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Halloween Hijinx: Montgomery Township Law Enforcement Recalls Tales of the Past

By Jessie Havens | October 17, 2022


Back in the days before Halloween became a candy carnival and schools held costume parades, Montgomery was still rural and there was no knowing what that night might portend.


Ingenious and enterprising youth regarded it as an invitation to pour their energies into deviltry. Every 16-year-old farm boy had his drivers license, dad’s pickup was transport for the minions of mischief, and dirt roads beckoned them to dare.

Vintage Halloween Postcard: Whitney Boys Rob Fence / By George C. Whitney (In the public domain).


No mayhem mind, but mighty challenging for Montgomery’s two-man police force and the part-time special officers who backed them up. At least that is what old-timers’ tall tales would have us believe.


To get the straight scoop, Van Harlingen Historical Society has recruited a panel of men who were the first responders to anguished calls from victims of those long-ago nights of fun and games.


Leading off will be Ken Chrusz, who was half of Montgomery Township's two-man constabulary. Backing him up will be special officers Eric Perkins and Fred Loeser. Retired Chief Tom Wain, who worked his way up from patrolman to top man, will have the long view to offer — and to keep order if audience participation grows too lively. Mayor Don Matthews, who was a farm boy himself back when, has also been invited but was unable to say for sure at press time.


This special treat of reminiscences on Saturday, October 22, 2 pm is free and open to the public. Parking is ample, but seating is limited. At the last program every seat was taken. No RSVP necessary.


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Questions? Email library@vanharlingen.org. Program of the Van Harlingen Historical Society. More at: vanharlingen.org. There is no charge for this program. Walk-ins are welcome.



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