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.

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.

This Day in History: September 16th, 1913

This Day in History: September 16th, 1913

Nobody Running for Mayor in Milltown

Democratic and Progressive tickets are practically blank—Republicans alone have named councilmen.

The political situation in Milltown is unique. The tickets are being printed for the primary election next Tuesday, but none of the three tickets has a candidate for mayor.

A reporter sought out a prominent resident of Milltown to find out the reason and he got this answer: “The simple reason is, that it is hard to get good men to go on the tickets anymore. There are men who are willing enough to be mayor, but the moment their names go on the ticket there is an opposition crowd set out to beat the man, no matter who he is. They do not want to elect their own man, but simply to beat the other fellow. The result is that good men will not allow themselves to be made monkeys of.”

The primary tickets in the borough are mostly blanks this year. The only borough man on the democratic ticket is Spencer Perry, for County Committeeman. The Democrats have no nominees for councilmen or mayor, nor do the Progressives.

The Republicans have put up William R. Evans and Clarence H. Crenning for councilmen and William Kuhlthau for County Committee. They would have put up a mayor but did not do so, because no man would stand for being made a target of opposition. Borough Clerk, Robert Harkins, is having the ballots printed now, and voters may write their choice in the blank spaces if they wish to.

This Day in History: September 15th, 1925

This Day in History: September 15th, 1925


Spiritualist Would Give Borough’s Wells More Water for $8,000; Asks Council for Contract

MILLTOWN, Sept. 15 – The Milltown Borough Council convened in its regular session last night to discuss a matter concerning the recent water shortage in the borough. A few weeks ago, the water supply became insufficient, leading to the need for pumping water from Lawrence Brook to address the emergency. In an attempt to resolve this issue, Reverend Eugene Bagonye, a renowned spiritualist, submitted a letter to Mayor Herbert, proposing supernatural solutions to prevent future droughts and enhance the community’s water supply. The letter sought an $8,000 contract with the council. Here is the text of the letter:

MILLTOWN, Sept. 2, 1925

Mayor Herbert
Milltown, N.J.

Your Honor:

Following our conversation this afternoon at your suggestion, I am writing this letter, which I kindly request you to present to the esteemed officials of our borough.

I, Reverend Eugene L. Bagonye, have received a divine calling from Our Lord Jesus Christ to invoke rain and increase the flow of springs to wells. Having read in the Daily Home News, and being a resident of Milltown, about the water shortage issue, I understand that the cost of drilling a new well would amount to approximately $30,000. I propose an alternative solution: for a sum of $8,000, I will enhance the well’s water flow and ensure a continuous supply to Milltown to address current emergencies and accommodate growth over the next three to five years. If this proposition aligns with your honorable body, I request a contract.

The contract terms can involve monthly payments or include partial upfront payment, based on the measurement of the current water supply, with the goal of providing an additional nine inches of water per well. If you find this proposal agreeable, please notify me, and I will arrange a meeting to provide further details about my work. I have held Milltown’s well-being close to my heart since their inception. I recall visiting the wells when they were initially dug and predicting that Milltown would face water shortages in the future. I mention this to establish the historical context.

Yours Sincerely,

The council referred Rev. Bagonye’s letter to Samuel Spiers, the Superintendent of Water, who is carefully considering the matter. Mr. Flynn from the New Brunswick Water Works informed officials last night that the water currently used in the borough meets safety standards. Mr. Flynn, a chemist at the nearby facility, conducted tests on both brook and well water in the local area, approving their quality. To meet the water demand, the borough is temporarily using additional water, which is sufficient unless residents become wasteful. The restrictions on car washing and lawn sprinkling remain in place due to the ongoing water supply concerns.

Borough Sidewalks

The council also discussed sidewalk concerns, particularly on Broad Street, where residents requested improvements. Broad Street’s proper grading will be established in the coming weeks, after which the council may draft an ordinance for sidewalk installation.

Street Committee Update

Charles Christ, the Chairman of the Street Committee, reported that property owners in North Milltown are cooperating well in regards to sidewalk construction. Contracts have been awarded, and work is expected to commence within the next week or ten days.

Light Collections

John Christ, Chairman of the Light Committee, reported that collections for August amounted to $1,361.58.

Local News

  • Mrs. Mary B. Montgomery, after spending a week with her son John Montgomery on First Street, has returned to her home in Philadelphia.
  • Raymond Mather, former traffic manager of the Michelin Tire Company but now residing in Holyoke, Massachusetts, visited Milltown, renewing old acquaintances.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wagner from Brooklyn enjoyed a weekend visit with Mr. and Mrs. John Mulvey on First Street.
  • Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Montgomery had the pleasure of hosting Mrs. Elizabeth Fox, Mrs. Montgomery’s sister from Philadelphia.
  • A group of local fishermen had a successful Sunday at Beach Haven, catching 115 fish. Participants included M. Martinot, Claude Cerey, Rene Fontlex, Jacob Van Deursen, Charles Gerst, Fred Moetz, Peter Cercy, and Emil Betzler.
  • Fred Brunning, a local confectioner, has enhanced his establishment with a modern mirror-backed fountain, considered the finest in Milltown. Mr. Brunning plans to put it into use soon, boasting that it includes every possible feature for a splendid experience.

This Day in History: September 14th, 1907

This Day in History: September 14th, 1907


Vice-President Emile Fontaine’s residence on Main Street, Milltown, was burglarized last evening. The thief made off with jewelry and money, managing to escape without being detected.

Mr. Fontaine is the vice-president of the Michelin Tire Company and resides in the recently purchased Sine residence by Dr. Ferdinand Riva. The family retired at 10 p.m. The nurse and interpreter, Miss Anlee Holohan, was partially awakened by someone passing through her room before dawn. She also heard noises downstairs but, as she had asked the cook to wake her early, she didn’t pay much attention to it.

When the cook came downstairs at 6 o’clock this morning, she was startled to find the kitchen door wide open with the doormat in place, and the window screen on the steps. It was evident that the thief had entered through the window.

A thorough search of the house had been conducted, but some items were overlooked. One hundred dollars belonging to Miss Holohan had disappeared.

Clothing Stolen from His Room
Superintendent Fontaine noticed early this morning that his clothing was missing from his room but found it at the top of the stairs. His silver watch and chain, purchased in Paris, were gone. A silver dollar had been taken from his vest pocket, along with some loose change.

Mrs. Fontaine discovered a small decorative platter halfway down the stairs, and her silver watch, along with a fine long gold chain for her neck, was missing. The chain was valued at $32 in Paris. An old gold watch of English make and a gold brooch, both belonging to Miss Holohan, were also taken. These items held significant sentimental value for her.

It was clear that the thief had moved silently through the house and taken great care not to disturb anyone further.

At half-past six this morning, Superintendent Fontaine called Justice Headley to conduct an investigation in his home. Naturally, the family was highly alarmed but relieved that no more had been stolen.

It seems that there has been recent prowling by thieves in this area of Milltown, likely taking advantage of the darkness resulting from malfunctioning electric lights.

Thief Spotted Multiple Times
Mrs. Frederic Bauries spotted a man near her kitchen door at 1 o’clock one morning. He disappeared immediately. She had also noticed someone prowling around Justice Headley’s property around midnight on another occasion.

On a separate occasion, she frightened off a man attempting to enter her neighbor Charles Sevenhair’s window.

The same thief proceeded to David Nevius’ house and woke him up around 5 o’clock this morning. The thief was seen searching through Mr. Nevius’ trouser pockets. Mr. Nevius attempted to confront the thief but had trouble loading a cartridge into his gun, allowing the thief to escape. The thief managed to steal some money during this encounter.