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
October 20, 1897

Destructive Forest Fire
A destructive forest fire is raging in the large timber tract north of Brookville, known as the Mayes tract. There are several thousand acres of excellent pine and hemlock on it, and the loss will be enormous.

A railroad was built from Brookville to this tract about a year ago. Two car loads of men from Brookville were taken to the scene of the fire yesterday to make an effort to stay the progress of the flames.

October 27, 1897

The News Changes Partners

A. P. Lowry, a practical newspaper man, who has been foreman of the mechanical department of the Indiana Rimes, for the past ten years, has purchased the interest of Peter Stockdale in the Punxsutawney News, and the new firm will be Miller and Lowry. We welcome Mr. Lowry to the ranks of Punxsutawney journalism, and trust that his experience may prove both pleasant and profitable.

Towns That Perished
Only a few years ago — not over two decades — Clarion county had three or four of the largest and liveliest towns in Western Pennsylvania. Edinburg, which is now a mere hamlet, was then a town of twenty thousand people, teeming with life and activity and wickedness.

Its post-office did more business than that of Allegheny City, and its policeman and a much livelier time of it. Turkey City, which is now no more, was a town as large as Big Run.

St. Petersburg, which is now barely able to hold its place on the map, was full of people and hustle and wealth. And Elk City, which could boast of a population of ten thousand people, and a dance house of which Ben Hogan was proprietor, is now as completely obliterated as ancient Babylon. Where the town once stood there are fields of groves. A few forty barrel oil wells made the town, and when they were pumped
dry, Elk City faded from view.

James R. Evans, assistant freight agent at the B, R, & P. depot went to Salamaca last Friday, where he was united in marriage to Miss Mena Sartwell, of Brockwayville.

Mr. Evans is one of our most highly respected young men, and Miss Sartwelll is well and favorably known here, both as a competent school teacher and an accomplished elocutionist. They have the hearty good wishes of a host of friends.