Way Back When

(The Spirit is pleased to share with our readers vignettes of life in the 19th century as originally reported in past issues of the newspapers. These reproduced stories include their original headlines and spelling.)

Local Intelligence
February 10, 1897

Furnishing Liquor to Minors
John Steahle, of Harmony, had Scott George, resident of the same place and teacher of the White school in Young township, arrested for furnishing liquor to minors.

A hearing was given Mr. George on Saturday before Justice Lowry and on the evidence of Jessie, the seven-year-old son of the prosecutor and Irwin and Nerman Smith, aged sixteen and eighteen years who testified that the defendant had given them liquor to drink.

He was held for court in the sum of $300 bail. No defense was offered.

March 3, 1897


The Passenger and Freight Station at that Place Burned on Monday Night

On Monday evening at about 8 o' clock, while a number of passengers and employes were in the passenger station, at Big Run, waiting for the down train for Punxsutawney, someone dropped a lighted match on the floor in the office which is located between the passenger room and the room used for storing freight and in five minutes afterwards the entire structure was all ablaze, and it was with difficulty that, A.V. Keller, the night clerk, and Mr. McClosky, the agent who attempted to extinguish the flames and save some records, escaped.

They were both scorched by the fiery element.

The circumstances were peculiar.

The match lit on the bare boards on the floor and when the blaze was yet in its infancy Mr. Kelly saw it and attempted to put it out with a broom.

This only angered and spread the flames which almost instantly enveloped the entire building, portions of which was more or less contaminated with grease and oil.

Several cars loaded with coal stood near the burning building and took fire.

Word was immediately sent to this place for an engine but before it reached Big Run enough men had gathered about the place to move the cars and put out the fire.

The loss to the company is about $1,500.

A new and better station will be erected at once.

In this instance a fire company would have been of little use in Big Run, but they may have other conflagrations there in the future at which a good fire company with plenty of water would be about the right thing.