Pages Past: Custodian's heroics save child as wall collapses

An article in the Jan. 24, 1963, edition of the Herald Argus and Baltimore Countian reported the heroics of a school custodian in rescuing a student.

Fourteen-year-old Norman G. Gaither, an eighth grade student at Our Lady of Victory Catholic school on Wilkins avenue, was rushed to St. Agnes hospital in the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department ambulance on Jan. 16 after a cinder block wall collapsed in the school room, knocking him into a chair, injuring his chest and fracturing ribs.

According to police, the custodian of the building, who heard the crash, rushed to the room and supported the falling wall with his body until the boy was out of the way. A portion of the west wall collapsed.


Each year, Colt Corral No. 4, Catonsville, selects one of the Baltimore Colts as an unsung hero. This year, George Preas will be the recipient of the award.

The presentation will be made at a banquet and dance at the Southern Hotel on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 P.M.


A thorough check of a large department store in the Westview shopping center was made by police after the switchboard operator notified police that a telephone call came in at 7:40 P.M. on Jan. 10 from an outside phone and a young male voice stated that a bomb on the lower level of the store would go off. The search proved fruitless.

Philip Anderson, maintenance man, told police that at 7:30 the same evening he chased two teenagers out of the store who told Mr. Anderson that he would be sorry he chased them. The F.B.I. was notified.


George William Fuller, 73, of Ashbourne road, Arbutus, collapsed on the sidewalk at Sulphur Spring and Ashbourne roads on Wednesday, Jan. 16 and was found by a passerby at 8:54 P.M. He was rushed in the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department ambulance to St. Agnes Hospital, where he was pronounced dead of a heart attack.

75 Years Ago

An article in the Jan. 21, 1938, edition of The Catonsville Herald and Baltimore Countian reported on the honors earned by several members of two local Boy Scout Troops.

Members of Troops 306 and 307, Boy Scouts of America, Catonsville, were awarded honors and badges at a district court of awards meeting held last Thursday in the Catonsville Presbyterian Church.

Two boys, Wallace Dutton and Norman Schlee, passed First Class tests.

Four boys passed Second Class tests. They are: Robert Gardner, William Opitz, Gordon Leatherman and Reitzell Tabler.

Fifteen merit badges were authorized among the following Scouts: Robert Ruff, Robert Frey, Norman Schlee, Gilbert Wiseman, William Morrison, Donald Mules and Richard Spencer. The badges will be awarded at their respective Troop meetings.


Court Caton No. 440, Catholic Daughters of America, Catonsville, celebrated the eighteenth anniversary of the organization with a dinner and dance held at the Cadoa. The Rev. J. M. Nelligan, Director of the Catholic Recreational Center, was the principal speaker of the evening. In his remarks, Father Nelligan thanked Court Caton for its support of the Cadoa. Since Father Nelligan's appointment, Court Caton has contributed $550 towards maintenance of the Cadoa, or more than one-half of the total amount received from all the State Courts.


"A Day at the Fair", an entertainment full of laughs, songs and stunts, will be presented by the Epworth League of the Catonsville Methodist Church next Friday evening, January 28, at 8 o'clock in the Church.

The antics and songs by home talent will center around a country fair with appropriate costumes and scenery. There will be a special "Professor Quiz" feature.

100 Years Ago

An article in the Jan. 25, 1913, edition of The Argus reported on plans to address a water shortage on the grounds of the local asylum.

At the meeting of the board of managers of Spring Grove State Hospital, Dr. J. Percy Wade, superintendent, Friday of last week, it was decided to increase the water supply facilities of the institution.

At present, there are about 850 persons, including nurses and attendants, at the hospital and the water supply is drawn from several artesian wells sunk on the grounds about half a mile from the buildings and pumped into a standpipe. The large increase in patients recently has caused the wells to become almost inadequate and the managers are now looking around for some other means of securing a supply which will not entail great expense of installation. There are several large ponds on the property and it is the intention of the managers to lay pipe lines to each of them to furnish water for the large boilers in the engine house and the like, while the artesian well water will be used for drinking and cooking purposes only.


George S. Kalb had on exhibition at his home on Newburg avenue several days ago a number of dandelion blossoms picked from his lawn. Mr. Kalb said it was the first time he had ever seen the flowers in bloom in this part of the country at this time of year. The fruit trees show indications of budding, and the farmers are worried about their fruit crops. Wheat is taking on a remarkable growth.


A lecture and social for the young men of Catonsville were given Friday evening of last week in the lecture room of Catonsville Presbyterian Church. F. W. Besley, State Forester of Maryland, gave an illustrated lecture on the forest reserves of Maryland, including the one recently deeded to the State by John R. Glenn, southwest of Catonsville.

Material from archives courtesy of The Catonsville Historical Society.

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