Old Chester, PA: Addison H. Showalter

An Oscar for Safety; Chester Times photo courtesy of A. Harold Showalter

Addison H. Showalter, Chester superintendent of schools, was honored yesterday when he was given the Keystone Automobile Club's Annual Safety Award for his work in establishing one of the first school safety squads in the United States. At left is Edward P. Curran, safety director at Keystone, who also was in on the ground floor in the school program in Chester back in 1924, and at right is J. Maxwell Smith, president of Keystone Club. Educational, municipal and judicial leaders were guests at the luncheon which was held in Springhaven Country Club. (Chester Times Photo)


Related links:

A biography of Addison H. Showalter

Addison H. Showalter Jr. High School

Chester Schools

Superintendents of Chester Schools

Dewey-Horace Mann School

Founder of the Safety Patrol

Addison Showalter Honored For Safety Contribution
Chester Times
May 27, 1955

Addison H. Showalter, superintendent of Chester public schools, was honored yesterday at a luncheon at the Springhaven Club, when he was given the annual award for outstanding contribution to the highway safety program.

J. Maxwell Smith, president of Keystone Automobile Club, said that his organization has established the award "in recognition to those devoted public servants who labor untiringly in the field of highway safety."

Superintendent Showalter started the safety patrol project in 1922 when he was principal of Dewey-Mann School. Edward A. Curran, now heading the Keystone safety patrol organization, was a teacher in the school at the time.

"From the first patrol at Dewey-Mann School, the movement has spread through Pennsylvania and New Jersey," Smith said. "Keystone now assists some 800 schools in their safety work, equips and helps to train 26,000 'safeties,' who protect 350,000 children daily."

"As president of Keystone it is a distinct honor for me to congratulate and warmly thank the school superintendents, principals, teachers, and children in these schools for their cooperation." Smith continued, "the parents for their understanding and help, and the police, local and state, for their unceasing work in the field of accident prevention."

While Delaware County records are not available, Smith said the Philadelphia record of a decrease of 67% in fatalities of children 14 and under certainly has been matched in this county.

The Philadelphia study shows that in 1929 there were 96 fatalities among children. In 1954 in spite of the great increase in highway traffic, and increased population, the total had dropped to 31.

"We mourn for these 31," Smith said, "but we are happy that the number is not 160 as it might have been."

Accepting the award, a plaque and statuette, superintendent Showalter said that Curran took the Safety Patrol idea from Dewey Mann, refined and broadened it, adding that he is the one that should have this Oscar. "It is my hope that this award will act as an inspiration to school people in general, helping them to realize that this is one job in which we must not let up for a moment."

A bunch of american beauty roses was presented to Mrs. Showalter. The invocation was given by the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Adolph J. Baum, Principal of St. James High School, and the benediction by Rev. J. L. Link, member of Chester School Board.

Among the guests at the head table were mayor Ralph Swarts, County Commissioner Arthur C. Throne, Sheriff Frank A. Snear Jr., District Attorney Raymond R. Start, Edward A. Parry, president of Chester's board, Sgt. Rocco Urella, of the State Police, Ray Gillen, president of Delaware County Highway Safety Council and officers of the Keystone Club. About 75 persons attended the affair.

1 - Thanks to A. Harold Showalter hshowalter@pa.net, son, for sharing this news story.




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2002 John A. Bullock III.

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