This Day in History: December 5th, 1908

This Day in History: December 5th, 1908


Head Electrician William Duclos, of Michelin Tire Plant, Had Idea of Coming Death in Elevator Pit

Falling Weight Breaks Neck.

Crushed under an elevator weighing several hundred pounds, William Duclos, 29 years old, was almost instantly killed at the Michelin Tire works, Milltown, this morning. Death was caused by the tremendous weight on his head and back, which broke his neck.

The accident occurred shortly before 5 o’clock. Something wrong with the batteries controlling the elevator made it necessary for Duclos, who was head of the electrical department at the plant, to go into the elevator pit and discover the cause of the trouble. It is said that just before going down the shaft, Duclos had a premonition of his impending death, and turning to a fellow employee said, “I don’t know why, but something tells me I will never come out of that place alive.” Arousing his courage, however, the electrician descended and had hardly begun his investigation when the starting of the elevator caused one of the heavy weights to descend with a rapidity that made it impossible for its victim to move out of its path. He died about 15 minutes after the accident.

Dr. N. N. Forney, of Milltown, and Dr. F. M. Donohue were summoned, but upon their arrival, Duclos was beyond all earthly aid. Coroner John V. Hubbard, of this city, and Undertaker Moke were summoned and the body was removed to the dead man’s home on Vanderbilt Avenue.

Mr. Duclos had been employed at the Michelin plant for nearly two years, coming from Brooklyn in 1906 with his young bride. She alone survives him. Coroner Hubbard made a superficial examination of the circumstances surrounding the electrician’s death this morning but evidently did not satisfy himself that an inquest was unnecessary, for he went to the plant this afternoon for further investigation. There is an unconfirmed rumor that a careless employee was responsible for Duclos’ death in starting the elevator, not noticing the man in the pit.

Inquiry at the Michelin plant revealed a stubborn unwillingness on the part of those in authority to give out details regarding the tragedy. At first, an effort was made to deny that an employee had been killed.

This Day in History: October 3rd, 1914

This Day in History: October 3rd, 1914

John Fine and Son Thrown From a Motorcycle

Aged Father of Mrs. Voorhees Van Arsdale Meets With Unfortunate Mishap, Returning from the Trenton Fair at Night.

MILLTOWN, Oct. 3 – About eleven o’clock Thursday evening Mrs. Voorhees Van Arsdale, of this place, was aroused from her slumbers when an automobile, owned by a Hightstown doctor, drove up to her house on South Main Street, Milltown, carrying in the machine her aged father, who has passed his 74th year, and her brother, Harvey Fine with whom he had been at the Trenton Fair, both being injured from a mishap that occurred in Hightstown, and causing father and son to be thrown from the motorcycle upon which they were riding, and quite severely cutting and bruising the older gentleman, the junior member of the party escaped with a sprained foot and thumb. Mr. Fine, Sr., was cut about the legs and head, and will undoubtedly be laid up for a while.

John Fine and his son Harvey, had journeyed from South River to the fairgrounds on Harvey’s motorcycle in about fifty minutes, and upon their arrival there he was greeted by the Governor and due to his advanced years, was asked to give an exhibition in motorcycle riding, but refused. Everything went along fine, and a joyous time was had at the fair, and on their way home everything was going smoothly when they came to a wagon that was bound in the same direction they were going. The driver of the cycle blew his horn, but the man in the wagon kept crowding to the wrong side of the street. Fine slowed down and was holding close to the ditch, but as he attempted to turn back in the road he struck a sandy spot, the machine skidded and the pair, father and son, were thrown to the ground side by side. Harvey, however, had his foot caught under the machine, causing a sprain, while his father was thrown clear, but struck his limbs in some way as to cause several gashes and bruises. He was also cut about the face.

An automobile happened along at the same time and hurried the injured men to a Hightstown doctor, who, after giving them attention, kindly brought them to Milltown. Mr. Fine, Sr., remained there until last evening, and then was taken to his home in South River. Harvey lives with his sister, Mrs. Van Arsdale, here in the borough, and is nursing his several sprains and bruises.

Other Milltown News:

Mayor William Kuhithau, Jr., presided over the adjourned meeting of the Borough Council which was held last evening. The following councilmen answered the roll call by Clerk R. A. Harkins: Charles Bauries, Henry Kuhlthau, Albert Skewis, W. R. Evans, and C. H. Crenning.

Representatives of the Public Service Electric Company, of New Brunswick, met with the Borough Fathers last evening. After carefully going over the proposition of furnishing the borough with electric energy for the electric light system, pumping of sewage and water, they named an attractive figure and were awarded the contract.

The council has under consideration the purchase of several lengths of hose and couplings for emergency use. This matter was left in the hands of the fire committee.

The regular meeting of Borough Council will be held next Thursday.

Successful Entertainment:

There were about a hundred attendees at the entertainment given in the Methodist Church last evening by Keith Cherry, of Philadelphia, titled “The World From The Sidewalk.” Cherry made a hit with the audience, presenting many interesting and comical impersonations. About $18 was realized on the affair.

Renovating Red Men’s Hall: The local Red Men are painting and papering their lodge room, which will no doubt make an attractive appearance when completed. A. Doty is doing the work.

The Michelin basketball team will play the Tottenville A.C., at Columbia Hall this evening. The Michelin Juniors will meet the Crescent Five, of Perth Amboy in a preliminary contest.

At the Churches:

At the Methodist Church tomorrow morning, Rev. L.L. Hand will occupy the pulpit and will deliver a sermon on Christian Education, the theme of which is “The Text Book Used for Christian Education.” A class of probationers will also be taken in at the service, and any that have not already been baptized. A number are also expected to be received by letter at this service. Rev. Hand will also offer a special prayer for peace, in accordance with the proclamation of the President. Sunday school will be held in the afternoon at the usual hour, and a missionary collection will be taken. In the evening, the Rev. Hand will deliver the first of a series of Sunday evening sermons on the great men of the Bible, the theme of tomorrow’s sermon being, “David – the Greatness of a Devout Mind.”

The devotional services of the Epworth League will be held prior to the regular evening service at the Methodist Church tomorrow night, under the leadership of Miss Anna Hoffer. Subject, “A Song of Companionships.”

At the German Reformed: Sunday school will commence at 9 instead of 9:30 o’clock, at the German Reformed Church tomorrow morning. Preparatory service will be held at 10 o’clock, and regular service at 10:30. Communion service will be held in the morning following the regular service. The pastor will deliver a sermon asking for the restoration of peace in Europe in accordance with the proclamation of the President. Young People’s Society meets at 7 p.m. Regular evening service at 7:30.


Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hodapp attended the Trenton Fair yesterday. Miss Stella Booraem was a Trenton Fair visitor yesterday. Mrs. Alvah Peterson, of South River, visited with relatives in the borough yesterday.

This Day in History: April 17th, 1917

This Day in History: April 17th, 1917

Business Suspended Two Hours for Funeral of Milltown Mayor

MILLTOWN, April 17.- Business was suspended throughout the Borough of Milltown yesterday for a period of two hours. as the funeral services of the late Mayor William Kuhlthau, Jr., were being held. There were a large number of relatives and friends present to pay their last respects to the leading citizen of the town. There were representatives of the Borough Council, the Board of Education, the Board of Health, the firemen, Rescue Council No. 4. O. U. A. M., Wickatunk Tribe, No. 135, Improved Order of Red Men, New Brunswick Lodge 324, B. P. O. E. and many businessmen of the town present.

The services were conducted at the late home of the deceased by the Rev. William F. Barny, pastor of the German Reformed Church of this place. The pastor spoke very highly of the deceased and of the many plans he had underway for town improvement, etc. He praised the unselfish character of the Mayor for the work he had accomplished for the benefit of the town and organizations win it.

The floral tributes were exquisite and in abundance which showed the esteem in which he was held.

Several hundred school children marched from the public school yesterday afternoon to the home of the Mayor to view the remains for the last time, of their former Board president and contributed flowers. The Board of Education and Borough Council contributed a handsome floral piece in the way of a vacant chair. The Elks, the Michelin people, and other organizations and friends contributed flowers very liberally.

The pallbearers were two representatives each of New Brunswick Lodge No. 324, B. P. O. E., Rescue Council No. 4, O. U. A. M.. of Milltown, and Wickatunk Tribe No. 135, Improved Order of Red Men, of Milltown.

Services were held at the grave by Rescue Council No. 4, O. U. A. M., and Wickatunk Tribe No. 135. Improved Order of Red Men. Interment took place in Van Lieu Cemetery under the direction of Undertaker Quackenboss, of New Brunswick.

Besides a widow, Mrs. Josephine Kuhlthau, the mourners are a son Russell Kuhlthau, father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. William Kuhlthau, Sr… of Milltown, A brother, Charles Kuhlthau, of New Brunswick, and a sister, Mrs. J. M. De Hart, of Morris Park, L. I.

This Day in History: January 30th, 1911

This Day in History: January 30th, 1911


New Brunswick Men Smash Windows and Heads and Defy the Entire Borough – Sent to Jail By Justice Headley.

MILLTOWN, Jan. 30.-A lively time was the result of a marathon race from New Brunswick to South River on Saturday night. Fred Stubblefeld, Harry Catheart, and Frank McCormick, of New Brunswick, after completing this distance in no-record time, decided to give Milltown the advantages of their presence on the return trip.

They had probably learned that the town supported no cops and as a result determined to paint the town red. Several hotels were visited and the men gradually warmed up to their duty. The windows of “Hotel Marguerite” disappeared from the sashes and this started the ball rolling.

An Innocent Frenchman, who made the startling discovery that he had musical ability, attempted a song and was immediately knocked unconscious by Stubblefeld.


Some one had notified Mayor Richter and Marshal Lins, and they appeared on the scene to keep the peace The Mayor expostulated with them for some time, and when the car came, bound for New Brunswick, the trio attempted to board it.

The presence of a dog, belonging to Engine Company No. 4, who had made the run with the men, was a drawback to the trip at that time. Conductor Dunlap refused to allow the dog on the car, at which one of the men made a pass at the conductor which was blocked by Jacob DeHart They were thrown off the car and Mayor Richter ordered their arrest.


Mayor Richter and Marshal Lins conducted the noisy trio to the office of Joseph A. Headley, justice of the peace. The Mayor made a complaint against them for disorderly conduct and the Justice, after hearing sides, imposed a fine of $10 or 5 days in the county jail on Stubblefeld and McCormick and a fine of $5 or 5 days in jail on Cathcart. The trio could not pay the fines and w committed to jail.

While drawing up the necessary papers McCormick and Stubble began to wreak their vengeance on Jacob DeHart, who was a witness of threats. Another charge was made by Jacob DeHart and John Richter who acted as witnesses. The result was ? days more for these two men.

Marshal Joseph Rupprecht was called and he linked McCormick and Cathcart together. Marshal Lins took care of Stubblefeld and the trip to New Brunswick was made. The dog was forced to follow the car

It is understood that a friend of the arrested men called on Mayor Richter yesterday morning and try to secure their release, but without success.

The people are asking today “Shall it be a borough fire department or a borough lockup?”


MILLTOWN, Jan. 30-John H. Kuhlthau then passed away yesterday afternoon at 5.30 at the age of 54 years at his residence on North Main street, an illness extending for over two weeks. In this death the borough loses a respected citizen, who at all times was interested in the progress of the borough and took an active part in public affairs, serving as clerk of the school board for several years. He was lately interested in tile concrete blocks and the reinforced concrete business.

His genial nature earned him many friends, who will mirth his death. He is survived by his wife, and one daughter Mary, and one son Wilbur. His mother Mrs. Stella Kuhlthau, also survives him as well as one brother, Conrad, W. and two sisters, Mrs. Henry Kohlepp Mrs. Charles Snedeker.

Mr. Kuhlthau was recently reelected secretary of the Van Liew Cemetery association, a position he had held for a  number of years. He was also a member of the Milltown Kranken Heilfs Verein, also Wickatunk Tribe, Independent Order of Red Men, No. 135, and Charles L. Walters Council, No. 178, Jr. O. U. A. M.,


Jan. 30.-A large congregation listened to the special music rendered by the choir of the German Reformed Church last evening. The vocal solos, duets, trios and choruses were much appreciated. George Christ, the organist, rendered several fine solos.

Rev. W. F. Barny, pastor of the church, made a few remarks relating to the history of the German and English hymns.


Mr. and Mrs. Edward Richter, Trenton, were borough visitors on Sunday.

The Woman’s Home Missionary Society of the M. E. Church will meet at the home of Mrs. Mary A Evans to-night.


Steve Botcher, of Milltown, Out for “Good Time,” is Relieved of $104 in Burnet Street Alley-Small Fortune Soon Gone.

Steve Botcher, of Milltown, is down to his last cent today, Saturday he had a roll of money amounting to $110, which he had accumulated through hard work during the last month, Saturday he det decided to come to this city [New Brunswick] for a good time.

Late Saturday night he got in tow with two colored women on Burnet street. The women lured him into a dark alley, and during the conversation between them Botcher’s pocket was piled of the $104. After securing the money the women ran down the street and escaped.

Now Botcher wishes he hadn’t decided to have a good time,

This Day in History: January 24, 1905

This Day in History: January 24, 1905


Clarence Schaffer Went Through Ice While Skating at Milltown.

Clarence Schaffer, the eight-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Schaffer, of Milltown, was drowned in Lawrence Brook, near Millers’ creek, yesterday afternoon, about 4 o’clock, while skating. He and some boy friends had gone to the brook after school hours and Schaffer went out on the ice, while the other boys stayed on shore. The ice was weak, owing to recent thaws, and the boy fell in. His companions on shore were un- able to do anything for him, and the boy drowned before their eyes.

The boys carried the news to Kohlhepp’s Hotel. Bartender Denhardt and others searched for the boy for a long time and it was nearly 6 o’clock last night before. their efforts were rewarded and the body was brought ashore.

Coroner Quackenboss visited the scene of the accident and gave a permit for burial. The boy was a member of the Milltown M. E. Church, and of the Sunday School. He was a bright boy and his death will be a severe shock to many friends.

His death marks the first fatal skating accident of the season, although there have been several cases of people getting through the lee and being rescued.

This Day In History: April 14, 1917

This Day In History: April 14, 1917



Milltown April, 14 – A shadow of gloom was cast over the borough of Milltown last night when the news of the death of Mayor William Kuhlthau, Jr., was announced. While the Mayor had been ill and confined to his home for the past month or so, his many friends had hopes for his recover, and the news of his demise comes as a shock to the community. For the past year Mayor Kuhlthau had complained more or less of his condition, but he had not taken the matter as being at all serious until about two months ago when he was compelled to relinquish his active duties with a view of regaining his health.

…he had not taken the matter as being at all serious until about two months ago when he was compelled to relinquish his active duties with a view of regaining his health.

The Daily Home News 1917

While his heart was affected other complications set in that hastened his departure from this world.

Only yesterday the Mayor was able to sit on his porch of his home, getting some fresh air and was making preparations to take an automobile trip to-day to Long Island to see his sister, he is believing that the country might be an aid in his recovery.

Later in the day his condition became more serious, however and despite the best medical aid that could be obtained he was call to his reward.

Mayor Kuhlthau was a man of sterling qualities whose presence will greatly be missed by his official colleagues and so many other friends in town, of New Brunswick and vicinity. He was 48 years of age, he leaves a wife, Mrs. Josephine Kuhlthau; a son Russell; mother and father. Mr. and Mrs. William Kuhlthau, Sr., of Milltown; a brother, Charles Kuhlthau, of New Brunswick, and a sister, Mrs. Joseph M DeHart, of Morris Park, L.I. to mourn their loss.

The funeral will be held on Monday afternoon. Internment will take place in Van Liew Cemetery under the direction of Undertaker Quackenboss.

William Kuhlthau, Jr. had served the Republicans of Milltown as their county committeeman for a long time and he came to the rescue of the party by consenting to accept the mayorship in 1914 when the political situation was very unique, the Republican, the Democrats nor the Progressives at that time being enthusiastic over the honor or labor attached with the Mayorship as the responsibility of the sewer and water problems which were in early stages at that time would fall upon the Mayor and Council. In the capacity of County committeeman at that time, Mr. Kuhlthau being unable to secure any other candidate took the reins in his own hands by accepting the nomination and under his administration the work (which was planned by the late Conrad Richter and his subordinates) was carried to a successful completion.

…he came to the rescue of the party by consenting to accept the Mayorship in 1914 when the political situation was very unique, the Republican, the Democrats nor the Progressives at that time being enthusiastic over the honor or labor attached with the Mayorship as the responsibility of the sewer and water problems which were in early stages at that time would fall upon the Mayor and Council…

The Daily Home News 1917

Mr. Kuhlthau was a business partner of Henry E. Lins, conducting their business at 58-60 Dennis Street. New Brunswick, under the firm name Kuhlthau & Lins.

While the Mayor accomplished a great deal in the town government, there were two suggestions in his message to council, ever upmost in his mind, which he did not live to see fulfilled, namely, more adequate fire alarm system and better heating system for the council chamber and fire department.

…he did not live to see fulfilled, namely, more adequate fire alarm system and better heating system for the council chamber and fire department.

The Daily Home News 1917