Monday, August 5, 2019

Woodrow Wilson Park dedicated in 1924 !! or 1929? Please read

 I want to see how many of you recognize this building which is still standing and what it is today. The building looks the same and is on a major road. A postcard c.1925

Note: I have been doing research on WW1 memorials in Delco for upcoming articles and came across the one from November of 1924. The official Nether Providence Twp. website information on Woodrow Wilson Park and the memorial is directly below, it appears the township has some misinformation. 

Woodrow Wilson Park

Ronaldson St & Allen St
Wallingford, PA 19086
This half-acre pocket park at Ronaldson and Allen Streets in South Media was officially established in 1979 as a memorial for those who served in World War I. The tract was originally presented to the township in 1929 by prominent attorney and township resident A. B. Geary and his family. It offers playground equipment. 
          CHESTER TIMES – November 10, 1924


 Judge Dickinson Speaker at Nether Providence Playground

          “Out of every war there has come a great man,” said Judge O. B. Dickinson of the United States District Court, speaking at the dedication Saturday afternoon of the new playgrounds presented to the Nether Providence Township by A. B. Geary and family.  “As yet the American people have failed to give recognition to the man who so valiantly led our boys to victory, a man who I consider as one of the greatest generals who has ever lived, and that man is no other than General John J. Pershing.  As yet the American people have failed to give the recognition he so rightly deserves.
          Judge Dickinson was the principal speaker at the exercises.
          The park, which bears the name “Woodrow Wilson Park” is located in South Media opposite the South Media School and is to be used as a recreation park by the girls and boys of the township.
          Mr. Geary, in presenting the grounds to the school board and the service men recalled the days back in 1917 when the boys were leaving for the various camps.  It very often became his duty to accompany these men to camp and he made a resolve that he would do something for the boys when they returned and in doing this something he resolved to do a thing which would perpetuate their memory for all time.  When the boys were back he explained this desire to Mrs. Geary and his son and daughter and they expressed themselves as being in perfect accord with his plan to make this remembrance in the form of a recreation park.
          Mrs. Geary then explained the contents of the deed to the property stating that the park was to be used as a recreation park and was to be under the supervision of the school board and the serviced men “because while the service men will be with us for a great many years to come, they must at some time pass away but our school board will be succeeded by another and so on down through the history of the nation there shall always be someone to see that this memory of the boys will be perpetuated.”
          In accepting the playground on behalf of the school board, John C. Hershey, president of that body paid the highest tribute to Mr. Geary and his family for the beautiful thought they had expressed in making the gift and admonished the children of the township to use the park for the purpose intended for by so doing they could carry out the wishes of the doers and at the same time they would be building up their minds and bodies in a manner which would enable them to better cope with the many obstacles that will present themselves in their future lives.
          T. Earle Palmer then made the speech of acceptance on behalf of the service men of the township.  Mr. Palmer brought out the point that the duty of the service men did not end with the signing of the Armistice but stressed the importance of helping to carry out the principles under which this county was founded and of the necessity of ever adhering to the high ideals of the Constitution.
          The closing address was delivered by Judge Dickinson, who took as his topic the poem of Longfellow, “The Village Blacksmith,” explaining that behind the surface of this masterpiece there was a wonderful lesson.  “The poem is symbolic of three things, first, the tree represents this widespread nation, second, the shop is symbolic of the resources of the nation and last and most important, the mighty smithy represented the manpower of the nation.
          “It is by just such places as this playground that this manpower is produced and it was this that made Greece one of the most powerful nations that ever existed, for that nation required that each of its subjects must be physically fit.”
          Speaking further the judge recalled a verse he had recited in his school boy days, the closing lines of which were a testimonial of the faith of the people in the institutions of the nation, that they would survive the unrest that prevailed at that time.  “And so,” said the judge, “I am firmly convinced now as then the country will live on and her institutions will survive any unrest that might prevail now.”
          The ceremony opened with the singing of America by all present, the signing being led by Watson Davis, community song leader of Frankford and who was attached to the Y. M. C. A. during the war.  There was an interesting musical program in which two members of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra took part.  Rev. Edward Reily, pastor of the Wallingford Presbyterian Church offered the opening prayer.
          In the North West corner of the playground is a beautiful granite boulder bearing the inscription, “Woodrow Wilson Park” under which appears the following:  “Erected to the memory of the boys from Nether Providence Township, who served in the World War.”

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