Blair County PAGenWeb


Blair County PAGenWeb





Blair County Newspaper Articles

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


Items from The Morning Tribune, Altoona, Pa.,

Saturday, December 27, 1879


John, the Baptist


John Anderson, my Jo John, lives in Logan township, a mile or so beyond the city line. Now John makes frequent pilgrimages to the city, on business, pleasure and other wise - the otherwise may include a fair lady for aught we know - after the toils of the day are done. The other evening John, along with his brother, projected one of these visits, and being tired of course the nearest way was the best way. This way led over the run flowing near the Anderson mansion, to which John in due time came, preceding his rather tardy brother. In the gathering darkness, and with the ice and slush narrowing the run, he deemed it but a step across, little dreaming what mischief lurked under the treacherous ice. He made a spring to clear the stream with a bound; but, alas, for human calculations. He lit on ice; it gave way, and John Anderson, my Jo John, was soused in the water up to his neck. He thought as he was going down the bottom had fallen out of the run. He managed, however, to row himself to shore, and proceeded back to the house a sadder but wiser man. On his way he met his brother who was eager to know the reason of his retrograde movement, but John simply answered, very demurely, that "he had changed his mind," and passed on. When he reached home his coat tails were frozen so stiffly that they stood straight out. John is now a thorough convert to immersion, and some of his neighbors honor him with the title of John the Baptist.


A Terrible Death.


On Thursday night a scissors grinder met with a horrible, although instantaneous death at the engine house of the old blast furnaces, in the Second Ward of Millville, Cambria county. During the day he wandered around through Millville and Cambria under the influence of liquor, and after dark made his way to the furnace. The engineer disliked the idea of turning him out, as the night was cold, and permitted him to lie down on the floor. It seems he slept for a short time, and after awaking, got up and walked to the railing which encloses the fly wheel of the engine. He climbed up on top of the upper rail, and deliberately threw himself over, when the rapidly revolving machinery caught him and he was carried around by the spoke upon which he fell. Both his legs and arms were torn off during the few moments that the wheel was turning before the engineer could stop it, and his head was smashed out of all semblance. An inquest was held over the remains, but there was no evidence forthcoming to reveal his name or any particulars about his death beyond what are stated.


Two Wreaths Chanced Off.


At Poffenberger's store, just over the 12th street bridge, two fine wax wreaths were chanced off on Wednesday evening. The first was made by Mrs. Brown, on which two hundred and fifty chances were sold. Samuel Brown, a son of John Brown, held the lucky number. Mattie Coleman's wreath was also chanced off the same evening. This one was taken by Stella Murphy, a little girl in Hollidaysburg.




Altoona's Representatives the Victors.


On Thursday the butchering contest between Lock Haven's and Altoona's best men, came off in the latter place. About two o'clock some three hundred people assembled at Mr. Olmes' butcher shop. The bullocks were brought in, knocked down, and bled and had their front feet removed. They were then placed on their backs and the time scored to begin. Mr. Martin Runyan, the steward of the Logan House, was chosen as referee. He reports in favor of the Altoona butchers, as follows: The contest between Mr. Winner, of Lock Haven, and Mr. Olmes, of Altoona city, was the killing of two steers. Messrs. G. Winner and Mr. Clark were the butchers from Lock Haven, and competed with James McBride and William Harmon, butchers for Mr. Olmes. The amount of money put up was one hundred dollars per side, for the men doing it in the shortest time, and the best manner in dressing and putting up the cattle. The work in skinning by Messrs. Winner and Clark was very bad, they having cut eleven holes, to the injury of the hide. McBride and Harmon cut only three holes, with but little damage to the hide. The dressing throughout was in every respect very badly done by Winner and Clark. Their time was seven minutes and thirty- five seconds. McBride and Harmon's time was eight minutes and four seconds. The difference in time was twenty-nine seconds, but the difference in the dressing and style up putting up the two cattle overbalanced the time so as to favor McBride and Harmon to such a degree as to make the decision in favor of Mr. Olmes' butchers. Both parties deserve credit for the short time wherein they did their work. In regard to division, I will only say that I stand noncommittal to either, and have done my part in an entirely unprejudiced manner, as a man. Hoping my decision is satisfactory, I am respectfully yours, M. RUNYAN.


The Police Net.


Alderman Rose last evening held court to dispose of the cases of John Sullivan, William Garrecht and Joseph Fogle. They are three boys who were caught pilfering apples from the store of Charles Taylor, on Eleventh street. Mr. Taylor has been annoyed for some time past with them, and to stop it has decided to punish the boys. They were all three bound over to appear at the Court of Quarter Sessions, entering recognizances in the sum of $100.


John Williams and John Stewart are two hilarious tramps who were picked up near the gas works. In bring them to the station house one tried to get away, and for about a square made pretty good time up the street. The next day he was taken before Alderman Rose, to whom he was very impudent. They were both committed to jail under the tramp act.


Pleasing Christmas Presentations.


The numerous friends and brother of Miss S. M. Curfman, through the American Sewing machine agent, presented her with a drop-leaf highly- polished American sewing machine, with attachments. After which, Miss Curfman said: "I sincerely thank my numerous friends and affectionate brother for this present....


Mr. Atwood Mason presented his worthy wife with a new American sewing machine, drop leaf. She was completely surprised and pleased with the new American having attachments so complete.


Also Mrs. C. H. Elliott presented her (and the late Chauncy F. Ickes) oldest daughter, "Birdie" Ickes, with a highly-polished machine with the attachments.


Collinsville Sunday School Entertainment.


The residents of Collinsville assembled in their Sabbath school on Christmas eve, and spent the evening pleasantly distributing gifts to the children of the school. A handsome tree loaded with candies and ornaments occupied a conspicuous place, and excited the admiration and appetites of the children. Miss Clara Templeton presided at the organ. Mrs. Alexander Satterfield, in behalf of the committee, presented Mr. William Pollock, of the TRIBUNE, with a large and handsome cake, for which Mr. Pollock returned his thanks in an appropriate manner. Messrs. Joseph Hileman, William Russell and Jacob Peight managed the affair, assisted by Miss Kate Templeton, Miss Kate Walton, Miss Hanley and other ladies. Everyone partook of the good things, of which there was an abundance, and with music and song the evening passed merrily.




One of the Blair county twins died in the almshouse on Wednesday. It was the girl. The boy is well and may some day see Harrisburg or what is equally as bad, Allegheny.


Detective Albert Sturtzman, determined that no pent up village shall contract his powers, has left Duncansville and is doing duty in the city of Altoona.




Mr. Austin Gardner, the young man who returned from Denver quite ill, was a son of William H. Gardner, cashier of the First National Bank, and not a son of Mr. James Gardner, as stated in the TRIBUNE.




During the last four years seventy nine persons have been buried in the Presbyterian cemetery as follows: In 1876, 24; in 1877, 20; in 1878, 16, and in 1879, 19. Of this number 58 were classed as members of the Presbyterian church, 7 Baptists, 7 Methodists and 7 Lutherans. Sixty per cent. of the whole number were over the age 21 years.




A few days ago William Hannigan, while crossing a gutter on Juniata street, was thrown from his cart and severely injured. On Christmas morning his wife, who has been sick for several days, died. Mr. Hannigan has, however, so far recovered from his injury as to be able to attend the funeral of his wife, which took place at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon.




The festival given on Christmas night in the colored Methodist Episcopal Church was a financial success. Notwithstanding a crowd of drunken white trash went at an early hour and broke up their sociable greatly, forcing men and women with children in their arms to jump out of the windows to save their lives, which the scoundrels threatened to take.




On Christmas morning Mrs. Elizabeth Goodfellow, the aged mother of Mr. Thomas Goodfellow, of your city, accidentally fell and received a very bad fracture of the right wrist. As the lady is 80 years of age and very feeble, it may make the accident more serious. The day before, her granddaughter Miss Rhodes, cut a very severe gash on her hand while washing windows. The cut is very severe, and her hand much swollen. Dr. Irvin is the attending physician.




With the exception of the usual annual services held in the Catholic churches - there was no public Christmas worship held in our town. The business houses, with the exception of the toy and candy shops, were closed, as were also the beer saloons and public drinking places. This was done as a precautionary measure, as a riot was feared between the different rolling mill employes, threats having been freely made for several days and a number of individual knock- downs had been indulged in the night previous. Notwithstanding the closing of the saloons, the thirsty managed to get full and more than the usual number of drunken men and boys could be seen in all parts of the town. Added to our own population were delegations from Ore Hill, Duncansville, Frankstown, Kenans, and the other adjacent mines and furnaces, so our town could be said to be unusually lively, and to its honor be it said not a single fight or knockdown was indulged in during the entire day - each inebriate appeared to have imbibed laughing gas as a substitute for fighting whiskey. The "chance" business boomed beyond anything ever before known. E. Gerst drew a piano; A. T. Barr, a fine alarm clock; J. P. Stewart, a pipe; James Reeder, a doll; J. M. Lingafelt, a "goat;" I. C. Adams, a mouse- colored "mule," while many others were equally fortunate. The preachers were all duly remembered by their friends or congregations. Rev. D. L. Ryder, pastor of the Lutheran Church, appeared to be the most fortunate. Besides the Christmas turkey that all received, he was presented with a valuable gold watch by personal friends and members of his congregation. The presentation speech was made by M. A. Young, Esq., who, it is needless to say, did it in first-class style. The entertainment given in the evening by the Phoenix Fire Company was first-class. The orchestra was led by Mr. Roman Meintell, and the music was equal to any ever listened to in our town. The piano solo, by Professor Shourburg, was pronounced by judges to be charming. The singing, by Messrs. Byers, Banks and Johnston was good, and made doubly so by the accompaniment on the piano by Miss Bertie Porter. We were sorry our citizens did not attend more generally, and will ascribe it to the very cold and stormy night rather [then] to any disrespect for the company.




A child of Gus. Raymond's died Wednesday morning of membraneous croup.


Henry & Co., will shortly have their new flouring mill in operation.


No purchaser has yet been found for Henry & Co.'s car works.


The members of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church will hold a festival in the old Baptist Church during the holidays.


The Juniata Dramatic Troupe gave an entertainment in Alexandria on Saturday evening, and after deducting expenses from the proceeds thereof came out somewhat behind.


Our merchants have been doing a rushing business the present week, especially T. W. Black, jeweler, who has four clerks busy in the store.


General Lane, of Shirleysburg, has opened a store in this place.




On Wednesday night "Happy" Wigaman went on a jamboree, and succeeded in getting a French roof with attachment below one of his windows, and two others were roughly handled in West Huntingdon. Several parties entered the grocery store of S. C. Clements, upset the stove and tore things up generally. They will all be arrested.




Parson Crawford, of the Daily Sun, spent Christmas at his home in this place.


Jack Ritz, of Akers' cigar manufactory, is recreating in Hollidaysburg.


Harry Jacobs, of the Globe, will spend the remainder of the week at his home in Hollidaysburg.


Charles Hollinger, of Blair's job rooms, will recreate the remainder of this week at his home in Carlisle.


School Report.


Grade of pupils belonging to Grammar School No. 1, Fourth ward, for the month ending December 19, 1879:




Nettie Wagner, 100

Carrie Ketler, 100

Daisy Woodall, 99

Myra Kinch, 95

Tillie Endress, 91

Albert Jaekel, 90

Lily Hooper, 89

William Ketler, 85

Daniel Ford, 84

Joseph Fink, 81

Ida Reigh, 77

Venie Eirhart, 74

James Rote, 67

Louie Bigler, 67

William Thompson, 62

Blanche Bartley, 60

+ Maggie Miller, 58

Ettie Robison, 45




Nellie Rodger, 100

Corrie Campbell, 100

Lizzie Metzgar, 99

Maggie Metzgar, 99

Annie Herr, 98

Wilbur Ramey, 96

Elmer Boynes, 95

Jennie Davis, 94

Belle Stoner, 91

Blanche Burkett, 91

Andie Bussman, 89

Harry Freeland, 88

Samuel Attig, 88

Mattie White, 87

Lizzie Condrin, 86

Samuel Christian, 82

William Klink, 81

Charles Weston, 81

Bella Boyles, 76

Harry Brumbaugh, 74

+ Jennie Fowler, 69

John Gern, 68

Susie Long, 65

+ Jessie Weidel, 59

Virginia Clark, 59

+ Ella White, 54

+ Lily Daily, 49

John Gern, 49

Hattie Trotter, 30


+Absent on account of sickness.


Prompt Payment.


This is to certify that special adjuster O. C. Weeks, of Liverpool, London and Globe Insurance Company, came to adjust my loss on stock at the brewery this morning, and at noon paid me my insurance of $3,000 at Alexander & Bros., agency. - MARTIN HOELLE, Altoona, December 23, 1879.




CANAN - CUSTER - On December 25, by Rev. M. N. Cornelius, Mr. M. H. Canan, of Johnstown, and Miss Fannie A. Custer, of this city.


We tender Fannie and her partner the compliments of the season, trusting their union may be, all through life, a happy one. Then when it is over they may be transplanted to the happy land of Ca(a)nan.


PEAK - GALBRAITH - On December 24, by Rev. M. N. Cornelius, Mr. C. A. Peak and Miss Emma Galbraith, all of this city.


PARKER - CALDWELL - On December 25, at the Presbyterian parsonage, Mt. Union, by Rev. S. W. Pomeroy, Mr. John A. Parker, of Mt. Union, to Miss Nannie E. Caldwell, daughter of John T. Caldwell, of Mifflin county, Pa.


McBAH - McCLELLAND - On December 24, by Rev. J. F. Shearer, Andrew McBah and Miss Emma McClelland, both of Fostoria, Blair county, Pa.


WHITE - HARPSTER - On December 25, at the Lutheran parsonage, Hollidaysburg, by the Rev. D. L. Ryder, Thomas White, of the Kettle, to Miss Mary Harpster, of Frankstown.


GRIFFETH - SCHLAG - On December 24, by Rev. H. Baker, Mr. John H. Griffeth to Miss Sallie A. Schlag, both of Altoona.


SWALES - SNYDER - On December 26, by Rev. H. Baker, Mr. William I. Swales to Miss Rebecca Snyder, both of Clearfield county, Pa.




FEATHER - On Christmas morning, Mrs. Feather, of Juniata township, aged 78 years.




Things Briefly Told.


Mr. M. F. Harmon, of West Point, spent Christmas at his home in this city.


Miss Mollie Metcalf leaves to-day for Mill Creek. She is going on a visit.


The ball of the Brotherhood of the Union was financially a success.


Mr. Abe Graham, now of Philadelphia, is in the city visiting friends.


Mr. George S. Hackett, of this city, a student in the Allegheny Theological Seminary, is home to spend his holiday vacation.


Mr. Alton Clabaugh who has been attending a school of pharmacy in Philadelphia is at home, spending the holidays.


John Stehle left last night for New York, where he formerly resided. He has not been there for twenty-five years.


William Ormes will visit the eastern cities in about two weeks, with a colored singing club of Altoona.


Mr. Samuel S. Saulsbury, who has been sick for so long, has been removed to John Germon's, the "Democratic War Horse." He is improving slowly.


Henry Miller, formerly of Hollidaysburg, was recently killed in a railroad collision. The last heard of him he was working on the Little Miami railroad.


The bottom was broken out of the cupola at the wheel foundry yesterday and work delayed for the day. The heat was about one half finished.


Mr. E. K. Hummel, the lightning rod man, is in the city visiting friends. He is now situated in Pittsburgh and will remove here in the spring.


James Hughes and family, of New York, is stopping in the city. He is a brother of Rev. Father Hughes, lately deceased, of Braddock.


Letters addressed to Miss Sarah Miller, Mapleton Depot, and Miss Katie E. Hobner, Johnstown, Pa., are held at the postoffice for postage.


The Keystone Minstrel troupe, organized in Altoona in 1874, will give an entertainment in the Opera House, on New Year's eve.


S. M. Prevost, Superintendent of the middle division, Pennsylvania railroad, gave a present of a fat turkey to each foreman of his division. There were fifty-three of them, all dressed for cooking.


Conductor George Miller, of the western division, Pennsylvania railroad, was walking along the track, when he accidentally fell into an ash pit and was badly burned about the head and body.


The Second Baptist Church had a Christmas tree on Thursday night, and a treat for the children. A basket of flowers was presented to the organist, Miss Carrie Hooper. A vase was presented to the Superintendent of the school, Harvey Johnson.


Sampson Taylor and David Miller went out hunting yesterday. They had ears and whiskers frozen and one rabbit. The hunting ground was down the railroad. Dr. E. E. Goodman was out and captured thirteen rabbits.


The Senior of the TRIBUNE received a valuable Christmas present of five well-bound volumes of McCauley's history of England, the gift of our esteemed friend John A. Anderson.


Mr. James L. Price, who has been at the Hot Springs, Arkansas, for the past two months, returned home on Wednesday evening. Mr. Price has been greatly troubled with a catarrhal affection and thinks now a permanent cure has been effected.


Repairing Their Engine.


The Good Will engine, which was somewhat damaged at the time of the brewery fire, is undergoing repairs. It will be fixed up by the railroad shop at the expense of the city and in a few days will be ready for any emergency.




Rev. M. Spangler, pastor of the United Brethren Church, was presented on Christmas eve, by his congregation, with a most beautiful and costly ebony gold headed cane....


At the house of John Wantz, away over on the east side, on Sixth avenue, near Eighth street, is one of the finest private Christmas displays in the city....


Mr. Curtis was the happy recipient of a valuable life size portrait of his estimable wife, in a costly and elaborate 5 inch gold frame 24x36, from the studio of the celebrated artist J. H. Wertz, who has been many weeks preparing this painting, and is considered a master piece and one of his finest productions. Mrs. Curtis could not have more completely gratified or surprised Mr. Curtis' taste in presenting to her husband this valuable Christmas gift.


The Third ward school, in which Mrs. Moore teaches the young idea how to shoot, presented their teacher with a pair of gray ducks, on the neck of one of which was found a dark colored China infant stuck fast. The janitor received from the boys a large turkey, with two pecks of pound apples.


H. Z. Metcalf, of the White Hall Hotel, presented to each of his help a handsome Christmas present. To T. J. Swiler, his faithful hostler, he made quite a costly one. He says Mr. Swiler is one of the most faithful men under his employ, and keeps everything as clean as a pin.


W. C. Diffenbaugh was the recipient on Christmas of a very nice present in the shape of a bread pan and crumb brush, from his employer, Mr. Curtis. He thanks him heartily for his kindness.


William Murray, dry goods merchant, received from the scholars of the First Methodist Sunday school a Christmas gift of a fine Bible.


Of course the Christmas stockings must be hung up, and one elderly gentleman we wot of, much to the delight of the children, received an onion, potato, celery tops, etc.


Mr. H. J. Cornman has, we think, the best trimmed Christmas tree in the city, the handiwork of his most excellent better half.




Kendig the Victor with a Score of 58 Miles in Twelve Hours.


On Christmas morning the Opera House was fixed up for the walking contest - a twelve-hour go as you please match. The body of the hall was cleared of chairs and around it was laid the track, about four feet wide, one-thirtieth of a mile long. It was kept in first-class order, and had about two inches deep of sawdust and clay on it. At ten o'clock, W. H. Johnston, who was chosen referee, called the men on the track. They all appeared save James Linton, and started on the long tramp. Eight men were on the sawdust as follows: C. C. Shannon, Jr., "Edwin Lamar," John McGarvey, "J. H. Brown," "Unknown," William Fasick, Charles Smith and A. J. Kendig. All went merrily until 1.55 P.M. when Shannon dropped from the track with a score of 20 miles and 2 laps. At 2.13 J. H. Brown also sought the retiring room not to again appear, leaving behind a score of 23 miles and 6 laps. Charles Smith stopped at 5.30 P.M. with 38 miles and 18 laps to his credit. At six o'clock in the evening the hall was filled with young men from around town, and considerable trouble was experienced in keeping the boys in order. The score stood: Lamar 41 miles and 12 laps; "Unknown," 32 miles and 22 laps; McGarvey, 39 miles and 12 laps; Fasick, 39 miles and 20 laps, and Kendig 42 miles and 14 laps. Kendig had a lead of a trifle over a mile, and this he kept up until the close, only losing a few laps. By 9 o'clock the contest was practically decided, and before 10 nearly all had stopped walking. The concluding score was: Kendig, 58 miles; Lamar, 57 miles; McGarvey, 55 miles and 15 laps; Fasick, 53 miles and 4 laps, and Unknown 47 miles. Four prizes were then awarded. The first to Mr. Kendig, of a handsome gold medal, box of cigars and $40 in money. The other prizes were then awarded to the second man, Lamar, $20; third man, McGarvey, $10, and fourth man, Fasick, $5. Several neat little speeches were made, and then the crowd dispersed. During the evening the Mountain City Band furnished most excellent music. The match throughout was very well conducted, and all the contestants were satisfied with the decisions. The attendance was very good and at times the room was entirely filled.




Charles Howland, a prisoner, made a desperate attempt last Wednesday to escape from the Williamsport jail. In preventing him he was badly hurt.


Martin Lawler, sometimes called "Muff" Lawler, and notorious in Schuylkill county as a Mollie Maguire "squealer," it is said, is troubled in his sleep with visions of those he betrayed.




All Die Violent Deaths - The Last Member Falls Down Stairs.


Mrs. Jacob Moser, the last member of a fated family, all of whom died violent deaths, died at Delaware Water Gap from injuries received by falling down stairs in her house. It is related that one cold, stormy night in the winter of 1828 a Durham boat, which Jacob Moser, his brother Rinaldo, his brother in-law Miller and a young man named Cortright were running, was stranded on an island in the Lower Delaware. They had no matches to build a fire. Jacob Moser froze to death. Rinaldo Moser, then 18 years old, was so badly frozen that both legs had to be amputated at the thigh. Cortright knocked in the head of a barrel of whiskey which was on the boat, and submerged himself to the chin in the liquor. His ears were frozen off, and his face was terribly frosted. The liquor had saved the other part of his body from freezing, but had blistered him so badly that he almost lost his life from that. Miller escaped with frozen feet, ears and face. The next year Miller was drowned. In 1835 Cortright was burned to death in a building in Warren county, New Jersey. 




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