On June 15, 1949, 11 Feasterville businessmen met at The Buck Hotel, located at 1200 Buck Road for the purpose of forming an organization to improve the community. These 11men voted to establish a new organization to be known as the Feasterville Businessmen’s Association.
After numerous debates and two secret ballots, the founding fathers voted to assess each person joining an initiation fee of $2.50. Although the minutes disclose that each of the 11 present paid the fee, someone there was a slacker since the evening’s collection totaled $25.00.
The initial concerns at the organizational meeting were traffic lights at Buck Road and Langhorne Pike and Street Road and Bustleton Pike, the improvement of Bustleton Pike and other state roads, better bus service and improvement of conditions in Feasterville. The founding fathers decreed that no political or religious discussions would take place during meetings.
A second meeting on July 20, 1949 brought eight new members and the first election of officers. Aleck McLean was elected president, George Jamison, vice president, Bill Karsh, secretary and in the only contested election, Sam Mirabello nosed out Clare Vitalie by two votes for treasurer. Annual dues were fixed at $5.00 and a Halloween party and more fire hydrants were identified as projects.
The Association in 1949 set the following goals: push for a traffic light at Bustleton Pike and Street Road, both two lane blacktop highways; improve the state highway system; secure good bus service; bring a commercial bank to the community, add additional fire hydrants and plan for a 4th of July parade.
In 1950, the Association met with representatives of the state highway department and the first 4th of July parade was held.
Lou Dreeman and Al Mann formed the Feasterville Band which eventually became the Tri-State Band and a petition was filed with the township supervisors for a single policeman, This petition was refused in November.
In 1952, the Association pushed for the establishment of a new Feasterville Post Office replacing the one located in the Feaster house and the post office was relocated to Bustleton Pike east of Street Road. A drive to bring public water and sewer was spearheaded by the FBMA in 1953.
In 1954, the Peoples National Bank of Langhorne opening the first bank in Feasterville. Through mergers, this bank became Central Penn National Bank, then Meridian Bank, Core States and First Union.
In 1955, a Christmas decoration contest was established with Doc Williams at the helm. In 1956, the township library opened in the basement of the old Feasterville School, now demolished.
The year 1958 brought Bell Telephone directories, placing this area in the Lower Bucks directory rather than the Eastern Montgomery County district.
In 1966, State Senator Marvin Keller presented two scholarship awards sponsored by the Feasterville Business Association. For the next two years the FBMA provided scholarships totaling $3,000.
In 1967, Charlie Hall, an avid Flyers’ fan arranged for a trip to The Spectrum in South Philadelphia to see the Flyers play, but the trip had to be cancelled when high winds ripped the roof off The Spectrum. Hall did arrange for two other trips to Flyers’ games after the Spectrum roof was repaired.
In 1969, the FBMA held its first winter frolic at The Buck Hotel with 350 people in attendance. The first Man Of The Year Award was presented to James C, Greenwood, father of a future Congressman for his dedication and services to the Trevose Heights Rescue Squad. In 1970, the Person Of The Year Award was bestowed upon the first woman, Ellen Moorhead, the guiding light of The Lower Southampton Teens. In 1974, the FBMA celebrated its 25th anniversary.
The Bucks County Courts granted the Association a non-profit corporation charter on March 20, 1978. That year, the FBMA disbanded the home Christmas decoration contest and utilized the prize money for Christmas baskets for the needy.
In 1983, the FBMA admitted Shirley Langel Rocco as its first woman member. The Association has since become known as The Feasterville Business Association (FBA).
The Association in later years organized and ran the annual Easter egg hunt and furnished park benches throughout the township for the public. Gabe and Eleanor Vinokur purchase vests for the township police department. The Association, spearheaded by Bill Benz also raised $7,700 to place Christmas lighting on Bustleton Pike and continued this practice for many years thereafter.
Under the leadership of Charlie Howlett, the Association took on the responsibility for cleaning up Bustleton Pike each year prior to the July 4th parade.
The Association has established a scholarship committee which annually grants college scholarships to two to four deserving high school students. The scholarship awards are presented in the name of the late Edward W.Langel, a past president. At this time the scholarships are being underwritten through money
raised at the silent auction conducted as part of the annual frolic.
In addition, the Association under the direction of Bernie Mannix, organized a golf outing with proceeds donated to area charities and communal endeavors. Some of the early recipients have been the Tri-Hampton Rescue Squad, A Women’s Place and The Feasterville Library, among others. In 1999, the Feasterville Business Association celebrated its 50th anniversary.
From 1999 forward under the leadership of a variety of presidents the FBA continued to grow and fulfill it’s mission to foster and encourage growth for the betterment of the community.
Those exemplary leaders include, Dominic A. DiPillo, Michael J. Hughes, Jane E. Ward, Edward Duke Donnelly, Don G. Rubin, Margaret Frederick, Rita Bryan, Bruce Diamond, Edward MacConnell, Diane Fetscher and Katrina Piotroski. The FBA’s Person of the Year presented at its annual frolic continues to be a popular venue which calls attention to a member who has demonstrated leadership and support to the association and the community at large.
Former FBA president and past award recipient Ed Shannon continues to head the person of the year selection committee, while Karen Madotto and Larry Laiken have co-chaired the annual frolic for the past several years. Dr. Dan Lavanga has served as ad book chairperson.
The annual golf outing, now the major funding source for the FBA’s annual college scholarship grants and donations to a variety charities and communal organizations continues to thrive under the direction of Mike Wielehowski and other dedicated volunteers.
The annual Red Cross blood drive and holiday lights competition, both headed by Silvio DiPietro, the Easter Egg Hunt staged by Linda Linden and Linda Pupkiewicz, Blue Light Holiday Tree Lighting under the direction of Mike Hughes and Jane Ward, Adopt-A-Highway program under Frank Murphy, and July 4th Parade, overseen by Rita and Ed Fitzpatrick, all continue to be integral parts of the FBA’s yearly programming.
A special permanent flag display sponsored by the FBA to honor area military heroes has been erected in the Lower Southampton Township Building’s board of supervisors meeting room. Mike Hughes and Mike Wielehowski spearheaded the effort to get this accomplished. The summer outing to see the Trenton Thunder AA baseball affiliate of the New York Yankees allows members an opportunity to socialize and enjoy America’s favorite pastime.
The general membership continues to conduct a dinner business meeting the first Wednesday of each month. The meeting also features a guest speaker courtesy of Rose McMenamin, program chairperson. While the location for the meetings has shifted over the years, they are currently being held at Twining Hall in Trevose, PA.
The FBA’s executive committee meets the third Monday of the month to address and review issues related to the organization. The group currently meets at the Lower Southampton Library and the meeting is hosted by Assistant Librarian Linda Pupkiewicz.
The FBA is celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2009.
Compiled from a history by the late E. Dillwyn Darlington with additions and updates by Stu Coren.