Blair County PAGenWeb


Blair County PAGenWeb





Blair County Newspaper Articles

News, obituaries, birth, marriage and death notices, by date.


Items from The Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa.,

Thursday, June 11, 1874




HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD. - Pennsylvania embarked in the work of constructing her public improvements in the year 1822, when an act was passed authorizing the construction of the Pennsylvania canal at the expense of the State. In 1827 the canal commissioners were authorized to make examinations for a railroad to connect sections of the canal already partially constructed. In 1828 they were directed to locate and put under contract a railroad from Philadelphia in through Lancaster to Columbia. Millions of dollars were spent on the canal and railroad improvements, the expenditures being made necessary by the completion of the Erie canal, which was taking the commerce of Philadelphia to New York. In 1832 portions of the Columbia Railroad were completed, and cars were run upon it. In 1834 the entire line, partly canal and partly railroad, between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, was opened to trade and travel.


It consisted of the railroad from Philadelphia to Columbia, 82 miles; the eastern division of the canal from Columbia to Hollidaysburg, 172 miles; the Portage railroad from Hollidaysburg to Johnstown, 36 miles, and the western division of the canal from the latter place to Pittsburgh, a distance of 104 miles, making an aggregate length of 394 miles. Horse cars were for several years run over the Columbia road, occupying nine hours in traveling eighty-two miles. About 1836 locomotives were regularly put at work on the road to the exclusion of horse power. The cost of the line to the state was nearly fourteen and a half million dollars. Several abortive attempts were made towards the construction of a through railroad from the Ohio to the Delaware, but it was not until 1846 that the project assumed a tangible shape by the incorporation of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. The charter was granted on February 27th, 1847, and the law granting to the Baltimore and Ohio the right of way to Pittsburgh, was abrogated in August following. Mr. J. Edgar Thomson prosecuted the work of building the road from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh with energy.


On September 1st, 1849, the first division from Harrisburg to Lewistown, a distance of sixty-one miles, was opened to travel; a year later the road was opened to the Mountain House, a few miles west of Hollidaysburg, and on the 10th of December, 1852, cars were run through from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, connection between the eastern and western divisions being formed by the use of the Portage (State) road over the mountains. The Pennsylvania company's road over the mountains was opened early in 1854. In 1857, after a long discussion, a law for the sale of the State works was passed, and the Pennsylvania Railroad became the purchaser of the "main line," and was thereby released from the payment of tonnage, freight and certain other specified taxes. The section of the law releasing the company from the payment of taxes was decided by the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional, and in 1861 an act was passed "for the commutation of the tonnage tax."


During the years immediately following the completion of the road it was greatly improved, the tracks doubled, other lines leased or bought, depots and extensions built, and more recently almost the entire line has been relaid with steel rails, the line straightened and regraded. During the war the Pennsylvania Railroad was largely used for the transportation of troops and supplies, and its Vice President, Col. Scott, was charged by the Government with the special duty of furnishing transportation for large bodies of troops and immense quantities of army supplies.


Twenty years ago the Pennsylvania Railroad was but a link between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh - extending from Harrisburg to the latter city - now it has its eastern termini at New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, and unites them by its own direct lines with Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville and St. Louis. Connections are also made with St. Paul, Duluth, Omaha, Denver, the cities of California, and with Memphis, Mobile and New Orleans. To transact its extended and diversified business, the company owns and runs upon its own lines eleven hundred locomotives, one thousand cars devoted to the passenger traffic, and twenty-six thousand in freight service.


It owns two thousand miles of completed road. Its work-shops cover an area of over five hundred acres. It employs an army of men, many of whom are mechanics and experts of the highest skill. It has two hundred and twenty-two foreign ticket offices and agents (independent of those at its own stations) established in thirteen different states. Along with this great extension of the road there has been a great improvement in the rolling stock of the company and its bridges. Its chief officers having been civil engineers, and they have employed in the company some of the best engineering talent.


WHAT KERIG DID. - Several days ago an item appeared in the MORNING TRIBUNE under the caption of "Betsy and I are Out," which had special reference to a mutual separation between a husband and wife who resided on the ridges back of Bell's Mills. A correspondent writing to one of the weekly papers gives the following as the cause of the separation: "Kerig not only threw the house out of the back window nor did he only use his little hatchet, but he grasped a large ax, entered the house, cut and broke up all the chairs, tables, beds, cut the bedding, put a new $25 set of queensware in a bag and with his ax totally destroyed it, then returned to the cupboard and cut it to pieces, burned the step-daughter's clothing and destroyed everything possible at the house, and then with violent threats went to the barn, demolished the large barn doors, and proceeding in his desperate career while the family fled to a neighbor for protection. The extent of the damage done at the barn is not exactly known to the writer but it is reported that he killed some of the cattle." If the foregoing has been correctly told, and told by some one who is familiar with the ninth commandment, then we are forced to admit that it was a good time in the year for the husband and wife to dissolve partnership.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE GAME LAW. - The game law of 1873 has been amended by a supplement which the Governor has approved, providing that no person shall kill, or expose for sale, or have unlawfully in his or her possession, after the same has been killed, any gray, black or fox squirrel, between the first day of January and the first day of September in each year, under a penalty of five dollars for each and every squirrel so killed or had in possession.


AGAIN IN CUSTODY. - Annie Rhodenizer, alias White Fawn, the little girl but fourteen years of age, who has set out to lead a life of shame, was captured down in the Eighth ward yesterday afternoon again by Chief-of-Police Riley and taken into custody for the night. This morning Mayor Gilland will send her to her home in Huntingdon county.


- Samuel McCamant, of Tyrone, and Hon. Archibald McAlister, of Springfield Furnace, have been drawn as Grand Jurors for the June term of the United States Circuit and District Court.


(From Saturday's Tribune.)
RAISED A CHECK. - Every Republican politician in Blair county, at least that portion of them who have run for office during their lifetime, is well acquainted with an individual named James Schinafelter, of Williamsburg. Jim is always circulating among the candidates for office soon after the convention has been held, and never fails to bleed them on every occasion, and often when he put in an appearance at their residences he would make himself at home for several days. On Friday he appeared in a new role, that of a "check raiser,'' and it can be truly said of him that as such he has shown himself to be an adept.


In some manner or other, doubtless for services rendered, he secured possession of a Poor House order that had been properly drawn for the sum of $8.75. This order he took to a Hollidaysburg banking house, not neglecting in the interim to make it read $80.75, and presented it for payment. Suspecting nothing wrong, the officers of the bank promptly cashed it and James took his departure.


A short time after it was discovered that the order had been tampered with, and the telegraph having been brought into requisition revealed the important fact that it had been "raised" as above stated. Search was immediately instituted for the whereabouts of the politician and swindler, but up to a late hour last evening he had not been captured. It is reported that he was seen late in the day heading for Newry.


FALSE PRETENSE AND FORGERY. - A man named Thomas Smiley, a resident of Bell's Mills, was arrested yesterday morning and in default of bail was committed to jail at Hollidaysburg to await trial. It appears that sometime during the Spring, Smiley bought a colt at a public sale in Sinking Valley, and gave his note in the sum of one hundred dollars for the payment of the animal with John Reigh, of Sabbath Rest, as security. Afterward he traded the colt for a wagon. Mr. Reigh then desired to be released from the payment of the note, but Smiley failed to release him, alleging that he held and at the same time exhibiting a note against his uncle, in Sinking Valley, for the sum of five hundred dollars. Mr. Reigh, subsequently learned that this note had been forged and also that Smiley had fraudulently obtained a lot of goods on his credit. The facts coming to light as stated, Smiley was arrested and taken before Justice Campbell, of Davidsburg, of "Betsy and I are out" notoriety, by whom he was committed to jail to answer. The prisoner was taken over the hill yesterday afternoon.


HEAVY PURCHASE OF TIMBER AND COAL LANDS. - In the month of September last Messrs. Thomas McCauley and James Lowther, of this city, purchased the half of a tract of land containing four thousand and four hundred acres, located in Clearfield county, and known as a part of the Flynn tract, for which they paid the sum of $275,000. Last week Mr. Thomas McCauley purchased the additional half of the tract, paying a like sum of $275,000 for it. This land contains almost inexhaustible supplies of coal and timber, it being underlaid with a six feet vein of bituminous coal, known as the Moshannon coal, and covered with the finest quality of pine timber of the first growth. It is well supplied with water for logging, and will be developed as rapidly as possible.


STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. - During the prevalence of a heavy thunder storm a few days ago, the barn on the farm of Mr. Abia Akers, in Monroe township, Bedford county, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. There were five horses in the stable which were removed with considerable trouble. A spring wagon pulled out by Mrs. Akers was on fire but was saved without serious damage. About one hundred and fifty bushels of grain, a threshing machine, a lot of hay, straw, and all the harness, saddles and bridles and a considerable quantity of hams and bacon were burned with the building. The loss will probably reach $2,500 which falls heavily on Mr. Akers, who is an industrious and hard-working farmer.


- As soon as the Martinsburg people, over in the other end of the county, get that Grange in full blast, the following stanza will be committed to memory and sang as the opening ode:


"The hickory berry vine entwines
The brown nuts of the turnip tree;
The cashmere heifer skips and plays
To the tuneful bleat of the feathery bee,
On tall boughs 'mid the buckwheat buds
We hear the low of the finny plover,
While the bay bull hitched to the rumbling scythe
Husks out the golden clover."


SHOOTING AFFRAY AT BENNINGTON. - At a late hour last night we learned that sometime during yesterday afternoon a shooting affray occurred among the miners at Bennington Furnace. One man named Lehorn accidentally shot a companion named Brown while carelessly handling a revolver, the ball lodging in one of Brown's legs. Lehorn is said to be a sort of walking arsenal at all times, while the wound Brown sustained is not at all dangerous.


WHOLESALE ARRESTS FOR SELLING LIQUOR. - On information embodied in ex constable Hipsley's official return made to the Blair county Court, there has been some eight or ten arrests made during the past few days on bench warrants issued by James P. Stewart, Esq., clerk of the Court. Nearly all the parties arrest[ed] appeared before Alderman McCormick and entered bail for their appearance to answer.


SERIOUSLY INJURED. - William Little, Esq., an experienced blacksmith of Pattonville, was seriously injured a few days ago while attempting to shoe a refractory colt. In some manner he sustained a fracture of the lower bone of one leg which was so badly crushed that the broken bone protruded a distance of about one and a half inches, lacerating the limb very badly.


JUDGMENT REVERSED. - In the Supreme Court at Harrisburg, yesterday, Judge Gordon on the bench, in the great case of the Blair Iron and Coal Company versus Loudon, et. al., from Blair county, judgment was reversed and a venire facias de novo awarded. The Supreme Court adjourned last evening to meet in Philadelphia on the first day of July next.


WITHOUT A CONSTABLE. - Antis township is without a constable. William C. Forrester was elected to that office at the last election but failed or neglected to take the oath of office.


(From Monday's Tribune.)


DESPERATE FIGHT BETWEEN TWO COLORED MEN - One Shot in the Elbow and the Other Stabbed in the Back With a Pick. - On Thursday last two colored residents of the county capital, named George Lloyd and Dick Carter, visited Dell Delight in quest of grub worms preparatory to going on a fishing excursion. A short time after they arrived at the Dell they managed to inaugurate a quarrel about a little white boy who had accompanied them. High words soon led to blows which resulted in George Lloyd drawing a revolver and pointing it at Dick Carter, blazed away, the ball lodging in the latter's elbow. This so enraged Carter that he immediately grasped the pick that they had brought with them to unearth the worms, and without further ceremony proceeded to dig for grub worms in Lloyd's back, striking such powerful blows as to do the latter serious injury, and supplementing the violent assault by rolling him down the bank into the head-waters of the Blue Juniata, where he was permitted to rest. Carter then returned to town and employed Dr. W. C. Roller to dig the ball out of his arm, which duty was successfully accomplished. Upon being interrogated as to the whereabouts of Lloyd, he related the circumstances as above stated, and replied that he had left him lying in the river. Search was immediately made for him but he was no where to be found. It was subsequently reported that he had died, but the report was untrue, it being generally believed that after Carter took his departure Lloyd worked his way to this city. It was certainly a fierce struggle between two desperate men, with no looker's-on.


ABANDONED. - The famous breach of promise case in which Mr. George A. Streit was the plaintiff, and Miss Barbara Behringer the defendant, the full particulars of which have heretofore been given in these columns, has been abandoned. It will be remembered that Mr. Streit had Miss Behringer arrested on a capias issued from the Prothonotary's office, and placed under bail in the sum of five thousand dollars to answer the charge of breach of promise of marriage. On Saturday Mr. Streit visited the county capital and forthwith squared the record and withdrew the case, in fact absolutely abandoned the affair. As the circumstances surrounding the case were developed from day to day, there was a deep interest manifested in its ultimatum. The counsel for the defense, A. J. Riley, Esq., had made out a strong case, and had it come up for trial would no doubt have gained another victory over his worthy colleagues who represented the plaintiff with all the ability they could summon to their command. It is with a great degree of satisfaction that we note the termination of an action which for the best interests of both the principals should not have been instituted, and we trust that the matter will now drop, never again to appear on the surface. In the hour of her trouble and tribulation, there were many kind friends interposed to watch over and protect the interests of the defendant during the progress of the unfortunate affair. Prominent among whom were her counsel, as also H. J. Cornman, Esq., the gentleman with whom she is employed, and that liberal- hearted gentleman, Fred. W. Olmes, Esq.


A YOUNG MAN SERIOUSLY INJURED - He Plunges Through a Sheet of Plate Glass With Both Arms. - A sad and serious accident happened to a young man named Charles Meintel, at Hollidaysburg, shortly before five o'clock on Saturday evening. Young Meintel was engaged in assisting the plasterers who are at work on Law's new building on the Diamond, and while standing on the plasterer's scaffold, on the inside of the building, he attempted to lower one of the large windows preparatory to quitting work for the day, when be missed his footing and fell forward. To protect himself he extended his arms, yet as he did so he came in such violent contact with the large plate of glass as to break it, the full length of both members passing through the break and sustaining several severe cuts. The main artery of the right arm was severed, whilst an ugly gash was cut in the left arm. He also sustained a number of minor cuts on each arm, from which the blood flowed profusely. The injured young man was assisted to Boyd's Drug Store, where his wounds were dressed by Dr. W. C. Roller. The injuries sustained by young Meintel are of a very serious character, yet it is not thought that they will prove fatal.


A LADY KILLED ON THE RAILROAD. - The fast train known as the Day Express, which is due in this city daily at 11.23 a. m., struck and instantly killed a lady named Sarah South, at Braddock's station on Saturday morning last. The lady was aged about forty-five years and resided at Irwin's station. She had gone down to Braddock's in the morning, and was about to return home on the mail train which comes along a short time after the Day Express. She was walking on the track and was struck at a point where the train was running at full speed, yet strange to say, was not thrown more than two feet distant from the track. The train was immediately stopped and the dead body of the unfortunate woman placed in charge of the track repairmen. The killing was purely accidental and no blame can be attached to engineer Brady or conductor Dinwiddie who had charge of the train.


A SAD SIGHT. - A drunken child! What terrible words to read or hear, and with what force do they come home to every parent. Words that are of themselves sufficient to cause the strongest form to quiver and the stoutest heart to quail, yet a drunken nine year old boy was a sight that we were called upon to witness on Saturday afternoon, as he lay in an insensible condition on the floor of Brandt's dry goods store. The boy's name is Seward McMichael, and he was picked up in the alley near the livery stables, and immediately in the rear of the store owned by Mr. Brandt.


How long he had lain in the scorching noon-day sun is not positively known, yet Dr. Leisenring, the physician who attended the lad, gives it as his opinion that death would doubtless have speedily ensued had not Mr. B. given the boy the attention he did at the time. Restoratives being promptly applied, he was so far restored to consciousness as to leave no doubts of his ultimate recovery from the fearful potation he had swallowed. For two hours the boy tossed and moaned while lying on the hard floor, until toward evening when he sank into a deep stupor and was afterward carried to the residence of his father, John McMichael, who resides on Thirteenth avenue.


It is not positively known where the boy procured the liquor that made him so beastly drunk, neither is it fair to presume that any man engaged in the illegal traffic of rum is so far lost to the sense of honor as to sell liquor to a nine year old child. Should such prove to be the case however, it will doubtless come to light in due time, and swift and terrible punishment will follow.


CAPTURE OF JAMES SCHINAFELTER. - In the issue of the MORNING TRIBUNE of Saturday mention was made of the movements of James Schinafelter, politician bleeder, who succeeded in "raising" a Poor House order from $8.75 to $80.75, and having the same cashed at one of the Hollidaysburg Banking Houses. The report published at the time that he had been seen heading for Newry the same evening (Friday) proved to be correct for he has since been captured on the mountains back of that place. He still had the fraudulently obtained money in his possession which was taken from him, although neither the Poor Directors nor the Bankers propose instituting criminal proceedings against him. On a previous occasion Schinafelter committed a like act for which he served a term in the county jail.


THROWN FROM A BUGGY - Concussion of the Brain - Yesterday evening a couple of men who were under the influence of rum, and who were seated in a buggy behind a spirited horse, attempted to carom around the corner of the blacksmith shop at the juncture of Eleventh and Union avenues. As they did so one of the party, named George Boss, fell from the vehicle and sustained a severe concussion of the brain. He was immediately picked up, assisted to the sidewalk and Drs. Christy & Walker summoned to give him the proper medical attendance. He was afterward conveyed home and will doubtless think of his head this morning.


Phoenix Foundry and Stove Works at Hollidaysburg - Cove Forge - Personals - &c.


Special Correspondence of the Tribune. June 8, 1874.
While "On the Wing," during the past week I dropped into the Phoenix Foundry and Stove Works, at Hollidaysburg. The works are located near the big rolling mill, and belong to Crawford & Co. Maj. Jesse R. Crawford, well known in this and other States, is the general manager of the concern. He is a business man from the ground up, and is driving the business quite lively for panicky times. At these works three sizes of stoves are made, all of which possess more or less of merit. Business of every kind requires more or less advertising to gain the attention of the public and induce a trial. Many humbugs are well advertised, people have become somewhat skeptical, but, after all, printer's ink is the best known remedy for skepticism. It will not pay to advertise a humbug for any length of time, but good stoves, such as are turned out by the Phoenix Foundry, will be advertised and used when other's names have passed into oblivion and are no longer in use. A fair trial of these stoves will convince the public that they are equal to city-made ware.


At these works is also manufactured the patent coal and ore mine self lubricating car wheel, the patent belonging to John H. Murray, of Hollidaysburg. The inventor seems to have studied his invention thoroughly, and brought it forth so perfect that no attempts at infringements have been made. The advantages are cheapness, simplicity and durability. To give a full description of the invention would require too much space. Those using this kind of stock should acquaint themselves with its advantages. The invention will keep a wheel oiled for six months, with half a pint of oil.


On the same grounds are the Threshing Machine works of G. W. Rhodes, manufacturer of tread-power machines and fanning mills. I am not now prepared to tell "what I know about fanning," and the school master being the last threshing machine I had any stock in. I will say no more about this establishment, and its manufactures until I return to "write up" Hollidaysburg in full.


My inclination led me to visit Cove Forge, about two miles from Williamsburg, on the Pennsylvania Canal. This forge is connected with Springfield Furnace, but entirely distinct from the Cambria Iron Works. The mines from which Col. McAlister receives the ore are owned by the Cambria company, and designated as Springfield Mines, because these mines were formerly the property of John Royer, Esq. At Cove Forge the best No. 1 charcoal blooms, slabs and pig iron are made. These works were erected in 1811, and have never been stopped with the exception of a short spell some years since, when they were swept away by a flood. They were soon rebuilt and the same activity is constantly manifest.


S. R. Schmucker, Esq., the manager of these works, was born and brought up on the ground with them and expects to remain with them during his natural life. Panics have never interfered with them. John Royer, the proprietor, is now seventy-six years of age, and has been in the iron business for fifty-three years. He personally superintends his vast works and estates, and although never married, he enjoys the sweetness of the flowers which surround the old stone mansion in which Mr. Schmucker resides. Notwithstanding his age, he handles farming implements with as much ease as young men. Several fine farms are connected with these works, all under high cultivation. - J. S. S.




CONRAD - BOEHN - On the 4th inst., by the Rev. M. Wolf, Mr. Michael Conrad to Miss Elizabeth Boehn.




BEECHER - In this city, on the 5th inst., of typhoid fever, Charles Beecher, aged about 22 years.


Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, June 11, 1894, page 3




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