This Day in History: March 28, 1920

This Day in History: March 28, 1920


MILLTOWN, Mar. 28-The recent meeting of the Chamber of Commerce brought out many new ideas for the betterment of the community that if successfully undertaken and worked out will place this town on a higher plane along the industrial building and business lines than it has ever been before.

Expanding of the borough has met quite a snag from a number of tax-payers who are apparently being misled in their views along this line but that has not hampered the Commerce men’s progressiveness. The matter of improving the road between Milltown and South River was thoroughly discussed and after a lengthy talk on the matter, the secretary was authorized to communicate with the Chamber of Commerce of South River and East Brunswick township in an endeavor to arrange for a joint meeting and discuss the subject after which they will take it up with the State Highway Commission. The explanation of the advantages that may be obtained by Milltown showed that all would benefit thereby, especially the business places and the local industries. The road at the present time is in, wretched condition and traffic as far as business vehicles are concerned is almost completely cut off as the Weston Mills road is used generally from New Brunswick to South River. Hence the local business places are deprived of the opportunity to get in touch with the big wholesale concerns. It was also shown where the industries would be benefited if a good road was laid. The recent winter was cited when trolleys were blocked and South River people had to go to New Brunswick by bus. thence to Milltown to their daily work by car, whereas if a good substantial road was there busses could successfully run over the hard bottom.

A Weekly Paper.

The issuance of a weekly paper was a topic for unusual debate and all the members seemed unanimous on the idea as the “Spokesman” of South River has made quite a hit with the downriver people. The secretary was instructed to get in touch with Mr. Christie of New Brunswick and have him give a talk on the idea at the next meeting.

Too Much Speed.

Excessive speeding of vehicles passing through the town was also inquired into and the commerce men will take the matter up with the borough council in an endeavor to reduce the unnecessary speeding as some have been taking advantage of “no law” and dangerous spots of the borough especially where the school is located has never been considered. by the fast autoist.

Church Notices.

A special Palm Sunday service will be held Sunday in the Reformed Church at 10:30 A. M., when Rev. W. F. Barny will confirm a large preparatory class. Special decorations and special music will feature the service. Sunday school at 9:30 A. M. and evening service at 7:30. Rev. Father Maher will conduct holy man with a special service at the Catholic Mission at 9 A. M..

At the Methodist Church Rev. W C. Mealing and wife, noted Pennsylvania evangelists, will open a three- weeks campaign. Morning service at 10:30 A. M., Sunday school at 2 P.M.. Epworth League at 7 P. M. and preaching by the Evangelist at 7:30 P. M. A chorus choir of thirty-five voices will sing.

School Election..

Interest next Tuesday night centers on the public school election.. The voters will vote on two very important subjects, the first: a four-room addition to the present school to meet the present needs of the community. Second: the purchasing of the four and a half acres of ground in the rear of the school.

The new addition will cost in the neighborhood of $55,000, while the land will cost the school an even ten thousand.

Some taxpayers cannot see the Ideas of the Board of Education in desiring this large strip of land and for that reason will vote against it. but the Perent-Teacher Association may offset the opposition vote as they are strong for the purchase for they have already laid plans for a recreational center. Sentiment favors a school in South Milltown. hence the four-room addition will be bitterly attacked especially by residents of South Milltown. The polls will open at eight o’clock.

This Day in History: March 23rd, 1920

This Day in History: March 23rd, 1920

Location of MIlltown National Bank 1917 - 1924


MILLTOWN, March 23. – About might months ago the people of this Community were all stirred up over the continued attempts at robbery by a band of slick men, but hardly considered professionals. Now it leaks out again that a crew has been making preliminary plans for a “good haul” in Milltown. This story did not leak out until Saturday, after it was discovered that a crew of four navy deserters had been discharged from the Michelin Tire factory of this place for bad conduct.

The four men in question have seen prolonging their stay in Milltown now for about five weeks, and going under the name of “navy men from Atlanta, Ga.” The four men gave a hard luck story when they endeavored to secure work at the local plant, and the superintendent employed them because he needed help at the time. Everything in connection with their work went off very smoothly until last week, when was necessary to discharge them or their disturbance.

At the quarters where they were staying they had rung up a two weeks’ bill, and two of the men skipped before the proprietor could realize what had happened, but he went to the Michelin company and forced the other two men to square up before they left the grounds.

Now comes the report that these men were suspicion as likely thieves, as three places reported men attempting to enter the homes during the past week. It may be that the people are only excited over the matter, but they waited too long for their confession. However, is a known fact that they tried to borrow some tools from a local party, claiming they wanted to go South River and steal a suit of clothes, as they were “dead broke.”


A head-on collision was the fate of John Falk, driving one of his cars home from Princeton on Saturday night, where he had been on a business trip.

The accident happened at about 8 o’clock, on the road between Cranbury and Dayton, and was the result of a big army truck bound for Princeton crashing head-on into his machine.

Mr. Falk was driving the car at the time, and Mr. Elbe, his partner, was in the front with him when they endeavored to pass the big truck. They successfully passed the first one, and least expected an- other so close behind, but following was another truck being towed home by the first one. Both the army machines were without lights, and the second was partly in the middle of the road, and as a result when Mr. Falk passed the first, the second was so close and farther out that it crashed right into his ear and did considerable damage. Both army trucks were without lights, and the lieutenant took Mr. Falk and Mr. Elbe back to Princeton, where they signed a paper in order to receive the expenses for the dam- aged car, as the lieutenant admit- ted they were at fault, and gave as the reason for no lights that they expected to reach Princeton before dark.

Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.

The Chamber of Commerce will get back on the job again on Wednesday night, and a live meeting is expected to ensue. The Commerce men are elated over the possibility of their annexation project going through, because it seems now that everyone concerned in the annexation of this ground is perfectly satisfied, and when it comes up before the voters in April it is expected to pass easily.

The Commerce board will start out anew now, and endeavor to push over a few more such improvement ideas, and as they have a number of New ideas on the table, it is desired that a full attendance be had on Wednesday. The meeting will be held in Red Men’s Hall, and open to all whether members or not.

Personal Mention.

The young child of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Christ was christened on Sunday afternoon by Rev. L. S. Hammond, pastor of the Methodist Church. Frank Becza has purchased an Oakland touring car from Milltown’s new repair shop agency, Messrs. Falk & Elbe.

Prayer and praise service will be. held this evening at the Methodist Church.

Frank Becza has purchased an Oakland touring car from Milltown’s new repair shop agency, Messrs. Falk & Elbe.

Mrs. Edward Brown is a recent acquisition to the choir of the Methodist Church. Mrs. Brown, formerly Miss Florence Hardy of New Brunswick, was a former member of Pitman Church choir.

This Day In History: July 20th, 1919

This Day In History: July 20th, 1919


Select a committee of dynamite men who have the confidence of the community: let them name an energetic committee to carry out any plan decided upon by the original committee; secure the services of an expert to aid in the work determined upon; and have a survey made of existing’ conditions so as to determine the best course to pursue.

This was the solution of the municipal expansion problem presented to the people of Milltown, at the second meeting of the Milltown Chamber of Commerce held in the Borough Hall last Wednesday night, by Mr. Perry R. MacNeille, an expert in civic planning who has done much to aid the government in the housing proposition, and pioneer in city building. Mr. Mac Nellie was secured through The Sunday Times, which has taken a great interest in the question of civic development, not only with regard to New Brunswick but also with the view of presenting ideas and making suggestions that would aid other communities in making their municipalities better places to live in.

Following Mr. Mac Neille’s address the Milltown Chamber of Commerce, of which Mr. H. R. B. Meyers is president, voted to have a survey made in accordance with the plan suggested by the speaker. What he said in his very practical talk to the people of this borough will apply to any community and if followed out will prove beneficial to other municipalities.

Planning Too Much.

In discussing the question of “Municipal Expansion,” the title he gave to his talk, Mr. Mac Neille said it was a great mistake to mass up too great a quantity of things one would like to do and not do anything. The great danger of a meeting of this sort was that one got an inspiration to do thinks but this often wasted itself away before anything material resulted.

“Be slow to determine the thing to be done and be rapid in setting the energies at work to do it,”

Mr. Mac Neille said he lived in a suburban community of New York where he went to rest and sleep. His business was in New York and it made no difference to him how long the town remained as dead as it was so long as it did hot become deader.

“But those of you who are in business here,” declared Mr. MacNeille, “are irrevocably committed to the program of civic expansion. Your success or failure, your happiness or misery, is tied up in this town. The majority of you cannot leave Milltown

“And no matter what your business is, no matter where your market your business cannot grow unless the town grows.”

He was sorry to say, however, that the storekeepers too often happened to be the blind ones in the matter of civic expansion, that the manufacturers, whose market was outside of the town, were not always the wideawake ones and the storekeepers were the laggards.

What Live Men Can Do.

As an illustration of the possibilities of a wide-awake Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Mac Neille referred to Pittsburg. There, upon the development of the steel industry at Gary, it was found business was decreasing and people were moving away. The Chamber of Commerce was a live and set to work to overcome this situation. They sent representatives to South America and Russia to get information First handed as to the possibilities of a market there for the products  of Pittsburg. They prepared a book in encyclopedia form, giving an alphabetical list of all the industries of the city and what each manufactured. A copy of this book was placed in the hands of every American consul so that at a glance, upon inquiry being made of him as to where various materials could be obtained, he could furnish the address of the manufacturer in Pittsburg

They also sent $40,000 for a survey in relation to housing, parks, recreation and so on, with the result that Pittsburg is the prosperous city it is today. This showed what a live, energetic Chamber of commerce could do.

Studying the Problems.

The speaker then dwelt upon the necessity of the various problems being adequately studied in order to secure success. There was an opportune time for everything and sometimes it paid to put off the doing of a thing till tomorrow rather than to start it today. Conditions might be better at a later date and twice the energy then aroused than if the undertaking was started at once.

He also cautioned his hearers that if they waited to do a thing, however, until a time when it could be done perfectly it would never be done. There is nothing in this world perfect. The writer of a book had once, he said, withheld its publication for forty years in order that it might be perfect in every detail. It was concerning the life of a king and he had been unable to find out just what the king had done during two weeks of his career. After these many years he found the king had really done nothing at all of interest during that missing period. He had made a trip and stopped along at various points along the way. Yet the world lost the benefits of this book for 40 years in order to make it perfect. Their purpose should be not solely that of making money and of making goods but the rendering of a social service, the achievement of which would place them head and shoulders above all their neighbors.

Task For Milltown.

The task for Milltown, as he saw it was to select first a committee of dynamic men, men who had a vision, men who had the confidence of the community. They should be selected very carefully and should be men who, if they say it is wise for Milltown to do a certain thing the citizens will also say it is wise and support them.

This committee should select another committee of energetic, active men who, when a course is determined upon, will see to it that it is carried through. The services of an export would also be necessary, one who knows all the hitches likely to be encountered in the line of work determined upon and can guard against them so that everyone who works will know that he did something.

Importance of Survey.

Mr. MacNeille impressed upon the members of the Board the importance of making a survey so as to ascertain the economical, geographical and natural advantages, where the markets are, what new markets can be opened up and how old markets can be increased.

Sanitation was to be considered and plan necessary so as to prevent waste in the future, in some cities he said the streets grew wherever the cow wandered. In Altoona, he declared the brain of the engineer became weary and they laid the town out without any regard to future development with the result that some of the streets were so hilly that fire engines could not get up them. At Three Rivers streets were now being closed, because they were built in the wrong place, and new streets being laid to accommodate factories. All because of a lack of plan in the beginning.

A town also needed recreation with its playgrounds. It also needed recuperation. One enjoys a period of rest when he walks through beautiful streets, said Mr. Mac Neille, but he doesn’t get any rest when he walks through ashes.

“In riding through your town this afternoon, I was amazed at the beauty of the rear yards,” he said. “Everything was beautiful except the streets, and it needs so little to improve them the establishment of grade, the laying of a curb and the planting of a little grass.”

Estimating The Cost.

Just as the dressmaker, before starting to make a dress, gets a pattern to go by and estimates the cost so as to be sure her pocketbook will meet the needs, or an architect draws up a plan based upon a certain amount to be spent, so a city not only; makes a plan but prepares a budget so as to know where the money is to come from when needed.

“But money alone won’t build your city,” continued the speaker. Goodwill and good spirit are needed also. The town needs the spirit of all its citizens behind it. The wonderful accomplishments of America during the war was due to the energies of all being centered in winning the war. It is just so with a town. All minds must be centered upon the things to be accomplished to make them a success.”

Milltown, he said, was awake. It had a Chamber of Commerce which had just started out and was on the threshold of its accomplishments. The torch should be kept burning and carried forward. They not only should keep it burning and keep it moving out Keep the vigor there, giving it over to younger men when those carrying it had accomplished all they could. In this way Milltown would become the city pictured by many of those present.

Town To Decide.

Following his talk Mr. Mac Neille answered questions put to him by those in the audience. In reply to one questioner, he said it was up to the people of the town to decide upon what they wanted. They could tell in a general way what appealed to them, what they most missed. From all the suggestions made that favored by the majority should be chosen first and if the committee found it desirable and sanctioned it that made its success assured.

Mac Neille met a number of the residents of Milltown during his short stay there and was much interested in the town and its success. He found the people anxious to do whatever they could to develop the town. Everywhere there was a spirit needed to back up municipal development. That the townspeople appreciated his visit was shown by a standing vote of thanks given him at the Chamber of Commerce meeting.

This Day in History: April 28 1920

person dropping paper on box


MILLTOWN, Apr. 28 The proposal for annexation of a portion of North Brunswick Township by the Borough of Milltown was defeated in a special election held here yesterday.

There was a total of 122 votes cast for annexation and 183 votes against the proposition. The majority against was 61. The first voting precinct, which is in South Milltown, registered 17 votes for and 89 against annexation, while the second voting precinct, located in North Milltown, which section is adjacent to the territory which it was proposed to annex, gave 105 votes in favor and 94 votes against annexation. The annexation proposal was fought largely on the contention that it would mean increased taxation. It was the first big project backed by the Milltown Chamber of Commerce, the leaders of which worked energetically to secure Its adoption. This evening will witness the first annual banquet of the Chamber of Commerce, to be held in Red Men’s Hall, at 6.30 o’clock. A fine program has been arranged, and the principal speaker will be Adrain Lvon of Perth Amboy.

Today in History: March 9th 1924

Today in History: March 9th 1924

Milltown to Further Consider Annexation Plan

The Daily Times: New Brunswick, N.J. Sunday March 9th 1924

MILLTOWN, March 9.—The recent announcement that New Brunswick was endeavoring  to annex a portion of North Brunswick township, has aroused considerable interest among local people. A few years ago, the people of this locality at an election, voiced sentiment against the annexation of a portion of North Brunswick township. At the time, those who favored the Idea, termed it, “a sad mistake.” Today these same people if they had It to do over again it Is declared, would vole, on the affirmative side.

Milltown fought hard to annex a strip of land, known as the Vanderbilt Manor, and rightfully should have had It, but the measure was defeated when it came up for action. All of the local political leaders were in harmony with that project, and backed it solidly, which made another class of voters believe It was a frame-up.

Mayor Herbert Intimated this week, that the people living In the Vanderbilt Manor want to be Joined to the borough and have consented to work for the proposition. The Mayor believes that if Milltown doesn’t get busy right away on the project that New Brunswick will come along and get a portion that would someday be a bright spot for this town. It Is understood that officials of the North Brunswick township are ready to lend aid to Milltown In getting this strip of land, where there are now upwards of twenty homes according to figures available in the building books, several more homes will be erected in this particular section this coming summer. Taxes in the township are naturally not near so large as in the borough but the resident owners are anxious to get conveniences and will make up the difference without complaint if such can be brought about. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Potter is in both Milltown and the township and others are on the direct boundary, yet Milltown cannot give to these people all the conveniences that they desire, although several have been connected with the sewer, at their own expense, of course.

It Is likely that Mayor Herbert will make a strong effort to have the proposition brought up again, and he will get the solid endorsement of the council as well as all the former enthusiasts. It is expected that no trouble will be experienced to have the anti-annexation ones lined up on this occasion. No matter how one looks at it, if the project can be made possible, and this portion added to the borough. it will benefit the town, in several ways, as well as give an added revenue from taxes.