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This Was Hatboro-Horsham, 1952

A look back at Hatboro and Horsham, 59 years ago this week.

From the Public Spirit, Week of March 27-April 2, 1952

Police arrest teen-age "hoodlums" -

The arrest of seven Hatboro youths, all under 18, last Thursday and Friday uncovered a gang of hoodlums who had been called the "Night Riders." It is said they allowed no one to join them unless he could produce something he had stolen. The arrests solved a series of thefts and depredations committed in this community over a period of more than six months.

Due to the age of the boys, Hatboro Chief of Police Foster has withheld their names from publication. Two alleged ringleaders have been lodged in the county prison, and the other five were sent to the House of Detention, all awaiting further action by the authorities.

The gang was organized last September, according to one story, and a boy had to prove he was a thief to be eligible for "membership." They admitted that since that time they had stolen batteries, tires, hub caps, wheels and other articles from cars, siphoned gas from tanks, shot out signal lights along the Reading Railroad, and put a fuse box on the railroad out of commission.

The "club" came to light after the arrest of a teen-age youth shortly before midnight last Thursday, charged with stealing two hub caps from a car parked at the Hatboro-Horsham High School. After questioning, he implicated another youth. Then the two broke and named five others associated with them in their misdeeds.

Some of the loot taken by the gang was recovered from a garage they used as their headquarters.

Naval Air Station to expand -

A huge expansion program for the Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Horsham township was made possible last week by the granting of a $5,000,000 appropriation for this purpose in Washington.

Most of this fund will be used for the lengthening of runways to accomodate the larger jet aircraft built by the Navy, improvement of utility lines and power plant, new maintenance shops to supplement those now in use but which are overcrowded, and added aircraft parking areas.

Just which runways will be extended has not been revealed but it is felt certain they will include the east-west one, which will necessitate the acquisition of additional land outside the present limits of the station. In this event, it would mean crossing either or both Horsham and Privet roads.

Plans for the expansion are being prepared by the Capital Engineering Company of the Pittsburgh area.

Hatboro imposes dog quarantine -

A 100-day dog quarantine has been imposed by Hatboro authorities, effective this Thursday, in an effort to combat the spread of rabies in this area.

Norman M. Wilson, chairman of Borough Council's Public Safety Committee, announced the quarantine had been decided upon as the best measure to adopt after conference with state officials.

Homes in the town are being circularized and notices are being posted on the streets warning all dog owners or keepers of dogs, licensed or unlicensed, and whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, to comply with all conditions of quarantine.

All dogs shall be confined within the premises of the owner or keeper at all times except when being led under proper restraint. Any dog found running at large or not under restraint may be seized or destroyed, and the owner or keeper of such dogs shall be liable to prosecution.

Abington township, which had a rabid fox case last week, has also announced a similar dog quarantine, effective immediately.

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Police officer rescues fire victim -

Fast action on the part of a Hatboro police officer probably saved the life of a man overcome by smoke early Sunday morning.

Officer Leslie Wunner was on duty when a fire alarm was turned in about 4:30 a.m. from the residence of Mrs. William Stuart on Academy road. He rushed to the address and found the fire in a mattress in an apartment on her second floor, occupied by a man who had only recently moved there.

The man, whose identity is being withheld, had gotten out of bed before being completely overcome, and was found slumped on the floor in a corner. Officer Wunner was able to drag him to cleaner air in the hallway by the time the Hatboro Fire Company arrived.

Fire Chief Edward Stauch, Assistant Chief Mike Himan and Hoseman Adam Bustard carried the man downstairs. Hoseman William Phillips and Charles Barbar gave him artificial respiration.

When he did not respond, the Horsham Fire Company ambulance was called to take him to the Abington Hospital. He was kept in an oxygen tent there for many hours before his life was out of danger.

Horsham Farmers Club hears about taxes -

The Horsham Farmers Club met Saturday night at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Lindquist on Township Line road, Horsham.

Talking about the "Share of Taxes Paid by the Farmer," Walter R. Comly said that the Horsham township tax assessment has been equalized, with the result that farmers here are paying a fair share. W. Lentz Rothwell told of other suburban townships where it is felt that farmers are paying an unequal amount of the taxes.

Penrose Hallowell, reporting for the Crop Committeee, said that the winter has been a poor one for crops with the freezing and thawing weather. He also said that seed for spring planting is high in price.

Mrs. Harold Ruch talked about the benefits derived from television.

New park pavilion planned -

In a combined meeting at Hatboro Borough Hall last week, representatives of fifteen local groups, forming an advisory council, and members of the Hatboro Memorial Park Board, adopted plans for the erection of a general activities building on the park grounds.

Plans for the building, drawn up by the Building Committee headed by Linden Heacock, conform with rustic architecture already adopted for the park buildings. This building, considered a prime park necessity, will be a three-sided open pavilion type of building.

In addition to serving as an administrative center, it will house toilet facilities, a large community-type fireplace, and will shelter recreational activities during inclement weather. These activities will include dancing for the young folks.

Miss Margaret Whitbeck, Chairman of the Finance Committee, announced the plans formulated by her committee for the raising of the building funds. Completion of the building, estimated to cost some $5,000, is scheduled for mid-summer of this year.

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Hatboro and Horsham Happenings -

Pearl Buck, the world-famous authoress and authority on China, will be guest speaker next Wednesday afternoon at a luncheon meeting of the Hatboro Rotary Club. For this special occasion, wives of the Rotarians have been invited.

The fifth grade of Byberry Road School in Hatboro spent Wednesday in Philadelphia seeing the historical places there.

The March session of Horsham Monthly meeting, held last Sunday morning, was well attended, and there was much interest in the reports and announcements.

Carl Campman of Loller road, Hatboro, has been confined to his home the last two weeks with virus.

Mr. and Mrs. Elton Garrett, of Horsham, are receiving congratulations on the birth of a daughter, Shela Gail, on March 19 at Montgomery Hospital, Norristown.

Jackie Riggs, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Riggs, Jr. of Belmar road, Hatboro, had his tonsils removed at Abington Memorial Hospital last Thursday.

Mrs. Clarence Radcliffe, of Horsham, will be hostess for a demonstration party on April 24 for the benefit of the building fund of the Prospectville Methodist Church.

Terry Whitbeck of Linden avenue, Hatboro, was honored at a party on Saturday in celebration of her seventh birthday. She entertained many of her school friends.

William D. Sill, Jr., of Horsham, who was confined to his home with virus, is now able to be around.

The Glee Club of the Moravian College for Men, Bethlehem, will give a concert at the Horsham Friends meeting-house on Friday at 8 p.m.

Field-grown pansies will be sold on April 19 by the Women's Auxiliary of the Church of the Advent, at booths along York road in Hatboro. Price, 60c.

Lisa Kirkegard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Kirkegard of Horsham, returned home on Sunday, after a sudden trip to Abington Memorial Hospital on Saturday, having swallowed some medicine not meant for a two-year-old.

M P Shaeffer March 30, 2011 at 01:09 PM
These are great - please post more!
Chris Gowen March 30, 2011 at 01:41 PM
These are great! Where do you find the newspapers? Library? Also, it is Mike AIMAN and Leslie WINNER...Mike is still an active Firefighter with the fire company!
Doris Winn Bornkessel March 30, 2011 at 03:05 PM
Doris Winn Bornkessel Loving these posts. I graduated from HHS in 1952 and moved out of the area a couple of years later. It is fun to read these bits from so many years ago. Thank you.
Carol DiJoseph April 13, 2011 at 02:31 PM
Grew up in Horsham and sure remember a lot of the names if not all of the happenings! (My grandfather was mentioned in one of them) The most interesting activity on the corner of Dresher Rd and Saw Mill Lane was when Lawrence Lindquist drove his tractor from one of his farms to the other!

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