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Shot by a Friend

miladyThe Summit Herald of September 28, 1917 reported that Mayor Ruford Franklin of Summit and Dr. Harry Dengler of Springfield drove down to Fort Dix to visit the recently-drafted local men who were going through basic training, and found them cheerful and in good health.

Albert Lager, 15-year-old son of Councilman John Lager was accidently shot by a friend who found a .38 revolver which he thought was unloaded. Albert’s older brother drove him to Overlook Hospital, where a surgeon removed the bullet from his liver. He was expected to recover. The Editor suggested that this incident should inspire lectures on gun safety in all of the Summit schools.

Mr. Carroll P. Bassett was driving his electric car away from his home on Hobart Avenue when he spotted two men on bicycles ahead of him. He rang his bell, and the two bicyclists separated to let him pass. Suddenly, the man on the right swerved back into the center of the road. Mr. Bassett slammed on his brakes and turned the steering lever sharply, but his car struck the man, who was taken to the hospital and died about an hour later. The victim was Alexander Russo, who worked for Mr. Bassett as a gardener. He had married ten days earlier.

The Office of Home Economics at the State Agricultural College shared several recipes for grapes, including Grape Juice and Grape Marmalade.

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A Man about Town on a Tricycle

budhurstThe Summit Herald of September 21, 1928 reported that Miss Esther Underwood of Summit married Charles “Chick” Evans at the Lake Placid Club Chapel. Mr. Evans, a well-known amateur golf player, was the only man to have won the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open in the same year (1916). The wedding was kept secret until a few weeks beforehand, and the ceremony was restricted to immediate family. The bride wore a dress of periwinkle blue and a gray hat.

A notable sight on the streets of Summit was 23-year-old Albert Hartman, on his hand-propelled tricycle. Hartman, the new business secretary at the YMCA, lost the use of his legs at the age of four to Infantile Paralysis [polio]. In high school, he was a competitive swimmer, using only his arms. He was in the habit of riding three to four miles a day at an average speed of 8 MPH, with short sprints of up to 15 MPH.

Nineteen-year-old Boy Scout Reese Davis returned from a cross-country drive to San Francisco along the Lincoln Highway with four other scouts. Davis was the primary driver and mechanic. The group gave safety demonstrations in 65 towns to enthusiastic crowds. They were greeted by many mayors (in in Cheyenne, Wyoming, by the Governor).  Most of the trip was uneventful, but Davis confessed that on the return leg he was stopped by a policeman in a small town for speeding at 22 MPH.  [For more details about the expedition, click here.

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

An Expensive Crap Game

crystal02The Summit Herald of September 14, 1907 reported that the Lackawanna baseball league ended the last game of the season with Summit winning 4-2 over Chatham. In the classifieds, rewards were offered for a lost small diamond brooch and a lost (or stolen) girl’s bicycle.

Rubenstein Carr, the butler for Mr. Coler interrupted a burglary of his employer’s Summit Avenue home. He was awakened in the middle of the night by a noise, and came downstairs, revolver in hand, to find the electric lights on and a man darting towards the open front door. Carr fired several shots, shattering the glass in the door, but missing the burglar. The police could not find the suspect, who left behind a sheet piled with silver, cut-glass, and other valuables.

Four men were playing craps beneath an electric light on New England Avenue near Fair Oaks Sanitarium when an argument began. Kirkland Schuyler threw a stone at Eliazai Brown, who responded by cutting him with a knife. The wounded Schuyler was found by a patrolman and taken to Overlook Hospital for treatment. The judge ruled that Brown had acted in self-defense. Schuyler pleaded guilty to assault and was fined $25; the other men were fined $5 each.

The new Cunard steamship Lusitania was expected to complete her maiden voyage from England to New York in a record-breaking four days.

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