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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  •  Recalling Police Chief George Krause

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  •  Managing Editor
    HAWLEY- There is yet a generation that remembers the imposing yet friendly presence of Hawley’s late Police Chief, George Tanner Krause. For over three decades, he was the sole face of law and order in this busy border town by the Big Lake. Born on May 25, 1895 in Kimbles to Henry and Carrie (Tanner) Krause, George was a World War I Army veteran. He lived his whole life in the Hawley area. For 33 years he served as Hawley Police Chief, for most of that time being the entire police force. Perhaps it was his tall, husky build. Tom Sheridan said in later years, he had a deputy, George Reifler, who would later succeed Krause as chief. George Krause retired in 1960, having been a policeman since the late 1920’s. “George was an important part of my early life in Hawley,” said Hawley native Art Glantz, who now lives in Stroudsburg. “I knew him from early childhood until his death.” Art recalled, “He played several parts in the life of the town as a public servant. He was the town's workman by day and policeman by night, although those roles obviously intermixed.”
    Pursued bank robbers
    “I recall seeing him entering the Hawley Bank after the robbery there on September 18, 1934, “ Glantz said. “He was then dressed in his policeman's uniform rather than the work clothes we usually saw him wearing during the day.” Crimes were few in those days. Hawley was a much different place, said Sheridan, as well as Ann Morgan, a Hawley native who served as mayor for many years. The 1934 robbery at the Hawley Bank at Main and Keystone (today, PNC Bank) was unusual indeed. In the height of the Depression, six bandits staged a daring daylight robbery, fleeing town with $39,000. The bank’s bookkeeper, Miss Catherine (Kitty) Schaeffler had gone to the post office on Keystone Street (then located in what is today Murphy Insurance), to pick up the bank’s mail. After the bandits escaped, Chief Krause borrowed Kitty Schaeffler’s car to pursue the getaway car. State Police joined the pursuit. The getaway car was found abandoned in Pike County, but by November, investigators had caught the culprits after other bank holdups in Cedar Grove, NJ and Brooklyn, NY.
    Helping them “sleep it off”
    Hawley had a jail in those days- a single holding cell, in the Borough Hall on Spring Street. Chief Krause brought in a number of “overnight guests,” inebriated men. Sheridan remembered seeing the Chief come in the barroom where some fellow had passed out on the bar stool. “He picked them up bodily,” Sheridan said, “and locked them up in jail to sleep it off.” Art Glantz’s parents had a restaurant in the Jos. Skier building on Main Avenue. “One evening, and it must have been in summer, I was tossing a ball through the transom above the restaurant's door,” Glantz recalled. “My sister was on the inside, and I was on the street. “Suddenly, some drunk came along and picked me up - I couldn't have been more that five - and he carried me, kicking and screaming into a bar a few doors away. “I eventually got away from whoever it was and some kind of altercation occurred between him and my father. Whatever it was, George [Chief Krause] stood guard at the restaurant's door for the longest time. I never did find out why.” Beverly Warner Blaine, whose house was at 610 Spring Street and was removed when Route 6 was reconstructed in the 1960’s, recalls George Krause. One time a drunk driver ended up in their yard, passed out behind the wheel. Chief Krause came over and put him the holding cell to sleep it off. In the late 40’s, Sheridan attended a VFW block party in town. Some man became drunk and disorderly. “George collared him but he got away,” Sheridan recalled. The man slipped under a car. Chief Krause, despite his big size, got down and crawled right under the car after him, and dragged him out. “He was quite a guy,” Sheridan said of the police chief. Not everyone went to the Hawley jail. Sheridan shared that in those days, when someone misbehaved, very often Chief Krause would just give him a “good talking to.” George’s grandson, Eugene (Gene) E. Krause, was born in 1958 so doesn’t remember much about his grandfather as police chief. He did hear plenty of stories, and Gene put it this way, “He was even handed, not one to be taken lightly. You didn’t want to cross him,” he said. While the jail was in the Borough Hall, the justice of the peace- now better known as the magistrate- was right next door. When Gene was a boy, his father, Eugene A. Krause, was justice of the peace. Gene recalls him holding arraignments right at the kitchen table. Likely this was the scene when grandfather George was the chief.
    Page 2 of 3 - Street Commissioner
    George also served as Street Commissioner. Tom Sheridan recalled seeing George sweep the streets in the morning and then go home and change into his police uniform, and after lunch be back out patrolling the same streets. Unfortunately for the kids who would love to take their sleds in the winter and head down one of Hawley’s sloping streets, there came a time when the streets had to be made safe for cars. “Sad to say, George had to cinder the street which killed the sleigh riding and for a time we kids were a bit irked, but George was doing his job.” Glantz liked to take his sled on Keystone Street. Another memory of “the Chief” was at the Ritz Theater, in the days you would go there to watch movies. Glantz recalled that George would let out a laugh after seeing some gun fight in the film, and wondered out loud if those guys ever had to reload their pistols.
    Fire and flood George and Carrie lost their home in the inferno that claimed the Hawley Borough Hall, Oct. 18, 1952. They lived two doors away, at 508 Spring Street. Along with the Borough Hall went the police office and Hawley Fire Company No. 1, up in smoke. Their son Eugene A. Krause and wife Carolyn also lost their home, an apartment they rented in the house between the Borough Hall and the elder Krause’s home. George and Carrie and Eugene and Carolyn both rebuilt their homes on Spring Street, right next to each other, facing the curve with Main Avenue. “George often joked that he built his garage from the cinder blocks that would fall off the trucks as they rounded the curve at that intersection,” Glantz stated. When Topical Storm Diane brought a major flood to the Hawley area on August 18, 1955, Chief Krause declared martial law. He had help from the State Police and National Guard, who had to redirect traffic from the Middle Creek bridge that washed away on Main Avenue. The late Rev. H. Ross Pinkney had volunteered to help patrol the streets after one of the floods. He recalled saying, “George, you must be exhausted.” The chief replied, “I am, Ross, and I don’t know what I will do if we have another flood.”
    Lasting impression
    George Krause died at the age of 91 on July 12, 1986. A tribute in The News Eagle immediately following stated, ‘His tall and substantive frame, and his pleasant but effective manner made a lasting impression...” Rev. Pinkney, who was chaplain of Hawley Fire Department, eulogized, “Our boys always admired Mr. Krause as they watched him direct traffic. In fact, I think all young people admired his imposing figure and his kind and friendly manner. As a boy growing up here I never knew anyone who did not respect our police chief.” The chief’s job was never done, and could be any hour, day or night, Pinkney recalled. One time he was meeting Pinkney and his father at the Lake to go fishing, and was late because he had two emergencies to handle. Ann Morgan fondly recalled the chief and his family. She remembers seeing him help school children across the street, and stop traffic on Sunday for people leaving church. “He was a fantastic gentleman,” Morgan said. Sheridan described the late chief as “the kind of person you’d like to have as a friend.” Chief Krause’ first wife was Louise. Glantz recalled that she sang at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. His second wife was Carrie, the same name as his mother. The Krauses had two sons, George Jr. and Eugene A. Krause. Sheridan said that George Jr. worked as the pressman for the Hawley Times. He later moved to Narrowsburg. Eugene “Gene” was active in the Hawley Fire Department, as is his son, Eugene E. Krause. George’s grandson Gene served as fire chief many years, and is currently deputy chief. “George's second wife Carrie was a kind and warm person,” Glantz said. “She also had a great garden and was always willing to share some of her crops. “I remember George Krause as a warm and friendly person, dedicated to the town and always with a smile,” Glantz added. “I always looked on him as friend.”
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