Sayre businessman profiled in Spring Quarterly

Sayre businessman profiled in Spring QuarterlySidney Glaser and wife Marion are profiled in the Spring issue of the Sayre Historical Society Quarterly history magazine. (Mollie Caplan Collection)

A leading figure in Sayre’s business community for over 40 years is featured in the Spring issue of the Sayre Historical Society Quarterly. Sidney Glaser, proprietor of Glaser’s Rexall on W. Packer Avenue, was a Sayre High School graduate who served in the U.S. Navy during World War I, studied engineering at Cornell University and served on the Sayre School Board for many years, according to the 1974 issue of the Sayre Evening Times.

   Other items in the latest issue are the 1946 Testimonial Dinner for long-time Sayre Superintendent L.E. DeLaney, a story on Albert Flynn, master painter for the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Sayre and a well-known local musician, the preservation grant for a series of photographs and letters from Joseph J. Bottone of South Waverly, and a large two-page photograph of LV steam locomotive  No. 5127 beneath the Sayre foot bridge

Sayre businessman profiled in Spring Quarterly
Sidney Glaser and wife Marion are profiled in the Spring issue of the Sayre Historical Society Quarterly history magazine. (Mollie Caplan Collection)

   In the feature story on Mr. Glaser, excerpts from a biography written by his daughter, Mollie Caplan, recounts the early days of the store.

   “Drug stores in the 1920’s were primarily drug stores, but veterinary supplies were an important part of the business, especially medications for farm animals,” she wrote. “Over the years, school supplies and cosmetics became an important part of the business.”

   Caplan said she and her siblings worked in the store as they were growing up.

   “Sid’s children, Joe, Mollie and David all loved working in the drug store when they were old enough and hung out with their friends when they were young,” said Caplan. “You have a lot of friends when your father had a soda fountain.”

   Before Mr. Glaser passed away, he had donated to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. more than 1,000 items from the 1920’s to the 1980’s, according to Caplan’s account. These items included the first penicillin and various patent medicines. Later, his children donated drug store items and papers to a new Drug Store Museum being planned in Indianapolis, Indiana.

   The Sayre Historical Society was the recipient of numerous items from the Glaser family including antique toys, children’s books, games, medicine bottles, family items and photographs.

   Mr. Glaser’s father, Simon, came to the United States from his native Russian Poland at the age of 16, according to the Feb. 20, 1936 Sayre Evening Times.

   After arriving in New York City, he wanted to learn more about the “customs and way of life of America” and left the city and ended up in Bradford County, according to the Feb. 30, 1936 Times account.

   “As a young man, he realized that he would that he would be unable to learn the country and its people in New York, and determined to move to a smaller community and came to Towanda,” stated the article. “There he made his headquarters for many years, while operating as a pack merchant, traveling through the territory. During those years he built his knowledge of the English language and of the American people.”

   The older Mr. Glaser moved to Sayre in the late 1880’s, opening a clothing store and later a loan business, according to the 1936 Times article.

   He and his son, Sidney, formed a partnership in 1918 and opened the drug store.

   The segment on L.E. DeLaney features a program booklet for the May 27, 1946 dinner held in his honor. The cover features a sketch of Mr. DeLaney done by Gene Latini, a member of the Sayre Class of 1946.

   The article on Albert Flynn includes mention of his musical abilities (he played primarily baritone horn and cornet) and his leadership (he was one-time director of the Lehigh Shops band).

   The Lehigh band was organized in 1912 and was composed of employees of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Sayre. The group often performed concerts through the Valley area.

   Flynn was also leader of the newly-formed Waverly Band, according to the June 21, 1912 Waverly Free Press.

   A generous donation of rare photographic views of the Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad in South Waverly resulted in a grant of $100 from the Potomac Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS).

   The photographs, plus additional views of the railroad in Sayre and letters addressed to LVRR president Elisha P. Wilbur, were donated to the Sayre museum by the son of the late Joseph J. Bottone of South Waverly. Mr. Bottone was a machinist at the Ingersoll-Rand in Athens and a long-time railroad enthusiast. He also volunteered at the Valley Railroad Museum which preceded the Sayre Historical Society. Bottone’s son, Joseph A. Bottone, also donated a large number of photographic negatives to the Sayre museum.

   A workshop on establishing a “digital darkroom” was held at the Sayre Historical Society on January 18 with Robert Pastorkey of Binghamton, a member of the Susquehanna Valley Chapter of the NRHS.

   The inside back cover of the history booklet features a group of Sayre men preparing to board a train at the Sayre station during World War II. The photograph was donated by Rick Antonetti of Sayre as part of the Eugene Paluzzi Collection.

An advertisement on the back cover of the magazine highlights an advertisement for Atlas tires from Horn, Horn & Co., located on Desmond Street in Sayre.

   Due to continuing health concerns, the scheduled opening of the Sayre Historical Society on Saturday, April 4 has been postponed to a later date. Contact the museum at sayrehistorical@yahoo.com for additional information, or visit Facebook or the museum website at www.sayrehistoricalsociety.org for updates.

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