As part of the general background of the story of Wayne as it was 20 years ago, started in last week’s column, it is interesting to know what pictures the patrons of the Anthony Wayne Theatre were seeing early in the year 1936. The late Harry M. Fried was the owner and manager of the theater.
Among these old time favorites were “Mutiny on the Bounty,” featuring Clark Gable, Franchot Tone and Charles Laughton, in “the greatest epic of the sea ever staged.” Others included “Peter Ibbettson” with Gary Cooper and Ann Harding “making their first appearance as a romantic team;” “A Night at the Opera,” with the three Marx brothers, “madder and funnier than ever;” “The Littlest Rebel” starring Shirley Temple, and “Annie Oakley,” with Barbara Stanwyck in the lead.
For those who sought their relaxation at home, there were books from the lending shelves of the Wayne library. Among new fiction listed in the early part of 1936 were “Silas Crockett,” by Mary Ellen Chase; “Tarzan and the Leopard Men,” Edgar Rice Burroughs, and “Mary Poppins Comes Back,” P.L. Travers. Contract bridge was still enough of a new game to warrant a listing of instruction classes each week in the columns of “The Suburban.” In addition to those at St. Davids Golf Club and at Tredyffrin Country Club there were private classes at the homes of Mrs. Walter Le Sueur and Mrs. Edith Wood Atkinson, both well-known bridge teachers.
In the following paragraphs, newcomers who want to know what Wayne was like 20 years ago will find that so many of today’s organizations were already in operation at that time. Although the community has grown tremendously, it has always been an active one.
For those who were interested in amateur theatricals the Wayne Footlighters, with Mrs. Y.P. Dawkins as president, were in the middle of a busy season when, in January, 1936, they gave “Ada Beats the Drum,” under the direction of Margaret Genay. For others whose talents lay along the line of handicrafts, woodworking classes at the Wayne Art Center started in February, 1936. Charles A. McClure was the president of that organization.
The Wayne Musical Coterie, with Mrs. Thomas Blackadder as president, was having its usual monthly meeting at the homes of its various members. Mrs. Eugene Newbold was head of the Wayne branch of the Needlework Guild while Mrs. John M Meigs, 3d, served in the same capacity for the Ithan branch.
With Mrs. Harry M. Crider as president of the Wayne Branch of the WCTU, just as she is now 20 years later, the January meeting of that organization featured the beginning of a study of the U.S. Constitution, under the leadership of Mrs. R.I. Heim. The Wayne Branch of the American Red Cross, with its headquarters in the Neighborhood League House, was carrying on a joint nursing service with that organization, with all of its surgical dressings being made in Red Cross classes held in the Wayne Presbyterian Church. Mrs. C.H. Howson was chairman of the branch at that time.
In March, 1936, during the presidency of Mrs. W.W. Crawford, the Wayne Saturday Club celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding. Assisted by Mrs. Dawkins, Mrs. T. Magill Patterson staged a pageant of tableaux and narrative of the 50 years of Saturday Club history. All participants in the pageant were dressed in authentic gowns of the five decades then just passed. In May of 1936, Mrs. Patterson succeeded Mrs. Crawford as president. Miss Evelyn Dotterer was the president of the Junior Saturday Club.
Among the heads of other Wayne Civic and social organizations in 1936 were Daniel M. Sheaffer, for St. Davids Golf Club; Oliver H. Jackson, Wayne Lions Club; Rocco A. Odorisio, Anthony Wayne Legion Post and Mrs. H. Harrison Smith, the auxiliary unit; Edward B. Maguire, Bateman-Gallagher Post and Mrs. Frederick Lengel, auxiliary unit; Welles M. Post, North Wayne Protective Association; William P. Cochran, Wayne Public Safety Association; David H. Henderson, Radnor Fire Company; S.V. Rowland, Neighborhood League; Howard S. Detwiler, Worshipful Master, Wayne Masonic Lodge; Walter H’ White, Wayne Chamber of Commerce; William H. Crawford, Wayne Building and Loan Association; John M. Gallagher, Radnor Building and Loan, and Henry C. Hadley, St. Davids Building and Loan.
Joseph M. Fronefield, 3d, Board of Township Commissioners; William Plummer, Jr., School Board; Dr. Seneca Egbert, Board of Health; Charles A. McClure, Radnor Township Board of Adjustment; S.V. Rowland, superintendent of schools, and T. Bayard Beatty, principal of the high school. In January, 1936, Lt. Wilmer N. Clemence was named acting captain of police, an appointment ratified a short time later.
Twenty years ago the largest local financial institution, the Wayne Title and Trust Company, was headed by Louis H. Watt, president with J. Harold Hallman as vice-president and secretary. John H.W. McQuiston was another vice-president, as well as Title and Trust officer, while Jason L. Fenimore was treasurer and assistant secretary.
If, in the limited space of last week’s and this week’s columns, any institutions which should have been included have inadvertently been omitted, your columnist offers her apologies.
Despite the many news items in “the Suburban,” there is something missing that was prominent in the Wayne weekly of 20 years ago – for then there were four comic strips each week, “Baron Munchausen,” “Kitty Kelly,” “Rumpers” and “Bozo and the Bacon.”