Blair County PAGenWeb


Blair County PAGenWeb





Blair County Newspaper Articles

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


The Morning Tribune, Altoona, Pa.,

Wednesday, January 5, 1881


A Full House Greets the Public Ceremony. Addresses by Dr. Hall, Robert Johnson, Rev. J. B. Young and Others - Music and Singing by Different Organizations.


On Tuesday evening of this week the public installation of Lieutenant S. C. Potts Post No. 62, Grand Army of the Republic, was held in the Opera House. A very large company was present, in fact the whole building was filled. The state represented a camp scene. In the background was an open tent in front of which stood the tripod with soup kettle swinging. From the pole of the tent flew the regimental colors while at the sides of the stage were the stacked arms. The retiring officers occupied the left hand side of the stage and the newly elected officers the right. The Junior Greys' Band enlivened the occasion with very excellent music.


At the opening of the evening's proceedings the Glee Club rendered the hymn "America" in a very excellent manner.


The retiring Post Commander, Dr. W. D. Hall, read the following history of the order:


The Grand Army of the Republic was organized in the spring of 1866 by the formation of a post in Dakota, Illinois, this the effort mainly of Dr. B. F. Stephenson, who wrote the first ritual and encouraged the work of organizing other posts, until a department was formed July 11, with General John M. Palmer as Department Commander, after which the order spread rapidly in the West.


The natural result of companionship through the perils of warfare was the gathering afterward in friendly councils of "Boys in Blue," who added not a little to the excitement in the different State and national campaigns. The work, however, was but temporary, and the feelings excited were soon allayed after the contest in each case was decided, and something more than this seemed essentially necessary for a permanent association of the soldiers.


Hence the organization of the Grand Army was heartily welcomed, and the "boys in blue" hastened by thousands to enter into its ranks. The national encampment had in its declaration of principles stated as objects to be accomplished among others the following:


To establish and secure the rights of the defenders of our country.


To inculcate upon the whole country a proper appreciation of their services and a recognition of their just claims.


Also a declaration which boded no good for the politician who had carefully remained at home and cheered the brave boys on. The politician fought the order from the start as political, pointed to the action of the "Boys in Blue" in its ranks and leading in its councils as a proof of it, while others who thought it a step to political advancement were disappointed in the results and dropped out of ranks by the wayside.


The influence thus created was very detrimental to the order, which it has taken years to undo; yet looking back to these years it is hard to say how these could have been avoided.


In 1869 an effort was made to pass a resolution at the national encampment by a comrade of Post 19, of Philadelphia, to decorate Union and Rebel soldiers' graves alike, and it was decided that memorial day was kept for the purpose of perpetuating the memory of the Union dead and none others; thus we escaped another danger that threatened our order. The next danger that threatened to sink it was the adoption of the grade system, consisting of three grades or degrees, consisting of recruit, soldier and veteran. This too failed of its object and finally was dropped, after four years desperate struggle for an existence.


In deeds of charity the Grand Army of the Republic has dispensed during the last eleven years, up to January, 1880, $85,000, which shows that we do not spend our income in riotous living, as is often alleged by our enemies, and goes to show that the old soldiers do not forget the affiliations entered into on the battle fields of the republic, and this expense of charity increases as our members grow older and more liable to life's infirmities.


As there is a wide-spread misconception of the aims and objects of the Grand Army of the Republic, growing out of persistent misrepresentations on the one hand and on the other of suspicious ignorance, which is unable to pierce the thin veil of mystery that envelops the order and clothes it with attributes which it does not possess. It is true that we are a secret to a certain extent, but it is secret only so far as it is necessary to guard against intrusion of the unaffiliated. Its purposes are open and explicit and there is no effort to conceal them. It is organized after the form of a military post or encampment, with officers the same as a company or battalion, and the only secret is in the shape of the countersign, such as is employed in the army to prevent entrance without authority. We are willing that all should know the object of our order, and indeed publicity has proven very beneficial to its advancement and serves to remove unfavorable prejudice.


The order is not by any means a political organization. Politics have no room or place in our post room, although at times there has been some color given to that charge against us by the unadvised action of a few of its members, and all attempts to use it for partisan purposes would be a violation of its most vital principles. On the field of battle no man asked "What is your politics?" So in our order, and the right of every comrade to vote as he pleases is never questioned. If there had been any unworthy attempt to use the order for any party it has been met by an extreme contempt by all good and loyal lovers of its principles. Its great principles as formulated in its ritual are fraternity, charity, loyalty. We fraternize with all deserving soldiers and sailors, whether members of the organization or not. We are not organized for the purposes of keeping alive the hates and contentions of an unhappy conflict, nor to tear open the wounds now happily closed by the healing touch of time, but to perpetuate the glorious memories of arduous service, to maintain the close ties of friendship born on the field of battle, to be good comrades in peace as we were faithful soldiers in war, and when the last bugle sounds and the last roll call is answered our glorious Grand Army shall bivouac with the dead, and its memories only live in history. May a grateful people drop a kind tear over the glorious record which her heroes have made.


The installation of newly elected officers then took place, Post Commander Harris, of Bellefonte, conducting the exercises. The retiring Post Commander, Adjutant and Quartermaster presented themselves and reported that their duties had been faithfully performed. The names of the officers-elect were then read. These gentlemen were called upon to stand up, and they pledged themselves to faithfully perform their duties. The chaplain elect was then installed and after him the new Post Commander, Malden Valentine. Comrade George Bockius, the new Adjutant, was then called forth and made the same pledge. This finished the installation ceremonies and the literary entertainment was again taken up.


The Aeolian Glee Club, composed of Messrs. Hunter, McCloskey, Houck and Donald, rendered "Marching Through Georgia," in which the comrades joined in the chorus, and "John Brown's Body" at intervals during the exercises.


Comrade J. W. Reeber recited "Barbara Freitchie" and "Sheridan's Ride" with rare effect. He was closely listened to and is an attractive elocutionist.


Comrade Robert Johnson delivered an address on "War Reminiscences." He prefaced his remarks by speaking of Gen. Joe Hooker at the battle of Chancellorsville and the many conflicting statements in regard to his whereabouts on that occasion, citing the incident to show that in battle people may see and understand the same event very differently. On the Third army corps, to which he was attached, he said that it had first been sent down the river to deceive the enemy but later got in position for battle. The fight was an entrancing one. There were two great bodies bearing down on each other, each trying to do all the harm it could to the other and ready to receive any blows which came in exchange. It was dreadful as the two hosts swept into the jaws of death, while back of them the huge cannon belched forth the solid shot and shell into the advancing ranks. The enemy retreated under our galling fire, but suddenly a detachment of rebels swept down through our ranks and threw the whole corps into a panic and in an instant all was maddening confusion. The speaker's description of the panic and rally was grand beyond description. He closed by saying that of the three hundred and sixty-five men of the Eighty-fourth regiment Pennsylvania volunteers who went out but one hundred and twenty returned to the old parade ground and eleven of the commissioned officers were absent at roll call. He retired amid great applause.


Comrade Stone, of Post No. 88 of Allegheny, happened to be present as a visitor and was called on for a few remarks. He spoke of the old life of the soldiers which was become a strong bond of fellowship among them. The good the post is doing as a means of alleviating suffering was also referred to. Word recently came to the camp of the financial distress in which a sister of Colonel Moody had been recently found. She sent the brave Colonel's sword to the Post that it might not be sold at the Sheriff's hands. The comrades put the sword up at a raffle and soon such a shower of dollars were poured on the lady as sent the officers from her door. But the post is an organization that must necessarily have a brief existence, and soon the last comrade will be gone and the Grand Army of the Republic will be but a memory.


Post Commander Valentine then sang "Granny's Old Arm Chair" in a way which brought down the house and called for an enthusiastic encore.


The closing exercise was by Comrade J. B. Young who made an eloquent address and was generally supposed to be referring to a certain paper which delights its readers with articles ridiculing Decoration day ceremonies whenever its editor gets an opportunity. Mr. Young said, I am afraid that to-night we have not been careful enough of the tender sensibilities of some of those here. Some may have been hurt at the allusion to John Brown, at the vivid memories of the war and at the old battle flag which graces the front of the tent. Many of us greatly enjoy these things and the time when fancy held sway of my brain, was when at Harrisburg I walked in that room where so many bullet rent, blood-stained battle flags were furled. As I walked among them my eye caught the flag of the old "Eighty-fourth" and my head was bowed reverently as I thought of the comrades who had fallen to keep its folds from pollution - some died on the battle field, some in rebel prisons, while others lingered to come home and expire in the arms of their friends. These feelings do not hurt me; I can only hope my obituary may be: "He was a Union soldier." Fellow comrades, your companions died for the holiest principles next to the gospel ever found in the breast of man.


At the close of Mr. Young's remarks the Junior Greys Band rendered "The Star Spangled Banner" and the audience dispersed.


The Carvers' Trouble.


The carvers employed in the Pennsylvania Railroad Company's cabinet shops severed their connection with the company on Monday last and have left the city to seek employment elsewhere. The cause of the trouble was the price of the piece-work the company desired them to do, and they thought it was entirely too low. The price the carvers asked was refused, hence the cause of their leaving. There was no strike originated as has been reported.


A Prize for Our Scholars. Professor Montgomery, of the State Normal School, Millersville, offers a valuable gold medal for the pupil in any public school in Pennsylvania who will produce during the present school year the best specimen of drawing under the following classes: First, drawing from copy; second, drawing map of country from memory; third, dictation exercises; fourth, original composition. A committee from each county shall examine the work and send to Millersville for final judgment.


New Hall Dedicated.


Mountain City Lodge, No. 837, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, last night dedicated their new hall, in the third story of the TRIBUNE building. District Deputy Grand Master Epler officiated and was assisted by Past Grand C. N. Pimlott, R. F. Bankert, J. D. Hicks, Joseph Shaffer and W. T. Daugherty. At the close of the services J. D. Hicks made a fine address on Odd Fellowship.


Morning Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Wednesday, January 5, 1881, page 1


Mr. Seth Campbell, the New Steward at the Almshouse - Masonic Matters.


Bossy Martin is the happy man. He received several hundred dollars from the government as back pension.




Messrs. Butler and Isett, our efficient county auditors, are busy at the Court House making an examination into the money matters and expenditures for the year 1880.




The annual meeting of the Directors of the Poor was held at the almshouse yesterday. There were no changes made except Steward Shinafelt retires and Mr. Seth Campbell takes his place. A full report will be given tomorrow.




The following officers were elected at the regular meeting of Portage Lodge, No. 220, A. Y. M.: W. M., R. W. Bollinger; S. W., D. S. Hays, M. D.; J. W., Eli Smith; Treasurer, W. R. Babcock; Secretary, John Bracken. The subordinate officers have not yet been appointed.




The following officers were installed in Juniata Lodge, No. 282, A. Y. M., on Monday night: W. M., J. P. Stewart; S. W., James Lingafelt; J. W., Fred Jaekel; Secretary, H. L. Bunker; Treasurer, A. M. Lloyd. The W. M. appointed the following subordinate officers: Chaplain, J. R. Crawford; Guide, John Suckling; S. D., John Wichaman; J. D., James S. Bobb; P., ? J. Over; S. M. C., Jonathan Derno; J. H. C., C. B. Jones.


Morning Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Wednesday, January 5, 1881, page 3


Things Briefly Told.


His Honor Judge Dean went to Ebensburg last evening.


Mumps are the prevailing epidemic in Hare's valley, Huntingdon county.


The fast line came in on good time last evening, with two engines attached to the train.


Rev. G. H. Olewine, of Three Springs, buried his son Charles, aged 6 years, on the 27th ult.


Michael Sechrist, of Mapleton, Huntingdon county, died on December 29th aged 102 years.


Recorder Greevy yesterday made the hearts of Arthur Homer and Martha Steel, both of Bennington, beat as one.


John A. Crawford, Esq., of Arch Springs, and Supervisor James Cullen, of Spruce Creek, were in the city last evening.


John Swires is lying quite ill of rheumatism and pleurisy at No. 1500 Sixth avenue. He would be glad to have his friends call in and see him.


Andrew J. Riley, Esq., departed for Philadelphia on day express yesterday. The object of his visit is to consult physicians in regard to his ailments.


John Goritz, boss of the cleaners in No. 3 round house, died about 3 o'clock yesterday morning after a short illness. He had been at work on the previous Friday, as well as usual.


The funeral of John C. C. Whaley, of Lock Haven, member-elect to the present Legislature, took place on Monday and was very largely attended. Hon. L. A. Mackey is talked of as his successor.


The Sun stated that workmen in the passenger car shops commenced work Monday on a new order of one hundred Eastlake cars. This is incorrect. The old order is not yet completed.


James S. Bobb, formerly Deputy Sheriff of this county, was in the city yesterday. Mr. Bobb has been in Colorado for the past eight months, arriving at his home in Martinsburg last week. He likes that country, and from his looks it agrees with him admirably.


Miss Lilly M. Fries had a birthday party at her parents' residence on Fourteenth avenue last evening. There was a large gathering of little folks, and the young lady was the recipient of many presents from her guests. The company was treated to refreshments. A very enjoyable time was passed.


It is stated that the Philadelphia Coal Company, a corporation which several months ago leased the coal right of a number of acres of coal land from Mrs. M. M. Adams, near Cresson, will next week commence opening out several drifts on the north side of the turnpike, near the Summit.


The editor of the TRIBUNE is indebted to Mr. D. G. Hackett, business manager of the Fort Wayne Sentinel, for a handsome and very convenient reporter's note book, the product of that thriving newspaper establishment. It was not only an acceptable but appropriate New Year's gift, for which he has our thanks.


It will soon be the State of Blair, with Colonel Lemon, as Auditor General; Hewit, Speaker of the House; McCamant, Chief Clerk State Department; Patterson, Resident Clerk; Clark, Doorkeeper of the Senate, and King, clerk in the Auditor General's office, to say nothing of minor loaves and fishes in the House.


Miss Jennie Dell, daughter of Levi Dell, deceased, of Hare's valley, Huntingdon county, died December 29th, aged 20 years. The deceased was afflicted with inflammatory rheumatism ever since she was 13 years old and for six years had never walked a step nor had the use of her arms. Pleurisy, however, was the cause of her death.


Mr. George Hooper desires through the TRIBUNE to return his sincere thanks to Messrs. John P. Levan, Beatty, Charles and Rarick, of the lower shops, for the elegant New Year's gift sent through the postoffice. Mr. Hooper thinks these gentlemen are connoisseurs in art, and their eye for the beautiful is simply unrivaled. It tells with a jerk where their affections lie. The gilt to be appreciated must be seen.


Another Big Order.


The foreman of the locomotive shops yesterday received an order for ten new Class B. passenger engines. These engines are very strong and have been used to haul passenger trains up the mountain, but they are now coming into use all along the road. They have five-feet driving wheels and eighteen-inch cylinders. The shops are crowded with work at present.


The Milk in the Cocoanut of a Scene in the Council Chamber.


Before the meeting of Council on Monday night James Kearney appeared in front of the President's desk and had a very animated conversation with the City Solicitor, in which there was a prospect of a knock-down at one time. The fuss was all about a recent decision of Judge Dean's, a copy of which Mr. Kearney had with him. The affair is an old sore and one which does not show a very good record for previous City Councils. In 1873 City Council, on petition, had viewers appointed to open Fourth street in the Eighth ward. The court appointed as requested, a view was held, and the report was returned and the street was opened. All the lots through which the street ran were then vacant. Some of the individual owners were awarded their damages and assessed their benefits separately, but large number of lots were bunched together and an award made to all together. Among those damaged were James Kearney, Samuel Woodcock, John Tate and Samuel Sprankle. Mr. Tate was paid his damages with the benefits deducted, as was also Mr. Sprankle, who however first sued the city. The man who was City Solicitor at that time for some reason failed to collect the benefits on the lots however. Messrs. Kearney and Woodcock, so the viewers thought, were damaged to the extent of nine hundred dollars and benefitted to the extent of three hundred dollars. This left a balance of six hundred dollars in their favor, of which Council granted an order a short time since. Then City Solicitor Flanigan was instructed, after the lapse of a number of years, to collect the benefits on the other lots. At the next meeting of Council this action was reconsidered and he was instructed not to collect them, and again at the next meeting he was instructed to collect them. Mr. Woodcock desired that the matter should be settled as to whether the benefits charged on these lots were a lien on the property. On Monday the court held that the view was defective in that it did not specify the benefits and damages of each lot, and now Messrs. Woodcock and Kearney claim the additional three hundred dollars, as none of the benefits can be collected in the present state of affairs. Mr. Flanigan says he had a verbal agreement with Mr. Woodcock that in case this decision was rendered he should not claim this sum of three hundred dollars, and Mr. Kearney denies the agreement and that is how the matter stands at present. Council, however, declines to grant the order at present.


A Big Horse Race in Prospect.


On Monday Charlie Garman and a number of his acquaintances were sitting in the White Hall hotel talking "horse" when a curious bet was made. Garman agreed to put up his little horse "Bob" against any other horse in Blair or Cambria counties to travel 100 miles in the shortest time. His challenge was accepted by Emanuel Vance, with the horse in the hands of Mr. Dumphy. The stakes are five hundred dollars per side. They have already been partly deposited and are in the hands of Mr. Metcalf. The intention is to have the race take place in Altoona within eight weeks and it will probably be held on the Millville track, although if the parties desire the agreement is in such shape that they may drive along the public road from one place to another one hundred miles distant. The drivers may either go on horseback of in harness as is desired. The race will doubtless attract a large crowd.


A Number of Slight Accidents.


A young man named John Hauser had a narrow escape from injury yesterday while at work at the lower shops. A car was being pushed into the shops on a track on which some furniture was standing. Mr. Hauser tried to remove the things but was caught by the car and had hard work to get out of the way.


A few days since William Barger, a freight brakeman, had one hand quite badly mashed while coupling. He will not lose it however.


Moses Yingling who resides about two miles from the city, but employed in the lower shops had one foot considerably mashed on Monday evening by a car bumper falling on it. He was repaired by a company physician.


Stephen Corbit had one hand badly mashed in the yard on Monday while coupling cars.


A Ride Stealer in Trouble.


Yesterday a man with paint pot in hand jumped on a caboose of a freight train near Sonman, with the intention of stealing a ride. The conductor of the train, Daniel Williams, came in and ordered the man out, but he refused to go. Williams then put the fellow out after hard struggling, the man in the meantime using a knife with considerable effect. After he had left the conductor discovered that a fine watch he carried had been stolen from the caboose by the man. Some of his crew went back and captured the thief, who was still along the railroad, and took him to Gallitzin, where he was locked up. The man was a painter from Ebensburg, but we did not learn his name.


Punctual Scholars.


The following are the names of pupils belonging to the Third Ward Intermediate School who were in attendance every day during the month ending January 4, 1881: Sallie Hoine, Amanda Miller, Harriet Koon, Ada Greist, Katie Green, Lizzie Trout, Sue King, Katie McClellan, Emily Altman, Eddie Huss, Lewis Keifer, Orr McCartney, Homer Amheiser, Johnnie Bowman, Frankie Bowman, Johnnie Burns and Willie Capstick.




ENGLE - KILLINGER. - On December 25, 1880, at the Lutheran parsonage by Rev. D. D. Ryder, Mr. John Engle to Miss Caroline Killinger, both of Altoona.


FULTZ - TATE. - On December 23, 1880, at the residence of the bride's parents, by Rev. J. A. Irvine, Mr. Wm. A. Fultz, of Altoona, Pa., to Miss Mary A. Tate, of Lamar, Clinton county, Pa.




YINGLING. - In Logan Township, January 3, 1881, Miss Mattie Yingling, daughter of Harrison and Nancy Yingling, aged 15 years, 10 months and 3 days.


May peace rest with her.


Morning Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Wednesday, January 5, 1881, page 4




Return to Top of Page


Blair County PAGenWeb : News


Copyright © 2018 Judy Rogers Banja (JRB) & contributors.  All rights reserved.