Fox Grocery Company transition led headlines in May 1959
A reader in Donora is looking ahead to exchanging “a lot of old stories” with high school classmates and asked about newsmakers of more than a half-century ago.
“We're planning a rather informal get-together sometime in June,” he (or she) said in an unsigned note. “We graduated in 1959 from different high schools and we're wondering what was happening on May 8 of that year. Any chance you might run some headlines from that day before we meet?”
We're not sure, of course, what the reader be interested in, but here – from the archives of The Charleroi Mail and The Monessen Daily Independent – is just a sampling of who was making news on that Friday 54 years ago.
Progress for Fox
Fox Grocery Company said its huge warehouse-office building is rapidly taking on proportions along the Express Highway near Rehoboth Church in Rostraver Township. (The “Express Highway” is Interstate 70.)
Started last December, the vast warehouse enhances 131,000 square feet and will probably be occupied by the end of next month. The building is on an 11-acre location in the Rostraver development section. The company said it is to be a labor-saving warehouse throughout but it also will contain a cafeteria, a suite of office space, a central garage and full warehouse space equipped with 700 feet of electrical tow-line from which 4-by-6-feet lifter trucks will carry merchandise to and from the loading docks.
There are facilities to unload railroad cars, which can be run from nearby Pittsburgh and West Virginia and for 10 trailer vans at one time.
Fox Grocery will service 180 stores and supermarkets from the location beginning this summer.
A large advertisement on page 7 of The Charleroi Mail announced the opening of the Tars Romito Boy's and Men's Store at 408 Fallowfield Ave. (next door to The Charleroi Mail) in Charleroi.
Romito, who had worked at Wolf's clothing store for more than 30 years, informed the public that “Charleroi's Newest Store for Boys and Men Opens Its Doors to the Public Today.” The ad also advised customers to “Watch For Our Grand Opening To Be Announced Soon – Free, A Suit For Boys And A Suit For Men – Nothing To Buy ... Just Come In And Register.”
Seeking state aid
Charleroi-Monessen Hospital in North Charleroi has asked the Pennsylvania Legislature for $85,000 in state aid for free patient care during the 1959-61 biennium beginning June 1. The request, filed with the House Appropriations Committee, shows an increase of $19,000 over the $66,000 allocation set up for the hospital during the 1957-59 Biennium. State aid is based on free patient care for individuals unable to pay their own hospital bills.
Floral shops in the area offered reminders that “flowers make great gifts” for Mother's Day. Among those touting specials on blossoms, plants, ferns and fancy leaf caladiums with front page classified ads were:
Riggle and Nelson Greenhouse, 429 Shady Ave., Charleroi; Johnston, the Florist, 422 Fallowfield Ave., Charleroi; Hiernaux Greenhouses, Lock Four; Colonial Flower Shoppe, Charleroi; Landrin's Flower Shoppe, Charleroi; Charles J. Sanders Greenhouse, Monongahela-Bentleyville Road.
Meanwhile, Gysegem's Bakery suggested “delicious decorated cakes,” Geezer's Pharmacy said “mothers everywhere will love Old Dominion candies,” and Tall Tom's restaurant near Monessen recommended “a tasty turkey dinner for “Mom and the entire family.”
Among the other front page notices were:
Club BeBe Bell, Route 31, Monongahela, Every Friday and Saturday, Two Shows, Bob Trombino Quartet, No Cover, No Minimum, Free Parking.
Elizabeth Holko invites all her friends to visit her at the LaRose Beauty Salon of the new Miller's, where she is now employed.
Record Hop Tonight, Turner's Gym, Charleroi, 8:30 to 12, the El Capris in person. Dues 50 cents.
Dance Every Friday, Hotel Roosevelt, Jacobs Creek, Velveteers Orchestra.
In other news
Mrs. Robert E. Schrag was elected president of the Liaison Committee of the Monessen School District at the annual reorganization meeting last night. Also elected for the new term were John Duronio, first vice president, John Dragan, second vice president, and Margaret Russell, secretary. Also comprising the board of directors are Rudy Benedetti, Mrs. Roland Bunting, Felton Brown, Mrs. Charles Williams, Mrs. John Hurrianko and Michael Kunsa.
The annual birthday party of the Donora Historical Society was held at the Community Center, with Mr. and Mrs. Roman E. Koehler as hosts. Two contributions were acknowledged, including the last slab of zinc made at the Donora Zinc Mill. Scrapbooks of clippings on the Spanish-American War also were donated to the Historical Society by M.C. Donaldson of Monongahela. The books were compiled by William H. Alexander, and at the time of his death they became the property of William Van Voorhis, who was Donaldson's stepfather.
John Glass, Jack Wardman, Sam Battistone, Ron Hritz, Bob Moore, Tony Paul, Rick Martello, Carl Toyle, William Ashford and Bill Saber were named to the first and second all-star teams in the newly formed Brownsville Biddy Basketball League.
Warren Kite of West Newton, a native of Smithton, has been named control accountant of wire products at the Donora Plant of U.S. Steel's American Steel & Wire Division, it was announced by chief accountant K.W. Erickson.
Supervising principal James E. Sterner announced the top students for the Class of 1959 at West Newton High School. Donald Grimm, son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer H. Grimm of West Newton R.D., is the valedictorian, and Barbara Cullen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Cullen of Fifth Street, is the salutatorian.
Officers and members of the Lock Four Volunteer Fire Company will be hosts to their townspeople and the public next Sunday starting at 3 p.m. when the new and modern fire hall will be open for inspection. Eddie Warren and his orchestra will furnish music free for dancing through the courtesy of the Music Performance Trust Fund in cooperation with Local Union 396 of the American Federation of Musicians.
Michael Mitchell was elected president of the Washington Township Lions Club for the 1959-60 year. He succeeds Guy Winn. Other officers will be Charles Miller, first vice president, Ewing Trickett, second vice president, Theodore Bishop, third vice president, Alphonso Colabrese, secretary, and Joseph Glotfelty, treasurer. Also elected were Ridsy Calderone, Lion Tamer, Walter Bethem, Tail Twister, and directors Richard Kennedy, Harry Muckle, Thompson Kirby and Willian Trent.
Monongahela rolled over Bentleyville 15-1 in scholastic baseball action. John Genty tossed a two-hitter for the Wildcats, who were led on offense by Ed Cooper's two hits, Pete Dragone's triple and a double by Williams.
The Donora Health Club, located at 1085 Meldon Ave., has established its specials this way: Ladies Day, Monday and Thursday, 12 noon to 9 p.m.; Men's Day, Wednesday and Sunday, 12 noon to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, Noon to Midnight. A certified masseur will be in attendance.
Have You Heard? Bargain Corner Is Back In Business On Route 51, ½ Mile South of Elizabeth. A Much Bigger Store with Bigger Bargains. 1001 Items – 10001 Bargains. Kiddies Training Pants, 4 Pair for 99 cents; Girls and Boys Polo Shirts, 49 cents; Garden Tools, 39 cents each; Pup Tents, Only $3.99.
Dr. F.F. Tucci, Chiropractic Health Service, 609 Broad Ave., Belle Vernon. Chiropractic adjustments keep nerve channels clear and thus your stomach healthy. Phone Belle Vernon 1220.
Ron Paglia is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media. Contact him at email@example.com or c/o The Valley Independent, Eastgate 19, Monessen, PA 15022.