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Summit, NJ 07901
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A Croix de Guerre for Summit Aviator

victory loanThe Summit Herald of April 11, 1919 reported that an official citation had arrived, detailing why Lt. Henry Birdsall Marsh was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm. Lt. Marsh was one of the first Americans to go overseas after the U.S. declared war. He became a driver transporting ammunition to French forces, but then had an opportunity to be trained at a French aviation school. He flew a Spad fighter plane. The citation was for exceptional bravery on October 29, 1918, when he helped rescue two French planes from four German Fokkers.

The lieutenant's father, Mr. Clinton S. Marsh, former Superintendent of Schools in Summit was also serving overseas. As a civilian member of the YMCA Educational Commission, he assisted with the organization of schools for troops, starting with the Headquarters of the First Army Corps and the 36th Infantry Division. Teachers were selected from qualified officers and enlisted men. Subjects ranged from basic education (651 illiterate soldiers learned to read) to vocational skills (typewriting, electrical engineering, barbering, horseshoeing) to classes on literature, modern history, and foreign languages.

The Business Men's Association hung two "Welcome Home" banners on Beechwood Road and Springfield Avenue to greet Summit men returning from military service.

The Board of Health discussed several matters of concern. Most of the drinking fountains in the public schools were deemed unsanitary and likely to spread germs. An inspection of tenement houses in Summit revealed poor lighting and inadequate ventilation. The health officer recommended that the township consider a municipal trash collection system to replace the private service currently in use.

The gardening tips column discussed ways to prepare soil for planting, such as  fertilizing with fireplace ashes, and with manure from a neighbor who keeps chickens.

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

http://www.digifind-it.com/summit/home.php