Tyrone of Today
The Gateway of the Alleghenies
BY REV. W. H. WILSON
Tyrone, PA., Press of THE HERALD, 1897.
A Project of Blair County PA USGenWeb Archives
 TYRONE OF TO-DAY.
I. The Place and its Advantages.
HALF A CENTURY AGO, when the great Pennsylvania R. R. was projected and surveys were made to ascertain the most eligible route, the gap between the mountains where the Little Juniata cleaves its way through the ridges, changing its course abruptly from northwest to southwest, was recognized as the natural gateway between the populous East and the undeveloped West. At this point, midway between the capital of Pennsylvania and its western metropolis, being 117 miles by rail from Harrisburg and 131 miles from Pittsburg, was started and has grown up the embryo city of Tyrone, now a place of 7000 inhabitants. A favorable situation, pure air, bold scenery, ready communication with the outside world, solid business enterprises and an active, intelligent class of people combine to assure it of a much larger growth. Just as the Allegheny from the north and the Monongahela from the south mingle their waters at Pittsburg and turn together to the west, so at Tyrone the little Bald Eagle creek from its source six miles northeast joins itself to the Juniata from the southwest, the united stream flowing southeast on its way to the Susquehanna; while from the other side of this watershed the waters of the great Bald Eagle flow down to the river at Lock Haven.
Situated near the center of the state, at the most northern point of the main line of the P.R.R., nature and the contrivances of men have united to make it a convenient distribution point for commerce. The coal fields of Clearfield and adjoining counties are reached by the T. & C.R.R. and through Bell's Gap by the Penn'a & N.W.R.R. The Bald
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Eagle Valley R.R. leads to the valley of the Susquehanna, connecting there with other lines of the P.R.R. extending to the Hard Coal region on the East and the Lake country in the North and West. The main line of this system gives access to the great cities of the Atlantic coast and to those of the middle states, being the highway of travel between New York and Chicago and St. Louis. Because of its advantages for travel and traffic it is the home of a large number of commercial travelers. The merchant or manufacturer wishing to establish a business where he may easily reach his customer at all points from the Mississippi to the Ocean, and where expenses will be lowest, can find no better location than the thriving town of the Juniata and the mountains.
Looking from one of the eminences which nearly surround it, Tyrone lies spread out before the eye, though not all of it can be seen from any one place. It stretches in an oblong shape, nearly north and south, along the river and creek, having an average width of about half a mile within the borough limits, reaching out toward the suburbs of Greensburg on the north, Northwood on the northeast, Nealmont on the southeast, and Thomastown and Grazierville on the southwest. The increasing population overflows each year in these localities, which are no doubt destined to become part of a greater Tyrone, not many years hence.
Nestling among the "Everlasting Hills," on the eastern slope of the mountains, 900 feet above sea level, Tyrone is not less desirable as a place of residence or of temporary sojourn than as a location for business. Its streets are broad and clean and its houses neat and comfortable. It has the purest water flowing from the summit of the Alleghanies, gas and electric lights, and schools and churches not inferior to those of large cities. Those who seek rest and recreation in the hot weather can make no better choice than to spend their vacation in a place which has all the comforts of the city at the least expense, and the freedom and charms of the country brought to their very doors. The visitor may find entertainment to his liking in hotel or private house, where his night's repose will be untroubled by noise or heat or "creature" discomforts.
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In the morning, after a satisfying meal, he may sally forth to take in the beauties of nature or enjoy the charms of society. An hour's ride by rail takes him over the mountains through the Allegheny tunnel, 3600 feet long, and round the wonderful Horse Shoe Curve, a journey which is a surprise and delight at every step, to Cresson, the great summer resort of this region. The next day, in another hour's ride, he may view the wilder scenery of Bell's Gap, climbing the mountain by a steeper grade and winding around a sharper curve, stopping to picnic in Rhododendron Park, lovely in its solitude. A day will be well spent in a trip to Bellefonte, the pivot of Pennsylvania, being the capital of Center county, that nursery of Governors for this great commonwealth, and within a few miles of the exact. geographical center of the state; a town beautiful for situation, with attractive drives close at hand, and, near by, Pennsylvania State College. The far-famed Wopsononock claims another day, just a few miles out from Altoona on the A.C. & N.R.R. After feasting upon nature day after day, the visitor may turn his course eastward to the neighbouring town of Huntingdon, the seat of the Penn'a Industrial Reformatory with its more than 500 inmates, the railroad here again burrowing through Tussey mountain in the Spruce Creek Tunnel, a stupendous work which occupied more than a year in construction.
A tour may be made over the Tyrone and Clearfield R.R. with its curve at the Big Fill where the track runs for about a mile on opposite sides of a deep gorge, so that the train while ascending from one slope to another seems to be turning back upon its course. In carriage or bicycle the traveler may seek other places of interest: Mountain Seminary, a school for girls in the old town of Birmingham, three miles from Tyrone Hundred Springs Park, on the way thither; Warriorsmark, another old town, seven miles distant, in a fine valley dotted with fertile farms; Arch Springs, seven miles out., one of the greatest curiosities of nature in Sinking Valley. If he be a sportsman he may gratify his inclination for amusement. Plunging into the forest, up the hillside or down the banks of
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the streams, he may find both enjoyment and health in hunting or fishing.
The county of Blair has just passed its semi-centennial which was marked by a rousing celebration at Hollidaysburg on June 11 and 12, 1896, having increased from about 11,000 to about 80,000 in population. It was called after the great grandfather of George D. Blair whose residence is in Tyrone but whose business interests are now chiefly in Pittsburg. The family name is perpetuated also in the Gap and Run, near which their progenitor, Captain Thomas Blair, settled. Hon. John Blair was a man who impressed himself upon the community in which he lived. The son of one who served his struggling country in the Revolutionary war, he was no less active in the arts of peace. He is remembered as President of the Huntingdon, Cambria and Indiana Turnpike Co., and an ardent promoter of the Pennsylvania Canal, which was finished in 1832, the year of his death.
Another name which is kept green in the memory of the inhabitants of Blair county is that of the old Indian chief "Logan." The little stream which drains Warriorsmark Valley, the "Narrows" through which it flows into the Juniata, the large hotel in Altoona known of travelers the world over, the township around that city, the valley from it to Tyrone, and the Electric Railway which traverses the valley, all bear the name of Logan.
Near the "Big Spring" in Tyrone, which is the Sinking Run reappearing after its subterranean flow of over half a mile under the homes of Lincoln avenue, Logan lived in his rude cabin. The hundreds of arrowheads turned up by the plow close to that spot indicate that it was a rendezvous of the red race, now vanished like the waters, but never like then to return. The sad fate of other historic characters was repeated in the experience of Logan. A white man laid claim to the land and he was told to move on. How often and how shamefully have the prior rights of the aboriginal possessors of the soil been thus set aside at the instigation of avarice. The old chief shook the dust of the future city off his feet
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1 - William G. Waring; 2 - Robert Waring; 3 - J. M. Calderwood; 4 - Rev. John D. Stewart;
5 - John T. Mathias; 6 - George Burley; 7 - Jacob Burley
about 1785, and his ashes rest somewhere in the neighboring town of Clearfield.
Sinking Run merits more than a passing mention. Rising in the Allegheny summit it flows rapidly down its slope till, within the borough limits, it encounters a high rocky point through which it seeks an outlet. This it finds only by tunneling a passage for itself sufficient for ordinary times but too small for times of heavy rainfall or melting snow. For this overflow an additional escape is provided in Dry Run, which cuts a straight course to the Little Bald Eagle, a few rods above its mouth. The writer witnessed in the Spring Flood of 1893 a feat of heroism which ought not to go unrecorded, if not otherwise rewarded. A mad torrent was pouring down the run and whirling and roaring over the vortex of the sink, when a cry was raised "A child in the run!" While men and women were hastening to the scene and asking what should be done, a boy fourteen years old, Abbie Fleck, just coming home from school, ran down the bank to where the senseless form was tumbling about in the rocks and waters. In spite of the tremendous force of the current, he reached the drowning body and bore it to land. The little girl, Amelia Strohmeyer, six years of age, owes her life to the prompt action of her deliverer, for she was within a few yards of the sink and so nearly gone that several hours passed before consciousness was restored.
For lovely mountain scenery the vicinity of Tyrone is unsurpassed. To climb the rocky ridges is no child's pastime but the views gained, of near and distant summits rising tier above tier, of winding watercourses, of blue sky seen through hills of darkest green, repay the toiler for his efforts. Such a vision spreads out before the eye from the top of Brush Mountain, overlooking the town and facing the Alleghanies. Its highest point here is said to be about 700 feet above the river. In an hour's ride by train or "over land" one may gain 1200 feet in elevation and fill his lungs with purest oxygen and refresh his thirst with water from the fountainhead.
To the thoughtful man these lofty domes, topped with tall trees pointing skyward, preach a more eloquent sermon than
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was ever spoken from cathedral pulpit. While it is true that wisdom cries "in the chief places of concourse," it is equally true that her voice is lost in the Babel of business and pleasure. It has been said, "Vox populi, vox dei," the voice of the people is the voice of God. A better saying would be "The voices of nature are the voice of God." These aspects of nature are mute witnesses to the perfections of the Creator, and "He that hath ears to hear" them is made a wiser and a better man.
The mineral resources of Tyrone can hardly be overrated. The hills are full of limestone, the vast quantities shipped in a score of years only revealing the vaster stores remaining: The iron industry, now somewhat dormant, is destined some day to wake up again. These valleys, where even in the last century the production of the metal was briskly carried on, will again be lit up with the fires that mean more for the enrichment of the race than the gold mines of the Pacific slope. More than a hundred years ago lead was shipped east from the neighborhood of Birmingham, and the deposits are awaiting the touch of capital to yield their treasures into the hands of man. The proximity of the Clearfield coal with its 74 per cent. of carbon gives to this locality special advantages for the development of the wealth which nature has hidden away in these rocky vaults.
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II. Its Founding and Growth
Midway in the century, on Christmas day, 1850, the pioneer family moved into their humble habitation which stood at the intersection of the main thoroughfares of Tyrone of to-day, and on the ground now covered by the elegant business block of Study’s. Could we of to-day see this bustling valley from the Forges to the Big Spring as it lay before their eyes and as to a few of our citizens it looks in memory’s retrospect, the transformation would seem like a dream rather than a fact. Where but a hundred years ago the Red Man’s form alone was seen, as with bow in hand he tracked his game through the lone wilderness, or in noiseless canoe glided down the sleeping waters, now under the dominion of a new race cities have grown up in the bosom of the solitude; its primeval quiet is broken by the noise of factories, the rush of traffic; those river banks have become the highway of commerce, along which, with the speed of the wind, the people and products of the far east whirl past those of the distant west. Then no commodious station stood at the foot of Pennsylvania avenue, and no bridge to cross the river if there had been one. The railroad received and discharged passengers at the Old Forges where now the Lewisburg branch crosses the river. The first bridge on Pennsylvania avenue was built a few years later, after the Bald Eagle Plank Road had been finished, connecting Bellefonte and Tyrone. A wagon road, rough and narrow, led up to the site of the town which was not marked off until the following spring. About where the Ward House stands, a family of Snyders, since moved away, lived in a wilderness of laurels. Far out from the limits of the original town, in the house now occupied by Mrs. McGovern, lived the father of Jonathan Burley, the first burgess and still an honoured citizen of the town. This family had come into the
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vicinity in 1837. A log school house, 18 by 20 feet, stood on 12th street, to which a few of our older citizens look back as their only Alma Mater. A year or two later, in the building on Washington avenue above 12th street, since enlarged into a three story dwelling for four families, a new school house was erected and an upper story was fitted up for religious services. It was in this humble sanctuary that John D. Stewart came under an influence that turned the current of his life. Here for several years the school was carried on by J. M. Calderwood who is remembered as long a prominent and useful citizen. Near the “Big Spring” a farm house was inhabited successively by Abram Waite, Philip Hoover and others whose names are only recognizable by the oldest inhabitants. In a log house where now Mr. Samuel McCamant’s residence stands, lived the father of Andrew Gardner and there William Gardner first saw the light eighty-nine years ago. In those days and for several years later, the lower portion of what is now Tyrone on both sides of the Juniata was low, wet ground; the waters of the Bald Eagle found an outlet through a channel that flowed diagonally from above 11th street to the foot of Logan avenue. Then the great route of travel and traffic between the east and west was by the Pennsylvania canal and, instead of the tracks which now thread the valleys and cross the mountains, a primitive roadway cut through the forest furnished the only means of communication, leaving the canal at Water street and passing through Birmingham and Warriorsmark and over the mountains into Centre and Clearfield counties. The product of the furnaces was carried on the backs of horses and mules to Johnstown, and thence shipped by water to Pittsburg.
The town derives its name undoubtedly, though indirectly, from the county of Tyrone in the Emerald Isle, which at the recent Irish Exposition Chauncey Depew proudly claimed as his ancestral soil. The names of a large proportion of the people indicate plainly the stock of which they came, that hardy, thrifty race from the north of Ireland which has contributed so much to the material progress and moral advancement of the nation. Along with these was associated in the
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early settlement of the country a goodly percentage of sturdy Germans and a few of other nationalities, but these have become so thoroughly blended and assimilated in language, customs and views, that it would be truth to say that few places if any have a more pronounced American type of population. Latterly a great number of European labourers have been brought in, but it is to be hoped that many of these, now uncouth and ignorant, will grow into good and useful citizens. Immigration should be restricted, and there need be no fear for the future; our schools will make good citizens of the coming generations.
The pioneer who first set up housekeeping in Tyrone was Jacob Burley, and the building which served as a dwelling house and a store was a story and a half frame. The carpenter who put up this first house was Mr. Geo. Burley who is still an active and respected citizen, bidding fair to welcome in the new century and witness the semi-centennial of the new town of which the Burley stock might truthfully say the oft-quoted words, “Quorum magna pars fui” or, in homelier speech, “we were a large part of it.”
A young man who had learned the cabinet-making trade in Warriorsmark and afterwards spent a few years in the south and west was one of the first to settle in Tyrone and is still one of its most honored business men. This was Jonathan Burley, a cousin of Jacob. In January, 1851, he married and in the spring of that year moved into the old house which occupies the same spot in the rear of this residence on the corner of Logan Avenue and 12th Street.
The first house built was in a few years moved to where A. A. Smith’s store is now, and was the first to burn. It was much to the surprise of Mr. Stewart, its owner, when on coming down the street at about nine o’clock in the morning he saw the ashes of the building. Among the oldest houses was the original structure of what has been for many years the Heims residence on the corner opposite the First M. E. church.
On the present site of the “Arlington” was the log residence of Thomas McQuillan, afterwards a citizen of East Tyrone. Adjoining or near the log school house was the first
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rude public house kept by William Burns. The first building of a better class, which must have seemed palatial in those days, was the City Hotel now conducted by Charles Woodin. It was put up as it now stands in 1852 by John D. Stewart who had a larger part in the making of Tyrone than any one now living, and in 1852 opened by him for the same purpose for which it has served these forty-five years. The faith of the first builders of the town was severely tried. In that summer of 1851 there came a flood which converted all of what is now the business center into a lake. The little creek rose and spread itself, and the inhabitants had to work hard to save their moveable goods. In spite of their efforts, Stewart and Burley lost some lumber from their yards near 10th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. They were doing a promiscuous business in every sort of merchandise; there were not so many kinds then as now. The Waring brothers came among the first and started their nurseries. William G., now an octogenarian, was the first to build on the street now called Washington Avenue. Robert Waring has been identified with public interests for all these years. Among the early settlers were the Jones brothers, Samuel and Jacob.
The business now carried on in the corner where the pioneer store stood, dates back to 1853 when E. L. Study arrived. Mr. Study and Mr. Pius Sneeringer, both now deceased, contributed largely to many important public enterprises. Mr. Samuel Berlin opened up a drug store in 1854, which he kept for years, taking in the early days a very active part in the affairs of the community. The harness store of John A. Hiller was established in 1855 and only discontinued in 1895. The first edifice of the M. E. church on 12th Street and Washington Avenue was built in 1852.
The need of good roads was soon felt, and in 1853 the old plank was constructed by private enterprise leading to Bellefonte. The crack of the stage driver’s ship used to be heard, as he rounded the promontory which overlooks Northwood and drove down Pennsylvania Avenue. The little town, having perhaps 700 people, was incorporated in 1857. Jonathan H. Burley was the first burgess and Caleb Guyer the first
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clerk, each being re-elected the following year. The growing trade of the borough demanded better means of communication with the interior of the state and railroads down the valley and over the mountain were projected. The Clearfield line was started by David I. Pruner, father of E. J. Pruner. Having large lumber interests he laid out the town of Osceola and planned to tap the P.R.R. at Tyrone. The T. and C.R.R. in which he was the principal mover was begun in 1856 but not completed and opened for traffic till 1862. The Bald Eagle Valley road also which was begun by local capitalists of Centre county met with reverses in its early history and, like its sister branch, fell into the hands of the P.R.R. and was opened in the same year. The building of these railroads of the Tyrone division assured the future of the town and it began to make substantial growth. Its progress from that time may best be learned from the sketch of business enterprises in another chapter. In 1870 its population was 1800. In 1880 it had increased to 3000. In that year occurred the great fire which broke out in the livery stable in the rear of the City Hotel at 3 a.m. of July 8, 1880. All its contents, including nine horses, went with the building. The fire-swept space extended from I. P. Walton’s store around the corner of Tenth street nearly to Logan avenue, leaving very little of the business portion and causing a loss estimated at $150,000. The Neptune Fire Company which was then the only organization of its kind, was unable to cope with the devouring element alone, and two companies from Altoona and one from Huntingdon were summoned and hastened to its help, so that finally the rest of the town was made safe from the ravages of the fire. The burnt area was soon cleared and by the energy of its owners covered with substantial buildings.
Since that time there have been seasons of depression and discouragement but Tyrone has stood up well among its sister towns and, during the hard times of the past few years, has held its own probably better than most of them. The most notable event of recent years is that which has made Memorial Day of 1893 especially memorable to the people of Tyrone. On the morning of May 30, 1893, a heavily loaded train bear-
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ing Walter L. Main’s great circus, while descending the curves of the T. and C.R.R., three miles above town, was hurled from the track and wrecked. The force of gravitation had wrested it from the control of the engineer, and in the indescribable ruin which spread before the eyes of the thousands of visitors to the scene, fifty-three fine horses lay dead or dying, and an unreported number of animals wild and tame were either dead or missing. Four of the employees of the circus were killed and two of our citizens, William Heverly, a brakeman, and Robert M. Gates, who was struck by a swinging rope while helping to clear the track.
In this year of 1897 there is no building boom but, here and there over the borough and in the suburbs, new houses are going up, attesting the prosperity of the owners and their faith in the future progress of the town. A general spirit of improvement shows itself in the enlargement and beautifying of residences. If the promised and wished for era of prosperity shall soon visit the nation, it will find Tyrone ready to take its place in the front rank in the march of revived industry.
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III. The Country and Surroundings.
The surroundings of a town have much to do with its desirability as a place of residence. The old saying is “God made the country, man made the town;” and certainly in the social system the refinements of the city are reared upon the coarser substructure of rural life. Under very exceptional conditions, as in the Rocky Mountain states, there are thriving towns maintained in a region where agriculture is impossible. Such communities lack the one unfailing guarantee of permanency. The mineral has no reproductive power and some time, as Mr. Gladstone has pointed out with regard to the coal deposits of England, its supply must fail. But a field well tilled is like a perennial spring; constantly renewed, it never wears out.
It is one of the advantages of Tyrone that it has an abundant base of supplies in the farms which lie within a radius of ten miles. Interspersed with the limestone which abounds in this region are outcroppings of red shale and, along with the rich soils formed from these rocks, are the alluvial deposits which the streams have carried down the mountain sides. Out among the hills which rise as protecting battlements on the west is many an improved farm, whose surplus produce finds a market here. To the northeast in Centre country, the Bald Eagle valley stretches out and, over the ridge which skirts the right bank of the creek, the Half Moon, whose crops naturally seek an outlet in the railroad center near them. Eastward, over the Huntingdon line, is Warriorsmark valley where may be seen many farms, well-kept and productive, reminding one of Lancaster, the pride of Pennsylvania.
South of the river, reached through a gap where the waters have worn a way through the stones, as we read in Job, is Sinking Valley, so called from Sinking Run, one of the
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curiosities of nature. It flows for a few miles on the surface, then sinks below and is lost to view for a considerable distance, but suddenly bursts forth from a wall of rock, which forms an arch about 30 feet wide. From Arch Spring the run resumes its flow but soon buries itself again, its course being traced by openings in the ground, some of which are said to be nearly 300 feet deep. Following along in the direction indicated by these pits, the water is seen to emerge, but only to disappear again into a large cave which may be traversed for about 400 yards, when suddenly the sportive stream drops into a whirlpool and is seen no more until it comes out of Canoe mountain on the other side and makes its way into the Juniata at Water Street.
So remarkable a phenomenon cannot be overlooked in any account of this valley, but our purpose is to refer to its agricultural wealth in which it is said to be unexcelled by any equal area of land in the state. Grain, vegetables of all kinds and fruits of the finest quality are raised in this V-shaped basin which declines to the river from an average elevation of 200 feet above the town. A great city could be amply fed from its fields and gardens.
Climatic conditions as well as soil are favorable in the vicinity of Tyrone. The great wall which nature has provided is an effectual barrier to the cold winds from the northwest, while it also serves as a condenser to coax the waters from the clouds. So it comes to pass that the opening of spring is two weeks earlier than across the mountains, and the advancing season rarely lacks for frequent and timely rains.
In this connection it will be fitting to speak of the forests which clothe the mountains on all sides, adding a charm to the landscape and furnishing great quantities of timber, and nuts and berries in the season. These are gathered and brought to town, supplying a very important element of diet which the poor may enjoy equally with the rich.
These fertile valleys, when the increase of population shall create a demand, are capable of enlarging their yield by closer cultivation. The interests of the farmer and the citizen are
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identical, and the growth of the town will bring greater reward to the agriculturist.
Birmingham in this year might celebrate the centennial of its inception in the brain of John Cadwallader who, on December 13, 1797, laid out on an ambitious scale 300 acres of land “at the head of navigation of the Juniata river for a manufacturing town.” The real beginning of Birmingham was in 1829. During the second quarter of the century this was the most active point for business in the valley, a port of entry from which to reach all the “ultramontane” region beyond the Alleghanies. Here was a village of several hundred people with stores and hotels. It was on the mail route from Water Street to Bellefonte, and goods and passengers went and came through it by rude boats on the river, and wagons crossing mountain or connecting with canal at Water Street, which was the entrepot of all this region from the east. In its vicinity several industries were carried on. Before 1800 a paper mill stood near Laurel Springs; later were added a linseed oil factory and plaster mill; still later, cotton and woolen mills. Floods in 1847 wrought destruction and seem to have put an end to the manufacturing career of Birmingham.
The glory of that first projected town was never realized; that of the second and permanent village has, with the advent of the railroad and the upbuilding of Tyrone, largely departed. But the latter half of the century witnessed the birth and growth of that which is the greater glory of Birmingham, a glory which abides and increases as the years pass on.
In 1853 a charter was obtained for a seminary for girls on the present site. The institution of to-day dates more properly, however, from 1857, when the senior Principal began her work. At last Commencement the pupils who had received their education at Mountain Seminary gathered to do honor to Miss N. J. Davis on the completion of her fourth decade of service, and brought substantial evidence of their appreciation of her devoted labours. In that period what forces have been at work, what impulses have gone out from teacher to pupil, to be by them transmitted to others! Who can measure the results of these forty years? The infant institu-
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tion with one small building on three acres of ground and two teachers has grown steadily, and enters upon its fifth decade with every assurance of continued growth and usefulness. There are now eight teachers. The main building, four stories high, has accommodations for fifty boarding pupils, with dormitories, class-rooms, dining-room, parlor, &c. Other buildings have been added: a Principal’s cottage; a Music Hall, in which space is given for the botanical collection of which any institution might be justly proud; a large Gymnasium which, besides every equipment for physical development, afford room on the second floor for the Art department and Botanical Laboratory. The grounds have been beautified as well as enlarged. Within their limits is to be found not only a profusion but a variety of vegetation such as few like institutions can claim.
The silent influences which do so much to form the character are especially helpful in the case of Mountain Seminary. Far from the bustle of cities, yet having direct and speedy communication with the busy world, Nature in her grandeur and loveliness appeals to the young mind. By a short walk or drive you may reach an altitude of 1700 feet, and in the grounds are attractive walks and facilities for recreation and exercise. Physical training as well as mental is provided. The ideal of the institution is that of a large family, and the limited number of students makes it possible to study individual traits and give personal attention to each one.
Much of the success of the school is due to the excellent management of Mr. A. R. Grier, whose father, Prof L. G. Grier, was the founder along with Miss Davis. Dr. Grier who died in 1887 did more, probably, than any other man for the general interests of Birmingham.
Catalogues and any information desired may be had from A. R. Grier, Manager, Birmingham, Pa.
Birmingham has three active churches with commodious houses of worship. The Presbyterian church has been in existence over sixty years and is now occupying its second sanctuary, close to the Seminary, erected in 1869. Rev. H. H. Henry has been the efficient pastor for eight years and S. C.
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Stewart an elder for more than twenty-five. The M. E. church, organized in 1830, is likewise in its second edifice, built in 1873. The pastor is Rev. D. F. Capp. The U. B. church was organized in 1870 and built in 1871. It is supplied as a part of Tyrone Circuit. The Baptist, the oldest church organization, whose record began in 1822, has long ceased to exist. Its members are either scattered in other localities or repose in the old cemetery. One of these, Mrs. Margaret Arnold, was laid there is 1894 after a long life, and over sixty years of it in that church.
The postmaster at Birmingham, J. M. Stonerod, has been a resident for nearly sixty years. Among the surviving old inhabitants are John R. Thompson, formerly very active in business; Mrs. Perry Owens, mother of the brothers of that name in Tyrone, and Mrs. Sarah Green. These venerable ladies are both octogenarians and well on towards their ninetieth year.
No more suitable spot can be found for a mountain resort in which to spend a quiet and restful summer vacation than Birmingham. So have thought a number of city folk whose business shuts them up for most of the year in one of the great human hives that absorb so large a part of Pennsylvania’s millions; and so from east and west they make their annual pilgrimage to meet under the friendly shades of Pine Heights Inn. The tonic of the air and water in their native purity, the wholesome food and invigorating exercise, such as no seaside hotel can offer to their guests, send them back freshened in mind and body.
In West Birmingham is the office of the Cambria Iron Company’s quarry which furnishes the limestone for their mills in Johnstown, shipping 30 cars on an average daily. The plant is one of the most complete to be found for preparing furnace stone, and the output is very select, four per cent of silica being the maximum allowed to pass from their works. They have, it is said, the largest air compressor that is known, and give constant employment to 125 to 150 men. There are twenty-five houses for employees but a large number live in their own homes in the old town across the river. The super-
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intendent of these works is P. L. Wolfe who has been at his post for eight years. This quarry was first opened about 25 years ago by A. G. Morris, who has done so much to develop the resources of this region.
Above Birmingham a mile or so is Ironsville which, in the days when iron was king, was a scene of bustling activity. John Gloninger and Co. made and shipped the useful metal in various forms. A slitting mill and a nail factory were among the industries of the long ago. Near the site of these is an old mill operated by S. C. Stewart, Jr., whose wheels are kept whirling to supply the calls of the thrifty farmers of Sinking Valley. The quality of the flour made commends itself to the people of Tyrone and vicinity where most of it finds a market. Several hundred people make their homes here and at the Forges farther up. Above the railroad track stands a neat chapel, erected last year by the M. E. congregation at a cost of $1500, and seating 250. A general store conducted by F. D. Keefer divides with Tyrone the trade of the neighborhood. On the other side of the river is
HUNDRED SPRINGS PARK.
The Tyroner who is in search of rest and enjoyment knows the way to Hundred Springs, and the ever-smiling face of its proprietor, R. S. Seeds, indicates that he knows a good thing when he has it. No one will have the hardihood to take issue with him on the merits of this unique resort of which he is the happy possessor, a place which lacks nothing that nature can offer but that which only man’s enterprise can bring to it, and for which these valleys are waiting. Surely it will not be very long until the need shall be supplied, and the surrounding hills look down upon the noiseless electric car skirting the river and creek from Tyrone through Ironsville and “The Springs” to Birmingham, and from Grazierville to Greensburg, Northwood and Vail. Then this Park, with its uncounted bursting springs of purest water and its acres of shade and verdure and foliage, will be the delight of thousands of people every week so long as the stress of summer heat continues. To tell about Hundred Springs is to praise it, for
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there is none like it, and it is truth to say that to be loved it needs but to be seen. If there were no other attractions it could boast of, this would be enough to make Tyrone a desirable place for summer residence. The P.R.R. stops its trains a short distance from the Park for excursion parties, and hacks and carriages and bicycles carry their quota during the season. There, amid the grand over-topping trees, picnic parties spread their lunches down and laugh at the climbing mercury while they drink nature’s own beverage which needs no ice to cool it. Out from rock ledges, from under spreading roots of oak and chestnut, from caverns and from the naked level ground, the water gushes on every side and gathers into a brook, which rushes down a gentle slope, and dashes over a precipice, and tumbles in mad haste into the broadening river.
At the entrance to the Park is the mill owned by Mr. Seeds but operated by Mr. G. W. Mauk, an experienced miller, who makes and sells the Snowflake, a patent flour, the Magnolia, blended, and the Leader, “Straight goods.” Everything about the place and the man indicate thorough work and fair dealing.
On or near this spot has stood a mill for three generations back. A hundred years ago these springs turned the wheels of a Paper Mill, at first a log structure, afterwards one of stone. Here there was also a store and a tavern, and linseed oil and plaster were made and sold. The manufacturing interests of old time included saw mills and factories for wool and cotton, clustering around Birmingham, before the screech of the locomotive disturbed the forest, and its swift-moving trains brought in the products of eastern rivals to undermine the trade of those enterprising pioneers of the Upper Juniata.
WARRIORSMARK AND VICINITY.
Following the Lewisburg branch of the P.R.R. for seven and a half miles a little north of westward we reach the village of Warriorsmark. The road thither leads through a beautiful country in which are the homes of thrifty farmers. To the dweller in the city who has an appreciation of nature, this is a delightful ride. The undulating surface, the change
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of woods and clearings, the varied crops which cover the fields, the flocks reveling “in clover,” the houses with their conveniences for quiet and comfortable living, and overhead the shifting panorama of sky and air; all these compose a restful picture to one who seeks to escape “from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife.” While the town, which was a live and active one before Tyrone was born, can hardly hope to see again the prosperity which it enjoyed when furnaces glowed at night, and loggers blazed away by day, and freighters thronged its streets and stores, it has before it an assured future as a place that will always be homelike. Its houses are suggestive of comfort. Within it there is no place for poverty. The horn of plenty has emptied itself down upon the whole surrounding valley where health and hospitality and sobriety prevail. The visitor, while he enjoys the winding roads and the charms of scenery, may also catch the contagion of these virtues of its people.
Two stocks of general merchandise are kept in the town. One of these is the store of Jacob H. Mattern who has carried on the business for many years. Born and raised within a few miles of where he lives, he bears the name of a clan which includes a large and important portion of the population of this part of Pennsylvania. Their biennial reunions gather a great host from near and far. At one of these, held on June 16th of this year, 1897, the guest of honor was Bishop Vincent. The founder of Chautauqua University recalled the days of yore when he served his apprenticeship as teacher in Spruce Creek Valley and practiced pedagogy upon the older members of the Mattern connection.
Mr. G. B. Lever is the gentlemanly proprietor of the store on the other corner. The postoffice is kept by Daniel Chamberlain in the Warriorsmark Exchange, a hotel where no liquor is sold and which has been carried on since 1843 by the postmaster’s father, James Chamberlain, now in his 87th year. Another aged resident is Mrs. Mary Krider, who in her 90th year is more active than many in middle life. The health of the community is in the care of Dr. A. Crawford, who has practiced medicine over a wide stretch of surrounding country
As student, officer in German army, and at present.
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for fifteen years, and Dr. T. Tobin who has only been here a short time but has had years of experience in his profession.
The industry which has made the name of Warriorsmark a household word far and wide is the manufacture of Malena. As Warriorsmark is no mark of a warlike disposition, for nowhere are more gentle-spirited folks, so Malena is in no wise akin to malice or malpractice or malcontent. Its mission is to soothe and heal and bless. It is a little thing but sorely missed if not at hand when misfortune befalls and sore or cut or bruise cries out for relief. Whether accident or inspiration led to its discovery, it has captured the confidence of the people in these parts. We all use it. The making and sending out of this simple remedy employs from five to eight hands, and it is used in almost every state, to the Ocean on the west and the Gulf on the south. Orders for it crowd the little post office, and boxes and barrels are shipped almost daily. Of the maker of the salve no one says “Alas, poor Yorick” but “Hail to the Chief.” He bears the name of the house which carried the White Rose, emblem of peace, and where the red warriors once roamed and fought, under this sign he has won to himself friends and fortune.
Whoever comes to Warriorsmark goes to see and admire the Lowrie homestead. It is a paradise of many acres which contains more trees and shrubs in native grace and grandeur than many a boasted city park. J. R. Lowrie Esq., the father of Dr. W. L. Lowrie of Tyrone, was for 35 years attorney for the old Iron Company and, for ten years up to his death in 1885, trustee of its large property. The beautiful location which he chose for his home in 1854 was made more beautiful by the rare taste of its owner, who laid out the grounds and for thirty years spared neither labour nor money to carry out his plan. Every year saw improvements made, and Mrs. Lowrie honors her husband’s memory by keeping up the place as he left it. We should fail, if we attempted it, to describe properly the wonders of nature and of art which here delight the eye. The thought came to our mind that here was an ideal spot for an Academy for boys as the counterpart of that at Birmingham for girls. The changes of time have brought
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to pass more unlikely things, and nothing would more fittingly perpetuate the name of one who showed such appreciation for “the true, the beautiful and the good.”
Warriorsmark has three well sustained churches, the largest being the M. E., whose fine two story edifice was built in 1873. Rev. W. H. Closson is pastor of the church and Jacob H. Mattern superintendent of the S. S. The Presbyterian church whose place of meeting is somewhat out from the village enjoys the ministrations of Rev. H. H. Henry. The Lutheran church more, eligibly located in a neat chapel erected in 1888, near the center of population, has a small but growing membership. Its pastor, Rev. C. F. Jacobs, ministers to a larger congregation in Sinking Valley, the St. John’s church. This old organization, which dates back to 1790, has a very commodious building seating about 500 and which cost $12,000. The original log building in which they first worshiped in 1800, is still in good preservation. In the valley are also a Reformed church and a Presbyterian church. The latter, near Arch Spring, is a very fine edifice of stone with an elegant parsonage property. This society is more than a hundred years old, the bulk of the pioneer settlers being of Presbyterian stock.
On Logan’s Run which drains the lower part of Warriorsmark Valley and just above the suburb of Nealmont, is a mill property which probably outranks in age all of its rivals. The dwelling in which the proprietor, M. Hamer, resides, is over 125 years old. It was old when an old man, now in his ninetieth year, recollects making weekly visits to it with his father from Bald Eagle, with three bushels of wheat, the weekly grist for a family of twenty. The original building has long since vanished, and the second on the same site was destroyed by fire soon after Mr. Hamer took possession of it. He at once rebuilt and in January, 1879, had it equipped with the best machinery from the great flouring metropolis, in token of which his flour is branded “Minneapolis.” No mill is better located, commanding as it does the trade of this fine valley and of a large district of Centre county, and no man is worthier of the confidence of those who deal with him.
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Our review of the environments of Tyrone shows that they constitute an element of stability. Great changes have come to pass in the development of this country, but its varied resources have only been made more manifest.
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IV. Additions and Suburbs.
OF THE ADDITIONS made to the original plot of Tyrone a detailed account need not be given. The superior advantages of the town from its topography and railroad privileges, gradually attracted to it the business of contiguous points, and places which were formerly thriving towns dwindled before its progress. Such were Tipton, four miles southwest, and Bald Eagle, five miles north. Science declares that not only is the earth attracted by the sun but also, though less powerfully, the sun is drawn towards the earth. So the growing Tyrone has stretched itself out towards these its neighbors, and has taken in territory in both directions.
East Tyrone, (so named, but properly North Tyrone) was laid out under instructions from the P.R.R. Co., by Superintendent Wilkins, in 1871, and, while for years an independent borough, was in reality a railroad suburb of Tyrone. Between the two places lay a small portion of ground which needed to be improved by drainage, but in this respect was in no worse condition than the original town itself before its main streets were raised four feet and sewers established. Old inhabitants remember when the City Hotel and other buildings, now level with the pavement, had to be reached by flights of steps from the street and when foundation walls were laid with the greatest difficulty in standing water. The Seventh Ward is now the equal of any part of the town for comfortable residence and excelled by none for cheerful scenery. Of the space once existing between the two towns, only a small portion remains vacant. It still bas its own post office, which will no doubt soon be absorbed by its bigger neighbor. It has two churches, a flourishing M. E. church and a recent organization of the German Baptist Brethren, promising well for growth and permanency; also prospectively a second Presbyterian church, as the outgrowth of a Sunday
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school started this summer. The merchants of this end of the borough are J. C. Goheen and Brother, whose large store is a worthy rival of the down town establishments. Here is carried on the manufacture of bricks by George C. Davison, whose yards and machinery are ample to meet all the demands of town and country.
In this ward and in the sixth, embracing what is known as "Stony Point." many lots well located arid level, are held by F. D. Beyer, Rev. John D. Stewart and Dr. Lowrie, well-known citizens and "all honorable men."
Outside the corporation line on the north is Greensburg, where twenty-one families enjoy comfortable and quiet homes, lacking only one thing, a convenient means of reaching the business center. South of the upper wards and of Sinking Run is a settlement laid out by S. B. & A. W. Beyer who still have many lots to sell. These are within "shouting distance" of the borough, just over the ridge which shuts it in on the west. It is quite conceivable that means will be devised within a few years for opening up a thoroughfare, extending 12th street by an easy grade into this suburb, where already there are nearly a score of good houses with plenty of garden room. The surroundings constitute that happy medium between city and country which many parents desire for their growing families.
A walk of fifteen minutes takes us over the summit and to the public building on 10th street and Washington avenue. No stranger coming to Tyrone fails to notice that portion of this avenue which extends southwest from this point, the longest and finest street in the town.
Just beyond Schell Run, which is the present borough line, is the tract of land known as the Denlinger, Poorman & Co. Addition. These gentlemen about four years ago purchased sixty acres, lying between the river and the main public road, which here runs parallel with the Juniata and the P.R.R. They have with commendable enterprise expended about $10,000 in laying out and improving this property, and have sold a good many of their lots. The return of good times will undoubtedly create a lively demand for those that remain.
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These lots front north and south, facing in one way the ascending slope towards the Alleghanies, and in the other the river and the side of Brush mountain, with the railroad along its base. They are but a short distance from the principal business houses and the Park avenue school, in the shelter of the hills but enjoying the unobstructed light of the sun from its rise to its setting. Trains passing on the main line every few minutes remind one of the wide world beyond and are in full view for more than a mile.
Were it not so close to the heart of the town, this would be the ideal truck farm. For workingmen’s homes and for those of larger means who delight in gardening, it is the choice portion of Tyrone. No work or expense is needed to make a building site. The rich bottom soil is ready for the plow or spade, and no ground when “tickled with the hoe” will more readily “laugh with a harvest” to the joy of its owner. The river here supplies a perfect drainage, but is ordinarily not more than a foot or two in depth so that a child may safely wade in and across it. Among the improvements made is the laying out of River avenue, a street lined with trees extending about three-fourths of a mile along the water’s edge. No resident of this place is more unselfish and more untiring in his devotion to its interest than E. C. Poorman, who has the management of this property, and all who do business with him will find him liberal as well as just in his dealings.
Following the old Tuckahoe road in nearly a straight course, for about half a mile from this Addition, we find ourselves in Grazierville. On the way we pass Cold Spring Forge, so named from the cold water which “boils” out of the ground by the river side, but more famed for the fires by the side of which for forty years grimy workmen hammered iron, and for the factory which later turned out four hundred axes a day. Grazierville was founded at about the same time as East Tyrone and, though unincorporated, has a village-like aspect. It occupies a level site, having three streets parallel with the railroad and several crossing these at right angles. In respect of business and post office it is a part of Tyrone, but it has the convenience of a railway station of its own.
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Turning our steps towards the metropolis of the valley we walk the railroad track, a practice only justifiable when necessity demands it. But how else are we going to see Thomastown which lies at the foot of Brush mountain on the right bank of the river, and about a mile from Tyrone station? The inhabitants of this hamlet like those at Cold Springs opposite, sitting “every man under his own vine and fig tree,” enjoy their semi-rural life, where they have substantially the conveniences of the town and the independence of the country. The shady grove and running water and range for themselves and cattle are the common property of all, while church and school and stores are within easy reach and the doctor, if needed, may be quickly called. Looking ahead into the next decade, we can see the turnpike converted into a street and lined with neat houses from the new Shoe Factory all the way to Thomastown.
Continuing along the railroad we are soon at the starting point from which all these hives have swarmed out; the nest from which most of the birds have flown, but not far, to build for themselves nests contiguous to that of the mother bird. Tyrone Forges is the mother of all this brood. The Upper Forge has “gone under,” the Lower is still “on top” and, as a vigorous centenarian, smiles upon the swelling brood of its descendants. The real Tyrone is not narrowed within the present borough limits. The Tyrone of to-day, as the lineal descendant of the old Iron City of the Juniata, has succeeded to its name, and inherits all its estate and honors. Hence it is that our census of the town, while detracting nothing from the population of neighboring towns, embraces all of the crop which the genealogical tree bears upon its branches today.
The old town which “growed up” in ruder days has, it must be confessed, an unkempt look about it, but the infant suburb of Nealmont in its picturesque cradle on the other side of the river, like a young Moses ready to embark upon a career of honor, takes away the reproach from the historic site. “As pretty as a picture” is the involuntary exclamation, as we look from the railroad bridge which crosses the bend of the river where it sweeps around a curve and then
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describes another in the opposite direction, enfolding the snug cluster of houses that is called Ironsville. Looking up the track, on one side we see Nealmont with its regular streets and fresh, neat homes, and on the other “Elkhurst.” In the background on all sides the walls of green, sloping towards the sky. Just room for river and railroad to thread their way though into the two valleys described in the preceding chapter, so keeping open the communications between the army of industry and its bases of supplies.
Back in the “city” again, we have one more suburb yet unvisited and “one more river to cross” to get to it. This is the Little Bald Eagle creek which bounds Tyrone on the north-east. Leaving Pennsylvania avenue behind, we face an almost perpendicular wall of rock in front of us which seems to forbid progress. But we discover a rift in the rock through which the road passes towards Bald Eagle Valley and, just around the bluff, we see Northwood. It must be explained that in the naming of the child here again, “some one has blundered,” for it is more east than East Tyrone. But what’s in a name, anyway? The misnomer has not hurt the growth of the infant, which is the most sturdy baby of the lot. Being but a short walk from the Paper Mill and closest to the main town, it is well situated for residences and is steadily advancing.
Our circuit of the environs of Tyrone is almost complete. From the high ground above Northwood which affords a magnificent prospect of the Alleghany ranges, we can see across the railroad yard into East Tyrone, a distance of not more than half a dozen squares, and we are impressed with the importance and increasing need of the better means of communication between the several sections of the growing town. There should be, “and it must follow, as the night the day,” that there will be, safe passages for travel over the years of the P. R. R. There is needed, and in these things demand created supply, a system of trolley roads for rapid transit from point to point. Extension of water mains and sewers is another call of the outlying portions of Greater Tyrone. There is prospect of enlargement of industries but there is a nursing which
JONATHAN H. BURLEY, First Burgess of Tyrone (1857).
JAS S. GILLAM, Present Burgess of Tyrone.
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the mother must not forget is demanded of her. Our men of business are not dull of understanding nor sordidly selfish, and there is good reason to believe that new vigor and greater growth will be seen in the Tyrone of To-morrow.
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V. Public Matters.
Since its incorporation in 1857, the borough of Tyrone has had as burgess the following, in about the order in which the names appear: Jonathan H. Burley, 2 years, William Davidson, James Crowther, J. M. Harper, W. O. Myers, I. P. Walton, 3 years, Samuel Berlin, James Bell, S. W. Barr, 2 years, G. W. Ramsay, 2 years, J. M. Calderwood, 2 years, Thos. W. Graffius, 2 years, Robert G. McLanahan, D. P. Ray, C. S. W. Jones, 5 years, Rowan Clarke, M. D., James McCann, C. B. Bowles, J. W. Thomas, S. B. Templeton, Richard Beaston, J. K. Ray, J. W. Howe, 3 years.
A commendable degree of public spirit seems to have prevailed through all these years, so that Tyrone has never been behind other towns of like size in the Commonwealth in regard to public improvements. Her citizens, then numbering about 1000, were nobly responsive to the call of their country in the crisis of the nation. Besides furnishing, with the surrounding country, about 300 men, the borough paid $6,000 as bounty money to fill the drafts.
In 1874 there were four wards. There are now seven, as follows, the terms North, East, South and West being only approximately correct: The First Ward boundary begins at the south end of Pennsylvania avenue, turns west on 10th street to Lincoln avenue, thence south to West 9th street and thence on the line which 9th street would follow, if opened out, to the borough line. The Second Ward takes all north of the north line of the first ward and W. of Pa. Avenue, to 12th street. The Third Ward comprises all W. of Pa. Avenue from 12th street to 14th street and to the Alley which extends west from Lincoln avenue between 14th and 15th streets. The Fourth Ward includes all east of Pa. Avenue from the south
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line of borough to 14th street. The Fifth Ward extends from 14th street on the south and Lincoln avenue on the west to the borough line. The Sixth Ward takes in all from Lincoln avenue west to the borough line, and from 14th street (and W. 14th street over the hill) to 18th street. The Seventh Ward includes all beyond 18th street, north and east, to the borough line.
The plan of naming the streets and numbering the houses is easily learned. The avenues run nearly north and south (being a little east of north and west of south) from Ridge avenue on the east to Bellmont avenue on the west. The streets cross the avenues at right angles and are numbered from Tenth street (the main street), Eleventh, Twelfth, &c., to the north; in the opposite direction, Ninth, Eighth, &c., these being short streets, cut off by the river.
Going up the avenues from Tenth street, the house on the right hand corner is numbered 1000, on the left hand 1001; odd numbers on the west side, even numbers on the east. On the streets the numbering is east and west from Pennsylvania avenue. Going east on 10th street, between Pennsylvania and Blair avenues, the numbers are from 1 to 100 E. 10th; from Blair to Bald Eagle avenue, 100 to 200 E. 10th, &c. Going west on 10th street, between Pennsylvania and Logan avenues, the numbers are 1 to 100 W. 10th, &c. Similarly as to 11th, 12th, &c., streets. While the numbers seen on the doors along the avenues are correct, those on the streets are not always reliable.
The assessed valuation of property in Tyrone is $1,955,040. The borough tax for 1897 is 6 mills on the dollar; this with 5 mills of county and 7¾ of school tax makes the total rate of property taxation to be 18¾ mills per dollar. The receipts of the borough treasury during the last fiscal year were $14,128.19, and its expenses $11,320.73. The bonded indebtedness is $27,400. The value of public property is estimated at $16,273.81. A large part of this is invested in the public building on the corner of 10th street and Washington avenue. The first public building in Tyrone was erected in 1857, a “lock-up” 8X12 feet on the old school house lot, Washington
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avenue above 12th street. The present one is a more imposing edifice of brick, two stories high and about 50 feet square on the ground. In the lower story it affords a habitat for the “Citizens Fire Engine.” Above are rooms for the meetings of the company and of the Patrol, the large room in front being fitted up commodiously for the use of the Council. A one-story addition in the rear contains the Cell-room with its four iron cages.
The borough officials at present are: Burgess, J. S. Gillam; Clerk, W. F. Taylor; Treasurer, T. J. Gates; Solicitor, W. L. Hicks; Chief of Police, Harry Miller; Night Police, Harry Wands; Street Commissioner, W. H. Cochran; Borough Council, G. C. Davison, Pres.; J. T. Owens, Thomas Scott, Richard Beaston, C. A. Morris, John McKinney, C. M. Waple, F. G. Albright, Walter Burley, Harry Stonebraker, Z. T. Steele, Walker Meadville, J. M. Goheen, L. W. Stonebraker.
Tyrone has an efficient Board of Health whose members have been vigilant in removing causes of sickness and in isolating cases affected with contagious disease. Through their efforts the town has been put in a good sanitary condition. Its members are, F. A. Harris, Pres.; D. J. Appleby M. D., J. F. Wilson, S. B. Beyer, W. F. Hiller; H. M. Wands, Health Officer.
LAW AND ITS EXPOUNDERS.
The law of commandments contained in borough ordinances is administered by the honorable burgess, J. S. Gillam, the man whom the office sought, and whom now offenders seek – to avoid.
W. F. Taylor has filled the office of J. P. to general satisfaction for several years. With gentleness and impartiality he adjudges the merits and demerits of the case in court. The squire is also the custodian of the borough records and a court of appeal in himself on all disputed points of municipal law.
A. A. Smith is the great pacificator of the borough. He will not encourage much less invite litigation, but woe unto those who, when tried in his scales of justice, are found wanting. In such cases he has his way of conquering a peace, the
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offender being bound with a chain of silver or gold to restrain his passion. The justice is a citizen of many years’ standing and “His Honor” stands high among his fellow citizens.
Stevens, Owens & Pascoe constitute a very strong trio of legal and forensic talent. The head of the firm, A. A. Stevens besides being one of the foremost citizens, is in the front rank in his profession in Blair county and in the state of Pennsylvania. His determination and ability generally carry him through to the end for which he starts out. The other partners, G. Lloyd Owens and W. L. Pascoe, both comparatively young men, have already gained for themselves an honorable reputation.
Hicks & Templeton form a brace of counselors who are highly esteemed and have acquired a large practice both in the courts and in other departments of legal business. Mr. Hicks is a candidate for nomination by his party to the office of District Attorney. His character and abilities fit him for the honor and, if the balance of power falls to Tyrone, the die will be cast his way. Mr. Templeton is of a family whose members have been much identified with the growth of the town and is courteous as well as trustworthy in doing the business committed to him.
Andrew H. McCamant, unlike the preceding five of his brethren, is “single” personally as well as professionally, but he has a double claim upon the confidence of his client, who knows that no partner shares the secrets of the case. Native and to the manor born, Mr. McCamant is well and favorably known among us, and Tyrone wishes him success as one of her own sons.
R. J. Goodall, the last of the seven, is not a “son,” but to many of our citizens a stranger within our gates, who needs therefore to be introduced. A graduate of Dickinson College in 1893 and of its Law School in 1896, Mr. Goodall comes amongst us from Danville, Pa., his former home. To gratify gossipers we will say that he has had but one love, the first syllable of whose name is Law, whom he steadily wooed and won and finally wed since coming to our town to live. We
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bespeak him favor and wish him the success that befits the bearer of so good a name.
Of Notaries Public the first in order is D. T. Caldwell who is so well known to the public as to need no introduction. On the contrary, he is the man who is posted as to all matters usually inquired about. What he does not know about Tyrone, Blair county and Central Pennsylvania would make a small-sized book, and he is as willing to give you the benefit of his information as to take his fee for attesting your papers.
H. B. Calderwood, son of one of the most prominent and esteemed citizens of the past generation, has the confidence of the people as a straight and reliable man of business, and he seems to be always busy.
D. R. Miller is the soldier’s friend who has done more than any man in a wide region of country to secure for the veterans of the late war the benefits of our liberal pension laws. Captain Miller knows all the points; one is tempted to say that he has a “pull” upon the sympathies and purse of Uncle Sam.
The system of fire protection is much improved from the winter of ‘57 and ’58 when William Stokes and Benjamin Jones were the firemen of the borough. The Fire Department dates from 1868, when William Stokes as marshal, with five assistants, constituted the force. In 1871 $1055 were ordered to be spent for 25 fire plugs, and in that year the Neptune Fire Company was incorporated. For the full statement in regard to the department we are indebted largely to the courtesy of W. W. Carns, the Chief; Martin Burley, C. H. Dieffenbach, J. A. Maloney and W. T. Henderson.
The Neptune Hose Company, No. 1, was constituted June 24, 1871, with 31 members and chartered by the county court in October following. The first officers were: President, D. P. Ray; Secretary, J. M. Smith; Treasurer, D. A. Smith. Their equipment was the hose and carriage furnished by the Borough Council until August, 1873, when a steam fire engine was purchased by the borough for their use. In about a
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month, however, they surrendered their charge, some misunderstanding having arisen between the company and Council, and in June of the following year, having bought for themselves a carriage and hose, they resumed active service.
In 1878, Tyrone Fire Company, No. 1, was started, but for some cause the organization was not a success and after an existence of about two years disbanded, whereupon the Neptune Company was again put in charge of the steamer and other property of the Fire Department, May 11, 1880. It was in July of that year the great fire broke out, which must have proved more disastrous than it did, if they had failed to respond promptly to the call. The excellent work done by the firemen in that emergency proved the worth of their services and prompted steps towards more efficient organization. In January, 1882, Friendship Hook and Latter Company was instituted with W. F. Conrad as president; E. F. wood, vice president, and W. F. Kolbenschlag, secretary, and has proved to be a vigorous and effective addition to the force. Under the lead of their energetic president and aided generously by the citizens, they built at a cost of about $5000, the handsome structure on the corner of 11th street and Blair avenue. It is a two story brick, with 40 feet frontage on the avenue and a depth of 60 feet. In this building which was dedicated June 20, 1893, though not yet entirely free from debt, they have a long room for storing their apparatus, a kitchen, and a meeting room, while the second story is in one large hall, adapted for public uses.
In 1888 another disagreement between the Neptune and Council resulted in their retirement from the public service again and a new organization was called into being Citizens’ Fire Company, No. 2, and put in charge of the borough property. The Neptune Company, however, took steps at once to provide themselves with an outfit of their own, so that since May 8, 1888, the town has had three efficient companies of men co-operating in the important duty of extinguishing fires and saving property and life. The Neptune boys in 1889 dedicated their engine house, a frame building on the corner of Blair avenue and Herald street, all paid for, with stable
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and blacksmith shop attached, where since that time their belongings, including a span of horses, have been housed and cared for. This company now numbers 38 active, 10 honorary and three life members. Its officers are: President, Martin Burley; Secretary, J. D. Lucas: these two with Walter Burley composing its board of trustees. The engineers are Walter Burley, Wm. Reed and Thomas Lukehart.
The Citizens’ Company has from the beginning aimed at a high standard and justly deserves credit for its work. In 1893 they bought from Council the old engine and exchanged it for a new and improved Silsby, paying the difference in money. They also have two fine horses. Their present membership is 60 active and 40 honorary. The president is W. W. Carns; secretary, H. C. McCans; treasurer, Dr. Lowrie; financial secretary, W. S. Meadville; driver, Thomas F. Ermine.
The officers of the Hook and Ladder Company are: President, J. A. Maloney; secretary, Howard Templeton; financial secretary, William McNelis; treasurer, W. F. Hiller; foreman, Grant Taylor.
Tyrone Fire Patrol is an important addition to the department which has been in operation about three years, its special function being the preservation of order and care of property during the progress of a fire. Their outfit consists of a wagon and team of horses, a chemical fire extinguisher, ropes, sledges and tarpaulins. While on duty each member of the patrol is empowered to act as a special police officer. The officers are: president, P. J. Grau; secretary, R. N. Ellenberger; assistant secretary, W. J. Ebbs; treasurer, Farran Zerbe.
The public schools of Tyrone are regarded with much pride by the people and have a high standing among the schools of Pennsylvania. The first principal of schools in the infancy of the town was J. M. Calderwood, who taught in the old building on Washington avenue where three departments were maintained. In 1868 the Logan avenue school house was erected. There were then ten rooms, only six however
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being occupied. S. C. Laird was the first in charge in the new building. Twice it has been enlarged. There are now three large buildings with improved furniture, well lighted and ventilated, the total cost of which is $79,000. The Logan avenue building has 18 rooms, the Adams avenue 8 rooms and the Park avenue 4 rooms. A good course of study is laid out and followed, including, besides the ordinary branches, the elements of natural science, some of the higher mathematics, Latin and some business branches. An average of seventeen graduates yearly has been turned out since 1891. Among other facilities there is a good set of apparatus for illustrating physical science and a library of 500 volumes.
There are under the successful management of Superintendent C. E. Kauffman, now entering his fifth year in this position, 29 Teachers as follows: Logan avenue - High school: Room 18, L. C. M. Ellenberger; Room 17, H. S. Fleck; Room 16, Mrs. Ida Patton Smith; Room 15, Miss Belle Cryder. Grammar school: Room 14, J. L. Beyer; Room 13, Bertha Africa; Room 12, Belle Miller. Intermediate: Room 11, Linda VanScoyne; Room 10, Berth J. Smith; Room 9. Louisa Dysart. Secondary: Room 8, Anna E. Coulter; Room 7, Belle Snyder; Room 6, Mary Hull. Primary: Room 5, Jennie E. Smith; Room 4, Mary Crawford; Room 2, Lina Reese; Room 1, Mary E. Foster. Adams avenue - Grammar school: E. E. Houck, W. H. Woomer. Intermediate: H. A. Waite, Secondary: Erma Reed, Catherine Appleby, Belle Graham. Primary: Anna Simons, Mary Smith. Park avenue - Grammar school: Harry Stonebraker. Intermediate: Gussie Hoffman. Secondary: Flora E. Finney. Primary: Nina Caldwell. In 1881 there were about 560 pupils enrolled; in 1897, above 1300.
The satisfactory condition of our schools is explained by the fact that the best citizens have all along been interested in them and actively identified with their management. This is seen by looking over the names of those who have served on the school board from the beginning. The present board is an efficient body and composed of the following gentlemen: T. T. Shirk, president, now in his 8th year of service; W. T. Canan,
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secretary, now in his 9th year of service; H. F. Copelin, B. F. Leff, R. N. Ellenberger. These gentlemen are doing all that is in their power to secure for the young people of to-day advantages such as were not within their own reach in school boy days.
TYRONE BOARD OF TRADE
The Board of Trade was organized in 1891 and is legally incorporated, the officers being: President, George C. Davison; Secretary, Farran Zerbe; Treasurer, E. J. Pruner. This organization takes an active interest in the development of manufacturing interests of Tyrone and is able to offer ground for sites for a manufacturing plant free of cost, as well as other inducements to locate in our progressive town. The Board of Trade deserves the co-operation of all our citizens that its usefulness may be promoted. The effective forces are not always visible to the eye. Men praise the finished product, and forget the patient workman whose sweat and toil has brought it to pass. From parties not prominent in this body we learn that much work has been performed by it for the public good which has not been sufficiently recognized. The labors of the secretary especially have been assiduous, in correspondence and otherwise. Indications are very favorable for securing the establishment of other industries that would be helpful to the general business of the town. In matters pertaining to the public welfare the motto should be, "All at it, and always at it." To this end and in this spirit, the Board of Trade has it being and does its work.
WATER AND LIGHT
The Tyrone Gas and Water Company was formed in 1865, subscriptions for stock having been taken in that year by J. L. Holmes. But it was not until 1869 that the first pipes were laid from a point on Sinking Run about a mile above the borough. There are now nearly 12 miles of iron pipe varying from 20 to 4 inch. The source of supply is 2 1/2 miles from the intersection of Pennsylvania venue and 10th street, and 288 feet in elevation above that point. The reservoir, built last
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year, covers nearly ten acres of surface and contains a beautiful sheet of water like a glassy lake in the mountains with a capacity of 30,000,000 gallons, estimated to be four weeks supply for the town without any inflow. The depth at the tower is 23 feet. From this place to the old reservoir 1 1/4 miles below, space of 18 acres is to be enclosed and improved for a public park. It will in course of time become a very attractive resort, with its constant stream of water, abundant shade, lovely rhododendrons and pure air from the mountains. East Tyrone is supplied from another source in Decker Hollow, no town has better or cheaper water than Tyrone and the quantity available at present is sufficient for a city of 20,000 people.
The company furnishes light as well as drink. Fill your pipe with burning coal instead of tobacco. Cover the bowl tightly and light the other end. Instead of smoke for your lungs there will be light for your eyes. This is the simple process of making gas in a crude form. The apparatus of the gas plant is somewhat more elaborate, consisting of six large retorts in which the coal is consumed and, instead of the pipe stem, five miles of mains from 6 to 2 inches in diameter. These lead to small pipes in houses, terminating in jets. The gas when made is purified by passing it through lime. The building, below 300 Tenth street, is 100 by 36 feet. The gasometer , a Single Lift 'holder," contains 20,000 cubic feet and the works are capable of supplying a city of 10,000 people. About 10,000 cubic feet of gas is used daily by the 350 consumers, the cost being $1.50 per thousand. The superintendent of this company's works is C. H. Dieffenbaugh who is esteemed by the public as he is trusted by his employers.
THE HOME ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANY.
"You press the button; we do the rest." This familiar saying applies with special aptitude to the wonders of Electricity. The button which you press, if it assume the form of a dime from Uncle Sam's Mint, will light you to the extent of 100 Watt hours. This cabalistic expression is dense darkness to us common folks. It is to be hoped that the scientific gen-
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tlemen understand themselves. Enough to say that there is a measure for the lighting. Even the subtle fluid must give an account of itself, and so for every consumer there is a silent register, a meter, which records the extent to which the customer draws each month upon the power supplied. That the consumer gets value for his dimes is evident from the increasing number who use the light.
The company bearing the above name, chartered in 1886, is composed of stockholders who carry among them 800 shares at $50 a share, and do business below Tenth street on Logan avenue. There they have a brick building 40 by 120 feet, and a plant capable of supplying 120 arc and 1500 incandescent lights. Their machinery is well adapted for the work required, the boiler having a capacity of 360 and the engine of 300 horse power, but the growing business of the concern will soon necessitate enlargement. There are now in Tyrone 58 arc lights used by the borough, 29 by the railroad and 25 by business men. To keep this business in operation there are employed two engineers, two firemen, two linemen and one trimmer, besides the superintendent, S. H. Stouffer, who has worked his way from the bottom up. The officers of the company are: President, S. S. Blair; Secretary, G. L. Owens; Treasurer, D. S. Kloss.
In 1858, by the efforts of J. L. Holmes, an acre of ground was purchased and laid out for a burial place. The first interment was an infant son of J. M. Calderwood. During the war there were eight soldiers brought home and buried here, of whom the first was John Miller Berlin, nephew of Samuel Berlin, who died not at the hands of the enemy, but was accidentally shot near Harper's Ferry, Va., in June 1861. Since that time there have been many additions to the number of soldier graves, as each successive Memorial Day bears witness. There are now four acres enclosed and available for use but enlargement will again before long become necessary. Up to July 1st there were 1765 inhabitants of the silent ward. The city of dead grows alike in prosperous or adverse times.
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There is room for enlargement. The hillside is well adapted for vaults, four or five tiers of which could be excavated in its rocky slope. The superintendent and present proprietor, Robert Waring, Esq., has for nearly forty years given careful and conscientious attention to this cemetery. Advanced age must soon incapacitate him for such service and it would be proper, as it must ere long be necessary, that a change in the management should be brought about. No other place is so much visited by our citizens and shown to their visiting friends as the sacred spot that holds the early remains of loved ones. It would be well if another J. L. Holmes should arise who should secure the organization of a company to take charge of this interest of the community and hold it as a public trust.
OAK GROVE CEMETERY.
About northwest of Tyrone cemetery and reached by following 15th street west beyond the borough line, turning to the left and crossing Sinking Run, is the burying ground of the Catholic church. At what would be 14th street, if that were extended west, the marble sentinels may be seen which guard the habitations of the dead. On this level ground is an old graveyard, the first body having been laid to rest in it in 1854, a young man Frank Davis, then a clerk for Study and Company. There are two and a half acres in the enclosure and the graves are well cared for, most of them being marked by headstones. Improvements to the property are contemplated and this will be made in time a necropol1s as beautiful as the one which overlooks the town.
TYRONE POST OFFICE.
The Tyrone Post Office is quartered in a commodious building erected in 1881 by the present efficient postmaster, W. Fisk Conrad, who has been one of the most active and useful of the business men of the place for a score of years. No town can boast of a better equipped and better managed post office than we enjoy.
The lower story of the block (a cut of which appears in this book) on the north end, is finished in one large room, 23 by 100 feet. Two doors lead into the space allotted to the
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public where are found three desks provided with writing materials. The working apartment has the most improved conveniences for handling the immense mails which pass through the office. There are 16 outgoing and 21 incoming mails daily. The annual report just published shows receipts from stamps, &c., $23,423.81; Money Orders issued $22,125.61, ditto paid $165,825; Registered matter 45,222 pieces, of which 28,583 were delivered in town, the remainder forwarded. For the protection of the valuable matter entrusted to it, the office has three fireproof safes and a vault, fire and burglar proof, 6 feet wide by 12 feet in length and height. The force employed are as follows: Chief Clerk, E. T. Watts; Money Order and Registry Clerk, F. C. Buck; Mailing Clerk, J. E. McClintock; Distributing Clerk, A. L. Miller; General Delivery, Arthur Shank; Stamping Clerk, F. D. Bradley. The Carriers are C. S. Hiltner, J. F. Hoover, G. A. Wilson, and H. C. Albright, substitute. Three railway postal clerks made daily trips from Tyrone P. O. There are 27 street letter boxes and 5 paper boxes. Three general and five business collections are made daily, and two general and three business deliveries. The receipts for the year closing June 30, show a gain over last year of 60 per cent, and are equal to 60 per cent, of those of the Altoona P.O. for the last year, being far in excess of those of any town in adjoining counties. For the excellent management of this office much praise is due to the postmaster, Mr. Conrad, who is untiring in his efforts to promote the interests of the town and its people. It should be added that his plans are well carried out by a corps of working clerks.
The office is open from 5.30 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Sundays from 3 to 4 p.m., windows from 3.30 to 4 p.m. On holidays from 5.30 to 8.30 a.m. and 6.30 to 7.30 p.m., with one delivery at 8.05 a.m. and collection at 4.45 p.m.
Sheridan Troop, Penna. National Guard, is an organization in which the people of Tyrone take great pride, though not exclusively belonging to the town. A portion of its mem-
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bers are from the adjacent country. The Troop was formed and mustered into service in 1871, the present commanding officer, Captain C. S. W. Jones, being at its head. This place he has held constantly and with honor to himself and his command for more than a quarter of a century; while the present First Lieutenant, T. M. Fleck has been an officer since 1875, ever taking an active interest in the affairs of the organization. The troopers as well as the officers have proved themselves to be true soldiers, and have acquitted themselves with credit and elicited very high encomiums on every occasion when they have been called out, either for drill of for active service. Recently, by the enterprise of its members, the Troop has been uniformed in respect to their houses as well as their suits. A complete outfit of bays have been purchased and, mounted on these, the "boys" made a fine appearance as they marched down Pennsylvania avenue on their way to the encampment of 1897. We believe that the patriotic spirit of these brave volunteers should be recognized and take pleasure in publishing the complete roster, a Roll of Honor which may stimulate the boys now in their teens to fill the vacancies which may occur and when occasion may require it, swell the number who shall follow the flag of our noble country.
Roster of Sheridan Troop for year 11897; Captain, C. S. W. Jones; First Lieut., Thos. M. Fleck; Second Lieut., Harry S. Fleck; Assist. Surg., Dr. J. L. Brubaker; Quartermaster, Lieut. D. R. Fry; First Sergeant, L. F. Crawford; Q. M. Sergeant, J. R. Cornelius; Com. Sergeant, H. A. Gripp; Sergeants, H. S. Fleck, A. L. Dickson, C. H. Fleck, E. L. Addleman, J. S. Fleck; Corporals, F. I. Spankle, W. S. Meadville, N. I. Wilson, C. S. Eyer, James Coleman, W. E. Moore, C. S. Buck, F. E. Fleck: Musicians, C. W. Gensimer, G. W. Stewart; Troopers Conrad Albright, V. C. Addleman, A. B. Arble, Maurice Balling, C. F. Bateman, Jno. B. Beam, D. J. Beck, C. W. Beck, W. C. Biddle, W. H. Bridenbaugh, C. B. Brown, Philip Carper, H. F. Confer, Warren Conrad, Jas. C. Crawford, D. T. Fleck, J. K. Fleck, W. H. Fleck, H. F. Fleck, W. W. Fleck, J. W. Fry, H. H. Gensimer, R. D. Gillam, J. C. Harris, H. C. Kauffman, H. J. Kocher, J. H. Lotz, E. H.
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Mentzer, J. F. Moore, C. E. Morrow, H. C. Myers, Milton Patterson, George Ramey, G. W. Rumberger, S. C. Stewart, David Templeton, J. L. Thomas, Alex. Trimble, James Trimble, G. W. Way, Chas. Waite, J. R. B. T. Wilson, H. L. Weyer.
The main armory of Sheridan Troop is located at Tyrone. It is built of brick and is 56X81 feet in size, with three stories front and two back. The first floor is entirely to stabling with 60 stalls, forage room, etc. The second floor contains a drill room 64X54 feet. On this floor is also an office and kitchen of convenient size. The third floor front is used as a property room. The building was erected in 1892 and including the lot it stands on cost about $5,200. Besides this armory the Troop also owns two others, one at Warriorsmark and the other at Sinking Valley. They are frame buildings and are worth, including the ground occupied by them about $3,000.
It is evident that the citizens of Tyrone have shown in some degree a commendable Esprit de corps that has contributed much to its progress. More of this spirit would accomplish greater things. Selfishness dwarfs the man and defrauds society of its rightful dues. There have been and are now in other cities, conflicts between labor and capital. It is for the lack of human sympathy. Whenever the law of love shall dominate society and the golden rule prevail in business, there will be no strife and no want. The people of Tyrone to-day, honor the memory of one man who would have been a liberal benefactor to the town of his adoption if the law had not defeat his purpose. The late John S. Morrison, who died October 17, 1890, in his will set apart $60,000 for the establishment of a public library. His heart was generous, but his hand was tardy. The swift messenger of death robbed Tyrone of the giver and his gift at one stroke and emphasized the neglected maxim of the Old Book, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it."
COUNTY, STATE AND NATIONAL OFFICIALS.
Though most concerned with what we ourselves are and have, we must not forget that we are but parts of a larger
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whole, an inner circle surrounded by larger ones and inseparably connected with them. Not for curiosity only but as a matter that may often be important to refer to, we append a list of public officers who come into touch with us, as dwellers in Tyrone. The principal county officers are: Judge, Martin Bell; Prothonotary, J. L. Hartman; Register and Recorder, W. H. Irwin; Sheriff, G. T. Bell; Treasurer, John T. Akers; Solicitor, J. Horace Smith; District Attorney, W. S. Hammond, Surveyor, W. M. Frazer; Coroner, T. C. McCartney; Steward of Almshouse, P. H. Bridenbaugh; Warden of Jail, M. K. Baird; County Commissioners, John A. Smith, M. H. Fagley, James Funk; Commissioners; Clerk, W. S. Hostler; Jury Commissioners, B. J. Murphy, J. G. Watters; Poor Directors, W. M. Brown, Martin Ounkst, J. F. Wilson; Auditors, D. D. Coleman, H. C. Lorenz, Jas M. Gilliland.
Administering the affairs of state in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are: Governor, D. H. Hastings; Lt. Governor, Walter Lyon: Sec. Of Commonwealth, Frank Reeder; Attorney General, Henry C. McCormick; Dept. Attorney General, John P. Elkins; Treasurer, Benj. F. Haywood; Auditor General, Amos H. Myling; Sec. Internal Affairs, James W. Latta; Supt. Public Instruction, Nathan C. Schaeffer; Deputies, Henry Houck, John W. Stewart; Adjutant General, T. J. Stewart; Supreme Court, Chief Justice Jas. P. Sterrett and six Associate Judges; Superior Court, Chief Justice Chas E. Rice and six Associate Judges; Representatives of Blair County in State Legislature, Matthew M. Morrow, Altoona and G. M. Patterson, Williamsburg; State Senator for this 35th District, Jacob C. Stineman of South Fork, Cambria county; Representative from the 20th Congressional District, Josiah D. Hicks, Altoona; U. S. Senators from Pennsylvania, Matthew S. Quay, Boies Penrose.
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Tyrone of Today - Part 2
Tyrone of Today - Part 3
Index of Names
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Blair County PA USGenWeb Archives - Area History
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