Women ill after city hall lunch in 1949

June 27th, 2015 1:28 am

First Posted: 1/20/2013


In 1969, Miner's Bank in Pittston announced it was doing something for the first time in local banking history, what was it?

1949 – 64 Years Ago

Blame it on the kippered fish was the consensus of four city women who suffered from ptomaine poisoning after an enjoyable meal in the lunchroom at Pittston City Hall.

City health officer Mrs. Thomas Newcomb, clerk Margaret Sheridan, superintendent of schools Elizabeth Battle and clerk to the city schools Helen McQueen all became seriously ill after eating the fish bought at a local store. The mayor's secretary Rita O'Brien, treasurer's clerk Ann Danko and Frances Krisosky of the city clerk's office also enjoyed the lunch but did not partake of the suspect fish.

The store at which the canned fish was purchased was notified and the product removed from the shelves.

According to dictionary.com, the definition of kippered is split, salted and smoked - process used as a preservative measure.

The paper found it newsworthy to report that the February Criminal Court cases for the city numbered only one, leaving residents to contemplate if the police department was becoming more efficient or the people of Pittston becoming more law abiding. A property dispute between the Warricks and McCools was a civil case that would also be addressed in that year.

Three Jenkins Township students won prizes in the Junior Chamber of Commerce Essay Contest with the subject of Improving My Community. Erma Musto, of Yatesville, won the first prize of $5 credit at J.C. Penney. Second-place winner Frank Zielinski, of Sebastopol, won a $5 credit slip for Kizis and Latonick and Marilyn Dillon, of Port Griffith, won third with a set of tickets to the movies and a credit slip for an after-show treat in a sweet shop.

1959 – 54 Years Ago

Each high school in the Greater Pittston Area had a student correspondent reporting school news to the Sunday Dispatch. They were as follows: Barbara Balconis, Pittston; Beth Pettengill, Avoca; Regina Mattei, Exeter; Carol Gillow, Duryea; Lynne Dente, West Pittston; Sylvia Ostroski, Moosic; Diane Kendzor, West Wyoming; Helen Gayz, Hughestown; Barbara Barnak, Dupont; Gloria Zaluder, Saint John's; Barbara Weiksner, Jenkins Twp; Lucille Carpenter, Wyoming; and Nancy Lee Oliver, Pittston Twp.

Mrs. James Cosgrove, chairperson of the March of Dimes Mother's March, met with fellow committee members Mrs. George Nagy, Mrs. Sabatina Battisti, Mrs. Leo Scoda, Mrs. Ky Levin, and Mrs. Anthony Narvid to plan the local event. The first national Mother's March was introduced in 1950. In 1952, Dr. Virginia Apgar. developed the Apgar Score, a clinical system of evaluating the physical condition of newborns at birth. Dr. Apgar joined the March of Dimes fight against polio in 1959.

Installation ceremonies of Rainbow for Girls were held at the Daughters of the American Revolution Hall in West Pittston. The girls, dressed in white, were Lois Detato, Janice Mandicott, Mary Mammarella, Judy Martin, Bonnie Bechtold, Jeanne Testa Sharon Todd, Marjorie Jenkins, Joanne Nelson, Elaine Smiles, Barbara Pursell, Mary Jane Kunigiel, Grace Jones, Mary Ann Carpenter, Nancy Emminger and Marion Semanski. The group was headed by worthy advisor Mrs. Alma Smiles and mother advisor Barbara Perfetto. According to the website gorainbow.org, In 1922, Rainbow was created for young women whose fathers were members of the Masonic Lodge and their friends. Today, the website notes, The leaders of Rainbow Girls respect and welcome all girls from every religion.

A rib-end pork roast at Detato's Supermarket in Pittston sold for 33 cents per pound. Sam Maira Style Creators on Main Street in Pittston sold men's suits for $30 and Perry Como sweaters for $6.95. Barton's Furniture on South Main offered hotel type mattresses and box springs from $44.95 each. Mary Pirella's Beauty Shop on LaGrange Street in Pittston advertised a perm for $5 with wash cut and set.

1969 – 44 Years Ago

Duryea Serviceman Petty Office Robert Starzec was one of 314 soldiers injured when an explosion rocked the U.S.S. Enterprise while docked in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Twenty-seven people were killed when a rocket that was loaded on an F-4 Phantom jet overheated due to the exhaust from another vehicle.

The rocket blew up, setting off a chain reaction of explosions. The Enterprise was repaired and returned to action later in the year.

The Pittston Area School District purchased a 3M microfilm reader printer. The machine would allow students to obtain a print from the library's microfilm collection in three seconds.

According to www.ucla.edu, John Benjamin Dancer, an English scientist, known as the Father of Microphotography, began to experiment with and manufacture microproduced novelty texts as early as 1839.

1979 – 34 Years Ago

Theresa Guide, of Suscon, became a finalist in the national sewing competition Make It With Wool that was to be held in Las Vegas, NV.

Taking first place in Pennsylvania, Theresa was set to compete with other state finalists for a fashion trip to a destination that would be announced.

Her winning entry was a gray reefer coat with a button out tan and gray plan lining with matching scarf. According to the website histclo.com, the modern reefer jacket was modeled after the nautical pea coat. Women adopted a more stylish form of the coat in the 1920s.

The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, Who do you like in the Super Bowl?

John Callaio, of Pittston, answered, Pittsburgh is a touchdown better.

Joe Ciampi, of West Pittston, added, Pittsburgh, they're all defense.

Mrs. Jean Elko stated, The final score will be 8-0, Dallas.

In Super Bowl XIII, the Steelers defeated the Cowboys by the score of 35–31.

The game was played on January 21, 1979, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, the fifth and last time that the Super Bowl was played in that building.

1989 – 24 Years ago

On January 22, 1959, Joe Stella, a surveyor for the Pennsylvania Coal Co was spending his first day in the Knox Mine. A few minutes after sharing a sandwich with Myron Thomas in the Pittston vein substation, he found himself in a struggle to survive along with 84 other men.

Seventy-two would make it out of the flooded mine, 12 others would remain entombed forever.

In 1989, upon the 30-year anniversary of the day the Susquehanna River broke through the river slope mine of the Knox Mine Company, Stella, who led a group of men to safety, and Amadeo Pancotti, who received the Carnegie Medal for heroism for his quick action in saving lives, reflected on the events of the day.

In 1982, a memorial committee consisting of Sam DeAlba, Nora Murtha, Jean Mangan, Alfreda Suchocki, Michael Cotter, Jean Talipan and Pep Orlando established a monument at St. Joseph Church, Port Griffith in memory of the Knox victims and to honor all miners.

West Pittston Hose Company announced it would celebrate its 100th anniversary. Chartered on June 3, 1889, the company planned its year-long celebrations, starting with a firemen's parade for the Cherry Blossom Festival, anniversary dinner-dance, open house and memorial services.


The Sunday Dispatch headline read Miners Bank Advances Three Women to Executive Positions. First Time in Local Banking History 3 Female Execs in One Bank.

Salvatore C. Battisti, vice president, treasurer and trust officer of the Miners Savings Bank of Pittston, announced that Anne Davala Adamchak had been named assistant treasurer, Dupont branch; Sylvia Ash, of West Pittston, was named assistant treasurer mortgage and loan; and Jean Smalanski, of Pittston, was named assistant secretary.

The wise man in the storm prays God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1833