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This Was Hatboro-Horsham, 1931

A look back at Hatboro and Horsham, 81 years ago this week.

From the Public Spirit, Week of Nov. 12-18, 1931

Consumer spending helps Hatboro weather the Depression

While the world is Depression-minded and decries the shortage of cash, Hatboro hustles on to do an estimated retail cash business of approximately $4,500 daily.

A survey made of business conditions in Hatboro by the Public Spirit reveals that approximately $27,000 is handed across retail counters by consumer trade each business week [most businesses in this era were closed on Sundays].

Walter S. Gifford, the man entrusted by President Hoover for caring for the jobless, believes consumer spending is the best way to hand the Depression a knockout blow, and from the figures revealed by this survey, local consumers are doing their bit along this line. Can Hatboro and vicinity be so hard hit when citizens lay down cold cash for approximately $950 worth of groceries, meats, vegetables and other eatables a day, or when the residents of the community spend about $100 a day for personal beautification in the town's barber shops and beauty parlors?

It is logical to figure that at $27,000 a week, more than a million-and-a-quarter dollars in cash will pass through the retail channels of Hatboro in the course of a year. It is up to the merchant to see that through efficient management of his business, judicious buying, attractive pricing, and consistent advertising, he collects his share of profit from this great volume of trade.

But what does the survey show? It merely makes more potent the statement that our community is not in dire distress as compared with other parts of the nation. Many are earning as much or nearly as much in wages as a few years ago. Food costs less. Clothing costs less. Living in every respect costs less. Our unemployment situation is not a serious one as compared to other centers. Our houses are tenanted. And our stores are open and doing a good cash business.

Horsham Farmers' Club discusses crops 

The Horsham Farmers' Club met Saturday night at "The House by the Side of Road" in Hallowell, with H. Warner Hallowell and family as hosts. Reporting for the Crops Committee, William L. Paxson and Clarence H. Mullin stated that the grain looks better since the recent rain, that apples are as mature now as they usually are much later in the year, and that the rutabaga crop is good but low in price.

Speaking of the unseasonal weather, Mr. Paxson mentioned hearing frogs croaking in a spring one night this week. Leonard M. Slack addressed the question, "How can the 1931 bumper crop of the Wheat Belt be disposed of without a loss to the farmer?" He said the only suggestion he had would be to feed it to livestock, though he commented on the low price of livestock. The corresponding secretary, Charles S. Kinsey, read a letter which gave a recipe about soaking wheat overnight and cooking it six hours to serve as a cereal. He thought this year an excellent time for farmers and their families to try this.

"Has the present Depression proved that excessive installment buying is a national handicap?" was answered by Charles H. Smith. He expressed his opinion that buying non-essential products on the installment plan is an unwise practice and has helped both to cause and to prolong the Depression. He believes, however, that the time payment plan has become established as a permanent merchandising policy. In the discussion which followed, Frank H. Mather gave statistics to show that installment buying has proved successful from a business standpoint.

Howard T. Hallowell and Mrs. Leonard M. Slack recounted and commented upon Current Events. An interesting number of the Club Gazette was read by Miss Edith Chandlee.

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Council endorses Hatboro Relief Association 

The Hatboro Relief Association, which has been quietly and efficiently taking care of this borough's needy since its organization several years ago, and which has the support of all civic, fraternal, religious and social organizations in the town, was given official endorsement by Borough Council at its monthly meeting Monday night.

Ezra P. Carrell, president of the association, gave an account of the organization's activities in the past. Commendatory remarks were made by several members of Council, expressing appreciation of the fine work this association has been doing. Council unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the association as "highly worthy of the continued support of the citizenship of the borough."

While not condemning other charitable organizations, members of Council feel that the greatest benefit from gifts of clothing, food, or money would be derived if given to the Hatboro Relief Association, which has no operating expenses and which makes 100 percent distribution in Hatboro.

In other business, Engineer Muldrew turned in a report that the first unit of the borough's sanitary sewer system has been satisfactorily completed. Sewer Clerk Hockman was authorized to immediately bill abutting property owners for their front-foot assessment, and also to include notice to connect all buildings along these lines. Thirty days are allowed for payment of assessments and for making connections. The sewerage disposal plant is practically complete and will be in operation very shortly.

Mr. Muldrew also reported that work on Byberry avenue had been unavoidably held up by the State Highway Department for a change of contractor's bond required by a new law, but that such bond had been furnished and forwarded to Harrisburg, and that approval was expected early this week. Immediately thereafter, work will be started by the contractor, Paul W. Longsdorf, Inc. The contractor has had some material in Hatboro for several days in readiness to go ahead with the project. It is estimated that with good weather prevailing, about two weeks will be required to complete the job.

Rabbit hunter accidentally shot in Horsham 

A hunter was shot, but not seriously hurt, in Horsham on Saturday morning. Oliver Founds and his son, Oliver, Jr., of Deptley street, Philadelphia, were gunning with some Horsham friends in the neighborhood of Horsham road. A rabbit was routed. The son, in drawing his gun to his shoulder, accidentally discharged it before he had lifted it to take aim. The father, walking to one side and a little ahead of the lad, received the full force of the load, but was at such a distance that the shot only penetrated his left arm, thigh and back. He was treated in the Abington Hospital, but was discharged at once.

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FOR SALE. Jersey heifer with third calf. A family cow used to being tied out and handled by a woman...Apply to ROBERT W. WEIR, West Moreland Ave., Horsham, Pa....Phone Hatboro 519-J.

Hatboro and Horsham Happenings 

Harold Pitcairn landed his autogiro [a forerunner of the helicopter] on a field at the Snow White Rabbit Farm, Moreland and Cottage avenues, Horsham, on Saturday morning for a short visit to this establishment.

A display of books for children and junior readers has been arranged at , in observance of Book Week. This year, it is known as "'Round the World Book Fair," and among the books are stories the children of other countries love.

Thieves raided the chicken house of Harry Shoemaker on Maple avenue, Horsham, and took a number of fowls and two axes.

Miss Rachel E. Jarrett, of Haboro, entertained five ladies at luncheon in honor of her aunt, Mrs. Susan J. Williams, whose birthday it was.

Jonathan Stackhouse has had the interior of his house at the point of Easton and Davis roads, Horsham, entirely torn out and is having it remodeled and addition made.

The harvest home services held at the Lehman Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, Hatboro, on Sunday were well attended. The display of fruits, vegetables, groceries and canned goods was large. They were sent to the Methodist Episcopal Hospital and Old Ladies' Home in Philadelphia.

The Priscilla 4-H Club met at the home of Helen White in Horsham. The girls finished their hemmed patch and were taught to make an overhand patch. A discussion of means to raise money to finance a trip for all members to State College next fall was held, but no plans resulted.

Oscar Nebel has sold a property at the corner of Jacksonville road and Monument avenue, Hatboro, to William Biefuss, who conducts a shoe repairing shop on Byberry avenue.

Miss Annie Cozens of Easton road, Horsham, has been taken to Abington Hospital, as she is ill and unable to care for herself and home because of her advanced years. Miss Cozens is a life-long resident of Horsham, having formerly resided on Babylon road with her brothers, Irvin and James, now deceased.

Horsham township roadmen are employed in the construction of the bridge on Keith Valley road over a branch of the Park creek, and are now pouring the concrete on the roadbed.

Alvin Collins, who had been receiving treatment in the Abington Hospital for a recent accident, has returned to his home on Harding avenue, Hatboro.

Young Friends of Horsham Meeting were entertained at lunch by the overseers of the meeting on Sunday. A conference followed, and then the group went to Gwynedd Meeting for another meeting.

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