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
January 20, 1897


An attempt of an Oil City Man to Have it Revoked

“A special from Harrisburg under date of January 13 says: There is an attempt being made to revoke the charter of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg railroad. C.F. Hartwell of Oil City institued the proceedings. He has made application for a writ of quo warranto against the company.

The papers are in the hands of Maj. Isaac B. Brown, deputy secretary of internal affairs. He will notify both parties and fix a time for a hearing. Oil City, Corry or Ridgway will be selected.

Mr. Hartwell prays for a write of quo warranto to “inquire by what authority the road engages in mining coal and manufacturing coke when the Constitution and state laws passed in pursuance thereof forbid any railroad company incorporated under the provisions of the Constitution of 1874 from engaging in any manufacturing or mining business or any other, except the transportation of persons sad commodities.”

The company operates a road from Buffalo to Punxsutawney.

It is one of the heaviest haulers of coal in the state.

Maj. Brown says that he knows nothing more about the case than is given in the application for the writ.

He does not know who Hartwell is or why he is interested.

The road has been trying for a number of years to break into Pittsburgh, but has never been able to secure a terminus.

It is not known to own any coal mines, but some of the stockholders of the company may be interested in the coal business along its line.

February 3, 1897

Just a Small Blaze

George Wilson blew the fire alarm whistle long and loud about 8 o’ clock on Friday morning and the fire department hurried to the house of H. Clay Campbell, Esq. on the South Side, where a small blaze had started behind the plastering near the chimney.

A block of wood that had been used in constructing the chimney ignited and set fire to the lath and material next to it.

The fire was soon extinguished without the assistance of the fire department.

The loss which was mostly caused by smoke, amounts to probably $15.