This Day In History: 1945-03-28
Jacob Straut celebrated his 89th birthday on the job at the Ramsey High School. The veteran janitor had served at his post for 49 years. He had been born on the family farm in Airmont in 1859 and lived on Franklin Turnpike in Ramsey with his wife of 63 years, the former Mary M. Hetzel of Darlington. He had started working on New Years Day in 1896 at the old wooden building on North Central Avenue, which was later remodeled into the Ramsey Municipal Building. Among his duties in those days, he told well-wishers at his birthday celebration, was to draw buckets of water from the school well and leave them on logs which had been upended in the school yard so that the pupils could get a drink without having to draw water from the well themselves. He recalled that when the High School opened two teachers had to hold classes in the same room.