Pages from the Past: First track and field meet at Catonsville High a winner for fans and athletes

While 2,408 competitors from 28 nations were competing in the 102 events of the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, an article in the June 8, 1912, edition of The Argus reported that record times were run by the athletes and a good time was had by all in the successful debut of a track meet at the local high school.

The first annual track and field meet of the Catonsville High School was held Saturday afternoon on the school campus in the presence of a large number of parents and friends of the contestants. The affair was conducted under the auspices of the Public Athletic League and was a big success. The Woman's Civic League of Catonsville and the High School Association cooperated in making the meet a grand affair. The proceeds will go toward making an athletic field of the school grounds, to which the county school board has contributed $300. Besides the athletic feature of the meet, there were May pole and folk dances by the junior girls of the school, under the direction of Miss Warner. The silver cup offered by Mr. William McAllister to the winner of the 880-yard relay race between teams representing the High School and the Boy Scouts was won by the latter team.

Those who attended the meet witnessed the breaking of four of Baltimore's Public Athletic League records, the equaling of one and the close approach to three of the New York Public School Athletic League marks which are accepted as standards for the entire country.


The County Commissioners have begun to extend the county fire-alarm system from Catonsville to Relay, St. Denis and Halethorpe, where a number of new alarm boxes will be installed and placed on the Catonsville-Mount Winans circuit. The villages have had their own private volunteer alarm system. When the new line is completed, the Catonsville company, which has just installed a new automobile fire engine, will respond to all alarms of fire in those villages.


The new 110-horsepower automobile fire engine recently ordered by the County Commissioners for Catonsville was installed this week, and the 70-horsepower machine, which has been in use here for nearly a year, has been transferred to Gardenville.

The new engine is a six-cylinder 110-horsepower type, and is capable of running 70 miles an hour. The same power used to run the engine operates the pumps. It is equipped with 1,500 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose, 20 feet of 5-inch suction hose, a 40-gallon chemical tank, 200 feet of a 1-inch chemical hose, three extinguishers, one 22-foot extension ladder and one 12-foot roof ladder. The pump has outlets for three lines of hose. The pumping capacity is 800 gallons.

75 Years Ago

The mayor of Baltimore was among the prominent guests invited to Opening Day on the fields at Spring Grove State Hospital, according to an article in the June 4, 1937 edition of The Catonsville Herald and Baltimore Countian.

The Catonsville A.C. will hold a celebration this Sunday at their new grounds at Spring Grove Hospital. Many notables, including Mayor Howard W. Jackson, Herbert R. O'Conor, Richard C. O'Connell, Robert C. Clare, H. Streett Baldwin, C. Willing Browne, Harrison Rider and others, have been invited. A band has been engaged for the occasion.

Catonsville will meet the Dickey A.C. in the first game on the new grounds. The local boys are in the thick of the fight in the Southwestern County League, and can be counted upon to turn in two good ball games.


The Maryland Court of Appeals at Annapolis last Wednesday upheld the Circuit Court for Baltimore County in dismissing the petition of Margaret Williams, colored, for admission as a student at the Catonsville High School. Through the girl's father, the petition sought a writ of mandamus to compel the Baltimore County Board of Education to admit her as a student at the Catonsville High School.

In dismissing the case in the Baltimore County Circuit Court, Judge Frank I. Duncan ruled that the girl, who had twice failed in entrance examinations in 1934 and 1935, was not eligible for admission to the high school.

It was also brought out in testimony in the case that Baltimore County pays the tuition fees of any Negro students wishing to attend high schools in Baltimore City, and also that the cost of maintaining a separate high school for Negroes in the county would be prohibitive because of the small number of available students.


Mrs. Ralph Holman broke 100 on Wednesday for the first time this season, scoring a 99 on her home course, Rolling Road Golf Club, and earned the Class A. low gross victory in the 9-even-holes event. Low net in that division was scored by Mrs. H.G. Settle.

Class B was sewed up by the Heidelbach sisters-in-law, Mrs. George Heidelbach tallied low gross and Miss Marie Heidelbach low net. In Class C, Mrs. G.P. Mallonee stroked low gross and Mrs. H.R. Stransbury, low net.


Maryland should have some law to curb hitch-hikers. The disease is rapidly spreading and the next generation may have grotesquely enlarged thumbs. Worse, we may become confirmed nomads, journeying from town to town, living by panhandling and plundering, scaring the wits out of fuzzy Airedales, frolicking children and bedridden grandmothers.

50 Years Ago

Just as it is true this year, an ambitious fundraising campaign was underway for Catonsville's Fourth of July Celebration, according to an article in the June 7, 1962, edition of the Herald Argus and Baltimore Countian.

This will be a busy week in preparation for Catonsville's Fourth of July celebration.

The "Miss Independence" beauty contest closes this Saturday, June 9; the two-week house-to-house collection of funds to finance the celebration starts next Monday, June 11, and the first annual coronation ball is scheduled for Saturday, June 16.

A large number of volunteers, most of them members of Catonsville clubs and organizations, will start spreading through the community next Monday night, June 11, to collect funds to pay for the July 4 celebration. The campaign will continue for two weeks. Residents are urged to be generous, as costs for this far-famed day of enjoyment have increased this year. G. Howard Medicus, Jr., is chairman of the ways and means committee.

Thomas G. Connor is general chairman of the Catonsville Celebrations Committee, Inc.


Retiring on July 1 is Miss Hilda McGuigan, principal of Relay elementary school system 43 years. Her sister, Miss Mary McGuigan, retired as principal of Arbutus school in 1956.

The Relay school staff gave a dinner in Miss McGuigan's honor at Turf Valley on Thursday, May 24, and the Relay P.T.A. honored her on Sunday, June 3. This evening, Thursday, June 7, at a dinner meeting of the Department of Elementary School Principals of the county, she will be presented a certificate of appreciation and the organization's pin.


Tryouts will be held next week end for Samuel Taylor's comedy, "The Happy Time," which the Lurman Players, Catonsville's summer theatre group, will present August 2, 3 and 4 at Catonsville Senior High School.

In the cast of 13 there are opportunities for men and women of all ages, older persons and teen-agers as well as young adults.

Auditions are scheduled in the hall of Catonsville Presbyterian Church this Friday, June 8, at 7 P.M. and Saturday, June 9, at 2 P.M. and 7 P.M.

Material from archives courtesy of the Catonsville Historical Society.

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