Maplewood History: Billy Jones Unadorned


Well, it is not the actual Maplewood memoirist Billy Jones who is unadorned here.  It is his latest story which he has been kind enough to send to us.  It is unadorned with photos because I can’t think of any that may relate that you haven’t already seen.

After you’ve read the story I’ll provide a few links to the buildings he has mentioned. I hope you are not too disappointed by the misleading title.  I got your attention, didn’t I?  If I can’t outclick Miner’s stories with that title, I don’t know what else to try.

Thanks again to Bill Jones for his excellent recollections.  And don’t forget…they’re typed by his wife, Barb.

Life in Maplewood 1937

When our family moved from Roseland Terrace to 7428 Zephyr in Maplewood, my uncle found my $25 gold piece under my bed leg wrapped in adhesive tape. My grandpa had given one to each of our family when he returned from Colorado in 1931.  All my family had turned theirs in when Mr. Roosevelt ordered that. I couldn’t find mine and my sister said I was in trouble with Roosevelt.  Daddy walked me down to our only Maplewood bank, The Bank of Maplewood at Sutton and Manchester.  He was friends with the President, Mr. Hellwege. Mr. Hellwege opened my account, “Billy Jones, Jr.” and gave me my own passbook.  When I took my buddy to the bank three months later, I asked Mr. Hellwege if I could see my $25. He had a teller bring out $25 in one dollar bills and I counted them out. The teller asked if I wanted to make a deposit and I told her I just wished to touch my own money and handed it back.  Mr. Hellwege laughed and shook my hand.  (He told this story at the town council meeting.)

When I was twelve, I worked at Harper’s Drugs as a soda jerk and delivery boy.  Each day Mr. Harper would give me a locked leather pouch and I would walk it to the Bank of Maplewood and the cashier would make a deposit of the contents.

In my closet in our new house was a bolted attic room. When we opened it, we found many thick Caruso platters. We tried them on our record player but couldn’t understand them. My Cub Scout leader asked us if we had any record platters at home and told us we could make them into Mothers Day gifts. I brought her several and she used tongs and dipped them into boiling water and, after they cooled, folded them into a triangle-shaped vase. She used the center holes and hung them on the wall so we each could take our newly painted wall vases to our mom’s for a Mothers Day gift.  I brought the whole bunch of records to Cub Scouts so there was one for each of them. I painted Mom’s yellow and she loved it. My sister, the next year, told me the Caruso records were worth $3 apiece to music people! They really sounded bad when we played them so I was glad the Cubs had made vases out of them

One Saturday, my dad and sister went to Kiel Opera House where the Globe Democrat had lots of symphonic records for sale for 89 cents. They brought them home and I was excited. Our Magnavox played them beautifully. My favorite was Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony but my little brother complained to Mom when I played it daily. My little brother called in the “unfurnished” symphony. Years later, in Junior High, my teacher gave me the lyrics and I sang it in it’s entirety often. I still occasionally sing “Song of Love” for my own gratification and pleasure and for many nursing and retirement homes–my “unfurnished” Shubert’s Eighth Symphony.

Will Jones

That’s another great one Will, Bill, Billy.  Here are a couple of links to posts about the Maplewood Bank and the Harper’s Pharmacy.  Each of these links should link you to more posts about those two subjects.

The Maplewood Bank

The Harper’s Pharmacy




    • Jan, if by the bank sign you mean the piece of stone that has the word “BANK”carved into it, Luke Havel has been in contact with the person who owns that at present. I would like to see it repatriated to Maplewood and displayed in a prominent place. More on this later.


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