This Day In History: August 6, 1913

This Day In History: August 6, 1913


John Funk and Motorman Carter, of Milltown, Have Miraculous Escapes in a Peculiar Accident at Berdine’s Corner, Scene of Fatal Accident – Passenger Caught in Wreck

In exactly the same spot, and in very much the same manner, where Edward McKeon, a trolley conductor, of this city, met his death a year ago. John Funk, of Milltown, a bookkeeper at the plant of the Enameled Brick and Tile Company at South River, received Injuries at 1:20 this morning, when a trolley car on which he was a passenger, left the tracks at Berdine’s Corner, while going at high speed, and crashed into a telegraph pole.

Funk’s Injuries are not serious, and consist of an injury to the leg. and severe bruises about the body He had a miraculous escape from death or serious injury. As did Motorman Carter of the car.

Carter is a resident of keyport, but boards at Milltown. He has been motorman but short time. The car which came to grief at the corner which has been the scene of several accidents, left here at 1 o’clock. As is the custom the car was speeding on the George’s Road track. Motor man Carter says that he applied the brakes before coming to the turn, and that they refused to work. though they had been working well previously. The car jumped the track, and a few second later the body of the car left the trucks, and crushed sideways into a telegraph pole. The car fell and the pole smashed in the top of the car. At the time of the incident Funk was talking to Conductor Channatti. and he was sitting well toward the front of the car. Had he been in t the center or the rear, he would probably have been badly injured or killed.

The car was a complete wreck, and Funk was compelled to crawl out of the wreckage. Motorman Carter stuck to his port, and he also had to fight his way out. He kicked out the front windows of the vestibule, and crawled out. The conductor escaped injury.

Over a year ago an early morning car left the tracks at the same turn, and conductor Mckeon was almost instantly killed. That time there were no passengers on the car. This morning Funk was the only passenger.

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: July 13th, 1919

This Day in History: July 13th, 1919


The second meeting of the Milltown Chamber of Commerce will be held Wednesday evening, July 16th, in Borough Hall there, when the very interesting plans and ideas discussed at the former meeting of that body will receive further attention and consideration.

The Sunday Times, which is greatly interested in the development of Milltown and sees wonderful possibilities for this town, has secured a well-known authority on city planning and civic improvement to address the meeting Wednesday evening. He is Mr. Perry R. Mac Nellie, who will give constructive suggestions for the improvement of Milltown along the best lines.

“He is Mr. Perry R. Mac Nellie, who will give constructive suggestions for the improvement of Milltown along the best lines.”

The Sunday Times – July 13th, 1919

Has Had Long and Varied Experience

Mr. Mac Neille has had a career that well fits him for the high position he now occupies in the engineering world. He studied first at Columbia University, and followed these studies by- a series of investigations in Europe in the field of industrial housing, engineering and architecture. He has been a member of the engineering corps of the N. Y, N, H. & H. Railroad and also carrying on extensive real estate and land surveys covering immense projects, besides being employed as, a structural engineer for many large and notable Buildings.

In Partnership With Horace B. Mann

About twenty years ago he formed a partnership with Horace B. Mann, and the firm of Mann & Mac Neille was started with offices in New York and Chicago. In the ensuing years, in addition to the regular line, the firm has specialized in industrial housing, municipal expansion, zoning and other city planning; among the many industrial housing projects developed has been that of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company at Akron, Ohio.

Active War Work

When Dean Herman Schneider of the university of Cincinnati was asked to establish the Industrial Service Section of the Ordnance Department he requested the services of Mr. Mac Neille to organize and direct a Housing Branch of the Ordnance Department. Under Mr. Mac Neille’s direction all housing activities of the Ordnance Department for a period of approximately one year were carried on, and the firm of Mann & Mac-Neille was retained as consulting architects. The work entailed not only layout of villages and design of houses, but careful study of community facilities and activities together with analyses of industrial and civic conditions in active centers in practically every section of the country.

Well Fitted to Advise

It may easily be seen from the foregoing that Mr. Mac Neille is well qualified to talk about matters pertaining to the development of towns and cities. No citizen of Milltown should fail to hear him at the meeting there Wednesday evening. Milltown has opportunity to become the “best looking town” (if we may use such words in connection with a community) that New Jersey boasts. In fact it has a chance to become a city.

Milltown has opportunity to become the “best looking town” … that New Jersey boasts. In fact it has a chance to become a city.

The Sunday Times – July 13th, 1919

Mr. Perry R. Mac Nellie

This Day in History: May 20th, 1911

This Day in History: May 20th, 1911



MILLTOWN, May 20 – The borough will pay $4,100 for a motor fire truck. It was resolved at an adjourned Council meeting last evening. The resolution to purchase the truck from Boyd Brothers, of Philadelphia, was introduced by Councilman George Crabiel, a member of the fire committee. When the call came for ayes and nays the vote was as follows:

Ayes, Councilmen Baurles, Kulthau, Morris, Crabiel.

Nays, Councilman Rappleyea.

Councilman Miller was absent.

The Mayor accompanied by council members last Wednesday were the guests of the Boyd Brothers and were allowed the privilege of going through the factory. A demonstration was given and it is said it proved highly satisfactory to the members on the scene.

Ordinance for Franchise Passed

An ordinance was introduced to give the New York Telephone Company the rights and privileges of operating and repairing their lines on all streets and thoroughfares of the borough.

Among the conditions named in the ordinance, were that two telephones were to be given free to the borough and that one telephone would be added for every fifty subscribers received after the one hundred mark was reached; that the company shall erect no poles in front of a property without the property owner’s permission; that the company shall trim no trees without the property owners permission; that the borough could use the poles of the company for its electricity light wires. The ordinance was unanimously passed on its first and second readings.

…the company shall trim no trees without the property owners permission; that the borough could use the poles of the company for its electricity light wires.

Robert A. Harkins is ill

For the first time in many years, Borough Clerk Robert A. Harkins, was unable to be in his chair last evening. The clerk sent word that he was too ill to be present.

Original Apparatus - this is what the Milltown Fire Department used to fight fires back in 1911. The 2-cylinder auto car was sold around 1931.
Original Apparatus – this is what the Milltown Fire Department used to fight fires back in 1911. The 2-cylinder auto car was sold around 1931.

This Day in History: May 16th 1916

This Day in History: May 16th 1916


Mr. and Mrs. John Kozer, of South Main street, Mllltown, are rejoicing over the return of their thirteen year old son. Joseph, who had been reported missing since April 28th.

Young Kozer, who was thought to have accepted the offer of some farmer to work on a farm for the summer, was discovered by the Newark police, and there held in custody until his parents could be notified.  His folks Journeyed to Newark and brought him home Sunday. Young Kozer is a pupil of the Milltown public school. The Home News took an Interest in the search for the missing boy.

This Day in History: Wed. May 14th 1924

This Day in History: Wed. May 14th 1924


Milltown, May 14th – Architect Alexander Merchant submitted to the borough council on Monday night a sketch of the proposed new Fire house which is to be erected on the Cottage avenue side of the playground in the rear of the school. The cost of the building, submitted for approval of the officials was estimated at $15,000. A figure far in excess of what the borough fathers anticipated on spending. The plans, however, call for a magnificent home for the fire fighters. With a large place to house two machines on the ground floor. On the upper floor will be a meeting room and a recorder’s office.

It is also planned to have a lockup on the ground floor where “customers” may be kept over night. The plans call for a brick building. After debating the price, the councilmen could not come to any agreement on the subject and consequently had to lay the matter on the table for further consideration in view of the fact that only $8,000 was set aside in the budget for this purpose.

It is also planned to have a lockup on the ground floor where “customers” may be kept over night.

A request was received from the owners of Booream avenue asking the borough to take over the street. This was referred to the borough engineer to investigate. If the street is found in acceptable condition, the council will no doubt take it over at the next meeting. This refers to the eastern part of the street or the extension which has been opened during the past year. The street was recently scraped by the owners.

A very serious situation has arisen at the sewerage disposal plant in taking care of the waste from the eastern section of the borough or the part from the Russell Playing Card Company to the plant. It seems that this waste comes through the pipes in clugs due to the wax-like waste material which runs out from the Card Company plant. Many complaints have been made but the condition is such that only a clean out of the pipes every two days will remedy it. Further consideration of this matter will be given attention at the next meeting.

The “welcome” signs are, here and will be erected at the various places as soon as chairman of the streets committee can secure permits. They give a glad welcome to strangers when they enter the town and ask them to call again when leaving, They are to be erected at Miller’s. the entrance to Milltown from South River on the main street, at the big bridge, at Riva avenue bridge, at Elkins Lane, and at Ryder’s Lane.

10/04/1956 - HOSE COMPANY - These are 29 of the 40 members of the Eureka Hose Company No. 1 of the MIlltown Fire Department. The men with their equipment are pictured in front of their headquarters, the Cottage Avenue firehouse, built in 1925.
10/04/1956 – HOSE COMPANY – These are 29 of the 40 members of the Eureka Hose Company No. 1 of the MIlltown Fire Department. The men with their equipment are pictured in front of their headquarters, the Cottage Avenue firehouse, built in 1925.