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City campaigns against spitting on sidewalks

99 years ago in 1921

Warren was going to start a campaign against spitting on the sidewalks.

There was a longtime ordinance on the city statute books against this pernicious custom, but the law had never been enforced. In fact, you might often have gone to the very door of the court house and seen a fine example of “spatter” work done in tobacco juice, a challenge to the law in front of justice hall.

Mrs. M.L. Warren of 101 North St., who had come to Warren from Boston a year previous, was shocked at the total disregard of the anti-spitting law. In Boston, the fine was $50 for spitting on sidewalks or in any public place, and the law was rigidly enforced.

Mrs. Warren went to see Mayor McBride and found him heartily in sympathy with her. Everyone who saw an infringement was told they should report the person to the mayor.

The fine in Warren was only $5.

It was called one of the surest ways of carrying the dread White Plague and other diseases, too. Hundreds of lives were lost every year by persons inhaling the dried-up germs of tuberculosis bacilli from some one’s expectoration. Young babies were particularly susceptible to all kinds of disease as they played on the floors of sidewalks.

It was considered a filthy habit, and a man who spat on the sidewalk or blew his nose without using a handkerchief deserved to pay a fine of $5 every time he did it. In fact, he deserved arrest, said physicians who knew what the habit meant as a menace to the health community.

50 years ago in 1970

A West Farmington father of five suffered burns of the left hand and a quirk of fate saved the lives of two of his children when fire broke out at their home on Third Street, shortly after 2 a.m. causing damage estimated at $2,000.

The family escaped the blaze. The only injured was the father. His wife had been working at a Middlefield area plant when the fire broke out.

The Farmington Volunteer Fire Department was called and prompt action led by Chief Fred Klouda kept the flames from destroying the home and from spreading to neighboring homes.

The two oldest children who ordinarily slept in the upstairs bedrooms of the home while the three younger children and parents occupied the downstairs bedrooms, chose that night to change their sleeping arrangements, possibly saving their lives.

Their father, awakened by smoke had forgotten their arrangement to sleep downstairs. He rushed to the stairway to get them out of their bedrooms as flames and smoke were pouring from the stairs. He burned his left hand in trying to get through the flames.

The fire had spread to the living room and he had rushed outdoors yelling, “fire, fire.”

Two alerted neighbors rushed to his aid, and all of the family got out.

25 years ago in 1995

Student historians from Youngstown State University uncovered a 133-year-old find at the Ward Thomas House in Niles.

Student museum curator Marcelle Wilson peeled back the wallpaper along the high hallway surrounding the center staircase to show the place the students, while trying to find the original wall color, found an ornate multi-colored mural.

“The hand-painted walls are a series of colorful patterns in the style of an Italian villa,” she said.

The mural fit the representation of the rest of the house, such as the carved marble on the fireplace and the moldings along the wall.

The paintings, probably done in the 1860s, when the home was built, were like those in a museum or church, Larry Felger of Canfield, said.

Owned by the Niles Historical Society in partnership with the city, the home was built in 1862 by James Ward. It was purchased in 1887 by Margaret Thomas, wife of John Thomas, the owner of the Niles Firebrick Co. In 1979, the property was deeded to the city, was taken over by the Historical Society in 1983, and added to the National Register of Historic Places the following year.

10 years ago in 2010

Ford fans gathered in Cortland as more than 72 men and women spent an afternoon discussing how they kept the cars running and learning the history of the Penn-Ohio Ford Model A Club.

Ford Model A owners from multiple states gathered at the Cortland Masonic Lodge 529 for an afternoon of fellowship, history and admiration for one another’s work, about 56 restored or rebuilt Model A’s on hand.

The club meetings were a chance for enthusiasts to get their rides on the road, members said, as they prepared to drive their Model A’s to Maryland in June.

— Compiled from the archives of the Tribune Chronicle by Emily Earnhart.

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