This Week in History: Oct. 30

November 1, 2013 

“Sponge Bob,” aka Dakota Minor, right, sprinkles candy onto his chocolate-covered ice cream cone while his brother, Dechlan, waits his turn at a Halloween event at the Zebulon Public Library in 2003.


The eastern Wake County region teems with activity, and there’s never been a shortage of news. In This Week in History we delve into the past of the towns of Wendell, Zebulon, and Knightdale. We will look 10, 25 and 50 years back in history to see what was happening.

In 2003, major manufacturer Square D was closing the doors of its plant in Knightdale. In 1988, a task force was attempting to recruit more doctors for the Eastern Wake Hospital in Zebulon. In 1963, thieves made the front page after burglarizing two stores and taking a hefty sum–roughly $170.


Electrical manufacturer Square D announced that it would close down its plant in Knightdale, leaving many seeking employment.

The manufacturing facility that has stood just outside Knightdale ’s town limits for more than three decades is sporting a for sale sign on its green lawn. Square D, a maker of electrical control products for industrial and commercial equipment, is closing its doors and moving its manufacturing operations to Mexico by year’s end.

While the sign signals the beginning of the end for the company’s manufacturing operations in eastern Wake County, officials at the company said the closure process has been under way for some time. Citing declining sales as the reason for the move, Square D in its exit will leave approximately 375 employees in the area to handle administrative operations.

Knightdale officials were set to negotiate with Square D, who had employed as many as 900 area workers during its time in Knightdale, to keep as many jobs in the area as possible after the move.


A task force was looking for young doctors in hopes that they could prevent a reduction in the services available at East Wake Hospital in Zebulon.

Physician recruitment has become the main issue concerning members of the Eastern Wake Hospital Task Force in its continued efforts to prevent the reduction of services at Zebulon ’s Eastern Wake Hospital.

“We have reached the conclusion that we are probably not going to continue to have a full-service hospital as we did 20 years ago,” Thurston Debnam, chairman of the task force, said. “It’s a national trend. More smaller hospitals are leaning toward outpatient treatment centers and day hospitals.”

The task force met last week to discuss the possibility of recruiting younger physicians to the Zebulon and Wendell area.

“The doctors we currently have in the area are all getting close to retirement age,” Debnam said. “The way to help the hospital and provide good medical service is to recruit doctors.”

Eastern Wake Hospital is presently a 24-hour facility, yet does not have a trauma emergency room. Any serious injury must be transferred to Wake Medical Center in Raleigh.


Thieves apparently shimmied up the drain pipe behind Antone ’s Department Store some time during the weekend and burglarized the department store and the appliance store belonging to B. A. Antone.

Zebulon police department officials said Monday preliminary investigations revealed that two transistor radios and approximately $70 was found missing in Antone’s appliance store. Approximately $100 was missing from the cash register in the clothing store.

Night policeman Windell Perry said the thieves entered the stores after breaking a window pane in the second story of the building. They then came down into the appliance and clothing stores.

Antone discovered the burglary Monday morning.

An employee of the clothing firm said one of the thieves apparently tried on a man’s coat and then took it off, throwing it on the floor, leaving the sleeves turned inside out.

Perry said he was told that the cash register in the clothing store was left open. No clothing or other articles was found to be missing, Perry said; however, no inventory had been made Monday.

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