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
May 12, 1897

Not Guilty
In the case of the commonwealth vs Oliver P. Nicola, at Clearfield last week the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. Mr. Nicola had been charged with removing lumber from Sykes Bros. mill at Newtonburg, illegally.

The indictment contained five counts, two of which had been abandoned by the State's attorneys before the case went to the jury.

The case was one of the most thoroughly contested legal disputes witnessed at Clearfield for many years, having occupied three days and one night session of last week.

Mr. Nicola was charged by the state with receiving lumber and shipping it out of the county, for the purpose of preventing a levy.

The defense claimed that the lumber had been bought and paid for by the company which he represented, and that they had a right to move it.

Singleton Bell Esq. and Frank Fielding Esq. of Clearfield were the attorneys for the defense and A. L. Cole of DuBois, and the district attorney represented the State. It appears that Oliver P. Nicola is in the employ of Nicola Bro. Co. of Pittsburgh, lumber dealers, and had been sent to ship the lumber from Newtonburg after the levy had been made.

The court instructed that if the defendant took lumber, believing that his employers had bought and paid for it and was acting in good faith, he could not be held for any of the charges in the indictment, and the jury seems to have considered it.

Mr. Nicola is a young man of good address and gentlemanly conduct, and created a favorable opinion while undergoing a trial which was to determine his liberty.

The State's attorneys and the attorneys for the defense all made a straightforward battle for what they believed to be right and all of them showed themselves to be hard fighters in a legal battle.

June 9, 1897
To Select Cannon
The adjutant of Captain E. H. Little, Post No. 237 G. A. R. of Punxsutawney received a letter from the ordinance department at Washington, asking the citizens and members of the G. A. R. to meet and make a selection of cannon use of the Captain E. H. Little Post, and the citizens of Punxsutawney.

A meeting of all interested is hereby called to assemble at Municipal Hall on Friday evening, June 11, to make the selection and arrange matters.

By the request of council of administration of the G. A. R.