2013-12-19 / From Days Gone By


20 Years Ago

From The Files Of December 16, 1993


Forbes Road Elementary School looked like a scene of unbelievable carnage on Monday when three running deer broke through plate glass windows and rampaged through the classrooms and gym, knocking down Christmas trees and anything in their way. One of them was wounded and had to be killed, but the other two managed to escape. There were no students at school, fortunately, as it was the first day of doe season.

The Starlight Dinner Theatre will open its doors in time to celebrate the holiday season on Saturday, December 18. The theatre’s opening, plagued by numerous delays including opposition to the establishment’s application for a liquor license, will feature a holiday theme and promises to provide entertainment for the entire family.

A Licking Creek Township man was ordered held for court on charges of criminal homicide and recklessly endangering another person in connection with the November 27 shooting death of Daniel H. Totten, McConnellsburg. James “Peepers” Durbin was returned to Franklin County Prison without bail following Monday’s hearing.

Santa Claus will be at McConnellsburg Firehall December 18 with treats for all the area children.

Robert Hoffman III, son of Robert and Beverly Hoffman of Three Springs, is in critical condition and faces the likelihood of permanent paralysis following an auto accident in Texas while on leave from military service in Kansas over the Thanksgiving holiday.

More than 600 people packed the American Legion Friday night to see Fulton County’s favorite son, NASCAR driver Tom Peck and to meet members of his new race team and corporate sponsor. The annual party was by all estimates the biggest gathering yet of Tom’s race fans, who also welcomed Wayne Grissom, head of Grissom Motor Sports, and Bob Cannon, vice president of sales for Channel Lock, the race team corporate sponsor.

Michael and Wendy Bishop Bowser of McConnellsburg announce the birth of their second son, Levi Michael, December 3 at Chambersburg Hospital.

Melissa Mellott and Edgar Henry Jr. were united in marriage November 20 at Clear Ridge United Methodist Church. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Cubbage of Hancock and the groom is the son of Judy Henry and the late Edgar Henry Sr. of Fort Littleton.

Nicole Grissinger and Steven Gann exchanged wedding vows August 8 at Dublin Mills Community Church. The bride is the daughter of Steve and Evelyn Grissinger of Dublin Mills. The groom is the son of Denzel and Loda Gann of Springfield, Ore.

Hazel Mills of Maddensville will celebrate her 80th birthday on December 17.

Birth at the Medical Center: a son to Mr. ad Mrs. Dwight Washabaugh of Big Cove Tannery on December 7.

Deaths: Calvin Snyder Sr., McConnellsburg; Riley Donahue Jr., Waterfall; Sara Gibson, Chambersburg; Robert Doyle, McConnellsburg; Melvin Deshong, College Park, Md.

30 Years Ago

From The Files Of December 29, 1983


Since the first day of winter on December 22, the season settled in with a vengeance. Snow, sleet, ice and high winds brought temperatures down to 12 degrees below zero on Christmas Eve, making roads hazardous, keeping plumbers busy fixing broken pipes and furnaces, firemen out at all hours on the flue-fire alerts and the weather the main topic of conversation wherever people gathered.

Sally Pollock and Mike Clevenger, both of McConnellsburg, raised $577.85 for the American Cancer Society and were crowned 1983 Yuletide king and queen during a special assembly at McConnellsburg High School Friday.

PennDOT recently honored three county men who retired from Pennsylvania Department of Transportation during 1983. They are Tom Miller, Needmore, eight and one-half years of service; Arthur Strait, McConnellsburg, 12 years of service, and Matthew Pittman, McConnellsburg, 18- 1/2 years of service.

Specials at the IGA: Philadelphia cream cheese, 79 cents; grapefruit, 8 for $1; broccoli, 69 cents a bunch; ground beef, 99 cents; Clorox, 89 cents a gallon; Campbell’s tomato juice, buy one-get-one-free.

Mary J. Mellott of McConnellsburg collected two baskets of groceries at the IGA Foodliner on Saturday morning. Mellott was the lucky winner of the McConnellsburg Jaycees two-minute shopping spree and collected $146.25 worth of groceries.

A surprise 225th wedding anniversary was held at Hustontown Firehall on December 17 in honor of Neil and Betty Berkstresser of Harrisonville.

A 40th double wedding anniversary was celebrated by Sam and Kathryn Mellott of Needmore and Bruce and Kathaleen Mellott of McConnellsburg on December 11. Sam and Bruce are brothers.

Deaths: Alice L. Mellott, McConnellsburg; Arthur E. Mellott Sr., Williamsport; Nettie Yost, Hancock; Emmert Keefer, Hancock; Betsy Grayman, Three Springs; Anne T. Smiley, Warfordsburg.

Marriage licenses: Daniel Coffman, Mercersburg, and Sandra Iker, Mercersburg; Robert Keefer, McConnellsburg, and Carol S. Hann, Warfordsburg; Lex A. Mellott, Warfordsburg, and Lindsay Quigg, McConnellsburg; Marvin Shoemaker, McConnellsburg, and Barbara Zimmerman, Mercersburg.

40 Years Ago

From The Files Of December 27, 1973


An early morning fire of undetermined origin brought tragedy to a county family last Wednesday that resulted in the death of two members of the family and complete destruction of the farm home. The Willard C. Mellott family of Needmore woke to find their home like a raging inferno. Members of the family who perished in the blaze were the Mellott’s 19-year-old son, Calvin Lee, and their 41-day-old grandson, Paul R. Booth Jr. Mr. Mellott, his wife, Barbara, daughter Cheryl Booth and sonin law Paul Booth were all badly burned. All four were admitted to Hershey Medical Center where Mr. and Mrs. Booth remain patients. To date, the cause of the blaze has not been determined.

Mathern Mellott, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Mellott of Harrisonville, was awarded his master’s degree in secondary education physics this month at Shippensburg State College, where in 1970 he earned his bachelor’s degree.

At the December meeting of Mount Zion Lodge No. 774, Ralph B. Kell of McConnellsburg was elected worshipful master to lead the organization during 1974.

Allen Charles Pittman of Hancock and Rita Kay Whisner of Hagerstown applied for a marriage license at the local courthouse last week.

Mr. and Mrs. Jackie E. Ford and son Jason are now living in Guam, where Mr. Ford is serving in U.S.N.C.S. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs.Earl Ford of Three Springs. His wife is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Hicks of Three Springs.

Specials at the A&P: cabbage, 12 cents lb.; orange juice, 5 cans for $1; Pringle’s potato chips, 79 cents, twin pack.

Births at the Medical Center: a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Michael Keebaugh of McConnellsburg on December 16; a son to Mr. and Mrs. Carl Offman of Three Springs on December 19; a son to Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Sowers of McConnellsburg on December 20.

Airman Jeffrey L. Doyle, son of Mr. and Mrs. Norman E. Doyle Jr., McConnellsburg, has been assigned to Keesler AFB, Miss., after completing Air Force basic training.

Engagement: Mr. and Mrs. Walter Cole of Isabella, Pa., announce the engagement of their daughter, Patricia Ann, to Larry B. McClain of Waterfall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Brinton McClain.

Franklin County’s Nellie Fox, former second baseman of the Chicago White Sox, is one of 45 players recently nominated for baseball’s Hall of Fame.

James P. Hawbaker of McConnellsburg has completed requirements during the fall semester at Shippensburg State College for a Bachelor of Science in elementary education.

Sgt. John Lane has been transferred from Bedford, Va., to Cape Romanz on the western coast of Alaska by the Bering Sea. Sgt. Lane is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Lane of Hustontown.

Specials at the IGA: Nescafe instant coffee, 99 cents; Borden’s sherbert, 59 cents, half gallon; IGA soda, 5 bottles for $1.

Deaths: Philip O. Grissinger, Altoona; Howard Edwards Sr., Paris, Tenn.; Mrs. Stella Speckman, Hancock; Mrs. Annie J. Deshong, Greencastle; Paul R. Booth Jr.; Calvin Lee Mellott, Needmore; Mrs. Elizabeth Harris Hoffmeister, New Oxford.

50 Years Ago

From The Files Of January 2, 1964


Five accidents were investigated by state police of the local substation over the holidays, none of which resulted in serious injury to the occupants nor extensive damage to the vehicles involved.

The annual preaching mission, sponsored by Mc- Connellsburg Ministerium, will begin Sunday evening and continue each night through Wednesday in St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.

On Saturday morning, Cpl. Charles Wheeler and Trooper Robert Kissner of the local state police substation raided the Conestoga Inn, just west of McConnellsburg, and seized an upright electric Kerney “Flashback,” an illegal coin machine.

The average cost of educating a child in the public schools this school year is $352, an increase of $17 or 5 percent over last year, the magazine “School Management” reported last week.

State Sen. Stanley Stroup and Rep. Harry M. Elvey were invited to attend the public meeting at the courthouse on Monday night in order that they could speak for the people of Fulton County to the “powers that be” in Harrisburg concerning the public opposition to the limited access aspect of the proposed Route 30 bypass.

A 1960 Chevrolet Corvair, owned by Shirley Meyers of Harrisonville, was reported stolen on Christmas Day and was later found abandoned in McConnellsburg.

A home in the Hancock area was destroyed by fire early last Saturday, but the family, including seven children, escaped unharmed. Hancock Fire Co. was called to the home of Carl Wertman, who lives on Timber Ridge Road about five miles east of Hancock, about 5:30 a.m. The fire apparently started in the basement of the newly remodelled home. No estimates as to the amount of damage were made.

Marriage licenses: Edward Harlan Ward, Oregon, Ohio, and Nancy Lee Taylor, McConnellsburg; John William Nichols of Leechburg, Pa., and Judith Ellen Shore, Mc- Connellsburg; Frederick Diven Funk of McConnellsburg and Elizabeth Anne Malot of Hustontown.

Army Pfc. Kenneth C. Henry, son of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Henry of Hustontown, and other members of the 25th Infantry Division participated in the recent exercise, Dusty Trail III, a live-fire training exercise on the island of Hawaii.

Deaths: Daniel Grove of West Chester, Pa.; Mrs. Harold H. Shaw died in Western Maryland State Hospital; Mrs. George A. Keebaugh, McConnelslburg; Mrs. Ulysses G. Boyer, McConnellsburg; Roy J. Cutshall, McConnellsburg, and Oliver H. Daniels, McConnellsburg.

60 Years Ago

From The Files Of December 31, 1953


Mr. and Mrs. Robert Linn of town are enjoying a vacation of several weeks in sunny Florida.

Robert Bivens, who lives with his aunt, Mrs. Mayme Plessinger, is spending the holidays with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Bivens of Picture Rock.

A-2C Gilbert C. Lake has returned to Kansas after spending a 10-day furlough with his parents and family here. Gilbert recently returned to the states from Guam.

Mrs. Levi Morton of town was admitted to Waynesboro Hospital on Sunday where she will undergo surgery.

William L. Kendall, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Kendall, will leave on January 1 for Liberia, West Africa, where he will be employed by Firestone Plantations Co.

Two dances will be held at the local American Legion home this week. On New Year’s Eve, Lefty and his Melody Men will be featured. On Saturday night, the Miller Trio will furnish music for dancing.

Michael B. Davis of Chambersburg, resident agent of Federal Bureau of Investigation, was in McConnellsburg on Tuesday, checking on the operations of James Headrick who, on September 14, got on a bus here and reported that two local prisoners of war in Korea are alive and well. Headrick then went on to Detroit where he “spun similar yarns” to two families there, the second family becoming suspicious and notifying the FBI, after which Headrick was arrested. He also collected money under false pretenses in Detroit, getting $50 from one of the families. If convicted, his sentence could be six months to two years. One of the local families, Mr. and Mrs. Russell Akers, have since been notified that their son, Dick, is dead and no word has been heard about Dick Matthews, the second local boy whom Headrick said was alive and well. The News editor asked Davis how the FBI knew Headrick has operated in McConnellsburg. The unidentified person, after reading about Headrick’s arrest in Detroit, remembered reading a similar story in The Fulton County News and had phoned the FBI in Detroit. After finishing its Detroit investigation, the FBI contacted Davis in Chambersburg, thus leading to the investigation of Headrick in McConnellsburg.

Births at the Medical Center: a son to Mr. and Mrs. Walter E. Seville of Cito on December 19; a son to Mr. and Mrs. Elmer A. Deshong of Harrisonville on December 21; a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Edwin C. Gelvin of Fort Littleton on December 25.

Announcement has been made of the engagement of Miss Marian Elizabeth Wible to Robert Hayden Aldstadt.

Cleo’s Restaurant, located at the foot of Town Hill Mountain on Route 126, between Warfordsburg and Breezewood, was destroyed by fire early last Saturday.

The Covered Wagon Boys of radio and television will entertain at the local VFW home on January 1.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has arranged an exhibit of United States coins that will be on display at The First National Bank of McConnellsburg from January 11 to January 16.

A-2C Maurice Edward Beck and Virginia Gracey were married on December 19

Carl L. Ramsey and George Hull are now stationed at Sampson Air Force Base at Geneva, N.Y.

Donald, a student at Lock Haven State Teachers College, and Charles, a student at a Michigan College, spent Christmas with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Zilch of Fort Littleton.

The lovely weather and good road conditions made traveling a pleasure during this Christmas season.

Charles Hixson of Amaranth suffered a severe heart attack on Christmas Day.

Deaths: Christian E. (Crist) Shimer of McConnellsburg; Dr. George S. Edwards of Greencastle.

70 Years Ago

From The Files Of December 30, 1943


The McConnellsburg basketball team scored an overwhelming victory over the Warfordsburg quintet on Tuesday, 75-9. Fred Fore was high scorer for MHS with 31 points, while Gene Earley racked up 22 points and Alex Hamil 13 points.

Deaths: Rebecca Shimer of Harrisburg; George M. Myers of Pittsburgh.

The Liquor Control Board has reduced the ration of whiskey from one fifth and one pint to just one fifth for each person every six weeks.

Mrs. Frank Ott of town has been ill with phlebitis.

Sgt. Bernard J. Truax is now stationed at Indiantown Gap.

Charles Palmer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Willard Palmer of Bethel Township, has won second place with his junior project in dairy cows in a statewide contest. He is an eighthgrade pupil at Warfordsburg and was enrolled in the countywide Junior Food for Freedom program last spring.

Pvt. Paul Pittman is now stationed at Camp Pickett, Va.

George Seville and wife arrived here last week to spend Christmas with his parents, but Mrs. Seville was immediately called back to Georgia because of the serious illness of her mother.

Misses Bess and Lillian Grissinger, assisted by Betty and Marjorie Grissinger, entertained 27 members of their family on Christmas Day.

Mr. and Mrs. Herman Mellott and family of Hazleton are spending this week at their home on South Second Street.

Miss Ann Douglas of Thompson Township received a broken hip in a fall at her home on Tuesday.

80 Years Ago

From The Files Of December 28, 1933


Deaths: Mrs. Silas Cutchall of Broad Top; Mrs.

Temperance Peck of Georgia; Edward Brake of


A few weeks ago, it looked as if Fulton County’s Christmas stockings would be lean this year, but thanks to speedy approval of projects under the CWA, the prospect of a merrier Christmas in Fulton County is now anticipated. Last week, comptroller L.D. Harris and dispersing officer Marshall Nace worked overtime at their office in the courthouse issuing paychecks to 865 CWA workers in all parts of the county. The total payroll amounted to more than $10,000 and represented the largest payday for a Christmas week ever known in Fulton County. Much progress has been made on the largest single project, the building of a school auditorium in McConnellsburg. More than 80 men are working on this project in a double shift.

James Ernest Tritle and Julia Lashley were wed December 22.

The Peter Kirk Store at Big Cove Tannery was robbed last Saturday night. The thieves broke through a door and carried off merchandise valued at more than $75. This is the third time that this store has been robbed.

J.S. Alexander of East Lincoln Way suffered a fractured left leg when struck by a car near the R&G Garage on Tuesday.

Mrs. Ida Lininger, who is employed in Chambersburg, spent Christmas with her family here.

90 Years Ago

From The Files Of December 27, 1923


Mr. and Mrs. James

Sipes of near Mc-

Connellsburg went to Chambersburg last Friday, leaving at home their two sons, Merrill, 13, and Donald, 10. During the absence of the parents, the boys got hold of a gun, and while playing with it, Merrill accidentally shot Donald through the abdomen and hip. The older boy, realizing his brother was badly hurt, put him to bed where he lay for three hours until his parents returned. A physician was then called and the lad was rushed to Chambersburg Hospital where he died Saturday.

Dr. G.M. Fisher of Amaranth has an apple tree that bloomed in the past couple of weeks despite the heavy frosts and freezing weather.

Miss Lib Hess held a party on Saturday afternoon in honor of the 85th birthday of her sister, Mrs. Lavina Hill.

Nelson Comerer, one of the promising young lads of town, is up and around again after being quarantined for scarlet rash.

Merchant J.K. Johnston, son Harry and daughters Beulah and Jean again had their Christmas dinner with Grandma, Mrs. K.C. Johnston, as has been their custom for a good many years.

Viola, the little daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Arthur Barnett of Hustontown, was badly scalded last Tuesday when she spilled a pan of hot water over her body.

Hustontown telephone office was moved last week from K. Reeder’s to W.G. Wink’s.

Hustontown correspondent writes: “Good preparations were made for Christmas, even to the moonshine agent being here on Saturday taking orders.”

Pork seems to be a drag on the market this fall as dressed hogs are bringing only 10 to 12 cents a pound, or 6 1/2 and 7 cents on foot.

Vernon and George Northcraft are the champion fox hunters around Northcraft, having caught 13 to date.

The Potomac River Bridge at Hancock has been sold to Maryland and West Virginia for $40,000 and is now toll free.

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