News, obituaries, birth, marriage and death notices, by date.
Items from The Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa.,
Saturday, August 18, 1866
I WISH I WAS A PRINTER.
I wish I was a printer,
They get the largest and the best
The biggest bug will speak to them
At ladies' fairs they're almost hugged
And thus they get a "blow out" free,
STATISTICS. - Houses. - Whole number, 120; No. unfit for use, 25; No. with sufficient grounds, 48; No. with grounds suitably improved, 0. Furniture - No. with suitable furniture, 51; No. with unsuitable furniture, 69; No. with injurious furniture, 37; No. well supplied with apparatus, 0. Schools. - Whole number, 139; No. graded, 11. Examinations. - Whole number held, 24; Directors present, 108; No. receiving provisional certificates, 132; No. receiving professional certificates, 2; No. of applicants rejected, 6; No. examined privately, 30; Average grade of certificates, 2. Teachers. - No. of males employed, 82; No. of females employed, 60; No. of failures, 5; No. with no experience, 35. No. of visits by County Superintendent, 264; Time spent at each visit, 2 1/4; No. of days spent in official duties, 246; No. of miles traveled, 1242; No. of official letters written, 127. Private Schools. - Whole number, 35; No. of pupils attending private schools, 1240; estimated amount paid for private schools, $5340.
HOUSES. - One new house was erected in Alleghany at a cost of about $1000. In consequence of heavy taxation, for war purposes, building has been neglected or delayed. More interest, however, is now manifested, and contracts have already been made for several new houses. Of the number unfit for use, Antis has 1; Blair, 1; Catharine, 1; Frankstown, 1; Freedom, 2; Greenfield, 7; Huston, 2; Juniata, 1; Logan, 2; Snyder, 2; Taylor, 3; Woodberry, 2; N. Woodberry, 6. In Blair, the number of houses might, with advantage, be reduced to 5, in Taylor to 8 or 9, in Frankstown to 10, and in North Woodberry to 6 or 7. Some of the schools in these districts only average about 15 pupils, and thus the cost of instruction becomes very great compared with the number instructed. The greatest advancement seems to be made in schools averaging about 35.
FURNITURE AND APPARATUS. - Excepting the new house, supplied with good furniture, and the one in Woodberry supplied with objectionable furniture, there has been no change. Nearly all the houses reported unfit, and some others not so reported, have furniture highly injurious. It is to be hoped that the plan of arranging desks around the way, and of furnishing seats without backs, will soon be entirely abandoned. For the health, comfort and convenience of pupils a reform in the plan for building and in the arrangement of furniture cannot come too soon.
SCHOOLS. - At Tipton, Loudonsville [sic], Frankstown and several other places, graded schools are much needed. The advantages of these schools are so great that they should be established wherever possible. It is still maintained that the school term should in no case be less than six months. In a number of districts where the schools are open but four or five months, much money is squandered in sustaining private schools that are, in many cases, worse than useless. If the most faithful and efficient teachers, employed during the regular term, were always successful in obtaining private schools, then there would be less objection. But this does not always happen. In these schools are often found persons of the poorest qualifications, or no qualifications at all, who never intent to make teaching a business, and who would never think of running the risk of an examination. Directors are much to blame for granting the use of school houses to such persons. In a few districts, where private schools are sometimes necessary, the directors invariably demand the certificate before granting a house - just as they do when making regular appointments. In justice to faithful teachers, and to the people, this course is recommended. Our schools should be made more desirable. Houses should be so comfortable, grounds so extensive, furniture so convenient, and salary so liberal as to invite competition. Directors, instead of seeking teachers for the schools, should endeavor to make the schools so desirable as to be sought by the teachers. If schools and their surroundings were thus made pleasant, then there would be little trouble in securing the services of competent teachers; resignations, so much complained of lately, would seldom occur, and truancy and dislike for school would give parents but little trouble.
EXAMINATIONS. - By holding a regularly advertised examination in each district, together with four special examinations, it was supposed that no private examinations would be necessary. But, after all, the applicants for private examination became so numerous that all my time, on Saturday, for months, was occupied in attending to them. It is seldom that a progressive and competent teacher asks this favor; but there are so many faithless and disaffected persons who do, that it seems as though nothing short of total prohibition will remedy the evil. The attention of directors is earnestly called to the impropriety of granting such persons written requests. Examinations were well attended by directors and others. The scarcity of teachers and other circumstances, led me to exercise much leniency at the examinations. Such a course is not now deemed necessary, and more rigid examinations may hereafter be expected. All the numbers on the certificate, without fractions, were used.
TEACHERS. - It is somewhat singular that all of those who failed were males. Two failed in government, although well qualified in the branches to be taught; two were unqualified for the schools to which they were appointed, and one seemed entirely unsuited to the business. With the same age, experience, qualifications and advantages, females succeeded as well as males. It therefore seems to me, that when employing teachers the question should not be whether the applicant is a male or female, but whether he or she is well qualified to teach. There is still too much encouragement given to quite young persons, without experience and without the necessary preparation.
VISITATIONS. - There is still great irregularity in opening the schools, and some are found closed at a very improper time. Notwithstanding these hindrances, more than the usual number of visits were made. Directors, now less engaged in the bounty business, have given more attention to this very important duty. Whenever possible, I make it an object to visit each school twice. This, however, cannot quite be accomplished as long as we have schools that are open but four months.
DISTRICT INSTITUTES. - These were organized in four districts and were quite successful. The directors generally are willing to grant the time for attending, if all the teachers desire it and manifest a due degree of interest in progress and improvement.
OTHER AGENCIES. - In May, of last year, a Normal School was organized at Martinsburg; but owing to adverse circumstances did not accomplish all that was expected. However, of the 40 students in attendance about 20 were teachers. - These, by commendable zeal and perseverance, made creditable advancement. Late in August a High School and Normal Institute was opened at the same place, by Rev. J. W. Schwartz, A. M. This schools is kept open regularly during the school year, and is conducted with marked ability and success.
IRREGULAR ATTENDANCE. - Although this is a serious hindrance to the success of our schools, still it is not believed that attendance should be compulsory. Where so many of our houses are like prisons, and where there are so few employments, in and about the school, calculated to cheer and gladden the heart, it is not surprising to find a few pupils who are tardy and irregular in attendance. If all our schools were in such a condition that the physical, intellectual and moral powers might all be cultivated, developed and strengthened, that truancy and dislike for school would cause but little trouble.
REMARKS. - Having served, as County Superintendent less than two years, I am not prepared to speak with certainty of the condition of the schools three years ago. However, there is reason to believe that there has been no retrogression. To maintain our former standing, under the difficulties we had to encounter, was perhaps all that could be expected. Although our schools are, in many respects, better than those of adjoining counties, still there is much room for improvement. Our greatest wants now are, better houses and furniture, better teachers, a longer term in a number of districts, more liberal salaries to competent teachers and more interest among the people in the cause of education. Nearly all the directors now in office are progressive and liberal minded men. - Sustained by an intelligent people we may reasonably hope for future progress and prosperity.
E. ELDER, Co. Supt.
Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Saturday, August 18, 1866, page 1
9th Div. - D. C. Gibbony, Assessor.
Alloway, Agdon, $5.90
10th Div. - Chas. Hoover, Assessor.
HUSTON AND WOODBURY TOWNSHIP.
Anderson, Albert, $16.01
CATHRINE [sic] TOWNSHIP.
11th Div., - Geo. W. Russ, Assessor.
Ancher, C. H., 18.50
Burchinell, Thos., $10.31
Crawford, A., $17.77
Bell, Edw'd., $ .14
Brua, Dan'l, $3.64
Aston, William, $14.43
THE P. R. R. COMPANY'S SHOPS, &C. - In 1848 there was but one building, a log house, upon the site of the present Borough of Altoona. It was called the Mansion House, but only a part of it now stands, which is used for a stable and is situate on the rear of a vacant lot between Julia and Caroline streets. The P. R. R. Company selected this location for the principal depot on their line of road, and for their machine works, which had the effect of causing buildings to be rapidly erected, and in an almost incredible short space of time, a borough of considerable importance sprang up. In 1853 the Company built the Superintendent's Offices, some of the Work Shops, and the Logan House, one of the finest and most capacious hotels on the Central Road, since which time Altoona has been growing in proportion, so that it now begins to assume the appearance of a small city, and can boast of its water and gas works, its banks, hotels and stores, religious and literary societies, all of which will compare favorably with those of much older boroughs and even cities.
The origin and growth of Altoona being solely attributable to the enterprise of the P. R. R. Company, we think a short sketch of their shops, &c., will prove interesting to our citizens, and at the same time we shall be giving those who live at a distance from us, some idea of what we are doing here.
We would, in the first place, state that all the buildings are of the most substantial kind; the bricklaying, masonry, &c., being the work of the very best of mechanics, and their exteriors are finished in styles that render them an ornament to the borough.
Machine Shop - Eastern Dept., of which Mr. A. C. Devlin is the Foreman, contains 21 lathes, of various descriptions, 7 drills, 2 slotters, 8 planers, 1 cylinder borer, 5 bolt cutters, 1 gear cutter, 1 milling machine, 1 forcing machine, 1 wheel borer, and a gas pump, with which gas-tanks, used on passenger trains, are filled.
Machine Shop - Western Dept., of which Mr. James Sharp is the Foreman, contains 12 lathes, 2 slotters, 2 boring mills, 5 planers, 1 quartering machine, 2 large wheel lathes, and 1 horizontal and 3 perpendicular drill presses.
The machinery in the two shops we have noticed, is driven by a stationary engine of 80 horse-power.
Erecting Shop, under the foremanship of Mr. W. B. Ford, is sufficiently capacious to allow of 21 locomotives being erected at the same time, and it is seldom but that its full capacity is called into requisition.
Bridge Shop, of which Mr. A. A. Smyth is Foreman, is used for fitting up all iron work for new buildings, bridges, &c., on the entire length of the road, and constitutes one branch of the maintenance of way department.
Boiler Shop, of which Mr. Joseph Nixon is Foreman, is a building of sufficient size to admit of the largest work being executed therein. It is in this shop that all the boilers and tanks used by the Company are manufactured.
Pattern Shop, is under the charge of Mr. W. A. Boyden, and it is here that all the patterns for castings for bridges, motive power, buildings, &c., for the entire road are made. Adjoining the manufacturing room is the stock room which contains patterns for castings of almost every conceivable kind, both for iron and brass work, all arranged in such a methodical manner that the foreman can find anything he may require without the delay of an unnecessary search.
Tin Shop, of which Mr. Wm. Maloney is Foreman, is fitted up with the most improved machinery for working tin and sheet iron. All the tin and sheet iron work about the locomotives, such as the stacks, &c., and about the cars, is here performed.
Blacksmith Shop No. 2, of which Mr. George Hawkesworth is Foreman, contains 60 fires and 4 steam hammers. All the blacksmithing required in building locomotives, bridges, &c., is done in this shop. This constitutes, in part, another branch of the maintenance of way department.
The machinery used in Blacksmith Shop No. 2, and also Bridge, Boiler, Pattern and Tin Shops, is driven by a second stationary engine of 80 horse-power.
Blacksmith Shop No. 1, of which Mr. Jacob Szink is Foreman, contains 35 fires and one trip hammer; also a heating furnace, used for setting springs. All the blacksmithing for the Car Shop, and some work for the Eastern Round House, is here performed.
Car Building Shop, of which Mr. John P. Levan is Foreman, is where all passenger cars are built, trimmed and painted. Trucks are also here built, and repairing old cars and the woodwork required about the establishment generally, is done here. This department is divided into four different sub-departments, which are severally presided over as follows: The upholstery, trimming, &c., by Mr. C. C. Mason; the paint shop, by Mr. Robt. Scott; the freight and repairing department, by Mr. Andrew Kipple, and the passenger and general wood- work, by Mr. George S. Levan.
Round Houses. - At present there are two round houses, each capable of holding 30 engines. The Western is under the foremanship of Mr. J. W. Frantz, and the Eastern of Mr. W. H. Jackson. The Company are having erected a third round house, capable of holding 44 engines, full particulars of the dimensions of which appeared in last week's Tribune.
Iron and Brass Foundry, under the foremanship of Mr. A. H. Maxwell, is a very large building, where all the castings for locomotives, cars, buildings, bridges, &c., both of iron and brass, are made. In this shop they run about ten tons of iron per day, and about 50,000 lbs. of brass per year. There are two cupolas, from the larger of which they can run ten tons of iron per hour, and from the smaller, eight tons of iron per hour.
Store House, is under the charge of Mr. J. S. McIlvain, assisted by Mr. W. S. Douglass. All materials used in furnishing cars and locomotives, and a general supply of articles used in offices, such as lamps, brooms, &c., are here stored. A stock of belting, packing, hose, flags, etc., is here kept on hand. The house in which the oil is stored, is attached to this department.
Mr. T. W. Wordsell is the master mechanic of all the works.
There are about 1100 men employed in these extensive works, to whom the Company pay, on an average, over $45,000 per month, which amount is distributed amongst the merchants and storekeepers of the borough. This does not, however, include a very large amount that is also expended here by other employees of the Company, such as clerks, conductors, engineers and brakesmen.
Offices attached to the Works. - The Motive Power Office is presided over by Mr. B. F. Custer, as chief clerk, and Wm. H. Morrow, as assistant. The Shop Office is under the charge of Mr. Wm. C. McCormick, as chief clerk, and Mr. H. L. Delo, as assistant. The Drafting Room is under the entire control of Mr. James Bowman.
General Superintendent's Office. - Mr. Edward H. Williams is the General Sup't of all the road. Mr. R. E. Ricker, Sup't of Motive Power and Machinery, Mr. John Reilly, Ass't Sup't, Mr. B. F. Rose, Chief Clerk, and Mr. J. H. Converse, General Supt's Clerk.
Chief Engineer's Office. - Mr. W. H. Wilson is the Chief Engineer of the road, Mr. Joseph M. Wilson, Assistant Engineer, Mr. Theo. J. Heizman, resident Engineer of the Middle Division, Mr. W. H. Whitehead, resident Engineer of branch roads, and Mr. George A. Roberts, Chief Clerk.
Telegraph Office. - Mr. William McCormick is Manager, and Mr. Charles McCormick, Chief Operator. Five other operators are employed in this office.
In addition to the above named officers, there are Mr. R. B. Gemmill and Mr. John McCormick, Train Masters, Mr. Jno. Stockton, Ticket Agent, and Mr. John M. Stonebraker, Freight Agent.
The Company owns 370 locomotives, 310 of which are in actual use, and our readers may form some idea of the amount of business done on this road, when we state that fifty-eight freight and fourteen passenger trains pass Altoona station, East and West, daily.
GAS AND WATER WORKS. - The Gas Works, which were erected in 1859, are managed by a corporation which is styled "The Altoona Gas and Water Company." The premises are situate on Virginia street, and the lot has a frontage of 251 feet by 60 feet depth. The principal building is of brick and has a neat exterior. In the Retort House there are at present three benches with three retorts, of 7 feet 8 inches in each, but it is the intention of the Company to extend the building 30 feet, and place therein three more benches with three retorts of 9 feet in each. - These have been manufactured by Marshall & Co., of Pittsburgh. At the same time it is their intention to enlarge the coal shed, in the rear of the retort house, to a sufficient capacity to hold from 50 to 60 car loads of coal. The coal which is used is the celebrated Penn Gas Coal, and is brought directly from the pits at Penn station, near Pittsburgh. After the gas is generated in the retorts it is conveyed to the washer and from thence to the condenser, then to the purifiers, fitted with patent slats, which far surpass the old fashioned perforated plates. The celebrated Duncansville lime is used in these purifiers. From thence the gas is passed through the station metre which registers the number of cubic feet manufactured, and from thence it is conveyed to the gas holder, or what is commonly called the gasometer. At present there is but one gas holder, which is 40 feet in diameter and capable of containing 20,000 cubic feet of gas. This was built by William Barnhile & Co., of Pittsburgh. The Company are about erecting another gas holder of 45 feet diameter and of capacity sufficient to hold about 30,000 cubic feet. The excavation is completed and the masonry work commenced, under the superintendence of Mr. Joseph Watson. This will be built by Morris, Tasker & Co., of Philadelphia. From the gas holder the fluid is conveyed through the main and service pipes to the consumers' meters.
Much complaint was made last winter of the deficiencies of gas, but that will be obviated during the ensuing season by the additions and improvements now being made.
The Company have recently had dug a pit for the reception of the tar. It is 12 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep, well lined with brick and cement and also covered. The public will no longer be annoyed by the flowing of the tar along the railroad tracks and other places.
There are over 20,000 feet of gas main supplying over 300 consumers. There are 18 street lamps, all of which were put up by the P. R. R. Company, who bear the expense of them.
The Company have erected, and nearly completed, opposite to their works, a very desirable and commodious residence for Mr. W. H. Durborrow, the able superintendent of both the gas and water works. It is a two and a half story brick house, with iron window sills and headings, and slate roof. It has a frontage of 27 feet by a depth of 57 feet. The lot upon which it stands is 60 feet by 150 feet. It contains parlor, dining room, kitchen, pantry and large closets on first floor, and above eight bed rooms, bath room, closets, &c. There are stairs, both front and back, leading to the chambers above. The parlor and dining room are fitted with open fire places, and with very handsome slate mantels and jambs. In the kitchen is one of Kisterbock & Son's ranges with circulating boiler. The basement or cellar is well drained and concreted, so that it is perfectly dry. Altogether we believe it be one of the best furnished and most comfortable residences in Altoona.
The plans and drawings were made by Mr. Pettit, Asst. Engineer to P. R. R. Company. - Mr. Rosenberger had charge of the brick and wood work. The plumbing and gas fitting was executed by Mr. Thomas Myers who is employed by Mr. Ogelsvy, and the plastering by Mr. Jacob Bierbower.
The water with which this borough is supplied is brought from two reservoirs in the mountain, nearly 3 miles distant from the reservoir on Annie Street. Those on the mountain are 125 feet above the level of the Railroad at the foot of Annie Street and are filled from a mountain stream and spring. The one on Annie Street is 80 feet above the Railroad level and is 50 feet in diameter and 18 deep, covered and well ventilated. It will contain 264000 gallons. The company's lot is 345 feet by 135 feet, so that they have plenty of room to build other reservoirs. The water is used in its natural state, and is very pure and cold.
The company have laid down over 18000 feet of water main, ranging from three to eight inches. - They have also put in 22 fire plugs. There are about 475 water consumers in the borough.
Mr. W. M. Wilson is President of the Gas & Water Company, Mr. B. F. Rose the Secretary & Treasurer, and Messrs. Wm. M. Lloyd, G. W. Kessler, J. F. Bowman, J. M. Wilson, and C. J. Mann, the managers.
LOOK TO YOUR LOCKS. - Mrs. David Bell, of East Ward, found herself locked out of an upstairs room in her house, a few days since. She called a girl living with her to know the cause, but she could not explain, and they both went to try the door. While trying to open it, the girl caught sight of a man in the room. They at once gave alarm, but before help came the burglar made his escape by jumping from the back window to a shed roof and from thence to the ground.
A day or two since, the residence of John P. Levan was entered, in daylight, and a quantity of pies and other provisions carried away.
The family of Jacob Renner found a man in their house, on their return from church on Sunday night last. They entered by the back door and he went out at the front.
STEALING OF CLOTHES. - During Tuesday night one thief or thieves went into the yard attached to the residence of Mrs. Huff, situate on Virginia Street next to the Lutheran Church, and selected from a wash tub full of clothes, all the men's undergarments they could find, and decamped with the same. The ladies' garments were carefully laid aside and left there. This should be a caution to others not to leave clothes out during the night.
P. S. - At Gen. Potts', in Loudonsville, they did not take time to make selection of particular clothing, but appropriated a tub with all its contents, embracing nearly all the wearing apparel of the family that was in the wash, together with bed clothes, etc.
PERSONAL. - The University of Vermont, at its recent Commencement, Aug. 1st, conferred the honorary degree of Master of Arts on Edward H. Williams, Esq., General Superintendent, Pennsylvania R. R.
Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Saturday, August 18, 1866, page 3
Return to Top of Page
Blair County PAGenWeb : News
Copyright © 2018 Judy Rogers Banja (JRB) & contributors. All rights reserved.