This Was Doylestown, 1946

People flock to Doylestown for marriage licenses, the Doylestown School Board approves an agricultural course, and venerable 'Grandma' Fell dies at age 92, 67 years ago this week.

Marriage boom to be followed by baby boom -

January started off with a bang in the office of the Bucks county marriage license bureau, when 200 licenses were granted, compared with only 55 licenses in January, 1945.

Approximately 65 percent of the applicants were non-residents of Bucks county, and came from Pennsylvania and nine other States. Very close to 50 percent of the male applicants were either returned war veterans or still in the service.

More Philadelphians were among the applicants in January than in any other month in four years. Doylestown at one time was the popular place for Philadelphians to come and get marriage licenses--because they don't have to wait in line as long as they do in Philly--and it looks as though the reputation of the local bureau has been re-established since gasoline is more plentiful [gas was rationed during World War II].

The average age of the applicants in January was 24 years for the males and 23 for the females. There were 19 applicants who had been divorced.

The biggest disparity in ages of those who obtained marriage licenses in January was a 77-year-old Kansas farmer who took a license to wed a 50-year-old Newtown woman. The Kansan had been married twice before, and his bride-to-be, once before.


School board approves agricultural course -

Following a recommendation by Supervising Principal [Superintendent] J. Leonard Halderman, the Doylestown School Board on Monday evening added an agricultural course to the high school curriculum.

Mr. Halderman, who has been conducting a survey among the pupils, reported that 58 boys and girls are interested, 33 living on farms of their own, and that 25 plan to make farming a vocation for life. Fifty-one of the 58 have land on which to carry out their practical studies.

"There will be a possible 35 pupils in next year's freshman class," Mr. Halderman said. In this year's freshman class, 36 pupils are interested, with 15 planning to make farming their vocation, and 31 have land available.

President William H. Satterthwaite, Jr. authorized the school head to continue his search for an instructor whose salary will run between $3,000 and $3,400, but 80 percent of which is paid by the State and Federal governments.

Reporting on the keen competition for entrance into college, Mr. Halderman said: "To get into college these days you must be in the upper tenth of the class, particularly the boys."

Three boys who left school to serve in the armed forces during World War II are now back in school. They are taking their work on a post-graduate basis, reporting only for their classes.


Lady barber delights Soroptimist Club -

Miss Edith Claycomb, who with her sister operates a barber shop on East State street, delighted the members of the Soroptimist Club of Bucks County with her clever, witty and entertaining talk at their dinner meeting Monday evening in Doylestown.

Miss Claycomb related that well-known bandleader Paul Whiteman had been a customer, but he was afraid of small-town barbers because they would cut his hair too short. She told him, "If any customer of ours is scalped, you can be sure he asked for it."

Mrs. Emma P. Stover, executive secretary of the Bucks County Health and Tuberculosis Society, was welcomed as a new member.

Sixteen boxes, which contain scores of pieces of clothing, have been packed and sent overseas to benefit Soroptimists in France, Holland and Denmark. The committee was composed of Miss Grace Chandler, chairman; Mrs. Joseph Kenny, and Miss Katherine Keane.

Two basketballs were purchased and will be presented to the Doylestown Youth Recreation for the girls' teams.

Miss Adelaide Dietrich and Mrs. Martha S. Woley observed birthday anniversaries.


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Antiques, art bring $6,000 at auction -

With glassware, copper and pottery bringing exceptionally good prices, the auction of antiques and art furnishings of the Spencer K. Mulford estate, held in the Armory on Saturday afternoon, was one of the largest sales ever held in the County Seat.

Beginning at 1:45 and lasting until 5 o'clock, more than 350 persons were in attendance and the sale amounted to $6,000. Buyers from New York, Philadelphia and every section of Bucks county, as well as nearby counties, were present. Many were dealers in antiques.

An amplification system set-up was of great assistance to the auctioneer, E. Newlin Brown, as well as to the bidders.

Among the collectors' items of unusual pieces and paintings, a mother-and-child painting sold for $240. Ladder-back chairs sold for $22 each. A stretcher table sold for $150 and a melodeon brought $50.

A brass "bird cage" clock, made in 1720, sold for $165, one of the highest prices obtained. It was not of the earliest type.

Scores of brass ships' lanterns went under the hammer for a total of $135. Sheffield candlesticks sold for $50 apiece. Dozens of vases, including Sheffield, brought $40 each.

Two antique beds brought $57.50 each, and a serpentine bed sold for $80.


"Grandma" Fell dies at age 92 -

A great-great-grandmother, familiarly and affectionately known to hundreds of Bucks countians as "Grandma" Fell, died Tuesday at her home on East Court street at age 92.

Born Mary Ann Walton on July 13, 1853, she was the widow of Clayton Pearson Fell. They had four daughters, two of whom are still living. Other survivors are 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandson.

Descendant of a colonial Bucks county family and married into another, she spent her entire life in this vicinity. Until just a few years ago, she was in remarkably vigorous health and lively spirit. She was past 80 when she astounded physicians and friends by making a record recovery for an aged person from an operation for appendicitis.

She was nearly 90 before she was forced to give up an amazingly active life, and traveling and visiting among her friends and large family of married grandchildren. For the past three years she had been bedfast and under the care of her daughter, Mrs. Margaret Fell Britain, with whom she lived at the East Court street address.

"Grandma" Fell was of pioneering spirit as well as of pioneer stock. She was born and reared on a large farm near New Hope, and settled on a farm just south of Gardenville after her marriage.

Left a widow about 43 years ago, she managed the farm, raised her family and drove two- and four-horse teams as well as a carriage to Philadelphia markets and other places, far afield in those days.

She later resided for a few years in Horsham with a daughter, Amy Fell, now deceased; then in Doylestown as housekeeper for the late Belle Hough; and for a short time in Lahaska before returning to Doylestown to the former Hough residence, which became her home.

The surviving daughters are Sarah, wife of Charles S. Harvey, of Atlantic City, for many years a Doylestown resident; and Mrs. Britain.


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Doylestown Town Notes -

Residents of Harvey avenue are up in arms about the trash which falls out of overloaded vehicles en route to the town dump and litters one of the cleanest streets in the borough.

Lieut. Commander George B. Ross, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ross of "Roscommon," is one of 1,222 veterans returning to the States for discharge aboard the Sherburne, an attack transport.

With 10 men engaged in the work under the direction of Harry B. Kappauf of Buckingham, the interior of the Doylestown Presbyterian Church is being redecorated with a white ceiling and cream walls.

Theodore Ruth, who served in the Army in Europe during the war, has re-enlisted and left for Fort Meade, Md. He has resigned as manager of the County Theatre.

Mrs. Frank L. Worthington and son "Skipper" are leaving today for Mrs. Worthington's parental home in New Orleans, where they will spend several months.

Lieut. William E. Koehler, U.S. Naval Reserve, is a guest of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Lowther at their home in Doylestown township. Lieut. Koehler, who has been in the Navy for three years, took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima and other South Pacific amphibious operations.

One case of mumps--the patient being James Hall--was reported this week to the Doylestown Board of Health.

Pvt. Harry W. Dinlocker, who was president of the senior class at Doylestown High School last year, has completed his basic training in Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and has returned to Camp Pickett, Virginia.

Michael Welsh, nine months old, of West Court street, was admitted to the Doylestown Emergency Hospital on Thursday to undergo medical treatment.

Mr. and Mrs. Norman S. Lear, of Gardenville, announce the engagement of their daughter, Dorothy, to Richard K. Moyer, U.S. Naval Reserve, son of Mrs. and Mrs. Paul B. Moyer, of Doylestown.

Miss Dorothy Moyer, the cashier at the Acme Market on West State street, is on a month's vacation in Miami, Florida.

For the benefit of those who cannot contact the office of the Director of Veterans Affairs in the Court House during day hours, a service officer will be stationed at the Doylestown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 175, Ashland and Clinton streets, from 7 to 10 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday evening for consultation on veterans' rights and benefits.


From the Doylestown Daily Intelligencer, Week of Feb. 3-9, 1946

Mary February 04, 2013 at 12:56 PM
The Lady Barbers cut hair for all my siblings, our Dad, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather. That's where my kids had their first haircuts too.
Jeff Lugar February 06, 2013 at 12:47 PM
So these muskrats that were wanted at the Esso station, were these real animals? Or was this some brand name/nickname for an automotive part/accessory?
Jim Peters February 13, 2013 at 08:53 PM
I'm sure they were animals. Many kids used to make money trapping in the area. My father and his brother did before WWII.


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