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North Pinellas History | A look back

North Pinellas History: 'S-Men' start their labor as traffic police in 1938

Ship arrives with fish ... or dancers: A steam-powered vessel pulls up to the public dock at the foot of Cleveland Street in downtown Clearwater circa 1910. The pavilion on the dock contained a fish house on the first floor and a dance and meeting hall on the second floor.

Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders

Ship arrives with fish ... or dancers: A steam-powered vessel pulls up to the public dock at the foot of Cleveland Street in downtown Clearwater circa 1910. The pavilion on the dock contained a fish house on the first floor and a dance and meeting hall on the second floor.

CLEARWATER — Ross B. Norton's "S-Men," a secret committee in charge of reporting traffic violations by drivers and pedestrians to a central headquarters, were ready to assume their duties today. Norton, chairman of the new Citizens Safety League, is the only person who knows the names of the "S-Men," who do not even know each other.

The "S-Men" will receive no compensation and the information they gather will not be immediately available to police. They will report the names of violators or their automobile license numbers at headquarters, telephone No. 2545, and letters pointing out the form of the violations will then be sent to the traffic wrongdoers and their future cooperation asked.

The league, organized on the suggestion of Mayor L.A. Marsh, has an advisory committee of Police Chief Joe Russell, Fire Chief Luke Martin, Dr. R.H. Center of Clearwater Safety Council and Hal Van Diver of Clearwater Motor Club. The league has assumed responsibilities of the council in an accident-reduction program; the council is to confine its work principally to prevention of misfortunes to bathers on Clearwater Beach. Only in the case of "habitual violators" will information be made available to police.

In other news, police heard from J.B. Chisholm, 911 N Fort Harrison Ave., yesterday that a pair of trousers containing a $5 bill and his spectacles were stolen from his home the night before. It was the second bedroom robbery of the winter season.

The city has not experienced this season a recurrence of the many bedroom robberies of last season, but several store thefts have been reported.

March 31, 1949

Merci train relics sought for park

CLEARWATER — Priceless relics brought to Florida last month aboard the French "merci train" may be housed in Pinellas County's new Philippe Park if plans formulated by Clearwater American Legionnaires materialize.

According to Robert Beauchamp, chef de gare of the local voiture of the Forty and Eight Society, Clearwater veterans will bid for permanent custody of the relics at the district American Legion conference in Sarasota next month.

Some of the relics sought by Clearwater Legionnaires, said Beauchamp, date back to the era of Dr. Odet Philippe, for whom the new county park is named.

March 21, 1938

Winnebago Indian chief gives lecture

DUNEDIN — Guests at Borgs Trailer Park heard a lecture Saturday night at the park community hall by Chief Yellow Thunder, full-blooded Winnebago Indian. Chief Yellow Thunder also was guest speaker at the morning service at Dunedin Baptist Church.

March 30, 1938

Air Mail Week to be observed

CLEARWATER — National air mail week, May 15 to 21, may be used by Clearwater as one more stepping stone toward establishment of a regular air mail service stop for planes here.

The chamber of commerce, through Secretary Fred J. Lee and an advertising committee headed by Ross B. Norton, plans to have a small airplane landing at the only partially developed municipal field in Belmont, or a seaplane landing at the municipal pier, pick up air mail here on one occasion during the week. Letters taken on that plane will be stamped with an original mark, making them valuable for stamp collectors.

The stunt and statistics showing the volume of stamps for air mail letters and packages purchased at the Clearwater post office should hasten establishment of a regular air mail stop here. Lee said that the Belmont field could be put in shape to handle the smaller mail planes that might land here.

>>Looking back

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A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times

North Pinellas History: 'S-Men' start their labor as traffic police in 1938 03/18/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 5:47pm]
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