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
March 17, 1897

Opening the Mills
On Monday morning the two large saw mills owned by Wise & Hall at Big Run, resumed operations, giving employment to a large force of men.

They have a large number of logs on hand and the mills will be kept running steadily all season.

Brushed Down
Last Friday, Irwin Simpson, of Lindsey was up at Clover Run, in Gaskill township, looking after his lumber interests in that vicinity.

He was moving about in the woods when the top of a tree blew off and fell on him.

Fortunately only the branches struck Mr. Simpson and he escaped with a badly bruised arm and a good brushing down.

Making a Good Record
Harvey G. Hawthorn, of Sprankles Mills, who was sent to the Allegheny penitentiary about a year ago for a term of two years and a half for counterfeiting is making a very creditable record in that institution.

His conduct from the beginning has been good, and the authorities have given him an appointment in the clerical department.

Harvey is of an amiable disposition which makes him a general favorite with the officials and attaches of the prison.

Explosion of Gas
Attorney Jeff G. Wingert, lives on Lane Avenue, East End. Last Thursday morning Mrs. Wingert came down town to assist her father, James St. Clair, in his office.

When she returned home about 11 o' clock to prepare the dinner she found the gas out and proceeded to light it.

Instantly there was a terrific explosion which shook the house to its foundation and upset the furniture in every direction.

Mrs. Wingert was badly burned about the hands and her hair and was badly frightened.

She ran outside and called for help.

An investigation showed that all the nice new furniture and carpets in the kitchen and parlor and one room upstairs was almost ruined by the soot consequent upon the explosion of gas.

The stove pipe was blown into smithereens and things torn up in general about the kitchen.

The cause of the presence of so much gas in the building was due to the fact that the gas man was working in that vicinity that day and had turned the gas, which had been left lighted in the morning, off and then on again, thus allowing it to escape in the rooms.