The April, 2004, Archives of the Benton News
The Benton News was not published from April 27, 2004, through May 4, 2004.
They're the only culture some people have.
Mistakes are part
of the dues one pays for a full life.
|April 27, 2004.
Bill and Carla Lee celebrate their wedding
anniversary today. Bea McMichael, Stillwater,
and Charles Wodrig, Stillwater, celebrate
their birthdays today.
It is election day, the day that we decided what candidates will be on the ballot for the general election November 2. Voters will award the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate (Arlen Specter or Pat Toomey), select the Democratic and Republican nominees for state attorney general, select delegates to the Republican and Democratic national conventions, and weigh in on a ballot referendum. Get out and vote.
Quote of the Day:
Doug Gross, a resident of Greenwood
Township near Rohrsburg, can be thanked for prompting this news item
from neighboring Sullivan County, just a whipstitch from the Northern
boundary of Columbia County. The murder of Roger Bardman, 74, took place
at Bardman's farm east of Nordmont along Glass Creek Road near Glass
Creek pond. Bardman's farm was reported as being about 6.5 miles north
of Elk Grove.
There will be an "Open House" from 2 to 4:30 in the afternoon on May 2 at The Shiloh Bible Church, Almedia, to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Malcolm Hirleman. The celebration is given by Malcolm's children in honor of their father. Malcolm is the brother of Lois Quick, Bloomsburg, and Betty Beagle of Oklahoma City. Malcolm was born in Sugarloaf Township. Father Joe Hess tells us that the open house is open to the public.
The day after the auction to benefit the Northern Columbia Community
& Cultural Center, we included a picture of Lisa
Hess Gordner hugging the apple butter kettle that she bought
at the auction. The kettle had been owned by Dayton Hess (May 24, 1881-May
20, 1970), her great grandfather. The kettle was finally back in the
family and Lisa was very happy.
Up in Sullivan County, where cell phone service is virtually nonexistent, an upstart company called EMW has started construction of towers in order to keep competition like Verizon at bay. The Sullivan County towers will be in Dushore, Laporte, Sonestown and Satterfield.
After writing a long article about an upcoming driving course for those over 55 who would like to receive a reduction in their insurance rates, Laptop Lillian ate it for breakfast. From memory, soon to be discovered as painfully short, the course will be held in Benton early in May. Contact the Women's Club for more information, either Kathy Lamount or Barbara King.
Don't count your fish until they're on dry land.
are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food and tyrannize
|April 26, 2004.
Today is the birthday of Alan Lamoreaux and
Madalyn A. Funk, 88, (April 1, 1916-April
24, 2004), 385 Arbutus Park Road, Bloomsburg, died Saturday. Born in
Sugarloaf Township, she was a daughter of the late Laura Kile and was
raised by her grandparents, the late Lundy and Elmira Kile. She attended
the former Sugarloaf Township High School and graduated from Benton
Area High School in 1934. She was preceded in death by her husband,
Howard G. Funk, on July 19, 1997, and by three brothers: Ellis Rickmers,
Karl Rickmers and Paul Rickmers. Funeral services will be Wednesday
at 11 AM in the Bloomsburg Dean W. Kriner Inc. Funeral Home. Friends
may call Tuesday from 6 to 8 PM. Interment will be in Benton Cemetery.
For Benton's Memorial Day yard sales, Friday, May 28, and Saturday, May 29, the Benton Volunteer Fire Company is offering a safe and dry area to set up indoor yard sales. Spaces 10' x 12' under roof are available for $10 each day. Outdoor spaces on blacktop are also available. These spaces are available to both local and out-of-town residents.
According to the Express Times, approximately 35,000 people
were living in Pennsylvania's state psychiatric hospitals in 1966 in
institutions like the Danville
State Hospital. By 2001, that number had dropped to about 2,700.
Don Remley, Benton, competed yesterday in the 5500-pound class with a 1938 John Deere tractor at the 23rd Annual Endless Mountains Maple Festival Sunday in Troy. Don made it 198.14 feet, dragging "The Decision Maker" a record distance. About 80 people--ten more than the number of entrants--braved the weather watched the tractor and truck pull-offs Sunday, but had to huddle to keep warm. Rain held off until the last tractor took off down the runway, then it let loose.
The benefit auction for the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center played to a capacity audience last night at the Benton Fire Company building, and we can honestly say that we didn't hear anyone say they didn't have a great time. There was plenty of food for everyone from The Old Filling Station Restaurant, Chris & Denny Dawson, owners; Sakuntala Indian Restaurant, Mushtao and Milli Elahi, 236 Iron Street, Bloomsburg; Benton Women's Club, Kathy Leamont, President; Market Square Classic Grill, Scott & Janice Maguire, owners; the Benton Volunteer Fire Company, Cindy Matthews, chairperson; Central Park Hotel, Rose and David Bardo, owners; Benton Butcher Block, Liz & Mark Evarts, owners; Elk Grove Inn, Inc., Dan Bitzer, owner; Double J Chuckwagon, Jerry & Joanne Laubach, owners; Kathy's Kakes, Kathy Leamont, owner; Krygier's Catering, Tom & Mary Ruth Krygier, owners; Hoboken Sub Shop, Becky L. Green, owner; Red Rock Corner Store, Madeline Bonham, owner. Drinks came from Pepsi Bottling Group, Hurley "Duke" Slusser.
Music was provided by the group Raven Creek, featuring the regulars of the group, Joe and Loraine Feola and Blaine Long. They were joined by Grace Feola, Bob Keller, Elisabeth Schaeffer, Jerry Laubach and one additional person. The group was very popular and the audience broke into applause several times during the eating and music session from 4 to 6 PM. Elisabeth was especially popular, even though she is only five years old, as she ripped into a number from Oh, Brother Where Are Thou? The group had such a good time that they donated a two-hour set to the highest bidder for a subsequent performance.
Auctioneers Jim and John Vance kept the audience entertained and busy. Items auctioned ranged from furniture made from wood that has been carbon dated as being approximately 500 years old, to a day's fishing on the Chesapeake, to weather vanes to oil paintings to lessons on turning a bowl or fly fishing. When the auction was over, the Community & Cultural Center was $11,900 better off, and ticket sales had not even been counted.
County Commissioners Chris E. Young, William M. Soberick and David M. Kovach attended and spoke and we noticed that at least two of them purchased more than $300 each of goodies. Paul Reichart, a member of the Board of the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center spoke, as did Senator John Gordner and Rep. David Millard. Mayor Jan Swan, a member of the Advisory Board and major donor of the auction, attended. One member of Town Council attended. The Vanna White of the evening was Elsie Buyers, president of the Center, who read out the list of donations for auctioneers Jim and John Vance to sell. Elsie really should have been home resting, since she faces major knee surgery this morning and will be laid up for several weeks. We wish her the very best in her operation this morning. Introductions of the evening were handled by Chuck Chapman.
Many thanks are in order to the Benton Volunteer Fire Company, the many patrons of the auction, to the musical group Raven Creek, to the people who donated items for the auction, the many people who contributed time and skill in the preparation of delicious food, and to the many people of the Northern Fishing Creek Valley who turned up the community spirit and supported the evening.
Cathy Leamont, one of the half dozen organizations that provided food and beverages at the Northern Columbia Communty & Cultural Center benefit last night.
Food ranged from pulled pork to Indian, from lasagna to pastries. The restaurants provided a huge variety of food and both the venders and the guests sampling the food had a great evening. Several venders even stayed and bid on items, having much too good a time to head for home.
A capacity crowd attended the first auction held to benefit the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. The auction raised $11,900 and sold approximately 300 tickets at $10.
Elisabeth Schaffer, 5, was a featured performer with the musical group Raven Creek. The group donated their considerable talent to making the evening a success.
Benton Roller Mills owner Dana Campbell beams at the painting of the Benton Roller Mills painted by Ann Parkhurst that he purchased at auction last night.
Lisa Hess Gordner hugs the copper kettle that her great grandfather Dayton Hess owned and used to make applebutter. Lisa bought the kettle.
The email of the species is more deadly than the mail.
I am just a common
man who is true to his beliefs.
Home is where you hang your @
C:\ is the root of all directories.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to use the Internet and he won't bother you for weeks.
Thoughtfulness is to friendship as sunshine is to a garden.
Don't worry about asking dumb questions. They're easier to handle than dumb mistakes
April 25, 2004. It is the birthday of Janet Kriebel in Benton and in Seattle the first birthday of Rebecca DePoe. Tyson, Kristen and Paxton DePoe plan a big celebration and Nana Soozie will be flying out on Monday for the week to spoil her and her big sister, Paxton. Tyson is a firefighter in Seattle, by the way. Today is the wedding anniversary of John and Charlotte Sibly.
When you arrive today for the buckwheat cake breakfast or this afternoon
for the food sampling and the music and the auction, you will see the
fleet of the Benton Volunteer Fire Company parked in front of the truck
bays. From the right to the left, are...
A friend who suspected that we would still be writing the Benton
News in 2029 sent in a couple of headlines he suspected would made the
news in that year. His predicted news headlines for the year 2029...
We will be in a remote site near Wilkes Community College for MerleFest 2004 starting Monday. The 17th annual festival in celebration of the music of the late Merle Watson and his father Doc Watson, is held on the WCC campus in Wilkesboro, NC. The music is strictly bluegrass, contemporary acoustic, Celtic, blues, folk, old-time, Cajun, jazz, and singer-songwriter. We will be able to send and receive email via our cell phone, but will not be able to upload the web page for about seven days starting Tuesday morning. We apologize for the inconvenience.
One of our favorite books is Wooden, a book devoted to the life and times of basketball Coach John Wooden. We especially liked the stories about All-America center Bill Walton and John Wooden. One story involves Walton telling the Coach that he wasn't going to get a haircut and that the Coach didn't have the right to make him get a haircut. Wooden replied, "No, I don't, Bill. I just have the right to determine who is going to play--and we're going to miss you." Another time, Bill Walton showed up with a full beard. "It's my right," he insisted. Wooden asked if he believed that strongly and Walton said he did. "That's good, Bill," Coach said. "I admire people who have strong beliefs and stick by them, I really do. We're going to miss you." Walton shaved his beard within minutes.
Printing on a McHenry whiskey bottle:
Printed on back:
Term of the Day: "Terminal Moraine."
The flag being erected at the square, from a picture dated 1943. It was a show of support for WW2 and the soldiers.
Yes, Doc. Rabb and Joe Dalto are in the photo. How
many others can you identify?
Photo courtesy of Betty Rabb Helwig
It is pretty to
behold our back settlements, where the barns are as large as palaces,
while the owners live in log huts; a sign of thrifty farming.
Apirl 24, 2004
Life is like a
10-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use.
Sympathy is never wasted except when you give it to yourself.
The problem with our leisure is how to keep other people from using it!
Wishing and hoping are a waste of time. Neither of these things ever got anything accomplished.
|April 24, 2004.
Today is the birthday of David Laubach, Kempton,
PA, his 66th. David celebrates his birthday on the same day as Barbra
Steisand. Today is the wedding anniversary of Dottie
and Donald Rabb. Head to downtown Bloomsburg for the Renaissance
Jamboree 10 AM to 5 PM today. If you can't get the car slowed down until
you get to Knoebels
Grove, listen to Pat and Al Hess at 2 and 6 PM in concert in the park.
The weather will be great today, but the signs are that it will go downhill
from there into the beginning of the week.
Didja know that Wendy was the nickname of the third of three children born to R. David and Lorraine Thomas? Dave met Lorraine when they were both working at a Hobby House restaurant in Fort Wayne. Dave Thomas, then 15, was an orphan living on his own and working in the restaurant's kitchen. Lorraine was a waitress. Dave didn't finish high school, instead he worked in a number of restaurants. On November 15, 1969, he opened his first restaurant in Columbus, naming it for his third daughter, Melinda "Wendy" Thomas. Dave opened his Wendy's Old Fashioned Restaurants, so he said, "to make a better hamburger."
When Dave was 60, he earned his high school diploma. After studying with a tutor for three months, he passed the General Education Degree test and attended the graduation ceremonies at Coconut Creek High School in Florida. He wore a cap and gown, took his wife of 45 years to the senior prom, and was voted Most Likely to Succeed. Didja remember the "Where's the Beef?" campaign, the one that featured former manicurist Clara Peller? Didja ever try a Wendy's Frosty? Didja know that Dave had the first restaurant drive-in window? Didja remember when a garbage collector, Craig Randall, found a discarded Wendys cup? The cup had a peel off label for instant winners which Craig peeled off and found that he instantly won two hundred thousand dollars towards a new home.
If you are an alumnus of the Benton Area Schools you should have received the yellow announcement of the Alumni Banquet scheduled for May 29. It is important that you keep your alumni records up to date. You can simply draft an email to the Alumni Office at the high school to update your mailing records. It's simple. If you haven't received your announcement yet, the school probably does not have your correct mailing address. Send an email to Brady Hess at if you have changes. We'll see you at the banquet!
A reader asked about the food and drink samples that would be available
at the benefit auction Sunday evening at the Benton Fire Station for
the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. Participating
We continue to mention some of the crazy emails we receive each day. One that we almost believed involved the UPS and uniforms that were reported stolen, then turned up on e-Bay. The implication was that evil doers would wear the uniforms to drop off nasty packages at public and private locations, then leave bombs with who knows what in them. The email looked genuine, the signature looked real, but our nose twitched a bit as if something was askew. We consulted www.snopes.com as we have asked you to do many times and found that law enforcement agencies, eBay, and UPS were all eager to deny any claims of missing or stolen uniforms; in fact, the FBI has debunked several similar UPS stories since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The 1,100-megawatt Susquehanna 1 nuclear unit in Berwick is coming out of the refueling and maintenance outage that started about March 1. The unit was operating about 15% of capacity early Friday. The unit started out of its refueling outage April 21, coming up to 17% of capacity before being shut down for vibration detected in a turbine. The unit was last down for refueling March 2-April 15, 2002.
Didja know that on the early Pennsylvania turnpikes, the professional drivers were known as "regulars?" The farmers driving their own wagons and the casual drivers were known as "militia."
Oh, it's once I made money by driving my team,
We don't advocate this kind of action, mind you, but we smiled when we heard the story about the man who, after 17 years of marriage, dumped his wife for his secretary. As we understand the story, the man's new girlfriend demanded to live in the couple's very nice home. He agreed, and gave his now ex-wife three days to move out. The wife spent the first day packing her belongings. On the second day, movers come and collected her things. On the third day, she sat in their beautiful dining room, put on some soft music and feasted on a bottle of Merlot, along with some shrimp and caviar. When she finished, she went into each room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimp shells, dipped in caviar, into the hollow of the curtain rods. She then left her home.
Later that day, the husband returned with his new girlfriend, all was bliss and romance for the first few days. Then slowly, the house began to smell. They tried cleaning and mopping and airing the place out. Vents were checked for dead mice, carpets were steam cleaned and air fresheners were put out. Exterminators set off gas canisters, and the expensive carpeting was replaced. Repairmen refused to work in the house. and even the maid quit. Finally, they could not take the stench any longer and they decided to move. A month later with the price of the house cut in half, they couldn't find a buyer for their smelly house and even the local realtors refused to return their calls. They finally borrowed money to buy a new place.
The ex-wife called the man, and asked how things were going and he told her about the rotting house. She listened politely, then said she missed her old home terribly and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house back. Knowing his ex-wife had no idea how bad the smell was, he agreed on price that was about ¼ of what the house had been worth--but only if she were to sign the papers the same day. She agreed, and within the hour, his lawyers delivered the paperwork. A week later, the man and his new girlfriend stood smirking as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home--including the curtain rods.
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
April 23, 2004
We read that corduroy pillows are making headlines!
|April 23, the
114th day of 2004.
Today is believed to be the birthday of English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare, born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, in 1564. Fifty-two years later, also on April 23, he died. He is probably the most influential writer in the English language and yet his life remains a mystery. He started as an actor, often playing the part of the first character that came on stage in his own plays. His writings introduced phrases like "in the twinkling of an eye," "good riddance," and "vanish into thin air" into common usage and he turns up in strange places, like the town of Shakespeare, New Mexico, the Shakespeare Mountain in Nevada, and the Shakespeare Glacier in Alaska. Colorado has mines names from Shakespeare characters like Ophelia (near Cripple Creek), and other mines with the name Cordelia and Desdemona.
John Herbert Laubach notes the impending demise of the Texaco Metropolitan Opera broadcasts precipitated by the ChevronTexaco merger. John writes that the final broadcast will be this Saturday, April 25, 2004. It "features Wagner's Goetterdaemmerung, beginning at 12:00 noon. It will probably endure until 4:30. Some enthusiasts will hang in there for the whole performance, and then will switch gas pumps. Ten million listeners around the world will become spiritually poorer."
Although the rain is lightly falling outside, most readers will venture outside for a major portion of today to enjoy the wonderful change of seasons. There are other changes in the air, too. We are about to lose some old friends over the next twelve months. The first friend to go is the NBC show Friends, with the season finale in 13 more days. Frasier, The Drew Carey Show, and HBO's Sex and the City are in their last year. We have read that Everybody Loves Raymond, Fox's That '70s Show, and Malcolm in the Middle could be gone by next spring. But we haven't heard of any replacement show that will equal Friends or Raymond or Frazier. Unless something happens soon, we suspect that next year will be the year of Must-Flee TV.
There are short-term changes in the air for the Benton News, too. Starting this morning and extending for about two weeks, the news will arrive late or not at all. When it does arrive, it will probably be abbreviated. We apologize for this inconvenience.
It is spring. Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!
is only opportunity in work clothes."
Clean your garbage disposal by dumping a tray of ice cubes made from vinegar and water, then turn on the water and run the disposal.
April 22, 2004
|April 22, 2004. Jeff
Kelsey celebrates his birthday today and Frank
and Barbara Edson celebrate their wedding anniversary. The occasion
is shared with actor Eddie Albert, 96, singer Glen Campbell, 68, and perennial
bad boy Jack Nicholson, 67. We will finish the list of Sunday's auction
items and publish them this afternoon.
Joan (Norman) Wilson, 65, Moore, Oklahoma, died Thursday, April 15, 2004, in Oklahoma City. She attended Benton High School and has lived in Oklahoma for thirty years. Joan has been in ill health for the past 13 years and died of a massive stroke. She retired from the Moore school district in the food industry. Before becoming ill she was a very active person and loved fishing for catfish with her husband. When her brother-in-law was killed by a train accident she raised his two children as the Mother was unable to do so. Her family was everything to Joan and she missed her family from back east. Her last trip to Benton was in 1998 and she got to see many of her old friends and relatives. She is survived by husband, Charles Wilson, Moore, OK; a son, James Robert McWilliams, Penn Yan, NY; sisters Kate Dickson, Dallas, and Pat Dorshimer, Mahwah, NJ. Joan's parents, Robert F. and Mildred I. Norman, formerly of Forks, now reside in Dallas. There are six grandchildren along with several nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held Saturday, April 17, at Byars, Oklahoma.
Joan Norman was a classmate of this writer in the Benton School System, but left school before she graduated. When she was in high school, she lived at Forks, but older readers will remember that the Norman family and the Roberts family traded houses, as the saying goes, "once upon a time." The Roberts family moved from Forks to Jonestown to run the store by the covered bridge, and the Norman family moved to Forks and moved into the house formerly occupied by the Roberts family.
The history of the Jonestown General Store is interesting. We can trace it back to 1905 when it was sold by the estate of Marilda Jones to Ashabel and Fannie Jones. Fannie Jones then sold the store in 1921 to George W. and Elizabeth Mowrey. George and Elizabeth sold it to W.O. and Edith Chapin in 1922, who sold the store in 1945 to Carrie C. Hess. Robert and Millie Norman bought the store from Don Hess. Kate Norman Dickson remembrs that her father was at the store when Don Hess asked him to ride to Berwick with him. "On the way he asked my Dad if he knew someone who would like to buy a store. "My Dad said, 'Well let me ask my wife, maybe we will buy it and that is how it came about.'" Earnest and Anna Roberts purchased the store in 1953 and operated it until 1957 when it burned. Over the years, the store operated as a true general store, serving the Jonestown area with items for livestock and humans, serving as a place to barter produce into other forms of needed items.
A covered bridge spanning Huntington Creek served the village of Jonestown from 1850 and stood next to the store, and further down Huntington Creek several additional covered bridges spanned the water, including the famous Twin Bridges that were built 34 years later.
A fire of suspicious origin damaged one of the two Twin Bridges last night when leaves piled beside the bridge apparently caught fire. Passing motorists spotted the flames and called the Orangeville and Benton firemen who kicked out boards on the side of the bridge and extinguished flames coming from a major support beam. The bridges are closed to the public following a November 2003 wind that ripped through the upper Fishing Creek Valley and did extensive damage to the area. A tree landed on the bridge farthest from the road, the same bridge as was damaged last night. The bridges span Huntington Creek in Fishing Creek Township, east of Route 487 and a stone's throw east of Forks, off route 1020. Both bridges were constructed in 1884 by W.C. Pennington and named for John Paden, a sawmill operator who lived near the bridges.
From a bunch of hay bales to modern bleachers, the Benton Rodeo has seen a rapid growth. The 2004 Benton Rodeo will be July 13-18, so set your calendars now. July 13 is what is billed as a "fun" show, there will be team penning July 14 and both events will be handled by the Keystone Team Penning Association. Sam Swerigan moves his show into the main arena for the July 15, 16 and 17 shows and on July 18, the final night of the Frontier Days Celebration, will be the Bull-A-Rama. You can get more information by clicking the link at the top of this page.
From the "Maybe the Third Time will be a Charm"
Department, comes this...
We often hear local philosophers say words to the effect that as the automobile industry goes, so goes the country. In a move that surprised everyone except for local car dealers Bob Brewington and Jerry Kocher, The Ford Motor Company announced Wednesday that its first-quarter earnings more than doubled, in large part because of cost cuts and favorable pricing trends. Who says there is no money to be made in a no money down, zero percent interest deal?
On Easter Sunday we included a story about Helen
Fritz of Klinger Hill and her long-last Good Friday telephone
reunion with relatives on her mother's side of the family. We'll refresh
your memory and tell you that the Press Enterprise ran a photo
from 1919 of Helen's late grandmother that a Farmington, New York, woman,
had sent to the paper.
The weekend of April 25 and 26 the families in New York and the families in Pennsylvania will meet on Klinger Hill and exchange family photos and snatches of memories that have gone unsaid for so many years. Helen says that "It's going to be the most wonderful reunion."
Edna Mae Howell left her daughter Grace in the care of Michael and Bessie Foust of Danville after she married widower Frank Stahl in 1918. Stahl moved his family to Canandaigua in search of employment, and eventually went to work at a lumberyard. After Edna Mae died during childbirth in 1929, Frank Stahl again remarried and there was no further contact with Grace who died in 1986 at the age of 70.
The Messenger Post Newspapers account of the story quoted Helen as saying "I laid in bed and thought 'Oh, I hope this is not a dream that I'm going to wake up from,'" noting she told Alvema Stoller she would "find a red carpet to put out my sidewalk" when Stoller comes.
In relation to Rochester and I-90, Farmington is slightly southeast
of Rochester and is just South of the New York State Thruway. Farmington
is in Ontario County and virtually due north of Canandaigua, the county
seat, while Rochester is in Monroe County and a good 25 minutes or more
away from Farmington. Farmington has a population of something over
10,500. Klinger Hill, on the other hand, is slightly larger than a mound
and quite a bit bigger than a pile, nestled between the retired town
of Laubachs and route 239 in Sugarloaf Township. The hill has a wonderful
guest house made from a barn silo, a goat farm, a bear that has been
known to attack dogs, very little horizontal ground, a number of farms,
one of the smallest covered bridges we have ever seen, a paddle wheel,
and some very nice people. And next weekend, the hill will host a family
reunion that certainly looks like it is going to bring out the tears
This looks like a good place for another of our Abraham Lincoln stories, which we are fond of telling, this one about his ancestry. The President said, "I don't know who my grandfather was and I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be."
For some it seems like yesterday, not 50 years ago today, when the televised Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began. For others, it seems impossible that in 1964 on this date President Johnson opened the New York World's Fair. For others, it is hard to believe that it has been ten years today that the 37th president, Richard M. Nixon, then 81, died at a New York hospital four days after suffering a stroke.
April 21, 2004. Today is the wedding anniversary of Phil and Laurie Edson. Congratulations to Ken Druckenmiller and the Benton Flower Station! Ken reopens today collocated with Stoney Acres Nursery on route 487 North of town.
John Muir, the writer and naturalist, was born in Scotland on this
date in 1838. With his family, he immigrated to Wisconsin and eventually
walked across much of our the country, living as close to nature as
possible. Muir ended up in California, an area he soon called home.
He fell in love with the 600 mile-long Sierra Nevada mountains of California,
which Muir called the "Range of Light."
We normally provide more information about the history of the local area, but we seem to have turned on too many burners on the stove and just don't have the time to get things researched as we prepare for the benefit auction this weekend, a bluegrass week at the MerleFest, Wilkes-Boro, NC coming up, and other bothersome interruptions to our daily schedule. For the history buffs, we suggest you lean back and pour over some Pennsylvania history put out by some real experts.
Didja know that "Lycoming" is a Delaware Indian word meaning sandy or gravelly creek. The county is named for Lycoming creek. The Lycoming County Resources Page is at http://www.usgennet.org/usa/pa/county/lycoming/resource.html .
The name Ty Norquest, Millville, might not be well known to all the readers of the Benton News, but to anyone who gets their tires in the Benton store of the Steve Shannon Tire Company, "Moose" has been a fixture for many years. Moose had a heart valve replaced Friday and he also had one repaired. He came home from the hospital yesterday, but faces a two-month or so recovery time.
Ford Motor and General Motors announced an agreement to join forces in developing a new type of six-speed transmission for an automobile. Ford alone anticipates spending $720 million to develop a faster and more economical Firebelch 500 transmission. A new six-speed transmission would allow drivers to achieve stick shift-like fuel economy and move Detroit toward meeting the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's 2007 fuel economy standards for light truck. By 2007, light truck sold in the U.S. must average 22.2 mpg. Intermediate trucks must achieve 21 mpg for their 2005 fleets. An increase in fuel economy could help the American car makers compete with their Japanese counterparts.
We don't know the answer to the question as to how glue sticks to everything--except to the inside of a bottle of glue! Developers at 3-M Corporation in the 1960s tried to find a powerful glue. The chemist assigned to the project experimented with variations in formulas--one resulting in a substance that would only weakly stick and could be easily pulled apart. He worked on it for ten years, but the project went nowhere. In 1974, one of the chemist's co-workers tried to make a bookmark stick in his church songbook and thought of a use for the ten years of research. The result was Post-It Notes.
Penn Traffic Co. continues in its loss cycle following bankruptcy about a year ago. The company lost $7.5 million in February. Penn Traffic operates over 100 supermarkets in four states, including Pennsylvania, under three names, P&C Foods, Quality Markets and BiLo. It also has a bakery, warehouses and a wholesale grocery supply business supplying licensed and independent operators like the Riverside Market in Benton. The Penn Traffic Company is a wholesaler to several contract stores and 20 independently-owned and operated markets under the BiLo/Riverside name. The Benton Riverside store is independently owned and operated.
We received a phone message that essentially asked how the auction was progressing. The reader was talking about the benefit auction for the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center that comes up April 25. We suspect that the question was asked because it is sometimes very difficult to make the first of anything a complete success. We answer the question publicly by saying that the Center planned to have about 100 items to auction. Items are still rolling in, but it is necessary to cut off further donations. The list of items to be auctioned exceed 125 at the present time. And in the spirit of helping the entire upper Fishing Creek Valley, along with parts of Sullivan and Luzerne counties, we will say that the family who contributed the largest number of items for the auction did not even come from Columbia Country. They live in Harveyville and are committed to the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center. Each and every food concession and all of the contributors of items to auction deserve recognition by the community.
When you are at the auction, ask members of the Board of Directors or the Advisory Council questions about the Community and Cultural Center. You will be able to identify them by the shirts they are wearing. Ask someone to show you where the community center will be located along Fishing Creek. Feel free to ask members of the Benton Volunteer Fire Department about their building. Ask residents of the Senior Housing who live nearby about how they like their new homes. The site of the former Little Lumber Company is rapidly becoming an important part of the community's growth and development.
There is no cure for birth or death except to enjoy the interval.
|April 20, 2004.
Happy birthday today to Richard Lehet, 65,
and to Richard Sutliff, 69.
Yesterday was a bad day for fires. Eight acres burned near Hazleton. In Fairview Township, over 1,000 acres of forest land burned. Firemen in Luzerne, Monroe, Sullivan, Lycoming and Lackawanna counties had a hard day in the dry conditions with 20 mph winds. Brush fires were reported in other states, too, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire and New York.
Speaking of weather, didja know that The Weather Channel lost $10.6 million in 1962 when it first went on the air, and came close to not making it. In fact, the network didn't make any money until 1985. The Weather Channel is now seen in more than 67 million homes, or 98% of homes with cable television.
America On-Line is moving toward the rest of the email community and will soon permit AOL email to be read in Outlook or Eudora. AOL, part of Time Warner (TWX), is expected to announce the formal launch of the service this week. Details and instructions on configuring email programs for Windows and Macintosh operating systems can be found on the service at keyword "open mail access."
Want to find out all about Nanticoke? Go to http://www.nanticokecity.com/ .
Joselle Confair, the Queen Mum who is mum about nothing, announced that the April 21 meeting of the local Red Hat Society will be at the Market Square Restaurant on Wednesday, April 21, at 2 PM. The menu features Janice's own oven-roasted top of round beef, thinly sliced and served on a grilled Kaiser Bun with a side of Au jus for dipping, a mixed-green salad, macaroni salad or red potato salad as a side. Included will be a choice of beverage and dessert. This feature is $9.50 including tip and tax. You can also order off the menu if you like. Guests are always welcome and encouraged to attend. Proper attire is required.
It was the 13th time in 14 years that a Kenyan has won the 26.2 mile Boston Marathon. This year it was Timothy Cherigat for the men in a time of two hours, 10 minutes and 37 seconds. In the women's event, Catherine Ndereba, also of Kenya, won in a time of two hours, 24 minutes and 27 seconds. Ndereba is a three-time Boston Marathon winner. According to the Boston Marathon website, 17,950 runners entered the race, and 16,743 finished. Records were broken during the race, the first time in 108 years that a woman broke the tape before a man. The thermometer at the finish line read 85°. Of local interest was Lindsey Keller, although admittedly a newcomer to the marathon circuit: three races over five miles in 21 years. We heard that Lindsey finished in the top 400, but we'll have to wait until another day to be exact about that.
We were asked if we would do some translating into German for our international readers. We were specifically asked to help those that didn't know very much about computers. We are happy to oblige. Our report follows, and we label it ACHTUNG TO LOOKENSPEEPERS.
Das machine und ekuipment is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen, und poppencorken mit spittzensparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken by das dummkopfen. Das rubbrnecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets--relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.
The B &
S Chugging Past Orangeville.
Picture courtesy of Harold Ackerman.
The crisis you have to
worry about most is the one you don't see coming.
April 19, 2004
Women's hair, beautiful hair,
They got great soil for growing
stars in my state.
Didja know that Hershey Foods Corporation has owned the H.B. Reese Corporation, San Giorgio, Delmonico, David and Frere and the Cory Corporation?
April 19, 2004. We'll see you at the North Mountain Historical Society meeting this morning at the Brass Pelican restaurant. The subject today is "Threads Through the Ages."
A Little of This and a Little of That...
Betty Brewington has a new Florida home, a new email address and a new phone. Betty can be reached at 15940 Indianwood Cir, Indiantown, Fl 34956. Her phone number is 772 597-4388.
It could have been the Highlands of Northern Scotland--rushing water, a creek bank lined with fishermen, bees swarming around clumps of heather, the plaintive wail of a lone piper. It could have been a scene from the Firth of Forth, but it was the Benton Presbyterians celebrating Scottish Heritage Day in their beloved church by the Benton Dam.
On Sunday, April 18, the Community, neighboring Presbyterians and friends joined the Benton folks in a joyful, "gathering of the clans." In true Scottish fashion, oat cakes, scones and shortbread were enjoyed topped with clotted cream and lemon curd.
Punctuated by Scottish music, poetry and song, the service was conducted by Pastor A.O. Lumpkin. Piper Stuart Erwin and Dr. John Herbert Laubach were featured soloists. By popular request, Amazing Grace, which Stuart delivers with gusto on his beautiful Bagpipes, concluded the worship hour. Fellowship followed with Scotch Broth, punch, tea, and conversation.
Carol Vance proudly told us that "it was our little church, in our little town - and we're grateful for all the people who came to share our Scottish Ancestry with us. It was a Bonnie Brae Time." There is little point in going to the Highlands when we have this so close to home...
Bloomsburg uses a "Graduates of Distinction" while the
Benton Area Schools use a "Hall of Fame" system to honor those
from the area who have excelled in their lives. Here are the 2004 additions
to Bloomsburg's Graduates of Distinction and their year of graduation:
We'll spend a little extra time this morning telling you about a couple of exciting auction items coming up on April 25, two of which come from the same family, the family of Whittier and Joyce Letteer. Their contributions will tell you just what kind of a heart-felt response the leaders of the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center are getting. First, we'll tell you about Whittier's contribution.
If you know Whittier, you know about his collection of poles for fly fishing, and if you know Whittier you know how meticulously he thinks out each purchase and how rarely he gives up on a collectible. For this auction, he has agree to donate one of his six favorite poles.
This one was handmade by a fishing buddy in Berwick. It is a purchased fiberglass pole, but the handle is hand-wrapped and the eyes were done just right and it is complete and ready to cast a line on Fishing Creek. Whittier even tied his own fly and it is ready to go. He delivered it in black plastic, afraid, we suppose, that a brownie would jump when his car passed over the Stillwater bridge! Whittier admits that he doesn't spend as much time wading in the water as he once did, and he also won't give up his favorite pole, one his daddy bought him when Whittier was only ten years old, a bamboo one that he bought in Doc. Rabb's drug store on Main Street.
Joyce Letteer has donated a very nice item, too. Now if you have never had one of these, you'll have to trust us on this. Joyce makes sticky buns that are just wonderful. She'll give a gift certificate good for a pan of sticky buns that will feed about 15. She'll need a week's notice to whip them up, but think of the excitement when your guests gather 'round the table and sink their teeth into this delicacy. Of course, it does remind us of a story.
A middle-aged soldier reported to a military base during the Second World War and was expected to undergo a full medical and dental examination. He had the medical checkup as soon as he reported for duty, but neglected to visit the camp dentist. A few weeks later a messenger arrived at his office and asked when they could expect him to report for the dental check. The man took out his false teeth, gently placed them like old friends in an envelope and scribbled a note to the dentist, "Please have these back by coffee break--we could be having sticky buns!"
A reader asked about the weekend in a private Manhattan Brownstone Apartment on W. 75th Street, New York, that will be part of the April 25 auction to benefit the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. The private apartment has one bedroom, a sofa bed and a loft and of course includes a modern bath and kitchen. It is located between Columbus and Amsterdam and is a block and a half from Central Park. Attractions in the area include the Museum of Natural History, the Historical Museum, many shops and restaurants. Lincoln Center and Tavern on the Green are within walking distance. The apartment is on the 4th floor and is a walk-up. The steps number 54. Strong legs are advised. On street parking is available. Date to be determined by mutual agreement. No smokers, please. Donated by Elsie Buyers. This item has been mentioned before and will only be offered one time.
The auction also includes an autographed script from the March TV program, "Whoopi," a show in which Krysten Ritter, 22, acted. The script is one of six scripts that was autographed by the cast. Includes photographs of the main cast of characters, a photograph of Krysten Ritter and of fellow guest actor Celeste Holm. This script is from the show that aired March 30, 2004, with Krysten, who played Brynn, as a guest actor. Krysten is the daughter of Kathi and Ron Taylor, Harveyville, and Gary and Beth Ann Ritter, North Street. Krysten lived in Benton until 1994, is a graduate of Northwest High School, and now lives in New York City. Donated by Ron and Kathi Taylor.
everything that is faced can be changed at once, but nothing can be
changed until it is faced.
April 18, 2004
best mirror is an old friend.
are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into.
what you learn after you know it all that counts."
|April 18, 2004.
It is Scottish Heritage Day at the Benton Presbyterian Church. Bluegrass
will be the order of the day at Jerseytown from 10 until something like
It is the birthday today of Ruth Kline, and we have been instructed not to reveal her age. But we will give you a clue. At the popular Lion's Club "Over 80 Luncheon" yesterday, Ruth snuck in one day before she was eligible. Read an article in today's Press Enterprise about the fun the local octogenarians had yesterday thanks to the generosity of the Lion's Club and the Benton Women's Club.
Yesterday was a "keeper," as anyone who spent any time outdoors will tell you. The streams were loaded with fishermen although we didn't see many "fish in the bucket," the Phillies clubbed Montreal 6-3, the weather was great and, in fact, next week promises to be warmer than usual. We spent the day in the Rochester area, so we'll report some gas prices north of here. Starting in Benton, regular gas prices were $1.669 and $1.689. Driving north in the future I-99 corridor, Mansfield's gas was $1.789 and Lawrenceville's gas was $1.819. Mount Morris, New York, had $1.859. Premium gasonine in both Lawrenceville and Mount Morris exceeded $2 a gallon.
Consider the 60 seconds folks experienced in 1906 when the earthquake struck San Francisco, and remember the devistation felt for years later following the movement of the San Andreas Fault by an estimated twenty-three feet. The quake measured 8.3 on the Richter scale and when it was all over more than 500 city blocks and more than 28,000 buildings were in ruins, 250,000 people were left homeless, almost 3,000 people died. Take the time to count your blessings this Sunday morning in the manner in which you are most comfortable.
We are still getting emails telling us that Robin Williams has come up with the perfect plan; i.e., "what we need now is for our UN Ambassador to stand up and repeat this message." The email bunk did not come from Robin Williams, although one paragraph toward the end did. As always, we recommend that you consult a source like www.snopes.com before this crapola is forwarded.
From time to time, Benton News includes Micro$oft Word tips, simply because most readers use Word. Today's tip involves the simple task of summing a column in Word, a repeat from a previous column here following a reader's question. Lets say you have a table of 6 columns and are using Word 2000 and lets say one column contains currency that you want to sum. In Word 2000, you can enter the formula right into the table. Click in the cell below the last number in your column. In the menu bar, click "Table" and then "Formula..." A formula dialog box will ask you what you want to do. The default is =SUM(above) so click "OK" and the total will be in that box.
Quote of the Day:
Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century at http://www.greatachievements.org/ lists the 20th century's greatest engineering achievements. This site lists "the top 20 engineering achievements."
Today's term of the day is GET A LEG UP ON, meaning a head
start or having help making a start on something. An example is "He
has a leg up on the rest of the field."
For over 135 years, Patterson Grove has been a camp-meeting ground of the Methodist Church. In an old sugar-maple grove between Fairmount and Huntington Townships, where Kitchen's Creek enters Huntington Creek, five miles southeast of Ricketts Glen, is the campground named for the mother of a wealthy businessman of New Brunswick, NJ, Ezekiel Montgomery Patterson. The mother, Mary Denison Patterson, had been a supporter of the churches in that area for fifty years, and on August 26, 1878, the Headley Grove campground was renamed the Patterson Grove Campground.
A state law then required campgrounds to be policed because of shootings and drunken brawls which sometimes occurred, and in 1879 six men were hired as police. A few months later, the police "made complaint that they had nothing to do, and were afraid than the board would fire them." By 1922, the police were only hired on Sundays when large crowds were there. In fact, there is no record of any "rowdyism" at any time.
By 1885, the grove had 160 tents or cabins and other buildings, each from two to six rooms each. Some had verandahs and other "outward adornments." The grove had from 1,000 to 1,500 residents during the two weeks at the camp meetings. Sundays, according to articles that we have read, said the number could on occasion swell to 10,000.
Daily services began with prayer at 5:30 AM, then came family worship at 7, experience meeting at 9, preaching at 10:30, children's meeting at 1:30 PM, missionary meeting at 3, song-and-praise meeting at 4:30, prayer meeting at 6, and preaching at night. The revival in 1892 was typical. "Early in the morning and all through the day the road leading to the camp was lined with wagons buggies and vehicles of every description (which) were hurrying to fill up the tents. The day was fine." On Sunday, August 28, "1,300 people were staying at the grounds. Those who came through the gate plus those who were staying at the Grove totaled 9,000, and 1,300 wagons passed through the gate."
Within a week of the close of the meeting in 1893, the campground burned. "A destructive fire occurred at Patterson Grove last night," wrote the Wilkes-Barre Record. Everything was burned to the ground and the handsome grove of maples is ruined. Between 200 and 300 cottages were destroyed." In fact, every cottage burned, valued about $300 each. The boarding house did not burn. Arson was suspected but never proved. Rebuilding was a must! The building of the preacher's tent, a place for singers and auditorium was awarded to a Henry Zigler for $75.
Hal A. Kemp, Benton, operated the photograph gallery on a year-to-year basis from 1895. On May 26, 1900, the trustees voted to grant him the "use of the ground, to erect a suitable building for a photo gallery, for five years at a rental of ten dollars a year. Renewed in 1905 for another five years, the rental fee only climbed slightly. In 1912, they voted to charge him "$5 for the privilege if the weather turned out as bad as in 1911."
For additional information, consult the Patterson Grove Centennial book published in 1968, edited by Richard S. Patterson, from which much of the above information comes.
The next time you open your mail that comes to you courtesy of the U. S. Postal System, look at the amount of junk mail that your receive.
Contrast that to this advertising item sent to us by Sue Lucas.
This is the front side of the advertising.
This is the backside of the advertising.
April 17, 2004
|April 17, 2004.
On this date in 1961, about 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the
disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in a failed attempt to overthrow
the government of Fidel Castro. In 1964, Ford Motor Co. unveiled its new
"Mustang" model. Happy birthday today to Blanche
Getz. Happy belated anniversary to Randy
and Denise Hack, Stillwater, April 16.
NASA's third scheduled moon landing lifted off on April 11, 1970. On April 13 came the famous "Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here" message following the explosion of a cryogenic oxygen tank. At Mission Control, people scrambled to get the crew home safely. Time was counting down as precious consumables like oxygen and power were in short supply.
Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Ken Mattingly were to be the crew of the 13th Apollo mission. Mattingly was bumped from the Apollo 13 crew by a suspected--but nonexistent--case of German measles, but became invaluable in the behind-the-scenes effort to bring the astronauts home. He eventually made his own moon flight, as command-module pilot of Apollo 16 in 1972, and during his subsequent career as a Navy Admiral became my boss in Arlington, VA.
Astronauts Fred Haise, Jim Lovell, and Jack Swigert were forced to abort their mission and use primitive celestial navigation techniques to return to Earth. Congress even edicted that people around the country and in churches pray for the safe return of the astronauts.
The craft was eventually guided home manually with little life support and made an accurate splashdown. The Apollo 13 Command Module splashed down in the South Pacific on this date in 1970 within sight of its recovery ship, the USS Iwo Jima, who had the crew aboard within 45 minutes.
Here are some planting tips from the Farmer's Almanac...
Don't bet all the money in the cookie jar on the three-year old Pennsylvania horse "Smarty Jones" to win the Kentucky Derby on May 1, but if you are the betting type a small wager might be in order. Our favorite for the Kentucky Derby comes from the horse country in the Brandywine Valley of Chester County. The colt has won all six of his races including last Saturday's million-dollar Arkansas Derby. And with the victory, his sixth in as many starts, Smarty Jones put himself in a position to claim a $5 million bonus by winning the Kentucky Derby and become the first undefeated Derby winner since Seattle Slew in 1977.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association this week ranked Smarty Jones as the nation's top three-year-old and certainly Smarty Jones will be one of the biggest stories of this year's racing news.
Smarty Jones comes from Roy and Patricia Chapman's Someday Farm near New Hope. The colt was named after Pat Chapman's mother, whose maiden name was Jones and who was nicknamed Smarty as a child, since the colt and Pat Chapman's mother have the same birthday.
Even a horse by the name of "Smarty" can do dumb things. He smashed his head when he threw it up in the gate while training, fracturing bones and requiring a lengthy stay in an equine clinic as a 2-year-old .
Quote of the Day:
In April, 1963, about one quarter of the roof of the old covered bridge at Stillwater was torn off during extremely high winds. The roof was blown off in winds that were clocked "only seven miles per hour under hurricane intensity." Mrs. Gearhart Letteer, who lived nearby, remembered hearing a loud roar and looked toward the bridge just as the roof section was torn off. It was carried to the top of "50-foot-high trees," near the bridge approach. Another section of the roof apparently landed in Fishing Creek, and floated away.
The bridge was the second bridge on this site. The first was an open bridge erected in 1823 at a cost of under $500. That bridge was destroyed in 1848 by the Kauff flood, named for members of the Kauff family who were victims of the flood.
James McHenry built the covered bridge with help from his brother Daniel. The bridge is a 168-foot Burr Arch, which cost $1,124. The foreman on the job was John H. Edson, New Columbus, who was also the builder of the Berwick and the Catawissa bridges crossing the Susquehanna. The Stillwater bridge opened for use in 1849 and was used for one full century before it was closed in 1949.
On April 10, 1951, the bridge was selected "for all time as
a memorial to all covered bridges in Columbia County." The dedication
of the bridge as a "lasting historical memorial was on May 16,
1951. It has since been kept open for pedestrian traffic only. For the
record, the motion which made the bridge a memorial was made by Commissioners
The bridge is designated as Structure #79003177 on the National
Register of Historic Places, and can be identified as Stillwater Covered
Bridge No. 134. For pictures of the bridge and additional information,
go to http://www.coveredbridgesite.com/pa/stillwater.html
Better April showers than the breadth of the ocean in gold
May our good men be great and our great men be good
April rain is worth
Moist April, clear June
Expect rain if hens spread and ruffle their tail feathers
|April 16, 2004.
Tomorrow is the first Saturday after April 11, which means it is the annual
opening of fishing season. Temperatures could be in the 70s Saturday.
Rain showers are a possibility, but there are lots of places locally to
get in out of the showers, if necessary. Breakfasts at the U. M. Church,
Main Street, and at the Volunteer Fire Hall, Colley Street, will help
in the morning, and the fish supper at the Sugarloaf School and the chicken
dinner at the fire hall will help in the late afternoon. And for the ones
who brave the showers, remember that the Fish
and Boat Commission claims to have stocked 2.4 million trout during
the preseason. Two million more will be stocked after the season begins.
Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in London, England, on this day in 1889. Chaplin hit the stage running when he debuted as a singer in a music hall in 1894 after his vaudeville performing mother, Hannah Hill, became ill. Chaplin quickly became one of the most popular child actors in England. His father, Charles Chaplin, Sr., died of alcoholism when Chaplin was twelve and his mother spent time in mental institutions. Chaplin spent much of his youth in Lambeth Workhouse and the Hanwell School for Orphans and Destitute Children. He came to the United States with Fred Karno's Speechless Comedians earning $125/week. Chaplin made his first feature film for The Keystone Film Company in 1914 entitled Making a Living and he signed with a company called Essanay for $1,250/week to make 14 films during 1915.
Chaplin's most famous character made its first appearance in The Tramp in 1915, a man dressed in baggy pants, a cutaway coat, oversized shoes, and a battered derby hat. By February, 1916, Mutual Film Corporation signed Chaplin for $10,000/week plus $150,000 bonus and by June 1917 Chaplin signed with First National Exhibitor's Circuit for $1,075,000/year. By the end of 1917, Charlie Chaplin had produced, directed or acted in over 880 films.
In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the Ford Mustang threw itself quite a wing-ding birthday party. Music city became Mustang City as more than 3,000 Mustangs converged on Nashville this week. As VIPs gathered for ceremonies sponsored by the Mustang Club of America, a P51 Mustang plane flew overhead. (The Ford Mustang was named after that World War II plane--not the horse.) The pony car was unveiled at the New York World's Fair in 1964. In it's first year, Mustang sold 417,000 cars. To date, more than eight million have been sold and a fifth generation Mustang will hit the showrooms this fall. Along the same lines, we forgot to mention yesterday that the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel turned 40 yesterday.
According to published reports, the government estimates that which we know; i.e., it took taxpayers longer this year to prepare their taxes than it did last year. The government estimates it takes 28 hours and 30 minutes to complete an average tax return with itemized deductions and income reported from interest, dividends and capital gains. That's 42 minutes longer than last year.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Get ready for the annual joke show on A Prairie Home Companion this weekend. And speaking of things funny, didja know that Warner Brothers, the movie studio, once threatened to sue Groucho Marx of the Marx Brothers comedy team for using the title A Night in Casablanca because it was too similar to their film Casablanca with Bogie and Bergman. Groucho snarled back, "I'll sue you for using the word 'Brothers'."
The champion of fast-food, McDonald's, where you can pile on a (21 grams of fat, 730 calories) Triple Thick Shake or a (33 grams, 600 calories) Big Mac "slicker than a greaser," as Lee Remley would say, announced Thursday that it will begin offering Happy Meals for Adults starting May 6 and it includes a salad and water. The whole package comes to just nine grams of fat and 240 calories for a grilled chicken Caesar with light dressing. And speaking of Lee, wasn't that him we saw grazing at the Dunkin' Doughnut shop in Bloom following Thursday's rehabilitation hour?
The Benton Flower Station will reopen April 20 at their new location colocated with Stoney Acres Nursery, 4378 Red Rock Road, Benton, just across route 487 from First Columbia Bank. All of the floral services that were available before the fire will be offered, as well as a few new ones. The phone number is 570 925-6733 and the business hours are Monday - Friday 9-6, Saturdays 9-5 and Sundays 10-4. Ken thanks all his customers for their concern and kind words of encouragement following the fire on March 27 and deeply appreciates all the thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
A people which takes no pride in the noble
Change your thoughts and you
change your world.
April 15, 2004
April 15, 2004. It is the day that taxes are due. You have until midnight to get your federal income tax return electronically processed or into the mail. It is the birthday today of Jeff Andrysick, Jennifer Hatcher, and Ken Bond. These three fine people celebrate their birthday with another fine guy, Leonardo da Vinci, born in Italy in 1452, the man who painted the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Leonardo was full of ideas but never completed many of the projects he started, a fault we can relate to. Michelangelo is supposed to have said about him, "He cannot create, only imagine." From the time Leonardo was thirty until the time he was fifty-five he only completed about ten paintings.
Joseph D. Lesinsky, 69, (Jan. 17, 1935-April
13, 2004), 2167 Fritz Hill Road, Benton, died Tuesday at Geisinger Medical
Center, with his wife, Barbara, at his side. He was a son of Helen M.
(Kraynak) Lesinsky Spodnik of Cortland, OH, and Joseph F. Lesinsky (deceased).
He has lived in the Benton area for the past 10 years and was the building
permit officer for Sugarloaf Township. Surviving are his mother; his
wife, Barbara A. (Leonard) Lesinsky; daughter, Kathy L. Messina, Huntington,
CT; a son, Daniel J. Lesinsky Bridgeport, CT; two grandsons: Joshua
John and Jamie Joseph Messina, Huntington, CT; and a sister, Joanne
Rieger, Cortland, OH. A viewing will be held Thursday from 6 to 8 PM
at the McMichael Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated
11 AM Friday at Christ the King Catholic Church. Burial will be in Gate
of Heaven Cemetery, Trumbull, CT.
From the "Not Everything Goes Smoothly Department"...
It appears as though the Legislature will not take up the issue of legalizing slot machines and lowering property taxes before the April 27 primary election.
Based on surveys we have seen, it appears to be a head shaker between U.S. Senator Arlen Specter and Lehigh Valley Congressman Pat Toomey and in the Republican and Democratic races for nominations for State Attorney General.
Verizon will open a Troy Township cellular communication tower by the end of May. Many are saying that local VERIZON service has improved, but most consider it unacceptable within the Borough limits.
A Mature Lifestyles Expo runs from 9 AM to 5 PM Friday and Saturday at the Country Cupboard, Lewisburg. You can enjoy a great buffet and pick up information on health care, financial services, travel, insurance, retirement communities, home health care, hospice, banking and periodontics.
The howling is over in Tennessee as the Legislature decreed that dogs can continue to ride in the backs of pickup trucks. Some lawmakers tried to protect the animals and motorists and outlaw the practice, but lawmakers saw to it that dogs can be transported, even in pickup trucks driving on interstates.
First Columbia Bank is having a book sale during the month of April to benefit the future community library. The bank is collecting gently used books and selling them. Hard covers are $1.00 and paperbacks are $.50. There are over 300 books in the lobby of the bank with about 50 sold during April. Anyone wishing to donate books (except text books) please feel free to drop them off at the Benton office of the bank.
The class of 1994 will be having a ten-year class reunion June 5 at the Mill Race Golf Course. The cost will be 30 dollars per person. If you know someone who is part of this class who might be interested in attending, please contact Paul Randell. 570-925-5548. The class needs the addresses of Matt Pavlichko and Tim Thoryk.
Some people just thrive on being busy. Kristen Ritter was on Law & Order last night, is on One Life To Live on Friday, and is currently in Springfield, MA, filming a movie.
Nineteen beginning computer students met at the Benton Elementary School yesterday afternoon and started learning computer basics. Instructors for the course are Kristina Wood and Cherie Roberts, assisted by Brady Hess, and brothers Miles and Edward Cole. The project started when Cherie, a graduate student at Marywood University, was asked to participate in some community service projects. Cherie, with 15 years teaching experience, teamed with Kristina, a first-year teacher in the Benton Area School System to produce the class.
|Miles Cole, Cherie Roberts and Edward Cole, from the left to the right.|
"Now lets see! What is the difference between bits and bytes, and where did she say the GO button was?
- A computer you can't afford.
A group of politicians deciding
to dump a President because his morals are bad is like the Mafia getting
together to bump off the Godfather for not going to church on Sunday.
The IRS! They're like the Mafia,
they can take anything they want!
|April 14, 2004.
The first American society
for the abolition of slavery was founded on this date in 1775. Benjamin
Franklin became the organization's president 12 years later when membership
was about 1,000. John
Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater on this
date in 1865. Lincoln and his wife were at the Washington, DC, theater
seeing a comedy called Our American Cousin. During the third act
Booth shot Lincoln in the head at point-blank range. Lincoln died early
the next day. R.M.S. Titanic
struck an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean five nights into the ship's
maiden voyage on this date in 1912 as she sailed toward New York City.
About 1,500 people lost their lives.
A school bus accident involving a grey van school bus owned by Glen Rhinard was involved in a serious accident on Upper Raven Creek Road yesterday afternoon with operator Jill Houseweart and one Vo-Tech student on board. Please consult the Press Enterprise and local television for details.
Tony Soprano leaves his HBO audience wondering each week how one man can get in so much trouble and still stay on top of the heap. It seems to us Back Home in Benton, PA, to be a world we could never understand. Away from the television and closer to home, it becomes more real. Around the turn of the last century, the Mafia in Tampa, Florida, was known as "The Tampa Mob" and operated out of an area of Tampa known as Ybor City. Ybor was the home to thousands of immigrant Cubans, Spanish, and Italians, the home of Tampa's cigar industry.
In the late 40's, James Lumia was in charge, but was killed by a shotgun blast on June 5, 1950. He was succeeded by Santo Trafficante Sr. who ruled until his death in August of 1954 from stomach cancer. His son, Santo, Jr., succeeded him.
Santo Trafficante Jr. lead the Tampa mob with casinos in Havana, ran all gambling operations on the Gulf Coast and narcotics networks in Latin America and Southeast Asia, was arrested over the New York state line at the Apalachin Mafia meeting just 100 miles north of Benton, and many claim he was involved in the assassination of John Kennedy. He ruled for 33 years until his death in March, 1987.
In 1954, a St. Petersburg cop approached Santo, claiming to be on
the take, looking for hush money to keep other law enforcement personnel
from sniffing around the Trafficante's operation. He asked them for
money and a car. The Trafficantes arranged for a car for the officer.
In exchange for the car and a $200-a-month stipend, the cop promised
to protect them from other police looking to shake them down. The Trafficantes
had a good deal.
A new book by Scott M. Deitche, Cigar City Mafia, A complete history of the Tampa Underworld, reviews how when the case went to trial, Dietrich told how he received money, a new car, television set, and tailored suits as payoffs from the mob. Tape recordings of meetings were played, and jurors even saw a filmed recording of Dietrich receiving the new car. Santo was acquitted, others in the organization were found guilty.
The St. Petersburg cop was the older brother of Ruth Kline, Green Acres. Dayne Kline remembers that Ruth and Harry's mother, Mrs. Catherine Dietrich, was very concerned that Harry "was on the take" when he and his wife, Lil, and their daughter Janice came to Benton to visit. Harry was driving a Mercury "with a glass top," something very unusual for Benton. He seemed to live a "high life," with imported suits and cigars and a new car. A revolver Harry always carried was stolen in Wilkes-Barre and so Benton police chief Arley Meeker had to be let in on what was going on. Arley would come to Dayne and Ruth Kline's farm below Benton each night to make sure that Harry was OK and to provide police protection--Benton style-- for a St. Petersburg cop.
A few years ago, we ate at the Columbia Restaurant on Seventh Avenue in Ybor City, where the Trafficante's held court for so many years. Joining us for lunch were Dayne and Jeannette Hartman, Ted and Shirley McHenry, Whittier and Joyce Letteer. We wonder how many tourists hurriedly looked over their shoulders that day wondering if any of us were from the Trafficante family...
You still don't believe there is a Mafia, eh! Take a read of http://www.mobmagazine.com/managecategory.asp?C=50&n=693 .
Sunday April 18 is Scottish Heritage Day at the Benton Presbyterian Church, corner of Park and Market Streets. Festivities start at 10:30 with an authentic Highland Tea complete with Scones, Shortbread, Oat cakes and Clotted Cream, Lemon Curd and Marmalade. Coffee and Punch will also be available.
A Scottish Service at 11:00 will feature Bagpipe Music by Stuart Erwin, a Scottish Psalter sung by Dr. John Herbert Laubach, accompanied by Diane Harvey Laubach. Robert Burns poems will be read in the dialect by Scotsman Erwin, and there will be a special music and sermon by Reverends Alan O. Lumpkin and Gary Emerick.
The church extends an invitation to the community to join in this colorful celebration of their heritage. The service will be followed by Scotch Broth, Tea, and Fellowship. It'll be a Bonnie Brae Time.
April 13, 2004
Yah, I shpeaks English a leetle; berhaps you shpeaks petter der German
If you pick a good cause and fight hard, you'll usually win!
Age only matters if one is aging
Live your life and forget your age
April 13, 2004. Happy birthday to Brian Stedman!
Jefferson (1743-1826) entered the world on this day in 1743 in Albermarle
County, Virginia. When he was elected a member of the Virginia House
of Burgesses, he immediately but unsuccessfully attempted to emancipate
the slaves under his jurisdiction. His writings in a 1774 essay called
"A Summary View of the Rights of British America" led to being
asked to write the Declaration of Independence, which includes the lines,
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Don't remember what his house looks like? Turn over a nickel, or turn
Quote of the Day:
Lets face it. Viewed by the rest of the world, we do talk funny. Although there probably isn't a bit of truth to the story, we can't help remembering about the woman who walked into the country store. The clerk asked what the woman needed and she answered that she "didn't want nothing." She just "came in to go out." She had probably told her husband that it would "be late till I get home." Our speech is doppick to those from away who happen to see what we write. For example, our obituaries sometimes indicate that if "so and so" would have lived until Monday "he would be dead a week." We have marvelous words not found anywhere else, words like spigot, and Philadelphia Lawyer, and punk as in soft wood and men's names. We have marvelous letters, too, like the letter "d." "D" as pronounced in the words "writing," "bleating," "hearty" and "hurting." We have our marvelous towns like Shickshinny and Defiance and Catawissa and Waller and Bala-Cynwyd and Blue Ball and Bird-in-Hand. We export our words, too. Dallas, TX, is named for the Philadelpia Vice President George Mifflin Dallas (1792-1864), who served as vice president of the United States from 1845 to 1849 under President James K. Polk; there is a Fort Buchanan and our fellow Pennsylvanian has three counties in the United States named after him; the "Gifford Pinchot Tree" stands tall in Muir Woods, California, a place where no one would know a Gifford Pinchot if one walked in the door.
A certain young fellow named Bee-bee,
In PennDOT news...
A Press Enterprise article mentions that Herbert C. Stevens, 84, (May 12, 1919-April 11, 2004), Hunlock-Harveyville Road, Huntington Mills, died Sunday. The article mentions that he taught school in Benton, Berwick and Northwest Area High School. Funeral services will be at the Bloomingdale Bible Church, Bloomingdale, on Wednesday at 2 PM. Interment will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Huntington Mills. Consult the paper for additional details.
There was no "swinging in the rain" last night as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Red Barons home-game opener was a fizzle in the drizzle against the Buffalo Bisons. The game was postponed because of the cold rain. The Phillies managed to open to almost no one in Citizens Bank Park. The old saying "April showers bring May flowers," meaning that some unpleasant occurrences bring about better things, is true this week as heavy rain over the next couple of days could produce some flooding and a "wash-out" of the opening day of fishing season. You can still attend the fisherman's breakfast Saturday from 6 to 11 at the fire station or the chicken barbecue from 4 in the afternoon.
Pennsylvania now has an online voter information center. This site was designed to inform the voters and the election officials throughout the Commonwealth on a wide variety of matters related to elections. Voters can now access information ranging from their voter registration status, to voting instructions, to where they vote on Election Day. Election officials can obtain information ranging from available resources to the latest developments in the law.
The City of Harrisburg kicked off what is called the Cow Parade Harrisburg 2004 on March 31. In a city where donkeys and elephants parade up and down the streets, it is unusual to see lots of cows--136 cows and a "mini moo" to be exact, all on display through mid-June. The cows are everywhere in Downtown Harrisburg, Harrisburg's City Island, the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex, Camp Hill, Downtown Carlisle, Hershey and in Gettysburg. Over 100 Pennsylvania artists participated. The cows even have names: Moocha Moola, Moo-tini Bar, Liberty Belle, The Cow Potato, Her 2 (too), and Udderly Californian.
April 12, 2004
|April 12, 2004. On
this day in 1633 Galileo
Galilei went on trial for supporting Nicolaus Copernicus' theory that
the earth revolves around the sun and that the sun was at the center of
the universe. Today is David Letterman's birthday. On this date in 1945,
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, then 63, died of a cerebral hemorrhage;
he was succeeded by Vice President Harry S. Truman.
Come on, you have three days. Get those taxes done and get outside and enjoy the Spring. Remember that the Internal Revenue Service is auditing fewer businesses and corporations than five years ago. The overall rate fell from 3 audits per 1,000 in fiscal 1999 to 2 per 1,000 last year, according to a survey done through Syracuse University.
Today is the day in 1934 that wind gusts on Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, reached 231 mph. Yesterday's peak gust of wind hit ninety-seven miles per hour. The temperature at press time this morning was 13.8°F. While not setting a cold weather record so far today, the Mount Washington Auto Road and Mount Washington Cog Railway remain closed for the winter season. And how do we know this trivia? Currently making the summit his home is Bruce Hancock from Bridgton, Maine. You can "seek the peak" by going to http://www.mountwashington.org/ , and we suggest that you include Mt. Washington in your Summer travel plans. Bruce probably could use a break, if you would like to head on up sooner...
Mrs. Emma E. (Benjamin) Allegar, 97, (July 2, 1906-April 11, 2004), Shultz Hollow Road, Divide, died Sunday. She was a daughter of Harvey and Estella (Harris) Benjamin, deceased. She graduated from West Creek School, later attended Benton High School. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clifton G. Allegar, who died December 31, 1996; and by her siblings: Alma Houseknecht, Blake Benjamin, Kathryn Colley, Lester Benjamin, Florence Rhone, Jesse Benjamin and Marshall Benjamin. She is survived by son, William B. Allegar, Waller; four granddaughters; four great-granddaughters and one step-great-granddaughter. Friends may call Wednesday morning, April 14, from 10 to 11. The funeral service will be at the McMichael Funeral Home. Interment will be in the Waller Cemetery.
We were asked a question as to how we find a passage in a book when we don't know where to look. We use "Google Print," a method to search inside both books and magazines for pages that include particular keywords. Add site:print.google.com to the end of your Google search term(s), as in mountain lion site:print.google.com .
Phil Mickelson birdied Augusta's final hole Sunday to beat Ernie Els by one stroke and win his first major.
How times have changed! Singer Chubby Checker, now going by the name of "Chubby C" to reflect his 'rap' status," may have a new record--a Guinness world record for the most people to participate in a dance contest.
The Benton Borough Zoning Hearing Board meets tonight at 7 at the Benton High School.
Sara Popovich, granddaughter of Jean (Fritz) and Elmer Getz formerly of Benton and daughter of Cynthia (Getz) and David Popovich, Lewes, Delaware, will graduate in May 2004 from Wesley College in Dover, Delaware, with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. She was recently engaged to John Bushi, Lewes.
The Alumni Banquet for the Benton Area Schools will be held Saturday, May 29, at 6 PM in the high school gymnasium. A special tour of the new Middle and High School for those alumni returning to the banquet is available at 5 PM. Bissinger Catering will provide the food and the Benton Area High School Jazz Band will provide the musical entertainment. Senior scholarships will be awarded. The order of business then will be the presentation of the Hall of Fame Inductees.
The 2004 Inductees are:
||Audie Hittle, a graduate of the class of 1975.|
Significant career and professional accomplishments:
Audie Hittle helped found the first Explorer's Post in the Benton area and was that organization's first president. He served as class president and held other high-school offices. He holds three degrees, one in engineering plus two advanced degrees. Audie is a highly decorated military veteran, nationally recognized pioneer of government-industry collaboration and intrepid entrepreneur. During his 22-year military career starting in 1975, he was twice awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the highest USAF non-combat award and distinguished himself in outstanding service to the United States. Audie transitioned to the private sector in 1997 and has since held key leadership roles in Fortune 500, small and startup companies. Audie is married to his high school sweetheart, Karina McMillan. The couple has one daughter and resides in Tyngsboro, MA.
||Mary Lucinda Dodson, (1904-1997). Married name: Mary D. Gearhart, a graduate of the class of 1922.|
Significant career and professional accomplishments:
|Mary Dodson (Gearhart) graduated from Benton High School loving tennis, swimming and dancing. She especially loved sledding and rode bob-sleds, dishpans and coal shovels! She was an excellent singer and played the piano and the violin. She graduated from Bloomsburg Normal School and received a Master of Arts degree from Duquesne University. Mary served as president of the Association of Retarded Children for Monroe County and served on the board of directors of Burnley Workshop for physically and mentally challenged people in the Stroudsburg area. She founded weekly and summer programs and managed Camp Daddy Allen for 27 years in addition to serving as president of the board for 14 years. She was a member of numerous professional and civic groups and is listed in Who's Who in Outstanding Citizens of the Nation and in Who's Who in Outstanding Special Teachers. Mary retired from the Stroudsburg Area School District after teaching for more than 40 years. She married in 1935 and was widowed in 1954. She has one daughter, Margaret J. Dawson, Lambertville, MI.|
||Donald Nelson Baker,
Ph.D., a graduate of the class of 1952.
|Significant career and professional accomplishments:||Donald graduated from Benton High School and completed his undergraduate work at Pennsylvania State University. He received his Masters and his Doctorate from Cornell University. He was named by the United States Department of Agriculture as the Outstanding Scientist of the Year in 1987. His teaching experience includes Clemson University and Mississippi State University. He is currently a cotton production consultant with responsibility for approximately 15,000 acres. Donald holds numerous awards and citations, but says that the most difficult was the one "at the bottom of the stack" which read simply Airplane Single Engine Land, Instrument... Donald lives in Starkville, MS, with his wife, Bobbi. There are five children and two step-children, and numerous grand children.|
||Frederick P. Baker, a graduate of the class of 1967.|
|Significant career and professional accomplishments:||Fred graduated from Benton High School and attended Mississippi State University. Fred started his own company in 1976, Baker Installations, and it has now grown into a 17,000 square-foot facility and is a $45 million telecommunications company located in Pittsburgh. The company has grown to producing revenues estimated at $134 million in 2004. The enterprise focuses on installing cable television, voice and date, telephone and Internet connections. The company has about 2,000 employees. Fred serves in numerous positions with the Pennsylvania Cable and Telecommunications Association to the Allegheny Regional Asset District Board of Directors and the Governor's Council on Small Business. He serves on the board of directors of the Caleb Project, which focuses on mission mobilization to lesser reached nations. Fred is married to the former Beth Christine Kocher, and they have eight children and seven grandchildren.|
|Dr. Donald D. Rabb, D.Ed., a graduate of the class of 1940.|
|Significant career and professional accomplishments:||
Donald graduated from the Benton Vocational High School Class of 1940, and went on to graduate from Bloomsburg State Teacher's College. He received his master's degree from Bucknell University and his Doctor of Education degree from Pennsylvania State University and has participated in advanced studies at an additional five universities. Donald led an impressive list of graduates who went on to higher education during the ten years that he taught in the Benton schools. He not only taught all the science courses, but he served as the Athletic Director influencing and shaping lives in the class room and on the athletic field. Donald served for three years in the Army Air Force, two of which were spent with the 12th weather squadron in North Africa, Italy and Egypt. Donald was an inspiring scoutmaster. He has an impressive list of local organizations in which he has played an active role, ranging from high school and college alumni associations, the Bloomsburg Fair Association, the Benton Fireman's Association and the Benton Borough Council. Donald married his high school sweetheart, Dottie McHenry, and they have three children.
"He has all the virtues
I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
No pain, no palm; no thorns,
no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.
Christ, the Lord, is risen today,
First love is a kind of
vaccination which saves a man from catching the complaint a second
A good thing about egotists is
that they don't talk about other people
|Easter Sunday, April 11,
the 102nd day of 2004. We missed the birthday of Charlotte
Sibly on April 8. A happy belated birthday, Charlotte. We have
birthdays today of Bud Allegar, Taylor
Remphrey (21), and Dorothy Kocher.
Ron and Sheila Thompson celebrate their anniversary
today. Get well wishes for Jean Foust, home
recovering from surgery.
Margaret Ianthe "Peggy" Hess,
91, (October 7, 1912-April 10, 2004), 593 Harrison Road, Orangeville,
died Saturday. She was a daughter of the late Rohr and Laura (Stine)
Shultz and a 1930 graduate of Benton High School. She was a homemaker
and assisted her late husband, Carl W. Hess, in operating a dairy farm
for many years. Her husband, Carl W. Hess, died June 8, 1986, and children
Kermit Hess, in 1934; Barbara H. Hess, in 1943; and Lee Roy Hess, in
1985; by a brother, Russell H. Shultz, on June 7, 2001; and by a sister,
Helen Shultz, in 1899. Surviving are two daughters: Patricia,
wife of John B. Williman, Lewisburg; Ruth,
wife of Donald C. Whitenight Jr., at home; six grandchildren: David
S. Williman, Seaford, VA; John M. Williman, Parkersburg, W.V.; Philip
T. Williman, Dallas; Yvonne I. Knight, Danville; D. Russell Whitenight,
Ephrata; Jeffrey A. Whitenight, Benton; and by 10 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be 11 AM Tuesday in Jonestown United Methodist
Church. Interment will be in Jonestown Cemetery. Friends may call from
7 to 9 PM Monday at the Kriner Funeral Home, Benton, or after 10 AM
at the church on Tuesday. Memorials may be sent to either Jonestown
United Methodist Church, 214 Winding Road, Orangeville, PA 17859, or
to Columbia-Montour Home Health Services Hospice Program, 599 E. Seventh
St., Bloomsburg, PA 17815.
When Helen and Ted Fritz, Klinger Hill, sat down Friday with the Press Enterprise and their morning coffee little did Helen realize that a long-time dream would soon come true. As the Registrar of the Ft. McClure Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and as Past President and Treasurer of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Colonists, Helen had traced her family through her father back 17 generations and is currently preparing her Mayflower genealogy. The whereabouts of her mother's family was a different story. What happened on her mother's side was unknown to Helen and for years she attempted to find her maternal ancestors but came up each time against a dead end.
Up in Farmington, New York, 179 miles from Benton, just North of I-90 near Rochester, Donna Herendeen has been searching for a missing link in her family tree, searching for a sister of her mother. Donna knew that the missing person, Grace, was a sister of her mother Alverna and of sisters Ethel and of Helen, now deceased. Grace had been left in Danville under the care of Michael and Bessie Foust when her mother, Edna Mae Howell-Stahl, remarried and went off to New York State. Edna Mae died in 1929 at the age of 29. The trail always turned cold for Donna, too.
Helen Fritz and Donna Herendeen both tried very hard to connect the dots on the family tree, but neither succeeded. Finally, Donna picked up the phone and called the Press Enterprise in a last-ditch effort to find her missing family. John-Erik Koslosky wrote a human-interest story asking for help in finding Grace, who actually had passed away Memorial Day in 1985. The article included a picture of Edna Mae and baby Alverna, who had been born in 1919. It was an almost identical picture of Edna Mae that Helen had all these years.
The coffee almost spilled and the tears flowed when Helen saw the picture. She took 45 minutes to compose herself and make sure that Donna would be up, then she picked up the phone and slowly made the call to New York. "I am your long-lost cousin from Pennsylvania," Helen told the astonished woman at the other end of the line. There was a long silence, broken finally by the sound of sobbing. Helen and Donna cried for the next hour, hung up and then called again and did it all over again for another hour. Tears came to Helen's eyes again when a huge bouquet of flowers arrived from New York State.
Alverna, Helen's mother's sister, and Donna Herendeen and anyone else who can fit in the car are coming to Klinger Hill April 25 and 26 to meet their cousin. Ted and Helen are going to Watkins Glen June 6 and participate in a family gathering with their newly found New York relatives. There is a lot of excitement on Klinger Hill this Easter.
We won't leave you hanging any longer about some April Fool's Day
stories we heard...
There will be lots going on in Wellsboro June 12-20 during the Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival. The Juried Arts & Crafts Fair will be in full swing June 18 and 19 and over 110 venders are expected.
We'll continue listing some of the auction items for the Northern
Columbia Communty & Cultural Center auction scheduled for April
25 at 6 PM in the Benton Volunteer Fire Hall...
|The inside of the Benton Antiques, Inc., the former Neil S. Harrison Store and the C. A. Edson & Sons store. This popular Benton attraction will expand to the second floor, the old meeting place of the Order of the Evening Star, Thursday, April 15. The grand opening of the second floor will take place in May on a date to be determined. A few spaces remain available for rental by dealers.|
Here is an advance look at the second floor of the building as dealers hurry to stock their spaces.
There was a young lady of Munich,
Whose appetite simply was unich.
"there's nothing like a food,"
She contentedly cooed,
As she let out three tucks in her tunich.
|The K-Dale farm auction brought farmers to Benton yesterday, and tractor-trailer trucks slowly loaded cows bound for all over Pennsylvania and New York state. Brown's Trucking, Turbotville, drove off with three loads, for example. The Holsteins seemed to bring a decent price, and even "meat" animals brought a minimum of $750. The farm was bid to $190,000, but that bid was not accepted and the bidding then turned to individual milking parlors and Harvester silos and bulk tanks. Bidding on the items came quickly as the day ended, with farmers needing to get back to their own farms.|
The cattle auction at the Scott Kriebel sale Saturday. This Holstein sold for $1,700.
The crowd awaits the sale of the cattle while the bidding for the equipment went on elsewhere.
Life starts in a cell, and it seems a lot of it ends there, too.
April 10, 2004
"I miss my husband so!"
the woman cried.
And so just one more shot
At him she tried.
There was a young lady named Perkins
Who just simply doted on gherkins.
In spite of advice,
She ate so much spice,
that she pickled her internal workings.
My uncle likes me very much and my antidotes on me.
To maintain your youth keep your enthusiasms and forget your birthdays.
|April 10, 2004. On
. in 1912, after taking ten years to build, the RMS Titanic sailed from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage. The ship took 2 hours and 40 minutes to sink after hitting an iceberg while the 1998 blockbuster movie Titanic lasted 3 hours and 14 minutes. Hundreds of passengers from the Titanic were saved because a Marconi wireless operator, David Sarnoff, picked up the ship's radio distress messages and alerted rescue ships. Sarnoff went on to become president of the National Broadcasting Company.
. in 1861, Brig. Gen. Beauregard, commanding the provisional Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina, demanded the surrender of the Union garrison of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Garrison commander Anderson refused. On April 12, Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort and on April 13 Major Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter. The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the opening engagement of the American Civil War.
We celebrate the birthdays of David DePoe and newly engaged Bridget Andrezee (19) today, and they share their birthdays with Joseph Pulitzer.
Pulitzer was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1847 and sailed to the United States in the middle of the Civil War. After the war, he and a friend bought railroad tickets to as far West as their money would take them, which turned out to be Saint Lewis where Pulitzer became a reporter and later a state legislator. Still later, he moved to New York City and bought the New York World newspaper. His profits permitted him to endow the Columbia School of Journalism and the annual Pulitzer prizes for journalism, drama, literature, and music.
Here are some more of the auction items that will go to the gavel
on April 25 as part of the benefit for the Northern Columbia Community
& Cultural Center.
The Benton lions Club will hold an "Over 80's dinner" for any person who lives in the Benton Area School district that is 80 or over. The luncheon will be held April 17 starting at noon at the Waller Social Hall. RSVPs should be called in to 925-6610 by April 15.
According to the Press Enterprise, the replacement of the West Creek bridge over route 239 at the former Norton Cole mill will begin in early June resulting in disrupted traffic through the end of October. According to the article, Susquehanna Supply Co., Williamsport, will replace the existing bridge with a one-span concrete bridge and will make alignment improvements at a cost of $973,736.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission arrived at their standard conclusion as they sorted out the reported mountain lion sightings near Canton Elementary School; i.e., "There are no wild mountain lions in Pennsylvania." The PGC feels that the critter was a bobcat, but parents of children in that school aren't convinced. Take the time to reread the extensive write-up of mountain lions under FEATURES and reacquaint yourself with this interesting animal.
The K-Dale farm auction is set for 10:30 this morning. The former J. B. Sutliff farm was farmed for many years by Donavon Bender, father of Virginia Yorks, former proprietor of the Kozy Korner restaurant. After father J. B. Sutliff died, sons Harold, Clifford and Joe Sutliff sold the farm. The 51-acre farm is located a mile above Benton along route 239. Owner Scott Kriebel will sell the "machinery & smalls" at 10:30 AM and the cattle at 11 AM, starting with the milking herd. Real estate will be sold at 4 PM, followed by dairy equipment.
Many customers of Sam's Club recently received a letter announcing that Visa and MasterCard credit cards would no longer be accepted after April 21, although Visa debit cards and Sam's Club credit cards (with a 19.9% interest charge on credit transactions) will be accepted. Merchants typically pay 1.5% to 2.5% of a transaction to Visa and MasterCard, compared to a flat, 5¢ to 25¢ fee paid by merchants for a transaction handled by the PIN-based debit systems such as the STAR system. Expect other retailers to start heading in the same direction for plastic transactions and take that into consideration when your $50 renewals for airline mileage come up for consideration.
Just for grins and giggles now that the sun is out and the weather has turned warmer, the Sullivan Review reports that Sullivan County received 81.1 inches of snow through the end of March.
Speaking of Sullivan County, Jim McGee is the new Center Director of the Red Rock Job Corps Center. Jim started at the Center in September, 1989. He has his undergraduate degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his graduate degree from Bloomsburg University.
Yesterday we talked about an upstate New York author writing about a trip through Pennsylvania on his way to Indiana. The writer's name was Theodore Dreiser and in 1934 he returned to Pennsylvania as a newspaper correspondent to cover a murder trial. The details of the murder closely followed the story line of Dresser's novel, The American Tragedy. Actually, Dressier used another murder for his plot and the Harvey's Lake murder only duplicated the one described in his book.
Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy was first published in 1925. The writer took a notorious murder case that happened in 1906 in the Adirondacks in which a pregnant girl got whacked on the head in the middle of a lake in a row boat by her lover and his tennis racquet.
Dreiser followed the newspaper account of the story, then wrote An American Tragedy, published in 1925, in which a young man who came from a family of street preachers whacks his pregnant girlfriend on the head in the middle of a lake in a row boat, with a tennis racquet in the boat, but in the novel he whacks her with his camera. The murder is then followed by episodes of his arrest and trial.
Then something sinister happened at Harvey's Lake. A young coal surveyor from Edwardsville, Robert Allen Edwards, 22, a student at Mansfield University, fell in passion with a girl named Freda, 27, a telephone operator, and she became pregnant. But Robert's life was complicated because he wanted to marry a girl named Margaret because she had higher social standing. Now pay attention so you don't get your stories mixed! On July 30, 1934, Bobby rowed Freda to a beach at Harvey's Lake, then thumped her on the head with a blackjack and pushed her overboard. Before Bobby went home, he stopped at the store and bought his mother a couple of chocolate bars, a twist not employed in the other similar cases. The jury heard how the couple went to church together and how they thought of eloping and friend Margaret even sent Bobby a bible to help get through the trial. Older readers will remember Thomas M. Lewis, the District Attorney in the case and his assistant, J. Harold Flannery, both of whom eventually became judges (and Flannery also became a Congressman) partly because of the trial they ran in front of Judge W. Alfred Valentine. Bobby got the death penalty and newspapers reported that about 3,800 people were outside the building housing the death chambers when 2,000 volts and 13 amperes of electricity dimmed the lights in the local area. Ed Donohoe, who later became editor of the Scranton Times, was present at the Rockview Penitentiary execution.
I'll never forget the time during my days in college that class Professor Ed Donohoe brought out the newspaper article about the Harvey's Lake murder that he had written years before. He asked his class to tell him what was wrong with the article. There wasn't anything wrong with the article that Donohoe had written and far be it for me to tell him he had a mistake since I had just been berated for using words that included "going over to Scranton" when I wrote a story within the deadline of five minutes for a pop quiz.
An American Tragedy has been filmed twice. Dreiser didn't like the way that Paramount filmed the movie in their 1931 version. George Stevens did it right when he remade the movie in 1951 calling it A Place in the Sun. He hired a couple of fine actors: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Shelley Winters.
"Boys, I have done the
best I could for you. Go home now, and if you make as good citizens
as you have soldiers, you will do well, and I shall always be proud
of you. Goodbye, and God bless you all."
April 9, 2004
The mint makes it first, and it is up to us to make it last.
A keepsake is something given to us by someone we have forgotten
Too many joint accounts have one person depositing and the other withdrawing
A hug is a roundabout way of expressing affection
|April 9, 2004. On this
date in 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to
Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia,
bringing the Civil War to its end. Ulysses S. Grant had written to Lee
just two days before saying that continuing to fight was hopeless. Lee
responded, "Though not entirely of the opinion you express of
the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the army of Northern
Virginia, I reciprocate your desire to avoid useless effusion of blood,
and therefore, before considering your proposition, ask the terms you
will offer, on condition of its surrender." They sent each other
several more letters negotiating the surrender before their meeting at
the Appomattox Courthouse, carefully signing each letter "Very
Respectfully, Your obedient servant."
John H. Houck, 78, (April 1, 1926-April
8, 2004), 6 Waller Road, Benton, died Thursday at the Bloomsburg Hospital.
Mr. Houck was born in Sugarloaf Township, son of the late William and
Vera (Howlett) Houck. He worked as a machinist for the Emenee Shirt
Factory, Catawissa. Mr. Houck is survived by his wife since August 28,
1948, Josephine K. (Hess) Houck; a daughter,
Linda M. Karnes, Lightstreet; a son, Joseph
W. Houck, Dotyville Road; a daughter, Annette
L. Houck; a granddaughter, Tracy Houck;
a grandson, Kevin Karnes, and great-grandsons,
Christopher Karnes and Jonathan Karnes, Rohrsburg; and a great-grandson,
Austin Doreskewicz. He was preceded in death by his parents and by his
sister, Ida Mae Hess. Friends may call from 6 to 8 PM Friday at the
McMichael Funeral Home Inc., Benton. His funeral service will be held
10 AM Saturday at the funeral home. His brother-in-law, Pastor James
Harvey, Lungerville Christian Church, will officiate. Interment will
be in the Waller Cemetery, Waller.
The state has a new one-day gobbler season for the kids April 24,
a prelude to the season that opens one week before the May 1 statewide
Taking a family portrait? Try a patchwork quilt as a backdrop for a homey, country feel. Cartoon-based children's bedspreads or comforters make good backdrops for children's portraits. Remember to take the time to label all photos with the name of everyone in the picture, the event if something special prompted the picture, and the date of the picture.
Computer Tip of the Day: (for users of Windows XP)
A reader from out of state and with little idea what was what with Benton wrote asking if I was "Dutch," apparently because she noted that a beard sports my face. People who wear beards in Pennsylvania can boast that this state has more bearded men than any other state in the Union, thanks to religious groups that wear them as a matter of principle. The Amish, of course, come to mind. Amish men are clean-shaven before they are married or join the church. Married or single, Amish men never wear a mustache. They wear their hair long, usually cut in even bangs across the forehead, and on the sides the hair is docked on a line with the ears. Hair is almost always cut in the home, and barbers and lawyers are non-existent. An Amish man's hair and his beard are usually the same color and it is usually a sandy shade verging on red. The hair is frequently covered by a broad-brimmed, low-crowned black hat in the winter and the same made from straw in the summer. The women wear their hair very simply, parted in the middle and combined down equally on both sides and whatever is left over is bunned in the back. Their dress dates from when Jacob Ammon withdrew from the Mennonite movement in 1693: no outside pockets and no buttons, hooks and eyes instead. The men's trousers open on both sides near the seams and the shirt will always be a solid color. Caps, belts and ties are never worn. Women dress simply in black or a blue or a green color, and their dresses fall over the tops of their high, black shoes. A bonnet covers the top of the Amish women's head. Children are miniatures of their parents in dress and conservative approach. Golly! We just looked back and that was a lot to say "No, we are not Dutch!" Sorry!
One of the first travel books written as an American road trip was Theodore Dreiser's A Hoosier Holiday. In 1913, Dreiser ( 1871-1945 ) decided to travel on a 2,000-mile trip from New York state to his boyhood home in Indiana. He rode with a friend and a chauffeur in a "60-horsepower Pathfinder" which could achieve nosebleed speeds up to 45 miles per hour.
Three chapters in the book dealt with Pennsylvania: "the Pennsylvanians," "Beautiful Wilkes-Barre," and "In and Out of Scranton." The chapters seem thrown together somewhat like a local-website editor who wakes up with an hour before he is supposed to find something to say about his favorite small town and somehow gathers some words together and gets the job done with minutes to spare.
Dreiser was impressed with the city of Wilkes-Barre when he first saw it as his car lurched over the mountain road leading into the valley. He wrote that some city scapes mourn and some sing, but Wilkes-Barre sang with the views of "a splendid filigree of smoke and chimneys and odd sky lines." He loved the way the riverfront had been preserved. The Wilkes-Barre he saw in 1913 was very different from the Wilkes-Barre of today. He wrote that he saw the "automat," the "dairy kitchen, "The Boston," Milwaukee" and "Chicago" lunch counters. He saw a half dozen moving picture theaters in as many blocks. He talked about the people gathering on the street corners "arrayed in yellow or red ties, yellow shoes, dinky fedoras or beribboned straw hats." He talked about the drives through the Pennsylvania hills and through the Susquehanna Valley, past the groups of black and white Holstein cattle longingly looking at the adjacent fields of hay or buckwheat or grain. He talked about the milk cans waiting to be picked up and the occasional neighborhood creamery.
Tomorrow we'll tell you a little about Dreiser who returned to Pennsylvania in 1934 to cover a murder trial in Harvey's Lake whose circumstances closely paralleled the murder Dreiser described in his novel The American Tragedy. The strange thing was the case was real and patterned after the story that Dreiser had made up for his book. We'll tell you about that Saturday.
"I don't know what you
could say about a day in which you have seen four beautiful sunsets."
As I would not be a slave,
so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
A diamond is a woman's idea of a stepping stone to success
Bridge is a card game in which a good deal depends on a good deal
April 8, 2004. John McHenry, Camp Hill, and Ken Dressler, Benton, celebrate birthdays today. Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain in 1513 on this date. The League of Nations assembled in Geneva for the last time on this date in 1946. On this date in 1935, Congress approved the Works Progress Administration (WPA), President Franklin Roosevelt's national works program to relieve the economic hardship of the Great Depression. More than 8.5 million people worked on 1.4 million public projects before disbanding in 1943. And we can't forget this date in 1974 when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's record, For lovers of trivia like Richard Casey and Huber Kline, the pitcher was Al Downing.
Now you can relive the anxiety that began March 28, 1979, when equipment failure and operator error contributed to a partial nuclear core meltdown of the Three Mile Island's Unit 2 reactor near Middletown, PA. Head on over to http://www.threemileisland.org/ for the whole story.
Quote of the Day:
Consider the apparent plight of the residents of Northumberland County who shouldered a 74% tax increase this year in order to tackle their alleged debt of more than $45 million.
The Press Enterprise for Wednesday confirmed what most of us in the Northern end of Columbia County always knew: the Sugarloaf Township and Sullivan and Luzerne county triangle is some of the most important natural area in Pennsylvania. The article cites a Nature Conservancy report that speaks to its importance as a natural habitat. In one of several related articles, seven "species of concern" are listed that are candidates for lists of threatened or endangered species. The Grassmere Park Wetlands and Hess Hollow in Sugarloaf Township and Maple Grove Slopes in Benton and Fishing Creek townships were also mentioned, as well as other areas of Columbia County. Take time to have a second coffee this morning and read the articles.
Please keep Bravo Battery serving with the 109th's Alpha and Service batteries in Kuwait and Qatar in your prayers.
We understand that the Williams Oil Company, Towanda, has purchased the Creekside Market, Camptown. It now boasts a Dandy Mini Mart sign. The company recently purchased the Robbins gas station on route 118.
The Preventable Accident of the Day:
We always liked what Edgar A. Guest had to say about wisdom, so since it still applies today, we'll repeat part of it here...
This is wisdom, maids and men:
Speech is common; thought is rare;
Artists with the master touch
Jesus, preaching on the Mount,
Lincoln's Gettysburg address
This is wisdom, maids and men:
Some of the readers of the Benton News are not able to "Google." There is an alternate way to get information from the Internet if you use Web TV. Try this. Send an email to email@example.com and put the text of your query in the "Subject" line. You'll receive your search results via email.
. Tyrone, 126 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA, West on I-80 and South on I-99. "As the story goes," an early pioneer family camped near where the town now stands, had two horses, a gray and a roan, and at night the wife, worried about the nervous nature of one horse, instructed her husband to "tie roan." And, yes, they settled there, and, yes, the name stuck.
a town of 6,395, about 95 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA, nestled
three miles south of I-80. We'll start out again "as the story
goes." An old Pennsylvania-German farmer put a bell on one of his
cows and turned the herd loose to graze on the side hill outside of
town. The cows came home that night, but the bell was nowhere to be
found. That autumn, while squirrel hunting, the farmer found the bell.
"Ya wohl!" There in the bushes "wass that bell
fount!" The town was later christened Bellefonte to commemorate
We recall the story of the history of the towns of Tyrone and Bellefonte to illustrate a point. We keep getting mail asking for us to explain this or explain that and we have to point out that we are not historians or genealogists. We have to remind readers that "in the early days" settlers did not sit around writing down the origins of things and who did what to whom and why that was this and this was that.
From what we can tell, it was not until about the time of the American Centennial in 1876 that amateurish authors started running madly about recording information about previous generations. Often names and places would be used and then reused by other writers without a real shred of truth in any of it. The readers didn't know, the writers sometimes didn't get very careful about separtating myth from folklore from fact. Many of the histories of the last part of the 1800s were written by men paid to insert nice things about the person being written about. More myths grew on the myth pile, making it difficult to draw the line between fact and fiction. Dates copied for a family bible, for example, are generally quite accurate--so long as the birth occurred more than nine months from the date of the marriage! We side with the old Scottish proverb that "Error can go around the world twice while truth is putting on its boots."
In the case of the origin of the name of Bellefonte, had we not mentioned that there were two versions of the naming of the town, most readers would have accepted either version as a version of the truth. We don't know which is the truth, but found both in different sources.
Now have we ever told you how the name Waller came about...
One man with courage
makes a majority.
Plainly, the central
idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy.
slavery is right, and ought to be extended; while we think it is wrong
and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub. It certainly
is the only substantial difference between us.
April 7, 2004. Happy birthday today to George Welliver, Bloomsburg.
Be advised that state police are actively enforcing the law in marked cars in unmarked cars, construction vehicles and PennDOT vehicles. The police are especially stepping up enforcement in construction zones.
Reader response to the concept of Benton becoming known as the town with speed dips, run-down trailer courts and "a new double-wide town hall" was swift and negative.
Quote of the Day:
Historical Quote of the Day:
Krysten Ritter and Michael Dempsey play Kay and Kyle, twin siblings who pull John into a new mystery, beginning Friday, April 9 on the ABC TV program One Life to Live. Krysten will be in "matrix gear" this Friday and Monday as well as the following Friday, Monday and Wednesday. Take a look. We think that you will get a "kick" out of the show.
As kids progress through the third and fourth grades in the Benton
Area Elementary School, it is customary to learn to recite the Gettysburg
Address in Miss Hahn's third grade class
in order to play the part of Abraham Lincoln in Mr.
Pasukinis' Fourth Grade Civil War play. Learn the words, have
a chance to play Abraham; don't learn the words, you'll get a different
We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
April 6, 2004. There are 74 days until the official start of Summer. We celebrate the birthday of Stephen Hess today. On this date in 1789, George Washington was elected the first president of the United States, the only president to be unanimously elected, and on this date in 1909, explorers Lt. Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson became the first men to reach the North Pole. Peary celebrated the occasion at 90 North Latitude by leaving an American flag standing in the ice, plus a glass jar containing two notes.
It took the 50 people looking on at the Town Council session Monday night a few minutes for the reality of the situation to sink in. Council voted with the exception of two people to proceed with the funding for a new Borough Hall and to make another attempt to sell the existing Third Street Town Hall.
The meeting started on a foreboding note. The agenda did not even include consideration of the subject of the proposal to rejuvenate the town hall, but the standing-room audience soon made it plain they came in the interest of saving the old town hall. Town Council President Karen Reed, after consultation with Cleveland Hummel, Borough Solicitor, then said that only one person could speak for the group, frustrating a lot of people who had come to speak in an attempt to urge the Town Council to at least consider the proposal. Bob Sands, one of the three local men who had drafted the proposal, was chosen, but had not yet arrived at the meeting because of health concerns for a member of his family. The discussion was then postponed until 8:10 PM, at which time Bob Sands, a member of the Historic Benton Preservation Society for rejuvenating and recycling the town hall on Third Street, spoke.
Bob touched on how the Historic Benton Preservation Society, a non-profit charitable organization, had proposed to renovate and rejuvenate the building and put it in "first-class shape," guarantee a "not-to-exceed" price of $50,000 for the fix-up, then turn the building back over to the Borough within a year for use as a functioning town hall. The group had said that the major structural modifications and the first-floor changes could be far enough along in 90 days that the building could be partly used in that time frame.
The plan would revitalize the structure utilizing "donations of money and building material" with some volunteer help. The scope of the project would include a new roof, exterior painting, repairs/replacement of the cupola, removal of the concrete exterior handicapped ramp with a handicapped ramp inside the building. The North foundation wall would be fully supported and bracing of the floor as necessary would take place. Two handicapped accessible bathrooms would be added, and a new furnace would be installed. The repairs to the building would somewhat follow the recommendations of the Larson Design Report of 2002 for the first-floor and substructure. There were no plans to do anything to the existing second floor of the building.
Carl Stuehrk, Waller, president of the Historic Benton Preservation Society, and E. Lee Remley, vice-presidents of the non-profit organization, were not at the Town Council meeting.
A motion was made by Grant Little and seconded by Mike Klem to table the funding discussion for the proposed Town Hall on the airport property. Voting slowly went around the room. John Herbert Laubach, "NO." Ron Roberts, "NO." Nancy Laubach, "NO." Grant Little, "YES." Mike Klem, "YES." Karen Reed, "NO." Council member Alton Getz did not attend the meeting. The decision had been made, council had seemingly sealed the lid on the fate of the use of the old building for municipal business.
Karen Reed summarized the old Town Hall as a building that has no parking and can't utilize two sections of the building that have been sold by the Fire Company.
Bob Sands then instructed the Council President that the $1,500 check he had previously drawn for the purchase of the building be used for a bid of the building, even though he recognized that Council did not intend to use the building for Borough Offices. It was not immediately clear what the $1,500 check represented or what use the Historic Benton Preservation Society would make of the building if they were the successful bidder.
In other business, Clair Harvey, President of the Fishingcreek Sportsmen's Association requested Town Council's permission to "take over" the 1.59 acres of Borough-owned lookout area on route 239 adjacent to 42 acres they recently purchased from Bill Follmer. The group will provide new guardrails, new fence, gravel, shrubbery. In return, they asked for and got a ten-year lease with rights of renewal. As Clair Harvey said, it will give a "beautiful scenic view of the valley" of Benton.
Quote of the Day:
Money talks...but all mine ever says is good-bye.
Genius is the ability to put into effect what is on your mind.
Retirement at sixty-five is
ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.
Those who bring sunshine to
the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
|Lindsey Keller, 21, won
the women's division at the Charlottesville Ten-Miler Saturday morning
running in 45° weather with a total of 1,543 other runners, both male
and female. Keller's 63:50 performance was outstanding since she was competing
in only her third race. The senior James Madison University field hockey
athlete took the lead right after Mile 6. Keller ran in the Huntsville,
Alabama, marathon over Christmas break and placed fifth in a nine-mile
race in Benton last Thanksgiving.
Lindsey has qualified to run the Boston Marathon in Boston April 19 starting at 11:31 AM. To qualify to run the Boston Marathon, the world's oldest annual marathon, entrants must run a qualifying time at a certified marathon. Mother Kim will fly up to see the race and cheer Lindsey on. In her spare time, Lindsey rides mountain bikes and recently finished second among all the female riders in a 24-hour endurance race. Lindsey is not sure of her post-graduation plans, but has decided that she definitely likes the warm weather that the south offers.
Lindsey was a member of the U.S. National Field Hockey Team in the summer of 2001 and played for the Philadelphia Fury in the United Airlines League in the summer 2002. Lindsey is the daughter of David and Kim Keller, Posey Hill Road.
The Benton Area Schools would like to take old yearbooks off your hands if you no longer want them. If you are willing to part with yearbooks that are no longer of any use to you, how 'bout bringing them with you when you come to the Alumni Banquet on Friday, May 29. The school will gladly take them any time that you can spare them.
Quote of the Day:
Didja know that...
Lacy J. Dalton, has a singing voice one writer described as "honey laced with whiskey." She was indeed born in Bloomsburg and she was known as Jill Byrem back then. Her father played stringed instruments, and both sang and wrote songs. Her mother played guitar and sang harmony, and her sister was a pianist. Lacy liked folk music at first, and lived in Utah, Minnesota, and New York before winding up with a rock band in San Francisco in the late '60s. She married the group's manager, who died as the result of injuries sustained in a swimming-pool accident. Columbia signed her in 1979. Today she plays County Fairs, special "Fraternal Order of Police" and "Firefighter" benefit shows, rodeos, clubs, and occasionally a support position for major headliners. Lacy has been nominated for Best Female Vocalist several times throughout her career and in 1979 won the Academy of Country Music's Best New Female Vocalist award. She is currently "retired" in beautiful Virginia City, Nevada. She is the spokesperson for the American Mustang and Burro Association. Her latest allbum is Wild Horse Crossing: Lacy J. Dalton & Friends, on the Let 'em Run Foundation label, which supports the Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association.
Don't forget that you are a part of the people that can be fooled some of the time.
April 5, 2004
Admitting an error is a sign of strength rather than a weakness.
Footprints in the sands of time are never made by sitting down.
Parents who are afraid to put their foot down have children who step on their toes.
The person who never makes mistakes loses a great many chances to learn something.
April 5, 2004.
Taylor Remphrey turns 21 Easter Sunday, April 11. He has a new Alaska address and would love a birthday card. You can find his address under MILITARY SERVICE on the side panel.
On April 9, the Uniform Construction Code
(UCC) takes effect for the construction of all state-owned buildings
and elevators, unless specifically excluded. April 9 through July 8,
2004 is the official election period for local enforcement of the PA
Uniform Construction Code. If opting in, the UCC takes effect on the
effective date of the municipal ordinance adopting the UCC regulation.
Pennsylvania's 2,565 municipalities are about to decide about opting
in or out, and all municipalities will be affected. Under the new code,
all commercial, industrial or multiresident homes being built must have
the approval of the state Department of Labor and Industry, while single-family
homes must be approved by certified inspectors.
We often head off into the Endless Mountains that surround Benton and wonder about the countless people who have traveled through a pass between the hills or how the road ended up meandering as it does or how early road builders knew how to get from point A to point B. Many of our roads were animal trails before the Indians started to make their foot paths and establish their settlements. The one-person paths that the Indians laid out became our back roads and slowly enlarged to become our highways and eventually our superhighways.
There is little in the way of history of the
Commonwealth's first highways. We read about the ox-trails that were
created before 1800 to get early pioneers into our area. We know that
our first roads in this area were simply compacted ground on the existing
"lay of the land" and we see them referred to as "summer
roads." Imagine the Spring mud on wagon wheels and the pounding
of Indian moccasins that crafted trails a foot and a half deep into
During the 1850s to 1860s, several plank roads existed including one for a short time on the main street of Jamison City and one in Thorndale, in Sullivan County. Plank roads were relatively smooth and permitted winter travel, but they were a maintenance nightmare and they didn't weather well. Cities could afford bricks or cobblestones or sometimes bricks, but none of those were very smooth and none were available in our area.
In the early days of roads in the Commonwealth, most roads were on private land and were privately owned and maintained and frequently were built to turn a profit. The "for-profit" roads built between 1810 and 1910 ran between centers of population and were the best way to get most places. Under FEATURES we include several articles on the Susquehanna & Tioga Turnpike that ran between Berwick and what is now Elmira, New York.
The Commonwealth incorporated the turnpike companies and gave them the power of eminent domain; i.e., the State determined the need for the road was in the public interest and so they acquired the property or the easement across lands of others and in return gave "just compensation."
Turnpike construction fell dramatically with the advent of canal construction, since a ton of freight could then be carried for about the same amount as 100 pounds of freight over the turnpike system. Although canals didn't impact us locally very much, we'll mention that in 1826 construction began in Columbia County as a branch of the Pennsylvania canal that began in Harrisburg. It was called the North Branch Canal and the first boat sailed on its water in 1831.
Both turnpikes and canals were then hurt by the introduction of the steam railroads, necessitated by the need to haul minerals out of our local hills, areas where canals just didn't flow. The first railroad in Pennsylvania was completed in 1827 and ran from Mauch Chunk to Summit Hill. Christian Brobst of Catawissa masterminded the construction of a railroad from Catawissa to Tamaqua following the establishment of a company in 1831 which finally operated its first passenger train twenty-three years later in 1854. The future of the railroad appeared so bright that in 1887 the Bloomsburg and Sullivan railroad started up "the big Fishing Creek from Bloomsburg" with "the other terminal point still undecided."
Where canals and railroads didn't operate, roads were still necessary. In 1911, the state appropriated all private turnpikes and incorporated them into the state road system.
Early landowners were not compensated for the taking of private land for roads because of a clause in the original warrants that provided for roads. Even so, until the mid-1800s there was little conformity in the building of roads in the state. After that period, locations for roads were determined by figuring out the beginning and the end points, followed by the laying down of the centerline of the road.
The next time that you go "over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house," remember the countless hours invested in the road on which you ride.
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe and the biran fguiers it out aynawy. WOW!
Never lend your
car to anyone to whom you have given birth.
April 4, 2004
A politician is
a man who will double cross that bridge when he comes to it.
A good recipe for having friends is to be one!
Old age isn't too bad, now that we better understand the alternative.
The biggest difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is in the way that man uses them.
Be careful how you live! You may be the only Bible some people will ever read.
|April 4, 2004.
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by a rifleman at the Lorraine
Motel in Memphis on this day in 1968.
The popular Roses and Thorns column of the
Press Enterprise was right on mark today with praise for "all
the fire fighters who fought the Benton Flower Station blaze last Saturday
night, especially to the Benton volunteers." We would also like
to specifically mention the men and women of the North Mountain Fire
Department who guarded the adjacent property, just three feet away,
flooding the walls with water to keep the building from burning. Read
the piece in its entirety, but here are a couple of quotes from it:
"Benton is lucky it didn't lose a large swath of the downtown."
The firemen "went straight from dousing the blaze to firing up
their stoves so they could feed breakfast to the citizens of Benton.
The monthly morning feast is one way they raise money for the privilege
of working all night to save their neighbors' homes and businesses."
Quote of the Day:
"I represent the Republican wing of
the Republican Party."
Glen Baker is in Shock Trauma in Baltimore having blood drained from his head from a fall on the ice in January! He had no symptoms since then but seems it takes a few months for trouble to start. Anna says he is doing well but is sick of lying flat on his back. This is tough on a guy who usually walks 4 miles a day!
We tried many sources to find a name for the bridge at Hickory Joe's Restaurant at Forks. We conclude it was merely called the Forks Bridge.
Some of the kids who played on the covered bridge in Forks while they waited for the school bus in the late 40's remember the game called "Red Rover," sort of a group game of tag. The bigger boys tried to get bats to fly from the upper parts of the bridge. The game calls for players divided into two teams, lined up facing each other about 25 to 50 feet apart. Each side takes turns calling "Red Rover, Red Rover, let (insert name) come over." At that signal, the player whose name is called runs from his line and tries to break through the line of opponents, who have all joined hands. If he breaks through, he can take one opponent of his/her choice back with him to his team. If he does not break through, he must join the other team. The team to add all the other players on its side first, or which has the most players at the end of a designated time period, wins. When one team is down to only one player, the game is officially over.
Monday is not our favorite night to watch TV and this Monday we won't get a chance to ask out loud why we even bothered to watch television. We suspect that we will trudge off to observe the Town Council meeting. A number of issues are up for discussion, and some of them seem to pit the town against the town council. The subject of the old town hall is one of those and we carefully listen to arguments both for a building on the town-owned land at the airport and the arguments for rejuvenating the existing town hall. When we use the criteria of money that the town can afford, we find serious shortcomings in both approaches.
We hear, for example, that a new building will be more maintenance friendly and will cost less to operate and maintain over the years, but no specific savings are offered to support this. We gather that a new building is the way most of council prefers to proceed, although people we talk with who are not on Town Council don't seem to share this view. The construction of a new building must consider first the disposition of the old town hall. After all, the attempts to sell the building resulted in no bids that were acceptable and we should not be burdened with the debt of a new building until we resolve the fate of the old. We can't afford to build until we resolve how we get the liability of the old town hall off our backs.
When the Town Council attempted to sell the old town hall that has been around since about 1850, one person made an offer, but the offer was unacceptably low. A group of three men then offered to purchase the building, rejuvenate it and sell it back to the Borough of Benton within a year at a total price guaranteed not to exceed $50,000. This offer was technically not responsive to the bid package and could not be accepted as submitted. It could, however, be examined to determine if the offer could be made acceptable.
In the 30 days since the last Town Council meeting, an unsigned memorandum circulated in Benton in an attempt to sway whoever read it that refurbishing the town hall was the way to go. Unfortunately, there are a number of things that are not known about rehabilitating the town hall, and it appears as though Town Council is making little attempt to determine if the approach could meet legal and practical tests. In short, the decision of the town hall may boil down to who yells the loudest and which side caves in first.
A well-reasoned decision should be made about the town hall and then to a person the town should fall into lockstep behind that decision. We look forward to Monday night to see if either happens.
John Webb Kline has written a book entitled I Could Use a Miracle Right Now, a series of vignettes demonstrating Webb's conviction in divine intervention in our daily lives. The book will be in circulation in another month or two. You can get an idea or two about the book from the web site, http://www.miraclenews.net/ . Harry Ackerman, Jamison City, acted as technical advisor to the writer. "Webb" is a local guy about 50 who lived a chunk of his life in the Orangeville area and now lives in Berwick. He is a multitalented musician, sawyer, truck driver, and preacher. Webb's father-in-law, Terry Griffith, Wilmington, DE, should be in the public relations business for the Northern Fishing Creek Valley. He certainly loves the area.
Using a laptop with Windows XP? It is easy to locate your cursor by touching the CTRL key. To enable the feature, go to Start|Control Panel and click the Mouse icon. Select the Mouse Properties and Pointer Options tabs and check "Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key."
A member of a church wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper complaining that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. The parishioner wrote that he had gone for 30 years, heard over 3,000 sermons and couldn't remember a single one of them. He explained that he was wasting his time and the pastors were wasting theirs by giving sermons. Letters to the editor poured in hot and heavy, until a letter came in from a man who said he had been married for "30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I can't recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know they all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"
We like to mention some of the absurd emails that we receive during the week, emails like the one about Captain Abraham Sands of the Jacksonville Police Department who is warning folks about HIV-laden needles affixed to gas pump handles and the one about shopping center parking lots that are inundated by thieves who trick women into sniffing perfume that is actually a knock-out drug, and the one that members of Congress don't pay into the Social Security fund (we got that sad excuse of an email five times yesterday). The email we liked the most (or is the least?) was the one about the NPR program All Things Considered circulating a report that the U.S. Postal Service plans to launch a national "Portable Zip Codes" program. Under the program, Americans would be able to keep their current zip codes no matter where they moved, somewhat akin to the way phone numbers can now be kept. As always, we recommend that you consult www.snopes.com before you believe or forward any email that appears too good to be true.
Lets give it a try. Go to www.snopes.com, simply by clicking on the blue hyperlink. Then find the SEARCH area and cut and paste the phrase that we used in the preceding paragraph, "members of Congress don't pay into the Social Security fund" (without using the quotes). Hit ENTER. The following should come up: Claim: Members of Congress receive lavish pensions but are not required to contribute to the Social Security fund. Example: [Collected on the... You'll soon find out that Congressmen pay into the fund just as most everyone else does.
If you are born from a swan's egg, it does not matter if you are hatched with chickens.
The Rohr McHenry and Son Distillery
Amnesia is a condition that enables a woman who has gone through labor to make love again.
A "showoff" is a child more talented than yours.
Grandparents are the people who think your children are wonderful even though they're sure you're not raising them right.
April 3, 2004. Today is Helen Raski's birthday. It is also the birthday of Marlon Brando and Doris Day, both 80.
The Benton Christian Church is the Press Enterprise Church
of the Week. The paper includes a picture of the church and the congregation.
A number of people attended a meeting Thursday to discuss the idea of commemorating the military arrest of Benton area citizens on August 31, 1864. The group will meet again on April 15.
Here are some more facts about the Fishing Creek Confederacy, as compiled by George Turner...
Only 16 (36%) of the 44 Benton-area men arrested
were between the ages of 20 to 35 and therefore eligible for the draft.
Of those arrested, 30 were farmers, four were merchants and four were
carpenters. There were laborers, inn keepers, distillers, blacksmiths
and wheelwrights. William E. Roberts was not in good health at the time
of his arrest and he died that October at the age of 56 at the Fort
Mifflin's hospital. The government tried 12 prisoners before military
commissions in Harrisburg. Seven were convicted for obstructing the
draft. The range of sentences for the seven convicted:
George A. Turner compiled a list of Benton
area citizens arrested by military authorities on August 31, 1864. They
Didja know that...
Police have Dustin Ford Briggs, 27, in custody in the Bradford County prison, accused of murdering two Bradford County deputy sheriffs on Wednesday. Police found Briggs walking on a road less than four miles from his home.
Quote of the Day:
Betty A. Seidel, 81, 10 Jerseytown Road, Bloomsburg, died April 2, 2004, at the Bloomsburg Hospital. She was born in Nescopeck Township and graduated from Benton High School in 1941. Her brother, Earl E. Crossley, St. Petersburg, FL, previously died. Her sister is Ethel Kelsey, wife of Ken Kelsey, Benton. She is survived by her husband, Clarence V. Seidel, and children: Nancy J. Welliver, Jerseytown; Dale V. Seidel, Washingtonville; Dean E. Seidel, and Gary L. Seidel, Jerseytown; Karen J., Loganville, GA; Beth L. Earnest, Unityville; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be Tuesday at 10 AM in the Dean W. Kriner Inc. Funeral Home, Benton. Interment will be in Elan Memorial Park, Lime Ridge. Friends may call Monday from 7 to 9 PM. Memorials may be sent to Columbia-Montour Home Health Services, 599 E. Seventh St., Bloomsburg, PA 17815.
We feel sorry for the man who wrote that last night his wife and
Photo Courtesy of Becky Cleaver
|This is the old B & S steam train going up through the field on the East side of the creek at Forks. In just a short distance it would be crossing the trestle over Huntington Creek. Becky Cleaver can still recall hearing the screeching sounds it made going over that trestle and we bet that if you knew that train you would remember, too. Photo taken in March,1941.|
A great many people think they
are thinking when they are merely
We can't solve problems by using
the same kind of thinking we used
Thinking: The talking of the
soul with itself.
We will list a few more of the items to be auctioned April 25 at
the Fire House to benefit the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural
Rep. David Millard (R-Columbia) will sponsor a town meeting Monday, April 5, 2004 at 7 PM to allow citizens to ask questions of state officials on the recently announced cleanup measures for the Starr Tire pile in Greenwood Township. The following Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) personnel will join the legislator in the forum: Robert Yowell (DEP Regional Director), Jim Miller (DEP Waste Management Program Manager), Dan Desmond (DEP Deputy Secretary), David Althoff (DEP Division of Energy, Policy and Technical Development), Nels Taber (DEP Chief Regional Counsel), and Dan Spadoni (DEP Community Relations Coordinator. The meeting will take place in the Millville High School Auditorium, 345 School House Lane.
Robi and Rachel Hess, Chinle, Arizona, announce the birth of their daughter, Naomi Lynn. The grandparents are Bob and Sandra Hess. Excited great-grandfather Ken Kelsey, just back from Arizona, reported the little girl's weight as "five pounds, 16 ounces." Robi and Rachel are teachers in the Chinle school district. For those who don't know, Chinle (Ch'ínílí) refers to the mouth of the Canyon de Chelly. The town was originally a government settlement along the south bank of the de Chelly fork of the Chinle Wash and a mile west of the mouth of the Canyon de Chelly. Chinle is the headquarters for the Custodian of the Canyon de Chelly National Monument.
The twin covered bridges in Forks will be closed for the summer
for repairs following the damage caused by a tree falling on the bridge
There was another covered bridge in Forks--now long gone--and we'll show you a couple of pictures of it, courtesy of Becky Cleaver, Forks.
|Forks Bridge, February, 1947. Photo by George D. Cleaver of Montrose, Colorado|
Photos courtesy of Becky Cleaver
Forks Bridge circa 1917.
This is an old postcard that was sent to Becky Cleaver's mother when she taught at the Kirkendall School, Nescopeck.
It is hard to grow up without growing old.
April 2, 2004
Most of us, if we had life to do over, would do the same things again--only sooner.
Each day of our life is so very important. It will never return.
We are approaching the point in our life where all we do is patch, patch, patch.
We are never too old to become younger.
Courage is like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it becomes.
|April 2, 2004.
Dale Sellers celebrates his birthday today
along with Congressman Paul Kanjorski.
The natives of North America tracked the passage of time by the phases of the moon. Each full moon had a name, and this name designated the month. The full Pink Moon for April (which falls on the 5th this year) is sometimes known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, or the Fish Moon. This name was used to refer to the entire month in which the Moon occurred. Basically, the same moon names were used throughout the Algonquian tribes from New England to Lake Superior.
The Alumni Banquet for the Benton Area Schools will be held Saturay, May 29, at 6 PM in the gymnasium. A special tour of the new Middle and High School for those alumni returning to the banquet is available at 5 PM. Signs will be posted in the gymnasium as to where that tour begins and please allow 45 minutes for the tour. Bissinger Catering will provide the food again this year and the Benton Area High School Jazz Band will provide the musical entertainment. Senior scholarships will be awarded. The order of business then will be the presentation of the Hall of Fame Inductees. The names of the Inductees will be announced on Monday, April 12.
Just in case you aren't able to make the school tour preceding the Alumni Banquet, there will be another tour on August 26, at 6 PM. An Open House will follow that night.
Karen Edwards provided this picture showing the demolition of the basic burr design covered bridge in Forks. We believe the year to be 1955, but we are not sure of that. We need the name of the bridge. Can anyone help.
Ford's European operation has pulled a TV ad showing a ginger cat having its head cut off by a sunroof before its body slides down the bonnet of the car.
On August 13, 1864, Bloomsburg suddenly was alive with the sight of eight cavalrymen and forty infantry, with two pieces of artillery. The Abolitionists were ecstatic at the prospect of Federal forces inflicting pain and bloodshed on their neighbors in the upper Fishing Creek Valley. The village of Stillwater reeled with the prospect of troops burning and destroying as they advanced toward Benton. The advancing troops numbered nearly 1,000 as they arrived at Appleman's Bottom, along the waters of Fishing Creek, just below Benton. On the 30th of August, squads encircled the village of Benton and captured nearly 100 citizens, returned them to the Benton Christian Church for intense interrogation and then arrested 44 men, marched them without food or benefit of charges being filed to the town of Bloomsburg, then taken to Fort Mifflin on the Delaware River where they were given their first food since being arrested.
Here are some facts about this happening, as compiled by the President of the Columbia Country Historical Society, George A. Turner. The average age of the men arrested was 40. Arwillis Davis, 19, was the youngest to be arrested and Joseph Coleman, who had fought in the War of 1812, was the oldest at 68. Of those arrested, 27 came from Benton Township, 6 from Jackson, 2 from Luzerne County (Huntington Township), 7 from Fishing Creek, 2 from Sugarloaf.
Seven family groups involving fathers and sons as well as five sets of brothers were arrested; i.e., Appleman, 5; Hirleman, 4; McHenry, 2; Coleman, 4; Karns, 2; Colley, 2; Kline, 3.
In tomorrow's edition we are going to list the entire group of 44 men who were arrested and we'll tell you why we want you to know more about your ancestors. Your assignment for tonight? Read under FEATURES about the story by George Turner entitled Civil War Dissent in Columbia County.
Purchasing and creating a life in a new home is certainly much different today than it was 300 years ago. Helen Smith Gammon told us about a diary that dated from 1794 where Sarah Parsons Colley and Mrs. Daniel Jackson had a conversation about William Penn's Manor Land. In 1794 Jerimiah Jackson bought 500 acres for 60 pounds. He cleared the ground and put up a "very decent log house" and in the Spring of 1794 moved in. The land he built on, however, was not the one he purchased. His warrant turned out to be for land in Western Pennsylvania.
Wayne Baker writes that his great, great, great, great grandfather, John Baker, was a Connecticut Yankee who came to the Wyoming Valley in 1769 with the Susquehanna Company from Litchfield County, Connecticut. He settled in or near what is now Plymouth. On December 25, 1775, he was killed in a fight between the Connecticut settlers and about 700 Penn troops from Ft. Augusta (present Sunbury). The fight took place at Nanticoke Falls (Rampart Rocks)."
Our early settlers worked around the clock and left little in the way of records, but they usually owned their own property and left a trail through deed books that can be used today to place an individual in a particular time and place. Kenneth Yocum, writing in his Columbia County Pioneer Articles, wrote, "About 1787 they came with a party of immigrants to the frontier region, Fishing Creek Twp., Northumberland Co., Penna. Jesse Pennington, James Peterman, Jonathan Colley, William Wilson, William Wood, John Roberts, Edward Roberts, Levi Priest, Peter Yocum."
Here is a typical patent, dated March 16, 1796, and recorded in "Deed Book 1, p634." The transfer was between Jonathan Colley and wife Sarah, of "Fishing Creek Twp., Northumberland Co., Pa. to JOHN KEELER of Fishing Creek Twp., Northumberland Co., PA "in consideration of 48 pounds 7 shillings 6 pence lawful money of Pennsylvania, paid by said John Keeler, land lying and being in Township of Fishing Creek adjoining land of William Wilson, Samuel Rogers, the Manor and other land of Jonathan Colley. To William Eckart by John Penn and Thomas Penn, Proprietaries and Governors of Pennsylvania Patent bearing seal of Pennsylvania. Inrolled in Rolls Office State Patent Book AA Vol. 15 p429. Conveyed by deed in fee simple by Catherine Lehman and George Ozeas, heirs and executors of William Eckart Feb. 17, last past. Signed by Jonathan Colley, Sarah (X). Witness: Nancy Batcheler. In presence of George Belles."
Columbia County was separated from Northumberland County in March, 1813. Many deeds for land now in Columbia County that were created prior to 1813 were not recorded for months or years later, for the reason that taking the records to Sunbury for recording was a huge undertaking. When Columbia County was formed, a court house was eventually built in Bloomsburg. The first Columbia County Courthouse was constructed in 1848 and is now contained within the existing building. In 1868, a twenty-five foot addition was added to the rear of the building and in 1890 there was a major addition to the building complex in front of the original.
As long as the land that had been warranted stayed within the family that held the deed there seemed to be no concern about proving who owned the land. If yearly taxes were paid, no questions were asked. When someone decided to sell land to a non relative causing the need for a legal deed, most tracts was resurveyed and those deeds are also written in the deed books at Bloomsburg tracing the tract back to the original Land Warrant.
The Homestead Entry Act of May 20, 1862, made public lands available to settlers. The Homestead Act required residence, cultivation and some improvements on a tract of land that was at least 160 acres. Any person who was the head of a family or had reached the age of 21 was eligible, as long as he or she was a citizen or intended to become one, and did not own as much as 160 acres. After living on the land and farming it for 6 months, he could buy the homestead for $1.25 an acre. If he lived on the property for 5 continuous years he could apply for and receive a patent or title to the 160 acres for a $15.00 filing fee.
Because of the way that William Penn and members of his family held title to the Manor Lands, much of our state land remained in Proprietary ownership for many years. Squatters often set up residence and ultimately the Penn interests granted some of these people some of the land which had been improved by them, despite warrants that reserved that same land "to Penn and his heirs forever."
It is fascinating to spend a day at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Third and Forrester Streets, Harrisburg. The Pennsylvania State Archives, 350 North Street, are open Tuesday-Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM and Saturday 9 AM to 10 PM and 1 to 4 PM, excluding State holidays. Only microfilmed records are available on Saturdays. You can call them for more information at 717 783-3281.
"If it thunders on All Fools' Day, it brings good crops of corn and hay."
April 1, 2004
"Beware the wrath of a
We have no claim to share in
the glory of our ancestors unless we strive to resemble them.
Life is short. Live it up.
April 1, 2004. Thursday, April 1, 2004. It is April Fools' Day and both the email and the web version were held up by what we hope was not a practical joke by EPIX.
There are 80 days until the official start of Summer. Today is the
birthday of Dorothy Passamonte, Mount Morris,
New York, and the wedding anniversary of Phil
and Jackie Malhoyt.
"All Fools' Day" was probably a crack aimed at All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). The name of the month itself came from a Greek word that was a shortened form of Aphrodite. Although the origin of playing practical jokes and pranks on this day is hazy, many folklorists believe that it may go back to 16th-century France. At that time, New Year's Day was March 25, with a full week of partying and exchanging gifts until April 1. In 1582, the Gregorian calendar moved New Year's Day to January 1. Those who forgot or refused to honor the new calendar were the butts of jokes and ridicule.
The Pretzel Growers Association, from whom you get the home-grown Pennsylvania pretzels, reminds us that a pretzel is a "fine, delicious and nutritious agricultural product and is environmentally friendly." No chemicals or pesticides are ever used in the growing of Pennsylvania pretzels. Remember that the firm, delicious stalks, the large leaves, and even the seeds of the pretzel plant can be consumed.
Letha E. Lynn, 91, (January 19, 1913-March 30, 2004), 4 Posey Hill Road, Orangeville, died Tuesday at Berwick Retirement Village. She was a daughter of the late Andrew and Ida Karshner Hontz, attended Berwick schools, was a seamstress for the former George Stine Co. and the Millville Milco plant. She worked in the fields with her family, she cooked for the family of six, she crocheted, she sewed, she held down an 8-hour a day job most of her life and many of these she did during the same period of time. She was active until she was 88 when the malady that would destroy her memory began to take over.
Letha was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred M. Lynn, who
died September 20, 1983; by two grandsons; and two sisters: Hulda Cook
and Mildred Hontz. She survived by three sons: Eugene, Espy; Alvin,
Walnutport; and Wilson, Benton; a daughter, Janice Fairman, Oxford;
17 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.
Graveside services will be Monday at 2 PM at Rohrsburg Cemetery, with
the Rev. Scott Lyons of Stillwater Christian Church officiating.
Daylight Saving Time begins the first Sunday in April, on the 4th, time for moving the clocks one hour ahead. Credit for daylight saving time belongs to Benjamin Franklin and dates from 1784 when he proposed it. The Germans adopted the system in 1915 during World War I. The British followed suit a year later, and the United States jumped on board in 1918, when Congress passed the Standard Time Act, which established our time zones. Under pressure from dairy farmers in 1920, the Government gave it up as a bad idea until World War II came along. With various modifications to the dates (the most recent being in 1987, when the starting date was changed to the first Sunday in April), we've been observing Daylight Saving Time ever since.
We'll return now to the subject of warrants and tell you that the first warrant in the state of Pennsylvania was issued 337 years ago in 1667 and covered 38 entries for land now in South Philadelphia.
Warrants issued in Pennsylvania under the control of William Penn were handled somewhat independent of government control. William Penn and later his sons and heirs operated their own land office and there were regulations that were followed, of course, but tracts took on a jigsaw pattern while following both Penn's policies and federal land policies. Eventually, the land office became part of the state government and followed more of a pattern to the property surveyed and eventually was controlled by the County Surveyor's Office.
All original records related to the initial transfer of land to an individual from the public domain are in the custody of the Pennsylvania State Archives, Third and Forrester Streets, Harrisburg.
From email we received from readers, we realize that it was commonly thought that William Penn lived in the state and conducted his operations from here. Actually, during the 51 years from when he received his charter in 1732 until the proprietorship of the commonwealth passed to his son, Penn only lived for short periods in the state, and only twice.
With the exception of some land in and around Philadelphia, all
the land in the Commonwealth came from a warrant or a survey or a patent
or a combination of these three essentials in order to obtain a vacant
piece of land from the original jigsaw of land.
Warrants were our first documents used to transfer vacant land between the Commonwealth and citizens, the equivalent of a modern sales agreement. It also served as an authorization for the surveyor to perform a survey on behalf of the applicant, sometimes called a warrantee.
Warrants were sometimes directed to a surveyor's district where the applicant knew vacant land remained. If there was not enough vacant land in that district, the warrantee could have the warrant applied in another district. Helen Smith Gammon told us about James, John and Jacob Peterman, sons of James and Elizabeth Bartleson Peterman, who "went West" and bought 160 acres of "military land" in Wayne County, Ohio.
A warrant was valuable and sometimes was even used as currency. Some warrants changed hands multiple times before being used to appropriate a vacant tract.
News from Back Home in Benton, PA, is copyright
© David R. Kline,
20022004. All rights reserved. Contact the author for reproduction requests.
Comments and feedback are always welcome.