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Way Back When

January 19, 2014

(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
January 18, 1888

The Big Run Tannery
We have been furnished with the dimensions of the buildings for the Big Run tannery and will lay them before our readers: The main building will be 42x80 feet; leach house, 15x115 feet; boiler house, 40x60 feet, and will contain two sixty horse power boilers, a sixty five horse power engine to run the rocker, roller and pumps in the main building.

The tannery will have a capacity of one hundred hides per day, about 5,000 cords of hemlock bark and 1,000 cords of rock oak bark will be used per year.

It is the intention to have the tannery in operation by July next. A switch has been put down and considerable grading has been done for the buildings, which will be erected as soon as possible. — DuBois Express

Frightened to Death
A twelve-year old son of Levi Jahl, of Elk township, Clarion county, was according to the Clarion Democrat, literally frightened to death recently.

He was returning home from church alone one night and when he reached a lonesome place in the road, which was popularly believed to be haunted, three young men, disguised so as to present a hideous aspect, sprung upon him.

The boy was terrified beyond expression and ran with all the speed that fear could lend to his tottering limbs, his persecutors following him and shooting off revolvers.

When the boy reached home he was prostrated with nervous excitement and fell into a violent fever, which, in a few days terminated his death.

The "ghosts" will be held to answer for their fiendish conduct in a court of justice.

Knights of Pythias
Perhaps no other secret order ever obtained a more sudden or wide spread popularity than the Knights of Pythias.

Its growth in this county since its introduction has been almost phenomenal.

According to a recent report of Andrew Beveridge, District Deputy Grand Chancellor, the number of Knights in Jefferson county is 548, distributed as follows: Punxsutawney lodge has 106 members; Big Run, 73; Beechtree, 114; Brockwayville, 68; Reynoldsville, 89; Brookville, 92; Sykesville, 36.

The total amount paid out for relief during Mr. Beveridges term of office was $822.25. Total in the treasury at present, $5,258.29.

(Editor’s note: This piece is one in a series of “Familiar Faces Friday” features to be written by Spirit reporter...
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