July 23, 1995

25 Years Ago

EDITORIAL – TRUCKS AND THE HIGHWAY – Some controversy seems to exist regarding the effect of heavy truck traffic on the nation’s highways, officials in some sections claiming that serious damage is being done to roads by the continual hammering of these multi-wheeled behemoths on the road surfaces while in other areas (Maryland is among this latter group), it is avowed that no perceptible damage is apparent as a result of truck traffic. To the statistically uninformed it would appear that it is inevitable that this terrifically heavy tonnage continually rolling over the roads would result in a degree of deterioration far in excess of that caused by normal automobile traffic. In homes and establishments adjacent to these roadways, particularly the arterial highways, it is an undeniable fact that the earth trembles with the impact of the passage of many of these huge tractor trailers and railroad-car-size vans. Window panes are cracked and broken and furniture and wall-hangings are shaken. It is highly unlikely that with such a rumbling effect the bases of these roadways, as well as their surfaces, remain
unaffected. These huge trucks appear to be largely insensible to speed limits imposed upon them also. Taking U.S. 40 as an example, between Frederick and Baltimore, it is common practice for trucks to travel this 60-mile-speed limit section at speeds of 70 miles per hour or more. Certainly these unlawful speeds, coupled with the tremendous weights of the vehicles, may be expected to exert a terrible toll on this highway, which is even now in the process of being developed to Interstate standards so as to be incorporated as I-70N between the two cities. Sometime, somehow, this truck traffic must be better regulated and controlled, else our expensive highway system is going to deteriorate into second-rate roadways. Community Reporter, July 24, 1970.

50 Years Ago

W. FRANK THOMAS DIES SUDDENLY – One of Our Most Progressive Citizens; Was On State Roads Board; Gov. O’Conor At Funeral – We mourn the death of W. Frank Thomas, a member of the State Roads Commission and one of Westminster’s and Carroll County’s most progressive citizen, who died very suddenly at his home on Washington road at 9:15 a.m. Sunday morning from a heart condition at the age of 66 years. For the last decade Mr. Thomas was a road builder and through his efforts in development, promoted the construction of hard roads, that Carroll county ranks among the first in the state in better highways. He built a monument to himself in the many miles of hard roads in Carroll county and this section of the state. Mr. Thomas found time from his business to be the leading citizen to promote many successful activities in this city and was always ready to counsel any project brought to him for consideration. In the acquirement of his early education he attended private school in this city and subsequently enrolled in the Western Maryland Preparatory school. Later he became a student at Western Maryland College from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1898. Immediately after leaving college he entered the fertilizer business and later became associated with his father in the banking and real estate business. During the time of his later connection he promoted, built and developed the Williamsport Canning Company. He was associated with the canning business for five years. Later he went into business for himself under the title of Thomas & Company, bankers and real estate brokers, but two years later entered the highway construction work, the title of the latter firm being Thomas, Bennett & Hunter from which he retired about six years ago. Democratic Advocate, July 20, 1945.

75 Years Ago

DENNINGS – The heavy rain last Monday caused quite a stir, some people say they do not believe in St. Swithen’s weather but when they get drenched they have to believe it was raining. Edw. thought so at least. One lady said she got so wet her bonnet covered her eyes, the water ran off of her dress and her shoes were so full of water it poured out of the tops, do not know if Rachael believes in St. Swithen’s weather or not. The two little Bears went out to hunt chickens and came back looking like drowned rates instead of bears. Union Bridge Pilot, July 23, 1920.
100 Years Ago Accidents – The people’s favorite butcher, Mr. John Crumbacker, met with quite a serious accident sometime ago. He had hitched to his wagon his sorrel trotting mare recently purchased from our ex-Mayor Brooks, and left her standing in front of the house of one of his many customers on West Main street while he went into the house to get an order. The mare started for home at 2.40 gait just as Mr. Crumbacker came out. He ran to stop her and grasped the wheel of the wagon when he was thrown to the ground with great force, receiving serious cuts and bruises on his leg, arms, and head. John can knock a big steer out, but cannot hold his pet trotter. On Thursday evening, as Mr. C. C. Gorsuch was
returning in this carriage, with his daughter and Mrs. Rev. Charles Reid, from the M. E. Sunday School picnic, at Meadow Branch, and when nearly opposite the residence of Mr. John T. Difffenbaugh, Mr. Wilbur Buckingham attempted to pass on his bicycle, but ran into the fence at the roadside, throwing him off. Mr. Gorsuch sprang from his carriage to assist Mr. Buckingham when his horse turned suddenly around, upsetting the carriage and throwing the ladies out, but fortunately without doing them any injury. American Sentinel, July 20, 1895.