Welcome to another era in the Toms River area's past, one century ago this week!
Let your mind wander as you consider life around January 20th, 1922, courtesy the New Jersey Courier weekly newspaper and Ocean County Library archives, and peppered with items of maritime interest (around a 15 minute read).
BREVITIES AND EDITORIALS
(written by NJ Courier editor, William H. Fischer, as he sat at his desk above Main Street near Washington Street; it was much like a collection of online social media updates seen today)
A pretty nice winter.
Eggs keep up in price.
Jurors here Wednesday.
Hatching time for poultrymen.
Mercury at 6 Tuesday morning.
The bay keeps closing up, off and on.
Open winter—no letup in auto travel.
Dan Moore is working at the Courier shop.
Some roads are good, some poor, and some shot to pieces.
Last Friday, the 13th, as an unlucky day, was a false alarm.
They say a few cranberries were sold recently at $35 a barrel [$580 in 2022 dollars]. Wow!
Quite a little skating for the young folks. Those moonlit evenings were just made for it.
Tuesday morning was the first this winter that the river was frozen over from shore to shore.
Klass Tienberger died in Beachwood, January 17. Funeral services Friday morning. He was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands, June 27, 1861, and for the past few years has been a carpenter and builder in Beachwood, moving here from Jersey City. Surviving are a widow and three sons.
A pretty fair winter.
Quite a little skating.
Moon is on the wane.
1922 makes a flying start.
The High School Cedar Chest will be issued again in February.
Ed Applegate is at work on his new house on Hooper Avenue, north of Cedar Grove road.
Sun rises tomorrow at 7:19 and sets at 5:04, a gain of 6 minutes in the morning and 32 minutes in the afternoon.
Edward E. Snyder has completely remodeled his Snyder Street house, and made a modern dwelling of it with all conveniences but retaining the commodious old fireplace.
The Toms River Yacht Club meets this evening to go over plans for a proposed addition to the club house. The plans have been drawn by Architect P.P. Elkington for Commodore H.A. Doan.
Toms River sweet potatoes for the White House table. Yum, yum!
Sweet potato growers from all over the state are trying to get Ocean County grown stock for seed potatoes this spring.
The only way comfortable to travel between Toms River and Lakewood now is to go by rail or flying machine. Each road is worse than the other.
Jesse P. Evernham is building a new dwelling on Montray Park, helping start that desirable residence section to going.
Mr. Rice has started a house at the corner of old Freehold road and Walnut Street, opposite Riverside Cemetery.
A wireless demonstration was given at the Court House on Wednesday of this week by the Ocean County Wireless Club, receiving messages from distant points and amplifying them so that all in the room could hear. It is planned to give another next week for the Chamber of Commerce...
Clayton C. Willis on Tuesday sold to Antony Kosick two bungalows and a lot adjoining, lying at the junction of Dover Road with South Main Street, in Berkeley. He has also sold a lot on the Main Shore Road, adjoining the garage that James Citta built for Walter Davis, to Phillip Maimone; and a lot on the west side of South Main Street, opposite the Yoder residence, to Arthur Cornelius.
While a number of electricians and others, employed by the Lord Construction Co., were laid off at the end of last week at the Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, there is talk that the government will do a lot of work there this spring and summer. The Chamber of Commerce has been asked if arrangements can be made to house twenty new families in Toms River because of this new undertaking.
THINK, REASON, ARGUE
No democracy can survive as a democracy, no country can stay free unless its citizens think for themselves, reason for themselves, and argue with one another.
That country where a man cannot express his opinions under pain of imprisonment, mobbing or death, is not a free country.
That country whose citizens do not discuss affairs of state from every angle, thinking them out for themselves, arguing them back and forth, for and against with one another, cannot be a democracy. For a democracy is based upon this foundation—an electorate that understands and votes intelligently upon the problems which confront the nation.
That electorate which takes its opinion ready-made from somebody else and swallows them whole is not an intelligent electorate—such men and women are not good citizens—and a nation made up in bulk of those who let others do their thinking, is only the shell of a democracy, not a real one...
BODIES CAST UP BY SEA ON BEACH AT MANTOLOKING
Mantoloking, N.J., Jan. 13.—The bodies of William Vogel, of Philadelphia, and William Johnson, of Wareham, Mass., who were drowned in Wednesday's gale, while trying to gain shore in a small boat, after the coal barge Havana had foundered, were recovered late today. They were identified by Cap. Cecil Joshua, the barge master, who, with another seaman, Albert Lachance, survived the wreck.
The following account of the wreck is from the Courier's correspondent at Mantoloking:
During the terrible storm on Wednesday, the barge Havana, belonging to the Statler Coal Co., bound from Norfolk to New York, laden with coal, was sunk off this place. At 10:30 A.M. the storm became so furious that a tug, which was towing the two barges, of which the Havana was one, and also the older boat, was obliged to discontinue towing them. The two barges cast anchor and lay off this place from 10:30 A.M. until the Havana began filling with water and one of the pumps stopped working, when the crew, consisting of the captain and three men, were compelled to abandon the barge and launch a lifeboat, and none too soon, as the barge sank immediately. This was about 2 o'clock P.M. From 2 o'clock until 4, or two hours, the men were in the lifeboat. They hoped they would be thrown safely on the beach, but the boat capsized and one of the men, nearly frozen, found his way to the home of S.C. Shadinger, here, where he was taken care of. He told of the dreadful experience he had had and of the three missing members of the crew, and expressed hope that the rest would be saved. Word was telephoned to the Coast Guard Station here about the man who was saved, and also that there were three others missing and that they were probably alive along the beach in the vicinity of the lifeboat, which came ashore near the rescued man. About one and a half hours later in the evening, or at 6:30 P.M., a cry for help was heard and the second victim, who was the captain, had found his way to the same house. He was in a helpless condition, having had to crawl most of the way from the beach, and had to be carried inside, where he was resuscitated by some of the townspeople after an hour's vigorous work. One of the other men was found drowned, later, near the Bay Head Fishery. One is still missing. The two members of the crew saved were Capt. Sessue Joscha, a Portuguese, of New Bedford, Mass., and Albert Le Chance, who is of French descent, of Fall River, Mass. All the people of the town took lanterns and hunted late in the evening for the other two men but without avail.
HOME AND SCHOOL ASS'N DEMANDS NEW SCHOOL HOUSE
The Home and School Association has presented to the Board of Education of Dover Township a demand for action on the proposed new school house. The paper is in the form of a series of resolutions. These say that the rooms are at present over-crowded; that the teachers have more pupils than they can handle; that the working conditions are inadequate; that both the old opera house and the fire house, in which pupils are taught, are unfit for that use, and that it is not desirable to have one grade so far away from the school as the town hall. These resolutions go on to say that thirty pupils is all that a teacher can be expected to direct and teach, while in the local schools a number of the grade teachers have over 50. It concludes by saying that the public must choose between part time schools and a new school. They ask that the School Board at once make arrangements for a special election on a bond issue for a new school building.
MRS. JOHN'S “SWEETS” GO TO WHITE HOUSE TABLE
As was told in The Courier last week, Ocean County took first prize in the state sweet potato contest at Trenton, and the pick of the exhibit, including a tray raised by Mrs. Jannet John, of Toms River, have been sent to Mrs. Warren G. Harding, wife of the President, at the White House, Washington, D.C. The potatoes sent to the White House were said to be about the finest bushel of “sweets” ever put in one basket. There were 125 in number, all graded to a uniform size and uniform standard of color and shape. Beside Ocean County, some of the potatoes were produced in Camden and Atlantic Counties. The exhibit of potatoes at Trenton last week is said to be the finest ever staged by the State Board of Agriculture. In the bulletins telling of these “sweets” being sent to the White House, the State Department gives the following:
“An interesting bit of agricultural romance is connected with the awards in the sweet potato exhibits this year, according to the State Bureau of Markets, in that the prizes were chiefly from Ocean County and were grown on sandy soil, much of it but recently cleared of pines. Largely through the efforts of the County Farm Agent, E.H. Waite, farmers in that section were encouraged to take up commercial sweet potato growing. The results have astonished the trade and have shown the farmers that thousands of sandy acres in southern counties can be utilized for the production of a profitable food crop of peculiar richness of flavor that brings it a strong market preference.
CRANBERRY GROWERS' ASS'N MEETS JAN. 28, IN PHILA.
The yearly winter meeting of the American Cranberry Growers' Association (by the way its fifty-second), will be held at the Hotel Adelphia, in Philadelphia, on Saturday, January 28. The program has been arranged by the Secretary, H.B. Scammell, of Toms River, as follows:
Meeting begins at 10:45.
Annual address by the President, James D. Holman, of Whitesville, on “The Practice of Scooping and Its After Effects.”
Facts about the cranberry acreage of New Jersey will be presented by H.B. Weiss, State Crop Statistician. C.S. Beckwith will give his annual report of work accomplished at the cranberry sub-station at Whitesbogs. Secretary Scammell contributes a final estimate of the total cranberry crop in the state this year.
Then will come the report of the treasurer and of committees, followed by election of officers. Luncheon will be served at the Adelphia.
DROP IN FARM WAGES
A further drop in farm wages, still above pre-war rates, is predicted before the opening of the spring planting season in South Jersey. This move is attributed to the present low prices for nearly all farm products and the large number of idle workers looking for jobs, many of them being former farm hands, who are beginning to return to the country from the cities, where they were drawn into the industries by the high wages during the war period.
Thirty dollars a month, with board [$497 in 2022 dollars], will probably be the average farm wage in the lower counties, according to farmers, who two or three years ago paid as high as $60 and board to try to hold workers, many of them incompetent even at that price.
According to figures gathered by the Department of Agriculture, the peak in farm wages in New Jersey was reached in 1920, when day laborers demanded and received $4.25 a day, or $82 a month, without board, and $3.25 a day or $54 a month, with board.
FORMER TOMS RIVER AUTHOR HAS PUBLISHED NEW STORY
Sewell Ford, some years ago a resident of Toms River, has put out a new book, called “Inez and Trilby May.” Harper and Brothers are the publishers... Anything that Ford does will be of interest to his old friends in Toms River, who have watched his upward climb in literature with a great deal of pleasure. Ford has also reached the silver screen, his “Torchy” stories having been filmed, and in fact are being shown at the local movie house, the Traco.
ICE HANDICAPS OYSTER SHIPPERS
Port Norris, N.J., Jan. 15.—Oystermen are somewhat handicapped because of ice in the Maurice River, and trips to the beds are difficult. Shippers are taking care of orders, however, and immense shipments are being made of the finest oysters that ever left the docks. There is likely to be a shortage if the cold weather continues.
WHO IS OVER NINETY
Assessor A.L. Wardell asked The Courier the other day how many people there are in this part of the county, ninety years of age or over. That is a hard one to answer. If you know of any such, send in the name to The Courier.
INDICTMENTS DISMISSED IN ROHDENBURG BANKRUPTCY CASE
At the request of Prosecutor Richard C. Plumer, who is cleaning up the files of his office prior to retirement in the next two months, the Court on Wednesday, January 18, allowed the dismissal of a number of indictments. Three of them were against former well known Beachwood men, and grew out of the bankruptcy proceedings in the Rohdenburg Co., builders at Beachwood and Browns Mills. There were two indictments against Frederick VomSaal, one for larceny and one for embezzlement; and one each against Joseph Kearn for larceny. It had been the general opinion in this section for some time that three indictments were for some technical offences, if offences at all...
Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Sutton, Jr., are spending some days in New York and Washington, D.C., while he is on his vacation from the First National Bank.
Roger Lane and Jesse Woolley reached home last Friday, after a fortnight's trip to Bermuda. On their way home they were caught in the storm that raged here Wednesday of last week, and now think they know what a storm at sea is like.
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Crabbe and their daughter, Miss Georgiana, will start early in February for a stay in Bermuda. Mrs. Crabbe, who is one of the most active and influential of our townspeople in all public matters, has been in need of a rest, having recently been ill.
The Toms River Poultry Producers' Association has bought 200 acres of land south of the Pennsylvania Railroad in Berkeley Township [today South Toms River Borough]. The land runs down to Jakes Branch and is ideal for laying out chicken farms, so poultrymen say.
Lester Irons, of Toms River, who has been in Germany since the first occupation, apparently did not come home with the 2000 American doughboys on the steamship Crook. Lester seems to like Germany, or Europe, or something—perhaps he likes army life, would be a better way to put it.
GOOD FOR A BEGINNER
The Courier took on a new “Devil” this week, and here is his first contribution to the columns of the paper. He says his father keeps chickens and he has a pet dog. The dog took a fancy to the mash fed the birds, and eats his share daily—and ever since they find an egg in the doghouse every day. Can you beat it?
Mrs. Edwin A. Barnett
Mrs. Florence Adele (Schofield) Barnett, wife of Edwin A. Barnett, of Hooper Avenue, Toms River, died on Sunday, January 15, at Paul Kimball Hospital, Lakewood, following an operation eight days before for the removal of an internal growth. At first it was thought she would recover, and it was with a decided shock that the village learned of her death on Sunday afternoon. Funeral services were held at the home on Tuesday afternoon, and the body, according to her wishes, was taken to the crematory, at Linden, N.J., and there cremated.
Mrs. Barnett was born in Hartford, Conn., 68 years ago, on June 5, 1853. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Schofield, came to Toms River in 1869. She married Edwin A. Barnett, of Brooklyn, in 1884. She was a gifted artist, being a pupil of J. Alden Weir, and a graduate of the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts. With the exemption of eight years spent at Danbury, Conn., where she was instructor in the art department at the College of Music, her adult life was spent in Toms River. She was a member of Theosophical Society, and was also treasurer of the American Academy of Astrologians. She was a natural leader and had a close circle of intimate friends in which she was supreme, while she was highly esteemed by the entire community.
Philip H. Dodge
Report comes to Toms River from the Pacific coast of the death of Philip H. Dodge, formerly of Toms River, on December 15. Mr. Dodge was an artist of some note. He possessed the soul of rare refinement and sympathy, coupled with a daring imagination, but was always hampered by a frail body. As a boy and young man he lived in Toms River with Mr. Perkins, at that time (in the 70's and 80's), a celebrated violinist. Later he went to Southern California, thence to Hawaii, and then to Japan. He was captivated by the beauties of these climes, but never forgot the colder and coyer charms of the Jersey shore. He was much interested in bringing about a closer understanding between the Japanese and America, and organized a society for that purpose, in which both races were members. He maintained a desultory correspondence with The Courier from time to time, and kept in closer touch with some of his boyhood friends here through letters. At one time, when home, after a stay in Honolulu, he told The Courier that he had met an old lady, a Mrs. Gulick, in that city, who was the widow of a Presbyterian missionary, and who told him she was born in Toms River, and left the shore here to go with her husband to Hawaii. She was still living when Hawaii became a part of the United States in the McKinley administration.
[Mr. Dodge had a more interesting life than The Courier at the time printed. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, here is his obituary from the Honolulu Advertiser, Dec. 16th, 1921]
Philip Henry Dodge, educator and artist, passed away at his home in Sea Bright, near Santa Cruz, California, on Wednesday, according to a message received in Honolulu yesterday morning.
American by birth, the late Mr. Dodge passed his life in the fruitful fields of education and art in the mainland, in Hawaii and in Japan. With his wife, Mr. Dodge came to Hawaii in 1891 and, with the exception of three years which he spent in Japan as an instructor of English in Keio University, the Dodges made their home in Hawaii until 1918, when they returned to their earlier home near Santa Cruz.
Mr. Dodge was an instructor at Punahou for several years. After leaving Punahou, he and Mrs. Dodge conducted private and select school in this city. They returned to Honolulu on February 4, 1911, after a residence of three years in Japan. While instructor of English at Keio Mr. Dodge secured the services of two American athletic coaches for the big Japanese university. From these coaches the Keio students mastered the rudiments of baseball and shortly after that a Keio diamond nine visited Honolulu, making a very favorable showing against local teams...
Click the following link to read about Keio University's latest baseball championship this past June 2021, over 110 years after Toms River native, Philip Henry Dodge, introduced it to its students: https://www.keio.ac.jp/en/news/2021/Jun/7/48-80546/
TOM SHIBE'S FATHER DEAD
Benjamin F. Shibe, Sr., father of Tom and Ben Shibe, of Philadelphia, well known on Barnegat Bay, and in this section, died Saturday in Philadelphia, aged 84 years. He began life as the driver of a horse-drawn street car. His fortune of several millions was based upon his conception of a new baseball, that could be turned out by machinery, back in the early days of the game. It is alleged that he first thought out the idea of a cork center; also of the two-piece cover, both of which are used on all baseballs, and that he interested A.J. Reach in their manufacture. [For more on this lost legacy, see the Philadelphia Inquirer article here: https://www.inquirer.com/phillies/ben-shibe-park-phillies-baseball-connie-mack-stadium-athletics-20201001.html]
There has been for the past few years much talk about Barnegat lighthouse. Everyone along the shore, especially on Barnegat Bay, feels very much agitated about saving it from destruction by the sea, which, for a time, made such rapid inroads at this part of the beach, but the last season seems to have devoted its attention to some other perhaps less destructible affairs. At any rate, it gave us a great scare and we are shuddering yet lest it renew its attacks with a determination to spare nothing. It takes a great amount of red tape to accomplish little with the government when that little is not particularly wanted by the government. The Lighthouse Department has been besieged with requests to save our light. Assemblyman Parker has been an untiring worker in bringing it before them. He has, at a great deal of labor, had several delegations from Washington to visit the scene and see just how the situation was, but with all this there has been but little done but promises, which do not go very far in holding back old Neptune in his angry moods. We are in constant fear for the result of a heavy northeast storm of the old-fashioned type that sweeps everything before it. We can only wait and hope for the best while the red tape is being gradually unwound, hoping for the end to be reached...
BARNEGAT CITY (today Barnegat Light Borough)
For several weeks past the tides have brought great quantities of sea clams up on the beach, so many that they have been carted away by wagon loads. Also a few crabs have been picked up.
Mr. Charles W. Beck is having a boat-house erected on his dock below the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club property. Firman Cranmer has the contract.
Capt. Seal Jones and Arthur King, who went to Florida in the yacht in the fall, write home of the fishing being very poor, but report of pleasant meetings with acquaintances from the North.
The manager of the Baldwin Hotel announces they will be open for business next June. This big house has been closed for several seasons, and we will be glad to see it running and making more business for the town. It is reported that considerable improvements will be made on the hotel this winter and spring, including carpentering, painting and plumbing, to make it thoroughly up to date.
A great improvement will be made at the corner of Beach Avenue and Amber Street, where Mr. Yeoman Penrod is tearing down the old store and apartments which he purchased from the former owner. He will have built here a more spacious cottage with modern conveniences.
A.E. Bunnell, who went to Florida with a yacht, is back home.
Twin sons were born last week to Mr. and Mrs. George Sprague.
Repairs that have been made at the railroad station look very nice.
On Saturday quite a number from here attended a meeting at Waretown, to make an attempt to secure the repeat of the present oyster law, and throw open the bay to free oystering again.
Fred Gowdy filled his ice house with five-inch ice. So did F.W. Briggs.
At a meeting Monday evening the organization of the Borough Council for 1922 was completed. Mayor Rote presided. August Cuppers is President of Council, the other members being Roy H. Ellis, Thomas H. Wallace, Jr., Jasper N. Shaw, Mrs. Charles McKaig, and Mrs. Mae B. VanScholck.
George S. McKaig was reappointed Clerk, and W. Howard Jeffrey, of Toms River, is again Borough Solicitor. J. M. Abbott, of Toms River, is Borough Engineer; Daniel Grim, Borough Superintendent; Peter Newman, Marshal; Frank Toscan, Superintendent of the Water Department.
Charles Hankins has several boats finished to be shipped. One went away on Saturday.
I.B. Osborn has a large lot of wood. He bought the old planks on the bay bridge.
The building boom is going on. Several contracts signed last week for more houses.
Contractor Joseph Stillwell is building an addition to Mr. Murphy's oceanfront cottage.
Capt. H.M. Horner was a Friday visitor here.
We are glad to see Mr. John Norcross able to walk around again after being confined to the house on account of an injury caused by falling off a wagon in the fall.
D.A. Storer has closed his cottage here and gone to Philadelphia, where he will spend the rest of the winter.
E.W. Osborn should be commended on the good condition in which he keeps the part of the beach road under his supervision. We wish the roads through West Mantoloking, Adamston and Osbornville were in half as good shape. There are some places where it is almost impassable.
The home of Orion Hurley was set on fire recently by the explosion of a lamp. The fire was discovered by Albert Ware and wife, who occupy the house with Mr. Hurley, and after a hard fight, in which the neighbors took part, the fire was subdued.
At a recent meeting of the Township Committee of Berkeley [Pine Beach not incorporating as its own independent borough until 1925], it was decided to build a concrete bulkhead at the foot of Henley Avenue to prevent the beach from washing away as it has done in previous years. Money was also appropriated for putting gravel on New Jersey Avenue, and to finish Springfield Avenue, between Motor Road, and Beachwood, making the short cut to the State Road and Toms River, which has been asked for, and also doing away with two dangerous railroad crossings. These improvements are much needed.
When taxes are so burdensome and it is so hard to get money appropriated for roads or any improvements why do not the men who take it on themselves to manage public affairs, use their brains when they spend the money taken from the taxpayer? All last year many roads were too sandy to be used, and Springfield Avenue, from Motor Road to Beachwood, should have been in condition to use, but nothing was done. Several hundred dollars had been appropriated for roads in Pine Beach, but was not used where needed. After the ground froze up, in order to prevent the money appropriated from going back to the county at the end of the year, it was decided to put it on Springfield Avenue, near New Jersey Avenue. When the ground thawed and froze again the road was so full of ruts that now Springfield Avenue, supposed to be the best road here, is avoided by all who do not have to use it. It is now, in some places, in a disgraceful condition. The money was thrown away when it could have been used earlier in the year on some other roads here.
Nothing, as yet, has been done about closing the [Pennsylvania Railroad] station. Action has been postponed, and the station is open, just as it used to be. Now we need to work for a new station for this one gives a very bad impression to strangers who come here. Why doesn't somebody start an agitation for a new station.
The severe storm on Wednesday, January 11 did a great deal of damage to the Yacht Club pier, also to the Henley Avenue pier.
The nice weather has made it very pleasant for the summer people to come down and look after their properties this winter.
The skating has made lots of fun for the young people, especially during the moonlit evenings.
The firemen were called out on Saturday to extinguish a brush fire which was making great headway back of the H.C. Cowles store.
Albert Hansell, of Rancocas, N.J., is here, having a number of bungalows built for the coming summer, and Courtney Patterson, of Manahawkin, is the builder.
Harry Cole and Mr. Johnson, of Long Branch, N.J., are having a fine time gunning.
The fish pound people are getting their poles ready for the coming season.
We people of Silverton are very glad to report of the progress made by William Beardslee since he has built his new garage. He is kept busy, not only with Ford cars, but some of the largest cars have stopped there for repairing, quite an improvement to Silverton, we think, to have a garage so handy, and such a good mechanic.
The ice harvesting is under full headway now.
Edward L. Shinn is a busy man as usual. His motor wood-saw is to be heard humming in various parts of the town any day, and a concrete mixer, equally as musical, building up a new foundation for his proposed new home. Go to it Ed.
Mrs. Suthergill is quite ill at her home on the Zoole farm.
A fire of mysterious origin started in the kitchen of Daniel Salmon's home at Spraguetown, destroying the room and contents, but discovered in time to prevent spreading of flames to the rest of the house.
What appears to be a case of kidnapping took place here on Saturday evening last, when a lad by the name of Wadeson, who was on the street in a dark spot, on his way to his home in Spraguetown, was accosted by a man in a large touring car which halted long enough for the boy to be seized and dragged in the car and taken to Manahawkin, where he was put out of the machine near the railroad station, the machine going on to the beach. Young Wadeson took for the tracks and after a journey of five miles, mixed with tears and fears, he reached home about 10 P.M. Whether this was done as a joke or by parties crazed with home brew, no one seems to know, but surely they should be punished for the shock to both lad and parents.
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