Guild at John Streby's 1898


by Bob Sweeney
Sullivan County Historian
June 2004

Editor's Note: The pictures on this page were recovered and scanned from the estate of Helen Jeannette Hottenstein, who died October 27, 2002. Her obituary is posted below. The legend for the photo above had four rows on the original caption, which were not clearly defined. Our contributor, Dave Kester, added clarification. Some unknown persons were apparently indicated by an ellipsis: "( ___ )". Here is what Dave has concluded about the participants:

The lists of names were attached to each photo with rusty paper clips. They are a bit confusing, but they are a part of the historical record that these pictures represent. I believe they were written by my grandmother, May Musselman Kester. My interpretations here are to add maiden names where she provided only married names or just the husbandís name. There are some that I donít have enough information about to accomplish this. Iím hoping someone who does will see these pictures and come forward with rest of the story. May also wrote married names for subjects who were children at that time, and I thought they needed further explanation as well. Finally, these are the first pictures I have ever seen of my great-grandparents Charles and Mary Ann (Bahr) Kester. They match my father's description of them perfectly.

Back Row: (L-R): (Blurred) May Musselman (Mrs. Alf Kester), Nell (Mathews) Musselman (Mrs. Geo O.?), Ida (?) Brooks, (unknown woman with black scarf tied to her right), Mrs. (?) Mel Streby, Miss Hartsig? Dave thinks these six start with blurred face (left of bicycle) and go right to woman in black.

"Next Row": (L-R): (Christopher) Christ Platt, (Charles) Chas Kester, Mrs. Chas (Mary Ann Bahr) Kester, Margaret Decker, Ellen Musselman, (unknown woman in black), (then skip over to Clara (Francke) Spink, by tree, who is not looking at camera), (unknown woman in black in front of unknown boy). Mary (?) (Mrs. Jake Heverly), Jake Heverly,

"Next Row": (L-R): Selma E. Musselman (age 18. later Mrs. Wm J. O'Brien), Mrs. (?) Christ Platt, Emma Bleiler, Cameron England (seated), Mrs. (?) Cameron England, Olive Johnson (girl), Mrs. John (Maria Crandall) Streby, John Streby, Ida Brooks' daughter, Mrs. (?) Bender, Mrs. Dan (Jane Elizabeth) Heverly, (unknown boy), Daniel D. Heverly.

"Front Row": (L-R): Johnnie Streby, Billy Johnson, Molly Johnson, (unknown young man), (unknown dog), (unknown young woman, Louis Streby.

What do we know about guilds? We know that, in the Middle Ages, they were an important element in how society was organized and managed, particularly as cities frew up and professions and crafts became more established. One good source can be found at Medieval Guilds.

When Europeans came to the New World, they brought their guilds with them. However, in the early United States, these organizations became in many cases more of a social group to serve specific local community purposes than an economic association or cartel. For example, as Dave Kester puts it so well: ".....there were such things as altar guilds and cemetery guilds organized to set up and decorate altars, sanctuaries, and cemeteries. Sometimes they took on collateral projects and even went so far as to raise money for charitable causes and they also served as defacto social groups." People that engage in textile production or crafts seem to have a particular fondness for guilds and similar associations. Here, for example, is a list of Pennsylvania Guilds found on the Internet in June 2004.

We do know that Sullivan County had altar guilds, ladies' or women's guilds, cemetery guilds and other similar organizations. If any of our readers can tell us which guilds are represented in the pictures included here, we would be grateful. Here is a second guild photo found in the same estate. Once again, Dave has Kester has attempted to add some clarity to the original caption.

Guild at A. B. Kester's 1899

Editor's Note: Note: The date is most likely 1899 because the baby, Clarence Bender, b. 21 Dec 1898 seems to be under the age of one year. The participants, as interpreted by Dave Kester, were:

On Porch: (L-R): Ellen Musselman, Will Spink, May Musselman (Mrs. Alfred B. Kester), Jesse Spink

Back Row: (L-R): Leo Broschart, Lucinda Rohe (Mrs. Michael Broschart), Mrs. Emma (?) Bleiler, Hannah Hartsig (Mrs. Peter Rohe) or her sister Miss Louisa, Lucinda or Loretta Hartsig, Margaret Decker, Clarence S. Bender (the baby; b. 21 Dec 1898), Ida A. Lambert (Mrs. L. Sam Bender), Hannah C. Bahr (Mrs. Geo W. Bender), Ann Bleiler, Mary Dimock (Mrs. Jacob Heverly), Amanda Brown (Mrs. Fred Haverly?)

Front Row: (L-R): Charley (Charles Franklin) Kester, Mrs. (?) Bender, Mrs. Kate (Mary Katherine Shrimp (=Mrs. Daniel H. Epler), Martin R. Epler (b. 1895), Mrs. A.M. Clara Francke (= Mrs. Alfred J. Spink, Sr.), with Ruth Valeska Kester (later Mrs. Burt Arey; b. 11 Jun1897), Mrs. John (?) Streby, Mr. John Streby, Charles Kester, Mrs. (?) Corcoran, Mrs. Charles (Mary Ann Bahr) Kester, Blanche Kathleen Kester (later Mrs. Willard Hottenstein), Mrs. (?) Rinebold (appears to be too old to be Hannah C. Musselman, b. 1858, who m. Gilbert L. Rinebold), Mrs. (?) Noll and Rev. Knoll.

Hottenstein Obituary

Daily and Sunday Review
Towanda, PA
October 29, 2002

Helen Jeannette Hottenstein of Forksville, a pioneer in modern nursing, organizer of a local home health agency and world traveler, passed away Sunday, Oct. 27, 2002, at the Memorial Hospital of Towanda.

Helen was born April 23, 1928, at the Dr. A.J. Bird Maternity Home, New Albany, a daughter of the late Willard Bryon and Blanche Kester Hottenstein. She graduated from New Albany Vocational High School, Class of 1946, received her RN degree from the Robert Packer Hospital in October 1949, and a BSN from UCLA in 1976. Helen credited her aunt, Ruth Arey, for inspiring her to nurse and care for others.

She began her nursing career at Allentown State Hospital, moving on to the Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans upon the recommendation of Dr. Guthrie of Sayre, who was a friend of Alton Ochsner, a world-class surgeon. Due to the low salaries then paid nurses, Helen also babysat and thus met the president of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, who offered her a job in Saudi Arabia.

Helen spent 14 years in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (1955-1970), with the Arabian American Oil Co. (ARAMCO) in various capacities in the hospital. She traveled extensively, to Jordan, Lebanon, Vietnam, Europe, Africa, China and Japan, and around the world 14 times. She even ended up in a few scenes in the movie "Bridge over the River Kwai" which was filming when she was in Ceylon.

Helen was in Dhahran during the Six-Day War when the Arabs attacked the hospital. In 1968 Helen and her comrades received a blessing from Pope Paul II in his quarters in Rome for their relief efforts in the aftermath of the Six Day War.

To be closer to her aging parents in 1970 Helen returned to the U.S., and went back to UCLA, working in Los Angeles at the Veterans Administration and then the county hospitals. She was also clinic coordinator for the Foothills Chapter of the Flying Samaritans, a non-profit group devoted to medical and educational aid to remote villages in Baja California, Mexico, flying to remote areas of Mexico every two weeks.

But "Once you get your feet wet in the Loyalsock, you'll always come back," and Helen did in 1976, following the death of her mother. In 1977 she assumed a position as director of nursing at Dar-Way Nursing Home, Forksville, until 1983, when she assumed a position at Memorial Hospital, where she established the hospital's Home Health Care Agency.

April 19, 1995, was designated Helen Hottenstein Day by the Sullivan County commissioners in recognition of her "total involvement and commitment to her county and community" and for her efforts to "assure that residents enjoy healthier and happier lives." A retirement party at the Memorial Hospital in 1995 honored her for "her dedication and commitment in pioneering home health care for the hospital in Bradford and Sullivan counties."

~Her memberships include the Towanda Chapter No. 76, Order of the Eastern Star; the State Nurses Association Alumni; and Dushore Lions Club. Helen donated her time and energy to many worthwhile causes, serving on the boards of the following: the Area Agency on Aging, the Sullivan County Council on the Arts, the Sullivan County~ Historical Association, St. Paul's Consistory, St. Paul's Women's Guild, the Sullivan County Library Board, Bradford-Sullivan Co. Red Cross and Dushore Tuesday Club. Helen served as the chairperson of the Sullivan County Assistance Board since 1978 and rarely missed serving as a nurse at the local bloodmobiles. Sh~e is survived by "Duke" and numerous cousins. Helen was predeceased by her mother in 1975 and father in 1991. A memorial service will be held at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Overton, on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2002, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Robert W. Martin, her pastor, officiating. Interment will be in St. Paul's Cemetery. There will be no calling hours.

Memorials may be directed to Memorial Home Health, c/o Debra Hicks, RN, BSN, MS, One Hospital Drive, Towanda, Pa. 18848. Funeral services are under the direction of the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St., Dushore.

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