Today In Salisbury’s History: Saturday July 11, 1959

Saturday, July 11, 1959 —

  • County jail inmates Herbert A. Wilson, 17, and John W. Trader, 21, attempted to escape this week by rushing a guard and taking his keys. According to Sheriff Samuel A. Graham, the prisoners got through one set of doors before Sheriff’s Deputy Roscoe Purnell was able to shoot Wilson in the arm and end the escape effort. The two inmates were being held on safe-breaking charges. Said Graham: “Sheriff Purnell did a real good job and saved us a whole lot of trouble.”
  • Dale Homan, 10, and his brother, Howard, 12, were the top winners in this July Fourth’s homemade-auto derby held in Salisbury City Park. Howard had held the lead in the event, but then developed brake problems and Dale was able to claim first place. The two Naylor Mill Road youths competed against 16 other entrants. The Junior Chamber of Commerce event was attended by more than 1,500 spectators. Officials said more than 3,000 popsicles were sold and 3,600 sodas were consumed.
  • U.S. Army Maj. Henry L. Gordner of Salisbury and his family have departed the city for a new assignment in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During a three-year stop here in Salisbury, Gordner served as a senior adviser to the Army Reserve. He is a 20-year veteran with service in World War II. Gordner, his wife and two daughters, lived on South Boulevard. 
  • Hurricane Cindy has saved the 1959 summer farm crops. After six weeks of drought, showers came to the aid of Delmarva farmers on Friday as the hurricane passed off the Virginia capes but still dumped a much-needed rainfall on the Peninsula. Three inches of rain was recorded in Salisbury, with one cloud burst dumping 2 inches and a second dropping an inch of rain about an hour later. Many farmers have had strawberry, string bean and cucumber crops cut short because of the drought.
  • A glider pilot who soared 272 miles from Elmira, N.Y., as part of a national competition, put down at the Salisbury-Wicomico Airport to place second in the event. Fritz Compton of Miami, Fla., came within 13 miles of finishing in first place. The winner was Dick Johnson, who flew 235 miles to Marragansett, R.I. Salisbury airport officials said Compton’s plane will be taken back to Compton’s home airport on a flatbed truck.
  • The body of 51-year-old W. Clay Larmore of Salisbury was recovered about 100 yards from the Upper Ferry slip. Larmore was a passenger in a car that went overboard at about 3 p.m. Monday afternoon. Police said Larmore had escaped the vehicle, driven by Jack Phillips, 28, of Fruitland, but drowned while trying to swim to the shore. Larmore’s parents live near Upper Ferry and his father, Alfred F. Larmore, operated the ferry for many years.  
  • Trees are being removed all over the property of Peninsula General Hospital so work can begin on a new $2 million wing. Construction, which will begin in two weeks, requires the removal of several historic and large shade trees. The wing will add another 100 beds to the hospital. The original hospital building was constructed in 1902 with the North Wing added in 1940.
  • Paul J. Butler, 42, of Vincent Street, was listed in satisfactory condition at University Hospital in Baltimore after undergoing heart surgery. Two noted heart surgeons operated on Butler’s mitral valve in a 90-minute procedure, said his wife, Virginia Butler. The Salisbury man, who works in the Composing Room of the Salisbury Times, has previously suffered several heart attacks.
  • Two tractor-trailers collided on South Salisbury Boulevard at the North Boulevard intersection. Police said one of the trucks was overweight with a load of livestock. The load apparently shifted as the driver was approaching a redlight, and the brakes failed to prevent  a collision. 
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