For Historic Trenton’s Day in the Life, we’re looking back through newspapers from the beginning and examining everyday problems, solutions, and needs during historic Trenton’s past. Today, we return to May 5, 1909 when Mayor Walter Madden questioned the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Traction Company; one of the railroads that ran through Trenton during the early 1900’s.

The railroad also supplied the trolley cars that populated Trenton Streets during this era. According to the Trenton Evening Times, the mayor was revoking the licenses of the cars run by the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Traction Company to get them to comply with the reestablishment of a five-cent fare to Yardley, PA. The hope was to end the dispute between the City of Trenton and the railroad company.

At Cadwalader Park, the first cornerstone of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument was laid. It came after 18 years of petitioning from the Mercer County Soldiers and Sailors Monument Association. The statue was to honor the soldiers lost during the Civil War, or as the Trenton Times called it, the rebellion. It was the 47th anniversary of the Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia, a notable Union victory where many Mercer County soldiers fought, and several Trenton men gave up their lives. The principal speaker at the event was general James Fowler Rusling. Today marks the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Williamsburg. 

According to The Historical Marker Database, native Trentonian Frank Palmer Price was the model depicted as the soldier on the statue. Price served two tours during the Spanish-American War in the Fife, Drum, and Bugle Corps. Molds of him were then sold across the country to be used in statues and memorials.

Henry C Kelsey was making headlines as he declined the appointment to the Board of Directors of the Industrial arts school. The school provided night classes to factory workers, and the positions were given to him by Governor Fort after the registration of Karl G Roebling. Following the death of his wife, Kelsey started donating large sums of money to his wife’s church and the hospital where she died.

Kelsey had no previous connection to the School of Industrial Arts but still donated a building to the school.  Kelsey declined the offer due to the time he would spend in Europe. “As usual, I shall go to Europe this year’ he said. ‘Being away several months, I think there should be men on the board who will be on hand to look after the school’s best interests.”

Lastly, The Trenton Evening Times was celebrating an opportunity given to one of their reporters from Common Council, what would be known as City Council today. The City Hall reporter Harry D Conover had his articles placed on the cornerstone of the new city hall. The resolution was brought forward by Councilman William W Large of the First Ward. It read, “Whereas, the Trenton Evening Times has published a series of articles on the government of this city which has presented a complete form of the history and method of operation of each department.”

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