Montgomery County Rapid Transit Company

“Wogglebug” Trolley from Norristown to Harleysville

through Worcester Township


Excerpts from the “Montgomery Transcript”

23 Jun 1905 – Dr. Kriebel’s auto was struck by a trolley car while crossing the tracks near Trooper on Wednesday.  The Auto was considerably damaged and the Doctor was somewhat injured.  It was a narrow escape.  The top prevented the Doctor from seeing the approach of the car.

5 Jan 1906 – Team Struck By Express Trolley – B R Reiff and John Dunn Injured, Horse instantly Killed, Carriage Wrecked.  (below Eagleville)

8 May 1908 – Someone opened the switch near the creamery at Center Point on Friday and a car coming down the grade at good speed ran into the turnout and broke the trolley pole.  It will be well to remember that tempering with switches is a criminal offense.

tracks on Valley Forge Road looking north

3 Jul 1908 – Mrs. Jacob Detwiler, of Norristown, became the victim of an attack of paralysis Tuesday forenoon while riding on a trolley car near Fairview Village and fell from the car miraculously escaping injury.  At about  1 o’clock, while Mrs. Detwiler was seated in the car of the Montgomery County Rapid Transit Company that had just passed the residence of Charles S Anders, near Fairview Village, she was seen to bend forward and then in a twinkling fell out of the car into the ditch.  The car was stopped and the lady placed on the seat and taken to Center Point where kindly hands carried her into the home of A K Dresher, Dr. Kriebel being absent at the time, Dr. J Newton Hunsberger, of Skippack, was summoned.  He found that the woman was considerably bruised but not seriously injured.  She was however, almost helpless from paralysis which had undoubtedly seized her while in the car and caused her to fall.  Tuesday afternoon Mrs. Detwiler was removed to her home in Jeffersonville and placed under the care of her physician Dr. J R Care.  Late reports say she is resting comfortably.

30 Oct 1908 – The double team belonging to H C Wood of Center Square, on Monday took fright at a passing trolley car at Center Point proceeded to climb up the bank, damaging the heavy wagon.  Neighbors saw Mr. Wood’s predicament and but for their help, things might have turned out worse.  Mr. Wood through the “Transcript” wishes to thank all who came to his assistance.

view north from Zacharias Creek into Center Point – tracks ran behind the Dresher property

23 Apr 1909 – While on their way home from Fairview Village, Sunday, the horse of Mr. and Mrs. Enoch M Heebner took fright at a trolley car and started to run away.  The horse ran as far as Center Point where Mr. Heebner managed to get him stopped.  They then continued their journey homeward.  At Anders’ schoolhouse the horse again became frightened and ran around a corner, upsetting the carriage throwing Mr. and Mrs. Heebner out.  The horse tore out of the harness and ran home not much damage was done.  Mr. and Mrs. Heebner received several bruises.

24 Feb 1911 – A host of men gathered at Wentz’s church last Thursday for the purpose of grading the lot upon which the new trolley station is to stand.  All went to work with a will and by evening the grading was finished and excavation for the foundation competed.  Friday a concrete foundation was made and in a very short time the station will be completed. [Station still stands connected to rear portion of maintenance building at rear of parking lot adjacent to the cemetery (2017)]

10 Nov 1911 – Two young men while riding on the trolley car on Tuesday morning near Anders corner met with a little accident.  They wanted to have a little fun and did have it.  The elbow of one went through the glass.  The conductor told them that it would only cost one dollar for the glass.  The bill was paid and the car went on all the same.

5 Jan 1912 – Some “smart eleck” on Tuesday destroyed the fuse block and took the electric lights from the trolley station at Stump Hall.  This is an offence punishable to fine and imprisonment.

Stump Hall Trolley station beyond Stump Hall School children

26 Apr 1912 – The horse of Paul Propsner, in charge of his son, John Propsner, took fright at a passing trolley car, Friday morning, ran up the bank opposite the residence of John B Godshall and overturned the express wagon, and breaking, both sides of the shaft.  The young driver was thrown out and landed on one shoulder but pluckily held on the reins, preventing the horse from running away.  The car was stopped and conductor Gansert and a number of the passengers went to the assistances of Mr. Propsner and righted his wagon.  It was a fortunate escape from serious accident.

21 Jun 1912 – Calvin Bloom, aged about 48 years, was struck by the trolley car leaving Skippack at 9 o’clock Saturday night, at Cedars, and instantly killed.  The unfortunate man was laying along the tracks in front of the late Daniel Cassel Property, at Cedars, and because of a slight curve near this point, which threw the rays of the strong headlight from the track, the motorman was unable to see him until within two rails and too late to prevent stricken him.  The man layed on the bank with his legs across the rail.  The car ran over his legs and he was rolled a considerable distance, his lower limbs being horribly mangled, his skull was fractured and there were other injuries.  He was almost killed instantly.  The car, which was in charge of motorman Bock and conductor Gansert, was stopped and the crew went to the man’s assistance but their aid was unnecessary.  Word was sent to undertaker Pool who removed the remains to his establishment.  On Sunday the body was taken to Norristown.  Calvin Bloom was a farm hand for three years was employed on the farm of Elias Cassel, in Worcester township.  He was a good workman, but his weakness for strong drink caused to leave his place of employment for days, sometime for a week, at a time.  It was doubtless during one of his periodical debauches that he met his death.  Mr. Bloom came from Bucks county.  A sister, Miss Ida Bloom, is housekeeper at the Mowday home, in Norristown.  He was unmarried.  Coroner Neville made an investigation on Monday and issued a certificate to the effect that Bloom’s death was accidental.

Trolley Car on Skippack Pike heading east

19 Jul 1912 – At noon Wednesday the frame attached to the residence of Arthur C Brunner, Worcester, kitchen caught fire from an overheated stove pipe while dinner was being cooked.  When the 11.40 car from Trooper reached there smoke was pouring out of the roof, door and windows, and the women were carrying water from the pump.  The crew of the car ran with buckets and no doubt their assistance was valuable in subduing the flames.  Neighbors also went to the assistance of the fire fighters.  Men with axes chopped away the burning portions of the roof and what might have been a serious conflagration resulted in a comparatively small loss.

tracks on Valley Forge Road looking north

7 Feb 1913 – The northbound trolley car of the Montgomery Transit company, due at Skippack at 8.40 pm was derailed almost opposite the home of Isaiah S Anders, near Anders Corner, on Tuesday evening, which caused a suspension of traffic for nearly 24 hours.  The car, in charge of Motorman Norman Hess and Conductor Frank Childress, carrying four passengers when almost opposite the home of Isaiah S Anders left the track, the forward end plunging into a four foot embankment to the public road and the rear end going through the fence and when it came to a standstill, was almost directly across the track, the floor of the body resting upon the track.  Several of the passengers were cut by broken glass but all, including the crew, escaped serious injury.  Superintendent Goss says the cause of the accident was a broken flange, and the broken pieces was found lying along the track some distance back of the point where the car left the track.  Sixteen men worked all day Wednesday and until near one o’clock on Thursday morning to replace the car upon the track, cars began running on regular schedule yesterday (Thursday) morning.

Trolley wreck at Anders corner; Valley Forge Road between Woodlyn and Water Street looking north

4 Apr 1913 – The Postmaster’s received notice from the Post Office Department that mail services on the local trolley line will be inaugurated on April 15.  The mail service will extend from Norristown to Harleysville and will serve all intermediate post offices.  There will be three mails in and three out every day, except holidays, when there will be only one mail each way.

4 Mar 1915 – A committee from Wentz’s Congregation is taking up the matter of increased fares with the Trolley company.  The increased fares schedule is said to have interfered with attendance at the church and the committee will endeavor to have the old rate of fare restored.

3 Oct 1918 – The trolley crossing above here has been a source of annoyance to the traveling public for some time, especially to Autoists.  It is said several minor accidents occurred there recently to “Joy Riders,” very early one morning last week someone in a team damaged several wheels of his wagon at this crossing.  No one would have known of the accident had the chickens on the wagon kept quiet.  It is hoped the trolley company will promptly repair this crossing.  A few weeks later it was repaired.

view west on Skippack Pike from Center Point

15 Jul 1920 – Tuesday, Dr. J R Care, of Norristown had an X-Ray pictures taken of Ellsworth Geyer, in order to determine the exact nature of the injuries Mr. Geyer sustained in his recent fall from a cherry tree from the effects of which he has been lying helpless ever since of the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elwood M Geyer.  Electric current for the X-ray was supplied by the Montgomery Transit Co., whose trolley line passes the Geyer residents.  Mr. Geyer’s condition continues critical.  [22 Jul 1920 a correction was made that Dr. H B Shearer was the attending physician and Dr. E G Kriebel assisted]