The 1930's

Despite the economic shock of the Great Depression, Geistown officially organized as a borough on March 6, 1930, with thirty acres purchased from Stonycreek Township and the remainder purchased from Richland Township. James J. Ruth was elected the first Burgess. A group of citizens formed a seven-member Borough Council and elected Charles Leventry the first Council President, with Ernest Heinrich the first treasurer and Ralph S. Mowry the first secretary.

After Leventry’s election as Geistown Borough Council President, he oversaw the initial business of running a municipality. The issues the Council first addressed included road maintenance (Oakmont Boulevard was impassible in inclement weather), tax millage (.4 mills or $1.40 on each $100 of valuation, yielding a total of $10,543 from taxes in 1930), signage (to prohibit dumping of refuse near roads and to forbid dogs running free), and the purchase of a vehicle and uniform for the first constable, Anthony Himmer (see “The Police Department”).

Early in the 1930s, Father Baronner decided to organize a club to keep all the young people busy; such was the beginning of the St. Benedict’s Friendship Club. The group met in the original one-room schoolhouse, where the kids had fun tending the pot-belly stove, playing games, and rehearsing a minstrel group that performed all over Johnstown.

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