This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of August 5

2022-08-05 TWIR Image-St Paul Church
2022-08-05 TWIR Image-Rev Potter

August 3, 1872 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

[Images: Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, undated (top), courtesy of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church; Rt. Rev. Horatio Potter, Bishop of NY (bottom), WikiCommon.]
       Bishop Potter will lay the corner-stone of St. Paul’s Church, Spring Valley, on Monday, Aug. 5, at 11:30 a.m. Addresses are expected from the Rev. Dr. Haight, of Trinity Parish, New York, and Rev. Dr. Seymour, of the General Theological Seminary, N.Y. The public are cordially invited to be present.

       The body of a man was found floating in the river about one mile below Nyack dock, and was towed to the shore by Joseph Vervalen. Coroner J.J. Stephens was summoned and held an inquest, on Wednesday, the 31st of July. No marks were found which indicated violence before death.
       The height of the man was about five feet and ten inches. The hair was black with sandy goatee. Had on a pair of button-gaiters and pantaloons only. From his looks was judged to be a German or Greek sailor. Seems to have been in the water about ten or twelve days, and his age was probably from thirty-five to forty years. On his left forearm was tattooed the German crescent, three times repeated, also the figure of a dancing girl in Turkish costume.

August 3, 1932 90 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       The new quarter-dollars placed in circulation Monday are issued in commemoration of the bicentennial anniversary of Washington. Unlike other special issues, however, they will not become collectors’ items. No limit was placed on the printing of the new pieces by the Act of March 4, 1931, and they were expected eventually to replace the quarter-dollars now in circulation.
       The Nyack National Bank and Trust Company had a supply on hand Monday and to all customers a new quarter was given for each old one.

August 4, 1972 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       The 345 customers of the Girl Friday Telephone Answering Service, 49 S. Main St., Spring Valley, have missed the cheerful voices of all those regular Girl Fridays.
       The 19 operators (18 women and one man), all members of Local 780, United Telephone Answering and Communications Service, have been on strike for higher wages since Wednesday.
       They said Thursday that a new contract was supposed to have been signed in April but that it had been “in limbo” since then and that they had finally decided the only way they could get action was by walking out.
       No one would say how much more money they are seeking. This is a matter for negotiation, they said.
       But the strikers pointed out that the average wage for operators for answering services in New York City for the same work is $2.55 an hour. The Spring Valley Girl Fridays said none of them are paid that much.
       Starting pay for the Spring Valley service is $1.85 an hour, the state minimum wage. The pay scale increases with length of service but the rate of increase is only 6 cents more an hour than it was two years ago, when the employees received their last raise, the strikers said.
       Mrs. Florence Nickels, who works the midnight to 7 a.m. shift, has been with the service almost three years. A widow with a son to support, she is paid $2.02 an hour and her take-home pay comes to $68 a week, she said.
       The strikers admitted they get time and a half for holidays when they are “on the board” and are paid for holidays they do not work. But they must work the day before a holiday and the day after, and must not be “a minute late,” to be paid. They are given a week’s vacation.
       Mrs. Jennings claimed they are “paid less than the garbagemen we dispatch. They make $4.55 an hour and earn enough to be able to ride around in Cadillacs.”
       Mrs. Betty Amann is another mother of seven children and has been with the service nearly two years. She said that when they had asked Kenneth Iscol, owner of the service, for the same pay answering service operators in New York receive, they were told that they didn’t need as much because it cost less to live in Rockland and Westchester.
       The Spring Valley service is one of five Iscol owns. The others, known as the Dilene Telephone Answering Services, are located in Yonkers, New Rochelle, Washington Heights and Port Chester, the strikers stated.
       The strikers said they understood that Iscol had offered to pay employees from Office Help Temporaries $4 an hour.
       “When the girls discovered that it was not a new service and that we were on strike they walked out,” the strikers said.
       All of the strikers claimed they “loved” their jobs. Mrs. Nickels and Mrs. Amann explained that among the service’s customers are the American Red Cross, the Pearl River Ambulance Corps, Save-a-Life and many doctors.
       The Girl Fridays also claimed they had been responsible for saving many lives.
       Mrs. Rooney said that when calls for a doctor or an ambulance came in stating that someone was bleeding badly, they had to know enough first aid to tell the caller how to stop the bleeding until the doctor or the ambulance could get to the scene.
       Mrs. Nickels told of a woman who had taken an overdose of sleeping pills. The answering service dispatched police and an ambulance to the woman’s house and saved her life. Mrs. Jennings said they had kept mentally depressed people from committing suicide by keeping them talking until help could be obtained.

       BULLETIN A strike by Girl Friday Telephone Answering Service employee was reportedly settled this morning. Details were not available at press time.

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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