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Summit, NJ 07901


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A Kidnapped Policeman

timr to telephoneThe Summit Record of February 28, 1914 reported that tests revealed that a dog which had bitten several people as well as other stray dogs had been suffering from rabies. Those bitten were advised to undergo the Pasteur Cure. The Mayor ordered that any dogs found wandering loose should be killed on sight if they were not wearing muzzles.

Following a series of burglaries in north Summit, Police Chief Brown ordered officers in plain clothes to patrol the area at night, and question any strangers they encountered.  Officers John Gannon and William George came across a well-dressed man who claimed to be the butler of local resident A.J. Rose. They were about to take him to the house where he supposedly worked, when an automobile belonging to Mr. G.E. Esher of Hobart Avenue came by, driven by his chauffeur, Russell Bland. The policemen decided to use the car to get to their destination quickly. They made the mistake of stepping in front of their prisoner, and were surprised to find he was pointing a revolver at them. The policemen's own guns were inaccessible, being in holsters underneath their coats. The stranger forced Officer George into the car, then ordered the chauffeur to drive at high speed to Short Hills. Eventually, they stopped at a deserted, ramshackle building. The chauffeur was instructed to tie up Officer George, and then he was also bound. The stranger lit a cigarette, took a drink of whiskey from a flask, and then took off in the car for parts unknown. After a substantial effort, Officer George managed to untie himself and the chauffeur.

An article on "pure food" gave tips for the housewife to pick out good quality food, including a trick with a knitting needle to determine if milk had been watered down.

Clifford Borden celebrated his 11th birthday with 15 friends at his home on Beauvoir Avenue. The boys were given miniature hatchets, and the girls received Colonial-style hats.

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An Ingenious Invention

hanks2The Summit Record of February 21, 1903 reported that Police Captain Brown was working on an invention to prevent false fire alarms. When a person reached into a fire signal box to trigger the switch, a steel clamp would gently trap his hand until a policeman or fireman responded to the call, and released him with a key. Captain Brown was assisted by his son, expert electrician George W. Brown. He intended to patent the device once it was completed.

The Editor urged all civic-minded residents to contribute to the Snow Plough Fund of the Township Improvement Association, in order to help them continue their good work. He referred to a recent heavy snowstorm, after which men and horses began to clear sidewalks with the T.I.A.'s five ploughs at 5:35 AM, and did not finish their work until after 9:00 AM.

A postal inspector was looking into allegations that Summit Postmaster Coggeshall had been selling stamps and stamped envelopes to businesses in New York in order to increase receipts, in violation of the policy against soliciting sales outside of his designated area.  Mr. Coggeshall denied the charge, and said that he could not be held responsible if businessmen purchased stamps in Summit for use elsewhere.

In the Classifieds. For Sale: a good, fresh Jersey cow; brand new Bailey Pneumatic Tire Runabout; pony, carriage, and harness.

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Celebration of Negro History Week

wafflesThe Summit Herald of February 14, 1928 reported that over 200 people attended an inter-racial meeting at Fountain Baptist Church in celebration of Negro History Week. Speakers included the church's pastor, Rev. Florence Randolph; the Secretary of the Summit YWCA, and Assemblyman John W. Clift. Between the speeches, the Hill City Quartet performed a selection of folk songs.

The First Baptist Church announced "Under Syrian Stars", a presentation by Princess Rahme Haldar of Damascus, a member of the Beni-Ghassan tribe which once ruled the ancient Ghassan kingdom. The Princess, in native costume, would talk about the history and current conditions of the Syrian people, and show a motion picture of her homeland called "Gems of the East".

Patrolman Benjamin Fitzpatrick appeared before Police Justice Robert Williams on a charge of assault by Mrs. Grace Cuthbert. Mrs. Cuthbert, a widow, had previously dated Officer Fitzpatrick, and there had been rumors that they might marry. Mrs. Cuthbert said that she was not engaged, and that she was planning to attend the theater with another man on the night of the incident. She claimed that Fitzpatrick had accosted her while she was alone in her sister's house, grabbed her by the throat, and threatened her with his loaded revolver. Officer Fitzpatrick denied the charges, and said that he had not touched Mrs. Cuthbert, and that he did not have his gun with him at the time, as he was off duty. He said that Mrs. Cuthbert ordered him out of the house, and when he asked why, she began to scream. The case was referred to the grand jury.

The Library has a searchable database of local historical newspapers. Search or browse at: