This Day in History: September 15th, 1925

This Day in History: September 15th, 1925


Spiritualist Would Give Borough’s Wells More Water for $8,000; Asks Council for Contract

MILLTOWN, Sept. 15 – The Milltown Borough Council convened in its regular session last night to discuss a matter concerning the recent water shortage in the borough. A few weeks ago, the water supply became insufficient, leading to the need for pumping water from Lawrence Brook to address the emergency. In an attempt to resolve this issue, Reverend Eugene Bagonye, a renowned spiritualist, submitted a letter to Mayor Herbert, proposing supernatural solutions to prevent future droughts and enhance the community’s water supply. The letter sought an $8,000 contract with the council. Here is the text of the letter:

MILLTOWN, Sept. 2, 1925

Mayor Herbert
Milltown, N.J.

Your Honor:

Following our conversation this afternoon at your suggestion, I am writing this letter, which I kindly request you to present to the esteemed officials of our borough.

I, Reverend Eugene L. Bagonye, have received a divine calling from Our Lord Jesus Christ to invoke rain and increase the flow of springs to wells. Having read in the Daily Home News, and being a resident of Milltown, about the water shortage issue, I understand that the cost of drilling a new well would amount to approximately $30,000. I propose an alternative solution: for a sum of $8,000, I will enhance the well’s water flow and ensure a continuous supply to Milltown to address current emergencies and accommodate growth over the next three to five years. If this proposition aligns with your honorable body, I request a contract.

The contract terms can involve monthly payments or include partial upfront payment, based on the measurement of the current water supply, with the goal of providing an additional nine inches of water per well. If you find this proposal agreeable, please notify me, and I will arrange a meeting to provide further details about my work. I have held Milltown’s well-being close to my heart since their inception. I recall visiting the wells when they were initially dug and predicting that Milltown would face water shortages in the future. I mention this to establish the historical context.

Yours Sincerely,

The council referred Rev. Bagonye’s letter to Samuel Spiers, the Superintendent of Water, who is carefully considering the matter. Mr. Flynn from the New Brunswick Water Works informed officials last night that the water currently used in the borough meets safety standards. Mr. Flynn, a chemist at the nearby facility, conducted tests on both brook and well water in the local area, approving their quality. To meet the water demand, the borough is temporarily using additional water, which is sufficient unless residents become wasteful. The restrictions on car washing and lawn sprinkling remain in place due to the ongoing water supply concerns.

Borough Sidewalks

The council also discussed sidewalk concerns, particularly on Broad Street, where residents requested improvements. Broad Street’s proper grading will be established in the coming weeks, after which the council may draft an ordinance for sidewalk installation.

Street Committee Update

Charles Christ, the Chairman of the Street Committee, reported that property owners in North Milltown are cooperating well in regards to sidewalk construction. Contracts have been awarded, and work is expected to commence within the next week or ten days.

Light Collections

John Christ, Chairman of the Light Committee, reported that collections for August amounted to $1,361.58.

Local News

  • Mrs. Mary B. Montgomery, after spending a week with her son John Montgomery on First Street, has returned to her home in Philadelphia.
  • Raymond Mather, former traffic manager of the Michelin Tire Company but now residing in Holyoke, Massachusetts, visited Milltown, renewing old acquaintances.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wagner from Brooklyn enjoyed a weekend visit with Mr. and Mrs. John Mulvey on First Street.
  • Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Montgomery had the pleasure of hosting Mrs. Elizabeth Fox, Mrs. Montgomery’s sister from Philadelphia.
  • A group of local fishermen had a successful Sunday at Beach Haven, catching 115 fish. Participants included M. Martinot, Claude Cerey, Rene Fontlex, Jacob Van Deursen, Charles Gerst, Fred Moetz, Peter Cercy, and Emil Betzler.
  • Fred Brunning, a local confectioner, has enhanced his establishment with a modern mirror-backed fountain, considered the finest in Milltown. Mr. Brunning plans to put it into use soon, boasting that it includes every possible feature for a splendid experience.

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