This Was Doylestown, 1952

Central Bucks High School opens, a storm brings down a tree on East Court Street, and Doylestown clubwoman Helen Molloy dies, 60 years ago this week.

Central Bucks High School opens -

Central Bucks High School on Monday held its opening session with 1,340 junior-senior high school boys and girls attending from nine school districts in the Central Bucks area.

Dr. J. Edward Smith, regional superintendent, said everything with the exception of the cafeteria department went off according to schedule.

Seven hundred platters, costing 35 cents each, were served in the ultra-modern cafeteria, which includes a kitchen that is comparable to the finest hotel, and a hand-washing fountain where the boys and girls in the chow line may wash their hands as they file by before getting to the food tables.

Dr. Smith said more help is needed in the cafeteria and that the final shift ate a little late because some of the new equipment wouldn't work as it was supposed to, and it was necessary to call the plumber and electrician.

"Some of the equipment was stubborn, but that is to be expected when everything is so new and has never been used," Dr. Smith said.

Teachers and students were delighted with the interior, furnishings and perfectly beautiful and modern facilities.

The main entrance of the $2,300,000 school is distinguished by a colonial-style clock tower. To the left of the tower is the 1,200 seat auditorium and sound-proofed music rooms. To the right of the tower is the library and numerous classrooms. A hallway approximately 600 feet in length connects the main entrance with the two-story science and art building.

The rear of the school contains the mammoth gymnasium, which seats 1,500, and two smaller gyms; the cafeteria, an all-glass hall corresponding to the front hall, off which is located a smaller auditorium, industrial arts rooms, shops and agricultural section, including a greenhouse. Between the two hallways are three grass courts. Students may gain access to these grass plots from the classrooms.

"We had a full schedule of regular opening day activities," Dr. Smith said. He reminded the faculty and the students that they are having the opportunity that comes once in a lifetime of attending or working in a school as new, fine and ultra-modern in every way as Central Bucks High.


The Back Story: Creation of Central Bucks High School

By 1945, the 55-year-old Doylestown High School, at Court and Broad streets, was overcrowded and lacked many of the amenities found in modern schools.

While located in Doylestown Borough, the school actually drew nearly two-thirds of its students from neighboring communities.The only other high schools in the Central Bucks area were much smaller ones in Buckingham and New Hope. Other municipalities, which operated their own grammar schools, paid tuition for their students who attended Doylestown High School (ninth through twelfth grades).

Representatives of Central Bucks municipalities met in November 1945 to discuss creation of a regional high school that would be operated by a joint board drawn from the individual school districts. The Central Bucks Joint School Board was organized in June 1946 with the following members: Doylestown borough and township, Buckingham, Chalfont, Dublin, New Britain Borough, New Hope, Plumstead, Solebury and Warrington.

Voters in four towns approved a bond issue for the proposed high school in November 1946, but further action was delayed because of uncertainty about state financial aid for construction, as well as public misgivings and opposition. Some residents in Doylestown and Buckingham objected to closing their high schools, while some residents in then-rural towns worried about hefty tax increases to pay for the new school.

In mid-1948, Doylestown Borough withdrew from the joint board, and New Hope, Solebury and Dublin looked for other alternatives.

However, advocates of the joint high school persisted, holding dozens of public meetings and gaining support for the project.

In February 1949, six districts--Doylestown borough and township, Buckingham, Chalfont, New Britain Borough and Warrington--signed articles of agreement creating the Central Bucks Joint School Board as a legal entity with authority to enter into contracts. New Britain Township, Plumstead and Warwick subsequently joined.

The joint board's executive committee, consisting of two representatives from each member district, selected a school site adjacent to the existing 12-acre War Memorial Field, owned by Doylestown Borough. The borough school board turned over 16 acres it already owned and the joint board purchased another 14, making a total of 42 acres.

The junior-senior high school, facing West Court Street, was designed with a capacity of 1,400 students, allowing for future expansion. Construction contracts totaling $2,347,848 were awarded in June 1950. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in July 1950, and cornerstone-laying ceremonies in September 1951.

The joint school board began operating the Doylestown and Buckingham high schools as divisions of Central Bucks Joint High School in September 1950. Although the classes of 1951 and 1952 attended the old high schools, they received diplomas as graduates of Central Bucks Joint High School.

The school, usually referred to just as Central Bucks High School, opened Sept. 8, 1952 with 1,340 students in grades seven through twelve, and 115 teachers, clerks, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and custodians (the total monthly payroll was $30,000). Formal dedication ceremonies were held Oct. 23, 1952.


Medical Society to honor journalist Leigh Hodges -

Leigh Mitchell Hodges, poet-journalist and one of the outstanding newspaper columnists in the country, has been selected by the board of trustees of the Medical Society of Pennsylvania to receive the annual Benjamin Rush Award for 1952.

Dr. Samuel B. Willard, Doylestown physician and president of the Bucks County Medical Society, said: "The Benjamin Rush Award is the highest award given to a layman for outstanding work in the field of public health by the State Medical Society. It is given only once a year in the whole State of Pennsylvania."

Mr. Hodges, who resides on East State street, is known throughout the United States for his crusade against tuberculosis through the Christmas seal. His contribution to the health of Pennsylvanians, which has extended to people throughout the United States, has been his drive in his newspaper column, books and lectures to aid tuberculosis victims through Christmas seal sale funds.

As the first publicity man in the field against tuberculosis in this country, Mr. Hodges in 1907, then with the old Philadelphia North American, threw all his energy and enthusiasm into promoting Christmas seals when the idea was presented to him by Miss Emily Bissell, of Wilimington, Del., originator of the plan in this country.

Mr. Hodges, brilliant raconteur, witty and one of the most interesting lecturers to barnstorm on the lecture platform, will be presented a bronze medallion, bearing a bas-relief of Benjamin Rush, Pennsylvania's great physician and statesman. Presentation is to be made at the dinner of the Medical Society at its 102nd annual meeting in the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia on Sept. 29.


Advertisement -

FORDHOOK LIMA BEANS...Shelled, ready for freezing, 20c a lb. Bring your own containers...ARLINGTON F. MYERS, Doylestown Farmers' Market, 400 N. Main St., Doylestown.


Storm brings down tree on East Court street -

Doylestown was whipped by a violent rain and wind storm for several hours Tuesday, with the downpour reaching the torrential stage and wind almost at gale velocity.

A 50-foot maple tree, the tallest of four trees in front of the East Court street residence of Miss Helen Buckman, was torn loose from its pavement mooring about 9:15 o'clock Tuesday morning.

When the giant tree sprawled across East Court street, directly opposite the main entrance to the Court House, Sergeant Kenneth R. Tutt, of the Doylestown Police Department, was called out on emergency duty.

He notified the Doylestown Borough Maintenance Department, and borough workers under the direction of Foreman Tobias Haller worked for hours chopping off limbs, hauling away the branches and erecting a barrier where the hole is in the sidewalk.

The tree was one of four which grow so close to the edge of the curb that motorists' cars frequently scrape along their trunks and are damaged.

An awning over one of the windows in Councilman Frank P. Ely's clothing store was ripped from its mooring and the metal framework dangled in the wind.

Burr Sienkiwicz, popular Doylestown swimmer and Kent School student, who was asleep in his bed in his East Court street home, was awakened when plaster dropped on his face, loosened by rain seeping through the roof.


Helen Molloy, Doylestown clubwoman, dies at 41 -

Mrs. Helen Sherman Molloy of Maple avenue, noted Doylestown clubwoman and wife of J. Carroll Molloy, Jr., well-known Doylestown Realtor and past president of the Bucks County Board of Realtors, died Sunday morning in the Doylestown Emergency Hospital.

Mrs. Molloy had been in poor health for over a year. She became ill suddenly early Saturday night and was rushed to the hospital. She was 41.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by two sons, John C., a George School graduate who will matriculate at Franklin and Marshall College; and Nicholas S., a student at Central Bucks High School. A brother, Thomas Sherman of Washington, D.C., also survives.

A daughter of the late Thomas J. and Emma (nee O'Donnell) Sherman, the deceased was born in Philadelphia. She married Mr. Molloy in 1932, and they resided in Philadelphia until 1941, when they moved to Doylestown.

Well-known in civic affairs, Mrs. Molloy was an active member of the ladies committee of the Doylestown Country Club and enjoyed playing golf. She was a past member of the Village Improvement Association. She served as head of the Gray Ladies at the Doylestown Emergency Hospital and worked with the Gray Ladies at Abington Hospital.

Mrs. Molloy helped organize the Doylestown Junior Woman's Club, of which she served as president at one time. She also served as secretary of the Bucks County Branch of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind and was a member of . During the war, she was an active American Red Cross worker.

The viewing will be held Wednesday night at Bachmann's Funeral Home; and the funeral will be private Thursday morning at 11 o'clock at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Burial will be in Richboro Cemetery.


Hundreds enjoy flower show and garden tour -

A greater than expected crowd flocked to the Doylestown Nature Club's Flower Show and Garden Tour on Saturday.

More than 300 visitors, many from as far away as Merchantville, N.J., Valley Forge and Bethlehem, were enthusiastic over a unique departure from the usual floral exhibits and enjoyed viewing the various classes with home gardens as charming backdrops.

A comprehensive map printed on the tickets, together with well-placed directional street signs, made finding the location of each garden easy. Parking for scores of visiting cars was expedited through cooperation of the Doylestown Police. Boy and Girl Scouts in uniform served efficiently as messengers and guides.

The tour ended at the , where the colorful horticulture classes were shown against a contrasting background of black velvet, and where refreshments were served in a delightful rural setting.

Several entries were of novel character. The most humorous of these was a realistic life-sized dummy, fashioned by Mrs. Arthur Heritage of a wearied gardener in battered hat and overalls propped as if asleep beside a laden wheelbarrow, near the swimming pool of the Bannister garden on East Court street.

Mrs. Michael Rufe won the sweepstakes prize in the arrangement classes, and Mrs. William E. Gray and Mrs. William C. Williamson tied for the sweepstakes prize in the horticulture classes. Mrs. Walter A. Fretz received the green ribbon award of merit for her table in the Johnson garden.


Advertisement -

NOVELTY PARTY...Sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post No. 175, Clinton and Ashland Streets... J.H. Black, Commander; J.H. Harton, Chairman...Every Monday Nite at 8:00 P.M. Everybody Welcome.


Doylestown Town Notes -

Mrs. Peter Moen, who was vacationing in Norway for four months, has returned to her home, "." [Peter Moen was manager of the farm, the residence of Oscar Hammerstein II and family.]

The Misses Edna M. Brown and Edith V. Lightcap have recently moved from an apartment on North Broad street to Bedminster township, where they have purchased the former Algard School House, near Elephant road.

Sgt. and Mrs. Albert Rosenberger have returned to Fayettesville, N.Y. after spending two weeks with Mrs. Rella Rosenberger, of Shewell avenue. Sgt. Rosenberger will leave for Germany in another week.

Mrs. Frank X. Shelley, of East Court street, is enjoying a vacation from her duties as a desk clerk at the .

Mr. and Mrs. Roger W. Kraut, of West State street, quietly celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Wednesday.

George W. Hoffman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hoffman, of Argail Farm, Edison, has been accepted for the freshman class of Alderson-Broaddus College, Philippi, W.Va., and will begin his studies there Thursday. He is a member of the Class of 1952, Central Bucks High School

Mr. and Mrs. Howard Bush, of North street, are receiving congratulations upon the birth of a daughter Friday at the Emergency Hospital.

Councilman and Mrs. A. Luther Nash, of West street, entertained at a dance at the on Friday evening in honor of the 17th birthday anniversary of their daughter, Miss Norma Nash.

Mrs. Everett Walker and son, Kevin, of West Ashland street, left last week by plane for Memphis, Tenn., where they joined Technician Everett Walker, who is studying at the Naval Air Techical Training Center.

Harold M. Myers, son of Mrs. Carl Myers of Davis road and the late Mr. Myers, has been named Dean of Men at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia. Myers, a 1933 graduate of Doylestown High School, is a former president of the Philadelphia Junior Chamber of Commerce.

Mrs. Norma Clark, of West State street, has taken a part-time job at Kenny's News Agency.

The Gold Star Mothers [mothers whose son or daughter died in military service during war] held their first meeting of the season Thursday evening at the Swartzlander Community House, with Mrs. Christian H. Miller and Mrs. Harry Huddle as hostesses. Plans were made to hold a bake sale on October 16 at the Doylestown Farmers' Market.


From the Doylestown Daily Intelligencer, Week of Sept. 2-8, 1952

Jeff Lugar September 04, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Love the laundromat ad. I still use it from time to time for the giant washer to clean Baxter's quilt


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