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Way Back When

October 16, 2011

(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
(April 1, 1896)

MISS NANCY A. Y. HOOVER DEAD
She Was Stricken With Paralysis
and Passed Away a Week
Later

Miss Nancy Agnes Young Hoover, who has for some years kept a millinery store on Mahoning street, and is well known to everybody in the community, died on Saturday morning, March 26, at 2 o'clock. She was stricken with paralysis on the Friday previous and grew steadily weaker until the end.

Miss Hoover was about fifty-nine years of age, and was the daughter of the late Jacob Hoover, the first settler in what is now Clayville, and one of the pioneers of this side of the county. She was the last of the family. The other members, now all dead, were Mrs. G. A. Mundorff, of Pittsburg, Mrs. B. F. Mundorff, Mrs. James E. Mitchell, Mrs. O.H. Nordstrom, Mrs. Alva Ballard, and Miss Chrissie Hoover.

The deceased live in Punxsutawney and vicinity all her life, with the exception of a few years in Pittsburg, and was highly esteemed by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.

The funeral took place from her residence on Monday afternoon at 4 o'clock. The services were conducted by Rev. Merchant, assisted by Rev. McKallip. The funeral was a private one, and the remains were interred in the old cemetary, a number of relatives from Reynoldsville and other points being present.

***
Tramptown
There are several hundred coke ovens at Walston. The ovens are twelve feet in diameter on the inside. A number of those ovens are at all times idle, and in rough weather they are a favorite rendezvous for tramps. Some times all of the vacant ovens are occupied, and a veritable city of tramps is the result.

The occupants visit the newspaper office and ask for exchanges, with which they carpet the floors of the ovens and make them quite comfortable. Then they go around asking for "hand-outs," and in this way provide themselves with boarding and lodging at no cost.

In some instances, tramps live at Walston all winter. And, strange as it may appear, very few depradations are committed by these knights of the road.

(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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