Board of Public Service
Hicksville Chamber of Commerce
During the early years of Hicksville’s life, the general store held sway. The great growth of the Eighties and Nineties: the rising prosperity of the town and nation brought changes. The old one store type of business gave way and was supplanted by the competitive system—all doing business merely to benefit themselves and often times their pocket book solely. The general public was secondary; their real good was not always given first consideration. These were the days of bargain sales, two-price articles, and driving hard bargains. Due to this system the town lost valuable business. Several fine business enterprises which would have grown into large industries passed Hicksville up for other places where they might receive more help in their beginning. The more enterprising, far-seeing merchants and business men decided that it would be better to all hang together, that they could individually and collectively render better and more efficient service by so organizing and getting together.
Finally in 1919, they met and organized the Chamber of Commerce to put Hicksville forward again in a new, modern way, and make it in reality a town worth while. The one-price-to-all plan, general fair play and many other features were adopted. Not content with those ideals, they branched out into an aggressive campaign for better roads within the township, county, and even more distant parts of the state. Immediately this fine organization took up the case of certain streets in the town itself with the proper authorities and as a result we have a chain of well paved streets. Due to the World War, the train service was poor and becoming poorer. The Chamber of Commerce stated the case to the railroad and by hanging together obtained better B. & O. train service.
They have likewise fostered new industries here and have in some cases given financial aid for a time. A branch of the Bowser Co. of Ft. Wayne opened a plant which gave a steady job to returned war veterans at a time when prices were reaching a peak and employment was scarce. The organization comes together in a social way at the Annual Banquet. The presidents have been Grover Maxwell, Dr. Gauld, and J. O. Longsworth at present. Warren Blakeslee has served as secretary since its founding.
Many questions and problems are yet to be solved: the young man and the lure of the city jobs; the automobile and the city shopper; mail order houses; the growth of nearby cities; shorter Saturday hours for business houses; a new school house and better lights. The Chamber of Commerce has its face to the future; its past is secure. The foundation has been laid; the structure is yet to be completed. It calls for the help of each loyal Hicksville man and woman.
Hicksville Churches —
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