incident, Sohl was working for contractor Christian Crabiel, loading hay on the Elkins farm with two other workmen, George Kohlhepp and Ferdinand Crabiel. Despite the efforts to rush him home via the Wells ambulance, he passed away before reaching Hooraem Avenue.

Sohl, who was 46 years old and weighed around 200 pounds, had a brief stay in Milltown, limiting the number of acquaintances he had in the area. Despite this, the community has expressed deep sympathy for his surviving family: his wife, Mrs. Annie Sohl, and their five children.

The funeral service will be held at his late residence on Cottage Avenue, Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock, officiated by Rev. W.F. Barney of the German Reformed Church. Undertaker Quackenboss is overseeing the arrangements.

The Unholy Reverend: The Mystical Life and Trials of Eugene Bagonye

The Unholy Reverend: The Mystical Life and Trials of Eugene Bagonye

1914 – 1919: Early Endeavors and Military Service

July 9, 1914
At the young age of 19, Eugene I. Bagonye married 33-year-old widow Emily M. Hodge from England in a ceremony held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City after a whirlwind romance lasting six days. However, the marriage soon faced troubles owing to their age difference, leading to their separation just three months later.

May 2, 1916
In a heartwarming display of friendship, Eugene Bagonye witnessed his friend Henry Stern convert to Christianity, abandoning his ancient Hebraic faith in a ceremony officiated by Rev. John Szabo of the Hungarian Catholic Church in South River. This change of faith was inspired by their close bond, emphasizing the depth of their friendship. Stern and Bagonye had plans to attend the American University in Chicago to study chiropractic, with aspirations to open a practice in Milltown.

October 1917
Bagonye enlisted in the army, initially continuing his work as a faculty member at the Palmer School in Davenport, Iowa, before beginning regular army training in early 1918. Bagonye’s tenure in the army saw him rise to the rank of sergeant, with his service majorly stationed at Camp Dix.

January 21, 1919
Sergeant Bagonye was honorably discharged from the army. Shortly after, he re-enlisted, planning to return to his duties at the Palmer School before resuming his responsibilities in the army, taking charge of six other individuals for their trip to Iowa.

1921-1923: Legal Troubles and Divorce

April 25, 1921
Bagonye, who now bore the title “Professor” and dabbled in spiritualistic practices, found himself arrested under the “Section 71; Witchcraft” clause of the New Jersey Penal Code. Despite the arrest, Bagonye held services at Begonia Health House in Hungry Hill, Milltown, New Jersey. Dubbed the “necromancer of Hungry Hill,” he was accused of fraudulent activities, involving the sale of a “good luck powder” and alleged theft. Bagonye’s colorful career history came to light during this time, including his experience as an assistant pastor, employment agency owner, real estate dealer, and cook’s instructor in the army, among other roles.

January 23, 1923
The clergyman Bagonye, now serving at the Themomistic Church in Milltown, was advised to be granted a divorce from his estranged wife Emily M. Hodge on grounds of her infidelity and their irrevocable differences. Their tragic marital history surfaced, highlighting Hodge’s criminal background and subsequent deportation.

January 26, 1922
Desiring to commence his new role as a Theomentatie minister with a clear conscience, Bagonye initiated divorce proceedings against Hodge, invoking her unfaithfulness as the primary reason. The divorce proceedings revealed the rapid progression of their relationship, which moved from acquaintance to marriage within a span of six days. Bagonye emphasized his commitment to his ministerial duties and expressed a strong desire to start afresh, rid of the troubled marriage that haunted his past.

1925: The Supernatural Remedy Proposal

September 2, 1925
Amidst a water shortage crisis in Milltown, Bagonye penned a letter to Mayor Herbert, offering his supernatural assistance to solve the problem. He proposed a contractual agreement wherein, for $8,000, he would employ his purported divine abilities to increase the water supply in the borough’s wells to meet current and future demands for the next three to five years. The proposal, which promised a continual and increased supply of water through supernatural means, sought to provide a cheaper alternative to drilling a new well, estimated to cost $30,000.

September 15, 1925
Bagonye’s proposal was deliberated in a borough council session, during which the desperate circumstances of the water supply were discussed in detail. The critical situation involved the emergency sourcing of water from Lawrence Brook, and restrictions imposed on water usage for car washing and lawn sprinkling. Bagonye’s solution, which brought a glimmer of hope in a trying time, was referred to the Superintendent of Water, Samuel Spiers, for careful consideration, showcasing the council’s open-mindedness in exploring diverse solutions to address the pressing issue.

This detailed chronological recount encompasses the significant events in Eugene Bagonye’s life, bringing a rich context to his personal and professional journey, marked by both service and controversy. It covers his romantic endeavors, deep friendships, military service, brushes with the law involving an arrest for witchcraft, and his rather unconventional offer of employing supernatural means to solve a community crisis, depicting a life certainly full of ups and downs.

Here is a link to his Grave location in Long Island.

Compiled and arranged by: Randy Ruth

This Day in History: September 17th, 1912

This Day in History: September 17th, 1912

Michelin to Establish French School in Milltown

MILLTOWN, Sept. 17 – A French school is currently under preparation opposite the main office of the Michelin Tire Company. The initiative is said to appoint a French teacher to run a private school exclusively for the French children residing in the borough. This modern facility will be centrally located, heated by steam from the factory, and will operate independently.

Miss Felter previously taught at the institution for around three years; however, this was approximately a decade ago when there was a pressing need for a primary room. At that time, the only school serving north Milltown was housed in the building now functioning as the present post office.

In other news from the locality, Casper Gronley along with four friends embraced the traditional sport of coon hunting last Friday night, a popular pastime among several young men in Milltown. Despite not finding the exact species they were hoping for, they managed to catch one with a distinctive streak of white running down its back.

Last Friday evening also witnessed a group of young ladies showering Miss Mamie Christ of Van Liew Avenue with gifts, celebrating her upcoming wedding in a delightful gathering filled with joy and anticipation.

In the business sphere, William Becker and Oscar Lindstrom are on the verge of founding a plumbing and hardware company, which will be named William Becker & Co. Considering the ongoing surge in construction and renovation activities in Milltown, the prospects appear bright for their venture, and the community extends its best wishes for their success.

Lastly, we received news that Mrs. Hermann visited Philadelphia today.