Jenkintown Improvement Association, Inc., records
Held at: Old York Road Historical Society [Contact Us]
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Old York Road Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Jenkintown Improvement Association, Inc. was founded in 1909. Its purpose as given in its 1976 By-Laws were "to initiate, encourage and assist in activities within the Borough of Jenkintown…for the benefit, betterment, advancement and improvement of the community; to operate, manage and expend such funds received directly or as Trustee by voluntary contribution or otherwise as a result of such activities; to cooperate and assist the Borough authorities in forwarding movements of improvement for the community and its residents and to secure faithful performance by employees of the Borough of their duties and obligations." The organization appears to have ceased being active after 1980.
The Jenkintown Improvement Association, Inc., records, 1942-1980, consist of materials relating to the activities of the organization as well as minutes and correspondence of various presidents.
The files, 1945-1959, during John R. Neill’s tenure as JIA president, concern the inch worm battle, street lighting improvements, Reading Railroad fare increases and crowded cars, snow removal, and traffic island landscaping. There are separate files on JIA’s efforts to erect a World War II memorial, 1947-1952, with correspondence, responses to an opinion poll, clippings and lists of men inducted by the Jenkintown Selective Service Board, 1952-1957. Additional files relate to protests on building a parking lot on a portion of the Schwem Estate (at Old York Road and Rydal Road), 1954, the David Darcy death sentence commutation, 1956-1957, and the Medoff Apartments construction (Runnymede Avenue and West Avenue), 1959. Neill’s files continue through the presidencies of Floyd W. Tompkins, 1960, and Willard E. Ficktorn, 1963-1970. They cover snow removal, traffic, zoning (including Beaver College expansion plans), and other community issues. Neill’s records also includes information on Annual Meeting arrangements, 1949-1971.
Records, 1975-1980, are notes, agenda, and minutes of the Directors’ meetings. Subjects touched on are the maintenance of traffic islands and Borough benches for which the Association was responsible. It sponsored a Spring junk pickup and hosted an annual members meeting and party. At various times, the Directors were concerned with establishing a neighborhood watch and continuing development and zoning issues. There is a separate file with a small amount of information on the Jenkintown High School Student Loan Fund, established by the Association in 1926, that provided small loans to college bound students and was managed by a separate committee of trustees. Another small file concerns the Business District Study Liaison Committee, 1980 (resulting in the Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown Planning Study, “A New Main Street for Jenkintown,”).
Presidents of the Jenkintown Improvement Association, Inc. from 1975 to 1980 were Ned D. Taylor, Bedser, Leon Bakalian, and Bruce Marshall.
Among the miscellaneous materials are circulars, donation appeals, and other mailings from associated organizations and clippings.
Box 1 By-Laws, Articles of Incorporation, tax exemption records. John Neill files, 1942-1960, including World War II memorial, 1947-1952, Schwem Estate, 1954, the David Darcy death sentence commutation, 1956-1957, and the Medoff Apartments construction, 1959.
Box 2 John Neill files, 1961-1972, 1974
Box 3 John Neill files, Annual Meetings, 1949-1971; Borough Council and School Board minutes, 1969-1970.
Box 4 Bedser, MacKenney, et. al. records, 1975-1980, including Newsletter, 1976-1978, Business District Study Liaison Committee, 1980, Student Loan, Miscellaneous, Other Organizations, Clippings.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2011-2012 as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR), using data provided by the Old York Road Historical Society. The HCI-PSAR project was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was done in the HCI-PSAR project.
- Old York Road Historical Society
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using data provided by the Old York Road Historical Society.
- This preliminary finding aid was created by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) using data provided by the Old York Road Historical Society. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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