Pages from the Past: Speed of fire department's new engine quickly wins admirers in Catonsville

An article in the March 16, 1912, edition of The Argus praised the power and speed of the fire department's new fire engine.

Since the inauguration, several months ago, of automobile service in the Fire Department at Catonsville, the efficiency of the service in that suburb has been greatly increased and the big motor car has proved its superiority over the slower horse-drawn apparatus many times.

The Catonsville Fire Department claims that their new automobile is the fastest in the State. It is a combined chemical and pumping engine and was built by the American La France Fire Engine Company. The car is of the four-cylinder 70-horsepower type and is capable of running 65 miles an hour. The same power used to run the engine operates its pumps.

Editor's note: The American LaFrance Fire Engine Co., the result of a 1903 merger between Truckson LaFrance's LaFrance Manufacturing Co. and the American Fire Engine Co., still exists today as a manufacturer of fire engines, fire trucks and other vehicles for emergency responders across the country. In 1911, it built a 70 h.p. Liberty Type 5 gas-powered fire engine for the Liberty Fire Company in Reading, Pa. It also built the 1911 Metropolitan horse-drawn steam engine, which had a boiler that produced enough steam for it to pump 600 gallons of water a minute, according to the company's website.


Work was started this week for the excavations and grading of the new St. Charles' College on the Maiden Choice road, near Catonsville, for the $500,000 buildings which will be erected. Already all the buildings have been laid out and all will command an excellent view of the city and bay, being located on a high knoll. Cardinal Gibbons presided at the ceremony, attending the breaking of ground for the new college, Thursday afternoon, at 4 o'clock. Rev. Dr. Edward R. Dyer, S.S., president of St. Mary's Seminary, assisted the Cardinal, as well as Very Rev. F.X. McKenney, president of St. Charles' College. The Cardinal turned the first spadeful of earth, and in turn each clergyman present did likewise.


Grumblers over the weather of March to date should bear in mind that it is absolutely seasonable, unless it is a mistake to say that the winter solstice begins on December 21 and ends March 21. The two-inch snowfall here Monday night was a two-foot one out West, where trains were much delayed by the drifts, and where the folks would be glad to see it turn to rain as it did here.


Misses M.C. and S.R. Carter, founders of the St. Timothy's School for Young Ladies, which is one of the best known and most exclusive girls' schools in the country and where the daughters of many noted Americans were educated, have announced that they will retire from the management of the institution.

The Misses Carter, who are members of a prominent Virginia family, came to Catonsville about thirty years ago and established their school, which was successful from the first, and today it is considered one of the best finishing schools for girls in the country.

75 Years Ago

An article in the March 12, 1937, edition of The Catonsville Herald and Baltimore Countian announced events for the American Legion's 18th birthday.

Dewey Lowman Post No. 109, the American Legion, has decided to hold an American Legion birthday party at the hall on March 16 at 8:30 P.M. The Legion will be eighteen years old on this date and all Posts of the Department of Maryland are planning suitable celebrations. Every member is invited. There will be dancing and refreshments.

On Saturday, March 20, Dewey Lowman Post will hold a party and dance in the Arbutus Community Hall, Linden Avenue, Arbutus. The building fund will receive its share of the profits from this affair. The committee in charge includes William L. Rodgers, chairman; Fred Vogelsang and F.X. Meyers.


During the second quarter of the current school year, forty-three pupils of the Catonsville High School attained "honor" rating, and a hundred and thirty others were enrolled on the "merit" list. The names of the honor pupils are inscribed on a plaque hung in the main hall of the school and copies of both the honor and merit lists are placed in all classrooms.


Catonsville High School's basketball quint won the Baltimore County Championship by defeating Kenwood High School last Wednesday by a score of 32-28. Catonsville finished the season with nine wins and one defeat.

50 Years Ago

An article in the March 15, 1962, edition of the Herald Argus and Baltimore Countian promoted a local school's science fair.

The Arbutus Elementary School PTA will feature a "Science Fair" at the meeting next Wednesday, March 21, at 7:30 P.M. in the school auditorium.

After a brief business meeting, there will be a science exhibit on view in the auditorium to supplement a short talk by on the scientific studies being pursued by the pupils in all the grades of Arbutus Elementary School.

Parents and friends will be invited to inspect the exhibits and tour the individual classrooms to view the "in-works" science projects. Teachers will be in the classrooms to answer all questions.


Augustus S. Wurtzer, 24, whose wife Ruth, resides at 1239 Circle Drive, Arbutus, recently was promoted to specialist four in Germany while serving with the 529th Ordnance Company. A fuel and electrical systems repairman in the company in Augsburg, Specialist Wurthzer entered the Army in August 1960, completed basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and was stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., before arriving overseas last October. Wurtzer is a 1955 graduate of Mt. St. Joseph High School.


Misty Traveler, C.D., Weimaraner, owned by Frank Burrell, 5450 Addington road, West Edmondale, will be among the many canine participants of the all obedience show being held by the Dog Owners' Training Club of Maryland, Inc., on Sunday, March 25, from noon to 8 P.M. at the Richmond Market Armory, Howard and Read streets, Baltimore.

Over 150 entries representing many different breeds are expected to compete in this trial. Last year, the club had one of the largest all obedience shows on the east coast.


A Catonsville girl, Miss Phyllis Hays, will give a piano recital next Thursday, March 22, at 8:30 P.M. in Ledkin Hall of Peabody Preparatory Department. She also is giving her Master's recital at 1 P.M. on April 16 at the Peabody Conservatory.

Miss Hays has studied piano under Austin Conradi, Julie Esteban, Walter Hautzig and Alexander Sklarevski. She received her Bachelor degree from Peabody last June and expects to receive a Master's degree this coming June.

Material from archives courtesy of the Catonsville Historical Society.

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