LeRoy Marx - 41 Years Manchester Clerk

By dhowell - Posted on 02 January 2008

In March, 1963, LeRoy A. Marx pushed back his pen and traded it off for a fish pole. At 67 years, Mr. Marx had spent 41 years keeping the records of the village. It was hard for people to comprehend that he wasn't going to run for office. In December, 1961, Mr. Marx had retired as assistant cashier of the Union Savings Bank after 33 years.

When he became clerk in 1922, the salary was $75 a year. When he retired it was $750.

Checking the old council notes he noticed that, "The village council in 1922 ordered that no porch lights should be more than 40 watts and should not burn after daylight. That was because the village owned the electric plant and porch lights were not on meters. Some of the property owners were ordered to leave the porch lights on at night to light the streets because there were no street lights.

"Then, in 1923, the council ordered all porch lights be turned off by 1 a.m. Violators found a fine of 50 cents added to their light bills."

In 1925, the village held a special election to decide whether to sell the electric plant to Consumers Power Co. for $15,000. The proposal passed by a vote of 273 to 103.

In 1927, the village records showed, Main Street was paved and in 1928 council approved building of the Main Street bridge.

The rapid increase of automobiles also increased traffic problems; so in 1931 the council voted to have tickets printed to simplify matters in making arrests for traffic violations. That same year, Carr Park was graded and 500 pine and spruce seedlings were planted.

"In 1931," Mr. Marx said, "the council voted to pay common laborers 25 cents an hour and the street commissioner got 30 cents an hour. And we hired a man to read the water meters and paint fire hydrants for $50 a year.

"By 1934, with the depression in full effect, the salary of the meter reader had dropped to $40 a year. Laborers pay had been dropped to 20 cents an hour. The street commissioner got a raise-to 70 cents an hour-but he also had to use his own truck. The village marshal was paid $40 a year.

Other entries in the village records:

Union Hall stood on Main Street in 1[8]67 and until it was replaced by the Union Savings Bank Building.

In 1935, the village sold water rights at two sites to the Ford Motor Co. for $12,500 for five years. The council voted to pay the village president $150 for promoting the sale.

December, 1936. Pay for laborers was raised to 35 cents an hour.

April, 1937. $150 was appropriated to repair the Lynch home which had been purchased by the Library Association for a public library.

March, 1938. A man was appointed as street commissioner, meter reader, "water pumper and supervisor of all other work" at a salary of $100 per month.

November, 1939. The council ordered that the village pay a bounty of five cents for every rat caught in the village limits.

December, 1939. The village purchased colored lights for the municipal Christmas tree.

As a young man, Mr. Marx was a pitcher in the old Southern Michigan Baseball league at the time Manchester won a pennant.