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
April 7, 1897

A New Depot
The B. R. & P. Railway company is preparing to make some extensive improvements in town. A fine new passenger depot, built of brick; is to be erected this summer as well as a new freight depot.

This a much needed improvement as the impression a stranger receives now when landing in Punxsutawney is that he is entering a dilapidated village of a few hundred inhabitants instead of the metropolis of the greatest bituminous coal field in Pennsylvania.

Saw Mill Burned
The saw mill of John Knarr, in McCalmont township, was destroyed by fire last Saturday morning about five o' clock.

The origin of the fire is unknown. The loss is about $1,500 upon which there was no insurance. Mr. Knarr will rebuild at once.

Dr. Pearce's Residence Burned
The residence of Dr. J. R. Pearce, dentist, of Rayne township, Indiana county, was destroyed by fire last Thursday.

The doctor was at work in his office, and had just built on a wood fire, In a few moments the roof was all on fire. Heroic efforts were made to extinguish the flames, and while this was going on, no efforts could be made to save the contents.

Consequently everything was burned up, even the clothing of the doctor and his wife. It was also with great difficulty that the barn was saved. The loss will be about $2,000 upon which there was no insurance.

Railroads and Railroads
The stockholders of the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh railroad held a meeting at Ridgeway last week and issued bonds to the amount of $3,000,000 to pay off indebtedness and construct a line from Punxsutawney to a connecting point with the Pittsburgh Eastern railroad near Decker's Point.

April 14, 1897
Developed Insanity
An Englishman alleging the name of George G. Bustard, was sent here from Adrian hospital and confined to the lock-up on a charge of insanity. He came to Adrian last Friday from, no one knows where, and asked to be admitted for medical treatment.

The physicians there could discover nothing seriously wrong, but found that he was suffering some from a frozen foot.

On Sunday evening however, he developed evidences of insanity, and finally became so deranged and unreasonable as to drive the inmates of the institution into seclusion.

As the night wore on he developed into a raving maniac and had to be pinioned and a guard placed over him. The authorities here sent a petition to Judge Reed asking for the appointment of a commission to examine the unfortunate man.

An examination took place today before Squire Wilson, Dr. Rouse and Attorney Munderf in the office of the latter. His insanity being unquestionable, Judge Reed will be asked to issue papers for his confinement in the Warren Insane Asylum.