Blair County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project - PAGenWeb (2022)

Blair County PAGenWeb

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Blair County Newspaper Articles

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

Items from The Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa.,

Thursday, April 1, 1875

Williamsburg Whims and Whiffs.
The News of the Old Town and the Queer Sayings of its Quaint oldPeople.

The atmospheric "clerk" and William Cullen Bryant have dealt out tous "coveites" pretty nearly all kinds of weather for the past threeequinoctial days, so, that all our old grandmothers are now rehearsingthe good old ditty - "stormy March has come at last with clouds andwinds and changing skies; I hear the rushing of the blast, thatthrough the snowy valley flies," etc. And the White doctors are allon the Ake to entrap an Arnold, or excel a patriarchal Ross in theirendeavors to checkmate the manifold - and as old Squire Soliday usedto say - "heterogeneous conglomeration of diseases" incident thereto.In fact, the "Cove" is distressingly healthy for this season of theyear, and our learned "medicine men" are not any too jubilant toacknowledge it; yet, there are a few isolated cases of "very bad coldstaken" (why don't people take good ones?) severe coughs, and pneumonia(no money) and many of our young bloods are "talking ho(a)rse" inearnest, whilst some are coughing a graveyard march without a coffin -the balance of us are all well, thank you! duly weighed and not foundwanting.

Business is booming - so is the blue Juniata, - and both going itwith a rush down stream. Col. Wortz, Col. Harris and General-lyaround Wilson, are endeavoring to dam the waters with a straw, but asyet they only see success through a glass darkly. By and by, theywill "haw sir up to taw," or tow-path, without "busting a piston rod"on their rapid running engine, or washing away the grade of our branchrailroad.

The recent Methodist Conference hit us hard. It takes from us amighty sharp Cleaver and sends us a Haughawout from Clearfield. Fourold members of the church here nearly choked to death this morning intheir attempts to pronounce the name, as it was printed in the MORNINGTRIBUNE. That's what you fellows have done for us. One of the oldElders of the church here - an Englishman by profession, has boughthim a ten cent slate, and has the name written on it, so that whenanybody asks him the name of the new minister, he simply hands him theslate, and says. " 'Ere hit his, hit sounds like och-a-what inthunder, hi don't know."

Some years ago there was a little church unpleasantness on Clovercreek. The people refused to let the pastor preach in the buildingand stood before the church door with clubs in their hands to keep himout. But the pastor didn't scare worth a cent. He came prepared andbrought with him one of our old Mexican veterans, who was somewhatnoted for sport on the spot and ready to drop in anywhere at almostany time. Seeing the people blocking up the way to the church, hepulled out his revolver from his boot-leg and thus addressed theastonished and horror-stricken crowd: "See here, my coveys, this isyour preacher. He is sent here to talk to you. He wants in thatbuilding, so stand aside and make room for the man of God."

Those fellows stood aside, and that preacher preached from thetext: "As it was in the days of Noe, so it shall be when the Son ofMan cometh." The first hymn was: "Before Jehovah's awful throne, yesaints with reverence bow" - and that horrid Mexican man with thatugly talking revolver, clerked it, by singing it to the old tune of"Hark from the tombs a doleful sound," which was the inscription onhis revolver. This story has a coincidence, and that is why I relateit for the delectation of all whom it may concern. More anon. -FRANK.

Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, April 1, 1875, page 2

[From Thursday's Tribune.]

A FRAUD. - Mr. Samuel Neithercoat, of Bakerstown, Allegheny county,Pa., writes us as follows, under date of March 24:

EDITORS TRIBUNE - Dear Sirs :-- We were favored with a call to-dayfrom a man said to be J. C. Potter, who was canvassing for your paper.Is he authorized to do so? He offers premiums of calico dresses,sewing machines, etc., and is of medium height, dark hair andcomplexion.

We thank Mr. Neithercoat for the information above noted, andpronounce the so-called J. C. Potter a fraud and a swindler. TheTRIBUNE is sent forth on its merits alone, and no sewing machines orcalico dresses are given to subscribers. Mr. J. C. Potter, ofAltoona, as will be seen by reference to the top of the first columnof the third page of this paper, is our only authorized general agent,yet his field of labor does not extend so far as Allegheny county.Steps have been taken to secure the arrest of the imposter.

THEFT OF A TRUNK. - A case of trunk stealing was developed over inCentre county last week, the crime having been committed by the wifeof Paddy McGirk, a former resident of Altoona. It seems that sometime since a respectable young girl from a neighboring town came toPhilipsburg, Centre county, in the employ of the family of one of ourmost worthy citizens, and something more than a week ago her parentsforwarded her a trunk, containing her clothing, to her, by freight.The trunk arrived and on the same day a female presented herself atthe freight depot, represented herself as the consignee, claimed thetrunk, and received it. When the owner called for her property shewas surprised to find that it had already been delivered to anotherparty. Efforts were immediately made to identify the woman who hadpracticed the fraud and recover the property. After it was prettycertain that Mrs. McGirk was the thief and that the trunk had beencarried to a house of ill repute in Lloydsville, on the line of theBell's Gap railroad, where she was stopping, the place was visited byan officer of the law. The woman exhibited the trunk, but claimedthat it was hers and it could not be identified. The officer thenbrought the owner of the missing trunk and the freight agent, whoidentified the property. The woman had put some of her clothing inthe trunk, which was taken out, and the rest restored to the owner,although the woman McGirk managed to keep some apparel that did notbelong to her. No prosecution was entered against the thief.


A young man named Millard Plummer, employed as a brakeman on ashifting crew in the railroad company's yard, at East Tyrone, waskilled while in the performance of his duty yesterday morning. Itseems that while in the act of coupling cars one of his feet caught ina frog which caused him to fall on the track with great violence. Aportion of the train ran over him and his body was fearfullymutilated. He lived about a half hour after the accident, andprevious to his death requested some one to pray for him, an engineerwho was present complying with the request. Deceased was about twentyone years of age.


- Rev. J. Kistler sends us additional particulars with reference tothe death of an aged lady which has been noted in these columns: Mrs.Mary Fleck, of Sinking Valley, died on Friday evening, March 19th,1875, aged 91 years, 8 months and 20 days. Her disease was paralysis.The case was peculiar, as she lay for 11 days and 18 hours withoutmoving a limb, opening her eyes, or taking a morsel of food. She wasthe mother of 10 children, 8 of which survive her; 71 grand childrenand 69 great grand children. She was born in Maryland, but early inlife emigrated to this county. She was a highly esteemed and muchbeloved citizen of Sinking Valley for about 70 years.


- On Sunday night, March 22, a party of burglars armed with clubs,augurs, burglar lanterns and other implements used in their nefariousoperations, broke into the barn of Mr. Benjamin Yoder who resides nearNew Enterprise, Bedford county. The burglars bored the lock off thedoor, rolled out a barrel of whisky and loaded it on a sled and droveaway. They were traced to near Bloomfield Oil Mines. There is aneffort being made to ferret out the party and bring them to justicefor their wholesale theft of so much of the "O be joyful."


On the 18th inst., a woman named Sarah Stewart, the lawful wife ofJ. P. Stewart, appeared before Alderman McCormick and lodgedinformation against her husband charging him with committing a wickedand malicious assault and battery on her person. Yesterday thedefendant appeared before the Alderman and was required to enter bailin the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars for his appearance at thenext term of Court to answer. Lawyer E. Shaw, of this city, becamesurety for the defendant.


The man named Burtnett, charged with forging the names of two ofhis neighbors to a note for $200, upon which he received $133, at theFirst National bank, Hollidaysburg, was arrested by a police officerand committed to the Blair county prison. The case will be disposedof at the April session. Burtnett, it will be remembered, forged thename of William Wertz and D. P. Tussey to a note. All the partiesreside in Canoe Valley.


At Bell's Mills, on Monday morning, the train hands employed on thelocal freight train, observed the first lark of the season. It wassitting on the bank alongside the track, and at first was supposed tobe frozen or petrified, so to speak, but when one of the trainmenapproached it the bird stepped down and out, only to return after thetrack was clear for the purpose of feeding on the loose grain that hadfallen from the cars.


A young man named Bottorf, whose home is in Pleasant Valley, betterknown as Mudtown, sustained a severe injury of his right hip whileengaged in unloading coal yesterday morning. The ice on his bootheels caused him to slip and fall from a coal cart with greatviolence.

From Tuesday's Tribune.
A Freight Brakeman Killed in the Railroad Company's Yard LastNight.

About eleven o'clock last night a man named William Boyer, abrakeman employed on the Harrisburg freight train, running betweenthis city and Harrisburg, was almost instantly killed at the easternextremity of the Altoona yard. It seems that the unfortunate man wasassisting to make up the train on which he was employed preparatory toleaving for the east, and while in the act of putting a link in thebull-nose of a car which was standing still on one of the side tracksa detachment of the same train came violently in contact with the carmentioned, and catching Boyer between the bumpers he was crushed todeath.

The unfortunate man was heard to utter one piercing scream, whenthe fellow trainmen immediately went to his assistance. It wasdiscovered that he was fatally injured; in fact he survived theaccident about five minutes only. The body was placed on a shiftingengine and brought to the railroad company's oil house, at the depot,and a brother of the deceased and the coroner summoned withoutdelay.

Deceased was a man aged about forty-five years, and resided on Herrstreet, in Harrisburg. He leaves a wife and five children to mournhis death, and has a brother residing in Altoona. With the latter thedeceased was to be seen in conversation at the company's eastern roundhouse yesterday afternoon. The officers of the railroad company tookcharge of the remains and they will be forwarded to Harrisburg forinterment.


On Saturday morning last a well-known citizen of Altoona in theperson of Ludwig Hartel, Esq., a baker and boarding-house keeperresiding on Eleventh avenue, boarded the second section of Pacificexpress train westward bound. He had purchased a ticket forGallitzin, and the object of his trip was to catch a young man who hadjumped his board bill, the amount due being in the neighborhood of $5.As the train neared Allegrippas station, and when it was ascending themountain at full schedule time, Hartle observed his delinquent boarderwalking along the South track. On the spur of the moment he plungedthrough the car door and leaped from the train. How he got homeremains a mystery, but certain it is that at the present time he islying on a bed of down in his residence, having sustained a number ofsevere cuts on the head and bruises on the body. As soon as it wasdiscovered that the man had leaped from the car conductor J. C.Carroll stopped the train and backed to the point at which Hartel madethe fearful plunge, expecting to find him either dead or seriouslyinjured, but he was nowhere to be found in the neighborhood. It isasserted, however, that immediately after he made the leap he gavechase to the runaway boarder, but was too weak to effect his capture.It will probably be weeks before Hartel will recover from hisinjuries.


Beyond doubt the merchant tailoring establishments in Altoona areburglarized more frequently than any other places of business. Thelatest on record was that of Mr. George F. Marsh, whose establishment,located on Eleventh avenue, was entered by midnight prowlers sometimeduring Sunday night or early yesterday morning. Admittance to thebuilding was gained by forcing open the front entrance. Once insidethe scoundrel evidently tried on all the made-up clothing in order tobe sure of a fit, and in turn threw the non fitting garments on thefloor. Upon making an examination yesterday morning Mr. Marshdiscovered that nothing was missing save a coat and a pair ofpantaloons, the loss amounting to about forty dollars. Other clothingwas damaged to a certain extent by being trampled upon with muddyboots or shoes. At present writing there is no clue that would leadto the arrest and conviction of the burglar.


On information preferred by his wife, officers Howard and Holtzmanlast evening arrested a man named Wilson Colyer, who is charged withnot supporting his family and for threatening to do bodily violence tothe members thereof.

Bob. McMahon, well-known to our readers, was picked up on thestreet and committed to the station house. It was the old, oldstory.

Interesting Statistics Relative to Blair County.

The members of the Board of Commissioners of Public Charities ofthe State of Pennsylvania, will accept our thanks for a copy of theirfifth annual report. The report was transmitted to the Legislature onthe 18th of last month, and is a compendium of valuable statisticsrelative to crime and pauperism in the State, the work having beencompiled with the greatest care. It was a good thing for the Statewhen the Board of Commissioners of Public Charities was appointed, andit is gratifying to note that able men compose the commission. Thereport is compiled for the year ending September 30th, 1874. From itwe learn that the whole number of convicts from Blair county, which isa part of the western district, was 21; the number of days they weresupported was 4,410, at a cost to the county for their maintenance of$1,367.10, the labor performed by the convicts amounting to$463.05.

Thirty-one persons were admitted to the institution for theinstruction of the blind, only one of whom (a male) was from Blaircounty, who still remains an inmate and is being supported at theexpense of the State.

In the State Lunatic Hospital, at Harrisburg, 149 persons wereadmitted, three of whom were from Blair county - one male and twofemales. Of the 176 indigent insane maintained by the publicauthorities in this hospital on September 30th, 1874, 7 were from thiscounty - 2 males and 5 females.


From the report of the General Agent and Secretary of the Board, weglean the following with reference to the Blair County Prison and AlmsHouse:


Visited October 15th, 1874.

The general care exercised over this prison is satisfactory. Somediscipline is enforced. Have occasional religious services. Biblesand other books are supplied. Prisoners are generally kept separate -dine together, but sup and breakfast in the cells.

The prison itself and its furniture are also under good care.Water supply is adequate. It is comfortably warmed. The beddinglooks comfortable. A hospital apartment and bathroom are provided.The jail itself is substantially built, and is well arranged.Eighteen prisoners, one being a female and another a boy, eleven yearsof age, for a second offence.

Diet consists of coffee, meat, potatoes, bread and molasses.Commissioners pay warden fifty cents per day for boarding prisoners.A special act was passed forbidding the sheriff taking charge of thejail.


Evidences of some improvement present themselves of this fineproperty. The farm is in a good state of cultivation, and the wellarranged brick edifice, used to accommodate the poor and helpless,bears evidences of faithful care and attention. The arrangements forwarming it and for the preservation of cleanliness also deserveapproval. The inmates of this house receive the benefit of sufficientattention, and can have no just cause of complaint. The presentsteward is evidently endeavoring to fulfil his entire duty. Hisduties are onerous, little or no help other than the small extent thatcan be received from the paupers, being allowed him.

Whilst we are free to make this admission, we regret that we cannotreport similar improvement in the condition of the insane. Theyoccupy the same dark and neglected looking corners in the basement.Mary Neil is still seen upon her bed of straw, in the same dismalapartment, with a single garment thrown over her shoulders to hide hernakedness, a mental and physical wreck, with scarce a ray ofintelligence left, a melancholy instance of the deplorableconsequences which occur from the neglect to use timely andappropriate treatment. When we remember that 75 out of every 100 justsuch cases are curable the first six months, the importance of aspeedy resort to proper treatment can be fully appreciated.


The number of criminals convicted of various crimes in our countyCourt is set down at 35, or an increase of 6 over the previous year.The total number of persons charged with crime in Blair county was182; 161 bills were laid before the grand jury, and 128 of these werereturned true bills, and 35 were ignored. Forty-four bills weretried; there were 9 acquittals and 35 convictions; 33 nolle prosequi'swere entered and 36 persons plead guilty to the indictments againstthem. Twelve persons forfeited their recognizances, amounting in theaggregate to $7,000. The number who plead guilty, added to the 35convictions makes a total of 71 persons who were punished for crime.It must be remembered that a large number of assault and battery andsurety-of-the-peace cases are settled before they reach Court, hencethey do not appear in the report before us.

The grade of offences credited to the 35 who were convicted is setdown as follows: Assault and battery, 6; fornication and bastardy, 1;larceny, 5; malicious mischief, 1; nuisance, 1; riot, 1; violatingliquor law, 20. The crimes committed by the 36 who plead guilty, arenot detailed in this report, yet nearly all of them were violations ofthe liquor law. The number of convicts remaining in the Blair CountyPrison at the time the report was made out was 15 - 12 males and 3females; the whole number of prisoners, 33.


The table showing the cost of maintenance of the Blair County Jail,puts the sum at $2,927.75, the fuel and light at $400, making thetotal expenditures $3,327.75.


The total amount expended for the maintenance of the almshouseduring the year is given at $11,205.45; this includes $4,846.53 formaintenances, $1,900.50 for salaries, wages and labor, $197.00 forlight, $1,262.40 for clothing, $1,014.57 for hospital for insane,$259.00 for repairs, $851.45 for extraordinary expenses, $874.00 forall other expenses. The amount expended for out-door relief duringthat period was $514.53, which makes the total expense of theinstitution $11,719.98. The receipts were $1,195.00, and the net costof the almshouse and out-door relief $10,524.98.

The number of paupers remaining in the alms house on the above datewas 77, classified as follows: Sane - males 34, females 17, children11. Insane - males 7. females 6. Blind - males 1, females 1. Ofthese, 43 were native born, and 34 were of foreign extraction.

The foregoing embraces everything of interest to our readers. Thematter of prison economy, impelled by the report in question, iseditorially referred to this morning. Many valuable suggestionsrelative to poor houses, prisons, and hospitals, are made in thereport, all of which are based on practical examination of theworkings of these institutions.

PROCEEDINGS OF ARGUMENT COURT. - Following will be found a reportin brief of additional proceedings at the Argument Court held onThursday.

S. M. Woodcock vs. J. L. Ickes. - Motion for a new trial. Overruledand judgment ordered to be entered on the verdict.

Geo. W. Patterson for use vs. Joshua Gilbert et. al. - Exceptionsoverruled and inquisition confirmed.

H. B. Huff vs. Zac Endress et. al. - Rule discharged.

Jonathan Rhule vs. Henry Leamer - continued by consent.

Reese Owen vs. Miles McGuire - Rule absolute at cost ofdefendants.

Louis Plack vs. A. Lockard et. al - Continued.

Miles R. Jones vs. James A. Ross - Rule absolute.

C. L. Borie vs. Fred Crissman and John B. Wesley - Continued.

People's Planing Mill Co. vs. Peter Lisher - Rule absolute.

In the matter of the exceptions to the report of B. L. Hewit -Distributing money arising from the sale of real estate of John Rentz.Exceptions overruled and report confirmed absolutely.

Olmes & Zink vs. Hannah L. Wright and James Wright - Continuedtill Saturday morning next.

Com. vs. John Stehle - Forfeiture of recognizance taken off anddefendant sentenced to pay $100 and all costs in Common Pleas andQuarter Sessions.

Barton Greenland vs. M. Sharkey - Settled by parties and ruledischarged.

F. Leibig for use vs. J. W. and Sophia Miller - Ruledischarged.

Geo. Krause vs. B. Kunkle - Rule discharged as of first day ofApril next.

Dysart & Stokes vs. Pat McDunn - Continued till Saturdaynext.

A. B. and L. Association vs. Wm. Swift - Rule discharged.

Blair County Building Association vs. Thomas Carland - Ruledischarged.

Hannah Clark and William Clark vs. John Brotherline - Ruledischarged at costs of parties taking it.

W. Lee Woodcock vs. Ann Tierney - Judgment affirmed.

Commonwealth for use vs. Wolfgang Renner and A. Grovenspenger -Forfeiture of recognizance taken off on payment of record costs.

Commonwealth for use vs. Same - Same order.

Same vs. Peter Miller and John Miller- Rule absolute.

A. Lockard for use vs. Aaron Worley - Settled and ruleabsolute.

Same vs. Jacob Schondelmire - Rule absolute and writ and costs tofollow.

Jacobs & Franks vs. John Nagell - Rule absolute. Crawford &Bro. vs. Tyrone Gas and Water Company - Settled, and lien satisfied.

Sam'l Patterson vs. Same - Settled, and lien satisfied.

In the matter of exceptions to report of John P. Hoover, guardian,etc. Exception sustained and sale set aside and guardian allowed toexecute another deed to A. S. Morrow & Company.

Commonwealth vs. James A. Mason - Charge Desertion. Noll. pros.entered by District Attorney on payment of cost by defendant.

Same vs. Richard Tilson - Surety of the peace. Defendant orderedto pay the costs of prosecution, etc., and to keep the peace towardhis wife, the prosecutrix.

Same vs. Wm. Andrews - Surety of the peace. Continued till Aprilterm.

Same vs. Albert Benton - Surety of the peace. Defendant ordered topay costs of prosecution, and to keep the peace toward Mrs. Loafer,prosecutrix.

Same vs. Chas Kerber - Charge, Desertion and refusal to maintain.Charge dismissed at costs of defendant.

GETTING READY FOR THE APRIL SESSIONS - A Complete List of theJurymen Drawn. - Following will be found a full list of the Grand andTraverse Jurors drawn by the Sheriff and Jury Commissioners of Blaircounty for the April Term, 1875:


H. L. Bunker, George W. Cunningham, John H. Dilling, Henry Elway,Robt. C. Galbraith, Henry Garland, Calvin M. Hackett, Wm. Hawksworth,James M. Hewit, Wm. T. Henderson, D. M, Leighty, J. Lewis, Ed. McGraw,Benjamin Nugent, E. E. Powell, Albert Reeder, John G. Reed, AbnerShaw, Jno. Stine, John Sissler, J. W. Thomas, Henry Vanolman, John C.West, Henry Wike.


Geo. W. Athey, Jno. Baker, Saml. C. Black, Jas. Bookhamer, Jno.Bruner. Samuel Baker, Saml Cruse, Saml. Culp, Abraham Craine, J. C.Dysart, Michael Dick, Henry Fettinger, Jno. Fry, S. W. Grabill, W. J.Gardner, Chas. Goodwin, Jas. Glasgow, John Gheer, Scott M. Given,Martin Graffius, John Grabill, John Gartland, Alexander Hart. J. S. P.Harris, Matthew S. Hunter, Michael Imler, Thos. Kurtz, Wm. B. Ketler,Valentine Lingenfelter, Alex Mock, John Metz, Saml. Nowlin, JamesPressell, C. J. Riggle, John G. Smith, Peter M. Smith, Levi Stahl,Samuel Thompson.


James Andrews, William Allen, Jas. Alexander, J. R. Bell, H. S.Ball, Jacob Berkhimer, Jno. J. J. Canan, John Douglass, George Deihl,S. E. Duncan, A. Dale, Wm. Exline, W. A. Fluke, William Forrester,Geo. Filer, B. Goldman, David Gilday, Wm. Hosskiss, Edward S. Hall,Abraham Hunter, Wm. S. Lingenfelter, Joseph Luther, Rupert Leader,James Long, D. S. Markey. Sam'l McCamant, J. R. McFarlane, MichaelMoyer, Jacob Miller, Conrad Ott. Michael Poet, Jos Patten, Wm.Richardson, John Shaw, Geo. Schell, Joseph Vanolman, Jacob Walters,Samuel Zimmerman.


BAKER - in this city, on the 24th inst., Benedict Francis, son ofFrederick Baker, aged 6 years and 28 days.

Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, April 1, 1875, page 3

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