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Perry Historians Library; newspaper clippings
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
Advocate & Press
Blain Borough Items.
The snow is rapidly disappearing, and sleighing is about over in this
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
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
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.
For the ADVOCATE & PRESS.
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.
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
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
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
Oct. 14, 1889.
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
Misses Julia and Ida Kuller, of Landisburg, are the guests of Judge Woods and
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
"La Grippe" is gradually relaxing its grip on the people in this town
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, '90
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_ '90.
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
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
The Lutheran and Reformed Union Sabbath School elected officers last Thursday
evening for the ensuing year.
March 6, '90. S. K.
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 '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
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, '90
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
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
We all wondered why Geo. Wood greeted his friends with such broad smiles.
It is a boy.
March 15, '90
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
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
The singing society, at this place, is going to hold an exhibition in the hall
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
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
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
March 31, '90
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
We have no appearances of Spring as yet; a snow nearly two feet in depth fell on
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
William Wentz is building an extension on his house.
Miss Sallie Woods, of this place, is visiting her aunt, Mrs. Emma Skinner, in
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
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
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
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
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
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
Charles Snyder leaves this week for Buffalo, New York, where he will attend a
P. G. Kell and Newton Ebersole, of Loysville, were in town on business on
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
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
Jacob Brubaker, of Arizona, was in these parts last week looking up the cattle
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
Children's Day services will be held in the Union church on Sunday evening, June
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
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.
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.
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
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.
ALICE WOODS WELKER.
Lyons, Neb., March 4, 1911
Perry Co. Democrat; 1922
THE SPOTTED FEVER IN BLAIN.
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
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
Alice Woods Walker
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.