The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

A ‘Looking Back' Biography - Harry Mullen


By Jere Brady, Local Historian

Monday, April 15, 2013

Harry was born in West Chester, PA May 18, 1925. He was one of ten children to Horace and Helen Mullen. Horace had run a bakery in West Chester, Pennsylvania where the children went to school. His father purchased a brand new big beautiful car and took his wife and their children for a ride in it. Sadly, an ice truck hit them and killed his father. His mother was injured, but recovered. All the children survived. Harry, as well as a few others were still in diapers.
Helen remarried a bricklayer who was a very good father to these ten children, but died of cancer when Harry was nine years old. The older ones, including Harry, would take on any job they could to help their mother keep the household together. Harry got a job with a cabinet maker. He later joined the army on June 17, 1943 at the end of eleventh grade. When in the Army, Harry spent most of his time in Munich. He was Unit 568 Triple A Automatic Anti-aircraft. While in Germany in December of 1945, Harry was very excited to see General George Patton being driven in his large car. The very next day General Patton was killed in a car accident.
While Harry was in Germany, there was a truck full of soldiers shouting and celebrating. He asked why and they told him Japan surrendered. That was September 2, 1945. In 1946, Harry returned home planning to complete high school, but his mother still needed much help with the family. Harry donated his military awards to Caernarvon Township, Berks County. They are prominently displayed in the halls of the Caernarvon Township Municipal Building so that all can see them.
Harry worked at Foote Minerals in East Whiteland, Pennsylvania for 28 years. Foote Minerals was very busy with three shifts. Harry worked with chemicals and minerals. He also worked at Unionville High School, Kennet Square.
After Harry had four children to his first wife of 20 years, she took off. He then married Barbara Beidleman. Barbara had four children of her own and the all got along very well. Their children were Harry, Jr., Anthony, Trudie, Ruthann, John, Marilyn and Judy. They have grandchildren and great grandchildren. They had attended the Honey Brook Methodist Church. One of their grandsons, Michael Miller, attended the Morgantown Methodist Church as a boy when he and his sister visited Harry and Barbara at the Motel on weekends. Michael is now a pastor of the Methodist Church in Middlebury, New Jersey.
Harry and his wife Barbara ran the Econo Lodge in Morgantown from 1975 until 1987. During those years, they purchased the 52 room hotel. During their tenure, they operated a very successful business being open 24 hours day. The price for one bedroom was $28.00, two bedrooms $32.00 and three bedrooms was $35.00. It had a swimming pool, and a lady by the name of Barbara was in charge of the seven maids. Some of the maids were Marion Penapacker, Marilyn Boeshore, Lori Miller and Jill Deckert. When his wife Barbara’s health declined, the family sold the hotle to a party in Delaware. Harry worked in maintenance at Twin Valley High School for ten years while living in the Morgan Court Apartments on Morgantown’s Main Street.
After they retired, they did some traveling, but Harry soon became bored and started working part-time with Honey Brook Cabinetry and also did maintenance at the bank in Honey Brook. They now live in Garden Apartments in Honey Brook, which was built as Honey Brook Vocational School in 1916. The Steeple to People Ministry offers Bible Studies and donates food to Garden Apartments every Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
The Tri County Record publishes Looking Back as an opportunity for historians to provide insightful local stories to our readership. If you have a story that you believe would be of interest to our readers contact Tri County Record Editor Justin Finneran at 610-286-0162 ext. 25 or by email at Editor@TriCountyRecord.com