2009-12-10 / From Days Gone By


20 Years Ago

From The Files Of December 7, 1989 ’89 A huge crowd filled with the spirit of the season turned out Friday night at the courthouse for the first community Christmas

party sponsored by the Jaycees and the Women of Today. Christmas revelers sang “Jingle Bells” and welcomed Santa Claus, who did the honors by lighting the Christmas tree in front of the courthouse and McConnellsburg’s downtown decorations. Festivities at the courthouse included carolling by local church choirs and a crowd candlelight sing-a-long.

Many of those who attended the community concert at the Mercersburg Academy and other drivers ran into trouble on the east side of Cove Mountain when the icy highway was covered with snow on Sunday evening. Stranded vehicles blocked the road for two or three hours.

Fulton County commissioners Tuesday gave tentative approval to a 1990 county budget under which the real estate rate will drop from 19 mills to 10.75 mills following the countywide reassessment.

McConnellsburg Motor & Implement celebrated its grand reopening on November 24 as the business completed its recovery from the August 19 fire which destroyed the former building which housed the business.

Local Explorer Scouts have found a unique way of fundraising and will be selling singing Christmas greetings by phone and in person for those wishing to surprise friends with a very special jingle over the holiday season.

Robert Mellott, a senior at Southern Fulton High School, completed basic training for the Army Reserve in July. He is the son of Lynn and Janet Mellott.

Deaths: Gale L. Creek, 62, Hancock; Richard E. Garvey, 66, Hancock; Watson Lynch, 76, Culbertson; Harold E. Summers, 68, Robertsdale; Miriam Group DeKeyser, 81; Arthur Fischer, 59, Great Cacapon, W.Va.; Emma M. Fagley, 88, Carlisle.

Births at the Medical Center: a son to Mr. and Mrs. Nickles Gambol of Broad Top on November 24; a son to Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Garlock of McConnellsburg on November 24.

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Downin of Hustontown are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Patricia Lynn, to Kenneth R. Hawbaker, son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Hawbaker of Greencastle.

30 Years Ago

From The Files Of December 6, 1979 ’79 A sales agreement was recently signed by The First National Bank for the purchase of the Harris Hotel from owner Mrs. Belva Mc-

Cormick of Washington, D.C. The bank expects to take posssession in mid-January. Plans for the old hotel, located on Lincoln Way West and adjacent to the bank property, are rather nebulous at this time, but part of the rear lot will be used for employee parking. The frame part of the building will be torn down, but thought will be given to retaining the old stonework in the structure, if practical.

Hidden beneath the farm and woodlands of Fulton County may rest part of the answer to America’s dependence on foreign countries for energy supplies. Natural gas, tucked under layers of sandstone, is being sought by oil and gas companies large and small. And the search has led some of those companies to Fulton County. Oil and gas leases have been purchased in quantity in Fulton County over the past several years. But drilling in the area has not yet produced any positive results.

A fatal accident occurred one mile south of Fort Littleton last Thursday when a pedestrian, identified as Ester Kotofsky, 57, a guest at Lerie’s Motel on Route 522, was hit by a car near the motel. Police said the woman walked onto the highway from the west berm into the path of a northbound Chevrolet. She was hit by the right front fender. The victim was rushed to the Medical Center by the Hustontown Fire Co. ambulance and transferred to Washington County Hospital where doctors pronounced her dead on arrival.

Airman Michael Cline, son of Jeanette K. Strait of Hustontown, has been assigned to Lowry Air Force Base, Colo., after completing Air Force basic training.

Specials at the IGA: ground beef, $1.39 lb.; Bounty towels, 69 cents, big roll; Duncan Hines cake mix, 69 cents.

Births at the Medical Center: a son to Mr. and Mrs. Terance Keefer of Hancock on November 23; a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Richard McCoy of McConnellsburg on November 25; a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. James Jones of Dudley on November 29; a son to Mr. and Mrs. John Eader Jr., Big Cove Tannery, on November 29; a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Darryl Kipe of McConnellsburg on November 29; a son to Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Keith of Three Springs on November 30.

Marie F. McConaughey and Michael D. McQuade were united in marriage at St. Paul Lutheran Church in McConnellsburg on November 10. Marie is the daughter of Mrs. Olive McConaughey and the late Walter Mc- Conaughey, Mount Union. Mike is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Dale McQuade of McConnellsburg.

Engagement: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Metzler of St. Thomas wish to announce the engagement of their daughter, Linda Christine, to Robin Reed Feight.

Deaths: Lydia Stains, Three Springs; Harry Wible, Three Springs; Cora Gerhardt, Duncansville.

40 Years Ago

From The Files of December 18, 1969 ’69 Cape Horn, the infamous curve on the east slope of Tuscarora Mountain, claimed two victims during the past week – one on Friday,

the second on Monday. The driver of the first rig died; the second walked away from the wreckage. The first wreck, which caused the first fatality on the curve this year, occurred on Friday and claimed the life of John Campbell, Depue, Ill., who died at Chambersburg Hospital, after his tractor-trailer plunged through the guardrails and down the mountain side. The second mishap occurred on Monday when the rig of Leroy Champion of Lansing, Mich., plunged over the mountainside near the wreckage of the first crash. Champion escaped without serious injury.

Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Long of Waterfall will celebrate 58 years of wedded bliss on December 23. They have lived in the same home for 42 of those 58 years.

Game Warden Carl Jarrett reports that there have been no accidents during hunting season as of Monday, except for one minor leg injury caused by a stray shot pellet.

The engagement of Miss Satricia Adelle Deneen, daughter of Mrs. Donald Berkstresser and Lewis Deneen of Warfordsburg, is announced to William Harold Woodal, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Woodal of Needmore.

After finishing a tour of duty in Thailand, Sgt. Harvey Berkstresser and his wife, Andrea, arrived at Dulles Air Force Base at Washington, D.C., November 15, where they were met by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Berkstresser of Hustontown. After spending 30 days among home folks, Mr. Berkstresser will leave McGuire AFB in New Jersey for Hahn, Germany. The same day, Mrs. Berkstreser will leave the Kennedy Airport in New York to join her husband in Germany. The Berkstressers had the pleasure when returning from Korat, Thailand, to have a one-half hour stop in Yokota, Japan, to visit their brother and sister-in-law, TSgt. and Mrs. Harold Berkstresser, and children, where Harold has a threeyear assignment.

Specials at the IGA: smoked ham, 65 cent lb.; Green Giant corn, 19 cents, 1-lb. can; Libby yellow cling peaches, 29 cents, 1-lb., 13-oz. can; Pillsbury flour, 39 cents, 5- lb. bag.

Employees of Fulton Industries and their guests enjoyed a Christmas banquet and dance at the American Legion home on Saturday.

A bewildered doe was seen in town on Monday morning, the first day of the season. Coming from the fields north of the News office, the deer crossed the Lincoln Highway and sped up the alley by the H&H market.

Heavy snowfalls have occurred in this area the past two Sundays, giving promise of a white Christmas.

Deaths: Riley B. Decker, Warfordsburg; Mrs. Reba Daihl, Roxbury; Charles E. Mock, Altoona; George Peterson, Burnt Cabins; Charles E. Deshong, Greencastle.

Birth at the Medical Center: a son to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Dennis Henry of McConnellsburg on December 6.

Engagement: Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Palmer of Warfordsburg wish to announce the engagement of their daughter, Marlys Ann, to Dale Thomas Bresler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Bresler of Pennsylvania Furnace.

50 Years Ago

From The Files Of December 24, 1959 ’59 Alice Sowers, 15-year-old daughter of Clarence R. “Pancake” Sowers of Mc- Connellsburg, was admitted to Harrisburg

General Hospital on December 29 where her ailment was diagnosed as presumptive polio.

Rep. Richard M. Simpson is reported as progressing satisfactorily at the Bethesda Naval Hospital where he underwent exploratory brain surgery last week.

The Fulton County National Bank has been appointed authorized agent of the Federal Housing Administration.

Dedication ceremonies and the unveiling of the portrait of the late Dr. E.H. MacKinlay will be held at the Medical Center on Sunday, December 27, at 2:00 p.m. The portrait will hang in the waiting room at the Medical Center.

Dr. Russell C. McLucas was re-elected president of the Fulton County DHIA.

District forester Fred W. Shearer reports there were 19 forest fires in Fulton County during 1959 which destroyed 59.3 acres.

Maurice Sherman of McConnellsburg, who brought suit against a Georgia sheriff for false arrest of his family while they were travelling through that state, has been awarded $8,200 in damages by the federal court which tried the cases in Rome, Ga.

Membership in the Fulton County Farmers Association reached 158 in 1959 and the association has set its goal for 170 farm families in 1960.

Nathan Hixson had the highest producing dairy herd in the Fulton County Dairy Herd Improvement Association in 1959. His herd of 18 cows produced 13,462 pounds of milk and 558 pounds of butterfat per cow.

Albert Foster, local attorney, is improving favorably in Chambersburg Hospital after suffering a light heart attack on Tuesday of last week.

Mr. and Mrs. David Kendall and children and Mrs. Kendall’s mother, Mr. William Abercrombie, attended the funeral of the latter’s brother-in-law, Harry Abercrombie, in East McKeesport last Thursday.

Blind pensions were increased from $60 to $70 a month under a new law signed by Gov. David L. Lawrence last Wednesday.

Births at the Medical Center: a son to Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Rohm, McConnellsburg, on December 14; a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Miller, Aspers, Pa., on December 16; a son to Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Doyle, Harrisonville, on December 18.

Deaths: W. Mark Lodge, McConnellsburg; Mrs. Susan Odella Figard, Wells Tannery; Mrs. Laura B. Powell, Mapleton; Marshall E. Layton, Waynesboro; Marshall McKibbin, Washington, D.C.; James Kelly Wible, Waterfall.

60 Years Ago

From the Files of December 22, 1949 ’49 Recent births: a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Glunt of Burnt Cabins on December 17; a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Dale Corbin

of Harrisonville on December 18; a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Norman Seville of McConnellsburg on December 20.

A total of 623 contributors have pledged $37,127 to the Medical Center building fund to date.

A birthday dinner was held on December 6 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Garland in honor of the 60th birthday of Mrs. Garland’s mother, Mrs. G.C. Fields.

A committee composed of Max Stenger, Merrill Kerlin, Mrs. Robert Fix, George Gladfelter, Brooks Smith, William Hendershot and Rev. David Hoover has been named to plan a centennial celebration for Fulton County. A tentative date in August 1950 has been set.

Mr. and Mrs. Brinton McClain of Center are the proud parents of a son, born at Huntingdon Hospital recently.

Tom Cromer’s house at Burnt Cabins is nearly completed.

Deaths: Wells Duvall of Juniata; Mrs. Mertie B. Linn of McConnellsburg; Prof. E. Bruce Cline of Huntingdon.

70 Years Ago

From The Files of December 21, 1939 ’39 An inspiring service was held on Sunday afternoon when the entire community turned out to take part in McConnellsburg’s first

community Christmas carols service. The high school auditorium was filled with people who came to enjoy the program of Christmas music. The activity was sponsored by the Music Study group of the Mc- Connellsburg Woman’s Club, of which Mrs. James C. Anderson is the chairman.

Deaths: Walter Scott Watkins of Saltillo; Mrs. Hannah Walker of Lewistown.

Merle A. Laidig and Evelyn Louise Barkman were married on Saturday.

Gerald A. Booney and Ruth Hastings were married on November 29.

Never before in the history of McConnellsburg have the people taken such interest in their Christmas decorations. Spurred by the lighting contest sponsored by the local Lions Club, there are many tastefully and elaborately decorated homes throughout the town and, with the help of the town merchants, McConnellsburg’s business section is decked in holiday attire for the first time.

At its meeting last week, the McConnellsburg Ministerial Association re-elected Dr. J. Frank Findlay as president and Rev. J.M. Pleasant as secretary-treasurer.

A meeting of the executive committee of the Fulton County Chapter of the American Red Cross was held Monday evening at which time W.H. Greathead was elected president.

The Fidelity Bible Class, whose teacher is Mrs. J.E. Thomas and whose president is Miss Rheue Barmont, has placed a star on the Reformed Church steeple as a memorial to the late Rev. William J. Lowe. The star, containing 30 bulbs, will be lighted for the first time on Friday evening and will be lighted every Christmas in the future.

The borough council has cleaned up McConnellsburg for the holiday season by cleaning all the sidewalks and gutters.

At a dinner meeting of the Chambersburg Motor Club on Monday evening, H.W. Sheeder of McConnellsburg received a gold emblem for securing eight members during the past year. William J. Hines of Saluvia received special recognition for securing 32 members in four years. Melvin Strait of Licking Creek Township received a billfold for appearing on the five or more list for the second time. At the same meeting, H.E. Chesnut was inducted as a director of the club.

Ira Diehl of Thompson Township is in serious condition in the Chambersburg Hospital, suffering from burns received when his barn burned last week. When Mr. Diehl discovered the fire, he attempted to save the livestock. Everything was lost except a few cattle, which he got out before the roof collapsed.

Mary Virginia Runyan was guest of honor at a family dinner on Sunday, her 13th birthday anniversary.

On Saturday at 8:30 a.m., Miss Noami Roettger was operated on at Chambersburg Hospital. Immediately after the operation, John Carmack gave blood for a transfusion. Miss Roettger is now improving daily.

Mr. and Mrs. Boyd Deshong of Saluvia are the proud parents of a baby boy, Kenneth Charles, born on December 10.

A birthday surprise was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Blaine Bergstresser last Thursday evening in honor of Mrs. Vir- ginia Gracey, Mrs. Bergstresser’s mother, and Mrs. Sarah Houck, aunt of Mrs. Gracey, whose birthdays are in December. Ms. Gracey being 82 and Mrs. Houck, 91.

Mr. and Mrs. John Pittman announce the birth of a daughter on Thursday at Chambersburg Hospital. She has been named Rosella Jenny.

Charles Waters of Burnt Cabins killed an 8-point buck on Wednesday.

80 Years Ago

From The Files of December 19, 1929 ’29 Deaths: W.D. Roher of Waterfall; Mrs. Emma Earley

Denisar of Wells Tannery; Rev. William Ross Truax of near Pleasant Ridge; Bretherd Deneen of Buck Valley; Ezra William Kirk of Greensburg; Mrs. Blanche Ellen Kuhn Hess of Kauffman’s Station.

Appearing in this issue is lengthy account of the life of Elder C.L. Funk, who passed away at his home near Needmore on December 4. Almost 8 years of age, he was pastor of the Sideling Hill Church. One interesting paragraph in his obituary reads: “He is the sixth Primitive Baptist preacher to be buried in Sideling Hill cemetery, Elders Thomas, Runyan, Starr, Correl, Palmer and Ahimaaz Mellott preceding him.”

Recent weddings: Lewis R. Cunningham and Evelyn McLaughlin on December 11; George W. Pittman and Daisy C. Trumpour on December 4; Kenneth Glazier and Viola Comerer on December 4.

A state highway surveying crew is now busy around town, taking levels on the Lincoln Highway in preparation for building a new bridge over Cove Creek at the west edge of town. The present bridge is generally under water during a heavy rain.

A Knobsville family takes the hunting honors this season. On Saturday, Ira Kerlin killed a 10- point buck; his son, David, an eight-point and another son, Alvin, an eight-point.

Postmaster W.H. Greathead and family have moved into their new home on South Second Street, built this past summer.

The stork left a new daughter at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Barton of New Grenada.

Bruce Douglas of Thompson has purchased a new “Lizzy.”

Edward Keyser of Ayr Township expects to have sale at the Glazier farm next spring and move to his own farm at Back Run.

Ethel Sigel marked her 22nd birthday on December 7.

Triplets, a boy and two girls, were born to Mr. and Mrs. C. Wallace McGehee of Chambersburg on December 11.

Mrs. John P. Martz marked her 48th birthday on Dec. 4.

Return to top