Thursday, May 17, 2018

Chrysler-Plymouth Dealer in Windsor

Bill Simpkins, Windsor’s Chrysler-Plymouth dealer, located at 611 Palisado Avenue, reported that more than 2,000 Windsor car owners in 1944 wanted a new car.

Unfortunately, he could not get every one of those 2,000 Windsorites a new car, but he did say he could help them maintain their present car. His advice to car owners? “DON’T abuse your tires, your brakes, or your engine.”

Sunday, May 13, 2018

First Church in Windsor’s 150th Anniversary

The First Church in Windsor was completely renovated inside and painted outside with funds donated by church members and friends in 1944, the 150th anniversary of the construction of the building which was put up in 1794, according to W. Fred Hornsby, campaign chairman of the drive to raise funds.

The First Church claims to be the oldest Congregational Church in Connecticut, and the fourth oldest Congregational Church in the world. 
An unusual feature of the fund-raising drive was the formation of “The First Church in Windsor One Hundred Club” to which members were enrolled after giving $100, or about $1,400 in today’s money. Approximately $4,400, or about $62,000 in today’s money, was raised. Members of the One Hundred Club were given a painted picture of the church. Dr. Paul J. Anderson served as chairman of the executive committee. The church’s pastor was Joseph H. Twitchell.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

First Day of School for Windsor Triplets

Windsor’s five-year-old triplets, Gail, Gay, and Gary Frosch, brought their teacher an apple on their first day of school in 1944. The triplets lived within sight of their school, Roger Wolcott School, on Maple Avenue.

In an interview at their home with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Frosch, the triplets said with excitement, “We like school.” The girl in blue added, “We like our teacher too, but we love our mother best.”
“Me too,” said the little boy in blue.
Their teacher, Marjorie Stephens, said the trio behaved very well. She said that Gail is the leader of the three and volunteered the first song of the day. Gay, the quiet one, busied herself by putting colored blocks into different designs. Gary built things with large blocks and made a big hit with his teacher by putting all his playthings away when quitting time came.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

To Car Owners in Windsor: Conserve and Protect!

Windsor Garage was Windsor’s car dealer for Fords and Packards in 1944 but because of the ongoing shortages caused by World War II, new Fords or Packards were not available for sale in town. This advertisement reminds Windsorites that they should “conserve and protect” their cars because if they fail to do so, there will be a breakdown in the national transportation system because public transportation was working at capacity.

The advertisement also notes that Windsor Garage would pay the “full O.P.A. ceiling price” for any car that was not being used. The O.P.A. was the federal Office of Price Administration, which was created in 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It had the power to set prices and ration scarce supplies. Before he was elected governor of Connecticut in 1948, Chester Bowles headed the O.P.A. from 1943 to 1946.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A Warning From The Windsor Trust

The Windsor Trust Company was organized in 1913 and opened for business in a brick building at the junction of Broad Street and Poquonock Avenue in February, 1914. The bank moved to a new building at 270 Broad Street, between Maple Avenue and Elm Street, on September 15, 1929, about a month before the stock market collapsed, the forerunner of the Great Depression.
In this advertisement from 1944, the Windsor Trust warns people who receive government checks in the mail to take several steps in order to protect their checks from “crooks.”

Would your mail carrier in 2018 “signal you” when he or she delivers mail to you from “the Government”?

Monday, April 30, 2018

The News-Weekly is born in Windsor

The first issue of The News-Weekly was published in Windsor on Friday, September 8, 1944, three months after the D-Day invasion of Europe and about a year before the Japanese formally surrendered to General Douglas MacArthur in Tokyo Bay. A yearly subscription to The News-Weekly cost $5.00, and one issue was priced at ten cents.

The News-Weekly was the product of the husband and wife team of J. Jeremiah and Mary Louisa Hallas. He was the editor and publisher and she was the associate editor. They worked putting the paper out from their 19th century brick home at 27 Park Avenue. The den was turned into the editorial office and they gathered news and sold advertising over their single-line telephone. Before direct dialing came to Windsor, The News-Weekly’s phone number was 28. On Thursdays, after the paper came back from the printer in Middletown and was unloaded from the trunk and back seat of their car, the dining room was used as a mailroom where the tabloid-sized paper had to be folded by hand on the dining room table before being addressed in the den and then put in mail bags and brought to the post office for delivery to subscribers on Friday.
The front-page editorial in The News-Weekly’s first issue titled “Going Our Way?,” carried these words of wisdom for Windsorites:

Strong & Co., Inc., makers of awnings and window shades, was The News-Weekly’s first advertiser. The proprietor, Frederick C. Strong, lived at 147 Pleasant Street.

The News-Weekly’s first subscriber was State Senator John Christensen of Wilson where he owned and operated the largest market garden in New England.

State Senator John Christensen

In 1947, he was appointed the state’s first Commissioner of Farms and Markets by Governor James L. McConaughy.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Shifting Gears: Heading For Windsor

Five years ago, prompted by the publication of my biography, William Almon Wheeler: Political Star of the North Country, this blog concentrated on New York State history. Last year, when my book about the origins of official court reporting, Guardians of the Record, was published, the material featured in the blog changed and the subject matter focused on 19th century court reporting and official court reporters. Today, with the upcoming publication of my new book, A History of Windsor, 1944–1962, this blog will be shifting gears again.

It will contain interesting bits and pieces about Windsor’s history from the twilight of World War II to the dawning of the Sixties. Primarily relying on articles and advertising in The News-Weekly, a weekly newspaper published in Windsor between 1944 and 1962, the blog will also reflect my own experiences in Windsor during this time frame. Before going on to schools of higher education, I attended Windsor’s Stony Hill School (grades 1–3), Deerfield School (grades 4–8), and Loomis School (grades 9–12). Later on, from 1960 to 1962, I worked as managing editor of The News-Weekly.