Pages from the Past: Catonsville youngster's persistence led to rescue of man trapped in truck

An article in the Jan. 25, 1962, edition of the Herald Argus and Baltimore Countian recognized a local boy's heroic actions.

At the annual awards meeting of the Safety Services of the Baltimore Regional Chapter, American Red Cross held Jan. 16, Richard Bragg, eight-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Bragg of 5317 Brabant road, Westgate, was awarded the American National Red Cross certificate of recognitions for extraordinary personal action in indirectly saving a man's life.

His citation read: "On Jan. 8, behind a meat packing house in Catonsville where his mother was shopping, Richard heard a voice coming from a refrigerated vehicle pleading for help. Richard displayed excellent judgment in realizing the danger and persisted in his demands that someone investigate. A man was found inside in a weakened condition who had been unable to get out because of a faulty inside door latch.

Mrs. Charles Proffen, formerly of Arbutus, now of Howard county, was awarded the Hall of Fame trophy. This trophy is given for fifteen years continuous volunteer service both to Red Cross and to other community activities.


Two minutes after she entered a dime store in the Ingleside shopping center on Jan. 18, Mrs. Dorothy Basford of 402 South Chapel Gate Lane discovered that a pickpocket had removed her purse containing $107 from her handbag.


Police testified before Francis T. Peach, Baltimore county master of juvenile causes, that they found a .32 caliber pistol with two cartridges, a dud rifle grenade and a 2-foot length of chain with a nut and bolt attached to one end in school lockers and in a boy's car Thursday, Jan. 18. The weapons had been assembled for an intended gang fight at the Catonsville Junior High School.

Seven boys, aged 14 to 17 years, were ordered sent to correctional institutions by Magistrate Peach, who called the incident "about as brazen an exhibition of gangsterism as I've seen in the schools since I've been here". An 18-year-old youth was sentenced to 60 days in the county jail for trespassing at the school.


Two men, Alan Billings, 20, and James F. Marzullo, 23, both of 41 South Stricker street, Baltimore, were apprehended on Jan. 12 by police officers who observed the pair throwing a bundle of newspapers from Frederick road overpass onto the Baltimore Beltway where a motorist's car ran into the papers. The men were asked to pick up the papers but refused. Charles Paddy notified the police that the newspaper, valued at $3.29, belonged to him and had been stolen from Frederick road and Shadynook Lane.

Magistrate Donald C. Schlosser, who found the pair guilty, sentenced them to 60 days in the Baltimore county jail.

75 Years Ago

An article in the Jan. 22, 1937, edition of The Catonsville Herald and Baltimore Countian noted the sudden death of a popular figure on the local fairways.

Samuel Dilly, caddy master at the Rolling Road Golf Club, died suddenly of a heart attack last Thursday at his home, 1606 North Payson Street, Baltimore. He was preparing to celebrate his sixty-ninth birthday, which would have occurred last Sunday.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Agnes Todd Dilly, and a son, Jack Dilly. Funeral services were held from a funeral parlor at North and Pennsylvania Avenues, Baltimore, at 2 P.M. on Saturday. Interment was in Loudon Park Cemetery.

Mr. Dilly, a Scotchman by birth, was well known among golfers of Baltimore and vicinity. He had a host of friends, acquired both at the Rolling Road Club and elsewhere by his genial manner and lovable character.


Spring is here. Synthetic spring, at least, has come to Baltimore County in the middle of January.

From Woodlawn, Hebbville, Pikesville, Towson and other parts of the county, come reports of budding lilac bushes, sprouting grass seed and tulip bulbs.

But the unseasonable weather is bringing vicissitudes to many. Physicians are unusually busy. Dealers in coal and fuel oil are crying the blues.


Miss Betty Owens, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Owens of St. Denis, entertained on Saturday night with singing and tap dancing before a large audience at the Metropolitan Ball Room in Baltimore and on Sunday at the Stadium. Friday's affair was held by the B&B of Baltimore, and Saturday's was given by the Chestnut Ridge Improvement Association.

100 Years Ago

An article in the Jan. 27, 1912, edition of The Argus reported the fortunate news that there were no injuries after an explosion in the high school's science room.

The bursting of a gas tank in the domestic science room of the Catonsville High School, at about 11 o'clock Wednesday morning, caused considerable excitement among the children. None of the pupils were in the room at the time.

So great was the force of the explosion that it shook the building, which is of brick, and blew out five of the large windows in the room. The tank had been installed Tuesday, and no reason can be assigned for the accident.

George Walters, the janitor was making his inspection of the building and was about to enter the domestic science room, when the explosion occurred. He was knocked to the floor, but escaped without injuries.


A number of cases of typhoid fever have developed in Catonsville within the past week. Three young women prominent in the younger set of local society – Misses Charlotte and Mary Evelyn Cromwell, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Cromwell, and Miss Hane Wood, the niece of Mr. and Mrs. G. Howard White of Paradise, have slight attacks of the disease as has also Mrs. Cromwell. Four young children of Mr. and Mrs. William G. Scarlett of Bloomsbury avenue, are also ill with typhoid. No reason has been assigned for the slight outbreak of the disease, and it is not believed that there is any cause for alarm.


Through the kindness of the patrons of Ingleside School, the pupils who remain to lunch are served hot chocolate every day. The patrons send the necessary materials and the cooking is done at the school. Miss Julia W. Jones is the principal.


Many children of Catonsville are confined to their homes with heavy colds, accompanied by sore throat and, in some cases, by a fever and a rash. No serious cases are reported and the services of a physician have not been required by the majority of the victims. Several cases of tonsillitis have developed.

Material from archives courtesy of Catonsville Historical Society.

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