Story Night: Sterling Krout

A newspaper boy’s view of Emigsville in 1942

My name is Sterling Krout and I only lived in this little village 12 years and I would like to talk about those 12 years that were so good to me. I can’t believe that there is a better place to spend your youth than in Emigsville. I would like to call what I am saying the good ol’ days.

111508sterlingkrout.jpgThe Krout family moved from Abbottstown to Manchester to Emigsville in 1942. My mother was Purden? And my father was Albert and there were five children, Geraldine, who is here this evening, brother Wayne and brother Ken and myself and brother Gary.

It was very, very nice coming to Emigsville because in 1942 dad went to an auction to buy a house on Main Street (North George Street) and I was with him that day. It was a two story house, it had four bedrooms, it had a bath, and running water. Dad had $2,500 in his pocket.

Well the bidding didn’t last longer than 10 minutes and dad was off the bidding already, but there was a man standing right next to dad and he whispered to him and to this day I have no idea who that man was, but he said, “Albert if you want the house, I will give you the money for the rest of the house above the $2500. Well, the house went for $4000 and dad bought the house.

At that point, I was just so excited because now we were going into a house that I had my own bedroom, we had running water, we had a bathtub and in Manchester we didn’t have any of those things. And inside plumbing…in 1942 there was a lot of outdoor plumbing still available.

And then I heard a comment from the back of the crowd and a man said, “That man must be crazy for paying $4000 for a house”

We moved into the house and it was next to Beulah and Bill Dittenhafer. a family of two that certainly didn’t need a family of seven right next to them, but we tried to stay off of Beulah and Bill’s lawn and we became really good friends to that family.

I remember coming from Manchester to Emigsville in a sheep truck and a Model T Ford and we moved into this house and we had a few wooden beds and mattresses and a few chests of drawers a breakfest set with six odd chairs and a washing machine and a refrigerator and kitchen assesories and hand-me-downs from whomever gave them to you. And that was what we moved to Emigsville with, but that was OK with me. There were no jeans, no sneakers and no sun glasses. This was just the necessary things we had when we came to Emigsville.

Geraldine went on to High School, bother Wayne worked for dad as a mechanic in Emigsville in the middle of town. Ken was my mentor and historian in the family, he is the one I looked up to all the time. He loved story night and god bless him he would be here today. He would love to hear what I was about to say.

Gary and I were 10 and 13 and we became the newspaper boys so now you are down to how the newspaper boys saw Emigsville.

Newspapers were used for everything

We were out of bed at 5 o’clock in the morning to bring the newspapers to everyone in fear of walking the streets at 5 Gary will tell you a few that he had. I didn’t even think of fear at that time, but nevertheless it was dark it was 5 o’clock in the morning, no street lights, no sidewalks, no cars. Actually the road was 22 feet across, from North York to Emigsville not much for cars to pass.

Every morning six days a week we would wait for the truck to bring the papers from York that were delivered to Emigsville, Manchester, Mount Wolf and I guess York Haven. It was a precious cargo it could not get wet. There were 90 newspapers brother Gary and I had to deliver every morning and we were happy to do that.

I wasn’t aware that we were bringing the news of the world to Emigsville because everyone relied on the newspaper and the guys that were going to work in York they wanted their newspaper early and they wanted to read it before they went to work.

The newspaper to brother Gary and I were special because the newspaper went between the screen door and the regular door. The first thing you learned was that you did not slam the screen door at 5 O’clock in the morning. (laughing from audience) If you did you can bet someone would tell dad and dad would be right back to you.

The newspapers were used for everything…sometimes you shared them with the person next door. Can anybody help me with the price of the newspaper? (Voice from audience) Five cents. 

I started to think about it. The newspaper was used for everything. Geraldine will tell me for sure. Mom lined the cupboards with newspaper. Newspapers were put in your peach basket, to put the things up in the attic. Mom used the newspapers in the pantry because when she had the canned items and the peaches and vegetables, you would put them on the newspaper with that date on it and then those were the ones that you would use first, the oldest date. 

Mom would wash up the linoleum floor and then she would put newspaper on the floor after it was washed. It was just a ritual that everybody did. It kept the floor clean a day or two longer and then you would pick it up and so on.

NEXT: The properties of Emigsville

 Story night on October 28, 2008 at St. Marks Lutheran Church. Please comment and add corrections and additions to the comment section below this post. 

4 Responses to Story Night: Sterling Krout

  1. Avatar Mae Duncan
    Mae Duncan says:

    The neighbors were Beulah and Bill Dittenhafer.

  2. Uncle Sterl,

    This was such an interesting thing to read! I never knew the story about someone giving Pap the rest of the money for the house! That is amazing.

    Hope you’re doing well.


  3. Avatar Jeremie Thomas
    Jeremie Thomas says:

    Uncle Sterl,

    I agree! Thank you very much for sharing this.

    I’ve actually been to the old place in Manchester, behind what was the pharmacy on George Street – before it was developed. Grandpa took me there – I guess I was 11 or 12. I was surprised there was so much of it left – most of the house, the pump outside, even the stairs. He told me how Mem used to give you guys mint tea in your bottles because milk was a little too expensive.

    Good to know you’re well 🙂


  4. Avatar Richard Krout
    Richard Krout says:

    We just found the Story & love it–
    Why didn’t you let us know you were so a good story teller?
    I tried to copy it to show Marie but couldn’t print it out.
    Hope you & family all have a Happy New Year.
    Must check the others out now too.
    Thanks so much.
    Sarah & Dick