The Star-Herald

Presque Isle area From our Files – Week of December 8, 2021

75 Years Ago –   Dec. 5, 1946

Former local man honored in Florida — George H. Cooper, former resident of Presque Isle, was honored as the Personality of the Week in an issue of the Redland District News, published in Homestead, Florida.

The article told how Mr. Cooper, soon after his graduation from the University of Maine, arrived in Miami in 1925 to sell real estate just as the Florida land boom was beginning to wane. He and two other boys, in much the same situation, then went to Redlands to try their luck at tomato growing. Twenty acres of tomatoes were planted among and between the pine trees, but just after the second picking along came the memorable hurricane of 1926, blowing them right out of business. Mr. Cooper, determined to stay in the region, kept farming, helping to build the vast industry which then dominated south Florida. He became one of the most prominent farmer-businessman men in the southern state, well known in national farm circles for his work in the interests of the little man in the industry, though he himself farmed large acreage and operated supply houses in Homestead and Princeton, Florida, known as the Glade and Grove Supply Co.

Bank official spoke at Knights’ meeting  — Percy R. Winslow, cashier of the Northern National Bank, was the speaker at a meeting of the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, at their room in the Greenlaw Block. Mr. Winslow gave an interesting talk on the business of banking and the contribution a bank can make to the welfare of the community. He said the Northern National Bank made more agricultural loans than any other bank in New England. New agricultural loans made by the local bank during the previous year totalled more than eight and one half million dollars. The speaker was introduced by Joseph Freeman, Faithful Navigator, who also presided at the business meeting which followed Mr. Winslow’s address.

50 Years Ago –  Dec. 8, 1971

Converse earned a nod — A local firm was honored Friday, Dec. 3, when it received an Employer of the Year award. The presentation was made to Converse Rubber Company during the annual meeting of the Maine Rehabilitation Association in Winthrop. Upon making the award, Robert M. Threlkeld, chairman of the MRA awards and citations committee, Augusta, stated that the Presque Isle division of the company was selected due to their outstanding help in employing Maine’s disabled citizens. Peter F. King, division vice president of the Skyway Industrial Park firm, and Sherman Currie, division personnel manager, were in Winthrop to accept the award. The company was located on the former Presque Isle Air Force Base in 1967 with 20 employees. Employing about 500 individuals, the company operated a five-week orientation and training program for handicapped applicants who formerly received a General Aptitude Test Battery from the Maine Employment Security Commission through the company or the local rehabilitation division.

Hospital received $21,000 — Approximately $21,000 was made available to Arthur R. Gould Memorial Hospital from proceeds of the 24th annual Rotary Radio-TV Auction, held Dec. 1-3. Milton MacBride, chairman of the drive for the Presque Isle Rotary Club, stated that about $8,000 was realized from the sale of merchandise and cash contributions after the expenses had been paid. Another $13,000 was obtained from the sale of 13 Gold Bricks, which he said, was considered a little above average. The money from Gold Bricks was added to the Endowment Fund at the hospital. The money received from the sales of merchandise and cash donations, other than for the Gold Bricks, was used for the purchase of certain equipment in specified departments at the hospital. 

Aroostook 4-H girls at Chicago — Four Aroostook County youths were among the 3,000 young 4-H’ers who attended the 50th Annual National 4-H Congress in Chicago. The four earned the privilege of going to the Chicago convention by winning statewide recognition for excellence in 4-H Club projects. The Aroostook delegates and the projects they excelled in were Nita Garland of East Chapman, dairy foods; Mary Powers of Presque Isle, home management; Dena Winslow of Mapleton, electric; and Ann Guerette of St. David. They were among the 24 delegates from Maine and they were accompanied on their trip by Miss Margaret F. Stevens, youth education specialist for the University of Maine at Orono Extension Service, Extension agent Harold H. Brown of Belfast and Mrs. Evelyn Carr of Portland.

25 Years Ago –  Dec. 4, 1996

Rotary Club reached the goal — Rotarians raised enough money for a portion of the County Dialysis Center, a kidney treatment facility proposed for Presque Isle, during the 49th annual Rotary Radio and Television Auction. Charlie Violette, Rotary co-chairman for the fundraising event, said the support for the auction was  “stupendous” and added a combined $183,000 was raised from the three-day event, making it one of the Rotary’s largest grossing totals in history. Rotarians had set a goal of $125,000 for the dialysis center, but were able to generate more than $153,000 for the special project, far exceeding their expectations. The remaining went towards other Rotary projects such as the Mantle Lake Playground and various scholarships to high school students.

Officers elected — The Maine Veterans Home Volunteer Coordinating Committee elected new officers. Francis Belanger of Caribou was selected as the new president, while Vernon Boyce of Presque Isle was named vice president.

Shaw received a banking award — Tim Shaw, assistant vice president and commercial lender at Katahdin Trust Company, was recognized by the Finance Authority of Maine with the distinguished Dirigo Award for 1996. This award was presented in recognition of his leadership efforts in helping Maine businesses access the necessary financing  to start up, expand and compete more effectively. His efforts are helping to enhance employment opportunities and improve the economic well-being of Maine people. Shaw received the award for the third time in six years. 

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