(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.)
September 23, 1896
A Somewhat Dramatic Court Scene
The Trial of Irvin Bussler on a charge of stealing $83 from George Heigney, of this place was concluded in a somewhat dramatic manner. The evidence tended to show that Constable Record, in attempting to recover the money had lead the young man to believe that if he would tell where it was nothing would be done about it. As a confession made to an officer under a promise of that kind cannot be used as evidence against him and there was no other proof of his guilt.
Judge Reed took the case from the jury and discharged the defendant. The judge told the young man in discharging him that there was no doubt of his guilt. He believed him guilty and the jury believed him guilty but under this technicality of law he could not be convicted.
"If however" said the Judge" you have any sense of honor about you, you will go to work immediately and use the first money you earn to pay back to these old people what you have taken from them."
It is said that Bussler's attorney had some trouble in preventing him from pleading guilty in which case he would certainly have been sent down the river.
A Time for Caution
There are a number of cases of diphtheria in Clayville and there are a good many cases in the surrounding community. The greatest precaution should be exercised to keep the disease out of Punxsutawney and to prevent its spread if it should appear.
This is one of the cases where an active and competent board of health can be of invaluable service to the people in saving lives.
September 19, 1896
A Big Crane
The big unloading crane for the Punxsutawney Iron Company is on the grounds and in a few weeks will be ready to operate.
This crane the reach of which is 370 feet was built by the Brown Hoisting Company to do the excavating for the Worldâ€™s Fair at Chicago, and was used there for two years.
The man who operated it is there as is also the man who kept the enormious machine properly lubricated.
The latter is a sailer by profession and climbs about over spars and masts in a way that would make a landsman quite nervous.