By Muriel J. Smith
One hundred years ago this month, only a small attendance turned out at the citizens’ meeting in the municipal building to learn more about the bill that would incorporate the Borough of Freehold and create a new community in the heart of Freehold Township.
The meeting was organized by William A. Barkalow, who was named chairman of the group, with C.J. Strahan named secretary.
At the sparsely attended session, Judge Rulif V. Lawrence reported the Legislature had
passed a bill to incorporate Freehold Borough with contiguous territory including Texas and
West End roads.
But in order for it to be finally approved, there would have to be a special referendum. The committee decided to hold that special election on Tuesday, July 8, and directed that both the town and the township clerks be directed to make the arrangements and call the election.
In contrast to the small turnout for a meeting that eventually resulted in the incorporation of Freehold Borough as a separate community, more than 1,200 people crowded into the
auditorium and gallery of the Freehold Presbyterian Church to see and hear the semifinals of the Monmouth County public schools musical contest.
A news article noted, “The audience was enthusiastic throughout and gave generous applause to all the performers, and at the close there were class cheers and yells in recognition of the victors.”
The winners, the Freehold High School orchestra and the Keyport High School chorus, earned the right to go on to final competition with the Asbury Park orchestra and chorus.
Also of reading interest on page one of the May 2, 1919, issue of the Freehold Transcript were stories of two local suicides, both by gunshot, a report on the Spring Conference of Sunday Schools, and news that Dr. Harry Ingling, William H. Freeman and Lee T. Ward of the Freehold Golf and Country Club won places in the Spring Amateur Golf Tournament scheduled for later in the season in Lakewood.
And Jacob Zlotkin, whose stables were opposite central station in Freehold, had not one, but two advertisements on the first page of the weekly newspaper for his upcoming cattle sale.
The farmer noted in one ad that there would be 85 dairy cattle on the block, with two auctioneers moving the bidding along.
Zlotkin warned potential buyers that “with 85 head, the auctioneers can’t dwell long at the price.”
In the second ad, Zlotkin warned that “the man who misses this will miss a chance that doesn’t but seldom come.”
This article was prepared by Muriel J. Smith for the Freehold Borough Centennial Committee. Freehold Borough is celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2019.