Joan Bittner Fry

Last week a fellow knocked on my door.  With him, he had a spiral composition book. After introducing himself as Richard Lantz, he explained that the book was found among his parents’ (the late Helen and Dick Lantz of Sabillasville) effects and thought I might be interested in having it. I always love exploring old documents. The following is a summary of the contents of the book. Upon reflection, it shows quite a different political perspective. I long for the good-old grassroots days. Thanks to Richard for sharing.

The book began with minutes from the meeting of the Sabillasville Republican Party Hauver’s District #1, dated August 27, 1962. The meeting was held at the parish hall. Mr. Paul Fry, my father-in-law at the time, called the meeting to order with 12 people present. Mr. Fry explained the purposes of the meeting were to organize a group of party workers for the district and to contact persons in the district who were now eligible to register to vote. Each person in attendance was asked to contact several of these people.  Another meeting was scheduled for September 5. Mr. Jim Annis donated $10 to help with party work, and Earl Eby agreed to act as temporary treasurer until one could be appointed. Mr. Harry Zentz, a county candidate, spoke to the group, after which the meeting was adjourned.

I recall visiting people in their homes and asking them to register—hopefully Republican.

On September 5, 1962, the second meeting of party workers was held. In the absence of Mr. Paul Fry, the meeting was called to order by Helen Lantz, with 12 people present. Reports of the volunteers who contacted potential registrants were mostly favorable. A local registration was planned for September 11. Several volunteers offered transportation for those who needed it. A suggestion was made to invite people from the Foxville precinct to meet with us. An election was held with Paul Fry as president and Helen Lantz as secretary. Earl Eby agreed to remain as temporary treasurer until a future election could be held.

In August 1966, the committee met and the meeting was called to order by Donald Manahan, who explained the meeting was to organize a committee for the district and to elect officers. Guests of the evening were Mr. Russell Z. Horman, Frederick County Commissioner, and his wife (Mr. Horman served as County Commissioner from 1962-1970); Mr. Francis Harshman; and Mr. Edgar Palmer. After short speeches by each, the subjects of schools, teacher aides, county taxes, and many more were discussed.  Mr. Harshman and Mr. Palmer explained what would be expected of the organization and helped with election officers, who were Joan Fry, chairman, and Helen Lantz, secretary-treasurer. A vice-chairman was yet to be elected. Those present were Joan Fry, Paul Fry, Bob Martin, Walter and Joyce Lantz, Evelyn and Donald Manahan, Francis Manahan, Earl Eby, Ralph Working, Mary Benchoff, Harold Bittner, Rev. Claude Corl, and Dick and Helen Lantz.  Refreshments were served by Joyce and Evelyn.

A committee meeting of Hauver’s Districts #1 and #2 (Sabillasville and Foxville) was held in October 1966, to celebrate Candidates’ Night. Joan Fry, chairman of District #1, welcomed all and introduced the district chairman, Mr. Thomas, who introduced each candidate who spoke a few words to all. A question-and-answer period was held, followed by refreshments. Door prizes were awarded to Bob Bittner and Mrs. Ted Buhrman.  /s/ Helen Lantz

Republican candidate, Richard M. Nixon, lost the 1960 election to John F. Kennedy. Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater, lost the 1964 election to Lyndon B. Johnson.

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