Article #120  - April 7, 2002


by Glenn Tunney 

Brownsville Time Capsule looks back over the years
through the archives of the Brownsville Telegraph

25 Years Ago - April 1977

* Traffic jams on Frick Street in Newtown patch will soon be a thing of the past.  Brownsville borough council has voted to have traffic from Hillman Barge diverted from that street to an adjacent alley.  The borough and Hillman will cooperate in resurfacing the alley.  Newtown residents, particularly the nineteen families who live on Frick Street, have complained about traffic from Hillman Barge, particularly since a boy was hit by a car there last year.
         “We have a bad problem there,” said councilman Hughey Otanic.  “As many as 500 or 600 people go in and out of Hillman every day.”
         The alley will be graded, widened to 20 feet, and made into a two-way street.  A stone and gravel base will be put down by the borough, and next year Hillman will help out with the expense of blacktopping the surface.  A six foot fence will be erected along the alley to prevent children from wandering onto the new road.

* Nearly 5,000 persons have already applied for jobs at the new Volkswagen plant in Westmoreland county, and those applicants are only for top-level management and salaried, highly skilled craft positions.  Arrangements have not been finalized for the expected deluge of applications from hourly workers.  VW expects to hire up to 5,500 persons by the time production reaches 800 Rabbits per day at the end of next year.  April 1, 1978 is the target date for production of the first car.

* The track season opened for Brownsville Area High School yesterday, and the Falcons easily captured their first victory, defeating Charleroi Area High School, 98 - 47, at Adamson Stadium.  Under a new PIAA regulation, an athlete is allowed to compete in four events, and Brownsville’s Shawn Kelly stole the show.  Kelly finished first in the 100-yard dash, 220-yard run, 440-yard run, and anchored the winning mile relay team.  Ray Stout took two firsts for Coach Jack Henck’s boys, winning the high and intermediate hurdles.  He also participated on the winning mile relay team.  Kenny Thomas picked up where he left off last year by winning three events – long jump, high jump and triple jump.  Chuck Onesko was a double winner, copping the mile and two-mile runs. 

45 Years Ago - April 1957

* Brownsville High School is hazardous and should be condemned or abandoned.  That is the claim made by the State Department of Public Instruction following its survey of the school buildings in the state.  21 Fayette County school buildings were cited as containing deficient stairways and exits or heavily-oiled wooden floors, which were termed “non-correctable fire hazards.”  Among the area elementary schools listed were both Allison schools, Brier Hill, and Royal.  Brownsville High School was the only local secondary school cited.

* A local woman may have a claim on the title, “Youngest Mother of Nine Children!”  Mrs. Donna Lois Vichosky, 26 years old, of 105 Jackson Street, Brownsville, gave birth in January for the ninth time in ten years.  It all started in 1946, when Donna became a bride on her sixteenth birthday.  She and her husband, Walter, planned a two-child family – a boy and a girl.
         On October 18, 1947, Mrs. Vichosky gave birth to her first child, Walter, who is now 9.  Since then, 1953 is the only year in which she has not given birth.  There are now nine children, six boys and three girls, ranging in ages from nine years to two months.  The first four children are students at Front Street Grade School.  Mr. Vichosky is a truck driver for the Lincoln Bakery in West Brownsville, where he has worked since 1950.
         Both parents are pleased with the size of their family.  “Since both of us come from large families,” said Donna, “we are used to it.”
         Will there be more children?
         “If God is willing,” said Donna, “but I’d rather not have any more, so I can devote all my time toward raising the ones I have.”

* There is a shortage of the Salk anti-polio vaccine in Fayette county and throughout the nation.  Because of the soaring demand for the vaccine, there will be none available in this area until after April 15, said Dr. Fred L. Norton, president of the Fayette County Medical Society.  The society has gone on record as being willing to “give free immunizations to all school children in Fayette county – kindergarten through high school – first and second shots only.  This will not be a yearly program.  It will be given this year, and this year only, in an attempt to have two shots given to every school child in this county prior to the 1957 polio season.  Booster shots can be obtained in the office of the family physician.”

* Coach Jack Henck’s Brownsville High School thin clads registered 10 first places, 11 second places and 8 third places yesterday afternoon to amass a total of 91 ½ points and walk off with the triangular meet at Brownie Stadium.  Bethlehem Joint High School finished in second place with 21 ½ points, and Centerville High School registered 16 markers.  Grover Ferguson and Andy Davis, a couple of veteran performers, were the big guns for the Blue and White trackers.  Ferguson won the high and low hurdles and finished second in the 220-yard dash.  Davis emerged victorious in the mile and half mile, and was also a member of the winning 880-yard relay team.
         Other individual first place winners for Brownsville were Fred Wilkes, Art Bentley, Joe Cesarone, and Jerry Sluger.  Joe Niverth of Coach Chauncey Shives’ Bethlehem Joint team was the individual hero in the meet as he captured first place in the 100-yard dash, 440-yard run and broad jump.  Melvin Mores of the Bulldogs also captured a first place, winning the pole vault.  Robert (Red) Worrell of the Centerville Wildcats won the shot put.

60 Years Ago - April 1942

* Brownsville General Hospital is going to add a third story to its facility.   The announcement was made this week by Samuel E. Taylor, president of the hospital board.  The addition will be approximately 40 feet wide and 96 feet long.  It will be constructed over the central portion of the building, and it will provide additional bed facilities for thirteen patients.  There will be four private rooms, one semi-private room, wards and a major operating room with the most modern equipment available.  Bids are now being accepted for the work, which is to begin as soon as possible.

* Plans for the “Salvage For Victory” campaign in Brownsville moved into high gear this week with the announcement in the American Legion home that the drive will commence on April 22 and culminate on Saturday, April 25.  Scores of trucks will cover every street in the community, collecting vital war materials to be converted into munitions and related products for the fighting forces of Uncle Sam.  This is the first drive of its kind ever made in the community, and Chairman James Labin has asked that all persons gather scrap iron, copper, aluminum, zinc, brass and other metals, newspapers, magazines, old rags, rubber and clear glass.


These articles appear weekly in the Sunday Uniontown HERALD-STANDARD.  If you enjoy reading them, please let the editors know.  You may e-mail your comments to Pete Skirchak (Editor - Brownsville edition) at [email protected]  or Mike Ellis (Editor) at [email protected]

Readers may contact Glenn Tunney at 724-785-3201, [email protected] or 6068 National Pike East, Grindstone, PA   15442.  

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