Memories Of 1920s Woodbridge

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by Diane Norek Harrison

WOODBRIDGE-This is from some of my own material dated 1920: The beautiful High School on Barron avenue was built in 1911. There are, in addition, seven excellent public schools, located as follows: No. 1, Central Avenue, Woodbridge, Keasbey, Port Reading, Fords, Avenel, Hopelawn, and Iselin, each conducted by an excellent corps of teachers. Prof. John H. Love came here in 1895 as the principal of No. 1 School, and for the past seventeen years has been the efficient supervising principal of all the schools in the township. There are 83 teachers and 3,000 pupils in the township. Among the chairmen of the Board of Education have been William H. Berry, Howard Valentine, Joseph H.T. Martin, Victor W. Main, Wilson A. Tappen, President; Melvin H. Clum, vice-president; Everett C. Ensign, secretary, Charles S. Farrell, Howard R. Valentine, Maurice P. Dunigan, Benjamin B. Walling, Frederick Bohlen and Louis E. Meyer; attendance officer John Thompson.

Have memories or past material on any of the schools listed above or from any school in the other towns? Don’t keep them to yourself!

The following fraternal and benevolent societies have a large membership and hold regular meetings in the town (1920): Americus Lodge, No. 83, Free and Accepted Masons, instituted in 1868; Hobart Lodge, No. 270, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Euclid Lodge, No. 153, Knights of Pythias; Woodbridge Council, Knights of Columbus; Woodbridge Council, No. 1743, Royal Arcanum; Woodbridge Council, No. 12 and Bavaria Council, No. 352, Catholic Benevolent Legion; Anchor Council, No. 40, Junior Order of United American Mechanics; Ancient Order of Hibernians, Foresters of American and Union German Benevolent Association.

In 1919, owing to there being but one member surviving, Past Commander John M. Sutton, William C. Berry Post, Grand Army of the Republic was disbanded, Mr. Sutton affiliating with Major Dandy Post, of Perth Amboy. Papiack Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men, was also disbanded in the same year.

If anyone would like to share any information on any of the organizations listed above or other organizations, clubs or ladies’ auxiliaries from any of the towns, please contact me. Hoping to hear a lot more Woodbridge memories or receive past material.

Last chance for all readers to send me your winter or Christmas memories or past material from all seven towns listed below. Send your scouting, plays, school, houses of worship, town, where you went Christmas caroling, Christmas parties, organizations that helped the less fortunate or sick at Christmas,  where you saw Santa, stores that were decorated, where you did Christmas shopping, bought Christmas ornaments or real live trees, businesses who gave out calendars at the end of the year, sleigh riding, snow/ice storms, ice skating, bon fires, etc. Send all winter and Christmas past information to me by Nov. 7. Have Hanukkah information from the past of the area? Please send also! Your name does not have to be used with past information sent, but please state if you wish not to be identified. Looking for other past information. If I can not get to it in 2008, I will certainly use it in 2009. Hearing from readers shows me there is an interest in my continuing my column in 2009.

If you have your own memories or past information for Carteret, Edison, Metuchen, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy or Woodbridge you can email me at dianenorekharrison@juno.com send “copies” of your material to me at CMD Media, P.O. Box 1061, Rahway, N.J. 07065.


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