1954: Smokey the fire dog dies

By on April 3, 2014

Served as Lititz’s mascot for 14 years

Click to see slideshow

10 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

April 1, 2004

• Celebrating Bonfield – There had never been an official ceremony for the namesake of John R. Bonfield Elementary School – until last week.

In a packed gymnasium filled with students, teachers and administrators wearing red visors saying “Hats off to Bonfield,” the audience helped celebrate the 10th anniversary of the school and to honor Bonfield himself, the former superintendent of Warwick School District and current interim superintendent of the School District of Lancaster.

Bonfield was on hand with his family as school administrators unveiled a portrait of the former superintendent that will hand in the halls.

“The bricks and mortar are one thing, but a school is made up of teachers, administrators, students and parents,” Bonfield said.

20 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

April 7, 1994

• Robber Caught – The bank robber who hit Farmers First Bank last month struck again early Monday morning. But, this time he was unable to escape.

According to borough police, Edward Eugene Stief, 59, was captured by two bank employees only moments after demanding money from a teller.

At 8:40 a.m., Stief entered the bank through the rear door and walked up to the teller counter, said Lititz Police Chief Doug Shertzer. Handling the situation quietly, Stief passed a demand note to one of the tellers.

After pocketing an undisclosed amount of cash, Stief exited through the back door and casually walked towards North Lane. Nobody in the bank was injured and no weapons were displayed, said police.

According to Shertzer, one of the bank employees started to follow him and yelled out the door to two co-workers who had just left the business section of the building and were walking near Stief.

Pointing to the bandit, the man shouted ‘That guy just robbed us,’ said police. Without hesitation, the two employees carefully grabbed Stief by the arms and took him into the bank.

• Wal-Mart Snark – Lititz area retailers, stop whining about the sales Wal-mart will take away from your stores and begin to realize what a plus this will be for all of your customers. The way I see this benefit, is that with Food Lion and Bombergers north of town and Wal-mart to the south, traffic will be so totally gridlocked from Newport Road to Millport Road that you will have customers sitting in front of your stores all day long.

Think of the sidewalk sales you can offer these potential customers. How about a drive thru business? There are so many options here that you’re not seeing the big picture. Remove all the parking meters on Broad Street, have 10 minute parking. That should give these customers just enough time to pop in your stores and pick up whatever is needed and still sit thru a couple lights. Just think of the benefits! (from a letter to the Editor submitted by Deb Ressler)

30 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

April 5, 1984

• Sewer Protesters – A crowd estimated by organizers at 250 jammed into the Brunnerville Fire Hall Tuesday night to discuss and sometimes shout about the 36 percent increase in Warwick Township Sewer rates.

A lot of questions and conclusions were reached at the two-hour meeting.

Sewer rates in the township were raised $100 per year from $70 to $95 per quarter for residential properties and from &45 to $102 for commercial users.

• Voting Machines – Warwick Township Supervisors approved a resolution that will place the question of the use of voting machines on the ballot at the next general election at their meeting.

Their approval coincides with the release of a slide presentation available from the Lancaster County League of Women Voters on how to use voting machines.

40 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

April 4, 1974

• Crazy Fads – Haven’t heard of any incidents of the fine art of streaking locally as yet. Wouldn’t be a bit surprised though if it would come to pass… and pass quickly.

And it was thought back in the 50s, swallowing live goldfish and seeing how many humans could jam into a phone booth, was the height of lunacy.

• 200 Frogs – When you have 200 more frogs than you know what to do with, you try to pass them along to somebody else. Right? That’s why the principal of the Manheim Central Middle School called the Warwick Middle School principal, Mr. Herron, to try to unload them here for scientific purposes.

But 200 frogs are a lot of frogs for any purpose and they weren’t needed in our School District.

Wonder what Manheim Central did with them. (Both from Mid the Turmoil)

50 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

April 2, 1964

• Quake Survivors – A former Lititz woman and her family had a narrow escape in the earthquake holocaust which struck Alaska, while others from this area escaped its effects.

The Lititz woman is Mrs. Robert Cross, the former Arlene Erb, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Erb, Jr., 56 East Center St. Her husband is a well driller, and the family lives eleven miles from Anchorage. There are two sons and a daughter.

However, the family happened to be in Anchorage, one of the hardest hit of the Alaskan cities, when the earthquake struck. They left the building at once, but the chandelier fell before they got out.

Their sixteen-year-old son Richard, had the presence of mind to get to the door and hold it open so there was no stampede. The theatre later sank 20 feet into the ground. When they got out the street was already filled with debris from broken windows.

Cross tried to get gasoline for the drive home, but there was none available, so they left immediately anyhow. During the drive they crossed many crevices five and six inches wide and 100 feet in depth. When they opened the door of their home, they found everything in a shambles. Dishes were broken, books scattered and plants wrecked. The stove pipe was disconnected and the chimney leaned at a 45 degree angle. However, the family was safe. This information was contained in a letter received Wednesday by Mrs. Cross’ parents, and was written at 12:40 a.m. last Saturday. It was postmarked Seattle, Wash. Mr. and Mrs. Cross have lived in Alaska since 1947.

Editor’s Note: The 1964 Alaskan earthquake, also known as the Great Alaskan Earthquake, was a megathrust earthquake that began at 5:36 P.M. AST on Good Friday, March 27, 1964. Across south-central Alaska, ground fissures, collapsing structures, and tsunamis resulting from the earthquake caused about 139 deaths. Lasting nearly three minutes, it was the most powerful recorded earthquake in U.S. and North American history, and the second most powerful ever measured by seismograph. It had a moment magnitude of 9.2, making it the second largest earthquake in recorded history at the time.

• Embezzler Recuperating – A guilty plea may be entered by Herbert U. “Bud” Moore, charged with forgery and embezzlement, he indicated this week after further questioning by State Police.

Police questioned him fully last Monday at the Lancaster General Hospital, where he was reported as “improved” by hospital officials. He is recovering from two gunshot wounds in the jaw, which he afflicted upon himself when he was apprehended by police on March 11 in a cottage near Talmage.

One of the bullets was removed shortly after he was admitted to the hospital. An attempt was made last week to remove the other bullet, but surgery was sopped when it was discovered that the slug had lodged against a major artery in his jaw.

He used a .357 Magnum which he purchased in 1960, but had allowed his permit to carry a gun to expire.

In the hospital, Moore was quote by police as saying he knew he had done wrong and intended to take whatever punishment was coming to him.

60 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

April 1, 1954

• So Long, Smokey – If Lititz firemen appear a bit sad these days – for the past two weeks, in fact – well, there’s a might good reason.

For two weeks ago their mascot of fourteen years’ standing – Smokey – was mercifully on his way to Doggie Heaven.

Just who Smokey belonged to originally, nobody seems to remember. But fourteen years ago a group of local fire men found Smokey suffering from a fractured leg and proceeded to make him their own.

Dr. Harry Bender set the leg and for a long time Smokey limped about the firehouse. Fully recovered, he became a full-fledge member of the company and never missed a day at the firehouse.

In fact, he spent practically every hour of the day somewhere in the vicinity of the firehouse – that is, every hour that George Evans, veteran firehouse janitor, was there. When George left for home, Smokey went with him.

For just about thirteen and a half of his fourteen years of life, Smokey ruled the roost in the center of town. Few of his canine companions stood up to him. That is, up to a few months ago when the ravages of old age began to tell upon Smokey.

His condition had become so bad at the last meeting of the fire company that members long debated his fate. Finally, realizing that Smokey was suffering every time he took a step, local firemen decided that Smokey should be relieved of his pain.

Needless to say, his burial was a mighty serious and sober service.

70 Years Ago

Thursday Morning’s Record

April 6, 1944

• 186th Service – On Easter morning at 6:00 a.m. (Eastern War Time) the Moravian church will hold the 186th Easter Dawn Service in the church and on the graveyard. On April 14, 1759, the first service of this kind was held in Lititz on the St. James graveyard, one half block West of Broad Street on Center.

Ever since that time Moravians, together with many of the townspeople have greeted Easter morning in this fashion. Previous to the service the trombone choir plays at various parts of the town announcing the great Easter hope. This year, because of the number of players who have been drafted, there will only be one section of the trombone choir making this tour.

• Stricken While Bowling – Stricken with a heart attack while bowling in Ephrata last Thursday evening, Herbert R.Weitzel, well-known local post office employee, died at his home here several hours later.

Apparently in good health, Weitzel had no warning of the attack. Friends from here who accompanied him to Ephrata Thursday evening, declared that he had complained that he did not feel good, during the evening.

The attack occurred late in the evening. An Ephrata physician was summoned and administered first-aid treatment. Weitzel’s condition then was considered improved sufficiently for him to return to his home here. He was advised to call his own physician upon his return.

During the trip back his condition again grew worse. Death occurred following a second attack at 2 a.m. Friday morning.

Weitzel was a member of the post office staff here for many years and was a familiar figure at the various stamp windows. He lived at 325 E. Main Street and was forty-six years of age. He was an ardent bowler and had been active in league competition all this season.

80 Years Ago

Thursday Morning’s Record

April 5, 1934

• Something Fishy Going On – The death of several of the trout in the Springs is causing a lot of concern among sportsmen of town and a group of them are now investigating to try to learn the cause. Several hundred of the finny beauties are to be put into the creek in the near future, but before this is done, the men interested are hoping to learn what is causing some now there to die.

Eels have been blamed, and on Tuesday night a group investigated and instead of finding eels, found a large trout trying to swallow an 18-inch water snake.

Thursday Morning’s Express

April 5, 1934

• Daylight Saving Time – Nine of the largest industries of town will operate on Daylight Saving Time starting Monday morning, April 30th, it was announced today, regardless of whether or not the County or Lititz as a whole goes with the new time.

These nine industries are as follows: Morgan Paper Co., Wilbur-Suchard Chocolate Co., The Walton Corporation, Simplex Paper Box Co., Linden Underwear Co., Animal Trap Co., Lititz Springs Hosiery Mill and the two shoe factories.

The school board is seriously considering changing their schedule without tampering with the clocks, so that the children will be let out at about the same time as their parents, so that the housewife would have but one meal to prepare at noon.

Unless the work at the schools can be arranged to correspond with the hour the parents are home for dinner, the housewife is going to have her hands full, and it is for this reason that the local industries have given this advance warning so that some of the difficulties can be ironed out before the time for the clock change arrives.

90 Years Ago

Thursday Morning’s Record

April 3, 1924

• Auto into Stream – John Fleishman, an insurance agent at this place, with his wife and daughters, Catherine and Mildred, while in an auto headed for home on Friday evening , drove over a bridge at Manheim, dropping eight feet into a stream. Mr. and Mrs. Fleishman were pinned beneath the machine.

Catherine held up the head of her mother and probably prevented her from drowning. Mr. Fleishman had not been seen by the rescuing party and it was the daughter who called attention to this. The parents were unconscious when rescued and placed on a nearby porch to wait the arrival of an ambulance from St. Joseph’s Hospital, Lancaster.

Catherine was not badly hurt and the other daughter, who is crippled, escaped without even becoming wet. Occupants of a passing automobile were the first persons who came to the rescue, having heard the cries for help by the girls.

Mr. and Mrs. Fleishman are injured internally to some extent and both have a tough of pneumonia.

Friday Morning’s Express

April 4, 1924

• Blue Jay Lady -A lady who resides on South Broad street is a great friend of the Blue Jays that come to the Spring grounds to build their homes each season. She places a great pile of old string, bits of cloth, paper and odds and ends of this and that on the back balcony of her home and each spring a large crowd of chattering, chirping, fluttering Blue Jays in couples come to the place and forthwith there is a great rise in real estate values in the tree tops at the Springs as these pretty birds busily build their summer bungalows.

100 Years Ago

Thursday Morning’s Record

April 2, 1914

• Boys of Summer – For some time the many base ball fans of this place have been clamoring for news regarding the Lititz nine for the coming season. Manager Wilson Sheneberger has been on the job for a month or more but only succeeded this week in completing the line-up. Prospects were never brighter for a fast team as this place, and the fans will be treated to a fast article of ball.

The schedule is being arranged and will include a series of games with such fast teams as Manheim, Mountville and Ephrata. The season will open on Saturday, May 9, on which date Prof. Herbert Beck will bring a team of F. & M. collegians here.

Friday Morning’s Express

April 3, 1914

• Beautification – George Sheneberger is very busy finishing up the remodeled Park View Hotel. He also has the contract for a house for Henry Copper at Rothsville and will beautify John Horting’s house at Rome by enclosing all the verandahs with glass.

• Mailable Produce – Nursery stock can now be sent by parcels post. Some apple trees and grape vines passed through the Lititz office this week.

110 Years Ago

Friday Morning’s Record

April 1, 1904

• Sweet Dreams – Superintendent Wm. Riesener who lives and dreams Ideal Cocoa and Chocolate believes in mental powers. At any rate, many things he wills go. A surplus of cocoa was quickly disposed of and a demand created that makes the factory hum day and night.

• The Last Bee – The last bee of the season held in Wissler’s Hall by the schools of Brunnerville, was a grand success.

The program consisted of four spelling contests, one geography class, one general information, dialogues, singing by the schools and singing by the orchestra.

The main feature of the evening was the address by the Hon. John H. Landis, of the United States Mint. He gave a good biography of Thaddeus Stevens, dwelling especially upon his work for the public schools of this Commonwealth; also upon his saving all people with religious scruples from serving in the army.

The snug sum cleared was given to the Thaddeus Stevens Memorial Fund.

Friday Morning’s Express

April 1, 1904

• Canning Factory – The Rothsville canning factory is nearing completion. Some of the machinery is here and the master mechanic is here to place the same in position. The farmers promise to farm the truck needed to run the factory.

120 Years Ago

Friday Morning’s Lititz Record

April 6, 1894

• Freight Depot? – From all appearances the building of the promised new freight depot at this station is yet far off, and there is a probability that the two old house cars now used as a substitute will stand there for a long time before a building will occupy the site. These cars are unsightly and much more inconvenient but what are you doing to do about it?

Friday Morning’s Express

April 6, 1894

• Grube’s New Store – We call attention to the announcement of E.H. Grube made elsewhere in this paper. He will have the store formally opened to the public tomorrow and it will no doubt be visited by large number of people as the refitting of the room, the placing of electric lights which illuminate every corner, including a light in front of the store, and the placing in of an entirely new stock has been noted by the people during the week.

Mr. Grube has had long experience as a clerk and later as a salesman for groceries and he is well equipped with a knowledge of prices and goods and can be depended on to get the cream from the market for his own store. He asked the public to call and inspect his store and stock and let his prices to do the talking.

130 Years Ago

Thursday Morning’s Record

April 4, 1884

• Record-ings – The tramps must go.

Pointed shoes are going out of style

Early morning bird concerts have commenced.

Ice cream dealers are beginning to hang out signs.

The roads are somewhat better than they were a week ago.

Too much benzene leads to frequent Saturday night rows in town.

News comes from Virginia of a deadlock in the peanut trade. And the circus season nearly here!

Friday Morning’s Lititz Express

April 5, 1884

• Town Talk and Gossip – There are more than ninety candidates for office in this county. Competition is the life of politics, it would seem.

Manheimers talk of building a turnpike from their borough to Mastersonville.

Elias Buch still deals in eggs and butter in the basement of Peter S. Reist’s residence on Main street.

Now is the time to begin to clean up around the premises _ to remove rubbage, chip heaps, ashes, dead vines and flower stalks, and everything unsightly that may mar the beauty of your yards and lawns. Clean our your cellar, too, and give it a double coat of white-wash.

It is reported that more than twenty tramps congregated in Miller’s woods south-west of town on Saturday. The presence of so many of these vagabonds augurs ill for the near-by hen roosts. I hardly pays the constable to arrest them at 25 cents a head.

Two cigar-makers settled a three-year old dispute near the planing mill on Thursday evening by the appeal of their fists.

Research for Out of the Past is compiled weekly by the current Record Express editorial staff. Much of the style and information reported is written as it appeared in its original form.

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