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Perry Historians Library; newspaper clippings

May, 1864
SMALL POX:-- We are assured that this fearful disease is prevailing to an alarming extent about one mile north of Blain, along the foot of the Conococheague Hill or mountain.  We have heard that there are 17 cases--some say 30, of small pox.  A young man and two children have died of it.  The greatest precaution should be taken to confine it to its present limits.  It is a terrible disease, and it is wicked to spread it by telling the people that it is not small pox.  We hope the good people of Blain and Jackson will use the strictest sanitary measures to limit the disease.

August 25, 1874
Celebration.  On last Saturday Blain had a grand celebration on Church Hill, a little below town, in which three Sabbath schools participated, namely, the New Germantown, Blain and M. E. School, of Church Hill.  The Germantown School came into town in the morning, on a large wagon, which was bedecked with spruce and a beautiful banner, besides two flags flying in the breeze.  Their horses were also adorned with small flags.  The Blain and Germantown schools then formed and marched to the lower end of town, joined the Church Hill school and were seated.  They were addressed by Rev. Smith, of Blain, Shoup, of Landisburg, and Klop, of Philadelphia.  After partaking of a substantial meal (every family having a table of its own) they had a grand time playing "Magic Rings."

Advocate & Press
Blain Borough Items.
The snow is rapidly disappearing, and sleighing is about over in this neighborhood.
Ira Wentzel has been in town several weeks, and expects to remain until about February, at which time he wants to have all his accounts settled up.  He has purchased a large store at Bell's Mill, Blair county, Pa.  He will be much missed in this place.
Luther Wentzel has sold his store to Edward Motzer, who expects to take possession about the first of March, 1889.
Mr. David Rice is moving into Geo. Bistline's house in the east end of town.
Mr. Howard Owing lately purchased the property of John Kern, deceased, for $900.
Harry Owings and Newton Evans are moving to Bloserville, Cumberland Co., in the spring; Mr. Evans to pursue his trade of wagonmaking and Mr. Owings blacksmithing.  We wish them good luck.
Mrs. David Hohenshilt is going to make sale and follow her husband to Colorado.
Mr. S. E. Harkins is going to teach a select school in the hall this coming summer.  Persons desiring to teach should avail themselves of this opportunity to prepare themselves.
Jan. 28, '89.  OCCASIONAL.

Advocate & Press.
Blain Borough Items.
The people of this borough were aroused from their slumbers about 5 o'clock on Monday morning, Feb. 4th by the cry of fire; the whole town was illuminated.  It was discovered that the wash house, on the farm owned by Judge Woods was on fire.  Many people rushed through the darkness to the scene.  The wash-house was only about one rod from the large stone dwelling house.  The most strenuous efforts were put forth by all hands, and the main building was saved.  Had the large building not been stone, or if it had not been for a stream of water that flowed close to the buildings, all efforts would have proved fruitless.
Mr. Francis Woods, a son of Judge Woods, and who is doing the farming, lost about 1000 lbs. of pork.  The fire is said to have originated from an incubator.
Mr. Luther Wentzel will take an inventory of his store about March 4th, at which time Mr. Edward Motzer will take charge.
Mr. Isaac Stokes, the miller, in the east end of the borough, lost one of his most valuable horses a few nights ago--the horse got the halter strap wrapped around his throat and choked itself to death.  Mr. Stokes lost a good horse only a few weeks ago. We all deeply sympathize with him in his losses.
Mr. S. E. Harkins' spring session of school will open April 8th, in the hall, at this place.  He expects a good school, and a large attendance.  Session to continue 12 weeks.
OCCASSIONAL; Feb. 13, '89

The West End.
Blain is all astir over McFadden's circus, which will exhibit in that place, on Monday, Aug. 12.
The people are all satisfied with Judge Barnett's sentence in the Loy case, as it had been estimated far above that.
Bloomfield had many representatives from the west end last week, as there were several large suits from here, namely:  Com. vs. Loy; Com. vs. Supervisors of Toboyne; Johnston's Bro. vs. Lacy Bro.; with an over supply of witnesses.
Mr. David Metz, of Cisna's Run, is having rollers put in his mill at that place, which, when completed, will be a convenient thing to the west end.
The Machamer girls, formerly of New Germantown, have set up a mantua-making shop in Blain.  I hope they may meet with success.
The principle talk with the farmer and tax payer now is the road question.  The law is so strict, that the road must be free from all impediment.  We don't wish to criticise our law makers, but when they took action on the road law they should have mentioned rain and mud as ___ included among impediments.  If our supervisors are so minded they can bankrupt the township to make the roads; on the other hand you can bankrupt the supervisors by indictments as it is an impossibility to keep the road in good repair this season.  Further it is not fair that one township must spend so much to keep her roads in repair and her sister townships have roads impassable.  Let me give notice to all supervisors to make roads and especially to Jackson township or they shall be dealt with according to law.  A CITIZEN.
August 12, 1889.

A Candid Opinion.
Blain, Pa., Oct. 2, 1889
Since the P.C.R.R. is bound to come to Bloomfield and boom that section, we think our share coming in the present crisis, and we, too, expect a boom.  While this is true, why should we not change the location of the Court House and county seat to Blain, the most pleasant and desirable town for location in all of this county's rural districts--situated in the widest most fertile and enterprising part of this valley.  The country in close proximity is level, while farther away slightly rolling; pleasant driving from Bloomfield, the western terminus of the P.C.R.R.  The lower end will then have a better advantage of locomotion than the upper end has at the present.  The expenses of moving the Court House, etc., would be defrayed by the county.  The interest of the same, in twenty years, would far exceed the principal and rid the county of debt.  The money would be subscribed at once for the erection of the jail.  Now we wish the consideration of this question by the citizens of this county.
A Subscriber and Reader.

Blain Items.
Some of our most enterprising farmers have just finished seeding last week, owing to the ----------- of the weather.
Wm. Enslow, of Jackson township, bought three of those wild range horses from the North Platte, Neb., of Isaiah Good, (the shipper).  A few days after the purchase the bronchos were noosed by the experienced horsemen Wilson Shreffler and Cloyd Woods, but they made a mistake by tying up that spirited high strung bay.  The rope with which she was tied being thin, was made into a halter with a draw noose an the mare in pulling on the rope caused it to cut deeply into the flesh, making her wince with pain.  And by the repeated trials to break the rope beat her head into a terrible condition and tore loose one of the tendons of the neck.  She now carries her head within four or five inches of the ground.
Miss Mary Evinger, daughter of John L. Evinger, of Loysville, is visiting her many friends of this section.  We extend to her a cordial welcome to peaceful Blain.
The schools of this section are not well attended this month, owing to some unjustifiable reason.  The educational interests of the upper end need a general wakening up.  One teacher in the township had but one scholar the first day; others are very little better attended.
The Prof. of the Red Corner School is the advocate of a new idea to the school system of Pennsylvania, having opened in connection with the school a general school supply.
Broncho Harve (Harvey J. Rhinesmith) hitched and drove successfully Judge Wood's wild bronchos, three in number.  As a horseman he is unexcelled.  He has taken a contract to break Wilson Shrefflers's balking pony.  We congratulate him on his success as a horse tamer.
Jeremiah Gutshall has his new house almost finished.  It adds a spot of beauty to the hole left by the mysterious fire of May 12.
The candidates, "Will you support me" is echoed along the mountains like the cold winds of the north.  Call around, boys, we all will!
The love feast at the Dunkard church, two miles above Blain, was well attended last Saturday evening.  From early evening till eight o'clock the merry young folks were seen driving toward the above-mentioned place.
We had the pleasure of meeting one of Perry's prosperous boys of years ago, Wm. Woods, son of Ex-sheriff Woods, of Blain, on last Friday, having returned on Thursday from Nebraska.  He was one of the Oklahoma boomers of memorable April 22.
Oct. 14, 1889.

Blain Items.
Frue McVey, son of Harry McVey, of Blain, left on Monday, October 14, for Council Bluffs, Iowa, the place of his former residence.  Having taken a flying visit to his parents, the again steps forth on the ruffled sea of life to try the wheel of fortune.  He has traveled over almost every mile of Wyoming, Ty., looking for a suitable ranch.  We wish him success.
J. M. L. Wentzel, our popular merchant, has erected a fine portico to his house, which now hangs so invitingly across the side walk.  He contemplates hanging a sign over it.  "Please loaf here!"  He is always bound to lead off.
We are told the ball at Monterey was a grand success and leads for the first of the season.  Help yourselves boys; sport while you can.
William Enslow hitched and drove his injured mare, which has so far recuperated as to be on the road ready to travel, her injury being more slight than was at first expected.  He has at last succeeded by the help of his boys to break without trouble his supposed wild colts.  They find as others do, kindness the best of policy.
Oct. 23, '89.

The protracted meeting at Stony Point is one of the great successes of the upper end.  Fourteen mourners are seeking after the cross at the time of this writing.  Good is the work being wrought and needful is the want of such in this vicinity.
Misses Julia and Ida Kuller, of Landisburg, are the guests of Judge Woods and family.
William Gray, reports the raising on his farm near town of a stalk of corn measuring seventeen feet bearing a large ear of corn.
Messrs. Gregg (the druggist) Owings (the blacksmith) and James Shannon were the successful hunters of our town, having each succeeded in killing a turkey.  They report having seen a large black bear on the Chestnut Flat.  X.
Oct. 2_, 1889

Blain Inklings.
The monster giant of the forest now begins to robe himself in the garments of winter, by casting here and there his manly little trinkets of ornament and covering the ground with kisses of farewell!  Summer, farewell!  Oh!  how many a thought is cast among thy bare and slender branchlets, that gives a sighing and aching heart content, to welcome back again your green trophies in the spring.
Judge Wood's running horse, Walter A., took colic one day last week.  It looked for a while as if old Bob could not, like at Newport and Carlisle, pull through.  But with the aid of George Loy, of Kistler, he recovered, and still remains the pride of the upper end.
Robert and Mary, children of John T. Messimer, of Sunbury, paid their respects to their uncle, W. D. Messimer, in the form a visit, this last week.
We are sorry to announce the serious illness of Rev. Messinger's estimable wife.  She has been ailing for several weeks past.  At present her condition seems better by times, only to relapse to the same condition as before, Her father, a practicing physician in New Jersey, has twice been here to see her.  In their trial they have the heartfelt sympathy, best wishes and hopes of the neighborhood.
On Tuesday night and Wednesday morning a slight fall of snow occurred throughout this part of Perry and part of Cumberland, being accompanied by cold air and a rousing frost next morning.  Before eleven o'clock the snow had departed as mysteriously as it came.
F. W. Woods has the champion field of corn, which will average one hundred and thirty bushels to the acre.  There being twelve acres in the field.
Daniel Augustine spent a few days in our town selling a lot of horses and cattle.  He returned home on Saturday.
Our hunters are resting at present, no doubt waiting the coming of the rabbit season, when all expect a jubilee.  As they are reported as thick as hops upon the vine.
I am told the Methodist minister shot and killed a wild turkey on the wing with a rifle one day last week.  Bear it boys, if you can.
Oct. 28, 1889.

Blain Inklings.
As the last week progressed the long looked for Friday, the 1st of Nov. came rolling around.  Great were the anticipations, as the hunter called from his kennel the favorite of his heart, a keen, quick scented noble looking dog, for the anxious chase.  The roar of guns and baying dogs sounded along the thickets from early morn till late at night.  All in all, about fifty long eared "b-uner --er" bit the dust on that day in this vicinity.
D. K. Lesh, who has been sick for some time past, is convalescing rapidly.  His smiling face was seen as he strolled in Sunday's bright and light toward Dr. F. A. Gutshall's.
David Rice, the purchaser of the Bistline property, has rebuilt the north corner of his house in part.
Wilson Shreffler has laid 300 feet of pipe from the town hydrant to his house and thence to his barn, at a cost of only thirty-seven dollars and a few cents.
Farms have found the clover seed crop a failure.  It is common for the machine to move after a few hours threshing.
Spelling school at Manassas school house was well attended and conducted in a most satisfactory manner by the teacher, Miss Sarah Holtz.
Singing society has once more revived after a vacation of several months.  On Wednesday eve their melodious voices can be heard at the town hall.
One evening last week the accidental discharge of a gun, thought to be unloaded, might have resulted seriously.  Happily it only opened an air hole in  large window glass as it sped on its harmless mission.
Miss Sue Rhoades is visiting her uncle, Samuel Rhoads, this week.
Miss Clara Briner is the guest of David Rice, of Blain.
Nov. 4, 1889.   X.

Blain Inklings.
Owing to a lack of news, this section lost its representation in last weeks edition of the Press. This week improves but little and affords few topics of interest.
Once more the cold, barren and thoughtless winds of Winter in _____ dissipation come sweeping down upon us, casting in profusion about our feet its half year relics and turning to melancholy the bright robes of green Summer.
On our last election it was curious to note the workings of the principals of the different political factions.  The one seemed to be destined to work for the election of the other's favorite, causing the unexpected result.
Messrs. Jas. Morrow, Samuel Barnhart, Franklin Kistler and Cornelius Rhoads, returned on Saturday before the election from Barre Forge to vote.
A lyceum will be organized on Wednesday evening at Clark's Grove to break the monotony of winter months.
Stories of fiction have been published and credited.  The following is one stranger than fiction, and has been doubly credited by some of our near neighbors.  The story runs thus:  George Sheriff, a resident of Monterey, a small village four miles from New Germantown, while hunting on the Bowers mountain in the vicinity of the ponds, where the mountain top is several miles wide, dense and lonely, saw an animal which he named the d---l.  He described it as having a tail about eleven feet and body about 12 or 15 feet in length and it would sometimes stand erect and look over the treetops and making a surprising long leap or hop as it travelled.  As he repeatedly emptied his gun at the mysterious being it turned and caught the shot and spit forth from his mouth fire in long streaks of flame.  The above are the facts condensed as have been told by the author who says ____________________ his statement.  Other stories are afloat as to other circumstances relating to mysterious objects seen in and about the same locality.  Many are so intimidated that they will not go to their barns at night.  And few will cross the ridge between the above place and Centre.
Nov. 18, 1889.

Blain Inklings.
Wm. Kell, Sr., while unloading coal on the school premises, from a spring wagon, had the misfortune to fall out.  His horse being a little spirited from want of exercise, started suddenly, causing the above gentleman to take a tilt backwards to the ground.  He arose from his unpleasant position and sent a school boy to tell his son-in-law, H. E. Garlin, to come to his assistance.  After being taken home and placed in an easy position, medical aid was brought.  No bones were found broken, but he was bruised considerably about the upper part of the body, as his weight is over two hundred pounds, which would cause quite a shock by a fall from so high a perch.
Samuel Rhoads accidentally while hewing down a bolster for a wagon cut a terrible gash in his foot.  The handle in the ax not being properly fastened, the ax flew off under the trestle into his foot.
Rev. S. L. Messinger took ill one evening last week.  It was feared he would have a relapse, but at present is better.
Mrs. Michael Bower, who has been living with her daughter, Mrs. Jacob Smith, has been ailing for a long time, her condition being critical and every day she seeming to grow weaker.  We have hope for her recovery, but old age is against her.
An hourly rise in the quotation of ammunition is expected, as our hunters are shooting without discretion. One of our prominent men, a hunter, utilizes three pounds of shot weekly.  Oh!  The continued banquet in that home.
Henry Kell, the huckster, left his mules standing at Wentzel's store.  They took fright and ran down Main street to the hotel, turned to the left into the alley, but were caught before much damage was done.
Nov. 25, '89.

Weddings are now an every day occurrence in this vicinity, there being as high as two in one evening, and four in one week; still there are prospects for forty more.  We wish you all wealth, prosperity and happiness, and shall drink to your health, friendship, love and well being through life.
Our friend Robert V. Woods has returned home from one of the Western States to his many friends, among them one whose pulsations are quickened by his presence.  Congratulations!
Reports of the sporting fraternity run thus: Game plenty, receipts small, and every man a hunter, including of course the boys above twelve.  Some of our hunters took a hunt in Liberty Valley, but returned with only five squirrels, which they report as plenty on the Tuscarora mountains as flies in harvest.
The Dr. reports fishing as unsuccessful as hunting, having saved five little "shiners" for one whole week's work.  One bright sun-shiny day he shouldered his rod and tackle and was seen strolling at a lively pace toward the dam; later in the day he was seen careworn and weary take his way up the alley home; the usual result- a skunk.
Theof. Butturf visited our town last week and in his good humor unraveled one of those pleasant side-splitting yarn's to his admiring spectators at the Judge's resort.
Our teachers have returned from the County Institute with many pleasant jokes and a general brightening up of their teaching abilities.
Harry Mortimer, of New Bloomfield, passed through our town on Sunday last enroute for home.
Judge Woods lost one of his fat cattle some weeks ago.  It has not yet turned up as it strayed away, unseen, no one seems to know of its whereabouts.
Bear tracks have been seen by some of our hunters on the Chestnut Flat.  Two have been seen walking along the ridge above Waterford, but all their hunters were at Black Log.  They are destroying corn by the shock in the upper end of this county.  A few nights ago one took a hog weighing about one hundred and fifty pounds from a pen of a Mr. Barnhart.
C. N. Rhoades has returned home from Barree Forge.
At a serenade last week our town suffered a little shake up.
M. F. Evans is paying his many friends a visit in this section.  He is succeeding well at his trade in Blosserville, Cumberland county.
Dec. 9, '89.

Blain Inklings.
Soon the furied blasts of winter will take the place of this now and then agreeable weather and turn to ice and snow the tears that are shed by mother nature; also those in whom the fever of desire has to drift westward--the once ambitious young man--he also shall change like nature's seasons, and feelings of sadness shall be his winter.  Now, boys, when once this idle boast is o'er and the time comes for you to step upon the ruffled sea of life, these three things I would recommend to you:  obey your conscience, keep out of debt, and make Heaven your stay.
Dec. 12, '89

Blain Inklings.
"La Grippe" is gradually relaxing its grip on the people in this town and neighborhood.
Messrs. Peter Sheibley and Thomas Seager have been ill for some time.
The time for spring election is very near, and candidates are becoming somewhat
nervous over prospects.  There are only about 3 more Democrats than Republicans in this borough.
We are glad to learn that Mrs. Messinger's eye is improving.
There will be some moving this spring.  S. E. Harkins is moving to the Hollenbaugh property, and Miles Bower is moving into S. E. Harkin's house; The Misses Machamer are moving into David Rice's house; Morris Yoder, the tailor, is going to Harrisburg; Miss Maggie Kline is moving into Geo. Smith's house; Mrs. Matilda Bower is moving into Ed. Rumple's house; Christ Evans has moved in Jerry Gutshall's house; Francis Woods is moving into Ed. Rumple's house.
S. E. Harkins, Dr. Gutshall and Jas. Moreland have each a house to rent.
Wm. Gutshall is building a new barn.  He is now getting the lumber ready.
Feb. 15, [18]'90

Blain Inklings.
Rev. I. P. Neff, the Lutheran minister, has opened a very interesting protracted meeting here.  We hope the strong effects for good put forth in this place will not be in vain.
Blain challenges the country more ___ hogs.
The election is now past and we trust all the old sores generated by it will heal over.  The following officers were elected:  Burgess, William Moreland, Rep.; justice of the peace, R. H. Kell, Rep,; judge of elections, David Stokes, Rep.; constable, Wm. Johnston, Dem., tax collector, Joseph Woods, Dem.; school directors, Dr. Gutshall and James Shoemaker, Dem.; councilmen, Joseph Clouse, John Graham and Sam'l  Rhoads, Dem.
Mr. Christ Evans has moved into town; he is a very desirable citizen.
There are now three literary societies in progress in this vicinity; one at Clark's grove, one at Mt. Pleasant, and one in Blain.  They are all well attended and we hope much good will spring from them.
Feb. 2_ [18]'90.

Blain Inklings.
The weather has been very disagreeable during the past week.  There has been so much rainy weather that the farmers could not do their ploughing and by all prospect there will be a late oats sowing.
Mr. Wm. Kern, of Landisburg, spent several days in this town with his sister, Susan Evans, last week.
Miss Carrie Hull, of Centre, visited her uncle, Jacob Wormley, a few days last week.
Mr. Simon P. Kern moved into the house owned by him and his father-in-law, Daniel Sheaffer, one block south of the hotel.
Mr. Samuel Rhinesmith moved into Daniel Went's house.
Prof. M. S. Kistler, a student of Dickinson College, Carlisle, and one of great energy and ability, opened a summer session of school on Monday last, with a large number of pupils.
Mr. Tood Spohn had a misfortune last Saturday evening after the "Young People's Christian Endeavor Society."
Granulated sugar is selling at five cents and express paid and with every barrel you get a merchant.
S. W. Woods opened bar on the first day of April with three bottles of hop tonic.
The Lutheran and Reformed Union Sabbath School elected officers last Thursday evening for the ensuing year.
March 6, '90.  S. K.

Blain Inklings.
The Lutheran congregation of this place are tearing away the old kitchen of their parsonage and are going to erect a nice new building instead.  Jacob Wentz has been appointed to gather the material, some of which he has already engaged.  The building will cost about $600.
Geo. A. Garber, one of the merchants of this town, intends to build a kitchen and put an addition in his store room early spring.
Rev. I. P. Neff has closed his protracted meeting and has gone to conference, which convenes at Thompsontown, Juniata county, Pa.
Ex-sheriff Jos. Woods has made sale of 112 acres of _______, which lays on the other side of Sherman's creek from his residence; he still retains his mansion and 80 acres.  Mr. Jos. Wentz was the purchaser and intends building a new house on the land he purchased.
Mar 12 [18]'90

Judge Woods has again been granted license.
There will be quite a number of sales in this locally this spring.  It will be a fat time for auctioneers.
Mr. Thomas Seager and Mr. Peter Sheibley are still sick, and not improving very much.
Farmers in this vicinity have had a hard time this winter to haul away their farm produce to the county seat, on account of bad roads.  We hope the time is not far distant when the railroad will be built in Blain, and farmers will not need to be out so early and late.
Mar 7, [18]'90

Blain Inklings.
Mr. Wm. Boyd's sale was considered by all a good one; especially the cows and ____ sold well.
An inventory of Mr. Luther Wes___ store is now being taken by Messrs. ___man, of Cisna's Run.  They will in all probability become citizens of our town in the near future. We wish them success.
Rev. I. P. Neff has returned from conference and will hold communion services in the Lutheran church next Sabbath.
The public schools will close about the 21st of March.  No doubt there will be some glad hearts among the children and some teachers.
There is a great deal of swearing and profane language used by the boys of our town.  Parents should look after this matter somewhat.
A summer school will be opened by Mr. Milton Kistler in the hall of Blain.  He is a graduate of West Chester Normal School, and expects to enter college soon.  We hope him success.
Mr. James Morrow made sale of his household goods on last Saturday, March 8th, and has now moved with his family to Barree.
After a settlement it was found that the borough had about $158 over and above all expenses.
Wm. Miller is moving to Judge Wood's farm.
Rev. Sauser, the Methodist minister at this place, is, we are glad to say, getting better and able to preach again.
The people would be glad to see him stay another year.
Mr. Geo. Gutshall, who has purchased his father-in-law's farm in Juniata county, is making sale on March 13, after which he intends to move to his newly acquired property.
We all wondered why Geo. Wood greeted his friends with such broad smiles.  It is a boy.
March 15, [18]'90

Blain Inklings.
The Messrs. Harman, of Cisna's Run, have purchased Mr. Luke Wentzel's store and are now offering good bargains to the people.
Mr. Lute Wentzel was away on business and has returned.  He expects to move into Messrs. Moreland and Gutshall's house.
Mrs. Lena Yoder's sale will be on the 29th of March.
John Graham and Warren Stoke expect to go to Johnstown to work this spring.
Mr. Porter Hollenbaugh, of Toboyne township, is going to move into Jerry Gutshall's new house.
Geo. A. Garber has sold his store to Francis Reapsome and Arthur Garber, his son.
Missess Jennie Bixler and Maggie Bixler have rented the west end of S. E. Harkin's house.  They expect to carry on dressmaking.
Rev. Messinger the Reformed minister expects to hold communion in Blain on Easter Sunday.
The singing society, at this place, is going to hold an exhibition in the hall soon.
Mr. Thomas Seager, who is an old resident and a much respected citizen of this place, has been ill for some time.  It appears his trouble is more a mental than physical derangement.  Drs. Mitchell and Gutshall have decided it would be better to remove him to an asylum.  We sympathize very much with the family and friends.  
There will be no license in Blain this year after April 1st.
Mr. Peter Sheibley is still growing weaker.
Mrs. Isaac Stokes is gradually recovering from the paralysis.
March 24, '90

Blain Inklings.
The cold blasts of winter still howl around our homes and firesides, although spring is trying to push its way to the front.  
There seems to be a general financial depression in this neighborhood; everybody that owes any one can scarcely get the money to pay his debts, while creditors are daily waiting to receive the money due them.  We hope there will soon be a change for the better.
People are now moving.  The two Miss Machamers are leaving town and are moving to Sandy Hill to the house occupied by Mr. John
Miss Jennie and Miss Maggie Bixler have moved to town and are now prepared to do first class work in dressmaking.
The schools have all closed about here, and nearly all the teachers seem to have been successful as few complaints were heard about any one.
Mr. Milton Kistler expects to have a very large school in the hall.  We wish him success.
Geo. Gutshall is going to move to Juniata county the 1st of April, to his farm formerly owned by his father-in-law, Mr. Bennett, deceased.
On last Monday, March 24, Mr. Henry Rinesmith fell from a load of straw, but fortunately did not get much hurt.  His horse ran away, but was caught by Wm. Johnston.
There was an entertainment held in the hall by the singing society of this place, Friday and Saturday nights.  It was considered a success by those who attended.  The proceeds are to be appropriated to buying new books for the society.
March 31, '90

Blain Inklings.
The Sunday School of this place organized last Thursday evening.  Mr. Jacob Snyder was elected superintendent; Mr. R. H. Kell, assistant superintendent, and Mrs. Ruth Bower, secretary.
Clark Rinesmith and Francis Woods have gone to Barree.
Mr. Benjamin Gutshall was kicked in the thigh by a horse and severely bruised.  He is confined to the house, but we are glad the injuries were not fatal.
Mr. George W. Briner has appointed George S. Briner as his assignee.  Sale will be on Saturday, April 19th, at which the property will be disposed of.
Farmers are busy this week plowing, but are frequently interrupted by rains.
Mr. William Gutshall is erecting a new barn.  The carpenters are busy preparing the timbers.
On account of the bad roads this winter the farmers were not able to haul away much of their wheat to the county seat; in consequence of which much of it lies in the garner, perhaps to be taken away when the roads get better.
Mr. Geo. Stahl's store was closed by the sheriff.  We do not know what his indebtedness amounts to.
William Delancy moved to the brick house owned by Wm. Woods.
Thomas Seager is still getting weaker and there are little hopes entertained for his recovery.
April 7, '90.

Nellie Seager has malarial fever and there are fears of it turning to typhoid fever.  We hope she will have a speedy recovery.
Peter Smith's infant child, a little girl, died on April 11th, at noon.  The interment will take place in Blain.  We sympathize with the stricken parents.
It is with sadness we note the death of Samuel Kern, of New Germantown, who passed from this earthly state of action to another world, April 11th, to join his friends that have gone before.--We sympathize with the stricken friends and relatives.
Prof. Milton Kistler's school, at Blain, now numbers fifty-eight and more are soon expected.  There will certainly be a large number of applicants for certificates this year.
There was a very large congregation on Easter Sunday at communion in this place.  There were quite a number taken into the church by Rev. Messinger.  Rev. Neff, Lutheran minister, will hold his services in the church the Sunday following Easter Sunday in the forenoon.
We notice our friend Clark Bower looks very pleasant these few days past--it is a girl.
The first of April was a busy day in our neighborhood and many accounts were settled.  Since that time, it is thought money is more in general circulation.
Our new and energetic merchant, Mr. John Harman, who is doing such a good business in our town, has been suddenly attacked with LaGrippe and confined to his room.  We trust he will speedily recover and be able to attend his regular business.
We are glad to note that Mrs. Isaac Stokes is getting better and has in a great measure recovered from the stroke of paralysis she received last autumn.
April 12, '90  

Blain Inklings.
The farmers of this section are busy preparing their land for a crop of corn, the oats having been about all sowed.
Miss Lila Kistler has the typhoid fever; also, Mrs. Kistler and Edward Kistler have been sick.  They are all getting better.
Bark peeling has begun again.  We have no doubt but that there will be a scarcity of bacon in this place, as many bark peelers are looking up their interests.
The town council of Blain have decided there shall be no more plank or board pavements laid in this borough, as they become a nuisance.  All pavements laid in the future are to be stone or brick.--We think think is a wise act of the council.
A literary society is now in progress at this place, carried on mainly by the students of the school.
Our merchant, Mr. John Harman, is getting over La Grippe and has again resumed his routine of duties.
Mr. Wagner, the nurseryman, of this county, has delivered a lot of fine stock at this place.  His goods are reliable and his stock generally always proven satisfactory.
Mr. Gregg, the druggist, has moved his barn and converted it into a wood house.  Mr. Gregg has a good stock of drugs on hand and is prepared to accommodate the public.
The farmers are beginning to sell their fat cattle.  As there is a good number of them in this section cattle buyers will be welcomed.
The Grand Army Post is looking forward to Decoration Day.  We hope the weather will be good and no flood like there was last year.
Mrs. Nettie Evans is visiting her mother, Mrs. Lupfer.  It looks natural to see her around again.  We learn Mr. Newton Evans has moved to Loysville.
Mr. Benjamin Gutshall moved Tuesday, April 22, to the house formerly occupied by Hannah Stum.  He still farms for his father.
Thomas Seager died at 12 o'clock on Thursday night, April 24th; buried in the Lutheran and Reformed graveyard.
April 26, '90.

Blain Inklings.
The farmers are preparing to plant their corn as rapidly as possible.
Quite a number of deaths, no less than five, have happened within the last week in this vicinity.  Mrs. Daniel Wentz, who was a much loved and respected lady of this town, passed to her final resting place last Friday evening.  Mr. Peter Sheibley, whose familiar face was greeted almost every time we entered the drug store, will be seen no more among the living.  Scarcely had the church bells ceased tolling for the deaths of these good people when it was announced that Mr. Geo. Holtz had died suddenly, and immediately following was the death of Mrs. Geo. Smith, of Jackson township.
The kitchen and dining room of the Lutheran parsonage are now being torn away to be replaced by a handsome structure of which Mr. Jacob Wentz has been appointed to superintend.  Rev. Neff wears a pleasant smile.
Gypsies have appeared in the neighborhood and have encamped along Sherman's Creek near town.
May __, '90

The literary society gave a free entertainment on last Friday evening.
The sound of drum and fife was heard in our village.
Mr. Geo. A. Garber has begun the erection of his new edifice adjoining the rear part of his store and house.  It will soon near completion and be ready for use.
The joint Lutheran council meets on Saturday at 10 am at St. Paul's church for the transaction of business.
Mrs. John Kistler and her son Edward and daughter Lila are slowly recovering from their illness.
Under the new law a tax is now being levied on dogs about here.  It is high time all worthless dogs should be killed and save the tax.
May 5, '90.

Blain Inklings.
The farmers of this section are about done planting corn, and some are hauling bark from the mountains.
The Lutheran parsonage building is framed and the workmen are rapidly hastening it to completion.  Rev. Neff wears a pleasant smile.
Miley, son of Geo. A. Garber, is very low with typhoid fever.
The plasterers are now working at Mr. Garber's house.
Wm. Gutshall will raise his barn on Tuesday, May 27th.  No doubt the turkeys and other fowls will have to suffer.
Susan Kern is reported to be very ill.  We trust she will recover.
There is considerable wheat in this neighborhood which will soon be hauled to market.
Prof. Kistler's school now numbers seventy-one.  He was will a few days but was able to attend to his regular duties.
Messers. Harman & Brother are paying good prices for produce and are consequently  having a good custom.
Luther Wentzel has gone in to the saw-mill business with his nephew, Lincoln Wentzel.
May 26, '90

Decoration Day at Blain.
Decoration Day at Blain has come and gone and we are pleased to be able to report that patriotism has not died out; that veneration for the old flag still finds a place in the hearts of the people, and that the memory of our dead heroes is still cherished as a sad reminder of the dark days in our country's history.  How do I know this?  By the attendance on last Friday, by the general behavior of those present, by their sad countenances, no levity nor rowdyism could be observed, conversation was carried on in subdued tones as in the presence of death, or under the eye of Him who rules the destiny of nations.
Fully eight hundred were in the procession which marched from Blain to Church Hill made up of men, women and children, ranging from the 5 year-old toddler to the silver head of three score and ten.
The Blain band headed the procession.  All the Sunday schools were out in full force, each pupil bearing a tribute of flowers.
The Germantown drum corps was present under the leadership of comrade Donnelly, the veteran fifer from Franklin county.  The exercises of the beautiful memorial service of the G.A.R. were conducted at the grave of Comrade Samuel Baker, after whom the Blain Post was named.  About 4pm just as the rain commenced the outdoor exercises were concluded.  All hastily retreated to the shelter of the Union church where they were addressed by Rev. I. P. Neff, the orator of the day, followed by a short speech by Comrade Donnelly.
The comrades detailed to conduct the services at the various graveyards from Ickesburg to the head of the valley, all report a very respectable turnout of citizens at all the yards with one exception.  At the one referred to not a man, woman or child was present.  The four comrades on the detail were the only living persons sufficiently interested to pay a tribute to the dead.
At 10am, June 1, the memorial sermon was preached in the Union church by Rev. J. S. Souser.  The eloquent gentleman paid high honor to our National flag and its gallant defenders.  The text was Exodus 12:26:  "What means this service?"  Of the soldiers yet living it is plainly noticeable that age is telling upon them; their step is less steady, their locks more silvery, their forms more bent and tottering.  A few more years and it can be said of all:

On Fame's eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread
While glory guards with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead.

June 9, 1890.

Rev. D. E. Klopp, D.D., of Lebanon, spent last week among friends in the upper end of the county.  Upon returning on Monday he tarried a short time in this place and was warmly greeted by the friends whom he met.  Dr. Klopp was pastor of Zion's Reformed congregation at Blain, from 1861 to 1864.
September 3, 1890

Advocate & Press
Blain Inklings.
We have no appearances of Spring as yet; a snow nearly two feet in depth fell on Friday last.
Easter is over and the people of our village were well prepared for it.  As eggs were so high for a few days last week and suddenly took a tumble in price from 24 to 14 cents per dozen, our merchants could not afford to sell those that they paid 24 cents for 14 cents and they colored the 24 cent eggs and sold them at 2 cents a piece so as not to lose profits.
Blain is trump for exhibitions.  The Blain High School held exhibitions on the 20th and 21st of this month for the purpose of procuring a library.  They were well attended considering the weather. The Blain Cornet Band also held an exhibition on the 28th which was well attended by all.
The time of year has come for moving.  One of our brick layers, Franklin Kistler has moved to the country; George Trostle has moved to town, and his son William is doing the farming; Miles Bower a citizen of Blain borough, has moved back to his farm and Mrs. Barnhart, wife of Sam'l Barnhart, engineer of the N. & S.V.R.R., has moved to Newport.
Mr. Simon P. Kern thinks there is nothing like his young daughter that visited him one night recently.
March 30, '91.  S. K.

Advocate & Press
Blain Inklings.
When the warm sun, that brings seed time and harvest has returned again, 'tis sweet to visit the still wood, where springs the first flower of the plain.
Every farmer wears a pleasant smile.  They have their oats sowed and are nearly ready for planting corn, as the weather has favored them during the last few weeks.
On last Wednesday we had a hail storm and it has made a change in the weather.
The people about Blain were wearing their overcoats last Saturday evening.
Mr. Wilson Gutshall and wife, from Harrisburg, are visiting their friends in this place.
Mrs. John Shuman, of Jackson township, is suffering very much from cancer.
Miss Sallie Woods, of this place, has been sick for several weeks.  She had a touch of la grippe, but is now able to be about again.
Mr. Luther Wentzel and wife, started for Atlantic City, New Jersey, on last Monday.  The purpose keeping a hotel during the summer.
Mr. Jacob Smith, of this place, has sold his shop and lot to Shreffler & Rhoades for the sum of $190.
Mr. Henry Wentz, of Jackson township, has built an extension to his barn, and also David Roth is building a new barn--Mr. J. F. Shannon, contractor and builder.
Last Saturday night a week a horse and cart was taken out of Dr. F. A. Gutshall's stable between 3 and 4 oclock.  Search was made and horse and cart wee found about half past eight by two boys.
The Blain Base Ball Club is now organized and are practicing for the coming season.
E. L. Harman & Co., shipped over 1100 dozen [pigs?] on Monday.
A few days ago Russell Johnson caught a nice string of fish.
April 27, '91.  S. K.

Mrs. Luther Wentzel has returned from her visit to Atlantic City, N.J.
David Rice thinks the world and all of his young daughter that visited him last week.
Ho, there we come!  A fishing excursion was taken in Henry's Valley by four gentlemen of this place a few days ago but they did not succeed in catching many fish, but finally caught a few; the largest was between 4 and 5 inches long.
May 11, '91.  S. & K.

Advocate & Press
Blain Inklings.
The spirit of the gentle May wind calls from its blue throne of air and when its whispering voice in music falls, beauty is budding there.  It has been cold during the last week.  On Wednesday last we had a small snow.  The ground is very dry and the farmers have hard work in finishing their corn planting.
William Wentz is building an extension on his house.
Miss Sallie Woods, of this place, is visiting her aunt, Mrs. Emma Skinner, in Dry Run.
Mr. Thomas Droneberger met with accident some time ago while peeling bark.  He was trimming a tree when his axe glanced and struck his left hand, cutting off his little finger.  Drs. Gutshall and Allen dressed the wound.
Mr. William Owings had an accident recently while plowing.  He was kicked by a colt and was disabled a few days.
George A. Garber met with an accident a few days ago.  He was white-washing his barn, when he lost his footing and fell to the ground, badly bruising himself.
The N. & S.V.R.R. is coming nearer Blain every day.  They began work on this side of Cisna's Run on Friday last, expecting to reach Blain before many months.
May 13, '91.

Advocate & Press; 1891
In Blain at 1pm the Sabbath Schools and G.A.R. Post and citizens assembled at the Reformed Lutheran church in whose graveyard an eloquent address was delivered by Rev. Wm. Burchfield of Landisburg.  The Blain Cornet band led the procession and rendered excellent music.

For the Advocate & Press.
Blain, Pa., Nov. 27, '91.
On Thanksgiving Day Rev. S. L. Messinger and his wife were made the recipients of a most beautiful and costly present from the members of the Blain congregation.  The present is a fine and costly bed-lounge--a most useful and valuable piece of furniture.  The idea of this action on the part of the members of the congregation was first conceived by Mrs. Solomon Gray, whose benevolent heart ever cherish as the well-being, comfort, and happiness of her pastor and his family.  She set on foot the effort to raise the required amount of money for the purchase of the present, and then selected it from the large stock of fine furniture kept by J. C. Martin of Andersonburg, who generously sold her the lounge at cost, besides contributing something himself toward the purchase of it. Pastor Messinger is greatly pleased with the present, and gratefully looks upon it as another manifestation of the goodwill of his people toward him.  LOCKARDUS.

Advocate & Press
Blain Inklings
The harvest is past, summer ended, election over and our Democrats of this borough congratulate themselves that they have been blest in the election of their fourth choice for President Judge.
Blain is booming, lots are being sold and buildings erected.  Blain will no longer be a backwoods borough, but will be able to compete with any of her sister boroughs.
Corn is cribbed, fodder housed and the last lie told of this year's work.
Judge Woods has a lot of Montana horses here for sale.  Think buyers would do well to give them notice.
The merchants here are all doing a land office business.
We noticed Gring's large saw mill passed through here en route for Mr. D. Smith's timber land.  This tract is said to be the largest and finest hard wood tract in Perry County.
Prof. Shannon is the right man in the right place as our schools will prove; feel certain he is doing a work here that but few if any could accomplish.
E. L. Harman killed several hundred fine fowls for the eastern markets.
Nov. 28, '91.  JACK.

Advocate & Press
Blain Inklings
The new year crowds closely on the old, and just as its pace seems hurried to catch the old, so seems the marked improvements of the town to crowd together.  Probably no one year has brought the same degree of advancement to our uncontented little borough.  In the last few months of the rapidly receding year she received a stimulus, an awakening from slumber, and now she spreads to the eye a vision of new lots, villas and proposed improvements on every hand; even the old Mansion House will be repaired and smilingly await the crowds of visitors on every occasion.  There is no doubt but that the new railroad has had its influence, as also has our dignified council.  But leaving the improvements of the town site let us glance at the other strides toward progress lying in the direction of talent.  There is no smaller number of words will gladden the heart or tickle the soul (the sole of the foot) of Blainites than the mention of their band.  Truly they may well feel proud, for their leader, (instructor) Prof. Thornton, is himself a whole band, and under his guardian hand they have been making wonderful progress, and we hear comments on every hand of their talent and it's development under his charge.  Thornton is the right man and in the right place.  And now if the people of our little borough and surrounding neighborhood but lend their much needed assistance our band may still be induced to make stronger and longer strides toward the goal of a coming successful season and enjoyment.  Here is a rare opportunity for our young men to gain a knowledge and at the same time become proficient on a bad instrument without the usual drudgery experienced without the aid of a competent instructor.  Give them your assistance even to pecuniary aid; they need you and it.  Let the band play!
We notice our squatter photographer, Mr. Miller, is doing a handsome business in every particular and think people will do well to give him a call if they wish first-class work, even to flattery in the sensitive subject, as it has been said; he has turned out the finest work ever done in the county.
An immense assembly enjoyed the programme given at the Union church on Xmas eve.  Congratulations to those to whom the credit of its magnificence was due is extended by the still laughing hearts made glad by its proffered and accepted gifts and entertainment.
Dec. 28, '91.  FOGY KNOBS.

Advocate & Press
Blain Inklings.
Charles Snyder leaves this week for Buffalo, New York, where he will attend a business College.
P. G. Kell and Newton Ebersole, of Loysville, were in town on business on Friday.
C. W. Ickes and Milton Reisinger, of Saville township, paid the family of Wm. Kell, Sr., in this place, a visit last week.
Rev. Harry A. Stokes, of Ransom, Lackawanna county, paid his brother, Isaac Stokes, of this place, a visit last week.
Samuel Rickard and Wm. Wood are arranging for an excursion for Tuesday of this week to Loysville by special train.
Warren I. Stokes, who has been working in Altoona the past two months, returned home on Saturday.
Henry Kell, of Loysville, was in town on Wednesday looking up the stock markets.
Wm. A. Johnston and D. P. McKee attended court last week.
Jan. 23, '93.  E. 

Advocate & Press
Blain Inklings.
The citizens of Blain and community were shocked to hear of the death of Martha E. Rhinesmith, wife of Harvey J. Rhinesmith, which occurred at the residence of Samuel Rhinesmith, on Wednesday morning last, at 1:30 o'clock, aged 21 years and 1 day.  The deceased was a consistent member of th M. E. Church, in this place, since her 16th year and leaves to mourn her death a husband and one daughter, an infant child.  Mrs. Rhinesmith possessed a gentle and kind disposition, and her death is mourned by a large circle of friends and relatives.  Interment in the M. E. graveyard on Thursday, Rev. J. R. Shipe, her pastor, and Rev. S. P. Stouffer, pastor of the Reformed church, officiating.
Harry Rhinesmith and sister, Annie, of New Bloomfield, attended the funeral of Mrs. Harvey J. Rhinesmith on Thursday.
D. M. Rhinesmith and wife, of New Bloomfield, attended the funeral of John Rhinesmith, of New Germantown, which took place in the union graveyard, this place, on Friday.
A. D. Rhinesmith of Peoria, Ill., is home for a short time.  Mr. Rhinesmith was telegraphed for to attend the funeral of his brother's wife, in this place, and his uncle John, of New Germantown, but owing to delay in the railroad trains, came too late.
Feb. 13, '93.

Advocate & Press
Blain Inklings.
Jacob Brubaker, of Arizona, was in these parts last week looking up the cattle market.
Commission Merchants Bower and Gutshall, of this place, received a car load of shelled corn last week, which they are selling to farmers hereabouts.
Wm. Miller, teamster for Samuel Woods, while engaged in dragging logs last week had his leg caught between a tree and a rolling log, bruising his ankle so badly that he had to go about a few days on crutches.
We are reliably informed that as soon as the bark now on hands is used up, the Moonterey tannery will close for an indefinite time.
Squire Kern proudly boasts of having been within 15 feet of Grover Cleveland while he delivered his inaugural address.
A special train bearing the officials of the N. & S.V.R.R. Co., passed through this place of Friday enroute for New Germantown.  We understand that arrangements were completed and the Co. will erect the car shops and planing mill at the above mentioned place, instead of at Blain.
Mar. 13, '93.

Newport News; 5/14/1896
Blain, May 12
Our band is progressing very fast in the art of music.  It has been receiving instruction from George Roth, who is an efficient instructor of music, both vocal and instrumental.  He has lately organized a ladies orchestra which he gives training at his home.  With such an instructor as Mr. Roth we can expect  a general revival of the musical art in this place.
W. D. Henry is somewhat disabled by a cut of the broadax which he received while pointing rails near Andersonburg.
Newton Evans and wife, of Loysville, are visiting Christopher Evans.
Wentz Lupfer, wife and children, who reside in Ga--tzin, Cambria county, Pa., are visiting relatives in this place.  Mr. Lupfer, accompanied by Miles Bower, made a tour for trout last week.  They returned with 45 of the speckled beauties in their possession.
We were glad to see Harry Kell able to be out on the porch on Saturday and Sunday. For almost a year he has been confined to his bed, on account of injuries sustained from falling off a roof near Carlisle.
James McVey moved out of Mr. Wormley's house, which he had rented, into his father's house.
Children's Day services will be held in the Union church on Sunday evening, June 7.
Rev. G. A. House, of Landisburg, being on the committee of supply for vacant charges, was called to the Blain charge to hold communion at Blain and Sandy Hill.
A game of base ball will be played in Sherman's Park on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock between the Blain Academy _____ and the Senior Club.

Blain, Pa., March 14, 1898
The buildings on the once famous picnic grounds were moved by Dr. Gutshall to his beautiful grove, one-fourth mile farther east.  The bridge which spans Sherman's Creek will also be moved soon, to a place more convenient to the ground.  Good spring water will also be taken in pipes in the ground.  The doctor will make this grove one of the best picnic grounds in the county.

March, 1898
Union services were held in the Lutheran and Reformed church for the last time on Sunday afternoon.  This service was largely attended.  Revs. Lau and Strock, very impressively referred to the spot where the church stood, as being a sacred one, from the fact that the old stone church was built in 1816 and all the members who had built that church had passed away and many of the members who had built the Union brick church, in 1866, had also passed from time into eternity.  The Lutheran congregation commenced this Monday forenoon to tear down the old church.  The Reformed congregation broke ground this morning for the foundation of their new church which they are building on a lot purchased from G. W. Garber on the opposite side of the street, southeast of their parsonage, one of the best locations for a church in town.  OCCASIONAL. 

People's Advocate & Press; 25 May 1910
The old land mark building of a hundred years standing, located at the home of G. W. Trostle in Jackson township, one mile west of Blain, which has been used for a truck and wash house of late years, was torn down last week.  This is the building in which Capt. John Kern blacksmithed and used the bellows mentioned by our Toboyne correspondent in last week's letter, on which was carved the year 1814.  This building was also used at that time as a post office where mail was delivered once a week, on a Friday, by a carrier by the name of Gray.  The mail was brought from Landsiburg, then being the county seat.

One of Perry County's Old Homes.
Dotted all over Perry County are old homes, from which have gone out men and women to every country on the globe, representing almost every known occupation.  Many, very many, have gone out never to return.  Some one has defined home as the place where mother is.  Some of the houses were built of brick, others of wood, while still others were built of stone, hauled from nearby mountain.  These are the enduring kind.  I remember what a sacrilege my father considered the demolishing of the stone walls of the old Union Church in Blain, built in 1816, torn down in 1866.  Those walls should be standing to-day, a monument to the pioneers, who were determined to have a suitable place in which to worship God, even if their own homes were of poor sort.
Not many of those who gave gone out, ever return to stay.  In the nearby or far away western States, work is done so much easier that we would not want to exchange the new for the old.  How we used to sit in the scorching sun while we whitewashed all the picket fence around the house and garden, and all the small  buildings.  No sooner was all this completed than along came a May rain and ruined out handiwork.  A great deal of hard work along other lines, unnecessary we consider it, was carried on, as if our life depended on doing well what our hands found to do.  In spite of all this, whether States divided us from the old home or the ocean rolls between, we remember

"The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn."

I have in mind a home in which I was interested.  Before me hangs a picture of the house, but no photographer could make it as plain as the one stamped on my memory.  The house was a two-story frame structure, built in 1846.  It was much like others built about that time and occupied an exposed position, so that the storms often shook it.  I remember how our mother would be come alarmed and retire to the basement for safety.  Not so our father.  He had seen its foundation laid and had pinned the frame to this strong foundation.  He knew that no ordinary storm would ever overthrow it.
With the exception of the oldest, it was the birthplace of all the owner's children.  I can still hear my mother's ceaseless tramp, tramp, in and out, up and down those stairs in a way that would kill a woman of this age.  Fifty years the house stood, proof against the elements.  No one ever died in it.  No funeral procession ever moved away from there toward any cemetery and only one marriage was ever solemnized there that the writer knows of.  In 1896 just fifty years after it was built the property passed to another owner and the house was torn down.
Close by this home, in a very _________________________________ church and a schoolhouse, where we went to school.  How many readers of THE DEMOCRAT, here, there and everywhere, will recall the days spent in old Church Hill school.  At one time it was the seat of learning for the rising generation for a radius of miles.  Many will recall the fact that they went there to have a good time rather than to improve their stock of knowledge.  What a gathering that would be if only a small per cent of those who went to school in that old lap-stone college could once more meet on old Church Hill.  No other place or picnic ground would answer.  My first year was 1859 with James Endslow at the desk.  Next came Harrison Findlay, followed by Miss Martha Ege and Miss Kate Wallace.  This is so far back my memory scarcely reaches.  Several of these may have taught summer school.  How far away and yet how near are the games we played all over that hill. Every foot of it was ours.  No guarding fence or keep off the grass signs, marked the bounds we might not pass.  The school directors hired the teacher without any thought of helping him govern the school.  Parents sent their children without having an understanding with them in regard to their conduct.  The truth of the matter was, in those days, as it is to-day, the scholars who make the most of their common school course are those who are more afraid of the board of education that comes from the home woodhouse than of any body of men called by that name.
A rod or two away from the schoolhouse door, on the other side of a board fence, was the graveyard, as we called it in those days.  How many know that the burying ground has been used for one hundred and fifty years.  This is on the authority of one of the Clark sisters, who lived south of Blain the first half of the last century.  My parents, three uncles, six aunts and cousins more than I know the number of, bearing the name of Woods are sleeping their last long sleep under the sod that was once a part of our playground.  The ground which all these buildings and grounds cover, would not measure one quarter of a mile square, but perhaps there is not another quarter mile square in the county of which as much history could be written.

Backward I Turn backward, O!  time in thy flight
Take me to Blain again, just for tonight
Not where the new names muddle and mix
Back to the Blain of seventy-six
Cover the ground where our loved ones are laid
With unbroken sod and the cool green shade
In from our wanderings, from wrong path or right,
Gather us all home again just for tonight.

Lyons, Neb., March 4, 1911

Perry Co. Democrat; 1922
In the fall of 1863, during the Civil War, an epidemic of what was called spotted fever broke out in and around the town of Blain.  It derived its name from the fact that the bodies were said to become spotted after death.  The same disease is now known as spinal meningitis.  Deaths from the disease were numerous.  I recall one day in which there were three funerals and for a community the size of Blain, that was carrying them off fast.
The resident physician was a man by the name of Frue, and if he had lived, the story I am about to write might be a very different one, but at a time when perhaps the need of a reliable physician  was never greater, the fever fastened itself on Dr. Frue and carried him off.  There was then no doctor nearer than Andersonburg.  There was no telegraph, no telephone, no automobiles and not even a prairie pony that can go almost like the wind.  There were the farm horses and a few others scattered here and there.  To-day it would be far easier and quicker to telephone to Newport and have a doctor come by automobile.  Perhaps never in the history of that section were people as poor financially as they were during the Civil War.
How many days or weeks elapsed between the death of Dr. Frue and the coming of Dr. Crawford I cannot tell but surely the S. O. S. call was sent out and Dr. Crawford, of Juniata county, came to Blain to live.
That winter I was kept out of school by defective hearing and I spent the time up along the mountain north of Blain, with my father's sister and her niece, Mary Woods and their next door neighbor was the most afflicted family of the ??.  There was neither trained nurse nor other nurse, each family depending on the neighbors for help.  It is said in these days "We are born and die in a hospital and we are buried from an undertaking establishment, but in those days the neighbors were there with both their help and their sympathy.  My cousin Mary Woods, 32 years old, was wanted everywhere, the calls for her coming at all hours of day or night or now inclement the weather, no one was turned away.  Mary could not resist the call of distress.
No quarantine regulations kept people from going into the homes where the fever had taken hold.  Everybody went and came at his or her own will without let or hindrance, and so the disease spread.  The fever certainly was brought to Blain from the army, but who was the first victim I have forgotten.
The family I mentioned as being the most afflicted family were people by the name of Lay.  The house they lived in was like many others built about the same time--two rooms on the lower floor and a large loft the size of both lower rooms.  Six of the family were stricken with the fever and four of the six died.  A daughter, Susan by name, was the first.  She had been living away from home and came back home bringing the fever with her.  Her sickness covered a period of six weeks or longer but she finally recovered without the fever having left any visible mark on her.  Next came Frank, a school boy of perhaps 14 years.  He had a deformed arm and was doomed to go through life a cripple.  The fever went to his brain and no language I have the command of would describe his suffering.  He lived about three days.  No doctor of our time will allow anyone to suffer as that boy suffered.  The third victim was Margaret, the writer's chum and so it came about that in her delirium she was always calling my name.  She was sick many long weeks but she recovered with the loss of an eye.  Next came Sarah, about 25 years old.  As I recall she was a fleshy full-blooded woman, the kind on which fever is apt to take a deadly hold.  Sarah was sick only a few days before she died and it was said by those who took care of her body after death that her eyeballs had broken open.
Next came Annie, a granddaughter.  At the same time there were three others in the vicinity--one a daughter of Dr. Hayes, one a daughter of Isaac Stoke, and another a daughter of one of the Kistlers in Blain.  These four dear little girls, each about six years old, were sick six weeks or longer, before they died and it was said of them that the trouble was all in the spine.
Next  came William, the sixth case of the fever in the Lay family.  William and his family lived in Blain but he must have been up at this father's helping to take care of the sick folk when he was stricken.  His sickness covered a period of about three months.
Nothing can stop time from moving on and while people were taking the fever, some dying, some recovering, spring came and warm weather, also smallpox came, brought from the army on clothes.  We knew just where that started, Dr. Crawford  pronounced the new disease chickenpox and as people were not afraid of that disease, it spread rapidly until it reached the Lay home and carried off William Lay.
At about the same time Dan Anderson, another fever victim, who had been sick about three months, was stricken with smallpox and died.  Anderson's home was just east of Red Corner Schoolhouse, where David Johnson lived many years.  At about this stage of the trouble the authorities seemed to decide it was time to quarantine, but it was too late to save the many who died or went through life scared.  Many who escaped the fever went down of the pox, among these being my cousin Mary Woods.  In the out start we in the old home were all vaccinated and when our cousin Mary Woods needed someone to take care of her mother sent one of my sisters to care for her, but before she had returned home she changed her mind about the chicken pox and took drastic measures to keep small pox out of our home.  Neither the fever nor the pox came to us.
This is the history of the Lay family and four other people.  Of the many others, I know almost nothing.
Of all those who died of the fever, no death was quite as sad as that of Dr. Frue.  In life the doctor had not prepared for death and when his father himself a practicing physician some where in Cumberland valley came to his son's bedside and wanted to pray for him, the younger man said, "It is too late for me."  The doctor evidently believed that you cannot live without God in life, and then in death say, "Lord! Lord!" and enter into heaven.  
Some will wonder how I remember all this story fifty eight years.  First because I fell heir to a remarkable memory, but what was of importance, I was on the ground in the midst of it.  Any other child of my age would have been sound asleep all night , but not me.  I became so nervous that I thought I could not listen to the bell tolling another time.  My mother had no idea how much I was suffering or she would have called me home long before she did.  As it was, those scen__   burned their way into my memory _____ to-day it is like a scar left on the _____ by fire, it never can be removed while memory lasts.
Alice Woods Walker
Lyons, Nebraska.

Lights Turned On At Blain.
Blain, Sept. 16.--- The Penn Central Light and Power Co., have completed their electric light line to this place and the town street lights were turned on Monday night for the first time and gave excellent satisfaction.  A number of home shave been supplied with the power and in all about 75, will be hooked up for the initial service.

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This page was last updated on:   02/16/2009

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