This Day in History: November 9th, 1916

This Day in History: November 9th, 1916

Democrats Elect One Milltown Councilman

MILLTOWN, Nov. – The G.O.P. made a clean sweep in Milltown as far as National, State, and County offices are concerned, but when it came to the local election, there was a difference of opinion. William R. Evans, Republican, was returned to council by the large vote of 266, showing the people still have confidence in the good work he has already accomplished and has underway, but his running mate, C. W. Waddington, fell by the wayside with a vote of 128, running considerably behind his ticket. Joseph M. Crabiel, son of the late Mayor Joseph M. Crabiel of this place, the strongest candidate the Democrats have put in the field for some time, was honored with 212 votes which safely elected him by a majority of 82 votes over Waddington. Gilbert Gill, however, Crabiel’s running mate, received but 108 votes.

Both Evans and Crabiel are straightforward and upright young men of the borough, and the populace has every confidence that they will receive good and wise legislation from them.

Returns Attract Large Number The Milltown Republicans engaged the upper floor in Red Men’s Building and installed a telegraph instrument for the purpose of receiving returns. The results as they came in were also given to the public from the balcony, which created a great deal of interest. There were about a hundred or more in the building to receive the returns while several hundred gathered out in the street and remained until a late hour, eagerly awaiting some definite results.

Ladies, too, were as much interested as the men in the outcome of the election, and they have already made a request that provisions be made for them should it ever be attempted to receive returns in a like manner in the future.

This is the first time that Milltown has had the pleasure of receiving returns directly, and it was certainly appreciated by many. Thanks to the Republican Committee for their generosity.

There were 401 votes cast in the Borough of Milltown, which is the largest vote ever polled in this district, and as a result, there is every indication that another polling place will be required before another election comes around as the total number registered here at the present time is approximately 450.

Democratic Banner Missing After Election

MILLTOWN, Nov. 3 – The Wilson-Marshall banner, which floated near the Borough Hall in Milltown, was among the missing yesterday morning. It is claimed that the disappearance of the same is evidently the handiwork of some of the Republican enthusiasts who paraded through the borough at 2 a.m., headed by a fife and drum corps, shouting their joys for the belief they had attained from reports that Hughes had safely 276 electoral votes.

It has been said that torches had been prepared for the destruction of the banner, but there were men in the mob who observed the emblem of Old Glory, and their patriotism prevented the termination of their purpose.

The act, however, was not taken in a spirit of jocularity by the Democratic County Committeeman of the borough, and Mr. Spencer Perry, who acts in that capacity, declared last night that he was highly indignant over the affair and was ready to take steps toward prosecution of those implicated in what he claims to be a disgrace to the borough of Milltown.

In a personal interview with the Home News reporter last night, Mr. Perry conceded that the act was not one originating with the Republican party in general and that many prominent men of Republican faith expressed their regrets at the outcome.

He further remarked that apologies from those directly implicated in the affair made to him as committeeman of the borough would tend to set things right, or otherwise, action would be taken.

This Day in History: October 24th, 1913

This Day in History: October 24th, 1913


Plans meet with the approval of the Commission. A special election will soon be called.

MILLTOWN, Oct. 24 – A meeting of the Milltown Sewer and Water Commission was held last night. Present at the meeting were Mayor Conrad Richter, Charles Richter, John Booream, E. J. Jaeger, C. W. Waddington, R. B. Sheppard, and Engineer Clyde Potts.

The plans and specifications, drawn up by Engineer Clyde Potts and approved by the State Board, were accepted by the local commission. It is likely that a special meeting will be called soon to make a report for submission to the Borough Council. Once the final report is received by the Council, steps will be taken to hold a special election, allowing the residents to make the final decision.

Engineer Clyde Potts provided the following report to the commission:

“On August 3, 1912, I presented complete plans for a water and sewerage system in the Borough of Milltown to your commission. Copies of these plans were filed with the State Board of Health. The water plans were approved in July 1912. Application was made to the State Water Supply Commission for approval of the source of supply, which was granted on August 13, 1912. However, plans for the sewerage works were taken under advisement by the Board of Health. A public hearing was held in the State House at Trenton on August 27. Various citizens and officials from New Brunswick objected to Milltown’s plans, fearing it would contaminate New Brunswick’s water supply.

Post the hearing, negotiations were held with New Brunswick authorities about altering the plan. On January 3, at a joint meeting of the sewerage committees of both Milltown and New Brunswick, it was proposed to pump Milltown’s sewage into New Brunswick’s sewers. This proposal formed the basis for an agreement on September 16. According to this agreement, Milltown will dispose of its sewage by pumping it through a force main on Main street to New Brunswick’s sewers at the Musical String factory. New Brunswick will share the cost of this force main and pumping station, contributing $12,500.

Supplemental plans were prepared in line with this agreement and filed with the State Board of Health on September 30. They were approved on October 7. These plans include a map showing the pumping station’s location and the force main’s route, a profile of the force main, and details of the proposed sewage pumping station near Lawrence Brook at the foot of Church street.

Due to the change in plans, it becomes necessary to modify the specifications attached to the August 3, 1912, report. Appended is a schedule of the necessary changes in the specifications for the sewers and sewage disposal works from the original report. The original specifications have not been rewritten. However, when printed for distribution among contractors, the printer can make corrections by referring to Appendix 1.”

The estimated cost of the sewage disposal works, as originally planned, was $21,505. The cost for the pumping station and force main to the New Brunswick sewers was estimated at $22,775. Of this amount, the City of New Brunswick will contribute $12,500. This leaves the net cost to the Borough of Milltown at $20,275. Regarding the operation of the pumping plant, the costs are estimated not to exceed $1,000 per annum for the first three years. For the fourth and fifth years, the cost is projected to be about $1,500 per annum.

In conclusion, I’d like to state that if the sewerage contract between the Borough of Milltown and the City of New Brunswick contains a clause where New Brunswick agrees to handle and dispose of Milltown’s sewage indefinitely (or as long as Lawrence Brook’s water is used by New Brunswick), I believe this plan, as proposed in the supplemental report, is superior to the original plan from August 1912. The members of your commission should be commended for finding an effective solution to this sewerage issue.

This Day in History: October 23rd, 1918

This Day in History: October 23rd, 1918

Few New Cases of Influenza Develop; Help For Registrants

MILLTOWN, Oct. 23 – The number of new cases of influenza in the borough that has developed during the past several days shows a decrease. It was stated yesterday by a member of the Board of Health that if no increase took place and the State Board of Health lifted the ban on gatherings and permitted the saloons and ice cream parlors to reopen, it would likely be possible to also lift the ban in Milltown.

The report for Sunday and Monday showed 14 new influenza cases and 2 pneumonia cases, which indicated the epidemic in the borough was on the wane.

Help for Registrants

With the sending out of the questionnaires to the balance of the men by the draft boards, the need arises again for assistance in filling out the forms. No one has been delegated by the Legal Advisory Board of Middlesex County to attend to the work, but arrangements are underway to have assistants at the school house for the next week or ten days to help anyone desiring assistance with their questionnaire. There will be no one on hand tonight, but a notice will appear in this column when the assistants will be at the school. No charge is made for the assistance and neither is there any charge, as a rule, by the persons taking the required affidavits. In the past, the registrants desiring to pay for the help received have been given the suggestion a donation to the War Relief would be acceptable and in that way, the treasury of the War Relief has been helped. The money is used by the War Relief Committee to supply Milltown boys in the service with various articles.

Contributions are still being received by the War Relief, the latest being a donation of $5 from Fred W. DaVoe.

Former Milltown Resident Dies

The death of Thomas J. Collins, of Millville, Mass., a former resident of Milltown occurred on Monday, Oct. 21st. He will be buried on Thursday afternoon at Millville. In addition to his wife, the deceased is survived by seven children and a number of grandchildren, also three brothers, Horatio Collins in Vanderbilt Avenue, Milltown, and Hamlet and Robert Collins, of New Brunswick.

Mrs. Chris Dunn is now able to be about again after an attack of influenza. Mrs. J.J. Keller is convalescing from influenza. Miss Bertha Oehl spent Sunday at Summerhill, at the home of her sister, Mrs. R.J. Smith. Several members of the Eib family, of Fresh Ponds Road, are suffering from influenza. Harold Glines has recovered from an attack of pneumonia and is able to be around. Miss Mamie Schlachter is confined to her home with an attack of Spanish influenza.

The Lawrence Brook school will reopen on Monday, October 28. All pupils report for work.

ELECTION Day presents a glorious opportunity to better the living conditions of your children. Vote “YES” on the question of abolishing saloon licenses. Milltown No-License League. 021-41

This Day in History: October 21st, 1907

This Day in History: October 21st, 1907

$10,000 Building for Milltown

Milltown Lodge to Construct and Provide a Hall for Public Meetings

The Wickatunk Tribe, No. 135, I.O.R.M. of Milltown, is planning to erect a hall and lodge room at the corner of Main and Ford streets in Milltown. The proposed structure, measuring 36×60 feet, is set to be a handsome addition to the town, equipped with the latest improvements, and estimated to cost about $10,000.

The ground floor will accommodate two stores. The second floor is designated for the upper sporting class of Milltown, while the top floor will house the lodge rooms and provide space for public meetings. The community of Milltown has long felt the need for a large hall, and this building aims to fulfill that need.

With 155 members and $7,000 in the treasury, the order’s prospects are very favorable.

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 13th, 1909

This Day in History: September 13th, 1909

Milltown Proud of the New M. E. Parsonage

MILLTOWN, Sept. 13-William Jaeger, of New York, was a week-end guest at the home of Charles Smith. Mrs. Charles Herrmann, of Main street, entertained out of town guests over Sunday.

The manager of the football team of the Crescent A. C. has asked that all candidates for the 1909 football eleven appear ready for light practice next Thursday evening. As the Crescents are quite enthusiastic over the game, it is expected that there will be a large number of candidates on hand. Mrs. William C. Kuhlthau, who has been quite ill, is convalescing under the care of Dr. N. N. Forney.

The congregation of the German Reformed Church listened to a very excellent sermon given by Rev. J. M. C. Garmo, of Buffalo, yesterday morning. Miss Mamie Glock assumed her duties as teacher in the South River public school to-day.

The above sketch is a true representation of the new M. E. parsonage at Milltown. It presents quite an imposing appearance, and is one of the finest residences in the town.

It is provided with all the modern improvements, steam heat, electric lights, Kewanee water system, a well equipped laundry, together with a gas heating range for the kitchen. On the first floor are the reception hall, parlor, library, dining room and kitchen.

On the second floor are five good-sized sleeping apartments besides a fair-sized bathroom. The trimming is of red oak, with hardwood floors throughout.

The reception hall and parlor are separated by artiste grill work, and the winding stairway running through the center of the house makes the hall very attractive. The cost of the building is estimated at $5,500, the architect of said building being George K. Parsell, of this city.

The pastor and family are now occupying the parsonage, and expect, with the aid of the ladies of the church. to hold a reception in the very near future, to which all members and friends of the congregation will be welcome.