This Day in History: October 31st, 1920

This Day in History: October 31st, 1920

Milltown National Bank at Michelin Tire - 1924

Milltown Celebrates Hallowe’en and Opening of Community House With Street Parade and Dance

MILLTOWN, October 31 – Although no special prize was awarded the Milltown Republican Club, which took part in the big Hallowe’en celebration at Milltown last evening, their float and its message to the voters on the eve of election certainly made a hit with those of the large crowd who will “put one in for Harding on Tuesday.”

The Republicans, who were the thirteenth organization in line, not only turned out to a man but rallied around a huge float representing a coffin bearing the legend, “Here lies the Democratic party- entered into rest Nov. 2, 1920.”

More than 4,000 residents of Milltown and visitors for the occasion either took part in or witnessed the big parade and dance last evening, which had a double significance.

The affair was a celebration of the ancient and honorable festivities which always occur on Hallowe’en, as well as the formal opening of Milltown’s new town amusement hall known as the Michella Community House, which has actually been open for about ten days.

The Milltown Chamber of Commerce and city fathers, backed by every organization in town from the mysterious L. U. S. Club (who don’t even know themselves what the three letters stand for) to the lodges and military organization, who turned out in many cases more than two hundred strong, all worked as one man to make the gala day a success. When it was all over all you could hear was, “Wasn’t It just wonderful” or “It was even better than the big Memorial Day parade in 1915” or “It takes Milltown to do it up right.”

There were more than 1,500 persons in line with thirty floats and numerous organizations making a line two miles long. The line of march covered the principal streets of Milltown and included individuals and organizations.

The line was led by Grand Marshal Joseph Crablel, followed by the Milltown police, parade committee, and borough officials, with Mayor Christian Kuhlthau at the forefront.

Following them were the Civil War veterans, each carrying lanterns, leading to a humorous suggestion that, like Diogenes, they were in search of an honest politician.

The “Boys of ’65” were followed by the American Legion, comprising soldiers, sailors, and marines, with Miss Lulu Lindstrom representing “Miss Liberty.”

Throughout the procession, the Michelin band provided lively music. The Daughters of Liberty followed with a substantial float featuring a large cannon.

The Sentor O. U. A. M., dressed in Colonial costumes and led by Edward Geer as an excellent “Uncle Sam,” aimed to perpetuate the “Spirit of 1776.” They were succeeded by the Jr. O. U. A. M., Orient Court, Parent and Teachers’ Association, Milltown Grange, Social Hour Club, and contestants for individual prizes.

Representatives of local businesses showcased their wares on appropriate floats. H. A. Christ displayed hardware, Frank Hodap presented confections, Al Christ represented the butcher, and others followed suit.

Both public school children and members of the French school participated in large numbers. The Globe Accordion Band traveled all the way from Beverly, N. J., to support the Wickatunk Tribe of Red Men, with all members donning Indian regalia. They were followed by the Daughters of Pocahontas, and the procession concluded with the Haymakers riding on a farm wagon, armed with pitchforks and accompanied by a pet pig, which carried a deeper meaning known only to the initiated.

The Girls’ Crescent Club had an impressive float featuring a beautifully illuminated crescent. The L. C. S. as Wise Old Owls added an element of mystery to the parade, but the judges had little trouble awarding them one of the five prizes. The Jolly Seven and their Japanese Tea Party also participated, and the prizes were distributed as follows:

Organizations that presented the most comical appearance included the L. C. S. Sewing Club.

The organization with the most appropriate float representing their order was the Red Men.

Determining the most handsome float proved to be a difficult decision for the judges. Ultimately, they decided to split the honors between the Girls’ Crescent Club and the Parent and Teachers’ organization. It later became known that one of the three judges had strongly favored the Japanese Tea Party represented by the Jolly Seven. Although this judge eventually yielded to the others, he refused to settle the dispute between the other two, resulting in the prize being divided.

Charles Denhard, with a “rolling pin” and a sign stating that “she” was “looking for her husband,” easily secured the prize for the most grotesque individual.

The prize for the most beautiful costume worn by individuals was awarded to the Misses Marie Young and Helen Balde, who depicted Martha and George Washington in splendid colonial attire.

The judging panel consisted of John P. Wall, a New Brunswick tailor; Jas. Phiefe, also from New Brunswick, and Miss Mabel Hannah of the Home News staff.

Following the grand street parade, which would be challenging to surpass in a city of any size, the crowd adjourned to the community house for the formal opening of the building and the Hallowe’en dance.


MILLTOWN, Oct. 30 – Already the new community building is supplying a long-felt need in the borough. Although the building has been open only since Monday night, already it has become the rendezvous of the great majority of the younger male element, and indeed, intermingled with these young men are to be found many men of more mature years.

The bowling alley is the center of attraction during the evening, and dozens sit around in easy chairs, waiting for an opportunity to become better acquainted with this sport by endeavoring to roll 200 or more. The pool tables are in constant use, while the reading tables are well supplied with dozens of magazines on outdoor life, automobiling, farming, and other live topics.

The cafeteria is daily feeding several hundred and nothing but words of praise are heard for “Harry,” the chef and his able corps of assistants. The movies have not yet been begun, but it is hoped that in the course of another week the townspeople will have the pleasure of seeing Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and the rest of the screen stars right here in Milltown and at a nominal cost.

Basketball is creating no little excitement, and when the court is open for practice the early part of next week, it is expected that a crowd will be out to see their favorites limber up. The spirit of rivalry is in the air and match games of all kinds are being talked of and dates set. On Monday of next week, last year’s “Michelin Five” bowling team will meet the “Michelin Scrubs,” a newly organized team captained by “Fritzie” Kohrherr of baseball fame, while on Friday night of next week the Scrubs will meet a team from New Brunswick, captained by Frank Merrit of Highland Park.

All in all, the building is rapidly becoming the focus of attention throughout the town and more opportunities will be found daily for the people of the town to make use of it. Husbands are making dates with their wives and are meeting them at the cafeteria at about 5 o’clock and taking them out to supper; women are talking of forming a bowling league; the Republicans held a mass meeting in the auditorium on Thursday evening; the community held a dance in the auditorium after the Hallowe’en parade this evening; the French Veterans will hold a banquet in the cafeteria at an early date; the Red Men expect to hold their minstrel show in the auditorium some time in December, and taking it all in all, those in charge of the building are being hard pushed to make arrangements for all those who wish to use the building for some purpose or other.

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