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January 7, 2014 > History Column: News Register, January 26, 1956

History Column: News Register, January 26, 1956

By Phil Holmes

The News Register published at Centerville for Thursday, January 26, 1956 carries several headlines, but the most prominent reads ÒFremont Now An Official City.Ó The photograph below this headline shows Western Pacific Railroad Agent Ken Tinker and maintenance men James Herren and James Davis replacing the ÒNilesÓ sign with one designating the station as Fremont. The only other picture on this page shows Captain Allen M. Shinn taking command of the El S. S. Saipan.

Headline writer, Jim Combs, wrote that the councilmen had survived a 10-hour session and that Mayor John Stevenson had returned from Sacramento with the Secretary of StateÕs approval for the city. Judge Allen G. Norris had sworn in councilmen John Stevenson, Bruce Michael, Wallace Pond and Winifred Bendel. Then the council selected Stevenson as mayor.

LeRoy Broun was appointed City Attorney, Miss Jane Hicks as City Clerk, Robert Blacow City Treasurer and Frank Madruga as Fire Chief. Louis J. Kroeger and Associate was chosen to set up a caretaker government.

Other headline news included announcements about the post offices. Residents were told that addresses would not change until the Post Office Department acted. Centerville Postmaster Manuel Lewis was instructed to send the councilsÕ request to change the name of CentervilleÕs post office to Fremont.

Another headline was about the coming election to approve bonds to increase the size of Washington Township Hospital from 50 to 150 beds. The hospital was under construction at this time.

Dark headlines noted that no decision had been reached by the County Committee on School District Organization. The committee had called the hearing in answer to petitions from residents to study school unification. Centerville Superintendant Tom Maloney reported that confusion and disharmony was all that was accomplished.

Residents were asked to Òturn on porch lightsÓ January 31 when mothers would call on homes to donate to help defeat polio.

Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company announced a new telephone district for Southern Alameda County.

Highway Patrolman Joseph ÒDuffyÓ Lewis caught two boys with a stolen car near Warm Springs. The car was out of gas.

Page three had a photo of General John C. Fremont with a comment that his name had been Òchosen for the new city.Ó It was noted that Òthe name could be changed later if public opinion demands.Ó

Page six featured a photo of a Òmud-proofÓ vehicle, operated by the Fudenna Brothers, for harvesting cauliflower. It was originally an army truck that had been converted. Rain had made it almost impossible to use tractors in the wet season.

A Union City steering committee met to discuss Òthe future of Alvarado and Decoto. They considered incorporating the two communities to form Union City, annexing to Hayward or joining the new City of Fremont. No decision was reached at this time.
Roland Bendel of Decoto kept the weather readings. He reported that the rainfall to date was about 17 inches. Local ranchers were meeting to discuss a flood control project. The combination of high tides and rain closed the Dumbarton Bridge for an hour. Donations were sought for flood victims of Washington Township.

Social events included an invitation from the Garden Club for residents to attend their meeting at Glenmoor School. Kraftile workers paused to observe C. W. ÒChuckÓ KraftÕs 20th year as company president. Washington High seniors planned their annual senior night. The Warm Springs WomenÕs Club held their dinner party. The Township Business and Professional women put on a fashion show. The public was invited to an open house and ceramic demonstration by Sue Silva at the Clay House. Dances were advertised by the Warm Springs S.P.R.S.I. and the Newark C. A. M. Club. Officers were elected at the Humpty Dumpty Play School. The Newark Rec Department sponsored a Yo-Yo contest.

Advertisements were interesting. Safeway advertised iceberg lettuce at Ò2 large heads for 19 cents,Ó and beef ribs at 29 cents per pound. The Red and White Food Stores had red delicious apples at 3 lbs. for 25 cents at both the Niles and Warm Springs stores. Cloverdale Creamery featured local milk and home delivery. M & R Thrift Market in Niles was the only grocery listed in the Washington Township Business Directory.

Car ads included Central Chevrolet Co., Edgren Motor Co. and Joe Adams Ford.
Ladies clothes were offered by Mildreds in Centerville, Fays in Newark, and MenÕs Wear was available at JosephÕs Clothing in Centerville. The Washington Township Business Directory listed over 100 separate business establishments. Business apparel appeared to be flourishing in the township.

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