Looking Back: St. Clair Shores Truck No. 1

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 25, 2016


ST. CLAIR SHORES — The village of St. Clair Shores purchased its first dump truck around 1926. According to the Nellis News, a villagewide cleanup campaign was held from May 1 to May 17, 1927. The Village Council and the Business Men’s Association endeavored to make the village a cleaner place to live. Five days were devoted to gathering rubbish in each of the three districts. The village paid for the cleanup with disposal trucks, possibly like this dump truck. 

Driver Edward Kurtzhals was photographed standing next to his vehicle. Born in 1897 in Buffalo, New York, Kurtzhals made driving a full-time career. Starting out as a Teamster in 1913, he was a professional chauffeur for Superior Sand and Gravel Company at the time of his marriage in Detroit in 1917. He worked for the village of St. Clair Shores in the 1920s and lived here for the rest of his life. According to the U.S. Census, Kurtzhals became a private family chauffeur in 1930, and by 1940 he was the superintendent of the Department of Public Works in Detroit. 

Historical photographs may be viewed in the Digital Media Archive at www.scslibrary.org.

— Submitted by Cynthia Bieniek, archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library