From The Sunbury News, June 22, 2016

Because You Asked . . . .

Sunbury's Centennial

By Polly Horn, Curator of the Myers Inn Museum

How did Sunbury celebrate its 100th birthday in 1916? I read through the bound volume of The Sunbury News for 1916 to see.

January 1916 Sunbury village posted Resolution 12 declaring its intention to appropriate for street purposes and for the purpose of opening and extending Vernon Street from its termination on the north line of the Cleveland, Akron and Cincinnati Railway Company right away southward to Letts Avenue and Resolution 13 to open said road.

In March 1916 three months have passed since the Village Council passed an ordinance requesting the Cleveland, Akron and Cincinnati Railway Company to eliminate the Granville Street railroad grade crossing which the railroad has failed to do. Sunbury filed suit in the Common Pleas Court. H. W. Stone, Mayor of Sunbury and David M. Cupps attorney signed the affidavit of truth requesting the railroad abolish the grade crossing. In May Mr. and Mrs James Huff were hit at the crossing by a railroad hand car. They escaped death but their car was destroyed. Eventually in July the RR and Council discussed the issues and agreed to the Granville street crossing but the RR refused to allow Vernon Street to cross the railway. Instead it was purposed to extend Letts west to Columbus Street but the case was still before the judge at the end of the year.

Throughtout the year Pythian Picture Show was held on Wednesday and Saturday evenings in the K of P Hall. Movies for the Week ran 3 reels a night usually a drama, a comedy and a western. Committee of J. A. Loar, Frank Roof and E. G. Kempton selected the movies and solicited prizes from merchants which were featured in a drawing of coupons at the movie.

For a small rown, there were many businesses advertising in 1916. Sunbury Racket Store, C. M. Wheaton (hardware, Hanna Paints, furniture, Detroit Vapor Stoves for the kitchen), Ladies Home Store with Mrs. C.F. Crego owner, William C. Pavery (wants horses for Cavalry, Artillery and feeding purposes), W. H. Reardon sells chickens, James Veley (auctioneer), M. M. Hardon (auctioneer), Blakely & Williams (department store), Farmers Bank, Stelzers Cash Market, D. M. Cupp(attorney and insurance agent), Garee Implement Company, F. C. Waters (veterinarian), Sunbury Hay Barm (owned by Walker brothers), J. F. Stelzers Cash Market (grocery and meats as well as collects furs for Bob Heddon Fur Company), Budd’s Restaurant (which uses and sells Jelke Good Margarine), Albery’s Livery (sells work horses), J. W. Pace and John Williamson’s New Implement Store (in Gerhardt Building on Vernon Street), Sunbury Building and Loan, Frank Bell (wall paper hanger and painter), Patrick Hardware Company (selling Gale Farm Machines, Molburn wagons, their own harnesses, Staple Lock and Wire Fence), J. P. Skeels sold groceries and meats.

Due t the election, beginning May 1st Democrat Fred D. Baker replaced postmaster Republican O. W. Whitney who in turn bought out Baker’s half of Baker and Crawford which has published the Sunbury News since 1905. Whitney took over the job of editor for The Sunbury News. Before the year was over Whitney and Baker became real estate partners. The News was still mostly boiler-plate with running novels, national advertizing but the Personals became very big taking on more and more of the inches.

Sunbury High School’s three scholars with the highest grades for 4 years were Ray Eley 96, Glendon Comstock 92 and Hazel Comstock 90.

In May Anderson’s Drug Store was selling Moore and Ross ice cream at their up-to-date soda fountain. Budd’s Grocery sold Tellings Ice Cream. The news had a feature on the health hazzard of fies and soon Patrick Hardware was selling screens. Blakely & Williams was selling the new wash skirts. Progress was hitting Sunbury.

Mayor H. W. Stone reminded all that shooting off fire crackers or other explosives is strictly forbidden after 9 o’clock on July 4th.

In July, business men and a woman banned together and decided to close on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 5:30.

Cars were hot in 1916. J. B. Lott and Feasel sold Dodge Brothers cars, Patrick Hardware sells Empire Autos, Fred D. Baker sold Reo the Fifth (4 cylinder, 5 passenger car) for $875 and the 6 cylinder, 7 passenger car for $1150, J. W. Pace and John Williamson sold a $490 Chevrolet, and C.M. Wheaton sold Fords and Maxwell cars. One week in May there were 14 cars bought at local dealers and listed on the front page of the News. J. A. Loar sold tires, tubes and a self-vulcanizing tire patch.

So many cars were in the village in June, Village council ask Marshall Hagamon to enforce speed laws in the town.

J. L. Wintermute went to Alliance to work on a deal in the interest of Sunbury Manufacturing Co.

In September, County Commissioners approved of the extension to Sunbury including the Sunbury Creamery and lands north and east of it. Sunbury "Boosters" Club formed to promote Sunbury and its growth. This matter was not resolved in 1916.

Parsons opened a grocery and meat market in the Cook building on the west side of the square. George Farris also had a grocery with fresh and smoked meats, gasoline and oil. In December Farris’ special was 25 pound sack of sugar for $1.98.

Note there was not a word about Sunbury Centennial. Perhaps that is why the Sesquicentennial was so big in 1966.


. . . . And Now You Know

The Sunbury News is available in Community Library on microfilm and in the original bound volumes in Myers Inn Museum

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