by James Rada, Jr.

December 1919, 100 Years Ago

Angry—Commits Suicide

While in a fit of anger, and after having been arrested, Mrs. Daisy Toms Baker, aged about 36, shot and killed herself in the home of Wade Wolfe, Wolfsville, this county, Sunday afternoon last, while deputy sheriff Dutrow was waiting for her to prepare herself to accompany him to Frederick City.

Mrs. Baker is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Toms of Thurmont. Her husband, George Baker, was killed some years ago on the Western Maryland railroad. For some time past, Mrs. Baker has been keeping house for Wolfe.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, December 4, 1919

Clocks Won’t Co-operate

Gettysburg, it is said, is in the throes of confusion over time to an extent which make the daylight savings change pale into insignificance. The citizens are traveling by four separate “times” and Sunday every church service was affected by people coming ahead of time, on time and late.

For a week the town clock in the Courthouse cupola has been speeding its course beyond its normal duty until Sunday it registered 17 minutes ahead of standard time. The Gettysburg College clock by which the northern end of the town governs its movements, is several minutes fast, and the factories have a time of their own by which whistles are blown. Railroads continue to work by their own watches, but aside from them not five per cent of the town uses standard time. The only redeeming feature to the whole mix-up is that nobody misses trains, all of the local time indicators being sufficiently “fast” to give a safe margin.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, December 11, 1919

December 1944, 75 Years Ago

Cpl. Merhle T. Ecker Has the Thrill of a Lifetime

The thrill of a lifetime! That’s what it seemed like to Marine Cpl. Merhle T. Ecker, of Thurmont, now stationed somewhere in Hawaii, when there suddenly was flashed on an outdoor screen before his incredulous eyes the faces and the familiar scenes which he was accustomed to seeing before he left his good old home town.

That is the amazing story which Cpl. Ecker related in a letter home to his family. He was seated, along with hundreds of his buddies, on sandbags, enjoying one of the outdoor movies which the Marine Corps provides for the entertainment of its personnel in remote positions throughout the world. The picture was entitled “Odd Occupations in the United States” and there before the incredulous eyes of the local fighter appeared his townsmen Fred Tresselt, Mr. Tresselt’s son Ernest and Charles H. Anders, who is employed by Mr. Tresselt at his fish ponds near Thurmont. The thrill which the sight of his hometown neighbors and the well-loved local surroundings brought to Cpl. Ecker can hardly be appreciated by the people still at home, he declared.

                                          – Frederick News, December 1, 1944

Two Young Soldiers From Near Here Killed In Action

Once again the war is brought closer to home as a young man from near Thurmont and one from near Creagerstown are reported killed and other from near Catoctin Furnace reported seriously wounded.

          Pvt. Charles A. Rhodes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Rhodes, of Franklinville, was reported killed in action in France on November 21 and T/5 Morris E. Hoffman, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Hoffman, of near Creagerstown, was reported killed in action in France on Nov. 15. Pfc. James L. Grushon was reported to be seriously wounded in Germany on Nov. 16.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, December 8, 1944

December 1969, 50 Years Ago

Town Cancels Plan for Water Meters Here

Delinquent water consumer bills were discussed at the regular meeting of the Mayor and Commissioners of Emmitsburg held Monday evening in the Town Office, President of the Board J. Ralph McDonnell presiding. Present also was the Town’s attorney, Fred Bower. Regarding the delinquent water bills, Council plans to adopt an ordinance in the near future which would enable it to add interest charges until the bill has been paid.

… At the suggestion of Attorney Bower, the Council decided that due to the fact that local plumbers had not signed a contract to install water meters in local homes, the meters would be returned to the company from which they were purchased.  To date 30 of these meters have been shipped back to the company and another 20 will be returned just as soon as they can be boxed.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, December 5, 1969

Mike Boyle Heads Fire Company

L. Michael Boyle was elected to head the Vigilant Hose Company for a one-year term at the annual election of that group held Tuesday evening in the Fire Hall. James E. Fitzgerald, incumbent president, declined to run for the office and Boyle ran unopposed.                                           

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, December 12, 1969

December 1994, 25 Years Ago

2 Sabillasville Teens Charged with Homicide

A bond hearing is scheduled this afternoon for two Frederick County youths charged by Maryland State Police as fugitives from Pennsylvania where they are wanted for the murder of a convenience store clerk early Tuesday.

Clayton W. Faxon, 16, and Jeremiah D. Reynolds, 17, both of Sabillasville Road, Sabillasville, are being held without bail in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center.

State Police arrested the youths Tuesday afternoon in connection with the murder of Gretchen C. Groff, 30, of Fayetteville, Pa. She was killed while working at the High’s Convenience Store in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

Both teens have been charged with homicide, robbery, theft by unlawful taking and conspiracy, according to Pennsylvania State Police in Chambersburg. Franklin County District Attorney Jack Nelson said that under Pennsylvania law the juveniles were able to be charged as adults.

                                          – The Frederick News, December 21, 1994

Youths Still Missing from Victor Cullen

An escaped youth and two who failed to return from leave to the Victor Cullen Academy during the holiday weekend remained missing Tuesday, said local police.

The escape of a 17-year-old Prince George’s County teen on Christmas Eve is being investigated by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, while Maryland State Police are searching for the two who failed to return Monday after holiday leave.

                                          – The Frederick News, December 28, 1994

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