Original Painting by Larry Anderson


Most of Newark is not included in Pencader Hundred, but that doesn't mean we ignore the city. There is a wealth of material concerning Newark's history and some of it is contained in the extant minutes of town council. These excerpts of public record minutes, beginning in April 1866, are being transcribed from the original handwriting and will appear regularly here as well as in the Newark Post. To see copies in the original handwriting and a full transcription please visit Pencader Museum.

Various philosophers have said "if you don't know where you came from, you can't know where you're going." In order that Newark knows where it came from the Post will be publishing Out of Our Past, as a companion to Out of the Attic. Content of Out of Our Past will be excerpts from the earliest city government records. These handwritten records frequently have questionable spelling and no punctuation. That's fun to see, but for easier reading this deficiency has been rectified in the transcription by Barbara White. For our readers' enjoyment this account from the past will be published every week and is being made available through the generosity of Pencader Heritage Museum.

Archived Articles from : 2013    2014    2015    2016    2017

Published: Mar. 9, 2018
September-December 1940 – Homer Vansant got a raise to 40¢/hour. A contract to build curbs and gutters on Tyre Avenue was approved, but water line extension plans not yet firmed up. Some residents were not building and/or keeping sidewalks in repair. Kells Avenue residents were still begging for storm sewer improvements to stop flooding of their properties. Local E Battery of Delaware National Guard was leaving for active duty, but no special sendoff was planned other than Council would be at the station when they left. Thirty cartons of cigarettes were purchased to give the troops and a social welfare committee was organized to work with the Battery. The Police Committee would oversee purchase of new uniforms for officers. Water service would be extended to Bent Lane, under development by Leon Ryan. A disputed excess water bill on R. T. Jones’s property would be adjusted on a 50/50 basis. November 11, Armistice Day, would be a holiday for town office employees. U/D received a $1400 rebate on excess water charges for “The Training Quarters.” Patrolman Morrison was accused of conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman after complaint was lodged by an angry Miss Stewart, who tore his shirt and struck his forehead with a thrown bottle. Miss Stewart said she received bruises and abrasions when he pushed her into a chair which fell backward. A witness said Miss Stewart was the aggressor and Office Morrison was only protecting himself. Council lifted his suspension and restored him to full duty and pay.

Published: Mar 2, 2018
June-August 1940-A delegation of residents from the New London Avenue area wanted Officer Samuel Tibbitt dismissed, but no reason was recorded. Request taken under advisement. Two town employees would be given a stipend for use of their personal cars on town business. No parking would be allowed in front of the A&P Store at Haines and Main Streets. Certain streets would be re-surfaced during the summer. George & Lynch won the contract for building a sanitary sewer on the new Tyre Avenue. Isaac Vansant, the only resident appealing his property assessment, had it denied. Orville Little wanted compensation because his car was damaged on an open manhole. Jesse Garman, garbage collector, had his fee raised to $100/month. Mr. Whiteside of New Castle wrote complaining of his arrest for a parking violation. No action taken. Kenneth Kadow, developer of Nottingham Manor, wanted the area annexed to the town. Mrs. Sylvester wanted the Courtney Street sewer extended to her property. The auto-service garage building ordinance was amended to allow Raymond Foraker to build one on South Chapel, with the protest by neighbors being tabled. Continental Avenue would be paved and have utilities extended to every property thereon. Standard Accident Insurance Company was instructed to honor the claim of town employee William Crow. George Townsend thought property assessment of $10.00/foot on Townsend Road was too high, but Council refused to adjust. Councilman Richards recommended repairing N. Chapel Street from Cleveland Avenue to town limits. No vote recorded.

Published: Jan. 5, 2018
May-July 1938 - George Cook would paint the water tower on W. Main for $120. Even amid the Great Depression Newark continued to grow with new homes. Developers on Townsend Road were requesting sewer service. Local man George Cole audited the town books for $20.00 as opposed to over $200 by an auditing firm. A new garbage collector, Mr. Gorman, wanted town business and current Mr. Brannan was asked for a bid, but said he couldn't do it for less than current payment. Council was undecided as to whom to hire. A new adding machine was purchased for town office. To save time, street improvement bids were solicited from former contractors instead of advertising for others. Mr. Kumler requested that something be done about reckless motorists on W. Main. Aetna HH & L received $250.00 toward expenses of the State Firemen's convention to be held in Newark in September. Mrs. Louise Johnson, owner of the Press of Kells which published the Newark Post, asked for and received a $4000 reduction of taxes for 1938. A 6" water main would be installed from Manuel Street along Kells Avenue. The Board of Health disapproved of building where there was no sanitary sewer available. Phillips Packing Company would have to clean up decaying pea vines and other conditions objectionable to neighbors. Mr. Dameron of Ogletown Road was asked to submit proposed building plans prior to decision about town extending water and sewer lines.

Published: Jan.12, 2018
August-October 1938 - Phillips Packing plant promised to correct unsanitary conditions around their property. An insurance company refused a bond for Mr. Gorman, town garbage collector because of his unstable financial condition. Fader Motor Company won contract to supply new truck to the town providing Mr. Fader pay his outstanding sewer fees. Aetna Fire Company got a donation of $250.00 toward expenses of state volunteer firemen's convention held in Newark. Council was invited to participate in the parade. Council was getting tough with owners of unsightly vacant property. Another town note for $3000 was paid off. Curb and guttering on Townsend Road and storm sewer on Cleveland were approved. A water line was laid on Tanglewood Road. Pentecostal Church wanted to buy town property on Benny Street, price negotiable. Police officers Cunningham and Tibbitt got new overcoats. Police protection would be furnished at Delaware and Academy Streets when school children were present. Kells Avenue property owners wanted storm sewers installed to relieve flooding. CD Fibre Company, New Century Club and several property owners were told to install sidewalks. Council would take care of any necessary tree removal. It was thought that leaks from DP & L natural gas lines were killing trees in some areas. Developer of Townsend Road wanted ornamental poles and underground wiring. Council would agree if property owners would pay difference in overhead and underground service. Mr. Dameron wanted water and sewer extended to his out-of-town limits property (now site of College Square).

Published: Jan. 19, 2018
November-December 1938 - Dr. Musselman was granted permission to install two safety signs at his expense at entrances to Newark. New Century Club said they couldn’t afford to lay sidewalks, but Council insisted. Hollingsworth Company told to lay sidewalks along West Cleveland Avenue. Water and sewer lines were approved for Benny Street. Officer Tibbitt's salary would go up $30.00 by January 1. Assessment for new sewer on Lovett Avenue would be $1.08/foot. Property owners had right to appeal cost. Chief Cunningham wanted a police car for the department. Bids would be sought from dealers.
January-March 1939: Treasury balance January 1 was $2779.83. Two local fraternal lodges requested easing of evening parking regulations, but were refused. Council wanted state gas tax retained and money be distributed to towns for improvement of through streets. The new Chevrolet police car cost $741.95. Aetna wanted donation of $1500/year instead of $500.00. Council said they couldn’t afford it. Complaints of overnight parking and lack of sidewalks on North Chapel Street were received and tabled. Robert Morrison wanted permission to operate a taxi service. It would be granted provided he complied with all state requirements. Dr. Manns wanted sewer extended to his property west of Orchard Road. Miss Jane Smith wanting something done to keep surface water from draining into her basement was assured appropriate measures would be taken. Even in midst of Great Depression Newark was expanding to the west beyond town limits and numerous requests were coming in for water and sewer service.

Published: Jan. 26, 2018
April-June 1939 – Council would pay half cost of installing newly required septic tanks on Annabelle Street since sewers were not available. Gas stations and vehicle repair shops were not allowed except on Main Street between Pomeroy and B&O Railroads, current businesses off Main Street being grandfathered in. Memorial Day program committee was given $100.00. City office would be closed on Good Friday. Messrs. Johnson, Ramsey and Ferguson were re-elected to Council. The Wilson sisters agreed to turn over Dallam and Old Oak Roads, built through their property, to the town and would be reimbursed $1.94 per linear foot for the sewer they had installed. Town engineer’s plan for draining surface water from Smith and Holton properties was approved. Bids were sought for curbing and storm sewers in newly developed areas west of town limits. The town was looking for off-street parking sites and space behind Main Street school building (now part of Barnes and Noble Bookstore) was considered and later became a town parking lot. Garbage collection contract was for $950/year. Tax rate was .40/$100 valuation. Annual contribution to Aetna HH & L was raised to $1500. Town employee J. Clark had run up a large water bill at his rental property while using it for a boarding house and the landlord asked Council agreed to see he paid it. Council agreed. Council agreed to reimburse U/D for water and electricity when town children used the pool in summer. One property tax was appealed and refused.

Published: Feb. 16, 2018
August-October 1939 – Fiore Nardo was having a dispute with Council relative to his using town property to access his garage through land presently used for town trucks and employee parking. Mr. Nardo had been using land for fourteen years; had it been twenty he would have undisputed use right of access. A binding agreement would be made between Council and Mr. Nardo. Electric service on West Main would be improved. New uniforms were authorized for police officers. A traffic signal control box would be installed at Delaware and Academy. An ordinance was needed to stop auto dealers and garages from storing cars, junked or otherwise, on public streets and to prohibit storage of junked cars on open lots in residential areas. George Haney and John Mayer, representing affected businesses, opposed the ordinance saying it was detrimental to the interest of dealers. An ordinance to prohibit firing or storing of fireworks within town limits was needed. An ice water cooler would be purchased for town office. Generations of Newark students remember the booth at Delaware and Academy where a police officer controlled the traffic light and now we know, it was authorized in September 1939. Lawson Street needed curbs and paving to prevent erosion and run-off on surrounding properties. A chemical analysis was needed to see why town water was corroding house service pipes. A fire hydrant was authorized for West Park Place. Council wanted Aetna Fire Company’s 1938 financial report.

Published: Feb. 21, 2018
November-December 1939 – Constable Roberts was reprimanded for letting a prisoner escape by a ruse. Lawson Street paving was completed. Theodore Potts won the contract to supply a year’s worth of Westinghouse street light bulbs. Melvin Weaver’s application for a job with Police Department was filed. U/D chemistry Department was working with town to lower carbon dioxide in town water. A “donations day” was planned to benefit Flower Hospital. Orchard Road residents wanted their street lights improved. The Rotary Club received permission to erect signs at town entrances. The Newark Lions Club commended the Council for installing new light fixtures on Main Street. State Highway Department was to install two traffic lights at the eastern edge of town.
January-March 1940 – Newark fire losses for 1939 were shown in the annual report by Fire Department. Danger to school children crossing Main Street was causing alarm. Repairing the ceiling of the water pumping station was authorized. Cash receipts for February were $11,964 and disbursements were $11,071. The annual donation of $100.00 to Newark Visiting Nurse Association was approved. Town office employees could decide among themselves to take either Washington’s or Lincoln’s birthday off, providing the office stayed open. No action taken about switching office furnace to oil from coal. A letter of commendation for Patrolman Tribbitt was received from Mrs. Leonard Lewis. New Century Club thanked Council for the services provided in making a local movie sponsored by the Club. The Police Department needed a new motorcycle.

Published: Mar. 2, 2018
April-May 1940 – The B&O Railroad was told to remove the light standards from the center of their tracks at Main Street. Mr. Wirt and George Jackson asked Council to drop charges against Samuel Carman who did considerable property damage while in town jail, if he made restitution. No action taken. Sixteen street lamps on South College were replaced. Council asked State Highway Department when the promised new “speed control light” at Routes 2 & 273 would be installed. Office workers Harriet Ferguson, Mary Louise Thomas and Rose Lenhoff were retained in their jobs after the recent election. New parking ordinance: park only where permitted; not more than 12” from curb; at least 15’ from fire hydrants; at least 50’ from an intersection; parallel to traffic. If the driver of any vehicle violating these laws could not be identified the owner would be liable. A $3000 note was paid off. John Dennison received permission to build a garage on his Haines Street property and move his gasoline pumps from Main to Haines. Harry Bonham received permission to open a new street perpendicular to Main, said street to be named Tyre Avenue. Dr. Musselman received permission to open a new street south of and parallel to West Main. Sewers installation on all new streets must be paid in full by developer upon completion. Nottingham Manor wanted to be annexed into town. All police officers got a $10.00/month raise. John Chambers wanted to open a beer parlor. No action taken.