News, obituaries, birth, marriage and death notices, by date.
Items from The Morning Tribune, Altoona, Pa.,
Thursday, August 6, 1891
Band Concert To-Night.
The weather permitting the following programmed will be rendered in the Logan house park this evening by the Altoona City band, under the direction of Jule A. Neff:
March - Altoona - Althouse
FOUND DEAD IN BED.
John Hoover, an old and respected citizen of Williamsburg, was found dead in his bed about 8 o'clock on Wednesday morning. He was apparently as well as usual up to the time of his death, and worked all day on Tuesday. On the morning of his death his daughter Ella went to his bedroom door, looked in and saw her father in what appeared to her to be a sound sleep. She concluded she would not awake him, but on going to his room the second time, an hour or so later, discovered that he was dead.
Mr. Hoover was born February 22, 1820, near McConnellsburg, Fulton county, Pa. He came to the vicinity of Williamsburg in 1831 or 1832, about the time the Pennsylvania canal was being made, and carried water for the workmen. He was married June 17, 1850, to Mary Jane Shinefelt (who died about three years ago). To them were born nine children. Three of the children - Elizabeth, Martin and Calvin - are dead. Those living are Nannie, intermarried with J. C. Brumbaugh; William, Ella, John, Robert and Alice, all living in Williamsburg. One sister, Mrs. William Eddleblute, and one brother, Philip, both older, survive him.
In early life he learned the trade of a hatter and worked with Elias Hoover when he carried on that business in Williamsburg and he carried on the hatting business himself for a short time. Afterward he owned and run a boat on the canal at various times. Since the canal was abandoned he had been engaged in the grocery business and the raising and marketing of vegetables. There was one characteristic of Mr. Hoover noticeable and that was whatever he did was well done. His home and garden were admired by every one for the good taste displayed and the neatness of all the surroundings. He was an honest, industrious, hard working man all his life, and was very much respected by his neighbors. Quiet and unassuming in his manners he had few enemies. Funeral from his late residence on Saturday afternoon at 1 o'clock.
AS TO BICYCLES.
At a recent meeting of common council an ordinance was introduced relative to the regulation of the riding of bicycles within the limits of the city. The same was referred to the highways committee, which acted upon it the same evening and made a favorable report after amending it so as to include "cycles" and "tricycles." The measure was passed by the lower branch and referred to select. There it was laid on the table and taken up on Monday evening last, when an amendment to the original was offered in effect "that persons operating said vehicles shall be allowed to ride on the sidewalks, speed not to exceed four miles an hour and the rider to be responsible for any and all damages by accidents to persons; also be required to carry a lighted lamp on the front wheel after dark." The amendment was lost by a tie vote and the original ordinance was again laid on the table.
This amendment was a most remarkable one and is not likely to be resurrected. The following act, "defining the rights and regulating the use of bicycles and tricycles," was passed by the legislature of 1889 and approved by Governor Beaver on the 23d day of April, 1889:
"That bicycles, tricycles and all vehicles propelled by hand or foot, and all persons by whom bicycles, tricycles and such other vehicles are used, ridden or propelled upon the public highways of this state, shall be entitled to the same rights and subject to the same restrictions, in the use thereof, as are prescribed by law in the cases of persons using carriages drawn by horses."
This law is plain enough. There are very few, if any, persons who object to allowing tricycles being used on the pavements. They are used by children of tender years who have no strength to commit injury. On the other hand there are no persons who object to bicycle riders using the streets; but they naturally draw the line when it comes to using the sidewalks. Just as well might the same right be extended to carriages and wagons. The streets are broad enough without the sidewalks being used and the bicyclists can use them to their their heart's content; but for goodness sake let the pedestrian who is too poor to own a carriage or a bicycle (and he is in the majority) have a chance to go to and from his work on the sidewalks.
LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE.
So far as granting the long distance telegraph and telephone company the right to erect its poles and stretch its wires within the corporate limits of Altoona are concerned, that work has now been done, councils having passed the necessary ordinance and the same has been signed by the mayor. The measure was presented by Mr. Hoyer in select council on July 20; was reported affirmatively upon the same night; passed by select council July 27 and by common on August 3. Its provisions are as follows:
AN ORDINANCE - Granting permission to The American Telegraph and Telephone Company of Pennsylvania to erect poles and wires upon certain streets of the city of Altoona.
SECTION I. Be it ordained and enacted by the city of Altoona, in select and common councils assembled, and it is hereby ordained and enacted by the authority of the same. That permission be and is hereby granted to "The American Telegraph and Telephone company, of Pennsylvania," its successors and assigns to erect, operate and maintain lines of telegraph and telephone, including the necessary poles, wires and fixtures upon, along and over the following streets, in the city of Altoona, viz: Washington avenue from the city limit on the north, to Sixteenth street; Sixteenth street from its junction with Washington avenue to the city limits on the south; also, upon, along and over such alleys as will best enable said company to connect with its subscribers within said city.
Provided, That all poles so erected under this ordinance shall be located under the supervision of the department of highways and sewers, and shall be straight and neatly painted and that all wires and lines run through or along said alleys shall be stretched upon and attached to poles already erected and in use by other companies for similar purposes, wherever such arrangement can reasonably be made.
And provided further, That said company shall have the right to use any street or avenue, by the shortest reasonable route, for the purpose of making connection with its central office in said city.
SEC. 2. All ordinances or part of any ordinance conflicting with the provisions of this ordinance are hereby repealed, so far as they affect this ordinance.
THE BOARD OF HEALTH.
What Was Done at the Meeting Yesterday Afternoon.
The board of health met in regular session in the select council chamber yesterday afternoon at 3.30 o'clock. Members present, Dr. C. B. Dudley, Mr. Joseph Nixon and President Dr. J. W. Rowe. After the minutes of the last regular meeting were read and approved the health officer's report of eighteen nuisances which were abated on verbal orders, was read and filed.
Petition of citizens in relation to nuisance arising from filth deposited on premises of Mrs. Sharp on Seventeenth street between Seventeenth and Eighteenth avenues, was read. An official board notice was ordered served on Mrs. Sharp to either remove the filth now there or to cover the same with one foot of clean earth and not to allow any more garbage to be deposited on the premises.
The following complaints of nuisances were taken up and read: Nuisance in alley between Thirteenth and Fourteenth avenues and Twenty-first and Twenty-second streets, arising from overflowing privies, garbage, dead chickens, etc.; overflowing vault on premises of L. Fagan, No. 806 Sixteenth street, and overflowing vault on premises of James Gardner, No. 2124 Thirteenth avenue. The health officer reports that the above stated nuisances were all abated.
The complaint of nuisance on premises of James McFeeley, No. 49 Washington avenue, the complaint was referred back to the health officer for further supervision and to direct the use of disinfectants.
The complaint of nuisance arising from dumping night soil and garbage on lands adjoining the city was referred to the health officer to make investigation and report at the next meeting.
The complaint of citizens draining into the street at the corner of Seventh avenue and Twenty-fourth street was referred to the health officer to notify the persons creating this nuisance to drain into the open sewer.
The health officer was directed to make investigation and find out what property owners on Union avenue and Broad street are draining their water closets into the street gutter.
The secretary presented his report along with the city treasurer's receipt for the sum of $17.50, monies received for the month of July.
Official board notices having been served on Mrs. Brannan, of No. 1208 Fourth avenue, Isabel Lewerne, of 2126 Thirteenth avenue and W. L.. Woodcock, Fourth street between Seventh and Eighth avenue and the time having expired, the health officer reports nuisance not abated and he was directed to proceed according to law and have the nuisances on the above named premises abated, the cost of doing the work and all necessary expenses to be collected from the owners of the premises.
The official board notice served on Mrs. Keegan was referred back to the officer for further supervision. In the cases of Mr. Hesser and Mrs. Hendricks, on whom official notices had been served, both cases were held over for one week to allow of further work to be done in way of abating the nuisances. The official board notices served on James Spencer and Mrs. E. Woodcock to abate nuisances on their premises the health officer reports the nuisances abated as per orders. In the case of nuisance in alley between Eighth and Ninth avenues and Nineteenth to Twenty-first streets was held over for one week to permit of getting further signers to petition. In complaint of nuisance on premises of Mr. Ebert, corner Chestnut avenue and Eleventh street, arising from stagnant water in cellar, the health officer reports complaint correct. An official board notice was ordered served on owner to abate within five days.
A number of reports of contagious diseases were read and the same were received and filed.
The secretary was directed to return a death certificate to Mr. Stevens to know why there was no physician's certificate accompanying the same.
It was desired that Dr. Cummings be requested to explain his reason for not making the necessary reports as required by law, and after transacting some routine business the board adjourned.
Morning Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, August 6, 1891, page 1
The Altoona TRIBUNE comes to its readers this morning arrayed in a new and comely dress. The type is as easy to read as the old, but it will enable us to furnish considerable more reading matter in each issue.
The Altoona TRIBUNE printing establishment began operations the first week in January, 1856. Its beginnings were humble. Altoona was then an insignificant village, much smaller than Hollidaysburg, which was then a lively and bustling town. But the mountain village grew with astonishing rapidity and the TRIBUNE's business grew with it.
The large building which is the TRIBUNE's home was erected by the proprietors in 1880 and occupied in December of that year. For a number of years the first floor was occupied by G. A. Patton, and the third floor was the home of Logan lodge No. 79, Knights of Pythias, and other secret societies.
The gradual increase of the business of the TRIBUNE led to the occupancy of the whole of the first and second floors several years ago, and early in this year it was seen that the growth of the job department would necessitate the occupancy of the third floor by the newspaper force. This has been done and now the entire building is occupied by busy TRIBUNE workmen.
The growth of the business of this office has been gradual. It has never had a boom, and desires none. It is content that each succeeding year shall show a small gain in the business of the job department, a slight increase in the circulation of the paper, and a corresponding gain in influence. We prefer the slow but certain growth of the oak to that of the mushroom. For years the TRIBUNE has employed no canvassers and the advance in its subscription list has been solely due to its merits and the favorable inclination of the people. The regular daily edition of the MORNING TRIBUNE now approaches 3,800; the WEEKLY TRIBUNE has about 2,000 subscribers. The job department is kept steadily employed.
The MORNING TRIBUNE has a well defined ideal toward which it steadily strives, but which it has never quite reached. It is first of all a local paper. The right of way is always given to the news of the city and county. In addition to the local force we have a large number of attentive and faithful correspondents in various parts of the county, and little of consequence happens that is not promptly chronicled in these columns. There is a line of local news that we do not court and that is excluded from the paper, as much as possible; it includes scandals and other events that do not make good family reading.
We have also regular correspondents in neighboring counties who furnish the events of their neighborhoods. And while we make no pretense to rival the great dailies of the large cities in the amount of material sent to our readers every morning, we do claim that every item of general importance receives prompt mention in these columns. No part of the world is exempt from the vigilance of the men and women who work for the information and entertainment of our readers. In these busy days it is probable that a newspaper which omits columns of idle gossip, rumor and presumption, confining itself to a concise presentation of the news of the day, will commend itself to public favor. Certainly the TRIBUNE has no reason to complain of a lack of public appreciation.
The sensationalism affected by many modern newspapers the TRIBUNE has ever despised and carefully avoided. It has been deceived, of course. In the hurry of daily journalism it sometimes happens that careful investigation is impossible. But a strenuous effort is made to exclude all idle gossip, all malicious rumors, and all matter that is not adapted to family reading. In the daily preparation of this paper we ever have in mind the army of young people who are among its readers, and it is our earnest purpose to do them good and not harm. That we sometimes fail is simply to admit that the conductors of this paper are human beings.
As for the editorial department, it must be permitted to speak for itself. It lays no claim to brilliancy and it is doubtless often mistaken. But it seeks ever to find and to tell the truth, and in this effort must necessarily offend some to-day whom it pleased yesterday. It will continue to speak fearlessly concerning public questions, upholding the right and condemning the wrong, criticizing with entire freedom its friends as well as its enemies when necessity seems to demand criticism.
It is so seldom that the TRIBUNE talks about itself that the reader will doubtless pardon this exhibition of egotism. With sincere thanks to its thousands of devoted friends, it now steps into the background.
Morning Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, August 6, 1891, page 2
George B. Bowers, esq., of your city, was among Bellwood's visitors Tuesday.
Miss Lizzie Akers has returned home after a pleasant sojourn of ten days at Montoursville, this state.
Painters are busily engaged in beautifying the residence of Rev. G. B. Ague, on Main street, which was lately damaged by fire.
Charley Bell, formerly of the Standard Oil company in your city, is now the pleasant and obliging clerk of A. Carpenter, general merchant, Main street.
Our very efficient pill-maker, Dr. W. Y. Levengood, and J. Lloyd Lowther, who manufactures the best flour in this part of the state, leave this morning for Atlantic City, where they expect to have a good time for the next week or ten days.
The ordinance which gave absolute right of our streets and avenues to the Bellwood Water company and the Bellwood Electric Light company failed to pass first reading in council assembled on last Monday evening. It is altogether likely that the borough will furnish both water and light for our citizens in a very short time. At least we were informed by one of the worthy councilmen.
Shall it be a hand engine or shall it be a chemical engine, is what's worrying our new fire organization. A house divided against itself must fall, and as a result of the difference of opinion in this case we expect ere long to have two companies, both or either of which we fear will be a great failure. However, we do not work on the half; we go whole hog or none, and if we cannot be the whole company ourselves, we will not play at all, is the way a few look at these matters.
Morning Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, August 6, 1891, page 3
The Operators defeated the Altoonas yesterday by a score of 14 to 5.
Seats are selling rapidly for Bobby Gaylor's appearance at the opera house to-morrow night as "Sport McAllister."
The Sixth avenue paving is making good progress and the work will soon be completed. When completed the improvement will be one of the finest.
Delmonico Thomas, an Italian residing on Sixteenth street, and Emma Schiro, of Chestnut avenue and Eleventh street, were admitted to the hospital for medical treatment yesterday.
John Harry, son of John and Caroline Cain, died at 4 o'clock yesterday morning at the parents' residence, No. 1030 Second avenue, aged 1 week. The funeral will take place at 2 o'clock this afternoon. Interment in St. John's cemetery.
From an item published in our Hollidaysburg correspondence this morning we are led to believe that a short line to Bedford may yet be built. It cannot come too soon. A section of country so rich in material and agricultural wealth should have railroad facilities.
To-morrow being the first Friday in August, the members of the Altoona board of trade will meet at 8 o'clock in regular monthly meeting in the building association room of the Woodcock Arcade. It is hoped the attendance will be larger than it was on the first Friday of July.
To-morrow the Lutherans of Blair and adjoining counties meet at Dell Delight in their sixth annual reunion. Ample preparations have been made to accommodate all. Meals can be had on the ground, furnished by the Duncansville congregation, at 40 cents per single meal or five for $1.50.
Letters held at the postoffice: Improperly addressed - Jonas Druery, 1903 Eleventh avenue; John Dell, Eleventh avenue and Eleventh street; Miss Georgie Leader, 1312 Seventeenth street; Mrs. Mary C. Miller, 1007 Eighth avenue; Harry Ickes, 1716 Third avenue; Mrs. William Myers, 411 Third avenue. Held for postage - W. M. Parshall, Wampum, Pa..
Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Morton and their son Walter departed yesterday for Zanesville, Ohio. They will remain away for two weeks.
Miss Clara Charlton, of Harrisburg, and Miss Black, of Sea Isle City, N. J., are the guests of Miss Minnie Landis, on Allegheny street.
Two little but self-reliant misses, Sarah Jacobs and Margaret Wilson, departed yesterday to take a peep at the ocean's wonders at Sea Isle City.
John C. Chamberlain, esq., deputy collector of the internal revenue, of Everett, Pa., interviewed our cigar and tobacco merchants on Tuesday.
Rev. J. E. Bell, of Phillipsburg, formerly pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church of this place, was a prominent figure on our streets yesterday.
Mrs. C. W. Sausser, of Tyrone, and her bright little daughters, Misses Mary Bell and Edna, are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Russ on Walnut street.
Hon. and Mrs. B. L. Hewit, accompanied by their nieces, Misses Lisle and Clara Smith, depart to-morrow for Duluth, Minn. The major will look after his extensive interests in the northwest until the first of October.
Uncles Tom's Cabin at Point View was the scene yesterday of a merry picnic party, in which Misses Lillie Moore, Martha Hutchinson and Sadie Fulmer, and Messrs. Robert Brawley, H. M. Henshey and Thomas Hemphill each had a share of the jollity of the outing.
Mr. Joseph Calvin, the jovial and big-hearted foreman of McLanahan & Stone's machine shop, in Gaysport, will treat his apprentices and shop boys to a three-days' outing, commencing with to-day, amid the sports and pastimes of Point View. The party will rendezvous at Uncle Tom's cabin.
There is a good time coming at Flowing Springs' grove to-day. The Ladies' Mite society of the Baptist church and the congregation of the Presbyterian church will both picnic at this favored spot, and nature promises to wear her happiest smile for the occasion. The train leaves for the grounds at 9.15 a. m. and, returning, arrives here at 6.55 p. m. The horse of flesh and blood will possibly convey as many picnickers to the grounds as the iron horse. Boating, fishing, visits to Point View, ball playing, etc. will form the round of amusement. Blest be the tie that binds on this field day of Christian fellowship.
Our town was visited yesterday by a party of gentlemen representing the Pennsylvania and West Virginia railroad company. This company is contemplating a proposed route from west of Bedford to Brooks's mills, in this county, and is also seeking an outlet for certain coal and ore interests centered west of Bedford and in Virginia. The party was conveyed in coaches to Brooks's mills, going over the line of the road, and from thence they drove to Bedford. It is strongly intimated that the same company of capitalists has purchased the rolling mill lately the property of the Hollidaysburg and Gap works, and will run and operate the same. Mr. Charles H. Smith is spoken of as the probable manager of the works, and his well known probity of character and sound business qualifications will commend the enterprise to public confidence. There is more below than above the tapestry. We can now only conjecture, but the signs point towards brighter and more prosperous days for this good old town of Adam Holliday.
Frank v. Robinson has returned from Philadelphia and is now stopping at the farm of David Bell, in Sinking Valley.
Mr. Peter Stoner, of 1907 Eighteenth avenue, has returned from a month's trip to Ohio and the lakes. She visited relatives and friends and had a pleasant time.
Misses Bessie Taylor and Mahala Kline, of Altoona, departed on Tuesday for a visit of several weeks to New York, Atlantic City, Cape May and other points of interest.
William Barclay and daughter, of this city, leave to-day on an extended visit to Philadelphia. During their absence they will attend a reunion of the Barclay family which will occur Tuesday next.
Card of Thanks.
Mrs. Rhoda A. Carter, wife and Joseph and Grant Carter, sons of the late W. A. Carter, desire to return in this manner their sincere and heartfelt thanks to friends and neighbors for the many acts of kindness and sympathy extended them during them the sickness and subsequent death of husband and father.
To Hold a Public Meeting.
Yesterday a number of petitions were circulated through the city calling for a public meeting of the citizens of Altoona, to be held in the Eleventh avenue opera house, on Saturday evening, August 8, at 8 o'clock. It is called for the purpose of taking some concerted action relative to the City and Park railroad, and also as to the action taken by select council in the matter at last Monday night's meeting. The petitions were being numerously signed and from present indications the opera house will be crowded. The question is the one now being discussed all over the city, and the advocates of the new road are numerous. Its building would open up a section of country which cannot now be reached and rapid transit both in and out of the city limits means progress.
The following marriage license was granted by Charles Geesey, esq., clerk of the orphans' court at Hollidaysburg, since our last report:
To Albert S. Johns, of Mansfield Pa., and Sara Dickinson, of Altoona.
Mr. A. A. Thompson, of Mapleton, elected to fill No. 12 school, has declined to accept, stating that he has secured a school near home at an equal salary.
The stone, iron and brick work of the first story of the new annex to the Ward house was finished yesterday and the joist laid for the commencement of the second story.
Miss A. M. Kloss, a leading and most excellent teacher for some years in our public schools, has tendered her resignation to accept the more lucrative position of stenographic and type writing teacher in a private school at Lockport, New York. This will give Miss Kloss an opportunity to develop her talents in this line for which she is especially adapted.
THE SCHOOL BOARD ACTS.
TYRONE, July 1891. The undersigned petitioners respectfully set forth: That the education of our children in our public schools should be in charge of those about whom no cloud of suspicion rests and while we desire to take no part in any charges of immorality or imputations of indiscreet conduct on the part of Professor Pinkerton, it has become apparent that reports concerning him have so impaired his usefulness as principal of our public schools that his continuance therein would cause discord and contention and result in great dissatisfaction among our people. We therefore respectfully ask your honorable board to communicate these facts to Professor Pinkerton requesting him to resign his position in our public schools, and that you proceed at once to supply the place with another. And we will ever pray:
C. A. Harris, W. H. Daughenbaugh, L. H. Fitzwilliam, Chas. M. Nan, C. F. Crawford, M.D., C. H. Dieffenbaugh, F. G. Gray, Wm. Vogt, H. B. Piper, Jno. A Vogt, D. R. Miller, T. C. Connell, J. L. Troutwine, Geo. B. Reed, A. W. Beyer, James C. Keys, C. M. Ewing, M.D., M. Hamer, S. Berlin, L. A. Woomer, T. F. VanScoyoc, H. C. Brew, W. Halligan, P. J. Frantz, M. S. Cresswell, Wm. T. Henderson, P. F. Halligan, David Silknitter, J. M. Smith, J. Huston, J. I. Calderwood, P. S. McCann, J. H. Reiley, R. D. Farrell, A. E. Jones, R. H. Wharton, W. L. Study, W. F. Taylor, John Hildebrand, D. G. Owens, J. B. Williams, E. R. Brindle, James H. Thompson, J. J. Troutwine, T. W. Graffius, G. C. Waite, D. F. Walker, J. R. Stanley, Moses Sprinkle, John R. Sprankle, Chas. M. Waple, Wm. Harris, W. D. Metcalf, jr., T. B. Keller, John x Moulton - his mark, H. L. Hesser, Tim Sullivan, Jno. Baumbardner, F. D. Beyer, Joshua Burley, A. R. Barr, W. A. Bollinger, Frank Guyer, J. J. Miller, A. E. Lingenfelter, S. W. Miller, A. Klinepeter, Lester A. Haupt, jr., David Philips, G. W. Bradley, Roland Proctor, S. H. Boyer, Frank Heverly, John Farrell, M. B. Lever, Wm. Logan, M. Judge, S. C. Graham, J. M. Hamer, John Stroup, Wm. A. Miller, Edward McKeown, J. C. McConahy, T. J. Fitzpatrick, H. L. Harbison, Harry Hays.
After the above petition came into the hands of the school board, at the written request of four signers their names were withdrawn.
Accompanying this petition was the following explanatory communication:
TYRONE, Pa., July 22, 1891. THE MEMBERS OF TYRONE SCHOOL BOARD - GENTLEMEN: The "Pinkerton Investigating Committee" desire me to say that Dr. H. B. Piper, of Main street, is the proposer, author and writer of the accompanying petition which being signed by over ninety citizens, is submitted for your consideration. Gentlemen, Yours very truly, C. H. FITZWILLIAM, - Secretary of Com.
To the petitioners the board prepared an extended reply, which is published herewith in full:
To the Ninety Signers of the Petition Addressed to the Board of School Directors of Tyrone - Gentlemen: Your petition, accompanied with a communication signed by "C. H. Fitzwilliam, Secretary of Com.," and a personal statement by him to the secretary of the school board that Dr. H. B. Piper, J. M. Smith, M.D., F. A. Harris and himself, constituted what he called the "Pinkerton Investigating Committee," although unaccompanied with any information as to where, when, or by whom such a committee was appointed, was duly received by the board of directors at a special meeting called for that purpose, duly considered and the request therein contained, "that Professor Pinkerton be requested to resign his position in our public schools" respectfully declined for the following among other reasons:
First. Dr. J. M. Smith and Dr. H. B. Piper stated to a member of this board that they had no knowledge of the appointment of any such committee as is referred to by C. H. Fitzwilliam, and of which he claims to be the secretary.
Second. There are over 1,000 qualified electors in Tyrone borough, of which probably 500 are patrons of the public schools. Your petition contains less than one-tenth of this number, and of the persons signing, about one-half of them have no children in our schools, and probably never visited or have any knowledge concerning the same or the teachers therein, except through the statements made to them by the persons active in circulating your petition - C. H. Fitzwilliam and his colleagues - as an inducement, to secure signatures thereto, and you, the petitioners, do not represent even a reasonable minority of the patrons of our schools.
Third. The petition is indefinite, vague and uncertain, not in any way informing the board of directors what the reports that the petitioners refer to, by whom the same originated or have been circulated, or furnishing or offering to furnish any data or information concerning the same.
Fourth. The board of school directors of Tyrone borough have investigated every report, whether orally made or in writing, of which they had any knowledge, that in any way affected the integrity and character of any of the faculty of our schools and in no case found anything that justified the same.
The first report that reached the board affected the impartiality with which our schools should be conducted and was made by C. H. Fitzwilliam during the school term of 1889 and 1890, and in substance was that he, Mr. Fitzwilliam, had been unfairly treated by the principal of our schools by not being allowed to conduct the devotional exercises of the schools at certain times as he claimed was his privilege under the custom of the principal; on investigation made, the board found that there was no foundation for the report, and that Mr. Fitzwilliam had received the same consideration accorded to others of the resident clergy.
The next report affecting the principal came from C. H. Fitzwilliam and was made to the president of the school board in person, and in substance was that the principal had been guilty of indiscreet and immoral conduct. A special meeting of the board of directors was called and Mr. Fitzwilliam was invited to be present. The fullest liberty was accorded him to make his statements and give the names of witnesses by whom the charges made could be sustained and that there might be no misunderstanding as to his statements, etc., we secured the assistance of a stenographer to carefully note what he said and his statements are now part of the records of the school board, subject to inspection by any one of the patrons of the school, as are all other petitions, records, etc. In addition to the statement thus made, the board of directors, through its individual members, caused careful inquiry to be made of any and every person who, so far as we could learn, could probably furnish any information tending to sustain the reports made by Mr. Fitzwilliam, and after a full, careful and thorough investigation, it was the unanimous opinion of the board of directors that the report was without any foundation and the same was dismissed.
During our investigation of these reports it was disclosed that the principal of our schools was a member in regular standing in the Baptist church at Tyrone, of which Mr. Fitzwilliam is the pastor, and that some difference of opinion exists between them, by reason of which Professor Pinkerton absented himself from their church service, the full particulars of which we did not inquire into, it not being the duty of the board to settle church disputes between pastor and layman.
The next report was made in writing by Mr. Fitzwilliam and was in substance that in the arrangement of the programme for the commencement exercises of 1891 the Baptist church, of which he is pastor, had been unjustly discriminated against by not inviting him to a seat on the platform and assigning him a part in the exercises. An investigation of this report found it was without a shadow of foundation, as was shown by the reply of the board of directors to his communication published in the town papers at the time.
The next report originated when the board of directors, in caring for the best interests of our schools, made certain changes in the employment of teachers and the grading of the same by which one of the teachers of last year was not re-elected. After this action of the board, which the persons interested in the circulation of your petition, by street report and through the public press charged was the result of sectarianism on the part of the directors, but which in fact had nothing whatever to do with the change of teachers, certain reports affecting the moral integrity of the principal and emanating from the defeated teacher were put in circulation and coming to the attention of the board of directors they requested the parties circulating the same to reduce the same to writing and submit the same to them, and on receipt of same the directors required the principal to make answer thereto in writing, which was promptly done, and in which answer he unqualifiedly denied every material statement. A special meeting was called and the statement and answer, with all the circumstances surrounding the same were carefully considered, and it was the judgment of the majority of the board of directors that the complaint was not sustained and was accordingly dismissed, all of which will appear by the records of the board.
Complaints and reports affecting the integrity of other teachers of the schools have been made and on investigation have also been found without a shadow of foundation.
As the board of school directors we have endeavored to so conduct the schools that the greatest possible good may be gotten out of the same. Professor Pinkerton has been in charge of our schools during the past five years, during which time they have attained a degree of proficiency second to none in the state; he is a strict disciplinarian requiring faithful work from both teachers and scholars; he has had under his care a yearly average of over 700 scholars and fifteen teachers for the control and management of which the directors have held him to a strict accountability; his work and conduct, in and out of the schools have been constantly under the observation of the directors and they have at no time found any cause to question his faithfulness or moral integrity; that he has incurred the enmity of some persons who were patrons of the schools, growing out of school discipline administered to their children by him, and by others who charge him with not advancing their children as fast as others have advanced, and by teachers who attribute their short coming to his alleged partiality, is to be expected, not only of the present principal but any other one who will equally faithfully discharge his duty without prejudice or partiality.
To dismiss either a principal or teachers of our schools because irresponsible persons in gratification of personal enmity see fit to circulate derogatory reports as to their character or conduct, which on investigation have been found groundless, would only be to completely disorganize our schools, encourage the assassination of private character and offer a premium to gossips and scandal mongers.
The reports affecting the moral integrity of the principal of our schools, which we are satisfied, have been maliciously started and circulated, without any foundation for the same will not impair his usefulness or cause discord and contention or result in dissatisfaction among those of our people who are really interested in the upbuilding of our schools and the education of our children.
The year of 1890-91 was the most successful of any of the past school years during his administration, and we feel assured that the term soon to begin will surpass any of the past terms.
We answer your petition thus at length that not only yourselves, but all those who are interested in the welfare of our public schools, may know the facts as we found them, and that they may fully understand that the board of school directors have jealously looked after every interest pertaining to the best interest of our public schools. Very respectfully.
By order of the board of directors. A. A. SMITH, President. W. T. CANAN, Secretary. August 4, 1891.
Morning Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, August 6, 1891, page 4
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