by Elton (“Pitt”) Bruns – N.B.H.S.-1925

[from “The Towpath” – January 1988]

My first and only paper route was the “Cincinnati Post”.  My competitor at the time was Bill Moeller with the “Cincinnati Times Star”.  Our routes pretty well covered the entire village so that at times, he on one side of the street and I on the other, passed each other’s papers.

Our route began when we picked up our papers at Schulenberg’s “Drug” Store (later Gilberg’s Furniture Store), then the Western Ohio Interurban Station and waiting room.

Our car was the 4:50 which arrived anywhere from 4:50 to 6:00 p.m.  Our route took us west on Monroe to Main, then north on Main to Vogelsang’s (now 22 Knoxville Ave.), then back south on Franklin to Monroe and then west to the White Mountain Creamery, where we stopped for free buttermilk which was always on tap - sometimes ice cream, if the right people were on duty - then back east to Franklin and Main and south to Plum and the Wooden Shoe Brewery ice houses, then home where, if we were not too late with the paper, we sometimes received a free Sarsaparilla.

Then we went south on Washington, past Rabe’s lumber yard & mill, a block past South Street to Oliver Boesel’s and Peter Erb’s, where we were sure to receive a lecture and a hunting story from Pete.  Typically, his feats were capturing or shooting multiple game birds with a single shot, i.e. six pigeons on the same limb.  He took careful aim and split the limb and trapped all birds by their feet.  The next week, it would be similar except he inserted his ramrod in the rifle barrel, took careful aim and impaled all six on the ramrod.

Then back north on Washington and Walnut, past Rabe’s Store, the Arcade, the Kuenzel Mills, the First National Bank and several canal warehouses to Second Street.  Then, east to the last house on Second Street to Arnold (“Fat”) Gieseke’s where Mrs. Gieseke (Elsie, mother of Marjorie Lietz) usually gave us a cookie.  She was such a pretty and nice lady.  It was a pleasure to be near the end of our routes.

It must be remembered that New Bremen in 1917-1919 was much smaller than now, also the number of subscribers was low in proportion to population.  Our combined routes had no more than 60-70 customers.

The winter of 1918 was an especially severe one, with temperatures below zero and very heavy snows.  There was practically no motorized traffic on the streets and no salt was used.  Once down, the snow stayed on a long time so that we were able to load our papers on a sled and sometimes get a pull from a horse-drawn sled or sleigh.  It was a wonderful sensation on a wintry night with the only sounds being dogs barking and sleigh bells jingling, one which I will never forget.

My father, F. W. (“Pitt”) Bruns wrote many articles for the “New Bremen Sun” under the name of “SNURB” (Bruns spelled backward).      …SNURB, II