Thursday, January 16, 1947
Twin City News
The Citizens' Committee:
"We, the undersigned qualified voters of the Village of Baltimore, realizing that better cooperation will exist between the peoples of Baltimore and Basil, and that many advantages would be gained by the uniting of the two villages named above, therefore to obtain this, we petition the Baltimore Council to proceed as provided (by State law). This with the understanding that the new name will be neither Baltimore or Basil.' The above mentioned petition was signed by 347 qualified voters of the Village of Baltimore. A similar petition was signed by 369 qualified voters of the Village of Basil.
(Writer's note: Among the many sources of the rivalry between the "Twin Cities," one was the federal census count at the beginning of each decade. Who had the most people? In 1930 in one of the closest counts in the rivalry, census personnel tabulated five more residents in Baltimore than in Basil. Of course, the west end of town was devastated that they had been so narrowly defeated for they had been so certain they would be acclaimed the largest. The day following the official count, a new family of six people moved---into Basil. Population victory at last! Not so much. The Census Bureau rejected the addition of the new family for census purposes as the official count could only be taken on one day. Census bragging rights would stay in Baltimore and be a source of contention until 1940!)
The above petitions were presented to the respective Councils, who enacted the necessary legislation permitting the issue to be placed on the ballot at the November (1945) election...In accordance with the law, the village of Basil was duly annexed to Baltimore January 1, 1946. At the same time the above petition was presented to the qualified voters of the two Villages, the following petition was also presented: 'We the undersigned residents of Baltimore and Basil, petition that when the final stage of uniting of the two villages are completed, that the name of the village be changed.' The petition for Baltimore was signed by 338 qualified voters. The petition for Basil was signed by 372 qualified voters....Regardless of the fact that the original petitions to Councils for the uniting of the villages specifically stated that the name of the united village would be neither Baltimore or Basil, a number of Citizens of the former Baltimore Village, who originally opposed the uniting of the two Villages, induced a large number of the voters of Baltimore who had signed the original petitions that the name would be neither Baltimore nor Basil, to write-in the name Baltimore, saying there was no provision in the "Agreement of Annexation' for a change name, and there was no reason to change the name...The new name was to be selected after the Villages were legally united. The people of the former Village of Basil feel that those who signed the original petition and then signed another petition to retain the name Baltimore have broken faith and did not keep their part of the agreement. It is a known fact that most of those who changed their position did so innocently and did not intend to break faith.
(Writer's note: Regardless, when the early suggested names were proven disagreeable, "Baseball" became both communities' most popular choice.)
A petition to the Court of Common Pleas, signed by the necessary free-holders has been prepared and will be presented to the Common Pleas Court for their action."
Twin City News Staff
January 30, 1947
Twin City News
Thomas E. Conover Editor and Publisher
EDITORIAL by Thomas E. Conover:
"Following the publication two weeks ago in this paper of the report issued by the local 'Citizens Committee' (to retain the name Baltimore for the merger) several persons asked us, rather indignantly, why the article was printed. They maintained that the article showed only one side of the question and we had no business using it in this paper. Those critics were partially right when they stated that the article showed only one side of the question and we make no attempt to deny it. However, we believe that a community newspaper, if it is to properly serve the community, should open its columns to all parties when a question of local controversy arises. We feel we cannot have a free press in this country if the editors will not publish material that does not agree with their own particular ideas. It has, and will continue to be the policy of The Twin City News, to publish material submitted by all sides of a particular subject. We shall attempt to treat everyone fairly and shall try to exercise no personal bias unless it is plainly labeled as our personal opinion. In accepting material for publication of a controversial nature we are enforcing two requirements---that the material be signed by the author and that it be written in good taste. We must, of course, reserve the right to limit the length of articles when space available makes it necessary. We shall exert every effort to make The Twin City News a real American example of Freedom of The Press and we hope our readers will not hesitate to take us to task in full."
Jim N. Reed